Tonight, estranged First Lady Jenny Sanford will appear on ABC in an interview with Barbara Walters. It is predictable how Jenny Sanford will answer questions. She will try to hold the Governor accountable for his personal life and try to grab some star light from the appearance. Jenny Sanford's upcoming book on her life with the Governor should do about the same.
Jenny Sanford's interview with Barbara Walters is going to be aired on the very day the SC House Judiciary Committee gets into the meat of the Sanford impeachment show. While it is likely the Governor will not be impeached, one has to wonder if the timing of the Jenny Sanford interview is coordinated somehow.
It is taboo to criticize the wronged First Lady. But, let's be frank. Her Barbara Walters interview and her book deal are not indicative of humility. Like her husband, Jenny Sanford goes for the spotlight, and the reputation of South Carolina is secondary. It is naive for people to think of Jenny Sanford as some poor little innocent flower without her own agenda.
Jenny Sanford was the force behind the Governor's elections. She served as a defacto Chief of Staff to the Governor. For that reason, her interviews and book deal ought to be scrutinized as being part of a possible Sanford rehabilitation. Think about it. Jenny Sanford's Barbara Walter's interview is aired on the one of the most important days of her husband's impeachment proceedings. Her book is set to be released in the midst of the Republican primary for Governor.
Perhaps the people around the estranged First Lady are just working the angles to make sure she gets the most exposure at the right times to make the most money off of her husband's indiscretions. If so, fair enough.
But, more cynical types see something else. The Sanfords are plotting rehabilitation in their eyes. Once the Governor beats impeachment, as expected, those cynics see the Sanfords on Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Phil's shows, tearfully reconciling for the nation to see. After the Lifetime movie, they can take their fatter wallets back into politics. In that scenario, a chastened Governor Sanford dutifully changes his ways and reconciles with his saint of a wife and they work together towards the US Senate or the White House. It would have the makings of another book and movie.
Chances are the Sanfords are done in their political ambitions. But, it is clear that both of them are selfish. The idea of putting the people and reputation of South Carolina first is foreign to them both. The Governor will not resign and go quietly. Neither Sanford will avoid the spotlight. They both can talk about their family and South Carolina until their faces turn blue as the state flag, but in the end, they both put such things aside to take the ride in the public spotlight.
The episode has been an embarrassment to South Carolina and to the Republican Party. Never before in South Carolina's history have we had a first couple so bent on making so public things most of us, far below their stations in life, know to keep private and to ourselves. The degree of self importance both Sanfords hold is incredible. It is a sign that the Sanfords will not go away after the Governor's term is over. Some people just will not be ignored.