Mark Sanford has been holding a televised cabinet meeting this afternoon.
And the South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn’t back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching on that front. What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily, he fell in very very significant ways. But then picked up the pieces and built from there.
As King of Israel and Judea, David saw Bathsheba in the bath (he was walking on the roof at the time, goes the story) and immediately had to have her. After getting her pregnant, he tried to conceal it by ordering her husband Uriah to return from war and sleep with Bathsheba, so that the baby would be thought of as Uriah’s.
But Uriah preferred to remain at war. So David gave an order that Uriah should be abandoned in battle, ensuring his death. Then he married Bathsheba.
When all this came out — thanks to an intrepid reporter from the Bethlehem-based State, who was tipped to emails exchanged between David and Bathsheba, then staked out David at the Jerusalem airport — David refused to resign as king of Judea. His presidential hopes also took a hit.
Late Update: In a statement issued after the meeting, Sanford doubled down on the David analogy:
I remain committed to rebuilding the trust that has been committed to me over the next 18 months, and it is my hope that I am able to follow the example set by David in the Bible – who after his fall from grace humbly refocused on the work at hand. By doing so, I will ultimately better serve in every area of my life, and I am committed to doing so.