Why is Jenny Sanford being seriously considered for the senate?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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As you might have heard, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has narrowed the list of candidates she’s considering to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint down to five.

Oddly, one of the candidates on the list is Jenny Sanford.

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake writes,

Even before the scandal, Jenny Sanford was long regarded as a sharp political mind and someone who could run for political office in her own right in the future.


Picking a buzzworthy woman could also help Haley beat back any criticism should might face by not picking Scott, who would become the only African-American senator. Sanford is a sympathetic figure in South Carolina who was popular as first lady.

There is little doubt that Jenny Sanford is intelligent and charismatic. So is my wife. Should she be governor of Virginia?

To be sure, she was clearly wronged by her husband (Mrs. Sanford that is — not Mrs. Lewis!). But should that be enough to put her on an equal plane with people who, you know, have actually been elected to the U.S. Congress?  Apparently so — at least, in Nikki Haley’s world (or is her name just being floated, with no real intention of considering her?)

According to the bio,

Jenny Sullivan Sanford was born and raised in Winnetka, Illinois. A graduate of Georgetown University, she worked for six years at the Wall Street investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co. in New York before moving with her then-husband, Mark Sanford, to South Carolina, where she quickly gained another kind of business experience as manager of his successful political campaigns for both Congress and Governor.

So she’s an out-of-stater who worked on Wall Street. Sounds perfect to me … Oh yeah, she also managed campaigns. (So has James Carville).

This raises a few questions: Do we even know where she stands on any of the major issues of the day? And does being the smart ex-wife of a disgraced governor qualify you to be a U.S. senator? (Sure, Hillary Clinton rose from Arkansas first lady, to FLOTUS, to U.S. senate, to Secretary of State. She was also married to a creep. But she was first lady of the United States. … And she actually won a hard-fought election to the senate.)

Honestly, wouldn’t Stephen Colbert be an equally qualified pick? And he actually grew up in South Carolina.

Matt K. Lewis