I'd never have guessed it -- but then again, I'm not surprised -- but an interview by Diane Sawyer of Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner ends with what sounds very much like a stripped down version of Smith's sympathy. The discussion turns to honesty. Diane Sawyer points out that we're less likely to steal from someone we know. ok. Hume's sensible knave comes to mind. Then the discussion moves to those dishonest acts, and the "social incentives" that affect them. Levitt says we can "work on" the 10 % of our actions that might be dishonest: "It's not wanting to appear ... to others and to yourself to be greedy" that influences these actions.
Why don't we want to appear to others and to ourselves as dishonest? That's precisely the role played by Smith's partial and then the impartial spectator, by Smith's imaginative process that makes us moral.