The last time I wrote about Mark Sanford I called him “truly ridiculous.” That was just on Monday. But leave it to the lovelorn former governor who violated the no-trespass rule of his divorce agreement to catapult from ridiculous to absurd.

Sanford is running for his old congressional seat against Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Before the May 7 election, Sanford wanted to debate her four times. But Colbert Busch agreed yesterday to only one get-together. So Sanford today went to the site of what he said “would have been the first debate between himself and his opponent.” Not only that, he showed up with a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi and “debated” it.

Mark Sanford and “Nancy Pelosi” (

“Nancy Pelosi and other national Democrats have contributed nearly $1 million to [Colbert Busch’s] effort, and we know what Nancy Pelosi stands for – she is anti-Boeing, pro-stimulus, pro-Obamacare and supports raising the debt ceiling,” Sanford said in a statement on his Web site. “But because my opponent is refusing joint appearances  to answer questions about where she stands on the issues, all we can assume is that she is going to be a reliable vote for the Pelosi-Obama agenda, were she to be elected.”

Running against Pelosi is no surprise in a red state such as South Carolina, especially since, as Rachel Weiner points out, “Pelosi is the best known and least liked leader in Congress, according to a new Gallup poll.” But even the most rock-ribbed Republican must be looking at Sanford’s antics today and thinking, “What in the…..?!”

For her part, Colbert Busch said, “If we had a longer period of time, for sure” she’d do more debates. “I want to get to know the district. I already know Mark.” Unfortunately, we all already know Mark. What I want to know is who is the well-heeled staffer who had the humiliating task of holding “Pelosi” in place?

UPDATE [4:15 p.m.]: Here is the video of Mark Sanford “debating” a cardboard cutout of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. All I can say is wow, just wow.

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