Thursday, June 12, 2008

The devil is in the details, or, when it is appropriate to sweat the small stuff

You really have to hand it to the American election machine for its entertainment value. For months and months we have been treated to a savage fight between the Democratic candidates until Obama finally prevailed, but not without the party being severely scarred. This battle consumed about $500 million.

Now that the dust has settled, what is the latest issue?

Obama might not even be legally eligible to hold the office of President.

Article 2 of the United States' Constitution states:

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

The blogosphere is beginning to raise questions about the domocile of his birth. Officially, he was born in Hawaii. Apparently, that state treats birth certificates as a private matter. And Obama has declined to offer his certificate up for scrutiny. It is being suggested that since his father was Kenyan it is important to ensure he was born in the U.S.

John McCain was similarly challenged because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. He submitted his birth records to the Senate which declared him to be natural born beause he was born on a U.S. military base.

I don't know why Obama would withhold his documentation and give his political enemies just one more thing to challenge his credibilty or make the case he is elitist, but I really wonder why the Democratic Party, at the point at which candidates register to represent the party as the presidential candidate, would not insist, as a first step to acceptance of the registration, that the candidates prove the natural born requirement. It seems such an obvious thing to do.

If you managed a trucking company and somebody walked in the door to get a job as a driver, wouldn't you first want to satisfy yourself that the guy had a current valid driver's license before you bothered with anything else on his resume? Why should a trucker be put to a higher standard of elibility than the President of the United States?

What happens if it turns out Obama is not eligible?

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