Missing: One South Carolina governor. Has sentimental value...

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is missing. Or was missing, anyway. Sanford apparently left his mansion on Thursday and wasn't heard from for days. On Monday afternoon the Lt. Governor's office said they had been in touch with him and his wife told reporters that she wasn't worried.

What do comedian Will Ferrell and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have in common? Both have been to the Land of the Lost. Let's just hope Sanford fares better...

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.

"I was recently made aware that Governor Sanford has frequently been eluding [gubernatorial security] agents and disappearing at odd times," Senator Jake Knotts said.

"As the head of our state, in the unfortunate event of a state of emergency or homeland security situation, Governor Sanford should be available at all times to the Chief of [security]," the senator said.

Gary Karr, who served as press secretary to former South Carolina Governor David Beasley, agrees. He told The Vote that "someone should know where Sanford is."

"He's the CEO of a multi-billion operation," Karr said. "Doesn't mean everybody and his brother needs to know, but someone needs to be able to reach him."

"Governors should be allowed some time off, but if you are serious about running a state someone should know where you are at all times," he continued. "It's early and probably not much of a threat, but it is hurricane season. It's just a wee bit important for the governor to be reachable in those sorts of emergencies

Did Karr ever lose Gov. Beasley?

"Me personally, I don't recall any time where I 'lost' him," Karr said. "But, I am pretty certain he never went on an extended trip without at least one security detail."


Hey, we promise to never elude you. And if we do, we'll Twitter it so you always know where we are. So follow us!

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