We elect these people. They have more power and responsibilities. What they do reflects on us as citizens. If an elected official acts badly towards someone or something, how would it reflect on us? We are thought of by the way our officials act. They represent us. Other people's opinions base off of these powerful people.
Do we really want someone who is lowering our standards? Or if they have lower standards why should they be leading us instead of us leading them? They are the ones we should be looking towards for leadership. Politicians will help make the laws and you don't want someone who can't keep the law to make the law.
Politicians in general should be held to a high standard of honestly and moral integrity. That having been said, I do believe that the private lives of politicians gets an overabundance of attention. Any small mishap become fodder for the press and ammunition for the competing party to chew on. Thomas Jefferson, a great president, fathered children with women other than his wife. Read about JFK and his extracurricular activities. For my money, we lost a great candidate for president in this last election due to this type of meddling. His name was Herman Cain and I though he was a viable candidate. When it comes to business dealings, bribes, kickbacks etc - YES to the highest standard possible. They are in the business of running the government and those skills needed to do so should be considered the highest priority. Who flirts with who has nothing to do with running government!
We've come to expect politicians to get elected for the purpose of working on getting re-elected. They accomplish nothing and we've sort of conceded that that's just how it is and we can't do anything about it. We need to hold them to a higher standard because it's a joke that we elect people to do a job that we know they won't and accept it.
I believe that politicians should be held to a higher standard. They should not be allowed to get away with their crimes and corruption. If they are caught lying or cheating, they should be prosecuted with a stricter standard, because they are not only breaking the law, but they are taking advantage of the public and the public's trust.
If electing people to make decisions for other people is really necessary, then their claim to legitimacy should be that they are knowledgeable, intelligent, and morally upright. If they are just like us, then what's the point of having them make decisions for us? It would make more sense to do without them.
Everyone makes mistakes, but we as "regular" people get to rapped up in the idea that politicians are supposed to be great men and women who are close to perfect. We forget that these people entered the world in the same way that the rest of us did, and they are also subject to the same temptations that we are. Yes, they should be honest and exemplify integrity in everything they do, but so should everyone else. We shouldn't hold them to a higher standard, but instead we should hold everyone to a higher standard.
All that we ask of our politicians is the common decency that anyone should be part of. They should be honest and have integrity in many areas of their lives. If they make a mistake they should own up to it and say they are sorry. They should not make a profit on the backs of those who have little.