south carolina governor sanfordI’m willing to bet most of us with office jobs have had more than our fair share of “I wonder if I could sneak out of here and get a hike in” moments … probably most often the day after a good rain, when the air is clear and California views stretch for miles. But I’m also willing to bet that most of us are fairly responsible workers, who would at least have the decency to call in to let our workmates know where we are.

Not so for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, apparently. He’d been missing for several days, and no one knew where he was – not even his wife. Now, after the entire state was going insane trying to figure out who was officially in charge, a spokesman for the Governor came clean and said Sanford was spending a few days hiking the Appalachian Trail.

There appears to be some confusion over who, exactly, was in-the-know on this one. The Lieutenant Governor said he knew where Sanford was, but when he tried to get in touch with the Governor, he was told by the chief-of-staff that the Governor was out and they didn’t know where he was.

I don’t know much about Governor Sanford other than he was one of the governors making a bunch of noise about not accepting federal stimulus money, then ended up being forced to accept by his state’s Supreme Court … but who are we to deny a hard-working public servant a little R&R in the wilderness? Let’s face it, there are far worse things an elected official could be doing to recharge his or her batteries.

But Governor, at least have the good sense to tell someone where you’re going – it’s the most important safety step a hiker can take. And, maybe next time, take a note from Justice Souter and just wait until your term is done to do some serious hiking.

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