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South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford

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It wasn't exactly the Appalachian Trail after all.It turns out South Carolina Gov.

Mark Sanford, who went missing�last week with no explanation of his location, was on a seven-day excursion to Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to The State newspaper.

The Republican governor, whose name has been floated as a potential presidential candidate in 2012, said he needed a break after a long legislative session and embarked on a last-minute trip to the South American country."I wanted to do something exotic," Sanford told the newspaper.

"…It's a great city."Sanford, who left on Thursday, cut the trip short due to the media attention on his disappearance, the newspaper reported.

His wife initially told the AP that she didn't know where her husband was but that she wasn't worried, and his staff told reporters on Tuesday that he had gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail.Here's a timeline�from McClatchy Newspapers about Sanford's whereabouts over the last few days.

Not surprisingly, Dems have been having fun with The Case of the Missing Governor.

The press staffers with�the Democratic National Committee have shot e-mails to reporters with subject lines like "News of the Weird … Gov.

Sanford Disappears" and "Sanford's Hiking Trail Got Stimulus Money He Opposed." The group also has a video called "Where's Sanford?" that compiles snippets from news coverage about his disappearance.The governor's national profile heightened after he battled�with the Obama administration and lawmakers in South Carolina on accepting federal stimulus funds.

But Sanford eventually lost that fight when the state Supreme Court ordered him to accept the money, leading him to formally request the funds earlier this month.(Reported by USA TODAY intern Seung Min Kim)
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