OFF THE GRID

Jenny Sanford Is a Bummer

Jul 2, 09 | 9:03 AM   byMichael Wolff
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How come Jenny Sanford has become a heroine for American women in the new sex wars? Ruth Marcus excitedly expressed the conventional wisdom on Mrs. Sanford in yesterday’s Washington Post, calling her a “model for the wronged political spouse.” Tina Brown, who, as I recall, stole her husband out from under another woman, detailed her keen satisfaction that Sanford had not stood shamefacedly by her husband’s side in the manner of Silda Spitzer and Hillary Clinton (and so many others), and faulted her only for her apparent willingness to take him back—that is, if he was appropriately humbled.

Women everywhere seem to like Jenny Sanford. But her husband doesn’t. That much we know: Mark Sanford may be going back to her, but he’s dying to get rid of her.

And, truly, what man wouldn’t want to?

She has “investment banker steel,” according to Marcus, which, while I can’t be sure what this is exactly, sounds an awful lot like a helluva cold heart.

"It wasn't exactly love at first sight," Marcus quotes Mrs. Sanford saying about her first meeting with her future husband. "It was more like friendship at first sight." Let’s translate: She didn’t like him much, but being a cool customer she decided on the basis of his career prospects and other demographic criteria he’d be a good match.


(AP Photo)

She ran his campaigns, insinuating that his success is really hers. Indeed, that’s the problem with all campaign managers: They believe they are the real thing and the candidate just a hapless front man. (While politicians seem to want to have sex with anyone who will have sex with them, the one person they probably don’t want to have sex with is their campaign manager.)

And then, and hardly least of all, there is Jesus.

It seems quite likely that in addition to fleeing his wife, the South Carolina governor was fleeing the Lord.

A diet of bible study groups, to which Jenny Sanford seems to have been obsessively devoted, would put a damper on many marriages. Indeed, let’s assume the rogue governor had begun to question his treacly faith and dweeby life. If so, sex—with a foreigner no less—would have been a reasonable escape.

“Psalm 127 states that sons are a gift from the Lord and children a reward from Him. I will continue to pour my energy into raising our sons to be honorable young men. I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance,” said Jenny in a statement that Marcus praises for its “practical vision of real love.”

Well, damn. Pardon me, but let’s try repellent vision. Jenny Sanford is haughty, self-righteous, condescending, and an egomaniac, seeking “the wisdom of Solomon, the strength and patience of Job and the grace of God in helping to heal my family.”

Here, I suppose, is the news flash: Women, who don’t have to marry them, see women differently from how men see them.

More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at VanityFair.com, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at michael@newser.com.
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