Sanford concedes, requests stimulus money

The South Carolina governor, one of the most vocal stimulus opponents, will continue his fight, but his political goals have been achieved.

Published April 3, 2009 3:15PM (EDT)

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has been one of the fiercest, and most vocal, opponents of the stimulus, fighting hard against accepting all of the money designated for his state even despite the objections of some fellow Republicans. For the moment, though, he's surrendered, and has officially requested the funding.

That doesn't mean Sanford's done fighting, though. The governor has been trying to get a waiver to use $700 million of the funding in order to pay down the state's debt. The administration has rejected him twice, but he says he's going to try to work something out with the legislature.

At this point, however, it doesn't really matter that much. Sanford's gotten what he needs out of this -- namely, the political boost with Republican voters that comes with having been the most prominent of the anti-stimulus governors. Many political observers see him as positioning himself to make a run at the presidency in 2012, and this fight will help him with that.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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