December 15, 2009

What's next for Jenny Sanford?

Posted: 01:46 PM ET

By Andy Barr via Politico

After spending years as a key player on her husband’s political team, South Carolina’s soon-to-be ex-First Lady Jenny Sanford now finds her own prospective political career the subject of considerable speculation.

With extensive connections, an impressive resume of her own, access to the state’s top fundraisers and a widespread belief that she played a central role in her husband’s political successes, Jenny Sanford has South Carolina political insiders wondering privately and in local political blogs whether a run for Congress—or even governor—is on the horizon.

Sanford announced Friday that she is divorcing Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, whose once-bright national political career was crippled by his admission of an extramarital affair.

While Jenny Sanford has avoided mention of any political ambitions of her own, her background suggests she’s well-equipped for a run for public office. After serving as her husband’s campaign manager both for his first run for Congress in 1994 and his initial run for governor in 2002, she emerged as a backroom powerbroker with ties to the state’s political elite.

And prior to her work on her husband’s campaigns, Sanford was an accomplished investment banker who became vice president of mergers and acquisitions at Lazard, the New York investment bank, by the age of 27.

“From my personal knowledge of her personal intellect and demeanor, I know that she is one of the most talented and smartest political operatives I have ever seen,” said Katon Dawson, the former chairman of the South Carolina GOP and longtime confidant of the Sanfords.

Indeed, some even credit Jenny Sanford with helping to save her embattled husband's job this summer. While she notably did not appear by his side at the press conference where he admitted to his infidelity—and quickly moved out of the governor’s mansion—when pressure for the governor to resign was at a fever pitch in July, it was she who reached out to state legislative leaders to quell the calls for his job.


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • Politics

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Joanne   December 15th, 2009 10:59 pm ET

Jenny Sanford is a woman to be admired for sure!

Gerald Jolly   December 16th, 2009 12:28 am ET

Mrs. Stanford did the right thing.

She preserved her integrity and we can only hope that she takes the adulterer to the cleaners.

Ted   December 16th, 2009 1:51 pm ET

We are throwing stones again where we do not know the details, why did he have an affair.
She could have been a wife with a "constant headache, I am tired tonight or as good with sex as the lovely Rubber Maid you can buy for a few bucks. I had a few friends over the years who had such complaints. This is simply a supposition, however it bothers me that always the men are crucified for a little extra sex, but nobody asks why did he do it. She may also done it, just did not get cought.
It is their own business so we should not put our nose into private affairs.

What is more important what did he do as the governor and that is the reason he should be dealt with.

howard s   December 16th, 2009 2:21 pm ET

she's very strong well educated & intelligent, she will be fine..he can go to SoAmerica, his soul mate is waiting..

carolyn   December 16th, 2009 3:28 pm ET

Whats next? Well, lets see...she is beautiful, well educated her kids are almost grown and has done a splendid job with them. Hopefully, she will meet someone that can honor her.

Avery   January 2nd, 2010 2:54 am ET

She's a modern women with a backbone, yay!! I don't know how women stay with their husbands after sleeping with hookers and such? Yuck. You've got to have really low self-esteem or you don't have sex with him anyway so you let him run around? But she doesn't need to stay for the money, she seems more than capable to make it own her own! It's how it should be. Life's too short to settle for crumbs.

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