No inkling of a resignation in his 800-word OpEd in The State today. But he is really, really, sorry:
It’s in the spirit of making good from bad that I am committing to you and the larger family of South Carolinians to use this experience both to trust God in his larger work of changing me and, from my end, to work to becoming a better and more effective leader.
I think all that has transpired will be particularly relevant in the way I deal with the legislative body and other state leaders going forward. Micah 6:8 asks us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly, and as I begin these steps into the last 18 months of this administration, it will indeed be with a more contrite and humble spirit.
I’ve realized that as much as I have and will continue to advocate for things ranging from restructuring to responsible spending to school choice, my approach needs to be less about my will and more about looking for ways to more humbly present the greater principals and ideas at play.
Via Steve Benen, “Sanford will, in other words, keep pushing the same conservative agenda, but this time, with a meeker, ‘less strident’ persona. The embarrassment — for Sanford and the state — will continue.”
The more interesting Sanford-related news this weekend was Friday’s revelation of David Gregory’s groveling to get him on Meet the Press:
Gregory’s first email to [Sanford’s press secretary, Joel] Sawyer was sent at 12:24 p.m. on Wednesday June 24 — that is, after Sanford had admitted to The State that he had actually been in Argentina, but before the famed stream-of-consciousness press conference where he admitted to an affair. Gregory wrote:
Hey Joel …
Left you a message. Wanted you to hear directly from me that I want to have the Gov on Sunday on Meet The Press. I think it’s exactly the right forum to answer the questions about his trip as well as giving him a platform to discuss the economy/stimulus and the future of the party. You know he will get a fair shake from me and coming on MTP puts all of this to rest.
Let’s talk when you can.
Gregory left two different phone numbers.
After the press conference, Sawyer replied:
Thank you very much for taking the time to personally reach out to us. For the time being, we’re just going to let what the governor said today stand on its own. If we do some interviews in the future, I’ll let you know as soon as possible.
Gregory followed up quickly: “You aren’t doing anything at all this week…no other intvus anywhere?” Sawyer replied that they weren’t.
Gregory gave it one last shot:
Look, you guys have a lot of pitches .. I get it and I know this is a tough situation … Let me just say this is the place to have a wider conversation with some context about not just the personal but also the future for him and the party … This situation only exacerbates the issue of how the GOP recovers when another national leader suffers a setback like this. So coming on Meet The Press allows you to frame the conversation how you really want to…and then move on. You can see (sic) you have done your interview and then move on. Consider it.
Sawyer did not respond.
Lindsay Beyerstein calls that the Burger King model of journalism: Have it Your Way.
After looking at all 570 pages of Sanford emails posted online (pdf) by The Charleston Post and Courier, Zachary Roth concludes:
When you read the emails by Gregory, King, Stephanopoulos and others, you start to understand why most major network interviews with politicians tend to be a lot less hard hitting than they need to be to really hold their subjects accountable. The politicians themselves have the power to make or break the networks, by granting or withholding access. That ends up meaning that, consciously or not, the networks soften their approaches — both in their pitches, and in their actual interviews — in exchange for that access.
That’s how the world works, and it’s hard to know what to do about it.
ABC’s Jake Tapper did some Sanford stroking, too, emailing Sawyer that NBC’s coverage was “slimy” and “insulting.” And here some details of how the conservative media curried favor by dismissing the missing Sanford story as one whipped up by the liberal media.