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Forgive Sanford?

From NBC's Danielle Weisberg
In Meghan McCain's most recent Daily Beast contribution, she writes a blog entitled, "Forgive Mark Sanford," in which she makes the argument that "sex scandals ... are private matters that don't affect public policy and shoot down rising political stars."

McCain strives to draw a line for politicians and privacy. The daughter of Sen. John McCain argues, "At the end of the day, a politician's job is to fix our country and take care of the states they represent."

Critics would argue that Sanford, in fact, wasn't taking care of the state he represents. He's governor of a state of more than four million people, disappeared for four days, during which time neither staff nor his family could reach him, and it's unclear he left instructions for a chain of command.

McCain makes the point that "what goes on in Governor Sanford's personal life...just isn't relevant to his role as a public official."

But the Sanford affair moves beyond just salacious details of sex and lustful, private e-mails that are the stuff of cable ratings and a pulpit for critics and the righteous. This does go to serving constituents. How can that be done if the public official isn't even reachable?

McCain argues that "we have to stop requiring that our politicians live at such a high level of moral superiority, as if they are infallible creatures."

There's a case for that, but it's tougher to make when a public official lets an affair take precedence over his job.

McCain also takes a shot at Sanford's wife, Jenny Sanford, for her statement. McCain called them a "long, Gospel-quoting press release."

But some women would argue that they projected a different image than the scorned wife standing beside her politician husband as he recanted his sins. Jenny Sanford kicked her husband out, and instead of creating a media blitz of a press conference, released her comments that accomplished just what she wished for, to maintain her dignity, self-respect, and basic sense of right and wrong.

"I don't know if it's the fact that I am younger, or that I just have a more open-minded view of politicians and sex, but it's of very little concern to me who elected officials sleep with," McCain wrote.

But it's of great deal of concern to many, when those politicians abandon their duties to do it.