Paul Jacob

As the New Hampshire Primary looms, and her husband?s campaign continues to slip, ordinary Americans are quietly hoping she will pick up the torch and enter the fray. If a Democrat ends up being the next president of the United States, please let it be Judy Dean.

Of course, Judy Dean--married to former Vermont governor and former front-running Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean--is not running for President. She is, nonetheless, being splashed across network television and the pages of People magazine.

Howard wants to be president. Judy doesn?t. Instead, she wants to doctor her patients and mother her son, a senior in high school, and her daughter, away at Yale. Which is why I?m all for her. In not being a candidate, she already demonstrates a level-headedness and sense of responsibility far beyond the others.

"[T]he truth is that the State in which the rulers are most reluctant to govern is always the best and most quietly governed," Socrates explains in Plato?s Republic, "and the State in which they are most eager, the worst."

Clearly, the Ancient Greeks would have supported Judy for President, too. But she still won?t run. She?s sane.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose earliest statements to the press were to disparage cookie-baking, Judy Dean told People magazine, "I actually do make chocolate chip cookies; they're easy to make....I actually made them for the campaign office. One of my very few contributions. They're definitely not fussy about what they eat."

Baking cookies is not a crime.

But Judy Dean has committed an incredible crime. A political and media felony punishable by endless droning on throughout the modern 24-hour drive-by-shooting news cycle. In addition to not running for president, Judy Dean is not campaigning for her husband, either.

Sure, after the shocking truth of her non-campaigning was revealed, she made one trip to Iowa to stand by her man. But it sounded like fun, an "adventure weekend" for her. She still never pledged to usher in a new Camelot or become a political prop for her country, should her husband become king--er, president.

Now, truth be told, almost everyone who isn?t running for president refuses--like Judy Dean--to campaign for the office. After all, where?s the motivation? But Judy is stuck, because her old man is running for president. Remember?

Myra Gutin teaches a course in First Ladies at Rider University in New Jersey. (Ah, the rigors of college life!) "The whole thing has just struck me as a little odd," she told the New York Times. "There may be some voters out there who say, ?well, why isn?t she here? Why isn?t she supporting him??It?s the most outward manifestation of support."


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.