The Republican Party owes Sanford nothing. He had a chance and he blew it. National Review wasted five years of cover stories on how awesome he was, but he never accomplished anything of substance.
He showed off about getting his hair done at Super Cuts, sleeping in his office in Congress and not turning on the air conditioning in the governor’s mansion. He wore the same pair of shoes for 30 years — they’ve been re-soled 70 times!
Big deal. He saved taxpayers $300 in petty cash, but he didn’t implement any lasting reforms.
The most memorable thing Sanford did in his entire life was to make himself a laughingstock as governor by running off with his Argentine honey and then going on TV to announce — in front of his wife and children — “I’ve fallen in love!”