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The Jeffersonian ideal of the "mute tribune" was imperfectly observed, Troy notes, but it was something to aspire to, and candidates who violated it were occasionally punished at the polls.
Amid the tumult of the 2012 race, it's hard to imagine returning to the era of the "front porch campaign," when candidates were hardly seen and rarely heard.
But we ought to strive to make the office less powerful, and thus, a less attractive prize for those who hunger for power.
Examiner Columnist Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.