Now South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is saying that when he disappeared for days, untraceable by his colleagues and even his wife, he wasn’t hiking on the Appalachian Trail — nude or otherwise — but “recharging” in Buenos Aires. We’re sure this will add to the yap-yap and blah-blah from self-righteous commentators (“Eccentric disappearances are bad enough, but eccentric disappearances plus lies?”) the story has incited. But we find the errant governor’s adventure exciting — the sort of thing old rotogravures would report with a full-page map of the Americas and photographic call-outs of Sanford, a Peruvian peasant with a flute to represent Argentina, a toothless hillbilly to represent the Appalachian Trail, and perhaps a “Mystery Woman” and a Sopwith Camel.
What others see as intolerable irresponsibility or a new clue in whatever the popular Permanent Government conspiracy theory prevails nowadays, we see as a breath of fresh air in the usually airless, joyless world of American politics. Once upon a time our leaders were able, thanks to limited telecommunications and a complaisant press, to occasionally indulge in whores, dope, and other hobbies without the whole world having to be up in their business. Our only disappointment is that Sanford hasn’t just said, “None of your beeswax,” and given the press the finger. His popularity would probably increase if he did.
In fact, we may just go off the grid. Here are your tantalizing hints: Rio. Or, T.O. An Alpine pickaxe. Mme. LeBain’s, SW1. A pair of gloves, lace-trimmed. Have fun! We certainly will.