Sanford Leaves Office Saying, 'Never Say Never'
Fallen conservative rock star considers the next chapter
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2010 6:05 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010 photo, S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford talks with Associated Press reporters in his office in Columbia, S.C. about his time in office and his future.    (VIRGINIA POSTIC)
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(Newser) – Mark Sanford leaves the South Carolina governor's mansion next week a 50-year-old divorcee whose adultery ground his race toward political rock stardom to a screeching, sobbing halt. But though he's free to head out on the Appalachian trail for real this time, the AP notes in an exit interview that Sanford also leaves a valuable legacy: He successfully weathered calls for his resignation, chosen successor Nikki Haley will take the governor's oath, and the Tea Party has firmly latched onto his preachings of fiscal responsibility. His mid-life crisis, say friends, is mercifully over. So what's next?

Sanford himself speaks vaguely of writing a book or going back into business. "It's an interesting spot to be at, because my nature is always to have a next plan, but on this one I don't," he says. And what about a return to politics? "The mishap of June of 2009 just shattered his trajectory upward," said a friend recently. "But I don't think it's over." Murmurs Sanford, "I've also learned in life is you never say never."