South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford apologizes to his state agency chiefs on Friday, June 26, 2009, in Columbia, S.C. AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford held a meeting with state officials today in which he apologized to them for his extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina and his cover-up related to it but not without first letting them know that he was drawing on the Old Testament story of the King David for guidance.
We assume Sanford was alluding to the famous biblical story of the ancient Jewish king who, after sleeping with the wife of one of his officer's, Bathsheba, and getting her pregnant, made certain to have her husband Uriah, killed in battle.
Sanford, a conservative Republican, is a born-again Christian, as are many of his constituents who know this story so well it could've happened to someone in their families.
Based on the way that I disappointed my wife, my boys, close friends, family South Carolinians at large, I think always the question you have to ask yourself in the context of leadership is what it all means and where do we go from here?
And so I've been doing a lot of soul searching on that front and what I find interesting is the story of David and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very, very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built form there.
It really began with the larger quest well expressed in the Book of Psalms on the notion of humility. Humility towards other, humility in one's own spirit....
The governor did not say whether he had, like David, started writing verse to expiate his sin.
Anyway, he continued thusly:
At the epicenter of the administrative team really rests with the cabinet. And in as much I had not had a chance to apologize to you all personally I wanted to do so.
I made general apologies to the people of south Carolina and the staff at large but you all are really the epicenter of that team that through about 65,000 state employees serves the people of South Carolina so I wanted to generally apologize to everyone of you for letting you down....
The larger question of leadership is what does it mean, where do we go from here. I think part of what it means going forward is everyone of you all has specific duties to the people of South Carolina that you have to perform.
And that is with or without me doing right on a given day or me doing wrong on a given day, those responsibilities still exist.
After Sanford's apology, the meeting continued fairly much as though nothing had happened. Word to the wise: If you're driving through South Carolina over the July Fourth holiday weekend, keep an wary eye open for state troopers since "every trooper with a uniform" is going to be out on the roads there to catch speeders and drunk drivers, the state police chief told the governor.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Jenny Sanford, the governor's wife, told him before his trip last week not to go to Argentina to visit his mistress.
The AP report:
SULLIVANS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford says she warned her husband not to see his mistress before a trip last week and was shocked he met her in Argentina anyway.
Jenny Sanford told The Associated Press that she discovered Gov. Mark Sanford's affair in January when she found a letter from him to the other woman. She said she told him to end the affair and he agreed to.
She said that when the governor told her recently he needed time alone to write, she specifically warned him not to visit the mistress. She was shocked to learn this week that he'd gone to
Argentina to do just that.
Jenny Sanford says she stayed with her husband while their four sons finished the school year in Columbia before leaving him for their coastal home on Sullivans Island.