Rich Tucker

It’s time to ask the big question, the question that could determine who’s our next president and what that person will be able to accomplish in office. The question is, “What do we need a president for?”

Candidates on one side of the aisle think they’ve got the answer.

They say we need a president to feel our pain, hold our hands and give us lots of “free” stuff. “I’m well aware that New Hampshire, and America, has a lot of voters who don’t think they need a president right now,” Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton told voters before she won that state’s primary. “And that’s great, but there are more people in New Hampshire who need a president who will be your champion.”

To find out what she means by “need a president,” just look at the TV ad Clinton ran ahead of the Iowa caucuses. In it, she offers Christmas gifts, including “Universal Health Care,” “Alternative Energy,” “Middle Class Tax Breaks” and, of course, “Universal Pre-K.”

Her primary opponent John Edwards sounds many of the same notes. “We know exactly what we aspire to,” Edwards told cheering supporters after his third-place finish in New Hampshire. “Universal health care, attacking global warming and protecting the environment, ending poverty in the United States of America, standing up for the creation of American jobs.”

Then there’s Michelle Obama, wife another candidate, who told a crowd in Iowa, “I’ve felt so disconnected from my government for so long.” Well, isn’t that a good thing? Most of us interact with the government once a year -- when we write it a check in April.

The Democratic Party has come a long way from President Kennedy’s statement that Americans should “ask not what you country can do for you.” Under President Hillary Clinton or President John Edwards the government would, apparently, do just about everything.

At least Edwards had the humility at add, “It is not about me.” He admits there are other candidates in the race who could also accomplish the things he aims to. Sadly, Clinton can’t say the same thing.

By now most everyone’s seen the video of Mrs. Clinton choking up at a campaign event. But in much the same way the polls mispredicted the winner, the media missed the critical part of this story. Reporters focused on the fact that Hillary got emotional and discussed whether this helped or hurt her campaign.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for