Where in Argentina Was Mark Sanford Driving?

imageThe dog ate my homework. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. I was driving along the coastline of Argentina. Who among us hasn’t used one of these clever excuses when confronted by a displeased teacher, testy Congressional committee, or angry electorate? South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford went AWOL last week and used that last bit about a jaunt along the South American coast to cover for his whereabouts. Allegedly, Sanford chose Buenos Aires as a more “exotic” destination than his first cover story of unreachably hiking the Appalachian Trail. Exotic like that drive along Argentina’s exotic coastline. So exotic, in fact, that it was exotic even by Argentine standards. If you look at a map of Argentina, it might seem that there are endless coastal roads, with crashing waves and sandy beaches. But in actuality, the majority of roads run inland and eventually turn off at coastal towns. Maybe he was referring to the few miles of road along the Buenos Aires coastline known as La Costanera, which are dotted with carritos (street meat carts) and a few restaurants. In that case he could have used our handy Buenos Aires guide and dropped by Los Platitos for a steak while he was at it.

In an even more bizarre twist, there’s word/justification from the Gov’s camp that the MIA politician has long admired Argentina’s social security system (huh?). Lying about your whereabouts just to see this clunky hallmark of the Peronist political model first-hand is strange, surely. Or is there more? Could we be looking at the US’s first elected Peronist politico? Was there a secret meeting with Argentina’s fiercely Peronist prez Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner? Or perhaps a tryst? Note to the governor: next time you go MIA (missing in Argentina) and people ask you where you were, it’s a much safer bet to simply say “I don’t know, but there was lots of grass and a bunch of cows.” Or you could throw your arms up and exclaim for all the world to hear “Viva Peron!”

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