A South Carolina Revival

Maybe Mark Sanford will take a victory hike now. Exceeding all expectations, the former governor and Appalachian Trail hiker regained his old congressional seat, whipping Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch by 9 points in a May 7 special election.

His victory seemed so unlikely three weeks ago--when a report emerged that his ex-wife Jenny had filed a complaint that he violated their divorce agreement by showing up at her house without permission--that the National Republican Congressional Committee pulled its cash from his race. Local Republicans fled whenever reporters asked if they supported him.

Sanford was easy to underestimate. Political comebacks following flamboyant...

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