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TOP OF THE TICKET : Sanford's wife backs his ex-ally

November 15, 2009|Andrew Malcolm and Johanna Neuman

She is the political wife who bucked tradition. When scandal struck her husband, the governor of South Carolina, she did not stand by his side. Instead, Jenny Sanford packed up her things and their four children and moved out of the governor's mansion for the family's home on Sullivan's Island.

On Thursday she issued a letter supporting another "principled, conservative, tough and smart" woman in the crowded Republican primary to succeed Mark Sanford. (You may recall that the governor, who once had presidential aspirations, went AWOL last summer, telling his staff he was hiking along the Appalachian Trail while he was actually in Argentina visiting his mistress.)

Jenny Sanford's pick for South Carolina's next governor, state Rep. Nikki Haley, was once a strong ally of Gov. Sanford, but in the wake of the scandal over his disappearance and his affair, she distanced herself, removing his photo from her campaign website.

This is one endorsement that could actually carry some weight. Jenny Sanford, a former Wall Street executive, was instrumental in managing her husband's campaigns, and has a network of supporters around the state.

"It sends a signal that you might not be wasting your vote," said Danielle Vinson, a political scientist at Furman University.


Want fries with that barbed wire?

With the U.S. unemployment rate now having climbed into double digits and no dip in sight, here's one job opening that's, well, still open.

McDonald's is looking for an assistant manager willing to relocate to the one McDonald's burger joint on the communist island of Cuba. That McDonald's is, however, still able to serve freedom fries because it's located on the 45-square-mile U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

Yes, yes, on his first workday after experiencing Aretha Franklin's inaugural hat, President Obama promised to close the prison at Guantanamo within one year.

That promise, like a few others, has been delayed indefinitely, however, because not even Delaware has offered to take any of the detainees kept there.

And, anyway, even when the prison does close, that will affect only about 215 of the base's 6,000 residents.

So plenty of McWhatevers still to go around on that corner of Cuba.

Besides ample sun and being surrounded by miles of barbed wire and numerous rapid-firing guns, the job at the fast-food franchise has a few perks. They include possible tax-free status for year-round residents and half your rent paid. No mention of salary in the Worker Wanted ad.


Neuman writes for The Times.

Top of the Ticket, The Times' blog on national politics ( "> ), is a blend of commentary, analysis and news. These are selections from the last week.

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