Jenny Sanford for Governor: Kudlow, Moore Urge S.C. First Lady to Run for Husband's Seat

July 1st, 2009 9:50 AM

While many on the left are reveling in the downfall of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford after he disclosed his affair with a woman in Argentina, there's a sympathetic figure being overlooked that might have the necessary background to fill the void left by the governor should he resign.

On CNBC's June 30 "The Kudlow Report," Wall Street Journal senior economics writer Steve Moore explained his close relationship with the Sanfords and raised a new political possibility.

"This is such a tough thing for me Larry, because as you know Mark Sanford has been a long-time friend of mine," Moore said. "This story truly breaks my heart." Moore suggested that South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford run for her husband's seat - as he called her "the brains of the operation."

You know what's interesting? I'll just pose one thought here," Moore said. "What about Jenny Sanford as a candidate? She was always the brains of the operation and she's a sympathetic figure. She's smart. Maybe she's the next leader of South Carolina."

Jenny Sanford is a Georgetown-educated, former Wall Street executive, according to the Associated Press. The Office of the S.C. Governor Web page says "she worked for the investment banking firm Lazard Freres & Co in New York from 1984 through 1990, including serving as vice president in mergers and acquisitions." "Around South Carolina, Jenny Sanford is regarded as a strong-minded figure, accomplished and politically astute," added AP.

Kudlow too shares a close personal relationship with the Sanford family, he mentioned more than once. "Both Steve and I know the Sanfords quite well," Kudlow said. "We see them every New Year's at a conference called ‘The Awakening.' I'm not here to beat up on Mark Sanford. I think he has to do his duty and resign."

But Kudlow also made the case for Jenny Sanford as a candidate for the South Carolina Governor's Mansion. 

"His wife Jenny was his campaign manager for Congress and the statehouse," Kudlow continued. "She is a brilliant woman. She is showing a lot of character and integrity during this personal and emotional crisis. And Steve Moore's call for her to run for governor is something everybody ought to think about."