On Tuesday’s NOW with Alex Wagner, the panel discussed second acts and double standards–specifically, the special election in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, pitting former South Carolina Republican Governor Mark Sanford against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch.
“He’s [Sanford] certainly not the first guy to point out that he’s a human being,” said Julia Reed, author of the new book “But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!” “You’ve got to be as bad as John Edwards, who is siring a child out of wedlock while your wife is dying of cancer and using money illegally in some insane scheme to pay for this going on–that, you don’t come back from. But pretty much everything else, you’ve got a shot!”
Alex Wagner read a passage from Frank Bruni’s New York Times column from over the weekend in which he argued that a female political candidate would not be given the same kind of chance after admitting to an extramarital affair. Bruni writes, “Had a Southern governor named Marcia Sanford been entangled with a Latin lover when reputedly hiking the Appalachian Trail, would she today be her party’s nominee for an open Congressional seat?”
Reed agreed that there’s definitely a double standard. “There’s also a double standard in the kind of bad behavior you get up to,” she said. “Anthony Weiner freaks people out. There’s something more pathological about tweeting images of your crotch to people you’ve never met. At least Sanford had this passionate thing. It was like Lifetime TV.”