Yes, I know this is a few days old. I meant to highlight this last week. Anyway here is the magic graff:
But the bigger reason is that no one -- not the media, not the campaign professionals, not the voters -- cares enough about lying. To some extent, they even respect a well-told lie as evidence of professionalism. If a candidate complains too much about an opponent's lies, he or she starts being regarded as a bad sport, a whiner. Stoic silence doesn't work either. People start asking why you don't "fight back." Pretty soon, the victim of the lies starts getting blamed. C'mon: this isn't paddycakes; politics ain't beanball; and so on. This happened to Al Gore in 2000 and to John Kerry in 2004. And it's already starting to happen to Barack Obama this year.
This is basically it. I think most folks just assume all politicians lie. With that as a baseline, the only thing left is who lies more effectively? Of course the problem is as a reporter, when you start treating a lie as "a side of the story" then you, in fact, become a carrier of the lie, because you lend legitimacy to the lie by employing a false equivalency.
UPDATE: For the record, they're still lying. Like just today. Incredible. I actually think they're now overplaying it and making their condescension and complete disregard for the American intelligence a little too obvious.