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Don’t ask, don’t tell

No, this isn’t an article about gays in the military. It’s about Obama Conspiracies (duh). The idea came to me, as do all my best ideas, while I was mowing the grass and thinking about the article I was writing about James Buchanan and his father’s citizenship.

The Obama citizenship denialists say that eligible presidential candidates must have two citizen parents. One would think that the eligibility of those who run for president is a fairly basic question. So let’s ask the question about the parent’s citizenship for US presidents going back in time.

The first is George W. Bush. That’s pretty easy. You can go to the Wikipedia and quickly find that George W. Bush’s father is George H. W. Bush who must have been a life-long citizen or else he himself could not have been president. Before that was Bill Clinton, whose father (again the Wikipedia) was born in Sherman Texas. Oops! Clinton was elected 1992, and the Wikipedia wasn’t founded until 2001. Anyone interested in Clinton’s family didn’t have the Wikipedia.

We can scroll back further and come to a time before Al Gore created the Internet and all we had was the books and the media. Now tell me, can you ever recall any time in your life before Obama came on the scene where anybody posed the question, “was this presidential candidate’s father a citizen?”

It’s not an easy question. I have had to do considerable digging to research individual cases, and I used resources on the Internet that would have been beyond the reach of most citizens as recently as 30 years ago. The only way the average citizen could know would be for the media to tell them, and I know of no record where this question was asked or answered by the media. Could it be that no one asked because there never was such a requirement for eligibility? (Of course there isn’t but play along with me.)

One might assume that biographies contained this information, but biographies of presidents are written after they leave office, not before and in any case, you will not find such things in biographies. Chester A. Arthur’s father was not a citizen when Chester was born, and there was no discussion of it in the newspaper. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Even with all the resources available on the Internet and the public library’s research databases, I’m having a devil of a time finding out the citizenship status of James Buchanan’s father. The citizenship of Vice President Curtis’s mother (an American Indian) is quite ambiguous (Curtis used to say: I’m 1/8th Indian and 100% Republican).

If this had ever mattered, someone would have asked and someone would have told, but they didn’t. It certainly didn’t matter in New York in 1844:

After an exhaustive examination of the law, the vice-chancellor [in Lynch v Clarke (1844)] said that he entertained no doubt that every person born within the dominions and allegiance of the United States, whatever the situation of his parents, was a natural-born citizen; and added that this was the general understanding of the legal profession, and the universal impression of the public mind.

In re Look Tin Sing

121 Responses to Don’t ask, don’t tell

  1. avatar
    Scott Brown June 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    I did extensive research on all Presidents going back to see for myself if any of them had a parent who was not a US Citizen. Arthur is the only one I could find.

    As for James Buchanan, he was the 14th President of the United States. He was born on April 23, 1791 in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He just missed out on the grandfather clause as the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Buchanan was also the only President from Pennsylvania and the only President never to marry.

    His mother Elizabeth Speer was born in Pennsylvania. His father James Buchanan emigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1783. It was an interesting year for the United States as the Treaty of 1783 was signed between the US and Great Britain. Colonists chose to be United States citizens and by virtue of the Treaty, Great Britain recognized those former subjects as United States citizens.

    Before the Constitution, United States citizenship was conferred on citizens by the States. When the Constitution was ratified, each citizen of a state became a citizen of the United States. No formal naturalization was needed.

    On June 21, 1788 the Constitution was ratified. The Buchanan’s were citizens of Pennsylvania and therefore James Sr. was a citizen of the United States. When James Jr. was born in Pennsylvania he was therefore a natural born citizen, born on United States soil to two US citizen parents. (from http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com).

    When you really think about it, most President’s are fairly well known as are their families; therefore, in my lifetime, I cannot think of a time when I felt it necessary to question my President’s NBC status.

    How many President’s can you remember having a father who was unknown and didn’t even live in the US? How many President’s can you remember that were removed fromt he US to attend school in another country? How many President’s can you remember whos mother married an Indonesian, moved her family to another country and was adopted by a citizen of another country? The US has never experienced anyone with such a seasoned background as Obama – where such a question of NBC status is absolutely necessary.

    I think Chester Arthur was plagued by the exact same problem that Obama faces today. He was not eligible and he knew it. He put out erroneous information to obfuscate the real issue. Hinman was busy contesting his being born in Canada, when the truth was that he was born in the US to a non-US citizen father, thus making him ineligible to be POTUS. Like Obama, Chester needed his records hidden and sealed and lacking the abilitiy to do that at the time, he burned and destroyed his records. To this day, there is speculation that he took his deceased brother’s identiity to some extent in order to muddy the waters on his eligibility issue.

    There was an extensive discussion revolving around Charles Curtis at Donofrio’s site, but I cannot find it any longer as it was contained in the comments section. There were laws in place prior to Curtis’ birth making women (Indian’s included) US Citizens; therefore, it was concluded that Curtis was a NBC and eligible to have run for VP.

    You have no questions about Agnew?
    Agnew was the hardest one to research, I spent a couple of days finding his father. The rest were relatively easy and they all qualified except for Arthur and Obama.

  2. avatar
    misha June 8, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Scott Brown: How many President’s can you remember whos mother

    One thing I’ve noticed, is that Denialists are semi-literate.

    – “President’s”: First, in this case, ‘president’ is not capitalized. Next, plural is ‘presidents.’ “President’s” is possessive. “The president’s helicopter is waiting.” “This helicopter is for President Obama.”

    – “whos”: In this case, the word is “whose.”

    So, “How many presidents can you remember whose mother…”

    Thanks for proving my contentions.

  3. avatar
    richCares June 8, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    the lady whose pants are on fire says “I did extensive research…”, sure!

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Scott Brown I did extensive research on all Presidents going back to see for myself if any of them had a parent who was not a US Citizen. Arthur is the only one I could find. Before the Constitution, United States citizenship was conferred on citizens by the States. When the Constitution was ratified, each citizen of a state became a citizen of the United States. No formal naturalization was needed.

    And how, pray tell, in your “extensive research” did you determine that James Buchanan’s father was a CITIZEN OF THE STATE?

    Scott Brown… Hinman was busy contesting [Arthur’s] being born in Canada, when the truth was that he was born in the US to a non-US citizen father, thus making him ineligible to be POTUS. Like Obama, Chester needed his records hidden and sealed and lacking the abilitiy to do that at the time, he burned and destroyed his records. …

    I think you are confusing President Arthur’s records with those of his father, which is why your comment and Donofrio’s contention are nonsense. And while you’re explaining your extensive research, perhaps you will tell us how Arthur’s burning his papers AFTER he was president hid the fact that he was ineligible BEFORE he was president or what you think was in Arthur’s papers that would have shown his estranged father was not a citizen. If you had read Hinman’s book (which you have not, nor had Donofrio) you would have appreciated the detail that Himnan went to, including visiting the President’s birth place, and interviewing local residents. It is wildly implausible that attorney Hinman would have missed any detail that was relevant; and indeed Hinman raised the exact scenario of a Canada-born Arthur’s naturalization as a result of his father’s subsequent naturalization in a letter to Senator Bayard.

    Scott Brown There was an extensive discussion revolving around Charles Curtis at Donofrio’s site…There were laws in place prior to Curtis’ birth making women (Indian’s included) US Citizens; therefore, it was concluded that Curtis was a NBC and eligible to have run for VP.

    It is true that at the time marriage usually naturalized a wife (e.g. Hubert Humphrey’s mother), but that was not the case when the wife was otherwise ineligible for naturalization. The Supreme Court in 1884 in the case of Elk v. Wilkins said that not only were Indians not citizens, but could not become citizens even if they renounced their tribal allegiance. American Indians were not made citizens generally until 1924 unless made citizens by treaty earlier. Indeed, it was Curtis himself when in the Senate who helped pass the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 that made Indians citizens. I never figured out for sure whether she was a citizen or not.

    So you ridicule the Wikipedia, but swallow a one-sided controlled and manipulated discussion over on Donofrio’s site? Clearly, you have been misled.

  5. avatar
    dunstvangeet June 8, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    However, Curtis’ mother, even though she still lived on the reservation) was probably a citizen since she was only 1/4 Indian.

    Curtis’s mother was 3/4th Native American, 1/4th from each of 3 tribes: Kaw, Osage, and Pottawatomie.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    dunstvangeet: Curtis’s mother was 3/4th Native American, 1/4th from each of 3 tribes: Kaw, Osage, and Pottawatomie.

    I stand corrected. Now I understand his comment that he was “one-eighth Kaw Indian and 100 percent Republican.” I wrote the Topeka historical society about the question of Mrs. Curtis’ citizenship, but never got a reply. A librarian I consulted thought that she probably was a citizen. Obviously, it was not considered important at the time.

  7. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    Scott Brown: When you really think about it, most President’s are fairly well known as are their families; therefore, in my lifetime, I cannot think of a time when I felt it necessary to question my President’s NBC status.

    As is Barack Obama. Like many of our top presidents, he too comes from a long American lineage, shared by many of the other presidents.

    So, I guess you could say he’s more like most US presidents in that respect that many of us regular citizenry folk, who have no known bloodline ties to American dynastic families.

    He is related, through his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, to six other US Presidents: James Madison, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

    His American ancestry goes back further than most people can claim, and has been traced back to Jonathan Singletary Dunham, who was born in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1640, making him Barack Obama’s 8-greats-grandfather was his earliest ancestor born in North America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Barack_Obama

  8. avatar
    Rickey June 8, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    Scott Brown: I did extensive research on all Presidents going back to see for myself if any of them had a parent who was not a US Citizen.

    Ah, Scott Brown, who claims not to be a birther but then parrots birther talking points.

    How many President’s can you remember that were removed from the US to attend school in another country?

    Off the top of my head, JFK attended the London School of Economics and Bill Clinton went to Oxford.

    How many President’s can you remember whos mother married an Indonesian, moved her family to another country and was adopted by a citizen of another country?

    None, since Obama was never adopted.

    The US has never experienced anyone with such a seasoned background as Obama

    Please explain what you mean by this and why it should be a concern.

  9. avatar
    Lupin June 8, 2010 at 3:11 am #

    I thunk it is time to re-hammer the basic point that the two parents citizens thing is a mistranslation of a single sentence by Vattel in which he uses a group plural, followed immediately by the next sentence in which he states that it is the father who must be the citizen in question.

    There is no ambiguity whatsoever about it.

    If there is another source for this myth, it’s one thing; but if people rely on Vattel (as they seem to), there there is no substance to it.

    Scottelina: please take note. THERE IS NO TWO PARENTS CITIZENS REQUIREMENT [TO BE AN INDIGENE] IN VATTEL!

  10. avatar
    James June 8, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    Seems to conflict with Minor Vs. Happersat:

    “The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners. Some authorities go further and include as citizens children born within the jurisdiction without reference to the citizenship of their parents. As to this class there have been doubts, but never as to the first.”

  11. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 8, 2010 at 4:45 am #

    Scott Brown: I did extensive research on all Presidents going back to see for myself if any of them had a parent who was not a US Citizen.

    While you were doing all that research, did you by any chance figure out which state you were born in?

  12. avatar
    Va Highlander June 8, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    Lupin: If there is another source for this myth, it’s one thing; but if people rely on Vattel (as they seem to), there there is no substance to it.

    To be honest, I think de Vattel is just grist for the birther mill. You might as well debate quantum theory with a Sudanese street walker as bring a textual argument to the birther table.

    Obama is the other, principally because he is black, but not exclusively for that reason. Obviously, the other cannot be one of “us” by definition and, therefore, the other cannot be “our” leader. Any event or series of events leading to the other coming to power obviously implies some sort of illegal activity and it’s just a matter of discovering exactly which laws were broken and how.

    The upshot being, if you lop-off one Hydra head of birther logic—de Vattel, the citizenship of Chester Arthur, yet another fake birth certificate—ten more will spring up in its place.

  13. avatar
    Scientist June 8, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    Scott Brown: think Chester Arthur was plagued by the exact same problem that Obama faces today. He was not eligible and he knew it. He put out erroneous information to obfuscate the real issue. Hinman was busy contesting his being born in Canada, when the truth was that he was born in the US to a non-US citizen father, thus making him ineligible to be POTUS.

    First of all, “plagued”? There is not the slightest evidence that either Chester Arthur or anyone alive during his presidency lost 10 seconds of sleep worrying over his supposed ineligibility. He simply got on with things and had a fairly successful time in office. His reforms of the civil service, getting rid of patronage and turning it into a professional organization, have served the country well into our own time.

    As for Hinman, the birthers are simply projecting their own ineptitude onto someone who was one of the top lawyers of his day (unlike the birther legal eagles). It was well known that Arthur’s father was an immigrant. Had Hinman considered the question of his naturalization important, he would have been able to show very easliy that he hadn’t naturalized until well after his son’s birth. He obviously didn’t consider it relevant in the least, since he did no investigation of that whatsoever. By the way, the election of Arthur was before the Wong Kim Ark decision, which shows that that decision didn’t create new law, but rather confirmed what was already the law.

    The birthers of 1880 had it all over today’s motley crew. They hired a pro rather than trusting the job to incompetents. They also recognized it as a campaign issue that had nothing to do with the actual business of the country. Once the election was over, they accepted the winners’ legitimacy and moved on. It’s long past time (16 months and counting) for today’s birthers to show the maturity of thier forebearers and do the same.

  14. avatar
    northland10 June 8, 2010 at 7:36 am #

    Va Highlander: Obama is the other, principally because he is black, but not exclusively for that reason. Obviously, the other cannot be one of “us” by definition and, therefore, the other cannot be “our” leader. Any event or series of events leading to the other coming to power obviously implies some sort of illegal activity and it’s just a matter of discovering exactly which laws were broken and how.

    The other is the key line. Notice how are commenting SB stating my President. If it is a personal President (my President), and not a community’s/country’s President (our President), then they only one they could accept is one that is “like them.”

    And how is he different:

    1. Color – this is the most obvious.
    2. Heritage – a walking, talking example of multi-cultural.
    3. Name – Patrick at Bad Fiction had a news video that interviewed a lady who did not like him, mainly due to his name which she thought “too muslim” and “non-American.”
    4. Intellectual – With degrees from Columbia and Harvard, and as a lecturer at the University of Chicago, he does not sit well with those anti-intellectual types. I am surprised we have not heard more screaming about the Eastern Establishment with him.

    In light of the “other” list, an in keeping with the topic of this post, how much less an issue would this have been if he was named Steve Dunham? Though there would be some denialists still, I suspect there would have been much less.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    James: Seems to conflict with Minor Vs. Happersat [sic]

    One always has to read these things carefully and the expanded context would be helpful. However we can see just from what is here that the court recognized that those who were born in the United States of alien parents were either natural born citizens or they were not citizens at all. The court did not resolve this question. However, US v Wong later did. How do I know this? Because Minor v Happersett also says:

    Additions might always be made to the citizenship of the United States in two ways: first, by birth, and second, by naturalization. This is apparent from the Constitution itself, for it provides that

    “No person except a natural-born citizen or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution shall be eligible to the office of President, ”

    and that Congress shall have power “to establish a uniform rule of naturalization.” Thus, new citizens may be born or they may be created by naturalization.

    There is no fictional third kind of citizen who is born a citizen in the United States but is not a “natural born” citizen.

    Also the Minor decision is in line with both Lynch v Clarke and US v Wong in recognizing that English Common Law is the place to look for a definition and is abundantly clear that the English Common Law makes everyone born in the country a natural born subject.

    Notes that the court in Minor did not take notice of Lynch, but the court in Wong did.

    For a more thorough exposition, see: http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/03/minor-v-happersett-88-u-s-162-1874/

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Lupin: I thunk it is time to re-hammer the basic point that the two parents citizens thing is a mistranslation of a single sentence by Vattel in which he uses a group plural, followed immediately by the next sentence in which he states that it is the father who must be the citizen in question.

    How do you feel about the translation of indigene as “natural born citizen?”

  17. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 8, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Doc I’ve concluded that Fake Scott Brown is a bombthrower. She waits until you starts a new topic posts long discredited information and then decides not to respond again in the topic while everyone takes apart her post. This is clear and simple trolling.

  18. avatar
    richCares June 8, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Doc I’ve concluded that Fake Scott Brown is a bombthrower.
    .
    I agree, she has never responded to anyone’s question. Nor does she respond to corrections to her silly comments. She is not interested in discussion, shejust wants to disturb us. To her I say go away Troll.

  19. avatar
    Black Lion June 8, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    richCares: Doc I’ve concluded that Fake Scott Brown is a bombthrower..I agree, she has never responded to anyone’s question. Nor does she respond to corrections to her silly comments. She is not interested in discussion, shejust wants to disturb us. To her I say go away Troll.

    Agreed…We should ignore Scott but she posts such obviously false and discredited information that it is difficult to ignore. And when she passes off her “research” as recycled crap from Leo, you know she has not shame whatsoever….

  20. avatar
    SluggoJD June 8, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    richCares: Doc I’ve concluded that Fake Scott Brown is a bombthrower.
    .
    I agree, she has never responded to anyone’s question. Nor does she respond to corrections to her silly comments. She is not interested in discussion, shejust wants to disturb us. To her I say go away Troll.

    I also agree – perhaps Drkate or TexasDarlin, comes in, posts the birther talking points for the thread, and leaves.

  21. avatar
    BatGuano June 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    richCares:

    ….. she has never responded to anyone’s question. .

    not completely true. she used to reply to comments frequently until……… she made a claim that she refuses to back up with the simplest of evidence ( what state she was born in ).

  22. avatar
    Arthur June 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Scott Brown:

    You wrote: “I did extensive research on all Presidents . . . As for James Buchanan, he was the 14th President of the United States.”

    Except he wasn’t. James Buchanan was the 15th president of the United States.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

    Looks like that terribly inaccurate source of information that Scott wouldn’t consult to find information on how clip her toe nails, nailed her on a simple question of fact. Bit of a clip job, that.

  23. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett June 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Black Lion:
    Agreed…We should ignore Scott but she posts such obviously false and discredited information that it is difficult to ignore.

    I bet if we did, s/he would go away within a couple of weeks. might come back with a sock puppet though.

    Why don’t we try ignoring him/her completely, even if s/he posts something worth responding to, and see if that works?

  24. avatar
    Arthur June 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Scott Brown:

    You wrote that James Buchanan “was born on April 23, 1791 in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.” Except he wasn’t. Buchanan was born in Cove Gap, and moved to Mercersburg with his family when he was six.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Buchanan

    Ouch. Hardly out of her introductory paragraph and already wrong on two simple questions of fact. Scott Brown: 0. Wikipedia: 2.

    I don’t know where Scott gets information on how to clip her nails, but something tells me she needs the attention of a professional pedicurist, stat!

  25. avatar
    Sean June 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    The question was asked in 1916 in the Chicago Legal News, Vol. 146-148, pp. 220-222

    in an article by Breckinridge Long entitled:
    IS MR. CHARLES EVANS HUGHES A “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN” WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CONSTITUTION?

    But Charles Evan Hughes was defeated by Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential election.

  26. avatar
    SFJeff June 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    “When you really think about it, most President’s are fairly well known as are their families; therefore, in my lifetime, I cannot think of a time when I felt it necessary to question my President’s NBC status.”

    I will give you President Bush #2- since we knew his father was a NBC, but Clinton? How many of us knew much about the former Governor of Arkansas? Nobody asked about his whether his parents were citizens because we didn’t care! We didn’t know, we didn’t care.

    What about Carter? Again- the former Governor of Georgia was a relative unknown to the general American Public. First President I ever voted for, and I will tell you I had no clue, nor did I care, whether his parents were citizens when he was born. Carter had a name recognition of 2% when he started his campaign.

    Face it- before Obama was elected, neither you, nor anyone else had come up with the concept that the President needed two citizen parents. If Obama had been white and name George Patakis, nobody would claiming this now.

  27. avatar
    Rickey June 8, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    J. Edward Tremlett:
    Why don’t we try ignoring him/her completely, even if s/he posts something worth responding to, and see if that works?

    I have thought of that, but I’m not comfortable with the idea of letting factual statements go unchallenged.

  28. avatar
    Rickey June 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    As I suspected, Scott Brown’s “extensive research” consisted largely of cutting and pasting from an essay which Leo Donofrio posted at least 18 months ago.

    http://www.therightsideoflife.com/2008/12/04/leo-addresses-the-chester-arthur-presidential-eligibility-issue/

    Scott Brown denies being a birther and now is exposed as a plagiarist. Note that Leo even made the mistake of calling Buchanan the 14th president!

  29. avatar
    richCares June 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    advice for scott brown: cut and paste with haste makes a lot of waste

  30. avatar
    Arthur June 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Welll done, Rickey.

  31. avatar
    Arthur June 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Well done, Rickey.

  32. avatar
    BatGuano June 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Rickey: ….even made the mistake of calling Buchanan the 14th president!

    http://www.sadtrombone.com/

  33. avatar
    Loren June 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    As further illustration of how arcane and obscure such research is, my own efforts to look into the citizenship status of the parents of Vice-Presidents has been repeatedly hampered by the simple fact that people cared so little about their parentage that there’s almost no information about their parents.

    Browse through the Vice Presidential biographies at Wikipedia, and you’ll quickly find that most of them contain no greater information about their parents than names and careers. Not even birth and death dates, much less birthplaces or citizenship status. In some cases the biographies don’t even offer the NAMES of the parents.

    Take, for instance, Henry Wilson. His wiki page states that he legally changed his name from Jeremiah Jones Colbath, so presumably his father had the last name Colbath, but that’s the extent of what’s noted about his parents. Were his parents citizens? Who knows? But it didn’t matter in terms of his eligibility.

    Also interesting is Schuyler Colfax. His father died before he was born, so at the time of his birth, I think it’s fair to say that he had only one citizen parent. Does that make him ineligible too? Or are we supposed to start measuring parental citizenship at the time of conception rather than at the time of birth?

  34. avatar
    Greg June 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    Ms. Brown misses the forest for the trees again. The question is not whether or not these Presidential candidates were eligible, it is whether anyone remarked on their parents’ citizenship. The convoluted nature of Buchanan’s father’s claim to naturalization, the lengths to which Brown/Donofrio must go to rationalize his status, shows that it was a question of some legal/factual difficulty.

    Despite this, there is no mention of Buchanan’s eligibility, no scholar coming forward to challenge or defend his father’s naturalization. It is simply not an issue.

    Now, when William H. Crawford ran for President, with Mons. Gallatin as his running mate, it was a cause for speculation about whether Gallatin was eligible for the Presidency, because he was born in Geneva. He was grandfathered in, since he naturalized before the adoption of the Constitution. Again, the question isn’t eligible or not, but whether there was any discussion of Buchanan’s eligibility.

  35. avatar
    SluggoJD June 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    richCares: advice for scott brown: cut and paste with haste makes a lot of waste

    LOLOL, nice one!

  36. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Yeah, that’s what always gets me. It seems that the full extent of “research” a birther ever does is merely read and cut/paste worthless cr*p from other birther sites or go to google search, type in some search words and then cut/paste any article that comes up with a match, without ever reading it first.

    These people are the biggest zombie sheep I’ve ever seen. They have no idea how to think for themselves and don’t even understand the concept.

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Sean: IS MR. CHARLES EVANS HUGHES A “NATURAL BORN CITIZEN” WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE CONSTITUTION?

    I had forgotten that from the time I read it in the the Wikipedia.

    We should not forget that there is a tiny thread of such ideas probably going back to the late 18th century. However, it was not a widely held view. I mean, some people did read de Vattel, and some people did think parentage was more important than birth place. We’ve had waves of xenophobia before.

  38. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Loren: Take, for instance, Henry Wilson. His wiki page states that he legally changed his name from Jeremiah Jones Colbath, so presumably his father had the last name Colbath,

    It’s interesting the number of men who have occupied the office of President & VP who seem to have changed their birth names to something entirely different. Are there additional examples?

    As to Presidents, we have of course:

    William Jefferson Blythe III (Clinton)
    and
    Leslie Lynch King, Jr. (Gerald Ford)

    Have you found other examples?

    While this has nothing to do with Obama’s eligibility,it is interesting to note how many US Presidents (or Vice Presidents) seem to have come from circumstances where they were separated or estranged early on from their biological fathers.

  39. avatar
    Rickey June 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    Expelliarmus:
    iWhile this has nothing to do with Obama’s eligibility,it is interesting to note how many US Presidents (or Vice Presidents) seem to have come from circumstances where they were separated or estranged early on from their biological fathers.

    Andrew Jackson Sr. died three weeks before President Jackson was born..

  40. avatar
    Loren June 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I had forgotten that from the time I read it in the the Wikipedia.We should not forget that there is a tiny thread of such ideas probably going back to the late 18th century. However, it was not a widely held view. I mean, some people did read de Vattel, and some people did think parentage was more important than birth place. We’ve had waves of xenophobia before.

    And those old strains of birther-esque opinions were much more open about their xenophobia. The authors of such opinions were pretty overt in being anti-Chinese, or anti-British, or anti-Jewish, or anti-immigrant in general.

    The current strain can’t fall back on simply being anti-immigrant, since Obama’s father was absentee and his mother’s side had been American for multiple generations, so they instead resort to strained legalism and exaggerated claims that Obama is a British subject. Pretending that things like a random late 19th century editorial are somehow representative of the state of American law.

  41. avatar
    Greg June 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: We should not forget that there is a tiny thread of such ideas probably going back to the late 18th century.

    I think we also have to distinguish Breckenridge Long from the earlier thread. The previous thread, alien parents = alien baby, came almost exclusively from West Coast courts with their fear of a Chinese invasion.

    Long appears to be singular in his notion of a citizen by birth who was not eligible for the Presidency. (You can see an allusion to the notion in one other article – suggesting that whether the Chinese were eligible was an open question.) So, I’m not sure if Long is part of the thread, or a “threadlet,” perhaps just a fiber.

  42. avatar
    Loren June 8, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Greg:
    Long appears to be singular in his notion of a citizen by birth who was not eligible for the Presidency.

    Long wasn’t anti-Chinese, but his actions before and during WWII show him to be a person who was strongly anti-immigrant. The anti-immigration policies he imposed have been blamed for resulting in the deaths of many European Jews who weren’t allowed into the US: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/holocaust/peopleevents/pandeAMEX90.html .

  43. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Loren: And those old strains of birther-esque opinions were much more open about their xenophobia.

    I should read up on the Alien and Sedition acts and the xenophobia surrounding that period, when the residency requirements for citizenship were increased to 14 years (compared to 2 in 1790 and 5 today).

  44. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Expelliarmus: Leslie Lynch King, Jr. (Gerald Ford)

    Somehow I have difficulty envisioning a US President with the name “King.”

  45. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny June 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: Somehow I have difficulty envisioning a US President with the name “King.”

    What about a US President with the middle name Sergei? It has happened…

  46. avatar
    Jim Cricket June 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    “Now tell me, can you ever recall any time in your life before Obama came on the scene where anybody posed the question, “was this presidential candidate’s father a citizen?””

    Of course not. All the presidential candidates were white back then.

  47. avatar
    charo June 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    A couple of thoughts for your consideration. Doc and all here believe that there is no third category of citizens. The NBC was meant to be exclusionary. Whom did the founding fathers want to exclude from the presidency throughout the centuries, or until such time as the Constitution should be amended in that respect, if ever?

    The 14th Amendment was established more for Equal Protection than anything. No court except the Ankeny Court has specifically ruled on the the definition of a natural born citizen regarding eligibility. We can conjecture and make very convincing arguments that may someday be repeated by the Supreme Court. I hope that some case can withstand all the legal hurdles and bring the issue to final closure.

    The citizenship of the parents of presidents and presidential candidates is the talk of this thread. What kind of proof do you think the framers had in mind that would demonstrate a presidential (and vice presidential) candidate met the three requirements for the presidency and how was that proof to be presented to the electorate? The fathers could not have known that all future presidents were clearly of age. They must have considered that someone close to age 35 (Eldridge Cleaver in the modern age was shown to have failed that requirement) may aspire to the office. What proof did they think would be presented and to whom? What if some candidate actually had 13 3/4 years permanent residency? Was there an expectation by the fathers that opponents and the population would vet the candidates and bring the evidence to light in a timely way? It has been said that if there were some kind of funny business with President Obama’s birth certificate, Hillary Clinton, even John McCain would have been on it. Doesn’t this assume that they used their positions to break privacy laws and came up empty handed?

  48. avatar
    katahdin June 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm #

    Jim Cricket: “Now tell me, can you ever recall any time in your life before Obama came on the scene where anybody posed the question, “was this presidential candidate’s father a citizen?””Of course not. All the presidential candidates were white back then.

    Well, Jesse Jackson was black, but he was never a serious candidate.

  49. avatar
    Scientist June 8, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    charo: Whom did the founding fathers want to exclude from the presidency throughout the centuries, or until such time as the Constitution should be amended in that respect, if ever?

    Their fear was that the people, accustomed to living under a monarch, in a world where most countries were monarchies, would invite a younger son of some European royal family to be President and rule as a king. I don’t believe they meant to exclude those born in the US, nor those born to US citizens abroad. It’s not even clear that a majority of founders even cared about the issue, since it was not debated or voted on. The Constitutional Convention was so contentious on other issues that it is likely no one was willing to go to the mat over the NBC clause.

    charo: No court except the Ankeny Court has specifically ruled on the the definition of a natural born citizen regarding eligibility. We can conjecture and make very convincing arguments that may someday be repeated by the Supreme Court. I hope that some case can withstand all the legal hurdles and bring the issue to final closure.

    There is nothing preventing Ankeny being appealed to the US Supreme Court, except the birthers fear (jistified) of losing. The odds that the Court would want to hear arguments is extremely remote.

    charo: What kind of proof do you think the framers had in mind that would demonstrate a presidential (and vice presidential) candidate met the three requirements for the presidency and how was that proof to be presented to the electorate?

    Likely none. In their time, anyone running for high office would have come from a small aristocracy who all knew each other very well. There were few if any official documents in those days anyway.

  50. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    charo: A couple of thoughts for your consideration. Doc and all here believe that there is no third category of citizens. The NBC was meant to be exclusionary. Whom did the founding fathers want to exclude from the presidency throughout the centuries, or until such time as the Constitution should be amended in that respect, if ever?

    Charo, we are all aware that at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and during the earlier portions of our nation’s history, certain types of folks were excluded from that promise of “all men created equal”.

    For some specific examples, that included blacks (at least slave blacks), women, native americans.

    All of those situations were corrected by law & or amendment to grant the civil rights to those groups and deservedly so.

    Please tell me you are not trying to make an argument to justify going back to such race or sex based discrimination?

    The 14th Amendment did serve to simplify and clarify things. The Amendment process itself exists for that very reason within our original Constitution – to address changes as necessary to our laws to improve upon them as our nation moves forward over time.

    This is 2010. We live in today’s world, based on the history of laws that have been built up as needed to improve our world over time and in order to deal with the world we live in today.

    There are only 2 types of citizens in today’s USA – naturalized & natural born. Simple as that.

  51. avatar
    northland10 June 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    charo: What proof did they think would be presented and to whom? What if some candidate actually had 13 3/4 years permanent residency? Was there an expectation by the fathers that opponents and the population would vet the candidates and bring the evidence to light in a timely way?

    There would have been little need to prove anything to the population as there was not real popular vote by the general populace in the early days. The first elections were by electoral college only (and, as it happens, run offs in the Congress a few times) with the electors being selected in a myriad of ways. As Scientist mentioned earlier, there would be likely a greater chance that those who are running were well known since those who needed to know were a smaller group. They rather had to be well known because they also did not personally campaign (it was considered undignified).

    The birthers and denialists keep thinking record collection is the same now as it was then. If it were, I would not have trouble finding an ancestors burial place. Unfortunately, the remaining surveys and land warrents use landmarks such as trees to identify the parcel. Can I assume then that there is a grand conspiracy, begun over 200 years ago, just to confound me. Darn that Patrick Henry (his signature as governor is on some of the paperwork).

  52. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    charo: What kind of proof do you think the framers had in mind that would demonstrate a presidential (and vice presidential) candidate met the three requirements for the presidency and how was that proof to be presented to the electorate? The fathers could not have known that all future presidents were clearly of age. They must have considered that someone close to age 35 (Eldridge Cleaver in the modern age was shown to have failed that requirement) may aspire to the office. What proof did they think would be presented and to whom? What if some candidate actually had 13 3/4 years permanent residency? Was there an expectation by the fathers that opponents and the population would vet the candidates and bring the evidence to light in a timely way?

    That is an interesting question. As I don’t think there is much evidence to make more than mere generalized speculation on the topic, I’ll clearly state that I am merely speculating here, in order to give you a response.

    I think record keeping of such was likely minimal at best during those early days and therefore, simple things, such as mere name notations of birth in bibles or ledgers were about as strong as the written evidence would have been. More likely, as the nation was much, much smaller back then (less than 4 million people in the first census, which took place in 1790), over a smaller expanse.

    Prominent folks that would have been able to gain enough traction to run for office were likely very well known within their general communities and thus, it was much simpler for folks to just “know” or vouch for or take the word that the candidate was who they claimed to be.

    So, if anything, I think our very nations history supports the idea that the issue of eligibility has been one based on trust and a default assumption that someone is who they say they are and if they state they are eligible, we take their word for it, unless actual evidence comes up to say otherwise. If anything, this is in line with the traditional American values of innocent until proven guilty.

    So, I find it odd that only when *this* particular president does this sudden “mistrust” manifest itself amongst a small segment of our population.

    Just because you don’t personally like someone is not a valid reason to assume them guilty and require them to prove their innocence.

    Our laws and our values do not work that way.

  53. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    G: So, if anything, I think our very nations history supports the idea that the issue of eligibility has been one based on trust and a default assumption that someone is who they say they are and if they state they are eligible, we take their word for it, unless actual evidence comes up to say otherwise.

    I think politics was alive and kicking in 1787. If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility. Remember that in the very first congressional election, charges were made against one elected to Congress, that he had not met the residency requirement. Pamphlets were printed, newspapers carried impassioned letters to the editor and it was finally settled in the US House of Representatives.

    But did more than 2 dozen people on the whole planet know whether James Buchanan’s father was a citizen? I think not.

  54. avatar
    Benji Franklin June 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Hey Doc,

    I recall scattered throughout the vast compendium of 18th and 19th century literature which we have been exposed to, a sprinkling of references to “natural born citizens of (a particular state!)

    I use a SCOTUS case as an example :The Aeolus, 16 U.S. 392 (1818)

    …..He proves, however, to be a natural born citizen of Massachusetts, who had been absent from his country not more than four years, and who therefore, as may well be supposed, was not long in recovering his vernacular tongue, which we soon find him speaking with as much facility as if he had never been absent from his native state. …”

    Would the Birthers claim (for consistency) that a natural born citizen of Massachusetts could not result from the union of a natural born citizen of Massachusetts mother and a natural born citizen of Virginia father, no matter where the child was born?

    And, while the slippery figurative sense in which the English language has always used expressions like (he is a), “natural born guitar player” or a “natural born thief” , is well established, I can’t find any current or historical literary exceptions to the “rule” by usage, that place of birth alone determines the construction of expressions like, “natural born Bostonian” or “natural born Californian” or “natural born Londoner” or “natural born Parisian” or “natural born Floridian” or “natural born Chicagoan” or “natural born Northerner”.

    Benji Franklin

  55. avatar
    charo June 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    The birthers and denialists keep thinking record collection is the same now as it was then.

    -My point was just the opposite. And G, I don’t know President Obama to personally like or dislike him. I tried to make my comment more generalized, except for the last part about Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

  56. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility.

    Dr. C, that is still true to this very day.

  57. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Charo,

    I placed a reply to your other half of your questions, in regards to McCain & Clinton’s campaign, but it is held up in moderation, because of all the reference links, I believe.

    So, until that get’s freed up to display here, I’ll put a good portion of the non-link driven response here as well, just so you have a timely response:

    Charo, the McCain campaign has been on record a number of times stating that they looked into the issue and found nothing to it. Even the HI GOP Governor was part of that and said the same quite clearly in her most recent statement.

    McCain’s campaign counsel has said the campaign did look into the birth certificate question and, like every other serious examination, dismissed it.

    My additional links were further info stating pretty much the same thing, but from the 07/24/09 interview that Trevor Potter, McCain’s campaign attorney made.

    I also linked to and quoted Governor Lingle, of HI, who also was part of McCain’s campaign and stated she did her looking into the issue for that very reason:

    You know, during the campaign of 2008, I was actually in the mainland campaigning for Sen. McCain. This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it’s one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country. And so I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi’olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that’s just a fact. And yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue. And I think it’s, again, a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this. … It’s been established. He was born here.

    There haven’t really been many quotes or books by the Clinton campaign team, so I don’t have any quotes from them on the topic.

    However, let’s be realistic here. This was the largest, longest, most covered presidential race in history. The 2008 primary against Clinton was bitterly contested and hard fought, with both contestants having more $$$ than ever raised before at their disposal. The same is true with McCain vs Obama in the general. Opposition research is a standard and basic tactic in political campaigns, especially such prominent and bitterly contested ones. The Clinton team is well known for playing hard and doing tough opposition research. If there was anything to find, they would have found it. To think otherwise is to intentionally be naive and self-deceptive.

    Official government offices must follow privacy acts and can’t release info that they are not supposed to. However, I don’t know what methods opposition research teams use, but I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them didn’t feel “beholden” to break rules where they feel necessary to get the information.

    Consider this – decent PI’s (Private Investigators) can dig up just about any piece of paper or dirt on your background. Trust me, many of the practices they use to get at that info is not always “clean”. I have some friends that have done this for a living and they are quite open about some of the deceptive tricks they will use to get access to info that they don’t have a right to get.

    Remember, Obama has been in public office since the mid 90’s. There have been plenty of campaigns & time for any opposition research to find something as “glaring” as his being born anywhere other than Honolulu, HI, if such existed. He’s gone to colleges, traveled abroad, owned cars, owned property, gotten married, etc. There is a long, long paper trail that exists that any good PI worth his salt could come across if they wanted too. The only reason we haven’t heard anything is because there isn’t anything unusual to be found.

    You should find it telling that the birthers don’t spend money on real PIs to do their investigations, just as it is telling that no real Constitutional Lawyers nor real Constitutional Experts will touch any of these birther cases with a ten-foot pole.

    Why don’t you find it suspicious that the only people pursuing this are a bunch of hacks, crackpots and bottom-tier lawyers & pseudo-lawyers with no Constitutional Law background whatsoever at all?

    Shouldn’t that tell you something right there?

  58. avatar
    G June 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    charo: It has been said that if there were some kind of funny business with President Obama’s birth certificate, Hillary Clinton, even John McCain would have been on it. Doesn’t this assume that they used their positions to break privacy laws and came up empty handed?

    Charo, the McCain campaign has been on record a number of times stating that they looked into the issue and found nothing to it. Even the HI GOP Governor was part of that and said the same quite clearly in her most recent statement.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1209/Palin_Obama_birth_certificate_a_fair_question.html

    McCain’s campaign counsel has said the campaign did look into the birth certificate question and, like every other serious examination, dismissed it.

    Here are some other links for you on that that confirm the same thing, from an interview with McCain’s campaign lawyer, Trevor Potter:

    http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=79842

    http://washingtonindependent.com/52474/mccain-campaign-investigated-dismissed-obama-citizenship-rumors

    Here’s Gov Lingle of HI:

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/hawaii_gov_lingle_answers_the.html

    You know, during the campaign of 2008, I was actually in the mainland campaigning for Sen. McCain. This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it’s one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country. And so I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi’olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that’s just a fact. And yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue. And I think it’s, again, a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this. … It’s been established. He was born here.

    There haven’t really been many quotes or books by the Clinton campaign team, so I don’t have any quotes from them on the topic.

    However, let’s be realistic here. This was the largest, longest, most covered presidential race in history. The 2008 primary against Clinton was bitterly contested and hard fought, with both contestants having more $$$ than ever raised before at their disposal. The same is true with McCain vs Obama in the general. Opposition research is a standard and basic tactic in political campaigns, especially such prominent and bitterly contested ones. The Clinton team is well known for playing hard and doing tough opposition research. If there was anything to find, they would have found it. To think otherwise is to intentionally be naive and self-deceptive.

    Official government offices must follow personal information protection laws and can’t release info that they are not supposed to. However, I don’t know what methods opposition research teams use, but I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them didn’t feel “beholden” to break rules where they feel necessary to get the information.

    Consider this – decent PI’s (Priv Investigators) can dig up just about any piece of paper or dirt on your background. Trust me, many of the practices they use to get at that info is not always “clean”. I have some friends that have done this for a living and they are quite open about some of the deceptive tricks they will use to get access to info that they don’t have a right to get.

    Remember, Obama has been in public office since the mid 90’s. There have been plenty of campaigns & time for any opposition research to find something as “glaring” as his being born anywhere other than Honolulu, HI, if such existed. He’s gone to colleges, traveled abroad, owned cars, owned property, gotten married, etc. There is a long, long paper trail that exists that any good PI worth his salt could come across if they wanted too. The only reason we haven’t heard anything is because there isn’t anything unusual to be found.

    You should find it telling that the birthers don’t spend money on real PIs to do their investigations, just as it is telling that no real Constitutional Lawyers nor real Constitutional Experts will touch any of these birther cases with a ten-foot pole.

    Why don’t you find it suspicious that the only people pursuing this are a bunch of hacks, crackpots and bottom-tier lawyers & pseudo-lawyers with no Constitutional Law background whatsoever at all?

    Shouldn’t that tell you something right there?

  59. avatar
    chufho June 9, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    G: As is Barack Obama. Like many of our top presidents, he too comes from a long American lineage, shared by many of the other presidents.So, I guess you could say he’s more like most US presidents in that respect that many of us regular citizenry folk, who have no known bloodline ties to American dynastic families.He is related, through his maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham, to six other US Presidents: James Madison, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.His American ancestry goes back further than most people can claim, and has been traced back to Jonathan Singletary Dunham, who was born in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1640, making him Barack Obama’s 8-greats-grandfather was his earliest ancestor born in North America. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Barack_Obama

    who is he related to on the kenyan half of his citizenship

  60. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    chufho: who is he related to on the kenyan half of his citizenship

    Go to the link I provided. They have that there too.

  61. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    chufho: who is he related to on the kenyan half of his citizenship

    And I think you mean on the Kenyan half of his ancestry.

  62. avatar
    chufho June 9, 2010 at 12:33 am #

    no i mean his dual citizenship making him unable to be president,
    by the way, relatives dont give one natural born status

  63. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Michelle Obama’s cousin is a rabbi:

    http://www.forward.com/articles/14148/

    “no i mean his dual citizenship making him unable to be president”

    Better call Mario.

  64. avatar
    Slartibartfast June 9, 2010 at 2:00 am #

    charo: What kind of proof do you think the framers had in mind that would demonstrate a presidential (and vice presidential) candidate met the three requirements for the presidency and how was that proof to be presented to the electorate?

    Since no one else has taken a stab at what the current vetting process is, I’ll give you my thoughts on the matter (and these are just my thoughts – I don’t claim to have the legal knowledge or other expertise of many of the posters here).

    1. The media – It was certainly well-known that President Obama’s father wasn’t a US citizen before the election (the fact that this didn’t raise a hue and cry among Constitutional experts is, in my mind, a convincing argument against the de Vattel camp). Additionally, no credible evidence that President Obama was born anywhere but Hawaii has come to light (either before or after the election).

    2. The states – While all of the states have their own requirements for getting on the ballot, my understanding is that in most of them someone (generally Speaker Pelosi or the head of the state DNC) signs an affidavit attesting to the eligibility of the candidate. (JBJD a birther regularly posting at Dr. Kate’s View and Texas Darlin’ before that is big on going after these people for fraud.) I’m guessing that the COLB that was posted on-line was probably requested to show the people who had to sign these affidavits, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

    3. The electoral college – Since the EC is made up of party operatives and is pretty much a formality these days, there was never much chance that any of them would object that the president-elect of their party was ineligible, but I’m guessing that the issue could have been raised when they met if a member wished to do so (hypothetically, say that a member had proof that President Obama was ineligible, they could present it in an effort to convince their colleagues to vote for, say, Hillary Clinton).

    4. Congress – One Senator and one Representative delivering a written objection to the Vice President before the vote of the electoral college was ratified would have been sufficient to raise the issue.

    Any theory which holds that President Obama is not eligible must necessarily explain why no objections were raised at any of these points. In my opinion, the only time and place at which this issue could have been brought to court was in one of the several states before the election. Even then it would have required someone who was actually on the ballot in order to achieve standing. If he was removed from the ballot in even one state before the election, I think that this would have had a huge impact (it certainly would have drawn intense media coverage). Seeing as Alan Keyes was on the ballot in CA (at least), he certainly could have brought a suit before the election, but even if he had, he could not have overcome the prima facie evidence of the COLB. The birthers will have their shot in the run-up to 2012 and will lose all of the cases in which they pass the standing hurdle (just my opinion, but I’m pretty confident…).

  65. avatar
    Lupin June 9, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    Va Highlander: You might as well debate quantum theory with a Sudanese street walker

    How did you know my secret hobby?

  66. avatar
    Lupin June 9, 2010 at 2:39 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: How do you feel about the translation of indigene as “natural born citizen?”

    The normal translation of indigene is native, as in the natives are restless tonight.

    French syntax being what it is (damn you, French syntax!) you can’t really say “natural-born citizen” without using a longer and less accurate periphrase.

    So there will always be room for argument when making the transition from “indigene” to “natural-born citrizen”.

    Clearly the term native refers to people born on the land (jus soli) so after the American Indians (Native Americans) then everyone born on US soil is indeed a native. Period.

    I think Vattel took it for granted (considering when he was writing) that a child born, say, on Swiss soil, would be likely born from a Swiss father, and like your framers with the children of diplomats, only wanted to exclude from his definition those children born from foreign fathers who likely would be returning home, etc.

  67. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 2:40 am #

    Lupin: How did you know my secret hobby?

    Obama’s agents told Orly, who got my number from the Mossad, who told me.

    Simple, really.

  68. avatar
    Lupin June 9, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    chufho: his dual citizenship making him unable to be president

    This is rubbish.

    As detailed too many times here, Obama was born with potential dual citizenship. Just like the children of Irish, Jewish, Greek, French and Italian people.

    But he never actually was a dual citizen. He could have, but WAS NOT.

  69. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 9, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    charo: What kind of proof do you think the framers had in mind that would demonstrate a presidential (and vice presidential) candidate met the three requirements for the presidency and how was that proof to be presented to the electorate? The fathers could not have known that all future presidents were clearly of age. They must have considered that someone close to age 35 (Eldridge Cleaver in the modern age was shown to have failed that requirement) may aspire to the office. What proof did they think would be presented and to whom? What if some candidate actually had 13 3/4 years permanent residency? Was there an expectation by the fathers that opponents and the population would vet the candidates and bring the evidence to light in a timely way?

    They didn’t provide a specific mechanism, quite likely because they weren’t particularly worried about the risk of the 13 3/4 year resident or the 34 year old candidate. They also specified in the Constitution that Senators be at least 30 years old, but within thirty years after the ratification of the Constitution — within the lifetime of many of the Founders — three underage Senators were elected and allowed to serve without objection: Henry Clay (aged 29 in 1806), and Armistead Thomson Mason (aged 28 in 1816) and John Eaton (aged 28 in 1818).

    They probably just didn’t think it was that big of deal. They wanted to set basic standards, but the fact that they didn’t set out some sort of mechanism for “proof” is an indication that they really weren’t worried that someone would get elected in circumstances where some aspect of the qualifications was fuzzy. They probably felt it was safe to rely on the candidate’s word — and assumed that the political process would weed out the situations where the person obviously did not meet qualifications.

  70. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 3:40 am #

    Expelliarmus and charo: the 14-year requirement does not state if it is consecutive, or cumulative.

    Hoover’s and Eisenhower’s 14 years were cumulative.

  71. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 9, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    misha: Expelliarmus and charo: the 14-year requirement does not state if it is consecutive, or cumulative.

    I realize that… that’s part of the reason that I don’t think it was all that big a deal in their minds. If it was, they would have been more specific in their language.

    Although I personally believe that they probably meant 14 years’ residence as an adult — but that’s just a hunch. I get that simply because I think the age of majority would have been 21 at the time — and 21+14=35. Senators have to have been residents for 9 years and at least age 30 — 21+9=30.

    But then the provisions for the House kind of undermine that interpretation — because they have to be 25 years old and residents for 7 years, which obviously means that — they could begin counting from age 18.

    The real truth is that that the Constitution is the product of a committee — and so they had to come to a consensus on stuff. Areas where things are unclear are likely either a result of:

    a) Something not seen as important enough to warrant careful attention to wording, when they were busy debating the hard stuff, like how to count black people;

    or

    b) An area where there was some disagreement, so they used fuzzy language to gain consensus.

  72. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    chufho: no i mean his dual citizenship making him unable to be president,
    by the way, relatives dont give one natural born status

    1. You are wrong – dual-citizenship has no bearing whatsoever on presidential eligibility. You can’t provide a single legal precedent or law that indicates otherwise.

    2. I never said relatives give one NBC status. That is your misinterpretation, not mine. I simply pointed out that on his mother’s side, his family roots in this country go back to before this nation’s founding. However, if he & all of his family in that line were born here, then of course they are all citizens, [Deleted, Doc]!

    Remember, what gives Obama rock-solid NBC status is that he was born in Honolulu, HI. Simple as that.

  73. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    chufho: no i mean his dual citizenship making him unable to be president,

    Everyone who accomplished important things was told by someone at some point that they were “unable”.

  74. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    “The Clinton team is well known for playing hard and doing tough opposition research. If there was anything to find, they would have found it. To think otherwise is to intentionally be naive and self-deceptive.” (G)

    You are skirting the question. Did they use their positions to break privacy laws? What did McCain do to “look into it”?

  75. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Two things come to mind: Nixon and his cronies could not keep Watergate a secret. The Pentagon Papers could not be kept secret.

    I have talked with my accountant. He told me that presidential and vice presidential candidates go through the highest level IRS audit, of the past five years returns. It starts with a birth certificate and SS card. He said “it is very uncomfortable.”

    When Clinton won, flunkies from the WH went to the passport archives in Suitland, trying to find that Clinton had renounced his citizenship while a Rhodes scholar. They came up empty handed.

    I’m sorry, but if there was anything, Clinton and McCain would have pounced – especially Clinton. I’ll take Obama any day over McSame and Bible Spice.

  76. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    “I think politics was alive and kicking in 1787. If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility.” (Doc C)

    I just saw this and G, you agreed, so I got my answer. It is okay to “do the deed.” Because they did it behind the scenes, that was okay? The average person has to follow the law to get information.

    I haven’t held to the theory, kicking and screaming that President Obama was born in Kenya. It, however, seemed no one knew who he was because there were a series of articles (likely repeating information from one source) that had him Kenyan born during the Senate race. They were discussed here, I would bet.

    In response to your statement in bold, why bother to tell me that? I am just responding on a blog. The purpose, as I understand, of Doctor C’s website is to provide a central place of conspiracy busting. This blog would get incredibly boring if the minutiae weren’t delved into.
    Think about how internet use has exploded since the Bush election cycles. Bush and his opponents were well-known. At the time of the last election cycle, Senator Obama was not. Whether you want to admit it or not, a much smaller percentage of people were into this whole eligibility issue. There has been an increase in the number of people who have questions. Don’t call them hard-core racists.*

    Lastly for now, I pointed out a poll in another thread that shows some democrats and liberals are birthers and satisfied with the President’s performance. So, you really need another category of birthers.

    *I believe they are few in number if you look at our society now. Schools have been integrated for years. Children befriend each other. I taught for a number of years where I as a Caucasion was the minority. Most of the kids looked past my color, but there were a handful whose parents were so angry that they instilled hatred in their children. Wrong, completely wrong. And against the principles so eloquently laid out by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. IMO, the criminals who committed brutality against their fellow human beings are in wheelchairs or dead at this point.

  77. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    misha: He told me that presidential and vice presidential candidates go through the highest level IRS audit, of the past five years returns. It starts with a birth certificate and SS card. He said “it is very uncomfortable.”

    Excuse me if I take little stock in the above statement when we have Time Geitner, no disrespect for you intended.

  78. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Whether you want to admit it or not, a much smaller percentage of people were into this whole eligibility issue.

    My comment is not well-organized or expressed. I meant during the election cycle as compared to now.

  79. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    charo: Excuse me if I take little stock in the above statement when we have Time Geitner, no disrespect for you intended.

    And how do you think we know about Mr Geithner’s tax problems? They came to light as a result of his pre-confimation audit. Same with Tom Daschle who had to drop out of the running for HHS Secretary.

  80. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    charo: You are skirting the question. Did they use their positions to break privacy laws? What did McCain do to “look into it”?

    YOU are skirting the question.

    First, I think we can be certain that lawyers for Clinton and other Democratic candidates and for the Republicans saw no possibility that Obama’s father’s citizenship was an issue. None, since they never mentioned it despite it being public information. Republican lawyers obviously did see an issue with McCain’s birth in Panama, hence the senate resolution.

    Second, on Obama’s birthplace, no I don’t think opposing campaigns had access to the files in Hawaii. I do think they sent people to dig in Kenya. It’s what any professional opposition researcher would do. Since they never brought any information forward, it’s safe to say they found nothing of any value.

  81. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    “…McCain would have pounced”

    There were questions about his own eligibility. Although legal scholars came to his defense, there was still no certainty that the court would rule in his favor. I don’t think he wanted to go there. As for the Clintons, I would never venture to guess their intentions. Once Candidate Obama’s popularity took off at rocket speed, Hillary Clinton may have decided that she had a better chance to wait for 4 years, or even 8, depending on how things play out.

  82. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    charo: “…McCain would have pounced”
    There were questions about his own eligibility.

    Interesting that there were such “issues’ for McCain, yet none of his Republican opponents said a word. My conclusion-the vast majority of voters don’t really care about this eligibility stuff. They consider you are eligible unless you are an immigrant. OK by me.

  83. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    scientist,

    You have expressed this sentiment often, but I respectfully disagree with it. The problem I see is the association of people who do care about eligibility with racism. I don’t recall if you make that continued association but others here express it often.

  84. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    scientsist,

    I don’t see myself as skirting my own question. I don’t try to avoid any questions. When someone like me comments, there are often a flurry of issues raised by many. It is simply not possible to engage with everyone, at least for me. I pipe in now and then and when I do, I don’t think it is a bad thing for the site. It’s always interesting to be here. I’ll check in some other time.

  85. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    charo: The problem I see is the association of people who do care about eligibility with racism. I don’t recall if you make that continued association but others here express it often.

    I think if you check my comments you will not find the word “racism”. Surely after 17 months of his Administration, any thinking person can have solid reasons to support or oppose Obama without regard to his birth or parentage. Why keep this old issue alive? Surely even the most die-hard birther doesn’t honestly believe any of these long-dead lawsuits are about to arise from the grave?

  86. avatar
    Greg June 9, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    charo: “…McCain would have pounced”There were questions about his own eligibility. Although legal scholars came to his defense, there was still no certainty that the court would rule in his favor. I don’t think he wanted to go there. As for the Clintons, I would never venture to guess their intentions. Once Candidate Obama’s popularity took off at rocket speed, Hillary Clinton may have decided that she had a better chance to wait for 4 years, or even 8, depending on how things play out.

    1. There was near unanimity that McCain was eligible. By contrast, it was unanimously believed that someone born abroad who doesn’t get citizenship automatically by that birth is not eligible. It was also unanimously believed that someone born here is eligible. And it was unanimously believed up until Leo Donofrio decided it wasn’t the case.

    2. It wouldn’t just go to Obama’s eligibility, but his entire life story if he were born in Kenya, not Hawaii.

    3. Hillary didn’t seem to have made a 2012/2016 decision when she was running an “every primary/every super-delegate” primary campaign. To think she would have put aside damaging information in order to protect a later run seems at odds with what she actually did!

    What proof did they think would be presented and to whom?

    They really did want it to be judged by the electorate. You can see it in the Federalist Papers where the electorate is presented as our most powerful weapon against foreign influence, sectionalism and other vices.

    Doesn’t this assume that they used their positions to break privacy laws and came up empty handed?

    You can verify the information without violating privacy laws.

    For example, looking at the birth announcements confirms conclusively that the birth certificate on record with the state of Hawaii will say that Obama was born there.

    You can decide right there that unless there is something very, very strange on the certificate that this is a loser of an issue. The only reason to keep pushing past that is a solid commitment to conspiracism.

    An understanding of evidence would have told the McCain researchers (and many oppo researchers are lawyers) that there was a ton of admissible evidence that Obama was born here, but not a whit of admissible evidence that he was born elsewhere.

  87. avatar
    Ellid June 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Charo –

    Kindly stop concern trolling. The President was born in Honolulu and is thus natural born. Nothing else is relevant.

    Also, which President’s middle name was “Sergei”?

  88. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Ellid: Also, which President’s middle name was “Sergei”?

    This president: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Rachmaninoff

  89. avatar
    Sef June 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    misha:
    This president: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Rachmaninoff

    Ah, yes. PC3!!

  90. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    There wasn’t ANY president with the middle name of Sergei:

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_middle_names_of_all_the_US_presidents

    This gets crazier by the minute.

  91. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    charo: “…McCain would have pounced”There were questions about his own eligibility. Although legal scholars came to his defense, there was still no certainty that the court would rule in his favor. I don’t think he wanted to go there. As for the Clintons, I would never venture to guess their intentions. Once Candidate Obama’s popularity took off at rocket speed, Hillary Clinton may have decided that she had a better chance to wait for 4 years, or even 8, depending on how things play out.

    Right and Saddam had WMDs when we invaded he just chose not to use them

  92. avatar
    Sef June 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross):
    Right and Saddam had WMDs when we invaded he just chose not to use them

    BTW, whatever happened to all of Saddam’s doubles?

  93. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Sef: BTW, whatever happened to all of Saddam’s doubles?

    They’re in the White House. You never see Obama and Saddam Hussein in the same room together. And they share a name. Coincidence?

  94. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) June 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Sef: BTW, whatever happened to all of Saddam’s doubles?

    Wasn’t Haratio Sands on SNL for a while?

  95. avatar
    Mike June 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Scientist:
    And how do you think we know about Mr Geithner’s tax problems?They came to light as a result of his pre-confimation audit.Same with Tom Daschle who had to drop out of the running for HHS Secretary.

    Not to mention that the initial comment about vetting was about the Prez and Veep. Geithner isn’t the President…

  96. avatar
    misha June 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Mike: Not to mention that the initial comment about vetting was about the Prez and Veep. Geithner isn’t the President…

    They all go through the same highest level audit.

  97. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 9, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    charo: Bush and his opponents were well-known. At the time of the last election cycle, Senator Obama was not.

    This simply is untrue. Obama’s election to the Senate in 2004 was followed closely, and Obama became well-known on the national stage when he gave his electrifying speech as keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic convention. The pundits were talking about a possible run for the Presidency at that point. It’s actually fairly common that the keynote convention speaker at one convention becomes the party’s candidate at the next — Bill Clinton did the same — so that kind of talk is always taken seriously.

    As an elected state Senator in Illinois, Obama certainly was not hidden away before that.

  98. avatar
    Expelliarmus June 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    charo: What did McCain do to “look into it”?

    Read the posts above. The Republican Governor of Hawaii, who was campaigning for McCain, asked the head of the Hawaii Dept of Health to check the records. They had direct access to the info.

  99. avatar
    Scientist June 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    charo: Bush and his opponents were well-known. At the time of the last election cycle, Senator Obama was not.

    Well, Obama has taken care of that now. No one will have to look at his birth or parentage to decide whether he deserves re-election in 2012. The constant rehashing of this old story reminds me of nothing more than rehashing some past World Series and that call the umpire made at the plate in the 9th inning. It’s June and time to look to this year’s World Series now.

  100. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

    charo: “The Clinton team is well known for playing hard and doing tough opposition research. If there was anything to find, they would have found it. To think otherwise is to intentionally be naive and self-deceptive.”(G)

    You are skirting the question.Did they use their positions to break privacy laws?What did McCain do to “look into it”?

    Charo, I did not skirt the question at all and explicitly answered you. Maybe you didn’t see all of my comments, because they were held up in moderation. Please re-look above for 3 similar long posts, where I tried to get the answers to you, but originally got stymied by the moderation filter.

    1. Re: Did they use their positions to break privacy laws – I explicitly answered as follows:

    G: Official government offices must follow personal information protection laws and can’t release info that they are not supposed to. However, I don’t know what methods opposition research teams use, but I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them didn’t feel “beholden” to break rules where they feel necessary to get the information.

    2. Re: “What did McCain do to look into it” – please re-read those posts. I explicitly state that his campaign has come out officially saying that they looked into the matter and didn’t find anything at all credible in the birthers claims. I gave a number of links stating just that.

  101. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    charo: I just saw this and G, you agreed, so I got my answer. It is okay to “do the deed.” Because they did it behind the scenes, that was okay? The average person has to follow the law to get information.

    Careful Charo, you are making conclusions and putting words in our mouths that imply other that what we said.

    I agreed that political opponents have always done opposition research and have been one of the strongest forces looking into the qualifications & “dirt” on their opponents.

    I also agreed with Dr. C that this has probably been happening since the beginning of our country’s elections.

    I never made any moral judgment stating that I thought that was a good thing or “okay” or made any reference to stuff happening “behind the scenes” as you so impune.

    I’m stating how things realistically have always happened, not issuing moral judgment on it. It would be wise if you didn’t confuse the two.

    If you want to know, I don’t particularly like any of those methods either and I hate all the mud-slinging and dirty politics. From a personal perspective, I’m with our original President, George Washington, who detested the idea of political parties in general. But I realize that reality is very different from how I wish things would operate. I don’t have to like it, but I understand and accept it and must address the reality.

    Again, I don’t know what tactics are used and I wish everyone would “follow the law”, so while I fully understand and support conceptually your statement that “the average person has to follow the law to get information,” I’m not sure what you are driving at in context here.

    We all want our laws to be followed by everyone, Charo. I would sincerely hope that you are not implying otherwise.

  102. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    charo: It, however, seemed no one knew who he was because there were a series of articles (likely repeating information from one source) that had him Kenyan born during the Senate race. They were discussed here, I would bet.

    Look, we are all responsible for educating ourselves on issues. Obama may have risen quickly at the national stage, but he wasn’t really some “unknown”. If people chose not to follow these things or do their own legitimate research into candidates, that is their own problem and their own responsibility.

    Compared to most candidates, Obama had quite an extensive background of public info available for those who chose to look for it. He made national news way back when he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. He published his first best-selling autobiography back in the mid-90’s and shortly after that, he got into politics at the state level, in one of the most populous states in our Country. His speech at the 2004 DNC made him a “rising superstar” and brought prominent national attention to him and his career was closely followed by all national newspapers and TV media from that point on.

    The 2008 presidential election was the longest and most followed contest in history. Constant specials were on TV that covered the life stories of him and the other prominent candidates, since the early primary days.

    If anyone chose to remain ignorant or unaware of that info, that is their own problem.

    The internet is full of a lot of junk websites that spread bias or bunk. If you or anyone choses to only read or follow such sites, again, that is your own responsibility. No reputable place has ever made any of these crazy birther claims or born in Kenya stuff, so that should immediately trigger your suspicion that these places are no better than the National Enquirer and other crud rags that tell stories about Elvis being alive and having babies on the Moon.

    Yes, such things were discussed here at this site. And the full archives of this site are still here and available for anyone who wants to look. But you don’t have to rely on this site to be a “bastion” of info either – there is a whole world of books, video and other historical or traditional news sources that cover things.

    Anyone who wants to honestly educate themselves on a candidate can do so. The internet only makes it much easier to do these days. So there really is no excuse for anyone to argue that they are unaware of things except to say that they chose to be unaware of them. And if folks chose to segment the info they expose themselves to limited and biased sources, they need to take personal responsibility for that as well.

    So in summary, the “no one knew who he was” is a bunk argument. If you chose to pay attention, then you had a very good idea of who he was, as tons of info was always out there on him.

  103. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    G,

    When I get time, I’ll go back and reread. I apologize if I sounded snippy. Life is crazy here at times. (Someone called me a “Concern troll.” What a laugh.) You did say as follows:

    “…but I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them didn’t feel “beholden” to break rules where they feel necessary to get the information.”

    Why can’t someone be beholden to me to break the rules!

    The larger point that I initially made was how the framers expected the populace to know if the presidential (and vice presidential) candidates met all three qualifications, knowing that the Constitution was written to apply years ahead into the future.

    Your responses are always well-presented, and they address everything I have said. Sorry if I don’t get to actively respond.

  104. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    charo: Whether you want to admit it or not, a much smaller percentage of people were into this whole eligibility issue. There has been an increase in the number of people who have questions. Don’t call them hard-core racists.*

    Compared to total US population, it is still a small percentage of people.

    I’ve seen an increase in polls in the number of people who are “aware” of this issue, as it has been mentioned in the media for almost 2 years now. I have not seen an increase in actual “birthers”.

    Again, I think you are buying into the birther echo chamber. I just see the same hard-core folks over and over again appearing on different sites, spewing the same garbage and often switching to using obvious sock-puppets to make it seem that there are more of them than there really are.

    It is part of the birther self-delusion to believe that they are a larger force than they actually are. The PUMA’s were the same way. As are the AGJ nutters. The Tea Party folks do it too. It seems these folks must believe in their own hype and mythology and puff up their numbers to think they have vastly larger numbers behind them in order to continuously convince themselves of their own myths and power.

    And why are you pulling the race card in this post? You were replying to me & Dr. C. I don’t remember anyone mentioning race. Nor do I remember it coming up on this thread until YOU did.

    If someone specifically mentions race in their post, then you can of course respond to that. However, to pull the race card and bring up the racism issue in your response when that was not part of the original argument is nothing but a dodge tactic used to try to change the topic when you don’t like the answers you are getting, so I’m calling you out on this.

    Are there racist motivations amongst the birthers – YES. Is that the only motivation out there – NO.

    This has come up many times and I’ve always answered it the same way, as have a number of others here. I don’t know why you are trying to use such an obvious strawman “victim” tactic here, as I don’t remember anyone calling you a racist.

    charo: Lastly for now, I pointed out a poll in another thread that shows some democrats and liberals are birthers and satisfied with the President’s performance. So, you really need another category of birthers.

    PUMAs were the original “birthers” and continue to claim to be “democrats”.

    We’ve given multiple categories and reasons for birthers, as I myself have done and responded to you in the past. I believe I’ve given from 5- 7 general categories for various birther motivations in my various past posts. Therefore, I think it is dishonest of you to ignore those past discussions and try to imply that anyone here is lumping birthers into one single reason for motivation.

    Again, that comes across as a pathetic “victimhood” tactic that concern trolls use. I have never thought of you as such in the past, Charo. Therefore, I’d ask that you do better than to just echo their behaviors. Your entire post this time came across that way.

  105. avatar
    Slartibartfast June 9, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    charo: The larger point that I initially made was how the framers expected the populace to know if the presidential (and vice presidential) candidates met all three qualifications, knowing that the Constitution was written to apply years ahead into the future.

    I think the obvious answer is that they didn’t expect the public to know. They set up the system so that the public doesn’t vote for a presidential candidate, they vote for a person (presumably someone whom they do know about) to represent them in voting for a president. It seems pretty clear that the system (as originally constituted) was designed for there to be no need for the individual voters to verify presidential qualifications since they weren’t voting for a presidential candidate. Presumably they envisioned that the electors wouldn’t vote for an ineligible candidate.

  106. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    charo: Once Candidate Obama’s popularity took off at rocket speed, Hillary Clinton may have decided that she had a better chance to wait for 4 years, or even 8, depending on how things play out.

    Of course you are entitled to your opinions, but as such, that is quite a weak argument.

    HRC had been prepping herself for becoming president for years and it was obvious since her move to the NY senate that she was doing that as a stepping stone to achieve POTUS. She was the clear front runner for the position in almost all discussions since even prior to the dust settling in the 2004 election cycle. She has a lot of popularity, power, connections, ambition and recognition in her own right and she waged a very competitive primary battle without truly conceding and backing Obama until the very last moment at the DNC convention in late summer 2008.

    This *was* her best chance and she knows it. She fought hard for it and she lost. To try to claim that she just “gave up” or thinks that she’d have a better chance running in 2016, when she’s approaching 70 is not being realistic. To think that she’d chose to run against a democratic president in 2012 is not realistic either.

  107. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Greg: For example, looking at the birth announcements confirms conclusively that the birth certificate on record with the state of Hawaii will say that Obama was born there.

    You can decide right there that unless there is something very, very strange on the certificate that this is a loser of an issue. The only reason to keep pushing past that is a solid commitment to conspiracism.

    An understanding of evidence would have told the McCain researchers (and many oppo researchers are lawyers) that there was a ton of admissible evidence that Obama was born here, but not a whit of admissible evidence that he was born elsewhere.

    Exactly. The only reason for anyone to continue to cling to this issue is a deep seated personal need to have to “believe” in a conspiracy in order to avoid accepting the results of the last election. It is a dead horse issue, with no rational basis behind it.

  108. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    charo: G,

    When I get time, I’ll go back and reread. I apologize if I sounded snippy. Life is crazy here at times. (Someone called me a “Concern troll.” What a laugh.) You did say as follows:

    “…but I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few of them didn’t feel “beholden” to break rules where they feel necessary to get the information.”

    Why can’t someone be beholden to me to break the rules!

    The larger point that I initially made was how the framers expected the populace to know if the presidential (and vice presidential) candidates met all three qualifications, knowing that the Constitution was written to apply years ahead into the future.

    Your responses are always well-presented, and they address everything I have said. Sorry if I don’t get to actively respond.

    Charo, thanks.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with what must have happened – your past few posts did come across very untypical of you – yes, “snippy” is a good word for it and in many ways, yes, they did sound like “concern trolling”. Thus, I think the flurry of rebuffs and responses you received from me and others.

    However, as you have established yourself here with a history of posts and dialogue, please take heart that I noticed that your phrasing choices were quite atypical of your standard responses, and so it was an indication that you were probably typing at a time when you were “not at your best” and probably colored your words, coming from a point of driven more by addressing personal emotional feelings that you are dealing with, than with being able to express your thoughts in a more rational manner.

    We all are human. I can definitely speak for myself and say that many times I’ve let fatigue or emotion drive me to express myself much less well than intended.

    So, as always, I appreciate your response and your participation here, Charo. I do consider you sincere and were concerned that by your recent posts, that you “changed” somehow.

    If you want to know how I categorize you, I don’t think you really fit *any* of the “birther” categories I’ve broken down before, so I don’t really classify you as an actual “birther”.

    If anything, I would say you fit into a category of folks who are “sympathetic” to the birther arguments, without crossing over into full-bore birther themselves. (Maybe I need a better term for this – feel free to help me out here).

    In terms of your posts about the size of the birther movements, as I’ve mentioned before, I think the number of actual “birthers” are much smaller than they claim and I don’t feel this is a growing population at all. I think it is a fairly fixed and relatively small portion of the overall population.

    I will concede that “birther sympathizers” is probably a much larger group of folks than the actual “birthers” themselves and although I think this group has achieved some growth over the past year and a half, I think it also peaked awhile ago and has only limited future growth potential beyond its current size, as there is just no actual fact-based evidence to support its growth much further than that. Therefore, I think it is still an exaggeration to believe that the total population of birthers & birther sympathizers could ever be more than merely a sizable minority.

    I think a number of people may move into this “sympathy” category just because they are “angry” about the economy, oil spill, etc. But those are emotional expressions of anger and disappointment with the president and allowing sympathy to such smearing arguments to seem soothing, as opposed to being based on any real reason to think he’s born somewhere other than Honolulu, HI.

  109. avatar
    charo June 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    G,

    Just a quick note for now. I looked up “concern troll” when I saw it here because I didn’t know what it meant.

    “A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user’s sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.”

    When I saw the definition, I thought it was funny that it was applied to me and didn’t think you would respond so seriously. I don’t think I have ever been guilty of claiming to share the views of others to try to sway the group, with the goal of sowing uncertainty and doubt. What an unrealistic endeavor!

  110. avatar
    G June 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Yeah, I definitely don’t think you are a “concern troll”, Charo. 🙂

    We’ve experienced plenty of them on here and it is fairly clear from reading the body of your posts that you are not one of them. But yes, that is the definition and boy, trust me, those folks are out there and they usually reveal themselves through their posts fairly quickly.

  111. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    charo: Did they use their positions to break privacy laws? What did McCain do to “look into it”?

    One need not make any extraordinary or far-fetched claims here. The fact of the matter is the Index of births in Hawaii (essentially the same information that was in the newspaper announcements) is public information. Anyone can walk into the main Health Department office and ask to look at the whole index. If anyone in the McCain or Clinton campaigns had a mind to check (and one supposes SOMEBODY on at least some Obama opponent’s campaign hearing the Internet rumors about Obama’s birth location would have made a few calls). The index for President Obama (which by the way is posted on the State Health Department Obama FAQ page) says he was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. That’s really all the birth certificate says of relevance to presidential eligibility and all a Clinton or a McCain would need to know to abandon the idea.

  112. avatar
    charo June 10, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    What I gathered when I heard it said that HRC or JM would have found something if it were there is that they (through their positions of power) would have gone beyond what is publicly available. It seemed you were suggesting that in the early part of our history, “by any means necessary” would have been an approach to discredit one’s opponent*. G seemed to agree. Why would that tactic now not be used if it were used then? That was the reason for the nature of my response, but then other issues arise along the way and everything becomes muddled. I apologize if I added something that you (and G) did not intend.

    * “So, if anything, I think our very nations history supports the idea that the issue of eligibility has been one based on trust and a default assumption that someone is who they say they are and if they state they are eligible, we take their word for it, unless actual evidence comes up to say otherwise.” (G)

    I think politics was alive and kicking in 1787. If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility. (Doc C)

    G, quoting Doc C “If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility.

    Dr. C, that is still true to this very day. (G)

  113. avatar
    charo June 10, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    G,

    1. “Please tell me you are not trying to make an argument to justify going back to such race or sex based discrimination?” (In reference to my statement that the nbc was meant to be exclusionary.)

    Where in the world did that come from?

    2. “Look, we are all responsible for educating ourselves on issues. Obama may have risen quickly at the national stage, but he wasn’t really some “unknown”. If people chose not to follow these things or do their own legitimate research into candidates, that is their own problem and their own responsibility.”

    The people who respond here do educate themselves. Although it is their responsibility to do so, do you really think the populace at large does so? Taking this outside of the eligibility issue, I don’t think people in general do that kind of research. Most people I know (and there are Obama voters among them) wouldn’t take the time. They don’t comment on websites either.

    3. ‘Again, I don’t know what tactics are used and I wish everyone would “follow the law”, so while I fully understand and support conceptually your statement that “the average person has to follow the law to get information,” I’m not sure what you are driving at in context here.’

    I addressed this in the comment above at 8:06 to Doc C.

    4. “She was the clear front runner for the position in almost all discussions since even prior to the dust settling in the 2004 election cycle. She has a lot of popularity, power, connections, ambition and recognition in her own right and she waged a very competitive primary battle without truly conceding and backing Obama until the very last moment at the DNC convention in late summer 2008.”

    When there were first hints of the birth certificate issue, I doubt that HRC believed she would lose in the end.

    5. “The internet is full of a lot of junk websites that spread bias or bunk. If you or anyone choses to only read or follow such sites, again, that is your own responsibility. No reputable place has ever made any of these crazy birther claims or born in Kenya stuff, so that should immediately trigger your suspicion that these places are no better than the National Enquirer and other crud rags that tell stories about Elvis being alive and having babies on the Moon.”

    You are taking what I said out of context.

    “I haven’t held to the theory, kicking and screaming that President Obama was born in Kenya. It, however, seemed no one knew who he was because there were a series of articles (likely repeating information from one source) that had him Kenyan born during the Senate race. They were discussed here, I would bet.” (Me)

    These articles, if you recall, were before the birth certificate issue. They would have nothing to do with spreading rumors that he was born in Kenya. Truthfully, I don’t know the content of those magazines. I know that the words “Kenyan born” were used in describing the Senatorial race. I don’t even know if you can find those sources anymore.

    6. “I’ve seen an increase in polls in the number of people who are “aware” of this issue, as it has been mentioned in the media for almost 2 years now. I have not seen an increase in actual “birthers”.

    I was referring to a poll cited by someone HERE, and it was not a birther. I never implied that the population at large holds birther views. The “don’t call them hard-core racists” was meant for those who continually make that claim here. I should have made that disclaimer, rather than making it seem personal to you. (Although I was quite shocked at #1 above from you.)

  114. avatar
    G June 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    charo: What I gathered when I heard it said that HRC or JM would have found something if it were there is that they (through their positions of power) would have gone beyond what is publicly available. It seemed you were suggesting that in the early part of our history, “by any means necessary” would have been an approach to discredit one’s opponent*.G seemed to agree. Why would that tactic now not be used if it were used then?That was the reason for the nature of my response, but then other issues arise along the way and everything becomes muddled. I apologize if I added something that you (and G) did not intend.*“So, if anything, I think our very nations history supports the idea that the issue of eligibility has been one based on trust and a default assumption that someone is who they say they are and if they state they are eligible, we take their word for it, unless actual evidence comes up to say otherwise.”(G)I think politics was alive and kicking in 1787. If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility.(Doc C)G, quoting Doc C“If anything, it was political opponents would do the deed and uncover ineligibility.
    Dr. C, that is still true to this very day. (G)

    I guess I’m still not understanding the nature of your argument/question here.

    I’m trying to respond as best I can, but I’m not sure what you are driving at.

    If your question is have political campaigns typically been active in trying to uncover or dig up any dirt they can find on their opponent – then my answer is “yes”.

    If your question is should everyone operate by the law in doing their digging – then my answer is “I agree, but I do not have full confidence that everyone or their campaigns always follows the rules – but then again, that is mere speculation and opinion on my part, and I have no proof of anyone operating outside of the law either”

    If your question is, if there was anything to be found in Obama’s past that was incriminating or didn’t match his statements, would his opponents have uncovered it – then my answer is yes, that is the most logical conclusion. HRC’s campaign was able to uncover the Rev. Wright comments – of which they had to dig through hundreds of hours of tapes of his past sermons over the years just to come up with a few soundbites. They uncovered connections to the Rezko case, but as none of that led to anything that implicated Obama in anything illegal on his part, they then dropped that. So yes, anywhere they could find anything suspicious, they were quite aggressive on finding it, as the evidence from the primary shows.

    The fact that those campaigns didn’t come up with anything on Obama or his background should be another logical clue telling you that there is no problem or real story there to pursue.

    I hope this helps clarify my response. If there is something I’m missing from what you are trying to ask or get at, please clarify further.

  115. avatar
    G June 10, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    charo: G,
    1. “Please tell me you are not trying to make an argument to justify going back to such race or sex based discrimination?” (In reference to my statement that the nbc was meant to be exclusionary.)

    Charo asks: Where in the world did that come from?

    G’s reply – Because You originally said:

    charo 08. Jun, 2010 at 9:41 pm:

    charo: A couple of thoughts for your consideration. Doc and all here believe that there is no third category of citizens. The NBC was meant to be exclusionary. Whom did the founding fathers want to exclude from the presidency throughout the centuries, or until such time as the Constitution should be amended in that respect, if ever?

    To which I replied that:

    Charo, we are all aware that at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and during the earlier portions of our nation’s history, certain types of folks were excluded from that promise of “all men created equal”.
    For some specific examples, that included blacks (at least slave blacks), women, native americans.

    All of those situations were corrected by law & or amendment to grant the civil rights to those groups and deservedly so.

    Please tell me you are not trying to make an argument to justify going back to such race or sex based discrimination?

    Therefore, in context, I am simply asking if your statement about the NBC being “meant” to be exclusionary by the founding fathers is implying that we should go back to excluding full rights from those members of the population that were excluded in the original document.

    If you are implying something other than that, please clarify.

  116. avatar
    G June 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    charo: The people who respond here do educate themselves. Although it is their responsibility to do so, do you really think the populace at large does so? Taking this outside of the eligibility issue, I don’t think people in general do that kind of research. Most people I know (and there are Obama voters among them) wouldn’t take the time. They don’t comment on websites either.

    Charo, I agree completely with your point that the populace at large does not educate themselves on candidates nor the issues at all.

    (Note: I am responding to each of your points – #1 is held up in moderation for some reason, that I don’t know why, so check back and it should appear here once Doc C. get’s around to it)

    To continue back on your question #2, we all know that:

    a) many people unfortunately don’t bother to vote at all. I think that is a shame.

    b) of those that do, many chose not to spend any time paying attention to what is going on or educating themselves prior to going to the voting booth.

    Yes, we are all busy and have other important things in our lives to contend with. However, if you are going to bother to vote when you aren’t familiar with what you are voting on, prior to casting that vote, that is willful ignorance by choice.

    In my opinion, to do such is both irresponsible and inexcusable. After all, if you don’t know what you are voting for, why are you casting a vote and on what rational basis are you making that choice?

    We all know that there are folks that either just vote a party line. While I personally disagree with this, I can at least accept that for true die-hard partisans, this is a perfectly acceptable method of showing their party loyalty.

    We all know there are those that just vote for a name that sounds most familiar or appears first on a ballot. Is that responsible or practical? I would say definitely not!

    We all know that many will take any hearsay they come across to form an opinion on and go on that basis alone to cast their vote, without ever looking to see if the allegations have merit or truth to them. Is that responsible or practical either? I would say definitely not – especially since we all know how dirty campaigns are and how common fear/smear tactics are involved by most opponent’s supporters

    We all know that there are also many folks that are “single issue” voters – in reality, they might be aligned with everything else a candidate stands for, but there is one issue that matters to them most and they heard that the candidate doesn’t support their view on this. I would argue that this is a myopic way to vote and can often lead people to vote against their broader self-interests, but I would have to say that at least they are voting based on a legitimate personal position.

    So, I hope that breaks down and answers everything on this question for you from my views & perspective on it.

    In summary, I am fully aware that there are many uninterested & uninformed voters out there and that there are a whole host of weak justifications that people use to base their vote.

    My argument is for personal responsibility. Voting is an important right and privilege that we have. To do so without sufficiently educating oneself on the candidates and issues is in my view, wholly irresponsible. However, if a person chooses to do so anyways, they only have themselves to hold accountable for this.

  117. avatar
    G June 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    charo:
    #3 – I addressed this in the comment above at 8:06 to Doc C.

    See my response & follow-up question for further clarification above at 3:21pm, thanks.

    charo:
    #4 – When there were first hints of the birth certificate issue, I doubt that HRC believed she would lose in the end.

    I think we are agreeing here. I don’t think that HRC ever believed she would lose in the end. Although it started to become clear by May 2008 that she was going to lose, her party insiders seemed to still hold fast to the belief that they would prevail before it was all over and fought bitterly all the way until the August 2008 DNC convention itself, before she finally conceding defeat there. It was a very hard loss for her to accept, but she eventually did and is now the Clinton’s are key allies.

    charo:
    #5. You are taking what I said out of context.
    “I haven’t held to the theory, kicking and screaming that President Obama was born in Kenya. It, however, seemed no one knew who he was because there were a series of articles (likely repeating information from one source) that had him Kenyan born during the Senate race. They were discussed here, I would bet.” (Me)
    These articles, if you recall, were before the birth certificate issue. They would have nothing to do with spreading rumors that he was born in Kenya. Truthfully, I don’t know the content of those magazines. I know that the words “Kenyan born” were used in describing the Senatorial race. I don’t even know if you can find those sources anymore.

    Ok, thanks. That helps clarify and I see what you are referring to now. Actually, Dr. C has covered many of those issues and found those sources too on this site. I’ll ask him to provide the links to those blog posts, which address them.

    The short, simple answer is many of those turned out to be issues of misattribution and error (such as the original AP article that was a source for many of these, that didn’t say born in Kenya, but the translations & copies that came from it did) or more metaphorical ancestral references of Kenya as his “homeland”, similar to how Ireland was referenced in regards to the Kennedy’s.

    charo:
    #6. I was referring to a poll cited by someone HERE, and it was not a birther.

    I am very familiar with exactly which poll they & you were referring to. It was big news and widely reported, when it came out in May. Here is just one standard news article on it:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20004463-503544.html

    My point is simply that I chose not to speculate on why some folks voted in the ways they did on that poll or what to infer from those that held birther positions yet supported him. The detailed raw data behind the poll is not available, to my knowledge, to try to do an actual more in-depth analysis to make that determination.

    charo:
    #6, cont.
    I never implied that the population at large holds birther views. The “don’t call them hard-core racists” was meant for those who continually make that claim here. I should have made that disclaimer, rather than making it seem personal to you.

    Ok. Thanks for clarifying. That makes much better sense.

    charo:
    #6, cont.
    (Although I was quite shocked at #1 above from you.)

    Well, again, I think this is just an area where we are both misunderstanding what each other is trying to say.

    As soon as it comes out of moderation, see my reply to question #1, which should clear up what I’m asking and hopefully you’ll be able to help me understand what you were trying to imply, which led me to ask that question in the first place.

  118. avatar
    charo June 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    G,

    “Therefore, in context, I am simply asking if your statement about the NBC being “meant” to be exclusionary by the founding fathers is implying that we should go back to excluding full rights from those members of the population that were excluded in the original document.

    If you are implying something other than that, please clarify.”

    – I don’t understand your conclusion. I never alluded to the idea that the eligibility clause was meant to exclude the groups you mentioned. Besides the age and residency restrictions (under 35 excluded, less than 14 years permanent residency excluded), those NOT natural born citizens were excluded. Whom would the founding fathers want to exclude by that last qualifier? That has nothing to do with groups that were never going to be considered eligible for the presidency under any circumstances, natural born or not. A couple of people answered and didn’t find the implication you did.

    That is why I don’t understand where you are coming from.

    Someone here said to Scott Brown something to the effect that if you come into hostile territory, you have to have the ability to withstand the beatings (this is badly paraphrased). I don’t think I have that ability to be on constant defense. I don’t say this with any drama intended. I don’t belong here. There are no hurt feelings nor is there anger. When I first came here, I didn’t expect Doctor Conspiracy to be as tolerant as he turned out to be. I thought it was a one time experience. This can be addictive! But I really need to prioritize. I have nothing new, really to add.

  119. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy June 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    Really what the founders were trying to exclude was anyone that would get the United States tangled up in European politics.

  120. avatar
    G June 11, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    charo: – I don’t understand your conclusion. I never alluded to the idea that the eligibility clause was meant to exclude the groups you mentioned. Besides the age and residency restrictions (under 35 excluded, less than 14 years permanent residency excluded), those NOT natural born citizens were excluded. Whom would the founding fathers want to exclude by that last qualifier? That has nothing to do with groups that were never going to be considered eligible for the presidency under any circumstances, natural born or not. A couple of people answered and didn’t find the implication you did.

    Charo, that’s fine. See you just said you don’t understand my conclusion, so I’m going to explain why I jumped to that conclusion.

    I don’t take your asking me to explain as anything “hostile” and I am glad to clarify or admit if I’ve made a wrong assumption. That is what dialog means. In your second paragraph, you refer to my asking simple, professional questions in context of “Scott Brown” and allude to “withstanding beatings” here…which I think is an unfair comparison and that you are being over sensitive here. Maybe you just aren’t used to being asked to further explain what you mean. Maybe you are just dealing with all you’ve been through and taking simple inquiry too harshly.

    Regardless, I have not directed any hostilities towards you, so let’s not overreact.

    Before I get into explaining why I had that conclusion, let me clearly state that the answer you have just now given, which specifies that you were only referencing the eligibility clause in your original statement, gives me the answer I needed and is all I was asking you to explain, so I could properly understand it. So thank you.

    When I read the clarification you just gave, I immediately smacked my forehead and thought, “oh, now I get what she is trying to reference”. So, I’ll address your specific question on the eligibility clause in a moment.

    First, let me apologize & explain why I thought you were making a broader inquiry of the founding father’s citizenship intent in the overall Constitution, beyond just the mere scope of the single presidential eligibility clause:

    So, let’s look at your original statement again:

    charo: A couple of thoughts for your consideration. Doc and all here believe that there is no third category of citizens. The NBC was meant to be exclusionary. Whom did the founding fathers want to exclude from the presidency throughout the centuries, or until such time as the Constitution should be amended in that respect, if ever?

    What threw me and made me think of a broader context is that you started off with a statement that sounded like a challenge to our views that there is no third category of citizens in the Constitution. Therefore, by starting out with that statement, the rest of your paragraph comes across as supporting statements to that line of inquiry.

    As the eligibility clause only references one type of citizenship – NBC, it alone isn’t broad enough to derive multiple types of citizenship and therefore, I had to look at the entire Constitution as a whole to see where you might find citizenship beyond NBC or simply, Citizen. The only way I could come up with an interpretation that there might be more than two types is if someone was implying that the categories of people not granted full citizenship in the original Constitution (i.e. slaves, women, native americans, etc) were themselves viewed as additional categories of citizenship.

    But you’ve now fully cleared up for me that was absolutely not the line of thinking that you were implying.

    I hope that I’ve now explained why I misinterpreted your initial statements and my thought processes that led me to do that.

    So, with that out of the way, let me both ask one more question, based on your original statement:

    – Do you think there are more than 2 types of citizenship in the US today, and if so, how do you define them and what do you base them on?

    And finally, let me also finally address your specific original question properly, in regards to the use of NBC as a qualifier in the presidential eligibility clause:

    – Like others have mentioned, I think that the founders were mainly concerned with excluding European nobles & their children from assuming power here in the US and therefore bringing our fledgling nation back under the European fold.

    Furthermore, I think it was important to them that the leader of this nation have strong ties to this land, by sufficiently living here long enough to consider this their primary “home” and to actually understand and care about how it operates and have ties with others who live here (which goes also to the #of years residency portion of the clause) and that being born a citizen of this land (i.e. NBC) was one of the simplest ways they could think to express that and guarantee that.