Friday, July 27, 2007

President Schwarzenegger???

I saw an artricle on Yahoo! the other day, talking about Schwarzenegger for president. Well, of course, we all know, there is a major obstacle to Schwarzenegger running the president: the US Constitution. There are only three requirements to run for president, but Schwarzenegger fails one of them - he's not a natural born citizen (he was born in Austria). In case you forgot, the other two requirements are 14 years of residency and being 35.

This got me wondering and I did a little looking to find there is a movement starting to change this requirement in the constitution. There is a CNN article from 2004 that quotes Schwarzenegger saying it should be changed (he said that anyone who had been a citizen for over 20 years (as he has) should be able to run) and brings up some interesting questions on this issue:
So, Schwarzenegger, a state governor married into a leading political family, can't run for President because he was born an Austrian citizen, in Austria. But an American baby born to US citizen parents abroad, even to, say, a US president, and then raised in the US for life, can never run for president either.

A Swahili baby, born to non-citizen parents vacationing on US soil, and then taken back to Swahili and raised there, can become President though. The child of illegal border crossers from Central or South America, who crossed the border simply to birth a child in the States, can run for president. See where this argument is going?

Democrats may not like the idea of Schwarzenegger for president. They may be right that he is less than an ideal candidate, but not because he was born abroad. (His alleged idealization of Hitler and sexual harassments are a different subject altogether).

In an age when a woman nine-months pregnant can get to the opposite side of the globe in 24 hours or less, and back again, the born-on-American-soil clause may indeed be outdated.

While I was looking, I even found a petition online to let Schwarzenegger run. Now whether or not you thinking Schwarzenegger should be President, do you think this requirement should be changed? Is it outdated as argues? Or is it a tradition we should keep? Is it important that our President be born on US soil?


M said...

Some say that President Arthur was born in Canada and should never have been president. He turned out OK.

I have no problem with changing the Constitution to allow the Terminator to run. (Or Jenny Granholm who is the Canadian born Governor of Michigan.)

Jennie W said...

There is also a theory that Andrew Jackson was actually born at sea BEFORE his mother made it to the US.

The Tour Marm said...

In my opinion, the US President/Vice President should be either born of American parents (native born or naturalized) in the US or on a US base/hospital. And a residency requirement of 8/10 of one's life should have been spent in the US.

Children born in the US of illegal aliens or foreign nationals should be excluded.

NoZe said...

Ultimately, I trust the wisdom of the voters. Let naturalized citizens run for president...if they don't have a sufficient stake in this country, they won't go very far in the electoral process. I trust the voters to distinguish between a Schwarzenegger who, despite the fact that he's naturalized, has clearly lived most of his adult life in the U.S. and has devoted himself to this country, and the hypothetical Somalian who, while a natural born citizen, really has no ties to this country.