Pleading with reporters to “keep an eye me,” Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina today announced that he is ready to take responsibility for having an extra-marital affair by running for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.
Sanford follows in a tradition of Republicans who atone for personal or professional wrongdoing by not stepping down.
Reiterating his remorse at carrying on an affair with penpal Maria Belen Chapur, an Argentine divorcee, Sanford said he is apologizing to his wife, his children, the people of South Carolina, and the Republican Party by seeking the GOP nomination, and being elected leader of the free world.
“I have very little left to hide,” said Sanford, after striding on stage to strains of Connie Francis’ “I’m Sorry” played over a sound system.
“Seeking my party’s nomination for president means I won’t have time to fool around on my wife Jenny. And when my children want to know where daddy is on Father’s Day, for the next three years the answer will be Iowa. Or New Hampshire,” Sanford said.
Sanford went on to add that “quitting is for members of the Democrat Party,” and cited Gary Hart and John Edwards as examples of politicians who voluntarily stepped away from public life after revelations of marital infidelity.
Sanford said he is running under the slogan “Mark Sanford: Keeping It In His Pants for America.” He asked journalists to keep him on the straight and narrow, declaring, “I call on reporters to turn the bright klieg lights of scrutiny on me follow me day and night.”
“Bug my phone? Yes, please. Telephoto lenses? Tell me which way to face. Round the clock surveillance? Just honk and I’ll have my motorcade slow down so you can keep up,” Sanford promised.
Sanford departed the press conference in “Palmetto State One,” a flatbed truck carrying a diorama of a Motel 6 room, with one wall made of clear Lexan, in which Sanford will sleep while on the campaign trail. There will always be at least one light on in the room.
In related news, South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford has signed an endorsement deal to become national spokesperson for Dog-o-Watt Inc., manufacturers of low-voltage training collars for dogs.