Jenny Sanford on “Staying True”


Jenny Sanford’s memoir “Staying True” has been in stores for about a month now.

The most memorable parts of the book are the ones in which she details his habits as an extreme cheapskate who could not possibly conduct a whirlwind romance because it would be too expensive. Many of her stories have already been recounted with disbelief—the one about the elaborate lead-up to the used $25 bicycle he bought her and his insistence that she serve as his campaign manager not because he wanted her around for the adventure but because, as he told her, “You’re free.”

More in that vein: For his wife’s birthday, Mark Sanford had a friend pick out a diamond necklace and a staffer hide it in the closet, and then faxed her clues for the scavenger hunt—”clever and boyishly sweet,” she recalls. She found the necklace, and “I loved it!” she writes. But then he came home, saw it on her and said, “That is what I spent all the money on? I hope you kept the box,” and he returned it the next day. Another time, he insisted the whole family join him in India for a work trip. (All four boys were under the age of 8.). Without telling her, he rented their house out while they were supposed to be away to make some extra money. Only, he got the dates wrong, so she and the boys had to stay at a hotel.

What puts Stanford in a cad class of his own, however, is his complete misunderstanding of the companionate marriage. He treats his wife as a fishing buddy to whom he can confess absolutely everything rather than someone whose feelings he ever has to protect with some minor omissions. “With the exception of that little man, I’m bored with life,” he tells her after the birth of their first son, not bothering to explain how the wife fits into the boredom equation.

via A review of Jenny Sanford’s Staying True. – By Hanna Rosin – Slate Magazine.

I think Rosin’s comment about how he treated Jenny Sanford like a fishing buddy confidant and not his wife hits at a real Mark Sanford. He is an extremely selfish person and his regard for his own desires were placed above hers.

There were some weird assertions in her Morning Joe interview.

A very softball interview, which is to be expected since Scarborough and Sanford were friendly in their days in the US House of Representatives. Some things that grated on me:

  • “He was always there, politically, doing the right things” – Joe Scarborough, one of Mark Sanford’s long time friends. Right things for who? Scarborough is wrong, his platform was consistent, he wasn’t politically doing the right things as he felt on multiple occasions, thought that it was OK to use state funded trips as settings for his personal trysts. He was frugal unless it came down to who he wanted to bang behind his wife’s back.
  • Jenny Sanford says she was fine with Mark Sanford’s wish to omit any promise to be faithful from their wedding vows because she made it clear that a marriage implied faithfulness even if you do not say it at the ceremony. Hogwash. If everything in a wedding vow is implicit, then there is no need for a ceremony at all, is there? They should have just “We’re married married” and pinkie swore by it. In most sects of Christianity, a matrimonial union is at the least a sacred vow and at most a holy sacrament. It has certain requirements. A vow of faithfulness is one of those. You cannot omit it and call it a Christian wedding ceremony. It’s not a vow buffet.
  • In addition, no one on set reconciled what then Rep. Sanford said about his colleague US Rep Bob Livingston and President Bill Clinton. he equated their violation of their own wedding vows with an inability to uphold their oaths of office. [When Sanford was] Asked about Livingston’s admitted affairs, Sanford told CNN, “The bottom line … is he still lied. He lied under a different oath, and that is the oath to his wife.”
  • He wasn’t as cheap as he was petty and callous. If you don’t want to give lavish gifts and want to be frugal, just say up front: “I don’t give lavish gifts, and don’t expect them”. That’s cheap at worst, frugal at best. Don’t buy your wife a gift, create an elaborate scavenger hunt to lead her too it, and then when you see her enjoy the gift, balk at it and then take it away?

Governor Sanford is just a guy that liked to have it his way. It wasn’t frugality or fiscal prudence, it was his primary trait selfishness led him to abandon his executive duties. The fact that he is still in office is a living testimony to his continued hypocrisy.