I have to admit that when I heard the news about Sanford taking time out from an official trade mission to meet up with his mistress on the state government's dime, I thought he might be a goner. But Sanford's spokesman -- and how would you like to have that job? -- continues to say that the governor doesn't intend to quit.

I also have to admit that, like a lot of people, I'm guessing Michael Jackson's death buys Sanford some crucial time. Sick as that is, it also shows how much the arc of stories like this are driven by media frenzy.

But the calls for resignation are mounting. The New York Times :

"I think he's gone, it's over," said one of them, Harvey S. Peeler Jr., majority leader of the State Senate. "Leaving aside his personal life, when you use taxpayer dollars, that's what Republicans are all about -- spending tax dollars wisely. This was not spending tax dollars wisely."

Mr. Peeler said calls from his constituents were running two to one in favor of the governor's resignation, though he said that was ultimately Mr. Sanford's call to make.

Robert W. Harrell Jr., speaker of the Republican-controlled House, said the governor would now have to decide whether he could remain effective in office. Glenn McCall, one of South Carolina's two members on the Republican National Committee, called on him to resign, as did two newspaper editorial boards in the state.