Jenny and Mark Sanford on Election Night 2002 (Lou Krasky/AP)
Jenny and Mark Sanford on Election Night 2002 (Lou Krasky/AP)

Mark Sanford can’t get out of his own way. When he was governor of South Carolina, he ruined his political career and destroyed his marriage by flitting off to Buenos Aires to be with his mistress (now fiancee). Today, Sanford is trying to mount a comeback by running for his old congressional seat. But his run is now clouded by a back-and-forth with his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, over an alleged violation of their divorce agreement.

According to court documents obtained by the Associated Press yesterday, “The complaint says Jenny Sanford confronted the former governor leaving her Sullivans Island home on Feb. 3 by a rear door, using his cell phone for a flashlight. Her attorney filed the complaint the next day.” The former Mrs. Sanford confirmed the complaint. For his part, Sanford pinned the violation on the Super Bowl in a statement released late this morning.

I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14 year old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.

C’mon, man! Even I have the Super Bowl on my calendar. That he didn’t bother to make plans to watch the big game with his young son earns major side eyes from me. And what’s with meeting “her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone”? Was there no light switch to flip? And how about the not-so-subtle dig at Jenny’s parenting skills? She leaves their 14-year-old son alone during the weekend and can’t be reached. Classy.

The one place where I think Sanford (Mark, that is) has a legitimate beef is when he wonders aloud how “sealed” records made their way into the public domain. Especially since said seal was to help shield the Sanford children from their parents’ messy divorce. Also, Sanford is right to point out the curious timing of the revelation of this embarrassing episode. It comes before voters go to the polls on May 7 to decide between Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D). The hearing is set for May 9.

“I am doing my best not to get in the way of his race,” Jenny Sanford told the AP. “I want him to sink or swim on his own. For the sake of my children, I’m trying my best not to get in the way, but he makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.” This, ladies and gentlemen, is schadenfreude at its finest.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.