• AshleyMadison.com
  • Ashley Madison’s “unlikely endorsement” of Sanford

“Life is short, have an affair.” That’s the motto of affair matchmaking website AshleyMadison.com, which bestowed Republican congressional candidate Mark Sanford with an “unlikely endorsement” today on a new billboard on display in Columbia. The 2-part billboard on I-26, which features a 15-foot tall mugshot of Sanford and the tagline, “Next time use… AshleyMadison.com to find your ‘running mate.'” went up yesterday, a week before Sanford will appear on the ballot against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the 1st District special election.

The company, which has previously taken out a billboard endorsement of 2012 South Carolina GOP presidential primary winner Newt Gingrich and offered his opponent Herman Cain a $400,000 gig to be its president of international affairs (both are reported to have had extramarital affairs), notes that there’s a “changing tide” in the U.S. when it comes to adultery. “Mark Sanford has overcome a series of personal and professional hurdles to earn his place back in public service,” AshleyMadison.com CEO Noel Biderman says. “While he recognizes the consequences of his actions, he maintains that his affair refined his life, but should not define it.”

Not surprisingly, the company embraces the fact that, “More and more Americans are willing to forgive and forget,” invoking absolved pols from Bill Clinton to JFK, “Millions of people are having affairs — powerful politicians are no exception.”