The Hamilton Rule
President Schwarzenegger -- a potential blockbuster
POSTED: 5:27 p.m. EST, January 18, 2007
By Bill Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Schwarzenegger -- how does that sound?
Some people think it sounds pretty good. But don't we have enough people running for president next year?
According to CNN's tabulation, four Democrats are already running. One is exploring. Seven others are thinking about it. The Republican list is even longer. Eight Republicans are exploring. Six are thinking. That makes 26 potential candidates.
The editors of The Los Angeles Times think there's room for one more.
"Why should Californians have their governor sidelined from the race?'' the Los Angeles Times asked in a January 14 editorial. "And why can't voters across the country be entrusted to decide for themselves whether the governor of California is sufficiently 'American' to earn their vote? It's insulting really.''
The reason is Article II of the United States Constitution which reads, "No person except a natural-born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the Office of President.''
It's in there because John Jay, the presiding officer of the Constitutional Convention, wrote a letter to George Washington in 1787 arguing that the commander-in-chief of the United States Army should not be anyone but a natural-born American. The Founders were worried about ambitious foreigners taking over the country; as in Poland, which -- at the time -- had just been partitioned between Austria, Prussia and Russia.
That's not exactly a problem for the United States today. Yet the provision remains in the Constitution, barring naturalized citizens like Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright from ever becoming President.
And Austrian-born Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Amending the Constitution to drop the provision has been proposed before.
In the 1993 movie, "Demolition Man,'' about a police officer who was cryogenically frozen and thawed out in 2032, it was a joke.
"Stop! He was president?" asked the incredulous officer, played by Sylvester Stallone, was when his lieutenant, played by Sandra Bullock, told him to go to the Schwarezenegger Library to gather evidence.
"Yes," the lieutenant replied. "Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st amendment, which states that even . . . ''
"I don't want to know,'' the officer interrupted. "President?''
But the Times canvassed California's congressional delegation to find out how many would support a Constitutional amendment allowing naturalized citizens to become President. Six out of eight Republicans who responded said "yes." Democrats were more closely split -- 9 yes, 7 no.
Yes, I think the President should be born in America. As far as the Rethugs who are supporting changing the Constitution go, let's see how happy they are when they get their President Hernandez or Garcia.
No Bill, it was because the other founding fathers hated Hamilton.
Maybe it's me, but at a time Tom Tancredo wants to strip citizenship from people born in this country, why should California's idiot governor get a break
posted by Steve @ 7:13:00 PM