Gov. Mark Sanford arrived in the Hartsville-Jackson International Airport this morning, having wrapped up a seven-day visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, he said. Sanford said he had not been hiking along the Appalachian Trail, as his staff said in a Tuesday statement to the media.
Sanford's whereabouts had been unknown since Thursday, and the mystery surrounding his absence fueled speculation about where he had been and who's in charge in his absence. His emergence Wednesday ended the mystery.
Sanford, in an exclusive interview with The State Media Company, said he decided at the last minute to go to the South American country to recharge after a difficult legislative session in which he battled with lawmakers over how to spend federal stimulus money.
Buenos Aires? I'm thinking tummy tuck.
Update: Cilizza writes this:
The fact that he disappeared for six days made for an interesting -- and somewhat odd -- story. The fact that -- whether willfully or accidentally -- Sanford's staff misled the public about his whereabouts is a major problem for a candidate considered almost certain to run for president in 2012.
Why in the world would anyone think that's true? His staff lied, probably, to protect their boss. Bad. They may even have to quit over it or be fired. But isn't the real problem here that this presidential hopeful is something of a weirdo?
I personally have nothing against weirdos. I consider myself to be one. But people with serious, governmental responsibilities can't be this level of weird. The fact that his staff lied is actually not that big of a problem by comparison. I can't imagine why anyone would think that's the salient point about all this.