Alexandra and Dana make good points. I'd add this: It took an admittedly sensational story about Gov. Mark Sanford's personal life to get the national press to converge on South Carolina and declare his political career "over" due to "values" issues. (Whatever, he wouldn't be the first Southern governor to be a comeback kid after marital infidelity.) But when he attempted to deny much needed unemployment funding to people suffering under the recession while cutting school funding and the social safety net, in the name of an economically baseless austerity policy that involved telling his his weakest constituents to effectively drop dead, well, those decisions didn't threaten his political career or reflect on his values. That made him a "star" in the GOP. Priorities, priorities.
-- Tim Fernholz