Mark Sanford for President

If the Republicans need their own Bill Clinton, how about Mark Sanford?

Stephen Green correctly notes that the huge popularity George H.W. Bush enjoyed in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War scared off the Big Name Democrats from the 1992 field and thus, indirectly, gave Bill Clinton the presidency.

Steve sees a possible repeat:

President Obama looked weak after the midterms, but he has very quickly reestablished his “relevance” in Washington. From here, the 2012 electoral math looks daunting — which might well be why the GOP field is notable for its emptiness.


But without significant improvement (or at least the expectation of improvement) in the jobs picture and with continued flaccidity on the international scene, America could sour on the President, and quickly, too.

That said, the current Brand Name Republicans are almost all dismally unappealing, each uniquely so. So the idea of the party producing its own Clinton next year might be its best idea in ages.

What would that look like?

  1. Smart, competent, Southern state governor
  2. Proclivity for reckless sexual misconduct
  3. Shamelessness about #2 in public
  4. Cries on cue

Reading between the lines, Mark Sanford would be the obvious choice.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Humor, The Presidency, , ,
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. tom p says:

    thanx, I needed that.

  2. TG Chicago says:

    …the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War scared off the Big Name Democrats from the 1992 field…

    I’m not disputing this (in fact, I’ve always assumed it to be correct), but someone please refresh my memory as to who the Big Name Democrats were that were scared off?

    Wikipedia mentions Mario Cuomo. I guess Dick Gephardt probably counts. Paul Simon? Al Gore said he didn’t run because of his son’s accident, but perhaps that was only part of the reason. Gary Hart and Joe Biden were both still smarting from their problems in the ’88 campaign. Jesse Jackson had peaked in 84. Ted Kennedy seems unlikely.

    Am I forgetting anybody?

  3. EddieInCA says:

    Who should be VP?

    John Ensign?
    David Vitter?

  4. Peterh says:

    The Appalachian Trail doesn’t hit Iowa and is a daunting hike to New Hampshire…..DOA….

  5. Have it Your Way says:

    Please, don’t even kid about a Sanford run! It might jump start his ego again and before you know it he’ll be on all the talk shows trying to revamp his history ad nauseum. Let him live out his delusions in seclusion with his booty call, Maria Belen Chapur.