Speaking of people who were supposed to be Republican stars, David Frum made a good point about former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford earlier today:
This whole GOP race would have been radically different if Mark Sanford had been happier in his marriage.
As far as ambitious conservative governors go, Sanford was the more intelligent alternative to Rick Perry. He married the Perry’s right-wing conservativism with competence and a more serious concern for policy. His career was centered on social conservatism and rock-ribbed opposition to government spending – to wit, he was one of the handful of GOP governors who loudly opposed the stimulus bill. Yes, he was untested on the national stage, but something tells me that he would have been a little more disciplined – and a lot more serious – than the Texas governor. And in a world where Sanford was the conservative choice, I’m not sure than Mitt Romney would be doing as well as he is now.