Ad: Mark Sanford Should Just Keep Walking

"Mark Sanford walked out on us, violated our trust ... maybe Mark Sanford should just keep walking."

This is a brutal ad:

National Journal‘s Sarah Mimms:

Just one day after the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled its support for former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford‘s special election campaign, its Democratic counterpart is going up on the air in the First District.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will launch the new television spot in the district Friday and is spending more than $188,000 to run the ad on broadcast television stations in the Charleston and Savannah, Ga., markets through April 28, according to two national Republican media strategists. The DCCC ad will also run on cable television, but that buy will come through sometime later Thursday.

The ad features a figure hiking a mountain trail as the narrator intones, “Mark Sanford walked out on us, violated our trust … maybe Mark Sanford should just keep walking.” Though the ad focuses on the ethics charges against him and his six-day absence from the state in 2009 (while he was in Argentina), those lines clearly conjure up the affair. Implicit is the message that Sanford walked out on voters and violated their trust, just as he walked out on Jenny Sanford.

The ad comes on the heels not only of the trespassing scandal that came to light on Tuesday evening, but just a day after the Democratic group House Majority PAC launched its own television spot in the district. That ad also focused on ethics violations against Sanford during his time as governor and hinted strongly at the affair. That seems to be Democrats’ strategy, as they try to counteract Sanford’s fiscal record and capitalize on his problems with female voters.

But here’s the thing: Is there anybody likely to vote in a special election in South Carolina who doesn’t already have a strong opinion on Sanford’s affair and bizarre conduct surrounding it? This is a clever reminder but who is it that needs reminding? Surely, it isn’t “female voters.”

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Argon says:

    It’s a reminder to vote, perhaps for those who normally wouldn’t take the trouble to vote in a special election. You see, most people have probably made up their minds about Sanford but a fair number may not have decided whether to vote.

  2. Caj says:

    Yes Mr Sandford those boots are made for walking and that’s exactly what he should do, keep on walking! Lying through his teeth to his family, staff and constituents. Family values! Give me a break. Sadly the Republican Party have no shame, none at all.