Turns out, that whole “soul mate” thing didn’t hurt too badly, after all.
Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair with an Argentinian woman might have cost him his marriage. It might have made the state’s chief executive the butt of jokes for months. And it might have stirred talk of impeachment. But it apparently doesn’t hurt him much anymore with the people of South Carolina.
A large majority of South Carolinians – roughly 7 out of 10 – give the governor a grade of “C” or better for his overall performance as governor, according to a Winthrop Poll conducted earlier this month. Those grades stand in sharp contrast with earlier polls that showed residents to be unhappy with the governor, and they raise the prospect – unthinkable a year ago – that Sanford’s political life will not come to a close when his eight-year term as governor ends in January.
“There is amazing grace in this state,” Sanford said after presiding over a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “I never comprehended the nature of forgiveness and grace as I do now.”
Sanford’s reversal of political fortune could have an impact in the race to succeed him. Democrat Vincent Sheheen has attempted to weaken his Republican opponent, Nikki Haley, by tying her to Sanford.
Trav Robertson, the manager of Sheheen’s campaign, said he would not comment on the poll because he has not seen its details. But he wasted little time in lashing Haley to Sanford.
“If the people of South Carolina want to continue with a scandal-ridden government and the constant embarrassment of our state, high unemployment and the lack of economic development, they should vote for Nikki Haley because she is a continuation of Mark Sanford,” Robertson said.
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