UPDATE: Sanford took a hike

Monday, June 22, 2009 3:59 PM
Last updated 11:40 PM
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COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has been hiking along the Appalachian Trail, a spokesman said tonight, explaining an absence of several days.

The lieutenant governor, other officials and even his wife said earlier today that they didn't know where he was, leading critics to question who was in charge of South Carolina.

"I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts," said Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. Bauer said he'd been rebuffed by the governor's staff when he tried to find out where Sanford was.

The Republican governor left town Thursday, spokesman Joel Sawyer said, with plans to hike the trail, which passes through 14 states, but not South Carolina. Sawyer said he didn't know where exactly Sanford was along the 2,200-mile trail and declined to discuss Sanford's travel arrangements or who, if anyone, was hiking with him. The governor is expected back later this week.

"He's an avid outdoorsman," Sawyer said. "Nobody's ever accused our governor of being conventional."

Sanford, who's also chairman of the Republican Governors Association, earned a reputation as the nation's most vocal anti-bailout governor by refusing $700 million in federal stimulus money for schools until he lost a court battle earlier this month.

"He's just up there to kind of clear his head after the legislative session," Sawyer told The Associated Press in an interview.

Sawyer said if there were an emergency the office would consult with other state officials before making any decisions.

"We knew he would be difficult to reach, and that he would be checking in infrequently," Sawyer said in a statement.

First lady Jenny Sanford said earlier Monday that she had not spoken with her husband for several days, including Father's Day. The Sanfords have four sons.

"He was writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids," Mrs. Sanford told The Associated Press while vacationing at the family's Sullivans Island beach house. She said she didn't know where he was but wasn't concerned.

A message left for her wasn't immediately returned after the governor's hiking plans were disclosed.

Law enforcement officials who handle his security declined to comment and Sawyer wouldn't say whether Sanford had a security detail with him. Sanford is known for taking walks and runs without security, but flight logs show he seldom leaves the state without it.

Sanford typically is open about his whereabouts, and his office has in the past made no secret of time spent on vacation or out of state.

But politicians, including the lieutenant governor, said they did not know Sanford was taking time away from his office. Bauer said he had not been put in charge.

Sanford's critics were quick to criticize the governor.

"It's one thing for the boys to go off by themselves, but on Father's Day to leave your family behind? That's erratic," said Senate Minority Leader John Land, D-Manning.

Sanford's unannounced absence was a cause for concern because the National Guard and the state's top law enforcement agencies report to him, Land said.

"And when those officials can't get in touch with the commander, it's really weird. That's not responsible," he said.

Sen. Jake Knotts, a Lexington Republican and a persistent Sanford critic, said the state needs to know where its governor is.

"The way things are in the world today and homeland security, we need the governor to be fingertips away," Knotts said. "Somebody's got to be in charge."

Comments (45) Add comment
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Riverman1
82180
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Riverman1 06/22/09 - 04:11 pm
0
0
Wow...strange. There go any

Wow...strange. There go any presidential or VP candidate possibilities.

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/22/09 - 04:12 pm
0
0
Governor Sanford put a lot of

Governor Sanford put a lot of effort into trying to make the state aware of the socialist error of the stimulus disaster. He didn't stand a chance against the federal propaganda machine and the product of government schools. I can certainly understand how exhausting this effort was. I don't suspect foul play since this is his last term as governor.

aaa
2
Points
aaa 06/22/09 - 04:25 pm
0
0
He may be off purchasing land

He may be off purchasing land in New Zealand to escape Obama's Socialist America.

ss30809
44
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ss30809 06/22/09 - 04:35 pm
0
0
Why would anyone vote for a

Why would anyone vote for a politician who can't tell the people where he is or what he's currently working on?

Queen4842
3
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Queen4842 06/22/09 - 04:36 pm
0
0
He may be comtemplating his

He may be comtemplating his resignation as SC's govenor, since the people have made him a lame duck.

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 06/22/09 - 04:42 pm
0
0
Maybe he and Sarah Palin took

Maybe he and Sarah Palin took some of the stimulus money and ran off together. You never know with these Republicans, they are always getting into personal difficulties.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 06/22/09 - 04:51 pm
0
0
I hope he's okay, but I can't

I hope he's okay, but I can't blame him if he just needed to take some personal time to do some work.

KSL
126266
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KSL 06/22/09 - 04:56 pm
0
1
Niko, you post as if

Niko, you post as if Democrats don't ever have personal difficulties. You look silly.

Riverman1
82180
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Riverman1 06/22/09 - 05:01 pm
0
1
I bet Queen nailed it. He is

I bet Queen nailed it. He is going to resign.

LadyCisback
4
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LadyCisback 06/22/09 - 05:12 pm
0
1
Maybe he was abducted by

Maybe he was abducted by aliens which are now reprogramming his brain to stop all of this nonsense about socialist america and the stimulus money... (sarcastic)

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 06/22/09 - 05:37 pm
0
1
His Chief of staff is in

His Chief of staff is in contact with him and he apparently need a couple of days of rest or to be alone and re-group. To think that we must know were every politician is every minute of the day is ridiculous. After all that he has been through by trying not to unnecessariyl spend federal tax money, he certainly needs and deserves a break.

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 06/22/09 - 05:48 pm
0
0
His wife doesn't know where

His wife doesn't know where he is? That's a bunch of bull.

pizzato
3
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pizzato 06/22/09 - 06:12 pm
1
0
I hope they find him in the

I hope they find him in the bottom of a marsh after crabs have eaten his face off. That guy has pretty much ruined the school system in South Carolina and needs to burn in hell.

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 06/22/09 - 06:18 pm
0
0
Maybe he is in Air Force 1

Maybe he is in Air Force 1 flying and looking over the landscape with prezbo.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 06/22/09 - 06:21 pm
1
0
I hope he's ok... and the

I hope he's ok... and the stimulus has nothing to do with him taking some mental health days, we all do it, just he's in a higher profile (Public eye). But for the WIFE not know makes me thinks there trouble in paradise.

dwb619
91012
Points
dwb619 06/22/09 - 06:43 pm
1
0
Maybe hes doing a Dick Cheney

Maybe hes doing a Dick Cheney imitation. If this jerk worked under a substance abuse program on his job, he would whizzing for the bottle weekly!

Rose
17
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Rose 06/22/09 - 06:50 pm
1
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CNN reports he took a law

CNN reports he took a law enforcement vehicle with him, and has not returned it. His wife does not know where he is. So much for strong family values.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 06/22/09 - 07:02 pm
1
0
I hope he is OK. Once he's

I hope he is OK. Once he's found, then they should impeach him. Rose is right, what man doesn't contact his family on Father's Day. I bet he show up on Moron Day!!!

TrukinRanger
1748
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TrukinRanger 06/22/09 - 07:13 pm
0
0
So his chief of staff is in
Unpublished

So his chief of staff is in contact with him... but not his wife... are they having an affair? You'd think his wife would be the first to know!!!! If he were to ever run for a higher office... is this what could be expected from him? Run & Hide when things get difficult...

DEVGRU
0
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DEVGRU 06/22/09 - 07:23 pm
0
0
You people belong in the

You people belong in the twilight zone.

pizzato
3
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pizzato 06/22/09 - 07:34 pm
1
0
Maybe he's gone somewhere to

Maybe he's gone somewhere to try and get his head out of his butt. Obama made him his punk in front of the whole country. Probably some of the Obama secret police have taken him for a long ride. Thank god he's gone.

markmjtx
0
Points
markmjtx 06/22/09 - 07:38 pm
0
0
The State has a report that

The State has a report that he has been located. I will hold off on further comments until Gov. Sanford makes a statement. The people who posted some of the comments above should read the labels before taking their medication.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 06/22/09 - 07:50 pm
0
0
Wow, the accusations are

Wow, the accusations are flying around pretty fast. You people are talking out your neck. Crabs eating his face off? WOW!

Boogaloo
1
Points
Boogaloo 06/22/09 - 07:54 pm
1
0
I just heard that Jessica

I just heard that Jessica Hahn is missing also.

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 06/22/09 - 07:55 pm
1
0
KSL, In family values gaffes,

KSL, In family values gaffes, the GOP does it 10X more than the Democrats.

InChristLove
22459
Points
InChristLove 06/22/09 - 08:04 pm
0
0
Do you people really think

Do you people really think his wife doesn't know where he is? Give me a break, she's just not saying probably abiding by the wishes of her husband. Pizzato, you are very nasty and I agree with markmjtx.

RichmondCountyResident1
29
Points
RichmondCountyResident1 06/22/09 - 08:15 pm
0
0
ICL, are you calling his wife

ICL, are you calling his wife a liar? Why would she bother tell a lie?Seems like a pretty easy question to me. Just say he is seeking some privacy.It not like he will be missed.

hwduncan
57
Points
hwduncan 06/22/09 - 08:28 pm
0
0
Perhaps the Governor's

Perhaps the Governor's vanishing act is akin to Agatha Christie's strange 11 day disappearance in 1926. Some biographers assume Christie suffered a nervous breakdown; others believe she undertook it as a publicity stunt since it raised her to be a household name throughout England as the search and speculation went on. Christie claimed amnesia, a story supported by her filandering husband, Archibald. Jared Cade, a recent biographer, argues that Christie staged the disappearance as revenge for the most recent of her huband's affairs, hoping Archie might be suspected of murdering her. Eventually, Christie was found living in a luxury hotel under a false name. The arguments have gone on for 83 years. All South Carolinians now await to hear the Governor's relation of events. Let us hope, at the least, that he is well and capable of carrying on his duties to his family.

lylagirl
1
Points
lylagirl 06/22/09 - 08:41 pm
0
0
Standingtallonelasttime...he

Standingtallonelasttime...he can go to New Zealand and and you can too!!! Bye!!

msgret92
121
Points
msgret92 06/22/09 - 08:50 pm
0
0
He's the smartest politician

He's the smartest politician in the country if he can hide from the media.

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