The Buzz reported today:
Old habits appear to die hard for comeback kid U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, who is, again, sleeping on a futon in his congressional office. Or so Sanford told The Hilton Head Island Packet last week. This year, Sanford won back the 1st District congressional seat that he first held from 1995 to 2001. But the former S.C. governor likely is sleeping alone on his office futon, which fiancé Maria Belén Chapur of Buenos Aires evidently is not enamored of. Chapur is “not in that program,” Sanford told the Island Packet.
From the Island Packet story:
The 53-year-old speaks of being in a new round of life, one in which he better appreciates vulnerability. He said it has led to deep conversations to get to know congressmen much different from himself as human beings, not public personas.
And it has led him to deny reports he is leaning toward Buddhism. That was fueled when he talked openly about living in the present and learning the value of quiet time and meditation when he returned as a sad figure to the stillness of the family farm on the Whale Branch River.
Sanford seems to have taken a bit of Lowcountry Zen with him back into the fracas. Back onto the futon.
As I noted before, the Sanford “family farm” is actually a plantation.
Chris Moody interviewed Sanford back in May and asked him about Buddhism:
Sanford told me that his interest in Buddhism stretches back three years, to when he retreated to his remote family farm after his term as governor ended—a term marked by scandal over his secretly leaving the country to be with his Argentine mistress, whom he now plans to marry.
While in exile, Sanford began studying meditation, a practice he continues to this day.
“A buddy of mine said, ‘Mark, you’re becoming a Buddhist Christian.’ I come from the Christian faith. That’s my faith tradition. But what I do like about Buddhism is the idea of being present,” Sanford said during the car ride. “I think that that’s missed in Western culture, where we’re so busy looking a week out, two weeks out, a month out, a year out, and we’re hurried and we’re busy. And I think if there’s any one thing I learned from that year I spent on the farm in the wake of getting out of office and just having a very, very quiet year, is the importance of stillness and quietness. And that extends beyond just the physical location. It extends really into the moment of, are you really with that person or are you thinking of the next thing you’ve got to do? So I do like very much that part of Buddhism. I think it’s right.”
Sanford declined to describe his meditation techniques, but said, “I’ve tried to be disciplined about a quiet time each day.”
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.