SC agog over Gov. Sanford's confession of affair

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Gov. Mark Sanford has always painted himself as a family man, a red state conservative whose annual Christmas cards featured pictures of his wife and their four sons.

So when he tearfully confessed a yearlong affair with a woman he visited on a secret trip to Argentina, reaction ranged from embarrassment over his behavior to pity for his family. But there was a common theme: surprise that the man named as a possible 2012 GOP presidential contender had been cheating on his wife.

"I was shocked, shocked," said Tom Daly, 42, a magazine editor in Charleston. "First of all he's a Republican golden boy and he's a strict, staunch conservative. I'm so shocked. It was something I did not expect."

Daly called it a blemish on South Carolina, and Ellen Brady, a computer network specialist from Charleston, wondered why it had to happen in her state.

"We're all mortified, absolutely mortified," she said. "It's splashed all over the news."

Gerald Walker, a 19-year-old student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, said Sanford should not have told staffers he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when he was actually in Argentina for seven days. His spokesman repeated the lie to reporters, leading to several days of confusion over his whereabouts.

"He shouldn't have lied to us. He should have been up straight," Walker said. "It's very embarrassing for someone in a leadership role that we are supposed to respect, especially me being a young guy."

Judith Thompson, 66, who works at the South Carolina Nurses Association across the street from the governor's mansion, said she was concerned for the families involved.

"It's a very sad moment for all the people in this state," she said.

Stephanie Byrd, 20, a University of South Carolina student selling Italian ice from a street cart, also called the affair sad.

"It seems to happen to a lot of movie stars so it's not like it's surprising, but it's kind of disappointing for someone who is supposed to help you through things and represent you," she said.

South Carolina women's basketball recruit Kelsey Bone, meanwhile, laughed about the where-is-he-now nature of the news in the state she has called home for just three weeks.

"First he was on the Appalachian Trail, now he's in Argentina," said Bone, 17, from Houston. "And I was like, 'How do you get the two mixed up?' These past few weeks, there's never a dull moment."

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wizzardx1
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wizzardx1 06/25/09 - 04:54 am
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If he will cheat on his wife,

If he will cheat on his wife, he has NO character nor honor.He should be removed from office as soon as possible-like yesterday.And this is supposed to be one of the best of our representatives?

deros
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deros 06/25/09 - 06:46 am
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The truth will set you free

The truth will set you free Wizzardx1. "Truth" that is what people with character and honor do. Even when the truth isn't good. I can think of many poloticians that never "admitted" the "truth". They were not removed from their office. At least one held the highest office in the land. (you probably know who I am talking about) Funny to me, but as disappointed as I am...I find a lot of character and honor in what Gov. Sanford did Wednesday.

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