The XX Factor

Jenny Sanford Gets the “Vogue” Treatment

Jenny Sanford has been fairly quiet in the months since her husband, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, held that bizarro, totally captivating press conference admitting to an affair with his Argentinean sweetheart. She’s broken her silence by giving an interview to Vogue , of all places. Sanford gets the standard Vogue treatment: an off-hand reference to her association with the Kennedys, the implication that she’s so down-to-earth, despite the million-dollar view from her island abode. But what’s really notable about the article are the retrograde notions Sanford has about her husband’s dalliance:

Midlife aging is different for men than for women … Mark is worried about what his next job is. He worries about making money, running for office again, his legacy. I know my legacy is my children. I don’t worry about that.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with making your children your first priority. But the implication that all women are satisfied with having their children as their legacy, while men are not, is total nonsense. It’s such nonsense coming from a woman like Jenny Sanford-a woman who was a successful investment banker and who ran her husband’s campaign-it makes me wonder if she has an ulterior motive with presenting herself as a 50s throwback. Perhaps she’s trying to save her husband’s ailing career and her family’s legacy.

Sanford makes many references to her faith and how she’s forgiven her husband already. (“I am not in charge of revenge. That’s not up to me. That’s for the Lord to decide, and it’s important for me to teach that to my boys. All I can do is forgive.”) Is Jenny Sanford trying to save her husband’s rep with the Christian right, and ultimately reverse his political fortunes? Or am I overanalyzing?