The Strange Case of the Missing Governor

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for potential 2012 GOP candidates. Newt Gingrich was dismissed in Newsweek as good for ideas only. Sarah Palin got into a fight with David Letterman. John Ensign admitted to an affair. And now, in one of the most bizarre stories to come out of politics in a while, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford disappeared on Thursday.

With a state-supplied vehicle.

For four days.

Over Father’s Day weekend.

And didn’t tell his wife.

Or the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), in charge of security detail for the governor.


Although his office supposedly knows where he is now — according to a series of news releases — they’re not telling just where he is. And it still seems pretty weird. It’s one thing to need to take some time to get away from it all. It’s another to abandon your job and your family and turn off your cell phone so you’re completely unreachable, especially when you are responsible for an entire state.

And Republican State Senator Jake Knotts raised the important question of who’s making decisions when a governor goes AWOL in an article in The State.

Knotts, a longtime Sanford critic, said he contacted SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd Saturday after he heard reports the governor could not be reached.

“Chief Lloyd confirmed that my information is legitimate,” Knotts said. “He shared my concerns” about succession of power in Sanford’s absence, the Lexington Republican said. Lloyd could not be reached immediately on Monday.

“I was recently made aware that Governor Sanford has frequently been eluding SLED agents and disappearing at odd times,” Knotts said. Previously, Sanford has not been out of all contact — including with his own office — for this long before, a source, who insisted on anonymity, said.

Knotts said the state’s chief executive should never be unreachable.

“As the head of our state, in the unfortunate event of a state of emergency or homeland security situation, Governor Sanford should be available at all times to the Chief of SLED,” the senator said.

It’s certainly understandable to take some time for rest and relaxation — but it’s best to do that when your staff knows where you are at all times. And it doesn’t exactly leave me with much confidence in Governor Sanford’s future in national politics.


Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik8 years ago

Now we find out that he spent the last 7 days ending an affair with an Argentenian woman... So much for those family values... I don't think he owes anyone an explanation but his wife who apparently found out about it 5 months ago. (Took him 5 months to end a long distance affair). I am so tired of these politicians who preach about how gay rights will cheapen straight marriages and then they cheat on their wives. Those who wanted to impeach Clinton for a blow job while they were cheating on their wives...he needs to do some serious prayin and askin for forgiveness from his wife and his children for dragging them through the muck.

Velibor S.
Vel S8 years ago

"family values-sanctity-of-heterosexual-marriage-Clinton-should-have-resigned-i'm-hollier-than-thou" hypocrite, one of many and majority in repu(ke)blican party.
why am I not surprised....

Wini A.
Wini A8 years ago

Governor is a 24/7 job. If you want to be incommunicado then you must tell the Lt. Gov. and turn your power over to him or her. It is malfeasance in office to disappear for days leaving the state government in limbo. I don't live in South Carolina and it is up them how they treat their governor but if was my state, I'd be scream for the governor's resignation. NY knew what to do when its governor acted stupidly, lets hope SC knows how to treat a governor who doesn't care enough to take of his state before he walks out on it.

Barbara B.
Barbara Brown8 years ago

All said and done, he could have left an emergency number or at least let someone know who would take charge if anything (god forbid)happened to him. I think that's just appropriate thing to do. These times in the US is very uncomfortable for all and we as American's-Home of the Free just want to feel that security again. And when something like this happens,everyone thinks the worse. Eventually, the whole true story will come out and we will of course all act shocked. I really don't think anyone or anything can shock us anymore, we are all immuned to just about everything, unless of course it's all right up in your face...Either way, It's a sad day for all, AGAIN....

Beverly P.
Beverly P8 years ago

I live in SC (and have met Sanford), and don't know anyone who lives here who doesn't think this man is a nutjob. He's spinning out there, hard and fast.

War Monger
War Monger8 years ago

To Pamela B.: Not everyone who is successful in life had it handed to him. Many people pull themselves up by the bootstraps by working hard and educating themselves. Many of us never took a dime of money from the government because we understand what self-reliance and self-responsibility mean. Your rant is based on emotion and completely devoid of any logic. I guess those of us that managed to succeed against adversity should now be thankful and give to those who have either failed or never even tried to succeed. This is the rift that divides us as a nation. The weak willed lacking in the fortitude needed to succeed trying to take what they have no claim to from the strong, able successful Americans behind a emotionally based philosophically devoid government. You say you were a single mom who had to fight for everything you had. You chose to act in a manner that led to you becoming a single mom. You made every choice that affected your life for better or worse for your entire life. Stop blaming and take some responsibility for your actions. The government is not the problem. If you can not support a family do not have one. You chose to have sex and as a result had a child, fully knowing you would struggle to support this child. What this has to do with the government supporting you is beyond me. Your choice, your consequences.

Rose Gladson
Rose Gladson8 years ago

So what if he went off by himself,,,,he probably needed to get away and have time to himself, can not do that with everyone, like the bodyguards that probably do not give him any space at all. His wife was not worried, and those he worked with did not seemed worried,,, ever wonder why? They most likely knew where he was, and to tell the truth if I were them I would tell the press or any one either,,,it is none of their business, if they were told they would run up there and ruin the peace and quite that he is entitled to. This should in NO WAY stop him from running from President,,,,if it does then everyone running for President in the further should all be kept locked away from having any freedom at all, that is the way the press is making this sound, that no one has the right to privacy or peace away from the rat race. Like I said I really do not think that his wife did not know where he was, she just did not want to say and wanted him to have time to himself.

Claire M.
Claire M8 years ago

Perhaps he was abducted by aliens. I kid. I suspect he is hold up in a cabin somewhere with some interesting er ... friend. The kind you wouldn't want a member of your staff or security team to leak to the press about. This wont be a bright spot on his resume for sure but it will be interesting to see if media amnesia kicks in later on when he is running for election.

Rex J.
Rex J8 years ago

The first day of summer is the day some hikers on the Appa. trail walk naked. I just wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson8 years ago

Sounds like a lot of angry people on here. Just because he's governor doesn't make him exempt from mistakes. He's still human and if the sec of state can forget to pay his taxes and hire an illegal immigrant "unknowingly" then this guy can have a momentary lapse of reason, apologize and get it together.