When I got home from work late last night, the long-awaited GOP-party conference-call (what we in the left used to call a "fry meeting"--since one person was getting fried by everyone else) was still in session. Eventually it ran to four hours, if you can believe it.
Mark Sanford has weathered the storm and emerged with only a "censure" from the state party.
Jonathan Martin and Andy Barr at Politico report:
Well, the good thing is... we will not have Andre Bauer to contend with. If you've noticed South Carolina liberals (we do exist) and Democrats being rather reticent and/or reluctant concerning the possibility of Sanford's resignation, Bauer is the reason. Fact: If Bauer is suddenly made incumbent governor, it might well be impossible to get rid of his religious-fanatic ass. The whole situation is worrisome, but I prefer a lame-duck laughingstock to Bauer, who will invariably stick his big nose in everything.
The South Carolina Republican Party voted to censure Gov. Mark Sanford Monday rather than call for his resignation — an outcome that makes it likely the GOP governor will be able to weather the storm surrounding his extramarital affair and remain in office.
The vote of the state GOP executive committee took place late Monday night following a nearly four-hour-long conference call and three rounds of ballots aimed at getting a majority of the committee to either censure, support or ask the governor to resign.
The censure finally agreed to by the committee called the governor's behavior a breach of "the public’s trust and confidence in his ability to effectively perform the duties of his office."
Sanford was also criticized by the committee for failing to adhere to the "core principles and beliefs" of the Republican Party, though the censure noted that "barring further revelation" Monday's action would be "the party’s last word on the matter."
The final vote was 22 to censure, 10 calling for resignation and 9 supporting the governor.
"The events of the past two weeks have been as divisive as they have been disappointing for Republicans. But today has brought a large measure of resolution to a sad chapter in our State Party’s history," South Carolina GOP Chairman Karen Floyd said in a statement following the vote. "Republicans came together to speak with a unified voice, and now is the time for healing."
Though Monday’s vote does not have any binding effect on the governor, it serves as a sign that even many of Sanford’s enemies among the state party establishment may no longer have the will to continue calling for his resignation, barring any unforeseen or additional disclosures about the governor’s personal life.
And the scandal-mongering part of me wants Sanford to entertain us even more before he leaves office. Honestly, I think the Sanford Saga is far from over, and he will hang around on the national scene for a long time... he is like a terrier. He ain't hollering uncle; so, so southern.
Stay tuned, sports fans.