MS. MACCALLUM: Joining me now is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.
Governor, welcome. It's very good to have you with us today. I know you've got a lot on your mind in South Carolina, and you decided to come back from the RNC to deal with things there, right?
GOV. SANFORD: Yeah. It's one of those storms that is fairly difficult to predict. And given that that was the case, I decided to come back home this morning. As you just laid out, there's a fairly wide swath as to where this storm might end up. But the bottom line is it looks like it will end up somewhere along the East Coast.
MS. MACCALLUM: And of course, Charleston, South Carolina got hit so hard back in 1989 with Hurricane Hugo which came in at a Category 4. Do you feel like your state is prepared for whatever might be headed your way?
GOV. SANFORD: I think we are. Again, the most likely hit to date, based on the different tracking models, has been South Carolina. Originally, it was the southeastern corner of our state. Then it looked to be Charleston. Now it looks to be the northeastern quadrant of our state, up toward Georgetown and Myrtle Beach area.
But if it comes our way -- and again, it seems to be tracking eastward over the last couple of hours -- I think we're ready. We have 2,500 National Guard troops on alert in the event that we have to implement evacuation procedures. We have a whole host of agencies that have gone through their evacuation plans and preparation plans from the standpoint of housing and sheltering. So yeah, I think we're ready. And at this point, we're waiting and watching with everybody else to see what Mother Nature is going to do.
MS. MACCALLUM: Governor, before I let you go, I want to talk a little bit of quick politics with you. You were expected to give a speech there. You've been a hugely popular figure on the Republican front, and your name was considered, as well, as a possibility in this VP search. So give me your thoughts on Sarah Palin. And also, as a governor, what's your reaction to, you know, all of that talk out there that she doesn't have strong enough qualifications to be the vice president?
GOV. SANFORD: Well, with all due respect to Obama and others, I mean, if you look at her executive experience, even when measured against John McCain's much less the two Democratic contenders on the president and vice presidential level, what you see is somebody who actually has, whether at the mayoral level or at the gubernatorial level, executive branch experience. It's irreplaceable.
I was a member of Congress. I've been a member of a legislative body. And the two really are apples and oranges from the standpoint of experience that is so directly related to indeed executive branch experience and the need for it at the presidential and vice presidential level. So I think she has the experience.
But more to the point, she has the inner resolve that I think we need taken to Washington, DC. If you look at this notion of challenging your own party -- call it maverick, call it independent; I think most people out there would call it common sense -- she has it in spades, has implemented it in Alaska. I think we'd see it implemented in Washington were she to find herself there.
MS. MACCALLUM: All right. Governor Mark Sanford, very good to talk with you. Thanks for joining us today.