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Gov. Mark Sanford says his 'political days are over.' Ya think?

August 13, 2009 | 10:07 am

South Carolina's First Lady Jenny Sanford moves out of the Governor's Mansion Aug. 7, 2009 after Gov. Mark Sanford admitted an affair with an Argentina mistress Once touted as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2012, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford -- who ran off to Argentina in June to visit his mistress -- announced today that his political career is over.

"This is truly not about Mark Sanford anymore,'' the two-term governor said this morning during a speech to the Twin City Rotary Club in Batesburg-Leesville. "A lot of folks were convinced that I was running for president. My political days are over.''

First Lady Jenny Sanford and the couple's four sons moved out of the Columbia, S.C., governor's mansion last week for their beachfront home in Sullivan's Island, S.C., more than 100 miles southeast of the capital. 

 

Mark and Jenny Sanford, a former Wall Street executive, say they are working to repair their marriage of 20 years. Asked Wednesday how he is coping with living in the empty mansion, Sanford replied, “That part's hard.”

“There are consequences for any mess-up we have in life, and that's one of them, and that's probably the most bitter part of it,” he said, adding the move was a family decision to protect the children. “These boys deserve to be out of the fishbowl that they have been in and been subjected to a lot this summer,” he said.

The governor said he has done a “thorough job of discrediting himself” but thinks the voters of South Carolina are ready to move on and willing to let him finish the remaining 16 months of his term.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Jenny Sanford, foreground, takes belongings from the governor's mansion in Columbia, S.C. Credit: Mary Ann Chastain / Associated Press

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