Kathryn Lopez

You'd think statements like these would make Mrs. Sanford a feminist icon. Alas, she may have the right reproductive organs, but she's lacking the ideology that brands one a real woman in terms of the left's political purposes. She's a Christian Republican, after all. And she's one who embraces her role as wife and mother -- refusing to throw those responsibilities under the bus in the wake of her husband's adultery.

Tina Brown, writing on her Daily Beast Web site, spared some praise for Sanford before going for the jugular. Brown wrote: "Just when she set the table for a big-ticket matrimonial lawyer to have a payday on behalf of all the humiliated political wives ... the first lady of South Carolina blew it. She chose instead a pious manifesto that lets the governor off the hook."

Or maybe, Tina, she believes in more important things. Some of us do.

Brown quoted Mrs. Sanford: "I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance."

"I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal," Mrs. Sanford wrote. (She's right, and the idea must have some fans, as she does.) Being governor of a state is also a commitment and an act of will. One involves a vow, the other an oath. Mark Sanford has kept neither. And his rambling interviews and appearances (and disappearances) provide ample reason to wonder if he's up for either job right now. His wife clearly doesn't think he can handle the husband and father part, having asked him to leave in the hopes of eventual reconciliation.

It was because of her respect for marriage -- and his confusion on the matter -- that she asked him to go. Jenny Sanford deserves credit for standing by principle.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.