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There has been a lot of hubbub this past week about what qualifies a person to be President of the United States. Former General Wesley Clark recently came out and said that John McCain’s service as a squadron leader in the Navy doesn’t qualify him to be president. The “conservative” media has come out with a vengeance in defense of John McCain, the war hero. While I agree that John McCain is a war hero, I also agree with Wesley Clark, just because you’re a war hero doesn’t mean you are qualified to be President of the United States. Heck, if that were the case, why didn’t we just elect Wesley Clark, John Kerry or Reverend Wright?

You see the fact remains that service in the military, even exceptional service, doesn’t qualify you to be president. I hope Rush Limbaugh doesn’t rake me across the coals too for saying that. Because while military service ensures that you understand what it means when you send troops into battle, it does little to prepare a person to defend and uphold the Constitution… you know, that document this country was founded on. But we’ve mistaken the true job description of President to mean “leader of the free world” as opposed to “chief defender of the Constitution” and commander-in-chief. The office of President was never intended to be the chief economist, chief employer or chief problem solver.

But while we’re talking about presidential qualifications, if John McCain’s military service and 26 years of service in Congress don’t qualify him to be president then what qualifies Barack Obama? His time spent on the streets of Chicago or his less than 4 years in the Senate in which he votes every now and then? Maybe it’s his discernment in relationships… William Ayres, Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko… hmmm, maybe not. No, he inspires people to trust in government… not much “change” there.

While I respect and admire the military and congressional service of John McCain, simply taking up space in Washington is not enough to win my vote. It’s his Congress that has allowed government to expand and overspend, to engage in foreign military engagements without a declaration of war, under-tax the lower and middle class at the expense of the wealthy and allow a foreign invasion from the south with no solution on the horizon. He is part of the problem, but at least he has credentials. But do those credentials make him “qualified” for the presidency?

The only qualifications I’m looking for in a president are adherence to the Constitutional principles of limited government, low taxes and secure borders and a track record of integrity and good decision making. I want a president who will keep the government out of my life, out of my pocket and out of the news. Is that too much to ask for?

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