Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sanford Gives Another Cringeworthy AP Interview

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford granted another squirm-inducing exclusive interview to the Associated Press on Wednesday in which he referred to his Argentine mistress as "mi amor" and related that their favorite song was Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie."

"I never really knew that she could dance like this, She makes a man want to speak Spanish, Como se llama, bonita, mi casa, su casa," Sanford sang, gyrating his hips, as the AP reporter averted her eyes in embarrassment and the photographer reluctantly clicked away.

Sanford showed the reporter and photographer an iPod loaded with songs he personally selected, including Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," that he plans to send to his mistress, even as he insisted that he plans on working to repair his marriage with his wife of 20 years, Jenny Sanford.

"My heart aches knowing that my soul mate is thousands of miles away. But I'm hopeful that I can work on winning back Jenny's like, if not love," he said.

Sanford's latest interview comes as the chorus of calls for his resignation by prominent South Carolina politicians from his own party threatens to grow louder than calls by Democrats.

Republican Rep. J. Gresham Barrett plans to run for governor next year and would be disadvantaged if the current Lieutenant Governor, André Bauer, took over as governor and was able to run as an incumbent next year. Nonetheless, Barrett called on Sanford to resign for the sake of the party.

"I don't want my three children exposed to such moral depravity," Barrett said. "I don't want them reading seamy Harlequin romance novels that just happen to be playing out in serial form in The State," he said, referring to South Carolina's biggest newspaper.

Sanford's former allies have been putting increased distance between themselves and the governor as they seek to limit the damage to their own future employment and political prospects.

But not everyone has abandoned the governor, even if it sometimes comes at great physical cost. During the interview, Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer excused himself for a few minutes, claiming he had to take an important phone call although there was no audible ringing or visible vibrating of his Blackberry. Loud banging noises were heard shortly after his departure and when he returned his forehead was bruised and puffy. During Sanford's dance display Sawyer had made wild gesticulations off-camera that the AP reporter interpreted as trying to get Sanford to stop and sit down.

The flustered AP reporter, who spoke about the interview on the condition of anonymity, said that she had requested a reassignment. "I don't really consider myself a prude but this is too much," she said. "I'd rather cover the philandering politicians in DC where at least they have the decency to leave something to the imagination."

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