Turns out Mark Sanford was not hiking in Appalachia, naked or otherwise, during his mysterious seven-day vanishing act. As the governor admitted during the obligatory tearful news conference Wednesday, he spent Father’s Day weekend having an affair with a “dear, dear friend” in Argentina. Family values strike again.

Sanford’s admission comes hot on the heels of fellow Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, who, after years of lecturing the country and Bill Clinton about the sanctity of marriage, copped to his own philandering.

Do these guys think they’re going to get away with it? Sanford isn’t some backwater governor nobody pays attention to. He was the head of the Republican Governors Association (he has resigned, naturally), was a contender for his party’s 2012 presidential nomination, and recently threw himself into the national spotlight by refusing federal stimulus money.

AP via Google:

After going AWOL for seven days, Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Wednesday that he’d secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he’d been having an affair. He apologized to his wife and four sons and said he will resign as head of the Republican Governors Association.

“I’ve let down a lot of people, that’s the bottom line,” the 49-year-old governor said at a news conference where he choked up as he ruminated with remarkable frankness on God’s law, moral absolutes and following one’s heart. His family did not attend.

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