Mark Sanford’s admission of an affair has sent ripples throughout the political world, and have given the folks at the Huffington Post an excuse to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy for having affairs while the publicly promote marriage, life, low taxes, and fiscal responsibility. (What all those have to do with being an utter scumbag, I’m not 100% sure.)
But there are a couple reasons why the timing of the story is good. For as staunch an opponent of stimulus spending as he was, Stanford was not the next Republican standard bearer. For a party which needs regional diversity, a southern white guy is not the best choice.
Second, although the twin scandals of John Ensign and Mark Sanford are shots to Republican efforts to rebuild, the 2010 elections are a year and a half away and the 2012 elections (which will represent much better opportunities to regain seats in the Senate) are three and a half years away. Getting a scandal out of the way early makes Sanford’s political suicide a non-issue when it really matters.
All that is fine from a messaging standpoint, but Stanford obviously has bigger things to worry about. Political parties swing into and out of power with regularity; families are much tougher to rebuild.