September 15, 2004


Rohrabacher seeks to let foreign-born citizens run for president (Sacramento Bee, September 15, 2004)

A California Republican congressman introduced a constitutional amendment Wednesday that would allow Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president. But he insisted the candidate he really wants to see is a 76-year-old House Democrat from Hungary.

"There are those here today who will interpret this constitutional proposal permitting naturalized citizens to serve as president as a political ploy," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, an early supporter of Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial bid, said in remarks prepared for the House floor.

"This is no ploy. I honestly believe that Tom Lantos should be able to seek the highest office in the land, just like any other elected official."

Lantos, D-Calif., who's served in the House for more than two decades, said he was flattered but saw no need to amend the Constitution.

Even the Democrats can't be foolish enough to oppose a pro-immigrant measure just because they're afraid of Arnold, can they?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2004 6:58 PM

If this passes, the first such President will be.... Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, born in Vancouver, moved to... true story... the house over my back fence in San Jose, CA at age four.

Man, she was babalicious, no joke.

Posted by: Andrew X at September 15, 2004 7:04 PM

Like 'em young, huh?

Posted by: David Cohen at September 15, 2004 7:32 PM


Took the words right out of my keyboard.

Except for the backfence part.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at September 15, 2004 8:36 PM

Governor Barbie was a beauty queen in her younger days, but trust me but losing a shot at President Schwartzenegger is worth avoiding the risk of Predident Granholm. She's the female version of Bill Clinton.

Posted by: MarkD at September 15, 2004 8:37 PM

Well, if the Republicans want to support this, I hope they'll have the decency never to utter the words 'strict construction' or 'Founding Fathers' ever again

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 15, 2004 8:44 PM

Harry - Don't strict construction and the Founding Fathers permit amending the Constitution?

Posted by: pj at September 15, 2004 8:57 PM

I caught a brief segment of Granholm's speech at the DNC, and was incredibly underwhelmed. She came across as very kindergarten-teacher-ish. I can't believe she'd get anywhere near enough support from women to offset the catastrophic numbers she'd surely get among men...

Posted by: brian at September 15, 2004 9:11 PM

Right you are, Harry. What amendment shall we repeal first, the 17th or the 19th?

Posted by: joe shropshire at September 16, 2004 12:11 AM

How dare the Republicans use the mechanisms of Aricle V as intended. Don't they know that the only proper way to change the Constitution is to find some state judge in Idaho who will declare the natural born requirement a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th?

And the first one to repeal is 16th.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 16, 2004 12:47 AM

Jennifer who?

Posted by: James DeBenedetti at September 16, 2004 1:09 AM

I knew her as a teenager, c'mon! You people are AWFUL!!

Now then... yeah, being distictly favorably disposed, I too was underwhelmed by her convention speech. But remember, Billy Jeff's 1988 performance was practically hooted off the stage, so keep that in mind. She's got major political talent, so.. keep yor eye on her.

Posted by: Andrew X at September 16, 2004 8:42 AM

I'm with Harry. All the amendments have been mistakes and the Supreme Court decisions.

Posted by: oj at September 16, 2004 11:01 AM

This amendment will never pass.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at September 16, 2004 12:04 PM

The genius of the Constitution makers was that they crafted a supple document, in part because they were willing to compromise.

It's OK to amend the organic law if the occasion that demanded a political compromise expires, as it has, for example, with the slavery clauses.

It's also OK with me to amend the Constitution anytime you want.

What's not OK is to prate about original intent and the Founding Fathers and then go around tweaking the organic law to suit yourself.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 16, 2004 8:56 PM


There's no longer a danger of ex-pat Brits dominating a nascent nation, is there?

Posted by: oj at September 17, 2004 8:42 AM

I dunno, Blair might be able to win the American Presidency.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at September 18, 2004 6:54 AM

Was there in 1787? I doubt it

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 18, 2004 11:35 PM


Yes, that's why it's there. We were nervous nellies until we won the Battle of New Orleans.

Posted by: oj at September 19, 2004 8:39 AM