Sanford Meltdown Mortifying—but Real

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2009 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mark Sanford went before the cameras to confess and apologize yesterday, a ritual that is typically “a schtick, a plastic act of absolution performed by men who are just as plastic,” writes Gary Kamiya of Salon. But not this time. Sanford “got all weird and human on us.” Suddenly “instead of a press conference, we had been carried into some Eternal Bedroom of Misery.” it was a trainwreck, Kamiya writes, but it was also that rare thing in a politician: an unscripted expression of emotion.

Sanford deviated from the script most egregiously, William Saletan writes in Slate, in his treatment of the "other woman." You’re supposed to say you love your wife and renounce the affair as a passing mistake. Instead Sanford spoke of his “dear, dear friend,” with whom “from a heart level, there was something real.” It must be awful for his wife, Saletan notes, “but it beats the hell out of seducing someone, kicking her to the curb, and pretending she meant nothing to you.”