The shock had subsided.
Then Gov. Mark Sanford set the scandal ablaze again, saying he considered his Argentine lover his “soul mate” and saw her more often than he originally had said.
A wave of lawmakers and others jumped off the fence, calling on Sanford to “do the right thing” — resign. Attorney General Henry McMaster asked for an inquiry to determine whether Sanford used any public money to visit the woman.
Behind the scenes, political camps tried to influence, in the direction of their own interests, the decisions of Sanford and others. Meanwhile, polls showed more than 60 percent of those asked thought Sanford should resign.
It seemed as if Sanford was hanging on by a thread. Still, Sanford would not resign, telling one top Republican that he would have to be kicked out of office.
Three factors combined to allow Sanford to cling to his office:
• His wife, Jenny, stepped to his defense for the first time.
• State law enforcement officials found Sanford broke no laws. Absent that, state law makes it difficult to remove a governor.
• South Carolina’s Republican leadership refused to ask Sanford. Meanwhile, lawmakers — in part because of wrangling over the 2010 governor’s race — could not coordinate a push to force Sanford to resign.
And, observers say, unless something new emerges — either in the media or through a legislative investigation — Sanford will survive.
Read the complete story at thestate.com