To the Contrary

January 10, 2009

Gov. Sanford in 2012?

"Hardball," the political commentary gabfest hosted on MSNBC by Chris Matthews, aired its "Great List Show" recently. Matthews and four media figures ranging from liberal to conservative talked about the political year past.

The focus was on the presidential election, of course: defining campaign moments, who stumbled worst, even the funniest satires on "Saturday Night Live." But then another list was trotted out: Which Republican is most likely to challenge Barack Obama, who hasn't even been sworn in yet, for the presidency in 2012? ...

Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman then asserted that our own Gov. Mark Sanford would be "an attractive political candidate" for president in the bedrock conservative mold of a Barry Goldwater. Fineman went on to describe our governor as a man with "a nice family" and "a successful record in South Carolina."

Gov. Sanford certainly has a nice family and embodies a bedrock conservatism attractive to many voters in the Republican Party. ...

But as unemployment has soared in the state, tax revenues have fallen and budget cutbacks have crippled government agencies, he has struggled to broker action plans to help ease the state's economic crisis.

Fineman would do well to come to South Carolina and see for himself the nature of our governor's legacy of accomplishment.

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