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I agree with your first and second paragraphs. However, the issue I have raised is that I cannot find anything in the Constitution (or the Amendments) that states only "natural born" citizens are eligible to be president. The wikipedia link I referenced earlier notes that the issue is still very unsettled. I tried doing a small amount of research into other references but found the same ambiguity as noted in the wikipedia link.

Therefore, I stand by my original assertion that there is no documentation that I am currently aware of that explicitly limits the office of the president and vice-president to "natural born" citizens.

If no one can prove otherwise, I’m running as an Independent in 2012!  Foot in mouth (Was born in the UK, don’t you know.)


Sam –

I still don’t see where you are train wrecking on this one. 


"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."

The key element is as follows – read Article II like this:

"No person except a natural born citizen, [at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution]" (this covers those born in the US, over the age of 35) "or a Citizen of the United States [at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution]" (this covered those who became US citizens prior to or at the adoption of the Constitution but had been born in England or elsewhere) 

The first comma splits the citizenry into two distinct groups – natural born citizens and citizens who weren’t natural born.  The second comma delineates the two groups and applies the conditions of the third part of the first sentence ("at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution") to both groups – up to "shall be eligible…." 

I think you are missing the key connection – "at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution".  It’s not a case of "ONLY natural born citizens", it’s a case of "natural born citizens" OR those who were citizens prior to or at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.  The second element only applied to those who were considered citizens prior to adoption of the Constitution, but weren’t natural born citizens.  They cannot be separated.  There was also a requirement that youhad to have been a citizen for at least 14 years if you were in the latter group. 

Anyone who became a citizen AFTER the Constitution was adopted who was not natural born could not become President.  (Madeline Albright’s circumstance for why she was not in the succession of power)

At least that’s what they will tell you in 2012 when you file to run.