Public life is so riddled with dishonesty nowadays that it seems a ridiculously high standard to insist on honesty from public figures - but things are much worse that they used to be in this regard, and a getting worse.
It seems that the modern 'sensible' 'pragmatic' attitude to dishonesty and celebration of hype, spin, marketing etc is merely an indulgence of the dishonest at the expense of the honest: successful liars are in power all around the world - the few truth-tellers (and there are a few) are given no credit - indeed are often subjected to that especially condemned form of lying called 'bearing false witness' - they are subject to denigrations by campaigns of malice, gossip, innuendo etc.
Indeed the mass media (itself a confederation of liars) deliberately corrupts the words to do with honesty; for example by name-calling people liars for advocating policies with which the media disagree; or name calling liars for having different religions or ideologies than the media support. This in the name of a sophisticated understanding of truth and dishonesty, when the real issue of truth and lies is easily comprehensible to a young child.
The biggest lie is that only carefully defined lies are dishonest - and endless legalistic discussions are engaged in about whether or not the statement X counts as a lie, or whether it is in fact 'legalistically' not really a lie... But this distinction is irrelevant, and itself a gross dishonesty.
When a statement is specifically framed to induce other people to draw a dishonest conclusion (eg by use of misleading statistics) - it is morally the same as a lie; indeed it is a double lie.
Truth is the intent to tell the truth, to tell the truth as one believes it to be true, to be truthful at all times and places and instances such that truth telling is habitual.
By Christian morality, all lies, selections, misrepresentations and distortions, hype and pin - are equally sin; they are all an intention to mislead.
Satan is described by Jesus as the Father of Lies, his title. Thus, to be dishonest is to be on the side of Satan - and to be ruled by habitual and unrepentantly dishonest men and women (as so many of us are) is simply to be ruled by the servants of Satan.
That is who the dishonest are, objectively, and without any question.
We should have zero tolerance for dishonesty in public life, and when somebody breaks the rule, that should be a permanent disqualification; unless or until they have made an explicit admission of their dishonesty, and have convincingly repented.
Those public figures who cannot even tell when they are lying, and see no moral difference between truth and lies, so that they can and do sincerely utter untruths - or simply are dishonest because everybody else around them is dishonest - are functionally psychopaths, slacking in basic conscience, should obviously not be public figures.
Dishonesty is a sin, and among the very worst of all sins, as we are discovering. Dishonesty utterly corrupts the soul, discourse, and erodes trust - human societies cannot communicate, lose functionality in all domains.
A society of endemic dishonesty is an evil society; when this dishonesty is unrepented - and doubly evil when the dishonesty is approved. And when the highest, most powerful, most influential people are the most dishonest; thenwe are deep in trouble.
Zero tolerance is the only good and rational attitude.