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Why hold Mark Sanford to a higher standard than Ted Kennedy?

Race could be affected by people sitting at home on election day

Cross-posted from The Quinton Report

I previously wrote about how I thought Sanford would be bad for the 1st District in South Carolina back before the runoff in the Republican Primary. Now that he’s won the primary, I haven’t changed my mind.

I didn’t blog anymore on the primary or runoff, but from what I’d been hearing from friends following the race both in the district and out of the district, they expected Sanford to get the nomination and lose the general election to Stephen Colbert’s sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Sanford only won because of his name ID in a very crowded field in the primary. The race appears to be tight with Sanford in a slight lead in the last polling I saw. He could still squeak by with a win or he could lose. He just keeps having bad news pop up, however.

In light of all this, and the news that Colbert Busch’s Twitter account had been scrubbed to remove more liberal tweets, a blogger for the Charleston Tea Party wrote a defense of Sanford.

In it the author, identified only as Tiger66, writes the following:

Sanford is a flawed candidate, but this election can’t possibly be about character.  Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton were wonderfully decent and honorable men, and their lack of character never held them back.   Why hold Sanford up to a higher standard?

Sure, let’s lower the standards because the other side does it, or everyone else does it. This is flawed thinking to some of my friends who live in the district and probably to many others there and decent people anywhere.

I know of at least one friend who didn’t vote for Sanford in the primary or runoff who is seriously considering sitting this special election out. The State reports on Sanford and women’s reactions to this special election. The story focuses on Julie Bell, “ a Republican activist and former member of the Beaufort County School Board who has decided not to support GOP nominee Mark Sanford in his bid for the 1st Congressional District seat.” Based on the article, it appears Bell will be sitting the special election out since she says she can’t vote for Colbert Busch.

A special election is all about turnout. When you throw in all the national money the Democrats are going to throw at this race and then add in the fact that national Republicans have pulled out, it could foretell doom for Sanford, especially when there are people talking about sitting the election out.

The best conservatives could possibly hope for might be rebooting things next year with a full primary campaign where Sanford’s name ID and other advantages won’t have as much impact. Either way, whoever wins will face a strong challenge next year, and, in the case of a Sanford victory, it would be strong primary opposition

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