Mark Sanford Is Not Shermanesque

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Mark Sanford at the RNC. Photo: Dan Amira/New York Magazine

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford doesn't want to talk about his recent engagement to his former mistress, Argentine Maria Belén Chapur. "I think that's all well chronicled," he told us when we ran into him just now. It is indeed: According to Clarin, an Argentine newspaper, Sanford proposed last Wednesday at a restaurant in Buenos Aires. "When Chapur arrived, the waiter met her and announced that she had won 'a prize' for being the 100th client of the day," according to an English translation. "She opened the bag and found the ring. She was confused. Sanford appeared and made his declaration of love."

While Sanford was unwilling to discuss the intimate details of his love life with a total stranger who intended to reprint all those details on the Internet, he was, after much goading, slightly more willing to discuss his future. Asked to make a Shermanesque statement of disinterest regarding a return to politics, Sanford refused.

"Believe me, what I've learned in life is you never say 'never' about a lot things," he told me. Much like the Appalachian trails he once pretended to hike, "there's a lot of strange turns and twists that you don't anticipate, that you don't see coming. That's the reality of life. And so, I don't make Shermanesque comments on anything. I sort of take it a day at a time. That's my theory in life at this point."