"So much has been damaged and destroyed through what I did," Sanford continued. "My dad taught me to never say never, but I can't really see a way back as a candidate given my warts. I think what I can do is have an influence on ideas, on the conversation. Anyone who has ever failed, your prayer is for a second chance, for the ability to use your talents even if it's in a more limited way."
Even as the process of his re-emergence continues, Sanford continues to spend most of his time on his family farm near Beaufort, S.C., "building things" with his four boys. Immersed in "a monastic sort of existence," Sanford said he is in the process of writing a memoir, which he began writing in the governor's mansion after the scandal broke and expects to finish sometime next year.
"It's what I believe and why I believe it; it's about my politics," Sanford said.
Sanford says the heart of the memoir is about establishing a legacy for his sons.
"I was alone and thinking I don't want my boys to think all those Saturdays they gave up for parades and events were for nothing." he said. "I wanted them to understand where I came from politically and ideologically. I didn't want the scandal to be all that is remembered about my time as governor. They've invested their lives in my career as well. I want them understand what was behind it."