Here’s a reunion for you: Mark Sanford and Gina Smith


How weird is this world? This weird:

Gina Smith (now Gina Smith Gilbert), who now handles the editorial page at the Island Packet in Hilton Head, posted this on Facebook today:

My favorite politician of all time, Rep. Mark Sanford, stopped by the paper today to talk Trump, offshore driling, etc. I’m always happy to see him. He’s a great sport who — unlike many of his brethren — does not hold grudges against reporters.

And what would Sanford hold a grudge about?

Gina, then at The State, was the reporter who caught Sanford coming back from Argentina in June 2009, thereby breaking that whole story. A few hours later, having been caught red-handed, Sanford came clean in his own peculiar way at that infamous presser.

And you know, it’s just like Sanford to happily pose for a picture with Gina today.

Which is weird to me because, had I been in his place, I’d have:

  • Resigned as governor.
  • Never, ever run for any public office again.
  • Lived in dread of anyone ever taking my picture and publishing it.
  • Experienced tsunamisĀ of guilt at the mention of anyone or anything associated with the Argentina scandal.

But that’s me. I’m dramatic that way. I lack the insouciance that Mr. Sanford wears so easily.

29 thoughts on “Here’s a reunion for you: Mark Sanford and Gina Smith

  1. Doug Ross

    2009…was that the last time The State broke a news story? I know they did some in depth analysis yesterday on how many entrances the Bull Street development will have.

    He should have disappeared. But so should have Bill Clinton. Nobody can fault Sanford and then give a sexual predator a pass.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Isn’t it, though?

      A tale to tell on myself…

      Sometime back in the early 80s I read an interview with either Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein in which he said that you need a certain amount of insouciance to be a journalist. I mentioned to a colleague that I thought I had that. She never let me forget it. Whenever I came out of a news meeting in the managing editor’s office after a huge argument, with the smoke coming out of my ears — I was quite the hothead in those days — she’d look over from her desk to mine and say, “Insouciance…”

      1. bud

        Why use a ‘yuge’ word when a short one does the trick. Just say the former governor is chill.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Better yet…

          We used an older version of Word at The State during Sanford’s time in office. The spellcheck always wanted to change his name to “Sangfroid,” which would have been highly appropriate…

  2. clark surratt

    But Brad, he is the ultimate narcissist politician. I think he liked getting caught and loved the spotlight of that famous news conference bragging about his international tryst. This recent meeting with Gina just feeds his needs big time and fits perfectly with his whole personality.

  3. Howard

    Brad you’ve lived in SC long enough to realize that SC politicians don’t lose sleep over any type of scandal… they sit around and laugh with their buddies about getting caught.

  4. bud

    The governor’s behavior is understandable. He is certainly the poster child for narcissism. What totally blows my mind is the voters. Why on earth did they elect this egotistical nothing to congress. Just don’t see it at all. This same enigmatic electorate is now choosing a president and sure enough the biggest narcissist in the room is having a good time of it. Not sure why people want to see the country go down the drain.

      1. Howard

        What’s your point, 90% of those in Washington are narcissistic and chronic liars.

        Maybe he’ll take some pointers from Obama and submissively bow down to all of our enemies.

    1. Howard

      bud, have you seen his ex-wife? I’m almost surprised nobody has ever taken a picture of her on her broom.

  5. Karen Pearson

    On the republican side we have the choice between an authoritarian narcissist and a sociopath. Wunnerful.

    1. Howard

      What’s your observation of those on the Democratic side… I’d like to see your unbiased opinion of Clinton and Sanders.

      1. Karen Pearson

        A seasoned manipulator, and a fanatic. But they at least have their deficits under some control.

          1. Karen Pearson

            Some control is better than none, especially when you are able to exercise it upon yourself.

    2. Lynn Teague

      A study reported in the Washington Post this week shows that supporters of Trump, Cruz, and Rubio are in varying degrees high scorers on measures of authoritarian leanings, with the Cruz supporters leading the pack by a significant margin. Trump supporters stand out more for their mistrust of experts and their nationalism, although they are still far more inclined to seek authority figures than Kasich supporters or any Democratic candidate supporters. At the other end of the spectrum, Sanders supporters tend to very strongly reject authority and respect experts, place little weight on nationalism..

      1. Doug Ross

        And what do Hillary supporters value? Short term memory loss? Second, third, and fourth chances? Standing by your man? Moving on?

        1. Howard

          Getting Clinton to release her medical records will be similar to getting Trump to release his tax records. I suspect she has had some serious health issues and may still be recovering or showing symptoms. I’ve read where the incident of her returning late to the debate earlier may have been more than her “getting lost”. There is also talk of issues she has when forced to stand for long periods. The “prism” type glasses she was forced to wear a year or two ago is normal for people who have had strokes and involving chronic vertigo.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        You know what’s extra weird about that? If I were looking for a strong authority figure among this bunch, I’d go first to Kasich, and last to Trump.

        Because to me, “authority figure” assumes “grownup.”

  6. susanincola

    And after last night, now the other candidates are wincing and grimacing and intimidating they might not support him as the candidate, either.
    Is that a first?

    1. Howard

      So Trump lost two voters, and likely gained 200,000 more. It wasn’t Trumps people who started the protest. As he said this wasn’t a spur of the moment idea, the signs they were holding had been professionally printed. I wouldn’t put it past Cruz or Rubio to be partially behind these demonstrations.

        1. Howard

          bud, if so it’s the only successful thing they’ve accomplished in their run for the party’s nomination… unfortunately it has backfired for them and likely turned more people for Trump than discouraged and also came with a multi-million dollar price tag. The people who hate Trump have already made up their mind, those who were on the fence seem to be siding more and more with Trump and against the protesters.

          When do the Republicans start protesting and disrupting the Democratic rallies? The liberals here like to talk about civility, well who’s showing to be the more civil group up to this point? Piss and moan all you like, I’ll just sit back and laugh.

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