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Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford stages unbelievable political comeback May 10, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford staged an unbelievable comeback in May 2013, getting elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election four years after a sex scandal nearly ruined his career. Sanford easily beat democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, 54-45 percent. The former governor disappeared for five days in 2009, telling his staff that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but was later discovered to have been in Argentina with a mistress. He was forced to pay $70,000 in ethics fines for using public money to fly for personal purposes. While he finished out the rest of his term, he was later divorced from his wife.

Sanford’s victory was especially surprising in light of the fact that his political opponents used his disgraceful behavior against him in election ads. In one especially biting ad sponsored by a third party group, a military vet claimed that “Mark Sanford abandoned his post,” an act which would lead to a court martial in the National Guard.

To see the negative ad against Sanford referenced above, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Should Sanford’s misconduct as governor have been unforgivable?

2.  Why might the attacks against Sanford have been ineffective?

3.  Does Sanford’s success mean that other politicians nearly ruined by scandal – like New York’s Eliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner – might be able to make comebacks in the future?

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