COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It's a pairing that no self-respecting Republican could enjoy, but GOP Gov. Mark Sanford and Democratic former President Bill Clinton are linked -- at least in the way they handle scandal.
Extramarital affairs mushroomed into far-reaching scandals for both men, and both followed a similar path in fighting for their political survival.
First, they lied until the lying could be exposed.
Next were apologies and high-profile efforts to "get back to work."
As the scandals persisted, both men argued it was really about politics, old enemies looking to settle scores. They took a vacation that got them away, temporarily, from the heat of the scandal. And they made their case to a scandal-weary public that they were being hounded legally because of a personal indiscretion for which they long ago sought forgiveness.
That strategy did not spare Clinton from paying a huge political price; he was, after all, only the second president in U.S. history to be impeached.
Clinton, however, was not removed from office, and, while his vice president lost the race to succeed him, his wife went on to win a seat in the U.S. Senate and is now secretary of state.
The last chapters of the Sanford saga have yet to be written -- nor is it clear who will write those chapters.
Jenny Sanford, whose standing has risen while her husband's has plummeted, has said she plans to write a memoir.
Impeachment proceedings against the governor still seem likely. But Sanford, like Clinton, could be spared the indignity of removal from office.
Read this story on thestate.com.