Sanford Confusion: Gov’s Office Won’t Say They’ve Talked To Him

June 22, 2009 1:59 p.m.

The Where In The World Is Mark Sanford story is only getting weirder.

The office of the Lieutenant Governor, Andre Bauer, is now telling reporters that the governor’s office says it’s reached Sanford and that he’s fine. (Bauer would take over the governor’s duties in an emergency.)But here’s the thing: The governor’s staff himself doesn’t seem willing to confirm that directly to the press. Instead, Sanford’s spokesman Joel Sawyer released the following statement

Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside. We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements.

Then a few hours later, Sawyer followed that up with a second statement:

The governor put in a lot of time during this last legislative session, and after the session winds down, it’s not uncommon for him to go out of pocket for a few days at a time to clear his head. Obviously, that’s going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he’d be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.

In neither of these statements is Sanford’s office saying that they’ve been in touch with him. Indeed, the clear implication is that they haven’t been, or presumably they’d say they have.

In fact, it’s unclear how closely the office even knows the guv’s whereabouts. If it did, why the need to track his cellphone location? And if he told his office, why didn’t he tell his wife?

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