Each candidate behaved well in the hope of being judged worthy of election. However, this system was disastrous when the city had become corrupt. For then it was not the most virtuous but the most powerful who stood for election, and the weak, even if virtuous, were too frightened to run for office.
How prophetic does this sound?
Today, the city that I see as corrupt is Washington. Just let a person like me try to run for President or any other office and see how much dirt they can dig up about my past. Granted, it's nothing that would result in criminal charges. But if it wasn't juicy enough, rest assured they'd make something up along the way. Just look at how they treat Sarah Palin.
Since there are no perfect people, it stands to reason there are no perfect candidates. So, if this is the case, why do we get stuck with the most morally depraved of all people, to lead us? I think Machiavelli has provided us with the answer.