Patrons and employees paused from their sandwiches Wednesday afternoon to watch Gov. Mark Sanford's address on a TV screen in Bubba Slye's Deli on King Street.
Employee Andrew Cannon, 28, leaned against the counter and offered his opinion, eyes still fixed to the screen.
"I guess I'm disappointed in him," Cannon said. "He's supposed to represent our state's morality, and he's let us all down."
"I think he could have come up with a better alibi than a hiking trip to Argentina," he said.
Before Sanford confessed to cheating on his wife, many onlookers said they were sympathetic.
Kevin Young, 35, a bartender at A.C.'s Bar & Grill, saw no harm in the governor skipping town.
"I'm not a huge Sanford supporter," Young said, "but I almost feel bad for him on a personal level because it sounds like something I might do."
Once the story was out in the open, the favorable opinions receded. On an Upper King Street sidewalk, Charleston resident Leon Brown heard the news of Sanford's infidelity secondhand.
"If he'd do that wrong, he could do something else wrong," said Brown, 50. "People look up to him as a hero, but people can't look up to him like that if he's doing the wrong thing."