Okay, teeny tiny upside to the Albany coup—we know where our governor is at all times, especially since David Paterson said he's not going anywhere with State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. claiming he's the acting lieutenant governor. This is unlike South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R), who went AWOL for a few days. His staff said he was hiking somewhere along the 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail, but it turns out he was actually in Argentina.
The State reported, "Sanford...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. [After initially considering Appalachia] ‘I said no, I wanted to do something exotic,’ Sanford said. ‘It's a great city.'" Sanford didn't make any arrangements for who would make decisions in his absence; his family didn't know where he was either. In an April interview with Newsweek, Sanford started crying when discussing the stimulus package.
Update: Sanford had a press conference earlier this afternoon and explained his "exotic" trip was to see the Argentinian woman he was having an affair with. Well, people of South Carolina, maybe you can be happy you didn't find out your governor likes hookers and unprotected sex (yet—there's still time!)? The NY Times called his press conference "rambling" before he got to the good stuff (video is after the jump):
"The bottom line is this. I have been unfaithful to my wife.
"I developed a relationship with what started as a dear dear friend from Argentina. It began very innocently, as I suspect these things do, in just a casual e-mail back and forth. But here, recently, over this last year, developed into something much more than that. And as a consequence, I hurt her. I hurt you all, I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys. I hurt friends like Tom Davis. I hurt a lot of different folks.He did ask the media not to bother his wife Jenny or their four young sons. Jenny Sanford said that after reconciliation attempts failed, "We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago."
"What I did was wrong, period. I spent the last five days crying in Argentina."
The Washington Post's Chris Cilizza offers these thoughts: "The problem for Sanford is that he appears to have willfully misled his staff, the lieutenant governor and the people of the state about his whereabouts -- signaling that he was likely headed to the Appalachian Trail before hopping on a flight to Argentina. There will almost certainly be some sort of investigation into whether Sanford misused state funds on this trip -- remember that he took a state-owned vehicle and parked it at the Columbia airport -- that will keep this wound raw for the foreseeable future," and "The cover up is ALWAYS worse than the crime. It's a cliche for a reason; note to future politicians: if you make a mistake, you need to own up to it immediately and totally. Do not obfuscate, do not try misdirection. In the modern media environment where private is public, the truth will come out."