Sanford's communications director resigns

Joel Sawyer says his decision has nothing to do with his boss' troubles


Alex Koppelman
July 17, 2009 10:45PM (UTC)

As if South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford didn't have enough problems already, he's now lost the man charged with spinning all those troubles away. The governor's communications director, Joel Sawyer, has announced that he's resigning for a job in the private sector, effective Aug. 5.

In a statement, Sawyer said his decision had nothing to do with his boss' recent travails. “I want to be crystal clear that my departure is purely about what's best for me and my family on a personal and financial level,” Sawyer said. “I wish Mark and the rest of my talented and dedicated colleagues the best."

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At some point, though, Sawyer's resignation became inevitable -- and it certainly seems linked to Sanford's actions. Having the job of trying to defend the governor can't have been easy or stress-free recently, and beyond that, Sanford made Sawyer and his other staffers into liars, and publicly. After that, it's hard for a spokesman to maintain credibility with the reporters he's working with, and probably hard not to resent what his boss did to him, as well.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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