Gov. Sanford Mystery Solved: Flew to Argentina to be a Gaucho Cowboy, (Maybe)

June 24, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The mystery of the whereabouts of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is getting stranger and stranger, and well more hilarious as the days go on.

Despite the governor’s aides’ insistence that he was hiking along the Appalachian trial, Sanford finally arrived home on Wednesday, telling a South Carolina newspaper that he had considered hiking but instead, jumped on a plane to Argentina, because he wanted to visit an “exotic” location.

Gov. Sanford, known for his extreme right-wing conservatism, had managed to anger just about everyone in his financially strapped state, by stubbornly refusing to accept millions of dollars of federal stimulus money to help the unemployed and fund education, at a time when unemployment rates climbed in the double digits to 10.4 percent, and his state’s schools are crumbling from neglect, disrepair and years of under funding.

Sanford just lost a court battle with his own state legislature to block the federal stimulus funds.

Then Gov. Sanford really began acting strangely, if refusing millions of dollars to help the people of his state wasn’t strange enough. He left his office on Thursday, saying goodbye to his staff, driving away in a sport-utility vehicle that is usually driven by his bodyguard and turned off his cell phone.

Gov. Sanford just left town, without telling his staff, family, security detail or the lieutenant governor, who demanded on Monday to speak to Sanford and be told of his whereabouts, setting off the search for the “missing” governor.

His aides apparently had no idea where the Governor was, saying he needed to get away on father’s day weekend to work on some projects and was hiking along the Appalachian trail. But a federal agent tracked the “missing” state vehicle to the airport and spotted Sanford boarding a plane at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

Sanford’s wife didn’t know where her husband was, saying he needed to get away to “write” and as of Tuesday she still had not heard from him, although he called in to his office. When his staffers told Sanford, of the brouhaha over his disappearance, he was “taken aback” by all the interest and decided to cut his secret sojourn short and return home on Wednesday.

So, what did Gov. Sanford find so compelling in the “exotic” South American country of Argentina? It’s unlikely Sanford planned to stash some cash in an off shore account, because Argentina doesn’t offer a tax haven. And if Sanford was on the lam, looking for a place to hideout, safe from extradition to the United States, that wouldn’t have worked either, because the U.S. has an extradition treaty with Argentina.

The only explanation left is that Gov. Sanford longed to roam the vast flat plains of the Pampas on horseback, dressed as a romantic Spanish cowboy, called a gaucho. With a warm breeze whistling through the Pampas, softly blowing in Sanford’s ears under his cowboy hat, he may have found the solitude he has been longing for.

Or perhaps, he roamed the back streets and barrios of Buenos Aires, watching the exotic tango dancers, searching his soul, chastened by his battles to deprive his state’s citizens of unemployment benefits and decent schools. And then again, perhaps not.

Was Gov. Sanford alone while he played Spanish gaucho cowboy and roamed the Buenos Aires cafes? Was his companion male or female?

These speculations and many more will surface in the days and weeks ahead, until Gov. Sanford decides to reveal his whereabouts and explain his erratic behavior to his constituents and family.

Meanwhile it’s fun to speculate. Picturing Gov. Sanford astride a horse dressed like a Spanish cowboy is a more appealing image than the one of him hiking naked on the Appalachian Trail to celebrate Naked Hiking Day.


One Response to “Gov. Sanford Mystery Solved: Flew to Argentina to be a Gaucho Cowboy, (Maybe)”

  1. Gov. Sanford’s Trip to Argentina Was to Cheat on His Wife and Four Kids | ChattahBox News Blog on June 24th, 2009 4:07 pm

    […] Sanford appeared at a scheduled news conference amid rumors and speculation regarding his mysterious disappearance, since last […]

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