Yes, it’s Sanford’s real number


In a full-page newspaper ad this week, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford described what a tough week it had been for his campaign for Congress and defended himself against the recent leak of court documents showing that his ex-wife had accused him of trespassing. “I did, indeed, watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because, as a father, I didn’t think he should sit alone and watch it,” his long letter explained. Especially not the commercials or that halftime show.

He also described “huge liberal special interests” opposing him and said “the only way I can now win this is for you to run your own campaign against them. I’d ask that you copy this letter and send it to ten friends or call ten friends every time you see one of their ads.”

That will work.

“The Democrats’ ads will tell you none of this, so if you have further questions call me at the campaign office . . . or even on my cell,” the letter continued, providing both numbers.

If you still couldn’t guess that the campaign was not going well, the letter concludes with an Alamo comparison — possibly not the most encouraging message a campaign could send.

I said as much to Sanford over the phone Monday. (It turns out that really is his cellphone number.)

This is some strange courage. I try not to give out my cellphone number. If pressed, I will give out my college roommate’s. (Sorry about those 2 a.m. calls!) Sanford said he realizes it is “unusual by most standards,” which describes his campaign in a nutshell.

When I asked him to unpack the Alamo metaphor a little, he laughed heartily. “A number of folks have said, ‘Hey, Mark, you realize, everybody died,’ ” he admitted. “I guess there was a bigger point I was trying to make there. That guy and those men were ultimately committed to their cause.” His phone has been ringing off the hook, he says.

“I leave you with one last thought,” his open letter ends. “In March of 1863, there was similarly little time. (The efforts of) a South Carolinian by the name of William Travis . . . and of those who died with him there at the Alamo, ultimately inspired Texans to . . . defeat Santa Anna’s army though they were outnumbered at the onset by six to one. I’m outnumbered right now, but will fight to the end toward freedom and financial sanity in Washington so important to sustaining it.”

By the way, the fight at the Alamo was in 1836.

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