Mark Sanford, the former Governor of South Carolina whose political ambitions were sidetracked in 2009 after it was revealed he had an affair with an Argentinian woman, was in the news again yesterday. He is evidently likely to announce that he will run for the Congressional seat vacated by Tim Scott, who was selected by Governor Nikki Haley to replace outgoing Senator Jim DeMint. (All are Republicans.)
Sanford became somewhat of a laughingstock after his affair became public. He had claimed to be on a solo hike on the Appalachian Trail when in fact he was in Argentina visiting his girlfriend, Maria Belen Chapur. The fact that he was Republican of course spurred the media to mock him in any way they could.
With all politicians, the possibility of sociopathy always looms, and I wondered about that after Sanford's lies surfaced. But those suspicions disappeared the moment I saw a clip of his press conference.
There he stood, wearing a sad sack expression, seeming genuinely contrite, telling the world that Chapur was his "soulmate." Sanford was 49 when he said that.
Anybody who believes in the concept of a "soulmate," especially at that age, is a sap. And sappiness and sociopathy simply don't go together.
Sociopaths are the opposite of sappy.
Maybe the media was right to mock Sanford, but at least he's not a sociopath, which is more than can be said for a lot of politicians.