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June 25th, 2009
05:41 AM ET

Gov. Sanford: Should He Stay or Should He Go?

From Writer/Producer Doug Furnad

The shroud of mystery around South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's absence has been lifted, to reveal an ugly truth: the Governor was having an affair.

Sanford came back to the Statehouse in Columbia, to tell the world about his transgression.

Turns out he had been having affair with a woman in Argentina, something his wife says she knew about for several months.

She admitted that she asked him to leave a couple weeks ago, but thought the trial separation would be a way to strengthen their strained marriage.

That notion may have ended with his unexplained absence.

Turned out he wasn't hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

He was in Buenos Aires with "Maria."

Sanford was a rising star among Republicans, with an eye toward possibly running for President in 2012.

Now, he's resigned as head of the Republican Governor's Association.

His admission is becoming all too common.

Democrats John Edwards and Elliot Spitzer saw their political futures disappear.

Republican John Ensign is still in the Senate and Mark Sanford is still running the show in South Carolina.

Coming up at 10am ET in the NewsRoom with Heidi Collins, we'll talk with the Political Editor of The State newspaper.

The State broke the story of Sanford's Argentinean getaway.

We want to know what you think: should Sanford stay or go?


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. mike cangemi; gloucester, ma

    Hello Heidi:
    It was refreshingly satisfying to watch your comments yesterday, Wednesday, concerning the Sanford affair. Comical might be a better word. Obviously, you had little to say and, like most of us, could have cared less. I suppose you were under orders to turn this drama into news, however little commentary it demanded. I only wish you had said: 'Who cares about this creep. I don't. Next story.'

    Note: I apologize if it wasn't you I saw on television. I usually don't pay attention to faces and names. Like reading a book: sometimes I don't know the title or author, but it's still a good read.

    June 25, 2009 at 7:06 am |
  2. CAROLYN

    Any personal distraction that interfere with a politicians performance as a public servant should have to give up their office, whatever that position is, whether they are democrat or republician.

    June 25, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  3. Charlie Erickson

    Why is this getting so much ink, here on CNN.com? Did he break the law? Spitzer broke the law. As a lawyer, he should have been dealt with much more harshly than he was. Edwards had an affair while his wife had cancer. That shows something of the character of the person; plus, he was campaigning for President. Big differences there.

    I also tire of the hypocritical garbage coming from those who bash the ways of others, then do what they want to anyway. If you need to concentrate on any part of these supermarket tabloid stories, then do so on the underlying importance of how politicians can seem to do what they want to, and when they get caught, it's everyone else who suffers, from the family to the public. The excessive media coverage is only restating over and over and over and over, the same old thing on something not really that important, in the big picture. Don't the writers have other stuff which they should be working on, and putting out there?

    Unless Gov. Sanford did something illegal, or violated a trust in the manner that Edwards did, let's move on. It's an issue for their family and possibly for the people of South Carolina. Unless he broke the law, he should stay as Governor, until the people of South Carolina decide otherwise. Isn't that what "We The People" is all about (at least in part)?

    So, again I ask: Why are the airwaves, press pages, and blog spaces getting so clogged with a mostly non-story. When I watch the TV coverage, I can see how It's being stretched and spun, into what will be a temporary and soon to be forgotten "media sensation".

    C'mon, there is much more important and deserving issues which need to publicly be dealt with. A five minute story on the recent passing of a soldier and his heroic actions, which went unrecognized for 36 years, might have been nice, instead of the extended coverage of the beating of a political dead horse.

    You give this guy 18 minutes of airtime, then repeat it a few times, and yet I recall that you couldn't spare a couple of minutes to air Gen. Colin Powell's speech at, and to televise some of the happenings during the Vietnam Veterans Memorial's 25th Anniversary Ceremony. That was an important part of American history; not this junk.

    Finally, you are letting this debacle take the attention away from one of the most important issues of our time; healthcare reform. This is an issue, which Americans are literally dying to correct. Now, that's important !!

    Charlie.

    June 25, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  4. jack o'rourke

    take a good look at these politicians most of them are scumbags we let them manage our country but they can't manage their own personell lives ! what a joke ! this country is going down the tubes and it's too late to stop it !

    June 25, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  5. Peri Craig

    I believe Stanford should go. He showed an amazing lack of responsibility, both privately and publicly, by going AWOL. I personally have nointerest in how he conducts his private life as long as it doesn't impact his public life; this did. It was intentional negligence to his position as a public servant, at best. Even teenagers should know to leave a note saying where they've gone and when they'll be home! And what employee in a lesser job could simply take an unannounced "holiday" and expect a job on their return? THen there is the other issue ... Argentina? If there IS an intimate laision, consider the "Mata Hari" factor. If it's not intimate, what was really being exchanged?

    June 25, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  6. Meghan Teder

    I don't like what Gov. Mark Sanford did at all but we didn't kick Bill Clinton out of office when he was having an affair – and he was doing it in the Oval Office!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  7. Daniel Nelson

    He has asked for forgiveness and his wife has forgiven him and we as Christians also should forgive him. We all sin and are forgiven when we repent. Why do we want to throw someone in the fire when they sin? It seems like he is remorseful and wants to do the right thing to repair his marriage and his family. We should at the least allow him to regain his integrity. He should have notified his office of where he was but again he has asked for forgiveness and should be forgiven!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  8. s les

    he should go

    June 25, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  9. George Hunihan

    The man should resign immediately. It amazes me how the American public will stand around and accept such behavior.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  10. Paul G.

    Rank hypocrisy in one's personal life isn't grounds for removal from office. I think the voters should toss him out in the next election if he runs, but he shouldn't resign.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  11. R Pettinger

    Leaving the state withou telling anyone is unforgiveable, and should be dealt with. His extra-marital affairs should be his own business.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  12. eric von aspern

    He should stay. Make life right with his family. Politicians are human too.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  13. MichaelNYC

    The governor of South Carolina should resign. The governor should be someone that the people of its state look up to and trust – like our fallen former Governor – he should step down and let someone who can focus on the issues concerning his state take over.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  14. vixentrouble

    heidi sanford hasnt done anything wrong legally or any thing that has to do with his job so it really has nothing to do with us in general its between him and his wife. if we start poking our nose into their marriages then y dont we just start firing everyone who has cheated on their significant other i have a feeling our unemployment rated would skyrocket

    June 25, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  15. Mike

    The Governer should leave office, i'm sick and tired of hearing all these public officials that are surpose to be representing us, instead their more consern in repersenting them self, I believe that they are out of toon, and selfish.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  16. Keith

    I say we vote Lucas Glover in as governor here in SC and I hope Sanford is on the next bus leaving Columbia!!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  17. Greg Nelson

    The right thing to do is forgive, and take the position to love him through his struggle. Accountability is also important. The Governor's political position needs to be taken from him, including retirement benefits. The taxpayers certainly should not have to pay for this kind behavior. It will truly help the governor to learn the lesson of humility, something that may help him to become a better man.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  18. Chris Woodruff

    I say, as long as he didn't use public funds for his trip to Argentina, he should stay. I think the media has blown this way out of proportion.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  19. marsh

    i dont like gov. sanford– why shouldnt we forgive him. he confess his fault (sin) wife giving him a second chance why shouldnt we. as long he doing a good job. let him stay. what goes around comes around. you see what he did bill clinton . bill clinton was impeach ,but, he wasnt impeach from office...

    June 25, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  20. Clyde

    Gov. Sanford should go. I think we are all growing tired of these "holier than thou" politicans who quickly condenm other people's missteps, but ask for understanding and forgiveness when they misstep.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  21. Larry

    Kick him to the curb Heidi.

    These politicians don't get the fact they're getting paid to do a job.

    Looks like it's just party time for them at the taxpayer's expense.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  22. David in Canada

    You Americans are an interesting bunch. What does it matter what anyone does in their private life. This guy was elected to govern a state. Let him do it and stay out of his private life. This guy, like a lot of people, likes to think that, when they get elected they have to be the standard bearer for the country's morality. What a hypocrite.Give me a break!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  23. P'kale Robinson

    Our elected officials should be held to higher standards. I think that forgiveness is possible, but he should be fired. The Republican Party lacks leadership, a mission, and direction. They don't have many chances to "get it right"

    Gov. Sanford lied. I think you guys call it "misleading" .He was unfaithful to his wife, his family, and the people he served.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  24. kevin kratsch-Oshkosh WI

    I am a Democrat. I believe personal indescretions are just that, personal; UNLESS they interfere with the person's job, include illegal activities or there is a majority call from BOTH parties
    (ie; impeachment) or majority of his/her voters choose to ask him to step down.
    IF he is doing a good job, then he has suffered enough through public humliation, family matters and has to rebuild trust in him. He deserves that chance as we ALL do.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  25. Gaison

    I do not think the Gov. Sanford should resign. I know we believe his actions were unethical. We are sexual human beings and we are doing exactly what is natural to us ..... showing affection, in particular sexually. I am tired of politicians apologizing for something that is natural to us all; besides what is our business with a Gov. Officer's personal life. There is no rule on whom you feel sexual attraction to.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  26. sakpase Canada

    if his personal life does not impact his public life and if he is coming clean, I think everyone have a second chance,but is action shows a lack of responsibility...let the state law decide.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  27. Maggi H

    He ought to resign. I am so tired of these politicians preaching good morals, and how we should conduct our lives, when they turn around and do the opposite. And the Republicans are always preaching! And this guy condemed others for doing exactly what he got caught doing! Resign! If you can't conduct your own life properly, after preaching to the herd, then get out!!!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  28. Gene Gengel

    We Americans are hypocritical of human failings when it comes to relationships of our politicians. The facts are that politicians come from the masses and the masses have marital problems at a rate high enough to cause one-half of all marriages to fail.

    Do we have the right to expect that our neighbor or in this case, our elected representatives, should behave better than all of us. It would be nice to think that but politicians have feet of clay also.

    Stop making politicians out to be more than they are and stop persecuting them in the public forum. The suffering that results in the family will provide all the punishment necessary.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  29. Joe Szmidt

    He should stay. He came clean in a way that should allow this episode of poor judgement pass. He is a good governor and it doesn't appear that this impacted his job. Contrast this to Pres. Clinton who repeatedly lied which did affect his judgement to the point where he didn't but should have taken out Bin Laden resulting in 9/11 to happen.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  30. Dawn-Atlanta

    Yes, I think he should go; not for the affair but for the deception regarding his disappearance and the apparant mis-use of Government funds related to the trip.

    I am already tired of hearing about this story and it just happened yesterday.

    Why do we make such a big deal about politicians who have affairs?

    I think the only reason he came forward is because the mistress probably kicked him to the curb and he was tired from the trip and also confronted with evidence of the whole thing.

    I also think the affair was going on for some time.

    He is sorry he got caught.

    John Edwards was the same way; The first time I saw Senator Edwards running for President, I could tell he was the type of person who would cheat on his wife.

    If you look closely, you can tell the cheaters.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  31. wade

    Clinton did the same as President but lied about it. Atleast Governer Sanford addresed it with what honesty and dignity he has if he deems so.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  32. John Silvernale

    Big deal ! ! ! he screwed up. He is seperated from his wife,that doesn't make it right he just did it ,now he is paying for it. If he is bounced out of office he will find another political job to climb into. like running a bailout bank somewhere.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  33. Victoria

    Our political leaders took an oath to lead. Lead with deception? They also took an oath when they married their spouse. Cheating is about honesty. If you cannot be honest with the one you pledged your love and life to, are you going to be honest with complete strangers? This has been going on since the dawn of time...get real...quit lying and get honest. If you want another in your life, fine, just tell the truth to the one you are married to, let them go if you want another, so they can move forward in their life. That is honesty, that is what I expect with my political leaders. If you cannot do that, you should not lead!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  34. George in Montreal

    Hello Heidi,

    Governor Sanford lied to his staff about his whereabouts and demonstrated a serious lack of judgement to the people of S.C. He should resign and leave politics. I feel bad for his wife and children and I hope time will heal their sorry situation. Governor Sanford! Don't turn this into a realty show to win back some popularity. Go home and stay out of the public eye.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  35. Paul

    To be fair the Governer should stay and give South Carolinians the stimulus package too.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  36. Jane from South Carolina

    While Governor Sanford's behavior is appauling, it would be better for our state if Sanford remained governor. Sanford's replacement would be Lt. Governor Andre Bauer who has his own past and skeletons in his closet that most South Carolinians are very familiar with. I wish the media would dig into Bauer's past! It was all over our newspapers many times! We thought Sanford was above all the crookedness that plagues SC politics. While we now see he is not, Sanford is far better than those who would take over for him. As a native South Carolinian, I'm asking the media to please not push for Sanford to resign – our fate would be much worse! At least he admitted to his inappropriate behavior right off the bat instead of denying the "sexual relations" like Clinton did and Edwards did.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  37. Keith

    Heidi...Sanford must GO!!..I guess theres no mirrors in his world..Thanks Sanford for spending my SC tax money well!!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  38. Clay

    At least the debaucheries of Ensign and Sanford, unlike Craig, involved women, which somehow seems more in keeping with the Republicans' cherished devotion to family values.

    Go man, GO...

    June 25, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  39. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    I cannot think of any other job, where you would get fired or asked to resign because you had an affair. Why do Americans think that the sex lives of our politicians are any of our business? Sanford should stay, even though I can't stand Republicans.

    @Joe Szmidt: Stop it. You are a hypocrite of the highest order. Sanford has been lying about this affair for a year now, possibly eight. Clinton did lie about his affair as well. Most people will. Stop rewriting history to validate the people you ignorantly vote for. Clinton went after bin Laden and Al Qaeda. When he bombed their terrorist training camp, Republicans were saying he was only killing people to take the attention away from Lewinski. "Wag the dog" was their mantra. Clinton was spineless for allowing these blowhards to stop his pursuit of bin Laden. But the Republican Congress hamstrung him by trying to impeach him over his sexual exploits. Not to mention Cheney scrambling F-16's in the wrong direction. The plane that hit the Pentagon could have been shot down, had it not been for the incompetence of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  40. Margaret

    Mark Sanford should go. He has shown poor judgment, a lack of restraint and self-discipline, and a willingness to place lust for another woman ahead of his wife and family. He seemed caught up in a soap opera in which he was a willing participant. He risked it all-he should lose it all. We should stop sending the message that it's ok for you to take leave of your senses and disgrace yourself and your family.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  41. A. D. M.

    If your surgeon walked away from the table while performing open heart surgery. Only, to be found in another room making out with his girlfriend. You might want a new surgeon.
    Mark Sanford’s affair is a personal issue between his God, Wife, and family. This is not a matter for the general public.
    What is important to the people of South Carolina? Our governor left our state with out a leader during trying time for the citizens of this state. If I walked away from my restaurant during the middle of a rush without temporarily appointing a new leader, I would be terminated.
    It also a slap in the face to all Gay South Carolinians who are faithful to their partners, but are not give the chance for equal rights to marry. My partner and I will have to leave our home state, most of our family and friends to have a legal marriage ceremony.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  42. Hemley Gonzalez

    "If these hypocrites would stop telling us who to marry, how to worship and how to live our lives, their infidelities would mean absolutely nothing"

    June 25, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  43. Mark Moore

    Here's the digest:

    People don't have a right to referee the family relationship just because they elected him governor.

    If he broke a law, that's news.
    If he spent state money illegally to see his gf, that's news.
    If he lied under oath, that's news.
    What CNN is reporting is titillating, salacious, and heartless as best I can tell so far.

    Here's the elaboration:
    Gov. Sanford didn't lie. He misled his staff. NOTHING illegal with that. Happens all the time. As best I can tell, his relationship was having trouble which may have chased him into the arms of his Argentinian penpal. This is tragic and terribly human, but it's not news. Happens all the time; maybe in *your* own house. Certainly a couple times on your block. Today.

    Leaving the state without a Governor for 4 days shows poor enough judgment Sanford might need to step down, but if his "most trusted adviser" had his emergency number and new what was going on, this is just a 4 day vacation.

    I'm not saying it's OK what he did to his wife. I'm just saying it's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. The people of S. Carolina don't have a right to referee the family relationship just because they elected him governor.

    Sanford didn't lie. When the issue came to a head, he didn't try to hide it. He owned up. Contrast that with all the other politician that have been skewered. They admitted guilt and professed contrition only when pinned in a corner. This man, owned up immediately.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  44. John in Seattle, WA

    After reading the women responding here, it is easy to understand where mysogyny comes from. Cheating has nothing to do with honesty, and nothing to do with how a man (or a woman) does his/her job. Women act as if they do not cheat on their husbands. The reality is that they cheat just as often as men. They are just less likely to admit it. That speaks to the honesty issue. The women who have cheated on me, won't admit to it to this day.

    Men and women cheat for different reasons. Men usually cheat because they are not getting enough sex at home. If you are not having sex with your man, you have no right to be upset when he cheats. It is in his genetic nature. We are built to pursue sex. It is one reason our species is over running this planet. Women cheat because they do not get enough attention. This is also in their genetic nature. It is time to stop hating people for what they inherently are. And maybe it is also time to start following some female politicians around, and focus on who they are having clandestine meetings with. I am tired of American women and their obscene superiority complex.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  45. AUTRA

    I am a South Carolina Resident and I think he should go. If he lies he will steal. Just think of what else he had hidden in that closet!!!!!!! I feel for his wife and family.......

    June 25, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  46. Patty

    Why does anyone care about this? Why is loving one person okay and loving another so wrong? All of this has nothing to do with his performance as Governor. It is a non-issue as far as I am concerned.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  47. Sal Voce

    Frankly, I've had enough of this story and those of similar ilk. Isn't there anything else happening besides the sex life of politicians and Iran??

    How about a story about what was OR WASN'T happening at home that would lead him to this path??? What was with this gal that his wife wasn't providing???

    HELLO CNN – he wouldn't have wondered if things at home had been as great or better...so, what's up with his wife????

    June 25, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  48. Michael Hasselbalch

    He should stay. Whereas he has shown moral decay I still have faith in his ability to run the state. I would be less afraid of consituents than the wrath of a woman scorned. But maybe the redeeming blood of Christ will extend to this couple.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  49. l gaglione

    SANFORD SHOULD KEEP HIS JOB. IF WE FIRED ALL THE MEN , OUT THERE WHO WERE "PLAYING AROUND" THERE WOULD BE NO ONE LEFT TO RUN THE COUNTRY.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  50. Amanda

    There are a myriad of reasons why this man should leave office. This is just the icing on a very large cake. He needs to do the right thing for his state and FINALLY resign. Also, Mrs. Sanford, please be original. If you want to keep your dignity, don't take back your words. Leave this man and teach him that affairs (in particular years long affairs) are not acceptable. He has lowered yours and the state's worth!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  51. Donna

    The man went to see his mistress during the Father's Day weekend for God's sake. He needs to GO!! He has shown such a lack of respect for his wife and his children along with his state. This is what makes me sick from these guys who are so concerned about the sanctity of marriage, give me a break. Resign Mark Sandford!!!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  52. Joe

    In response to Meghan Teder: Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives (and if I recall correctlly Mark Sanford was one of those leading the charge for him to resign) and NOT found guilty by the US Senate. Also, Bill Clinton did not go AWOL and leave the country without any one in charge. The party of "Family Values" should take a good look in teh mirror.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  53. Caroline Jones

    It's time to set an example. Normally I wouldn't care about politicians' private lives but infidelity and family disloyalty has become so rampant in Washington that we need to show politicians that this behavior is unacceptable as part of the American image. I say "out."

    June 25, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  54. Lisa

    I could care less whether or not anyone, including politicians, has an affair. That is an issue they will have to answer to in their own private circle.
    What I take issue with is the apparent lack of leadership under this particular Governor. If, in fact, it is true that he left his state with no one of power in control, then yes, he should go. Also, if it is shown that any portion of his office was used to facilitate this affair, then he should be removed because tax dollars would be at issue.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  55. Adrienne

    Considering that Sanford has been quick to condemn other public figures for infidelity in the past (and call for their resignations), it is the ultimate in hypocrisy for him to continue as Governor of South Carolina.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  56. BEP from SC

    Mark Sanford's personal life in his own. His irresponsibility in connection to his official duties calls for resignation. This is the last straw. He has been an incredibly horrible governor, and the sooner he leaves, the better. I can't list one single improvement he has made for the state of SC or it's people since he's been in office. Just wait until the news gets hold of the ways in which he has used money, example: taking $42 million from the retirement reserve account and depleting SCHIP money to use it for something else. Check it out.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  57. Rob

    If the rat was soooo concerned about being able to reconcile with his wife and four sons, what was he doing running to Arg. again?? His wife knew about this affair for months now. Evidently Sanford didn't convince her of his desire to reconcile by continuing to visit the mistress. What a bum !!! I'm sure he just wanted to go to Arg. to say good-bye......not!!!!!

    If his wife is smart, as it sounds as though she really is, she'd take him for allllll she can get and dump the dope. She'll never be able to trust him again. She has given him enough of her life and trust.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  58. ADM- Columbia, Sc

    I personally dislike Mark Sanford’s policies, but could you imaging our Lt. Governor Andre Bauer running our state. I could wait out the rest of Gov. Mark Sanford’s term. His political career ended in this state months ago. I would love for the GOP to select Mark as their 2012 candidate.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  59. Viewing from the Caribbean

    Watching CNN since this story broke highlights to me some odd paradoxes in the US:
    1) the desperate cry of equality in the treatment of all – same expectations, same rules, same treatment – seems to evaporate when dealing with infidelity in politics. Sanford was disparagingly called conservative and judgmental before this...and now he's revealed what's gone on this last year, the media is being just as judgmental, rather than acknowledging his failing, the irony of it, and stepping back to let the man deal with this with his family. How many average men (or women, for that matter) have been unfaithful to their spouses? Can you count? Do you care? I bet it's of utmost importance to the people in those relationships...and to them alone it should be!! Blocking what seems to be a perverse voyeuristic pleasure of your country watching a painful private moment play out publicly aside, the main benefit of NOT covering anything more on this story (and please don't try to dig up the identity of the "other woman" – that's just cloyingly sensational) will be the best example of taking the highroad and hopefully indicate to the other self-righteous politicians that they need not judge, lest they be judged.
    2) Those in politics are human first and foremost. They are elected because people identify with them in one or many ways, suggesting a bond on a visceral/fundamental level. This connection is often lauded at election time as a real boost to the character that they are so "real". Do you know any "real" married person that will admit to wanton thoughts let alone actions? Can you point to one anywhere on the planet that has come to the media and said "I was thinking of cheating on my wife, but that's probably not a good idea, huh?"? How about "I just cheated on my spouse for the first time. What should I do?".....if every person that cheated on their spouse resigned their job, what would THAT do to US unemployment statistics?? 🙂
    3) The right to privacy doesn't seem to extend to Political figures....I understand that their public actions are of public interest. So public funds used to fund an affair – absolutely this should be highlighted to suggest greater scrutiny is needed over the spending of public funds, and they are to be penalized. Beyond that – get off the man's lawn, put down the telescopic lenses, don't follow his wife to the supermarket, or hide in any bushes. How does this affect policy debates? How does this influence the benefits for the people of SC? How does tracking his sons or digging up emails to his (former??) mistress improve SC schools, or health benefits, or crime statistics? I would like the media to ask these questions before publishing stories on public figures. If the answers come back with "it doesn't have any influence/effect on X public benefit... LEAVE IT OUT!! You're journalists, go find a REAL story.
    4) This harping on him going AWOL for 5 days – but he did give notice of taking leave to his staff. He didn't state where he was going honestly – for obvious reasons (that's a hell of a secret for him to ask them to keep and wouldn't be fair to them dragging them into the middle of this). Did we not just watch a story on employees winning in court against an employer who fired them based on writings made in their private time? When I take vacation, I don't have to leave a copy of my itinerary with my boss or staff. If I take a side trip, I don't report in any changes. And I don't believe his wife didn't know where he was – they have been working this out the last 5 months....she knew!!. If something critical happened in his state, I'm sure he would have seen the emails/ answered the cell phone. Let's not try to make this into a protocol issue because the man used leave to close it off (or whatever) with the mistress....please!

    Let's be realistic here – not to excuse poor judgment and self-centered hurtful, wrong actions, but people are people with human flaws and failings. Their judgmental rhetoric typically reflects that they either haven't been put in a situation to be tested, or that they are desperately in need of believing that they are a better person for whatever transgressions they have committed. At the end of it all, we have to face our sins and atone – some do this at the pearly gates, and some before....end of story.

    Let the man do the work he was elected to do.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  60. mary

    Mark Sanford acknowledged "hurt to her, you (the media?), my wife, my boys..." It's odd that the 'her' was mentioned first. Also, after being told to leave the home because of the affair, the first place Sanford went is back to the woman. That's not a good indicator of his intentions to repair his marriage. I doubt that SC will look favorably or with real forgiveness if she is anything but a WASP. He's a weasel.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  61. Melvin Boyce

    Leave the man alone. Clinton did the same thing with an intern then lied about it, and Kennedy was notorius for his womanizing and nothing was done to them. Ed. Kennedy was even responsible for a woman's death. Double standard here?

    June 25, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  62. J

    I hope Governor Sanford decides to stay in SC, because we sure don't need him showing up inTexas!

    June 25, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  63. Kendric Owens

    The govenor should definitly go. He should be measured by the same standard by which he has measured.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  64. Zaida

    If Gov. Sanford misused one cent of the state funds to go on his instant gratification cheating trip or if one cent of state fund was use to look for him he should be made to pay back all misused money and should go !!!

    I recall about two years ago when a women to get out of getting married pretended to be held againt her wil which turned out to be a hoax was requested to pay back the city for all the money that was used in her search.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  65. Amanda

    @ John in Seattle: You need lots of therapy.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  66. Margaret

    I can't respect a married man and the father of four (let alone a governor) who is stupid enough to send an email to his lover about how she holds her breasts. He wanted to get caught.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  67. Rob in Fla

    I post this comment because I believe in our own country, we need to take a closer look at human rights, especially, the rights of women. We are not as a country that many years out from the time women won the right to vote. Yesterday, we watched two large news stories, Iran and Sanford. Were they totally unrelated....I do NOT think so. The Iranian revolt is being led by women. The Sanford story is linked to how men in the US relate to women. Men, can we condemn what is happening in Iran, without also, criticizing our own actions towards women in the US? I once listened to a lecture on male/female relations; where the speaker told us that if MEN did not learn to get in touch with there emotions, someday in the future, WOMEN would run this country. He was right on! The disrespect that men show for women in the US is no different that the disrespect men show for women in IRAN. Wake up AMERICA.....women are the "solid rock" of many of our families and they deserve more respect from us. A skyrocketing divorce rate surely substantiates the fact that actions like Sanford's are duplicated repeatedly and often in our society and need to change. The hypocrisy Sanford engaged in, extolling family values and denying rights to same sex couples; all the while, personally engaging in lies and cheating, should make us all stand up and say, enough is enough! This is NOT a personal issue....this is a problem all over this nation that needs to be addressed. MEN, learn respect for yourself and for women that cross your life's path. When any class of people is downtrodden over time, they will turn the tables.....in IRAN and in the US!

    June 25, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  68. susan piercey

    sex sells – hence should gov. sanford 'stay or should he go' ? his arrogance, integrity, morals and self centered behavior pertaining to his personal life miss the point; yet these salious details – with a viewing audience sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for more 'sells soap' ! this elected official abandoned his post – his primative motivation jeapordized the entire state of south carolina leaving no one was at the helm! according to reports, not one member of his staff was able to contact him, nor was anyone appointed 'in-charge' during this absence. the irresponsibility displayed by gov. sanford ignoring the duties as an elected official exhibit that of a man whom seems to feel his personal business supercede that of his job/ essentially seeing himself 'above the law'!
    the confidence in this man as governor has raised too many doubts among his staff and the people of south carolina, as to the level importance he places as a state governor.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  69. BonnieHort

    PERFECT EXAMPLE OF DOUBLE STANDARDS
    Why do the Democrats think Sandford should resign when Clinton got up and lied to the world about having an affair with a young intern ???? When Clinton did this, the democrats said everyone makes mistakes and it was his personal life.
    Again, double standards. Nancy Pelosi has wasted thousands of dollars on her personal life and its ignored.
    I think this is a perfect example for us to see the Democrats are still up to thier old games.
    Riding the fence and Double standards!!

    June 25, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  70. chris

    If he would have cheated on his taxes instead of his wife, he would be in a cabinet position at the white house.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  71. Jim Stephens

    He must go. He has lost the trust of decent Americans. Woe to those politicians who "forgive" him for they reveal their tainted faces.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  72. Diana

    He abondened his post, what if there was a crisis in his state, no one could even reach him, he should be fired for that reason .

    June 25, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  73. julie

    There are alway consequences for inappropriate actions. I believe he can stay, but should not be allowed to run for president in the future. What going on with our leaders? What message are they sending to the youths?

    June 25, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  74. Shelby Jenkins

    I'm withholding judgement till I see what the young lady looks like. It may be a case of , yeah it was wrong, but I understand.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  75. sandra

    yes he should go

    June 25, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  76. donnie

    A find it interesting, but not surprising, that CNN is asking this question. Did CNN forget about a democratic President of the United States staying in office after cheating on his wife?

    Sorry, but the precedence has been set. When the most powerful man in the world is allowed to have sex in the White House with someone other than his wife, then all politicians, regardless of party, should be given the same opportunity.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  77. Lonnie White

    Guess it was ok for ex-president Clinton to have a affair while in office but not for this Governor. Strange how we look at things today vs a few years ago.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  78. Sandra Bueno

    Affairs are a revelation of an individual's moral fiber and a window to personal convictions about how they choose to live their life.

    Fundamentally, to cheat or not to in a relationship is a personal choice that represents the spirit and values guiding the individual. An affair displays a weakness to control one's physical self and to keep integrity with the commitments made and the persons with whom those commitments were shared. Ultimately, it is a question of self-respect and honor.

    When a public figure, especially a politician, falls because of sex at the expense of a wife, children, and family unit, it displays personal characteristics associated with emotional weakness, deceit, dishonesty, betrayal, disregard, disrespect, lack of courage, faithlessness, selfishness and self-service, not to leave out self gratification; core characteristics that are self-monitored and can be supported with a spirit of God.

    Once exposed, how can this person guarantee discernment in office when the outmost level of respect, trust and honest judgment is required and expected of him in order to morally and ethically represent and lead others? If he falls in the most intimate of personal matters that engage every area of his life, then why would he not fall elsewhere?

    Again, affairs are a revelation of one's moral fiber, and that fundamental essence carries across every area, job, relationship, and decision in our human existence.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  79. Shraon

    Although I am not a South Carolinian, nor a Republican, I was truly stricken by yesterday's news conference offered by poor Mark Sanford. I am, however concerned that he WILL have to resign as Governor, because weren't there State vehicles in place at this airport awaiting his return? This is truly a mess of his own making. How do you look into what monies paid for what? If this "Maria" joined the group for a meal at a restaurant, those were State funds used so that the two of them could play "footsie" under the table. What a mess.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  80. Lortetta

    Gov. Sandford should resign immediately. His credibility is shot. The worse part here is that he left his job overseeing the people in his state for four days, not letting anyone know where he really was, and that is criminal.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  81. sandi

    If Sanford is making poor judgement in his personal life; how can the State of South Carolina assume that his judgement will be better in his professional life. He is not a trustworthy individual, so I think he should resign or be impeached.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  82. Jorge

    I think a lot of this situtation but I don't think it's that big of a deal. I've already heard his story countless times. I think it was wrong for him to leave the state but I think that would've been wrong no matter what he did. The fact that all Americans are focusing on is his infidelity sickens me. Aside from the fact that it interfered with his work this one time, it should have no reflection on his work in general. A cheating governor? So what? Now he's just like the majority of Americans who cheat on their partners. At least he had the guts to go on national television to admit and ask for forgiveness, which is porbably one of the hardest things to do. Americans are so quick to judge and get mad and that's our problem. Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with adultry but I'm more adult than that to let me just sit there and talk smack about him which is what every news channel is doing. I'm disappointed in the news channels of America because for issues that are a tad bit more important, we aren't hearing anything about it. Why did I only see once for five seconds about North Korea threatening America and i've been hearing about a cheating governor for the past two days? This is why I love John Stewart. He talks about everything that we should know. Too bad he's not on 24 hours a day, that's perhaps the only place where I get real news by someone who keeps it real.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  83. Monica

    I live in South Carolina and I believe the biggest upset is the fact that he could just leave his job and run off to see his mistress in another country leaving our state high and dry for a couple of days. How many of you guys can take a couple of days off from work without telling anyone and would still have a job when you got back? In some rule or law as governor this has to be illegal. First he fought to keep the stimulus money away from us and then he runs off leaves the state because he needs to clear his head and lays up with his mistress. And what is the question again?

    June 25, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  84. Kanta Robert

    Out sourcing Sex Job
    The Mark Sanford extramarital affair has to do with outsourcing job. Sex is a job like being govenor is. And, Lou Dobb and President Obama are against any body outsourcing any job, even sex job.

    He travelled miles to Argentina for seacrh of cheap sex. We don't know how much money he brought with him and how much he gave after having sex with this woman.

    For this reason he has to resign.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  85. Lydia M. Najera

    I believe he should step down out of respect for his wife,so that this very sordid matter can be handled privately. If he was so "in love" why did he not file for divorce and marry Maria? He just wanted to have his cake and eat it too! He cries because he got caught,not because he is sorry. And yes he was surely trying to "resurrect his marriage" in Argentina. Hah ! His wife should wake up and realize he is a creep and move on. There are better looking men in the world,maybe not governors , but trustworthy men!

    June 25, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  86. Dennis from Danbury, Iowa

    This Maggot is a perfect example of just what bunk....Ethics are....Without Morals. The ethical man knows he shouldn't screw his neighbor's wife....The Moral man WON'T!!! He has prided himself on his ethics....They don't mean squat without MORALS. Ship him OUT. KICK him off the TEAM.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  87. Martin Martinez

    The problem I have with Gov Sanford is that he lied about his whpereabouts.If he was really sorry about the Affair he should have told other people sooner.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  88. Beanie

    Unbelievable....totally unbelievable. But yet almost funny! The democrats are the ones who set the standards on sexual affairs with Bill Clinton. Now stick to your own rules!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH I forgot the Democrats have rules for fellow democrats and much more rigid rules for republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Affairs happen to both sides of the party. And when I hear one of your anchors knocking this man to hell...I figure the ones who yell the loudest are the ones sleeping around on thier own wives.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  89. Tony Dorman

    I think that Gov. Sandford should step down because it would be hypocritical of him to keep his job.. How can you ask other to step down for indiscretions and affair and you won't step down yourself. The people of South Carolina deserves better.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  90. Wanda Ford

    Regardless of the affair, he deserted his post. An army officer would be court-martialed for that offense. Why is he any better? Isn't he the leader of the military in his state? These hipocrates are never sorry until they are caught. Then they think that a few tears and an apology should make everything right. He should resign, or made to resign.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  91. Pam Menefee

    I think we still need some information to decide if he should stay or go. Did he use taxpayer money for the trips and did he initiate the state funded trips? Also, was he using the state computer for these e-mails. Most State Employees are not allowed to use there computers for personal business and can be disciplined for doing so. The fact that he left the country with no contingency plan on contacting him seems to demonstrate such poor judgement that you do have to wonder about his ability to make good decisions.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  92. John T. Ann Arbor, MI

    It is very clear to me that Gov. Sanford should resign from office, end of story! The reasons why go far beyond the actual sexual relationship he had with the woman from South America. The reason he should go, speaks to what kind of person he is, and is not. He is the kind of person who would lie, cheat, and destroy the lives of his wife, and four children, for the sake of having sex/relationship with a woman other than his wife. This is a demonstration of his very poor judgment, it is also indicative of how he is not capable of making the right decisions in ANY AREA. Therefore, if he could do this to the person whom should mean more to him than anything in the world, even his own life for that matter, he cannot be trusted by anyone in a lesser position than his wife, because there should be no comparison of his feelings and obligations to the people who voted for him. More plainly put if he could do that to her, he could do ANYTHING to anyone else. That is not the kind of person who should be in political office, Republican or Democrat.
    For all of you who would read my comments and take acception to them, I have these words to give you: Everything you do in life is indicative of the kind of person you are, know this and act accordingly, make no excuses. There are things that should be done and things that should not be done. There are those who speak of this sort of thing as only human. Do not make excuses for him or others do not pave the way for your future mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions and control yourself! This is the difference between humans and other animals. Let proper judgment begin with you. I say do not offer apologies or accept them, mean everything you say and do, before, during, and after they have been done. Not accepting apologies from the people in your lives forces them to live with the consequences or their actions. The words, “I’m Sorry”, have no real meaning, or there would be nothing to be sorry about. There is no perfect, but there is better, and worse.
    Those in elected office should be held to a higher standard than those who are not. Men and Ladies, if your romantic life and/or sex life is not what you want it to be with your husband or wife, then get a divorce. Yes it is just that simple. Or perhaps before you get married and have a family make sure that person satisfies all of your needs. History has shown that despite all that these men have to lose they risk it all for passion, intimacy, adventure, and the sex that they are not getting at home. Despite all that these men profess about their intelligent, hardworking, great wives; these women who are great mother’s to their children, the foundations for their lives, mean to them, they demonstrate through their actions that all of these great qualities mean nothing in comparison to great/different sex. This is very sad, to say the least. These men are not capable of leading a family, let alone Government. Women do not let them get away with doing as they will and then saying, “I’m sorry” to start the path back to what they had. Citizens this is not acceptable from our politicians, you must have high standards, or why have standards at all. Why will you accept anything from these people don’t you deserve better? I deserve better, and you should believe that you do as well. This CNN Blog is a great place for discussion, keep up the good work CNN, and keep writing people.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  93. Al

    I think this story is a total waist of time more important story you just rushed by as a advertisment for nuke power. The real story is not how safe it is, but what do you do to the waste your not bringing it to Nevada!! or shipping it over the road through cities and towns,or by rail either. So we split the atom but from the 1940's to date WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WASTE!!!!! there is the DANGER!!!!!

    I'm sorry for butting in to this major life threating story about this poor mans personial life with a non important statement souch as this Please lets get real.

    Thank You

    June 25, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  94. A Jones, Galveston, TX

    I could care less if SC Gov Sanford stays or goes. What I do care about is that these so-called conservatives block all efforts for teen sex education, which has caused a rise in teens experiencing STDs as well as more teen pregnancy and unwanted children. A sidebar to this is Sanford and his ilk also want to end abortion, and they are against gay marriage - these are all moral issues. Sanford and his conservatives want to legislate this while taking part of the forbidden fruit. Likewise, these conservatives won't openly and honestly debate health care reform. Instead they take pot shots at the issue, and freely accept "socialist" healthcare for themselves and their families. Sanford's issues cannot be molified by a comparison to Clinton. Clinton was tricked into lying by legal technicalities - Sanford just lied and he was not under oath - he was AWOL and Clinton never did such a thing. You can hold up the dirty dress but you won't advertise the intimate details of Sandord's emails - that's hypocrisy in the media.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  95. Tyrone

    As a resident of South Carolina its my humble opinion that Mark Stanford should have resigned as this states Governor yesterday. He is the Governor of a state that has the third highest employment rate in the country. Yet, the South Carolina legislature recently overrode 10 of his legislative vetoes. One of overrides was on his refusal to accept federal stimulus money. And what does are Governor do for an encore? He leaves the state and the country without telling anyone his itinerary or how he can be contacted in the case of an emergency. He then prevaricates to members of his staff and the people of South Carolina as to his actual whereabouts. We then learn that he was actually in another country visiting his mistress. Its clear that he no longer possess the ability to effectually perform the job for which he was elected. The state of South Carolina can not afford another 18 months or so with someone like this as its governor!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  96. Wanda Ford

    I think the governor might be forgiven by his wife for the affair, but the fact is he left his post for 5 days without notifying anyone where he was. He deserted his responsibilities as governor, the same as a soldier deserting his post. Doesn't he have the responsibility for the National Guard in his state? A soldier would be court-martialed for that offense. I think the governor should step down

    June 25, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  97. Macedonia356bc

    YES, the govenor should resign, for disappearing for 5 days,being a liar,disregarding his duties bad judgement and,decision making, and for not caring what would happen to his state, if an emergency had occurred, also for leaving his 4 sons on fathers day. For all those reasons, but not because he cheated on his wife, that's a private matter! My goodness, where are these politicians finding these immoral women who have sex with another womens husband? Some politicians, and their sidekick girlfriends are getting away with hurting the country and, their families, without any repercussions!!!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  98. Wanda Ford

    I stand on my opinion.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  99. David in Canada

    So he went to see his mistress on Father's Day. What a great Father's Day present!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  100. MargeinCharleston

    It doesn't bother me that Mark Sanford had a midlife crisis; It touches me not that he had a tearful sorry fest, what offends me is that he handled it so poorly. He didn't go buy the expensive American testosterone car, he didn't buy the expensive "i've made it" boat, he bought a woman and a foreigner at that! Yet, all that pales when compared to his "I could care less" terrible choices of leaving his "voting family" for five days with no leader, dismissing his security staff out of arrogance, allowing his wife to field questions, spending my tax money on his mistress or on his traveling expenses, phone calls, gifts and whatever it took to make her agree to being with him. I bet his wife didn't even get a tee shirt from Argentina. What a loser!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  101. Xavier E. Montero

    What's the matter with the American public?, they want to crucify the guy for something that 52% of Americans male and female do: Cheat.? The bible says "..let the one without sin cast the first stone...".
    Leave Sanford alone. Takes a real man to admit and apologize for his misdeeds. He admitted to having an affair. Forgiveness is up to God and his wife.
    This will not imperil his ability to continue his governorship term.

    June 25, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  102. Brian D

    To me the disappearing act alone should be enough cause for him to resign and I thought that day 1 when he reappeared. Politicians work for their constituents 24/7 not when it's convenient for them and when no one including friends, family or his place of employment aren't made aware of his whereabouts then to me he's no longer meeting his fiduciary responsibility as the governor of a state. Could you imagine if the president did this, it would be down right ridiculous and possibly some mass hysteria.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  103. Debbie

    New slogan for U.S. governors. "The stimulus made me do it"

    June 25, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  104. Arrogance Is A Virtue?

    Even in the Bible when they brought the woman accused of adultery to him, Jesus said "Let he that is without sin cast the first stone." OK., well the affair is not the issue. The lack of responsiblity is. The fact that you would put your mistress ahead of your four children (sons no less) and your wife on "Father's Day", the fact that you didn't delegate someone to be responsible for your duties in your absence would lead one to believe that your judgement is not sound. Not to mention he used tax payer money to visit his mistress. I wouldn't elect him dog catcher.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  105. Marc

    The quote, "Do onto others as you would have them do to you", comes to mind. Given his past statements, Sanford should (and hopefully will) be held to the same standard and get the same treatment he and his ilk decided to dish out to President Clinton back in the '98. Back then, he joined a chorus of Republican voices in the politically motivated rush to treat one man's idiotic sexual escapades and equally dim-witted cover up attempt as an impeachable misdemeanor. For a "fiscal and moral" conservative to do something even more sensational on the tax payer's dime just 11 years later and not be held to his own party's exacting standard would be the height of hypocrisy. Think of it as a cost-effective lesson in civics for all those South Carolina school children the governor's fiscal policy has disenfranchised.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  106. Victoria

    John in Seattle, are you kidding me? I agree with Amanda.

    Cheating is not exclusive to men or women and it is not genetic....it is a decision.

    This is not about having an affair...it is about the ability to be an honest person and being able to walk your talk. It is about the ability to lead with honesty and dignity whether male or female. It is about saying one thing to the public and living another.

    It is not what someone says, it is what they do.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  107. Greg Nelson

    What does waiting for moderation mean? What is wrong with forgiveness and love? As for accountability, it is known that a person has the opportunity to grow by accepting the consequences of his/her actions. He says he is humbled, so I would think he would accept with humility that we taxpayers are no longer responsible for paying his paycheck and benefits. I'm not picking on the Governor. I believe that any politician past and present should be held accountable. If we don't start with someone, it will be business as usual, with no accountability, again. We have an opportunity to allow the Governor to grow as a man, and maybe regain his integrity.

    June 25, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  108. RJ

    Wow what a pig, same guy who bashed Obama for being liberal, whats his excuse, I`ll tell you none, he should resign and also pay back all salaries and monies allocated for his Governorship. He used these resources to make his affair happen! If he cant pay immediately then he should sit in jail like any other ordinary citizen who stole from the government!

    June 25, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  109. John T. Ann Arbor, MI

    @ Xavier E.- Give me a break. Why do you make excuses for this bad judgment? This shows that he does not have the intelligence to lead anything. Despite all the private and public reasons not to do what he did, he did it anyway for over a year! Don't talk about the words from a book that are not relevant to real actions and their consequences....just because anyone has done the wrong thing makes it okay for others...get serious...... 52% of Americans as you say.... have violated the trust and obligation they have to their Wife/Husband...very sad indeed. Poor judgment like this leads to worse/bad judgment in every other aspect of life! He like any other politician who does the same thing is not fit to represent the people. Get some high standards and apply them to your life!

    June 25, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  110. Lisa

    He should resign or be fired. It's good that he is remorseful, but part of owning up to our failures is accepting the consequences. His deception and lying to everyone are valid reasons to be fired.

    June 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  111. Tyrone

    @ Xavier E. – consider for a second the the 52% of Americans cheat is an accurate number. 99.9% of those are not the Governor of a state with approximately 4.5 million constituents.

    June 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  112. Beverly A.

    I think he is quite a scum! Why should he resign, He's just following the foot steps of other political leaders before him. Wake up people!
    If his wife doesn't take the kids and leave him, she is as dumb as he is.

    June 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  113. Darrell

    Cnn ,
    I have never ever commented on your news before.
    I am doing so now because of your ridiculing of Michael Jackson.
    Please stop it right away you are hurting your viewers like myself.
    Stop it , Stop it Stop it please.
    Add to his character instead of trying to speak towards a man who can no longer defend himself. One more thing when you annouce Farrah you did"nt say she was DEAD but when it came to Michael you simply stated Michael Jackson is DEAD that immediately put hurt in my heart to see you r reporters do this. I wished Ted Turner still was the owner and not whoever it is now. Myself anf other FANS would really appreciate your sensitive words at this time.

    June 25, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  114. Emma

    His actions speak much louder about him than his 'politician' words. Amazing, a man elected as the Governor of South Carolina can show such disregard for the people of S.C., his 'staff', and most importantly his family, and be so selfish. I'm in awe that this little man has not already resigned.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  115. Guyrene Johnson

    you know what? they all likely have affairs, it's just a matter of who gets caught and who doesn't. do you all think that they will admit it....well , not in this life!

    June 25, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  116. clr

    I think he should switch parties... along with Ensign... Then they would be at home with the party that approves of all the weird sex stuff.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  117. BOB POLHEMUS OF THE TEEMATES BAND

    I would not perform in his state, sleep in a Hotel or go anywhere near what I considered a vile hypocritical state since learning about this creep last year. Its a dumb state 37th in education which shows they like to keep their people dumb. And whats dumber is they now want to put an even dumber corrupt and perhaps as sinister a character as you ever met Haley Barbour in his seat. God help us all.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  118. Elizabeth Eileen

    Where are the photos of Maria????? Everyone is waiting to see this!!!!

    Sanford voted against the Autism Bill in SC – budget cuts to save the money for his trips to Argentinia???!!!!

    He tried to prevent extending unemployment benefits to SC citizens while taking a state car & money for his own pleasure trips!

    Politicians like him are becoming a dime a dozen!

    It's time to to resign!

    Another one bites the dust!!

    June 25, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  119. Hannah

    I loved Michael, my parents loved Michael, as well as my grandparents! He was an artist that all generations loved, not many artists these days can do that. He will be greatly missed.

    June 26, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  120. Victor

    I feel the Gov. should wait patiently and continue to stay cacooned in that pathetic sac nestled in our spider web as we continue to remember and respectfully express our love for another great Icon.

    R. I. P. Michael

    June 26, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  121. Stephanie Embry

    When I was young, I cried when I got Michael Jacksons record, "Thriller." His record "Off The Wall" has the most memorys for me, rollerskating, boycrush's, and Michaels overall musical talent. Anyone who got to know him were very lucky! And its a shame that when he was going through the trial, there weren't as many people to stand up for him. But now at his time of death its a little to late. Rest in peace Michael.

    June 26, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  122. Sandy

    I have teared up and have been very distraught since I heard the terrible news. I feel like I have lost a loved one. My heart aches for Michael, his children, and his family. I stuck by Michael through all of the court battles. He loved children, and certain people took advantage of his kindness., To those people who stole money from Miachael, you will deal with God when your time comes. In 2007 I lost my sister to a terrible car accident, and my heart goes out to the siblings. Michael Jackson is a huge icon and had a great heart. May God be with the children and the family. I will be thinking of you all, and praying for you all. I love you all. Sandra Carter

    June 26, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  123. virginia phillips

    a lot of people are wondering how michael 's children and family is taking this.if people really cared about they would flashing across the t.v. about the bad things who wants to hear about the sexual abuse ,the color of his skin, but most of all who wants to hear about how he died. he just did we all khow the song leave me alone. well we didn't while he was alive .how about doing it now leave him alone let him rest in peacehe's finally home were he belongs with GOD

    June 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  124. Dawn-Atlanta

    OMG! Governos Sanford; is in another Press Conference.
    Please help us; how many apologies can he give?

    TMI (too much information)

    He loves to ramble; please, please, please resign!

    Your pain is our pain!

    June 26, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  125. Maryanne

    Is anyone going to cover HR 2454 today? The largest energy tax bill in the history of our government. It is being voted on today in congress and no one is talking about it???

    This bill will force businesses into capping their carbon emissions which can only be done by them spending money they don't have to make those necessary changes. The result is they go out of business or pass the cost of this tax onto us the consumers! Gas will go up to $7 a gallon, home heating will go up 300%, electric and food bills will go up.

    Can anyone afford to pay any more? I know I can't. This is not the kind of change I was expecting.

    And this is all happening today in congress! Can someone please cover this story!

    Thanks

    June 26, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  126. Catherine

    Regarding Governor's being gone from State!

    First at who's expense - Maybe ALL governors should stay home and worry about the State's business and forfeit all the perks.

    This goes for Sarah Palin who is on a peace-keeping tour in the middle east (just happens to be where her son is in the service) Question: Is she a member of the US state department; who is paying for the trip; and are all parents of service personnel paid to visit their children??

    California Governor Arnold - stay in California and work on helping the people not traveling all over the country telling your woes!

    Illinois X-Governor Blowgovich - got that state in such a financial mess by worrying about HIS future and selling senate seat. Is he still on the State's payroll?

    Make ALL GOVERNORS accountable!! We the taxpayers have to start reducing their 'perks' too!

    June 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  127. TOYOSI PIUS

    I would really miss Michael Jackson, i remember when i was still a little gurl, me, my sisters and my uncle will dance to michael's songs,like we were entering a dance contest. And also when my uncle tried to copy one of his dances, and his pants tore. I would really miss micheal, he was one of the greatest person on earth. He will forever remain in my memory. I LOVE YOU MICHAEL!!!

    June 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  128. Bryan

    I don't condone infidelity in any way, but I also believe we all have the right to make mistakes, admit them, and improve ourselves in the process. This guy didn't get caught, deny his actions, and fight his lie to the end like so many others we've seen. His admission and handling of the situation shows he understands right and wrong–something far too many politicians have forgotten. I would suggest we not crucify someone who may be better for his experience than he was prior to it. Let his actions from this point show his sincerity, or lack thereof.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  129. wrightwalk

    Its obvious that he has no respect for his wife and the mother of his four boys
    he should be ashame of him self, he should resign, he need a good slap, most
    men nowadays has no respect for their wife's,yes I know what i'm saying

    June 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  130. David

    Heidi, nice reference to a great song in the title of your post.

    You have no business offerring up this speculation before there were any calls for the Gov. to resign. I think you know that.

    This question that you're asking though has two parts. His marriage and his job. As for whether or not he stays with his wife or goes that is up to the Gov. and his wife. Clearly he has owned up to what he's done wrong and is openly asking for forgiveness. Though the crawl quotes her as saying something like his career is not her concern, she also said she wants to work on her marriage and believes in that.

    The second part of this, the explicit part, has to do with whether or not Gov. Sanford keeps his job. His affair is a personal matter that has not been shown to have compromised his job, or at this point anyway, not so much that he can't make up for it. It is irresponsible for people commenting on tv to say "Oh he's gone!" or "That's it for him!" That doesn't even seem like a reasonable view at this point.

    I just wanted to say that I totally get the picture that it is a race against time for the climate bill. But, now that I see it has passed the House, where do we go from here? Can you give me some guidance?

    I'm not sure if this is the place for this but a related point is that I love the podcasts and how they show us a piece of news we might missed or something very special. A tug on the sleeve like that helps me a lot. I appreciate it.

    June 26, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  131. Maryanne

    While you all continued gossiping after my last post, Cap and Trade passed last night in the house. We will all see higher gas, electric, heating and food bills. I called my congressmen all day to help you all and stop this massive tax bill. What did you do?

    June 27, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  132. Maryanne

    David – Sorry I didn't see your post on Cap and Trade. Where you can go from here now that he has passed the House is 1. Make sure the 8 republicans who switched sides to pass it get voted out of office next time around 2. Do all you can to call the Senate reps in your state and all of them if you are really motiviated and tell them you do not want them to pass this bill because this is where it is going next.

    You can go to the 912 project.com for guidance or the tea party patriots sites. You can also go to congress.org for all congressional info.

    This bill truely will effect all of us negatively at a time when we can not bear any more taxing. Gobal warming or not, I believe we should treat treat the earth more kindly, be less wasteful and reuse and recycle EVERYTHING you can, but this bill is not the way to fix the problem, not now.

    Thanks

    June 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  133. bb

    Why does the public expect political figures to be all
    moral and faithful? What do you care if they are just like
    you? They are not faithful to marriage mates, they lie up one side and down another. They blow the publics money, and you are sooooo
    surprised, and shocked. They are just like each one of you, why
    would you expect anything different??
    The public is no different from the political man!

    June 27, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  134. David

    Maryanne, Thank you for taking up my question. You're passionate about the climate bill, the Cap and Trade provisions, I can tell. I noticed your post Friday, but I wanted to say a few things about the coverage of the SC Gov.. But the climate bill is an urgent matter, you're exactly right, and this legislation needs to be gone through much more thoroughly in the public forum.

    On that I have the same position as you, but I have some questions too.

    Isn't it the case that industry is already backing targeting CO2 emissions? So, not too surprising that some Republicans feeling like voting for this. I heard reports that say industry is asking for govt regulation here.

    Having said that I do have some questions. Will oversight be effective enough to back up the whole system of commodities that will come of this?

    Will govt backing be strong enough so that CO2 emission regulations don't get lost in the back and forth of a Cap and Trade system?

    Of course as we discuss this, huge sections of the polar ice caps are melting, glaciers too, the rock hard permafrost of northernmost Alaska is not permafrost year round, but is getting muddy, and the temperature of ocean waters is rising. So, if not a cap and trade system, then what should we do? Across the board emissions rules that no one can wiggle out of? Step up the commitment to recycling so that it reaches into every corner of this country?

    I agree we should treat the earth "more kindly, be less wasteful and reuse and recycle [everything] [we] can."

    Thank you for your guidance on this issue. And I will check out the websites you noted. Esp congress.org as I need to know more about this piece of legislation.

    Your point about how everyone is gossiping and not paying attention to a vital piece of legislation cracked me up, but obviously the coverage of the election in Iran, and subsequent protests, and then crackdown, along with the passing of Ed McMahon, and Farrah Fawcett, and the totally unexpected news of Michael Jackson passing away as he was getting ready for a major series of concerts has everyone kind of stunned.

    Don't feel upset though if a subject you feel deeply about isn't getting the helpful commentary you would like it to have. Thank you for keeping your eye on how it goes, even if the public discussion seems to be rescinded for a moment. In your posts, you flashed some illumination on the issue and that only helps to enhance and make more sensitive and thoughtful the public discussion.

    Thanks again for your response to my post. Sorry it took so long to for me to comment in return.

    June 28, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  135. Maryanne

    David, these are excellent questions and I only wish I could answer them with specific quoted sections of the bill however, because this bill was fast-tracked and because it is 1300 pages with another 300 pages added at 3:09 am in the morning the day of the vote, neither I nor most of our representatives have had the time to read through this bill. This is why I was passionate about stopping it at this time. We are again seeing legislation fast tracked without time for the public or the representatives to get a good feel for it – why? Is this transparency?

    I can tell you from my limited access to the details of this bill, that it is truely comprehensive in nature and will touch every part of our lives. If I agreed with that kind of policy I would praise it because I believe if you set out to solve a problem you should be efficient in doing so. I just do not believe more government regulation is the way to go.

    I don't know if the oversight/regulation in this bill will be effective enough to back up the whole system of commodities that will come from this (again not enough time for research) but I do know that it is wall st firms like enron and goldman sachs that first developed this plan and stand the most to gain, as well as Al Gore who has millions invested in this bill passing.

    I don't know if gov't backing will be strong enough to truely regulate the CO2 emissions this bill sets out to cap (again not enough time to research this) but it does make provisions for more oversight as they go along to deal with whatever might come up.

    Here's the thing – this bill is a bureaucratic maze. Many say it is a jobs bill but why does it include an amendment to prolong unemployment benefits, because more jobs will be lost? Many say it will not be able to accomplish what it sets out to do, make us greener.

    What's the alternative? This bill focuses on the supply side of goods and services, the companies, and punishes them in a very general way for not capping their emissions. I say yes lets punish the ones polluting and not following already mandated guidelines. But there are other options. Let's address the demand side – us, the consumer. That would get to the root of the problem. And lets not punish us at this time in our ecomony, lets give incentives to consumers to consume less. We tend to be self-indulgent and wasteful. Lets curb that a little in a graded way over time and we will get to where we want to be with CO2 emission. Maybe tax incentives to use less gas, electricity, heating, more recycling. So many people agree that we need to be "more green", lets do it then, on an individual level as well, cut the demand and supply at once. I know no politican would ever want to restrict the constitutants directly, it would be political suicide but, Pres Obama is so loved and so carismatic I know he could inspire everyone to get on board. Don't you think? Just my two philosophical cents.

    June 29, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  136. David

    Hi Maryanne, my first response to your most recent comment didn't get posted.

    The congress.org website you directed me to I think can take you to the 2006 energy bill that has plenty of conservation tax credits that address the demand side of energy use and thus CO2 emissions. I think the idea of the HR2454 is to build on and extend already existing energy saving, CO2 emissions control, and renewable energy initiatives.

    June 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  137. David

    Hey Maryanne, my first response to your most recent comment didn’t get posted.

    The congress.org website you directed me to I think can take you to the 2006 energy bill that has plenty of conservation tax credits that address the demand side of energy use and thus CO2 emissions. I think the idea of the HR2454 is to build on and extend already existing energy saving, CO2 emissions control, and renewable energy initiatives.

    June 30, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  138. Maryanne

    Thank you David, I will look at that. I'm always ready to learn and I wish I had know about that bill sooner. We conserve like crazy here so I'm curious as to what is in that 2006 bill and why we haven't recieved any tax credits. I can see how HR 2454 will build on existing energy savings for the consumer but my current understanding is that any additional costs companies will incur in controlling their emissions will either force them out of business or force them to pass those costs onto the consumer for now. According to the author of the bill the consumer will see a $700 decrease in home energy bills by 2020! I know we have to think ahead for our future but this is why I do not think at this time in our history, this should be instituted. I have read the table of contents of the bill and it is overwhelming huge for the average American like myself to find the time to see the details of what's in it but I will try.

    Thanks for the conversation David and Happy Independance Day!

    July 4, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  139. David

    Maryanne, Sorry what I was thinking of was I believe called the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and I freely admit that I was going on what I remember from reading about it. That bill offered tax incentives for purchasing hybrid vehicles, and for business to make energy effeciency improvements, and for homeowners too, I think. That's not all, but that's what I was thinking of. I don't know if those tax incentives were set permanently or needed to be extended, or have continued to be extended. The synopsis of the current bill seemed to me to build on the conservation or demand side as you say measures already enacted. Some of the car tax incentive might've expired, as I believe the idea was to offer a pulse of stimulation to the market for those fuel efficient two part engines, part electric, part internal combustion.

    I see your point though about the burden of the legislation now in congress falling on the consumer in a variety of ways. Mainly through financial pressure being passed down in cost from industry to the consumer, or consumers. You confused me though with your pt about
    people seeing a $700 decrease in home heating bills. You seem to contradict what you said to begin with. I understand you oppose what the author of the bill says, but with renewable energy sources, you get a double impact on CO2 emission. That is you get energy generation and CO2 emission control at the same time. That is what is envisioned, I believe.

    But yes there is a huge amount of stuff to keep track of. I totally agree.

    Thanks Maryanne for commenting back to my post.

    Happy Independance Day to you!

    July 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm |

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