The debates regarding the role of character in the political class are endless. However, I believe that Michael Rizzo on Unbroken Window has hit the nail on the head http://theunbrokenwindow.com/2011/06/08/the-sincerity-of-the-political-class/:
You have to click through and watch the video of him getting apoplectic that this was some vast conspiracy against him in light of the evidence we have now. And I am supposed to trust these clowns with health care reform, making budget deals, honestly appropriating highway funds, passing regulatory reforms, etc?
This is the reason that the reach of the state and politics needs to be limited. Those who are most successful in this realm are the least encumbered by ethical baggage which facilitates trust. Hayek understood this when he noted that the more power is concentrated, the more the least trustworthy element of society will seek to be control that power. It is a dangerous combination for the least honorable element of society to be placed in a realm where they are given more and more power and less and less accountability.