Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Wouldn't Want Joel Sawyer's Job

As I read news reports about the mysterious and secretive five-day disappearance of South Carolina's Governor Mark Sanford, I was glad I wasn't his spokesperson. As the state's legislative leaders discussed whether to declare a state of emergency so they could transfer power to somebody who would actually be available should there be a need for executive leadership, the governor's spokesman had no choice but to wing it. Joel Sawyer said the gov was taking some time off to recharge and "to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside." Later, it was reported that Sanford was hiking the Appalachian Trail, which conflicted with his wife's comment that he was "writing."

Did Sawyer and others on the staff really know what Sanford was up to? Doubtful. His own wife didn't know. Maybe Sanford himself didn't even know what he planned to do when he left town to "recharge." He if didn't tell his staff where he would be, what he would be doing, or how long he would be gone, they had no choice but to make up what they thought would be a plausible explanation. Unfortunately, their loyalty to the governor wasn't enough. When Sanford returns, he will have some 'splainin' to do. As a professional communicator, I hope that he spends some time with his staff developing more plausible explanations in advance of his next disappearing act because I doubt this will be the last one.

1 comment:

Sandra Beckwith said...
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