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hiking near beach
He's baaaaack.
Dear South Carolina: We need to talk. Specifically, what the hell is up with you?

The rest of us have put up with an awful lot, over the years, and that's even including all the stuff you get away when we're all off shaking our heads at Florida. But if your state is seriously entertaining the notion of putting disgraced ex-Governor Mark Sanford back in government, it may be time for an intervention. This is a fellow whose career came to an end when he (1) disappeared from his state entirely, leaving no indication of his whereabouts even to his own staff, until (2) the staff finally had to invent the excuse that Sanford was off "hiking the Appalachian Trail," an excuse that (3) then took a turn towards the very, very bad when various wags pointed out that he was apparently "hiking the Appalachian Trail" during the Appalachian Trail's "Naked Hiking Day," which is both really a thing and, as it turns out, a bit closer to the mark than anyone had yet realized, because then (4) it turned out that Sanford actually was on a clandestine trip to South America in order to continue a long-time affair with long-time girlfriend and (5) his wife, hilariously, basically told the press that as far as she was concerned he could go to hell. And there was more, but that's just the highlights. It all sounded like what you'd get if you tasked Dick Morris with writing the Twilight saga.

But no, three or four years is apparently now penitence enough for South Carolina Republicans, 80 percent of whom have secret South American girlfriends they're not telling you about. So they want him to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

In an interview, the former South Carolina governor said he’d been by bombarded Thursday by calls and emails from former donors and allies encouraging him to consider a run in the 2014 election for Mr. DeMint’s seat. And, guess what? He’s not dismissing the idea.

“It’s not a ‘no,’ but it’s not a ‘yes,’ ” Mr. Sanford said.

South Carolina, what the hell are you thinking?

On the other hand, I was sketching things out the other evening, and I believe we may at this point be very, very close to being able to set up a shadow government consisting solely of sex-disgraced former elected officials. A shadow House, a shadow Senate, the whole thing. While it is unclear precisely what this merry band of misfits might do, and the less imagined about that the better, probably, I think Mark Sanford might have a very good chance at a leadership position in the group. When ex-politicians get together to discuss how their careers eventually went to hell in a handbasket, there are very few people in the country who can match the story that Mark Sanford can tell. I mean, naked hiking day? C'mon.

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