As Warren Harding, Sarah Palin and Chauncey Gardener proved before him, if you are a big enough idiot, people will think you profound and elect you to things over and over. From a review of a new memoir by disgraced former SC Governor and current Congresscritter Mark Sanford, a brush with greatness:
And just as Sanford became a national figure in the stimulus battle against the Obama administration, just “when veep speculation was at its not very considerable height,” came the fall. The governor’s conversations with the staff shortly after his infidelity speech were exquisite in their inanity and self-involvement. “I just wanted to say the obvious, which is the obvious,” the boss began. “I mean, the obvious — which is that I caused the storm we’re in now.” He also mentioned reading “Man’s Search for Meaning,” the Auschwitz memoir by Viktor Frankl. “You can find beauty, you can find reasons to keep going, in the most appalling circumstances,” Sanford lectured. “We’re not in a concentration camp. So let’s not stay in the dumps.”
Swaim was tasked with rewriting the governor’s form letters to scrub terms such as “integrity” or “honesty” that would remind recipients of the scandal. The boss also told him to “come up with a few examples from the Bible — or from history, or from whatever — that kind of show, you know, how when you’ve made a mess, you can do the best you can to clean it up, you make it right the best you can, and you keep going."
Sanford did keep going. Despite impeachment calls, he served out his second term and now represents South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District after winning a 2013 special election. Swaim left the governor’s office in 2010, but not before delivering one last time for his boss.
The governor was about to address an electric-bus company, and he’d rejected every idea for the speech. Suddenly, Swaim found the answer: It was Rosa Parks’s birthday. “Rosa Parks thought about buses in a new way,” he explained to the governor. “What she did on a bus changed the world. What [the company] is doing with an old idea — the bus idea — has the potential to change the world. Both take courage. The one changed society for the better and made us a better nation. The other is improving our quality of life. . . . Something like that.”
The boss approved. “It was absolutely ridiculous,” the speechwriter writes. “But it was perfect.”