Sanford and staff have clammed up for now, in preparation for a 2 p.m. press conference.
While it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the press conference ends up getting postponed — my professional diagnosis: too many questions and loose ends, and not so much “too little time” as “no good answers” — there’s no harm if we also prepare ourselves. Here, then, gathered up in one convenient post, are some things to watch out for (including some previous hypotheses, dusted off and refurbished to fit new facts):
Sanford claims he flew out of Columbia Metropolitan Airport last Thursday (but returned to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta “to avoid the media”). However, a “mobile telephone tower in Atlanta near Hartsfield airport (picked) up a signal from Sanford’s phone last Thursday.
Last Friday, “Law enforcement officials (got) no response to phone and text messages sent to Sanford.” I had not previously read that law enforcement officials got into the act last Friday, just 24 hours after Sanford innocuously slipped away to recharge his batteries, allegedly without causing any alarm, either to his family or his staff. (Please see: “It’s going to be interesting to watch as intrepid investigators try to untangle exactly how many different lies have been told in the last few days, and by whom.”)
How come the intrepid law enforcement officials who presumably turned up that mobile telephone tower trace in Atlanta, failed to turn up Sanford’s airline ticket to Buenos Aires?
Did Sanford, as he impulsively set out for Buenos Aires, say to himself, with a delighted chuckle: “What a great joke it will be on my Republican political rivals in the great state of South Carolina, and on the media too, forsooth, if I fly under an assumed name so that my movements later appear to be fraught with mystery!”? And did he just happen to be carrying with him a fake passport that allowed him to travel under an assumed name?
Or did he manage to bend a few rules, and fly off on somebody’s private plane without leaving any kind of paper trail? (Perhaps because, when the plane took off, he had every intention of flying to that metaphorical domestic destination, “the Appalachian Trail”, and Buenos Aires was a post-takeoff inspiration?) Somebody who never came forward publicly yesterday to explain that they knew where Sanford was, and never made a private call to Sanford’s wife to let her know that all was well.
Did Sanford really call his staff yesterday? Did they not ask, and did he not tell them, where he was? Or did he instruct them not to tell anyone he had been in Buenos Aires?
Finally (it has to be asked): is the real explanation simply that Sanford was on a secret undercover mission for Rush Limbaugh (nullus), and can never breathe to a living soul what brave and courageous acts he committed for his party?