The XX Factor

Mark Sanford: The Most Emo Politician Ever

Amanda, I agree with you that the New York Times profile of Mark Sanford was pretty soft on the lame duck South Carolina governor. But what I was most struck by was how overwrought Sanford continues to be in public. When asked about the embarrassing affair with an Argentinean woman that nearly cost him his job, Sanford said, “I wanted to curl up…I wanted to go down to my farm in Beaufort County and never see another TV for the rest of my life.” He sounds like a wounded teenager, who just wants to crawl into a hole and die! Then he gets new-agey. “I’ve been on a really big journey over the past 17 months in political terms,” he tells the Times . “But I’ve been on an even bigger inner journey.”

Last week Hanna wrote about all the male politicians with active tear ducts , and how favorably the public responds to public displays of male emotion. South Carolinians have forgiven the emo king of the GOP, but if his protégé Nikki Haley started boo-hooing about how much the accusations of an affair made her want to “curl up,” do you think she’d be getting the same amount of sympathy?

Photograph of Mark Sanford by Alex Wong/Getty Images.