Mark Sanford, "Appalachian Trail" governor, talks about engagement to former mistress
Is that...is that...
Yes, Republican convention attendees, it's the one and only Mark Sanford, live in the flesh, newly engaged to the mistress from Argentina whom he famously disappeared to see in Buenos Aires while governor of South Carolina.
Sanford in made the rounds on "radio row" on Wednesday afternoon, four days after he confirmed that he is now engaged to Maria Belen Chapur. Here he is with conservative host Armstrong Williams:
In 2009, when Sanford was still a married governor, he disappeared to see Chapur in Buenos Aires. He told his staff, who told reporters, that he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail."
He became a national laughingstock. But he garnered at least some sympathy when he gave a tearful news conference in which he called Chapur his "soulmate." His wife, Jenny, filed for divorce later in the year, and she wrote a scathing book in 2010.
Sanford confirmed in a Saturday statement that he and Chapur are now engaged. On Wednesday, he told the Star that the reaction to the announcement has been "really pleasant and overwhelming and most kind."
Asked if he had feared the reaction, he said, "Well, every step of life is a new step of life, so, you know, you enter any new step of life with some degree of trepidation. But, you know, you see the people coming up and introducing themselves. If you walk with me, you'll see the reaction, which has just been overwhelmingly positive and kind."
He would not reveal the wedding plans. "I'm not gonna let you make news on that front," he said.
Possibly in Sanford's future: confessional writing. One woman on radio row approached him to ask if he would participate in a book she is publishing. The subject: "redemption."