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A year after public downfall, SC governor thrives

Jun 24, 2010 3:58:00 PM - thestate.com
The governor who became the butt of late-night jokes for "hiking the Appalachian Trail" may be having the last laugh.

A year after South Carolina's Mark Sanford tearfully confessed an extramarital affair, the Republican has won a major state budget victory and seen his hand-chosen candidate nominated to succeed him. He's even won standing ovations from Republicans who months ago called for his resignation.

"There are any number of different levels of ironies," Sanford allowed earlier this week at a Republican breakfast to recognize the party's slate of candidates in November.

Most experts do not foresee Sanford's political career rising from the wreckage of last year's scandal, but he's making the most of his final months in office. Term limits require him to leave in January.

Last spring, Sanford was seen as a possible ultraconservative contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)