South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, an often-cited presidential contender, walked unannounced into the woods, and until yesterday, nobody—not his staff, not his security detail, not his family—knew where he was. Neither staff members nor his wife seemed too worried—both said it's a particular idiosyncrasy of Sanford's to just wander off from time to time—but Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who's long had a testy relationship with Sanford, asked the legitimate question of hey, when does this mean I'm in charge? Finally last night staffers announced he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, though just where on along the trail was not clear. Another release this morning said Sanford would be back in the office tomorrow and that he "was somewhat taken aback by all of the interest this trip has gotten." Really, Mark?
The other ongoing source of bizarro Republican moves is, of course, Twitter. The latest addition to that hall of fame is former speaker of the Florida House and current Senate candidate Marco Rubio:
He's mostly avoided a huge media reaction, maybe because that statement is true enough. Things would certainly be "different" with more guns in the mix. But a dicey suggestion nonetheless.
Politico has a great story this morning on Sen. Richard Burr's growing feud with Public Policy Polling, the pollsters whose numbers are suggesting he's vulnerable. They're a Democratic firm, Republicans say, and shouldn't be driving the story.
Odds & Ends:
- L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is out of the California gubernatorial race, leaving the Democratic primary a battle between the old—72-year-old Attorney General (and former Gov.) Jerry Brown—and the young—41-year-old San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
- Sonia Sotomayor is not looking like enough of a campaign issue for the GOP to put up a big fight.
- Sen. Chris Dodd switches to support full gay marriage rights.
- Obama has yet another presser at 12:30 today.