Opinion: Jenny Sanford, book deal in hand, makes first public appearance since splitting the governor’s mansion


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She never played it like the good wife, standing dutifully by as her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, went gaga over his love affair with a Argentine woman, a tryst that prompted him to go AWOL from his gubernatorial duties last June. You remember, the guy they called the ‘Love Guv,’ the one who suffered what the Washington Post called an ‘Appalachian-Trail-no-wait-I-mean-Argentine-mistress meltdown.’

Now, South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford will make her first public appearance since separating from her scandal-plagued husband and moving out of the governor’s mansion in August. An aide announced that Saturday she’ll participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a Charleston-area 5K run/walk to benefit breast cancer research.


Jenny Sanford, who moved with the couple’s four sons to their beach home on the South Carolina coast, is also writing a memoir. According to Ballantine Books, which plans to publish the ‘inspirational’ tell-all next May, the former investment banker will talk about her transition from Wall Street executive to Southern political spouse, and about ‘the universal issue of maintaining integrity and a sense of self during life’s difficult times.’

As for the governor, once considered a likely Republican candidate for president in 2012, he still lives at the mansion, and still talks about serving out his term, which ends in early 2011. And the marriage? A former advisor called it effectively over, saying the book is part of the rehabilitation process. ‘This book is a personal story of pain. It’s not a feminist statement. Frankly, I’ve never seen someone as loyal to her husband as Jenny has been to Mark, and this is what it’s left her with. It’s just a tragedy,” the former advisor said.

-- Johanna Neuman

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