I've been following the drama that is Mark Sanford since the story of his disappearance broke. And like a David Lynch film, no matter how I look at it, it comes out weird.
Imagine, if you will, somebody you know leaving his job, going off without telling his wife where he were going, turning off his cell phone, and remaining out of touch for four days. Wouldn't that raise some eyebrows? You'd have people worried, your employer would be at least annoyed, you might even have people contacting the police.
But a fracking GOVERNOR doing that? Colorado Matters, a local show on our NPR affiliate, did a story about our Governor Ritter (audio link), and how demanding his job is. He talked about 18 hour days, pretty much every day of the week. It's not a job you can just bail from for four days. It's certainly not one you can bail from and not have people notice.
I don't generally like to judge spouses, especially not knowing all the details, but Jenny Sanford's statement was equally weird. If my husband were gone for four days and I didn't know where he was, I would freak the hell out.
And the last time I checked, the Appalachian Trail doesn't run through Atlanta.
If I were a loony Red Stater, I'd be positing wild conspiracy theories about Democrat cabals taking out Republican presidential contenders before they can get going. First John Ensign (about the only thing he didn't do was dare reporters to follow him, telling them they'd be bored), now Sanford. But I'm not a Red Stater, and I firmly believe that Republican presidential contenders are perfectly capable of imploding all by themselves.
At a minimum, this was a situation that could have been handled far, far better by his staff. Honestly, I think the only way they could have botched this further is if his spokesperson came out and said the governor had pulled a Kung Fu.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall says Sanford's press folks did good yesterday. I beg to differ. This wasn't a case of good spin by Sanford's people. It's a case of piss-poor reporting (plus a major disaster story taking over the news cycle). Dudes, the story isn't that Sanford has been found. It's WHY THE HELL WAS HE EVER MISSING?