I try to stay away from the popular stories. I find if media if providing way too much coverage, there isn't a chance anyone would want my opinion about it. Lucky for all of you, I'm not a Michael Jackson Fan. I have been fascinated by the Mark Sanford deal, though. I love this dudes fiscal policies. Anyone who pisses off Republicans by refusing to accept federal money is my kind of politician. As the governor of the lesser Carolina(yep, I said it,) he hasn't given a horse's ass what anyone thinks about what he does. As governor, he's always seemed to do the right thing. Democrats hate him and alleged 'fiscal conservative' Republicans hated him, too when he brought pigs to the state house. It almost made me want to move to South Carolina. That's a big almost.
I was fortunate to cover the Republican National Convention last year and we got to do a ton of cool stories as part of my last big assignment in news. Hurricane Gustav was about to Katrina the Gulf Coast again and they were talking of halting the convention to focus on the would be victims of Gustav. The Republicans mobilized a bunch of their politicians, their wives and delegates to get ready for Hurricane Relief. Reporter Shawn Flynn and myself scoured St. Paul, MN looking for people doing hurricane stuff and one of the Republican PR folks set us up with Governor Sanford's wife.
I knew nothing about Mrs. Sanford. I knew I liked almost everything I'd heard about her husband but I'd had no reason to hear anything about her. We met up with her in a random section of the XCel Energy Center and when you set up for an interview, there is typically some awkward small talk while we photographers get set up and typically the reporter takes care of that small talk. Mrs. Sanford was different. She immediately told us to call her Jenny and asked us where we were from. This was way better than small talk. Jenny was cool. Way cool. She told us she was from Illinois and loved everything about The South. She even mentioned she enjoyed shopping at Wal-Mart. Weird, yet pretty badass considering three weeks before we talked her husband was mentioned as a serious contender for John McCain's vice presidential nominee. We did the interview and more talk continued between the three of us while I got some cutaways. A few minutes later, she issued Shawn and I a very sincere invite to the South Carolina delegates party later that night. Unfortunately, we already had a ton of free beer lined up for the evening at a different party, but she was serious about having us over. Once I got done with the cutaways, she shook hour hands and took off. What a cool first lady. It wasn't until this week I learned she went to Georgetown and was a Vice President for a banking firm on Wall Street. After she was gone, Shawn and I both had your typical dude reaction, "She's kinda hot, especially for a first lady." Anyway, she made an impression.
Thus, I was bummed for a couple of reasons. I was hoping Sanford would keep pissing off Republicans enough they and the rest of America would eventually figure out a more Libertarian fiscal policy was the cool policy. I'm also bummed because Jenny is a cool lady. She should run for congress or something.
I could go on about the whole deal but none of us really know anything. I'm sure the governor has his reasons and they may or may not be legit, but the whole situation is one big assed bummer. I hope the Republicans find someone else to carry their fiscal torch who feels the same way Sanford does. More importantly, I hope Jenny is doing alright.