You’ve surely heard about it, if you’re reading this from the other side (i.e. the Western) of the Big Pond, and word has spread over to us here on the European side as well: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, missing for six days, turned out not to have gone hiking in those Appalachian Mountains that he loves so well, as his office staff claimed, but instead jetted down to Buenos Aires to meet with a local Latin lover there – supposedly employing all those five days (left after you subtract travel time) to put an end to the relationship. This the governor tearfully acknowledged to the world at a bizarre press-conference yesterday.
Who better to look to for a first take on all this than the French? (Other than the Argentinians, but this weblog is called EuroSavant). For that we can go to L’Express’ correspondent in the States, Philippe Coste, and his blog-entry The governor and his labrynth. You might recall – although it was more than ten years ago – that the French, in particular, were mystified by the whole to-do around the Monica Lewinsky affair and President Clinton’s impeachment; powerful French politicians, all the way up to past President François Mitterand (and for that matter – who knows? – even president-at-that-time Jacques Chirac), had routinely kept mistresses on the side, but these had always been kept decorously hushed-up, in keeping with the French electorate’s acceptance of and lack of interest in such things. (more…)