Mark Sanford’s Epic Facebook Overshare

In a seemingly endless 2,300-word rant, the South Carolina congressman shared his family and relationship drama with the world on Friday afternoon.

Davis Turner/Getty

Not that anybody asked to hear them, but Congressman Mark Sanford has a lot of thoughts about his personal life and things that have nothing to do with the business of being a federal lawmaker.

And, like any other old person, he has taken to his Facebook page to share them. Some 2,343 words, or 12,312 characters, or 87.9 tweets-worth of thoughts, to be exact.

In the rambling Friday afternoon Facebook post, Sanford announced how he plans to deal with being sued—again— by his ex-wife, over the visitation schedule for their sons, and that he has called off his engagement to his former mistress.

You may recall Sanford rose to national notoriety in June 2009, when, as the then-governor of South Carolina, he disappeared for six days and, by way of explanation, gave what will surely go down in history as the greatest excuse of all time: He had been hiking the Appalachian Trail! In reality, he and been off in Argentina with his girlfriend, unbeknownst to his wife. After being found out, Sanford resigned as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, his wife divorced him, she wrote a tell-all book… and then Sanford got elected to Congress a few years later because God Bless America.

Comma-averse Sanford begins his Facebook rant by apologizing for its completely unreasonable length: “But given the gravity of the issue at hand when I sat down to write late last night a long list of things came to my mind.” If you say so.

He starts off with some riffing on history and Jesus about the nature of conflict, and then tells of how he learned, through the media, that the former Mrs. Sanford, Jenny Sullivan, had decided to bring “yet another lawsuit” against him.

Sanford informs that he plans to get a lawyer, whom he will “instruct… not to fight back.” He then acknowledges that lawyers are expensive, but he has to get lawyers “so that I can focus without further distraction on… my work in Washington.” Sanford goes into great detail about who took what assets in the divorce (she got the house and full custody of their children) as a way of explaining “the degree to which what’s being done seems designed to embarrass me rather than change anything.”

Sanford then quotes the summons he received from Sullivan’s attorney at length, which stipulates that Sanford cannot be “under the influence of illegal drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol” around their youngest son, Blake. Sanford writes: “This is really crazy,” because he’s never had any kind of problem with drugs or alcohol.

Sanford is also barred from allowing his son to be exposed to his former mistress, Belen (Belen!): “Exposing the minor child overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related by blood who could be reasonably construed as a paramour.” Sanford hits back at Sullivan, who “has certainly not lived up to this clause.”

Because “no relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter… Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement.”

Sanford then goes into great detail about how great Belen is, before describing “an array of programs and evaluations, each one more riveting than the next” that his ex “and her lawyer” have asked him to undergo. Sanford says he obviously doesn’t have any psychological or psychiatric issues because he’s a “public figure,” and someone surely would have noticed by now if he did.

Then, Sanford gets a little testy: “In simplest form I don’t understand how I can be elected by a wide array of folks at home to attempt to represent their interests in Washington, but, if the plaintiff’s view was to prevail, be required to take psychiatric and psychological evaluations to be with our youngest son.” Yes, nothing says mentally stable like running for office.

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Sanford writes more about God, concedes his ex is not actually a bad person, shares that his “wise oldest son who’s wisdom is to follow Christ’s example of just letting go and trusting God is in control and will ensure his youngest brother’s future success [sic],” and declares himself “left humbled in my inability to determine outcomes and reminded again of how the only thing we can ultimately work on fixing is ourselves.”

In closing, “This posting has been most personal, but again given the gravity of what has been alleged I felt compelled to address it and the larger context of where our family and where we are headed. I ask for both your prayers and consideration in this process.”

Let’s pray he gets an editor.

The world is on fire, and one of our nation’s 435 members of the House of Representatives thinks that the state of his personal life is so important to the public, he wrote 2,343 words on it. I can’t believe congressional approval is at 14 percent.