Mark Sanford Goes Off the Grid, Admits Affair in Argentina

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Mark Sanford, the Republican Governor of South Carolina, went AWOL this week, allegedly "clearing his mind" with some hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Neither his wife, nor his four kids, nor his staff members, knew were he was.

This made no sense.

Then the enterprising State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., cracked the case of Sanford's whereabouts by staking out the Atlanta airport, where one of the paper's reporters confronted the absent governor upon his return to the United States.

From Argentina. Where he "went missing" for five days because he was not-so-secretly cheating on his wife, continuing an affair he started about a year ago.

Now that makes a lot more sense!

"I wanted to do something exotic," he said, regarding misleading his staff with the hiking ruse, adding that he decided to head to South America instead at the last-minute to "recharge" after a grueling legislative battle.

Mark Sanford told the State newspaper he's done this before, taking trips to Greece and Turkey, either with friends or alone, as a way to clear his head and chill out.

So, it was merely an exotic getaway. How nice.

Well, until the news conference today when Mark Sanford admitted that during his journey he had an extramarital affair with someone in Argentina and said he would resign from his position as head of the Republican Governors Association.

He did not resign as Governor of South Carolina.

As for his wife Jenny, he said they had been working through this for months, an odd statement considering he just got back. He and his wife have four boys.

“I hurt her. I hurt you all. I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys,” he said.

As for the affair, Sanford said he and the woman had met innocently - he used that word more than once - until a casual acquaintance evolved into something more. How this impacts his future with Jenny Sanford (below) is unclear.


Mark Sanford Biography

Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Colbert Busch
Mark Sanford is the Governor of South Carolina. From 1994 to 2000, he served as the Republican representative in the U.S. House of... More »
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Full Name
Marshall Clement Sanford, Jr.