Yesterday, Mark Sanford, former governor of South Carolina, won the SC special election to reclaim his seat as the state’s 1st congressional district representative. He beat out Stephen Colbert’s sister, democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, proving that he was in fact the better candidate — a point few would dispute considering Busch’s lack of political experience (she was a first-time democratic candidate running in a strongly republican district).
All of this sounds like pretty standard election talk, right? Well, take into account the fact that in 2009 Sanford disappeared for six days, igniting one of the decade’s more memorable political scandals. The then-governor had turned off all his phones, refused to answer text messages (typical dude) and was non-responsive to emails. His wife didn’t know where he was, but wasn’t worried, saying he disappears all the time (casual), and his office eventually released a statement citing Sanford was hiking the Appalachian trail. Natch this was just a coverup.
In truth, the governor was in Buenos Aires with a mistress he had met there eight years prior in an open-air club. The two had been carrying on an on-again/off-again affair ever since. The story received nation-wide coverage, which lead to a lot of jokes and criticism and even a few memes. Logically, his political career should have been over. But this is America, and America loves a good comeback story.
To further prove this, I’ve rounded up some of the best career comebacks in American history. Only here, people. Only here.