1. Who was the happiest guy in the world when the news of Governor Mark Sanford's affair with a woman in Argentina became public?
2. Who was the happiest guy in the world when news of Michael Jackson's death broke?
Answer to 1: Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
Answer to 2: Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Let me explain. The juicy details and the bizarre missing persons act surrounding the Sanford affair revelations eclipsed most all news of the Ensign affair, a rather standard affair which occurred with one of his own Hill staffers. I'm sure the Senator was mighty relieved to be off the front page. I'm also certain that the Governor felt the same type of relief, not that he wished death upon anybody. However, only a sudden death to an icon such as Jackson could have pried Sanford off the front page.
Ensign may be back in the news, at least temporarily, as the Las Vegas Sun has posted his apology letter to his mistress (Hat Tip: Political Wire). It's a classic: "I was completely self-centered and only thinking of myself. I used you for my own pleasure.... It was sin. God never intended for me to do this. I walked away from Him and my relationship with Him has suffered terribly. I know He loves me and He loves you. He wants to restore Doug and you." (For those of you interested in the juicy details, including emails, of the Sanford affair, see The State's coverage.)
These are not the first two public figures to get caught stepping out on their spouses, just the two latest. The list is endless and includes people from all walks of life, all parties, all ideologies. I am still baffled at this kind of reckless behavior from the most public of figures.
Somebody told me the other day that the problem is that public figures think they're bulletproof, that no one can touch them, and that they'll never get caught. This is a foolish notion, particularly in the 21st Century when most every person is equipped with a cell phone with video and picture taking capability. Every person on the street is a potential citizen journalist just one click away from posting a video on You Tube and exposing the lies of any public figure. Big Brother is everywhere and he's every one of us. No one is bulletproof anymore.