Mark Sanford and "Nancy Pelosi" (marksanford.com)
Mark Sanford and “Nancy Pelosi” (marksanford.com)

Oh, what wonderfully strange experience it has been watching Mark Sanford’s very public quest for political redemption. The former South Carolina governor, who ditched his wife and four sons on Father’s Day weekend in 2009 to be with his babe in Buenos Aires, hopes voters in the First Congressional district will forget all about that and vote today to return him to the seat he once held.

Here’s the crazy thing, Sanford could still win this thing.

Yeah, we found out about his trespassing problem. We looked askance at his explanation that he didn’t want his young son to watch the Super Bowl alone. We thought it odd he would use his cell phone for illumination when confronted by his ex-wife instead of the porch light. We thought it odder still that he’d give us his personal cellphone in a whiny full-page newspaper ad. We thought it lacking in class and caring that Sanford introduced his mistress-turned-fiance to all of us, including his sons, during his runoff victory speech last month. And we tittered as he opted to run against Nancy Pelosi instead of his real opponent, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur (Bruce Smith/AP)
Mark Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur (Bruce Smith/Associated Press)

And none of this might matter. David Quick of the Charleston Post and Courier tweeted a quote from Bruce Davis that one Palmetto State friend said “is the clearest available explanation of why Mark Sanford remains viable.” The 73-year-old told Quick he voted for Sanford “because Obama’s agenda is worse than Sanford’s mistakes.” In a district where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took nearly 60 percent of the vote, Davis and others like him could give Sanford the redemption he desperately wants.

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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.