Maybe no one would expect so much if the men were not the president and the second person in line to replace him in an emergency. But even President Clinton's and House Speaker Newt Gingrich's weekend steps toward candor and apology left something to be desired.
Mr. Clinton said it was inappropriate for a Chinese arms dealer to be at a White House meeting of political fund-raisers.
Mr. Gingrich acknowledged he gave false information to the House Ethics Committee.
But both men edged away from responsibility. Clinton called for "better screening," as if he didn't set the tone. Gingrich said he should have further reviewed facts submitted "on my behalf," as if he weren't careful in such a grave matter.
We await the people's performance review on these two.