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The things you miss when you're at work. Obviously the big political news of today is the shocking departure of Jim DeMint as he prepares to leave the Senate for the Heritage Foundation, which has set off a mad scramble amongst the legion of hopefuls hoping to either be named by Nikki Haley to the seat or run in the expected special election in 2014. And while the speculation ranges from everything from a BBQ chain owner being named as a placeholder to the possibility of a black Senator in the cradle of the Confederacy to the possibility of Haley appointing herself, there is one possible successor that definitely made me sit up and take notice.

Think you never had to see him again? Think again, because look who might be coming back from the Appalachian Trail:

With JimDeMint set to leave the Senate in January, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford (R) is reportedly considering running for his seat.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Sanford, who left office in 2011 after serving two terms as governor, won't rule out running for DeMint's seat in 2014.

"It's not a 'no,' but it's not a 'yes," he said.

Yep, everyone's favorite nature-hiking adulterer is considering making a comeback. But what makes him think he can make a successful return to politics after becoming a national joke and making "hiking the Appalachian Trail" political slang for adultery?
Despite his low profile in recent years, Sanford said he's open to a return to politics.

"Second acts are what marks the American experiment and is something at one level or another we all hope for," Sanford said. "If there's anything that I've learned in life, it has many surprises, strange turns and twists...You never say never."

Given the modern GOP's endlessly forgiving nature for its own (so much so that a figure as massively disgraced as Ralph Reed can make a triumphant return to influence and power in the conservative movement), one can't fault Sanford for his optimism.  It also probably doesn't hurt him that he's engaged to Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentinian woman he had his wild nature hikes with, which allows him to potray his foibles as an act of true love instead of a horny hypocrite engaging in the sort of activity he scolded Bill Clinton for doing. Who knows, he might pull it off.

One things for sure; it's going to be a wild ride down in the Palmetto State.


Can Mark Sanford make a successful comeback?

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