But they should have focused on what Hillary got emotional about: She seems to think she’s the only person qualified for the nation’s top job. “Some of us are right and some of us are wrong. Some of us are ready and some of us are not,” she explained. “I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don’t want to see us fall backwards.” In her worldview, she’s the only person who can keep us from losing ground.
The truth is, though, dozens of people could succeed as president. That list would include many people (such as former Govs. Bill Owens and Jeb Bush and current Sen. Joe Lieberman) who aren’t even running.
Clinton also made it a point to focus on how difficult it is to run for president. “It’s not easy, it’s not easy,” she said. “I couldn’t do it if I did not passionately believe it was the right thing to do.” Now, running for president is undoubtedly strenuous compared with the level of work normally done by a sitting senator.
However, the average American can be forgiven for thinking that running for president isn’t that all that difficult, especially since there aren’t any financial consequences if one loses. Out in the real world, according to a Pew poll last year, “More than seven in ten Americans say they worry about money, either often (35 percent) or sometimes (37 percent).”
Yet the Clintons will never have money troubles. They seem to have access to their own ATM machine. Recall that, after she was elected to the Senate but before she was sworn in, Hillary accepted an $8 million book advance. Her husband has also cashed in since leaving office. As he told ABC News in 2005, his income is in “the top 1 percent.”
Washington, D.C. is a place where people routinely quit their jobs to “spend more time with the family.” Most Americans would love to do that, but cannot. In fact, it’s only possible if you’re already rich, or are able (like former Sen. Trent Lott) to cash in by becoming a lobbyist.
The next president could help everyone, not by “giving” us things, but by simplifying the tax code. Millions of Americans pay a professional to do their taxes, and even then there’s no guarantee they’re being done correctly. The tax code is so convoluted even honest people can easily make mistakes, and even tax professionals disagree about how to fill out a return. An easy-to-understand flat tax would solve those problems.
Americans need a president to worry about the big issues -- such as winning the war in Iraq and protecting us from terrorism. We don’t need a leader to redistribute wealth. Whether we get the leader we need, though, will ultimately be up to voters.