Remember former Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina? Even if you can’t quite remember his name, you probably remember his face. It was splattered across tabloids back in 2009 after it was revealed that Sanford had been using taxpayer funds to visit his Argentinian mistress, Maria Belen Chapur. Sanford slunk into anonymity after his fall from grace and the end of his 20-year marriage to devoted wife Jenny. Despite the fallout from his international affair, Sanford’s resurfacing with some good news — he’s engaged.
Sanford proposed to Chapur in Argentina this past Wednesday, three years after their affair became public knowledge. The couple met in 2001 in Uruguay, but claim they were only friends until things turned romantic in 2008. Although Sanford has been relatively quiet in the past few years (and is not slated to appear at the RNC this week), his reemergence in the news could mean he’s gearing up for a political and personal comeback.
The father of four’s political career was ruined after the international affair, which only came to light after he disappeared for a week to visit Chapur, spending $8,000 of government money to fund his “business” trip. Once his true destination was discovered, Sanford admitted he made a mistake and resigned from office.
Before he came clean about his dirty deeds, Sanford had been the GOP's golden boy and a rising star in the political world. When news of his affair broke, however, he also became the go-to symbol for the dangers of hypocrisy in the GOP. The big question on everyone’s mind was, "How could a party preach family values when its poster child devastated his family with his extramarital excursions?"
No one seems to have a good answer to that question.
Nonetheless, time heals all wounds, and Americans are known for their capacity to forgive and lack of long-term memory. Prior to his infidelity, Sanford had been well liked by his constituents.
Perhaps with his upcoming nuptials to Chapur, Sanford will be able to remain faithful to his true soul mate … as long as he doesn’t find another one.