Our instinctive dislike of hypocrisy can get in the way of seeing what is really at stake when it comes to choosing a leader. Indeed, we might even make better decisions if we could realize that far from being a liability in a leader, hypocrisy is an essential part of democratic politics. [note: Runciman defines a hypocrite as "a person who hides his or her true beliefs behind a facade of useful platitudes."]
Political Science Professor
Leaders sometimes lie and they lie for good reasons. I tried to make the case [in my book, Why Leaders Lie] that although instinctively all of us believe lying is a bad thing that's not always the case. ... [However], for society to function it's impossible to have a culture of deceit. [So] you have to be very careful not to go overboard in appreciating the strategic virtues of lying.
Politician, Governor of Nebraska 83-87
I would muuuuch rather have a phony, competent person in the White House than an incompetent, authentic person. I’m not sure the two aren’t correlated: The greater competence you’ve got, the more you’ve got to be phony in order to get the job done. I want my president to put a mask on. When they’re negotiating for a national-security agreement? Put the mask on. When they’re negotiating with Congress? Put the mask on. ... That’s their job.