I didn’t always hate South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Actually I started out really liking him. He’s a nice guy. I actually met him a few times when he was a Congressman and I was working for John McCain’s campaign in South Carolina in 2000 (the good McCain campaign, not the bad one in 2008 after he hired all those Bushies). He and Lindsey Graham were the only 2 brave Republican souls to back McCain against the whole whacko-conservative base in the state.
But now, well, I have to hate the guy. He ruined it for the rest of us. At least once every year I would be able to convince my wife of the merits of a few days hiking solo on the Appalachian Trail – and I would merrily set off – usually south – to find a new section of the Trail and check out for a few days.
Then Sanford pulled his stunt. Followed a “side trail” to Argentina to visit a woman, and made “hiking the Appalachian Trail” a national joke – fodder for Jay Leno and John Stewart. And cast a permanent shadow over those of us who, well, actually hike the damn trail. It’s taken 18 months to finally not have to endure snickers from friends and co-workers when you say you’re going to “hike the Appalachian Trail”.
So here I am. A day before I’m setting out for a day on the trail. Sitting in the morning drinking coffee with my wife. Open the Washington Post. C-2. The Reliable Source. Picture of Governor Mark Sanford. Doing what? Well, hiking near the Appalachian Trail of course. No seriously, he is.
I look at my wife. “No seriously, I am.”
I hate that guy.