Mark Sanford won't take a hike. On the Appalachian Trail. Or out of office. South Carolina's wayward governor says he thought about calling it quits; but that would be the easy route. So after tearfully admitting to an affair with an Argentine woman, he'll continue his grotesque mid-life tango on the public stage.
Tuesday he made further confessions during an interview with the Associated Press. It seems his love affair with Maria Belen Chapur, who he describes as his " soul mate," is not his only dalliance. He has " crossed the line" several times over the years, but didn't have sex with any other women. And--let's be clear-- he's never been in love with anyone but Maria. Except for his wife, of course, who for the record, he's "trying to fall back in love with."
This guy's got quite the routine. So he's got a few kinks to work out, so what? All the elements are there for an odd lounge act. He's got the awkward ad-libs, the melodramatic faux tears and a bizarre medley including samples from the Broadway songbook: " Maria... I've just met ( well about eight years ago) a girl called Maria;" 'Don't Cry for Me, Argentina;" classic rock from The Clash, " Should I stay or should I go?" and Brenda Lee's standard, " I'm Sorry... so sorry."
Sanford's huddled with political advisers (but couldn't drop off the keys to SC's political kingdom with Lt. Governor Bauer before going AWOL) and spiritual gurus. He and his wife engaged in a Christian marriage "boot camp," led by a bible thumping court reporter named Cubby Culbertson whose name sounds like a game show host from a John Waters movie. His efforts to rekindle the long lost passion with his wife Jenny has taken him to visits at their beach house and Sunday dinner chaperoned by his eighty-three year old mama at the family farm ( could have been worse, could have been her mother).
With the relationship still a long way from thawed, the Sanfords traveled in separate cars. That allowed him time to work on his version of Billy Paul's " Me and Mrs. Jones.... we have a thing goin' on." While Mrs. Sanford could lead foot it as Gloria Gaynor blared " I Will Survive."
For her part, Jenny Sanford is no longer concerned about her husband's career and whether or not he finishes up his last lame duck eighteen months in office. She's got her four boys to worry about. But don't worry about her; she'll not only survive, she'll thrive, thank you very much. In case you hadn't noticed Jenny's mad. So mad Dr. Drew Pinsky, offered his sound-bite diagnosis on CNN last week, detecting "a disturbing rage." Sorry, Dr. Drew. I'm sure Mrs. Sanford's not too concerned about your delicate sensibilities. She's probably not too worried about her hubby's staffers either, many of whom are relieved her heavy-handed political choreography has exited stage right.
Jenny Sanford's got a solo show of her own to develop. No doubt there will be pitches for a memoir and maybe a cookbook in the offing. They'll be appearances on Larry King , Oprah and the morning show circuit to negotiate.
And should Jenny Sanford's Survival/Thrival Tour happen to cross paths with the Governor's Mea Culpa Tour, they can share a bittersweet tango. Or a WWF Smackdown.
Wouldn't want to miss it? Not to worry. I have a feeling the cameras will be rolling.I wouldn't be surprised if the Sanfords get a call from the producers of
Jon Hates Kate: Let's Debate the Fate of the 8.
They can call their reality show Sanford and Sin.
Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.