Mark Sanford NH

Former S.C. governor Mark Sanford announced in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race. Lauren Petracca/Staff

So, now Mark Sanford decides to become a realist.

On Tuesday, our former governor and congressman suspended his presidential campaign because, as he said, he couldn’t compete with the “noise” of impeachment.

Or "Family Feud" reruns.

The Twitterverse responded to this news by saying: Mark Sanford was running for president?

That may be a tad cruel, but he should have seen this coming. On his recent road trip across America, Sanford stopped at numerous parks in 15 states to spread his message and the only people who showed up were actually there looking for Pokemon GO gyms.

They didn’t get him in Iowa; they didn’t care in New Hampshire. His own state wouldn't hold a primary to put him on the ballot.

But Sanford fans — both of you — don't get discouraged. Mark is like the Terminator. He'll be back.

For a while, Sanford was South Carolina’s own little reality show, but he’s been exposed as a rank amateur compared to the three-ring circus that is the Trump administration.

While Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley bask in the national spotlight as President Donald Trump lapdogs, poor Sanford was trying to get traction by reciting old ‘80s ad campaigns … in front of the wrong fast-food restaurant.

Lamentably, dad jokes won’t get you elected president.

Folks around South Carolina say his campaign was nothing but a publicity stunt, that Sanford was just looking for attention. And hey, he did get on "The Daily Show."

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But ultimately he had to face the fact that no one cares.

He was so inconsequential the president couldn’t even bother to get his Sanford insults right, accusing him of hiking the “Tallahassee Trail” — which may be a national park that was wiped out by Hurricane Dorian on its way to Alabama.

The world has changed, and Sanford couldn't see that. He had to endure members of his own party lambasting him for a very public affair a decade ago — not because it was seedy, but because he simply couldn't compete with the guy who's had several of them.

But Sanford soldiered on, talking to anyone who’d listen — or he could corner — about the debt and deficits.

Sadly, he learned there is “no appetite on the right for a nuanced conversation on the fiscal deficit.”

No, not when the Republicans are the ones running them up.

Mark is, in his own weird way, too nice for national politics. He isn’t capable of spewing enough hate and bile to succeed on the big stage, he isn't great at insults. And that's just bor-ing.

It’s a shame. Once upon a time, he coulda been a contender, but he has again been reminded that that time has passed.

But don’t consider this goodbye. Sanford has shown that, if nothing else, he is persistent. Or, as most South Carolinians say, he just won’t go away.

So Sanford will likely be back someday; he just may have to set his sights a little lower.

After all, the school board races are only a year away.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.