For the past week I have made it a new habit to check in with the latest addition to my faves stored on the computer. The State is South Carolina’s essential newspaper, and has demonstrated that to be true every day since the Governor Sanford story broke about his Argentine lover. There is an intensity to this poltical drama that gravitates me to this newspaper for the latest news about this scandal, and the fallout it is creating.
So here I am today reading the paper, and there is a news story with an angle I have never before seen taken about an elected official, unless I am forgetting, and then a reader can alert me. There is open specualtion about the mental condition of Mark Sanford, still the sitting chief executive of South Carolina. I must say this is incredible, and a direct off-shoot of handling the PR for his affair dreadfully. No one must be advising him, and lets face it, who would want to. Still the fact remains that based on his mishandled press conference, and offerings to reporters of additional tidbits, there is now open speculation that this once White House hopeful might be short a basketful in the head. No more reason to explain why this story is so politically alluring.
Gov. Mark Sanford is acting like a love-struck teenager.
Or, maybe he has a deeper personality disorder, some experts speculate.
As the saga of Sanford and his Argentine lover continues, the public, the governor’s political rivals and some allies are speculating about the governor’s mental stability and whether he’s able to lead the state.
While mental health experts are reluctant to pin a diagnosis on the governor, their observations of his behavior suggest a chemical imbalance, narcissism and impulsive behavior.
Sanford has not sought professional mental health treatment, said Joel Sawyer, the governor’s spokesman.
But some fellow politicians are saying the governor needs help.
“That’s a troubled man,” said Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, a longtime Sanford ally who this year became frustrated at Sanford’s refusal to take federal stimulus money. “You can see it in his eyes and his body language. I’m concerned about his mental well-being.”
John Crangle, executive director of Common Cause South Carolina, called Sanford “delusional” and said it was obvious the governor has “serious mental problems.”
“The idea that he could carry on this relationship and at the same time be governor, run the Republican governor’s association and have presidential aspirations, it shows an individual who has lost contact with reality,” said Crangle, who has worked as a divorce lawyer. “He sees no limitations. He can do what he wants.”
One prominent Republican who is close to Sanford and has been in regular contact with him also has questioned the governor’s well-being. “When your support is evaporating but your resolve (to stay in office) is increasing, that’s a bad combination,” said the source, who did not want to be identified.
Peeler cites the governor’s mental state as one more reason he should resign. Crangle said Sanford should at least take a leave of absence and get a psychiatric evaluation.