When Mark Sanford was governor, he abandoned South Carolina. There's simply no way of getting around that fact. He knows it. I've spoken to him about it personally on multiple occasions.
He screwed up royally. He also abandoned his wife and has been busy making amends with his four sons since, as well as apologizing about every chance he has gotten.
Once Jim DeMint prematurely left the U.S. Senate, dominoes fell in place for Sanford to get back into public life at least a couple of years before he had planned, not counting his Fox News gig.
He was reluctant to step into the First Congressional District race to replace Tim Scott, who was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to replace DeMint in the Senate. But after he and advisers did some talking and touching base with supporters and strategists, as well as some polling, they decided it was time. And maybe it is. He received the most votes in a crowded 16-person field yesterday in the Republican primary, and if he wins the runoff will face the sister of Stephen Colbert to represent the First District in the House.
Heady stuff. The lesson for me? That people are capable of forgiving just about anything when they are so moved to do so. They are doing it for Sanford. But I certainly hope they don't forget to do so when it comes to people who are on the other end of the scale, those who have none of the power or influence or riches available to someone like Sanford.
He had everything and screwed up royally, while a lot of the people we find it hardest to forgive are those who have nothing or very little or have been downtrodden all of their lives.
It's good to extend good will to a character such as Sanford.
It's better to extend it to others less well-off.