Governor Sanford’s walk in the woods

June 23, 2009

When Governor Mark Sanford walks out of the woods tomorrow, he’s sure for a big surprise.

The governor of South Carolina went hiking on the Appalachian Trail last Thursday to clear his head after a tough legislative session, according to his aides. Nothing odd in that – politicians need time off as much as anyone. Trouble is, when Sanford left he didn’t tell his aides where he was going. He didn’t tell the state’s lieutenant governor either. Or his wife.


His disappearance sparked speculation about his whereabouts, although Fox News reported he did call to check in two days into the trip. Tomorrow he is due to emerge from the trail and return to work and he will doubtless face many questions. For a possible presidential candidate in 2012, the distraction could prove awkward.

And it won’t help that the father of four sons was away from home on Father’s Day.

PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford arrives for a dinner held for the National Governors Association at the White House in Feb. 22, 2009.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Except, of course, that we’re being lied to and he didn’t go hiking on the Appalachian trail.

“On Tuesday, sources told News 4’s Nigel Robertson that a state vehicle is missing and was tracked down, not to the Appalachian Trail, but to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. ”

I mean really – why wouldn’t he tell his wife that he was going hiking on the Appalachian Trail?

Posted by Ignatz | Report as abusive

An EMA (extra-marital affair) or more likely a secret trip to Afghanistan to visit South Carolina troops. The trip would best explain the loss of cell phone signal near Atlanta.

Posted by Ron Kestrel | Report as abusive

Wow what is up with this? So what, this is more important then what is going on in the world. It figures people would pay more attention to some thing like this. If South Carolina’s Constitution is so jumbled causing them panic and grief about what to do if they could not reach him, maybe they need to rewrite it.

Posted by Wayne Kulich | Report as abusive

Afghanistan to visit the troops, Argentina to visit the ladies…really, what’s the difference?

Posted by jw | Report as abusive

Turns out he was in South America. If you want to be Governor of a state and responsible for its citizens and the management of government, tell somebody where you’re going so things continue to operate. Common sense as well as a requiremnet & obligation.
And this Cowboy could use some common sense.

Posted by JTL | Report as abusive

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Posted by Jeremy | Report as abusive

Perhaps he’s the father of kids in Argentina too – and visiting them on Father’s Day makes him a good dad.

Posted by JMX | Report as abusive

Proving once again that the network is beyond parody, Fox News labeled Sanford a Democrat during his event today.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

one of the problems with the republican party is that people like me will not vote at all ,if we do not see a difference between them and what we have come to expect from the other side.i have said this before,the present day culture of this country has gradually fallen, because of the influence of the press and hollywood to be more in line with the democratic is like the parable of the prodigal son, who when he found that everything was falling apart, he had some were to return to.if the republican party are not that place, then they have no future.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Howdy! While it’s true that the adage about “throwing the first stone” is a good one to live by, it would be instructive to remember that Mr Sanford was hurling stones w/the best of them when it came to “mis-steps” by Pres Clinton, Sen Ensign, and (that senator from Idaho –I can’t recall his name). Probably others, but you get the idea. You can’t just claim virtue or honor as being the property of one party. You can’t just claim the moral highground, you have to live there.

Posted by captainpete | Report as abusive

There are a lot of men in positions of power who are sleeping around — though that seems to be a common problem — the point is that neither party has a lock on virtue or vice.
The difference, however, is that only one of these two parties presents itself as the champion of “family values,” seeks to use government to impose its sense of morality through public policy, lectures Americans on the “sanctity of marriage,” and blames gay couples for undermining Western civilization.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive