The governor explains his adulterous relationship at The Star:

  • “This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford said.
  • “There was some kind of connection from the very beginning,” he said.
  • Jenny Sanford found out about the affair in January and has said her husband asked her for permission several times to visit his mistress and she refused.
  • Sanford also admitted meeting his lover more times than he had previously claimed.

This is different from any other political sex scandal in recent memory. Clinton, Vitter, Craig, Edwards and Spitzer repented after their peepee was discovered in someone else’s vajayjay. Can anybody remember a politician declaring “a connection” with the other woman? Or calling them a “soulmate”?

This is turning into some kind of tragedy, a shakespearian tale of lost love and quiet desperation. He committed adultery. And it sounds a lot like love.

There’s really no pleasant way for this to end, is there?

So while many gleefully deride the governor for his moral failings, remember that Sanford doesn’t appear to be in love with his wife anymore. He has forged a bond with another. Poor choices, perhaps from a long-ago marriage proposal that should never have been uttered, have created more bad roads that the governor traveled.

It’s sad to see it all end like this. Sanford should resign. He should also get a divorce, repair his relationship with his kids, and follow his heart to Argentina if that’s where it lies.

No glee here. Just a realistic and compassionate path forward that might still leave his wife with some dignity, his sons with some moral fiber, and himself with a chance at future happiness.