Redemption in South CarolinaMay 08, 2013
Disgraced Republican politician Mark Sanford found his political redemption in South Carolina last night. Somehow the former governor of the Palmetto State managed to shake off concerns about the fact that he left his wife for his Argentinian mistress, lied to his gubernatorial staff about "hiking on the Appalachian Trail when he instead left his job to secretly visit her, used state money for the private rendezvous in South America, and broke into his ex-wife's house during the campaign. Wow! If Democrats cannot beat that - especially with a solid candidate like they had (who got a big fundraising boost thanks to her brother, Stephen Colbert) - then they simply cannot win in that super red district. Apparently last night's election proved how important partisan ties can be for voters. Many people will vote for the candidate nominated by their party even if that candidate makes a mockery of their stated principles. The election results may also show the continuing influence of confessional politics. As I noted in an earlier post, Sanford's campaign has been heavily confessional as he sought political forgiveness from the voters. His highly-religious language also seemed to conflate redemption from voters and from God. He won the former last night, but I doubt the results impacted the latter.