Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina has a girlfriend named Maria in Buenos Aires.
It’s only because Michael Jackson died that this story is off the front pages, I’m convinced. And it’s still all over the rest of the paper. The media really love to talk about politicians getting a little hoochy-coochy on the side – apparently because so many people like to read about it. I don’t know. Chicken and egg, I would think.
The story goes on and on. This morning, the San Francisco Chronicle had an article about a bunch of journalists camped out at an apartment house on Republica de la India Street in Buenos Aires trying to find out which of the five Marias who live in the building is the Maria.
I know where that is. It’s the street facing the Zoological Garden, between Las Heras and Libertador, one street in from Sarmiento, which runs down from the Plaza Italia. Fly me down (business class, please – no more of those excruciating eleven hour flights in the back of the plane) and I could take you right there.
See how easy it is to get caught up? Everybody’s got a hook. Mine is a love of Buenos Aires and pride in knowing my way around.
But it turns out there’s another hook. My first reaction to the story was give the guy a break. Why this eternal infernal fuss over the fact politicians have sex urges and the power to act on them? On top of that, as a friend pointed out, it sounds like a real affair of the heart. The man is in love. Why not let him divorce his wife and start over with Maria. Tell the kids it has nothing to do with them, stay in close touch and get on with it. Tell the media to go suck eggs and put your life back together. Or tell Maria it was a lovely run but it’s wife and family that count and just get on with it.
Especially poignant, in my view, is the fact that somehow they got hold of his love e-mails to Maria. Now why are we reading other people’s mail? I asked that question right before clicking on the link, of course, to read his mail. Wow. Looks like this guy is in love. Maybe we should cut him some slack. Mind our own business. Is there ever enough love? Shouldn't we embrace it when we see it?
Then I read that Mark Sanford was a big supporter of the Defence of Marriage Act.
Oh. Republican politician. Defence of Marriage.
Stew, Mark Sanford. Stew.