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auntsue Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:17 PM
Original message
The constitution says
No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

I have always thought that one had to be born in the US to be President - But I just got this from a web site that claims to have the actual entire constitution and "at the time of the adoption of this Constitution" seems to say only in the olden days - how come ? ? ? ?and if that doesn't mean only people at the time of signing why the need for the other part about fourteen years residency ??
I am confused ! Help me out - oh educated ones !
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Because no one alive when the constitution was adopted
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 07:20 PM by Jake3463
would have been eligible if they didn't include that clause.

If you take 1776 as the founding as being a natural citizen...the only natural born citizens would have been 13 and not meet the 35 years of age requirement.

Everyone before that was a brittish citizen
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auntsue Donating Member (169 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. If some one is born of a citizen
that makes them a citizen - right ?
So what's the Obama drama - sour grapes - Repuke thuggary?
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Diamonique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Repuke stupidity.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Racism
Because of the fact that he is African American he can not possibly be eligible for the job.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. It is nothing more than desperation and idiocy.
Without foundation, merit or fact. Plain absurdity.
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. In fact, it wasn't until Martin Van Buren
that we had a President who had not been born a British subject: 48 years after the adoption of the Constitution.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. To be accurate

The "United States of America" was not founded in 1776.

But, yes, you get the essential point.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. 1776 is when we declared our independece
so I guess, people were citizens of their individual states until the articles of confederation and than were American citizens.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Sort of like...

I declared my independence at around age 14, but didn't move out of the house until a few years later.

Heh.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think it was written for Alexander Hamilton & James Wilson
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 07:37 PM by Bucky
Alexander Hamilton (born in the West Indies) & James Wilson (born in Scotland) both attended the Constitutional Convention, so they might have insisted on being included in the eligibility for president.

The idea of excluding not natural born citizens was a way to keep outsiders (specifically Europeans) from coming in and bribing the Electoral College members (a real concern over elections back then) into giving them the top job. This happened in a few Italian city states had this as a problem (as with the College of Cardinals electing the most bribery talented non-Romans as the Bishop of Rome.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. Can you count to 35?

Anyone over the age of 35 in 1790 was born in a British colony.

You see, we had this revolution thing in the 1770's. It was in all the papers, you must have heard about it.

If they had limited it to "natural born Citizen" then NOBODY would have been qualified to BE president for another decade or so.


George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson - None of them were born in the "United States of America". There was no USofA for them to be born in. They were all born in a British colony.

Do you get it?

Read the part you left out, in one breath. You must be a natural born citizen or:

"a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution"

They wanted the President to be born a citizen of the US, but at the time none of them had been. They weren't stupid enough to write a Constitution that would have required everyone to wait around 35 years before anybody could qualify to be president.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
11. You could be born in the US, spend the rest of your life abroad, and
then come back to the US and become immensely popular in a couple of year, then, if you have a lot of money, run for president on your own money knowing little about the country (aside from the obvious question of the Founding Fathers and people around this time not being natural born citizens for obvious reasons).

It is also why a US citizen born abroad does not automatically transmit his citizenship to his children. There is a residency requirement before the age of 25.

Not very shocking in both cases.
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