Most of us can escape for a few hours or maybe even a day or two without a lot of hoopla.
When you're a standing governor, you don't get that luxury. You live under a microscope. You're lucky if you can hit the restroom without an escort. This all makes today's news that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has been missing for four days outright astonishing.
Sanford apparently left the governor's mansion in a black SUV on Thursday. His last known whereabouts, according to phone records, was somewhere near Atlanta.
His wife told the Associated Press that he needed time away from their children to "write something". Apparently his children are really annoying or his writing project was really important, as he turned off both of his mobile phones (state and personal) and hadn't responded to text messages or emails.
Is everyone in a panic?
Nah. The First Lady said she wasn't concerned. The Lt. Governor's office said Sanford has been reached. And his office put out a statement this afternoon.
"Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session, and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside. We are not going to discuss the specifics of his travel arrangements or his security arrangements."
Perhaps they won't talk about security arrangements because the governor gave them the slip too. One state senator told Columbia's State newspaper that Sanford has made a practice out of sneaking out.