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Megan Smolenyak

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Which Countries Could You Be President Of?

Posted: 09/28/2012 9:47 am

In an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, Bill Clinton mused on how and where he could become president again. Not surprisingly, he addressed the two term limit in the United States, but then went beyond American borders:

"There are only two countries I'm eligible to run for the leadership position is if I move to Ireland and buy a house, I can -- I can run for president of Ireland, because of my Irish heritage.

And because I was born in Arkansas, which is part of the Louisiana Purchase, any person anywhere in the world that was born in a place that ever was part of the French empire, if you move to -- if you live in France for six months and speak French, you can run for president."

While I've never contemplated the possibility of becoming president of another country, I have looked into which ones I might be eligible to obtain a passport from - partly because I used to travel frequently in Europe and spent hours idling at Customs in the non-EU lines and partly because I, like many genealogists, like to imagine spending more time in the lands of my forebears than just the occasional vacation.

As it happens, my best bets seem to overlap those of Bill Clinton's presidential options. Being of half-Irish heritage and having been born in France, Ireland and France are the most promising for me. Again for reasons of heritage, Slovakia is also a candidate. Though I also have roots in Poland and Ukraine, I'm not sure whether that translates into any possibilities - passport, presidential or otherwise.

Until Bill Clinton's remarks, I thought that I was the one of the few who pondered this topic, but now I'm curious. Are there more of us out there, and if so, which countries other that the one you are a currently citizen of could you be president of - or live in, buy property in, or obtain a passport from?

 

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