Wil Haygood of The Washington Post had some fun at Republican Gov. Mark Sanford’s expense in Wednesday’s Style section, insisting that Sanford was a laughingstock, a man who went missing because he was strange and unpopular for resisting the appeal of the Obama "stimulus." Haygood began:
After all those weird stares, after he fought against stimulus money meant to help his fellow South Carolinians who've lost jobs at an astounding rate, after the blitzkrieg of complaints from Democrats, no one had to tell Gov. Mark Sanford to take a hike.
He did it on his own.
Haygood even compared the South Carolina governor’s press aide to a Soviet stooge:
He'd dropped his security detail like a bag of stale potato chips over at reelection headquarters. He'd told his press spokesman to keep it all on the hush-hush, and the spokesman clammed up like a Kremlin operative.
"It's not unusual for him to take a few days off to recharge his batteries," Joel Sawyer, the Republican governor's spokesman, finally explained yesterday.
By then the winds of suspicion were wafting over the Carolina capital like smoke from a barbecue pit.
Sawyer, with political operatives caught between snickering and sniping about the governor's Houdini act, went into defense mode. "Obviously," he said, "some political opponents will be seeking to make political hay of it."
When news broke out that the governor was missing, the Democrats didn't exactly get out their GPS devices, but they did have some choice words.
"The people of South Carolina told Governor Sanford to take a hike after he said no to millions in job creation funds for political purposes, and he apparently took the advice quite literally," Hari Sevugan, a Democratic National Committee press secretary, harrumphed in a statement yesterday.
It’s quite transparent that the Washington Post would like nothing better than to turn the potential Republican field against Obama in 2012 into a pack of laughingstocks and insure that their hero faces only nominal opposition in his bid for re-election.