From John Dickerson at Slate
You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.
I find it a little easier to have sympathy for Sanford than for Spitzer or Clinton. Partly, it’s because Spitzer and Clinton had a pattern of using and objectifying women, whereas Sanford’s accounting … if true … is more of a one-time failing. But also partly because Spitzer and Clinton never really seemed truly repentant, and their Stepford wives seemed to stand by them in the name of political advantage, whereas Sanford seems keenly aware of the hurt he has caused those around him. Also, his wife is having none of it.
It also strikes me that the left is having this both ways. A guy like Mark Sanford or John Ensign is damned for his transgressions. While a guy like Mitt Romney who has never had a hint of impropriety in his personal or political dealings is derided as “weird” because of that very fact.