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Will Mark Sanford's run for Congress be marred by past transgressions?




South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attends the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford attends the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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In some places, "hiking in the Appalachians" has become a euphemism for having an extra-marital affair, thanks to South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who used that as an explanation for his six-day disappearance back in 2009.

He was actually in Argentina, engaged in an extra-marital affair. But that was four years ago, and now Sanford is back in politics, running as a Republican in a special election for an open Congressional seat in South Carolina.

His opponent is Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, but the race has mostly revolved around whether Mark Sanford could convince voters he's moved past his mistakes.

So far, the results have been mixed. Robert Oldendick, a long time South Carolina political observer, and a political science professor at the University of South Carolina, joins the show to give us a sense of how people in the state are feeling about Sanford. 

The details in the Sanford case may be new, but we've seen this before: A politician, usually a man, has an affair. Things go public, the politician is disgraced. Fast-forward a little, and that politician often comes back.

These days, image rehabilitation is a pretty good business to be in, since there never seems to be a shortage of public figures getting themselves in trouble. Lance Ignon with the crisis management firm, Sitrick and Company, knows all about image rehabilitation. He joins the show to fill us in on what Sanford has to do to convince voters he's a changed man.