Thursday, June 25, 2009

The State Reporter Describes How She Tracked Down Sanford at Airport on a Hunch

Reporter Gina Smith wrote a first-person piece in this morning's The State of Columbia, S.C., on how her hunch concerning Gov. Mark Sanford lead her to the airport and a meeting with the now-disgraced politician. (It could be that the newspaper had the e-mails from the governor describing the love affair six months ago, but there's more.)

“Is he there? Is he there?” I kept asking myself as I craned my neck, flipped on my digital recorder and booted up my digital camera.

It’s how you think when you’re playing a hunch, following an anonymous tip that Sanford would be on the plane and anonymous, unverifiable e-mails about an alleged affair between Sanford and woman from Argentina.

Then, my jaw dropped when Sanford appeared. My camera flashed, almost as a reflex.

“Governor,” I called. “Hey. It’s Gina with The State paper. Everybody’s been worried about where you’ve been. ... Have you been on the Appalachian Trail?”

“Well, that’s where I had planned to go when I decided to take a break ...” Sanford said, his voice trailing off. He suggested we grab a seat and have a talk.

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