If Romney broke the law, he’s a criminal. If, however, as the Democrats charge, he legally gamed the tax code in order to pay as little money as possible, he’s a typical American. Ask yourself this question: when tax time comes around do you a) ask yourself what’s fair to pay given your circumstances and the country’s needs; b) try to figure out how to pay as little as possible, often with the help of an accountant. If the answer is b, you and Romney basically did the same thing. Sure, he had better accountants and thus likely saved himself more money. But you both put your own self-interest ahead of the country’s, which is what most people do most of the time.
But aren’t presidents supposed to be better than the average Joe? Aren’t they supposed to be, even in their personal lives, exemplars of virtue and good citizenship? No, I don’t think so. It’s hard enough to find a president who will pursue public policies that make the country better. Once you blur the criteria by evaluating a president’s or presidential candidate’s private conduct, you’ve lost sight of what really affects the lives of most Americans.