Sanford's Presser: Instant Classic
Mark Sanford's press conference. Did you watch that performance? Wow. He just... he just kept going. How did it compare to some classic political meltdowns of the past? Favorably!
He was 24 minutes late to the podium and then he rambled, just straight-up rambled, apologizing to literally everyone he's ever met, talking about dinosaur sheets and "Adventure Trips," becoming tearful, and wasting a full ten minutes of rambling before finally admitted to cheating on his wife. He cheated on his wife for a year with some friend from Argentina, and his wife has known for five months, and the affair just continued, while he worked on his marriage, and it was not until he disappeared on Fathers' Day (to spend "five days of my life crying") and the media caught wind that something might be up here that he decided it was time to apologize to his family and maybe stop the affair.
It was a bravura live political meltdown. Though it was dissimilar in tone, it was a cousin to Blago's classic presser. Not the first one, with the poetry, but the classic Friday afternoon performance about the children with cancer. Or maybe the one about cowboys? But while Blago filibusters and mugs and grins, Sanford just bared way, way too much of his soul.
It blew away Spitzer's one minute apology—He took questions! His wife was at home!—and Clinton's initial denial and eventual apology were, in comparison, boring.
It was Terrell Owens-esque, actually. Sure, he could've blamed outside forces, like when Mark Foley's attorney blamed booze and priests. But no. He had no excuses. That made any sense.
It was reminiscent, especially with the wife's glaring absence, of the pre-9/11 Rudy Giuliani classic, "I am telling the press about my separation from my wife before I tell my wife."
Sanford didn't have a single sound bite as classic as Nixon's "last press conference" (well, maybe "the biggest self of self is indeed self"), but it will provide us with many days of joy, until Tim Pawlenty's "I am addicted to meth" conference next month.
Sanford's instant classic in full: