Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bill Clinton for President ... of France

He says he could (h/t Greg Brown):

Bill Clinton told Piers Morgan that he could be president again, just not in the United States.
Said Clinton: "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."
"However, I once polled very well in a French presidential race. And I said, you know, this is great, but that's the best I'd ever do because once they heard my broken French with a Southern accent, I would drop into single digits within a week and I'd be toast."
I haven't checked the Constitution of the Fifth Republic to see if this is true.

UPDATE: Seems it ain't so.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Patrick Weil had an op-ed on this back in '01
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/10/opinion/bill-clinton-the-french-years.html

Arun

Joël Gombin said...

I am no specialist, but I don't see how this could be. To run for President, you need to be a French citizen, and clearly having been born in Arkansas and living six months in France is not enough for that...

Anonymous said...

All the immigrants from ex-French colonies struggling to get a "carte de séjour" would be very surprised to hear that.

French citizenship isn't based on place of birth or your great-great-grandfather's nationality.

Mélanie

DavidinParis said...

Not sure if the claim is accurate but if you have a US driver licence from a former French state (aka, the south) you can get a French one. If you are from NY, California, or any other state, too bad....

Joël Gombin said...

@Mélanie : welln French citizenship is partly based on place of birth. But it has to be France, not France two centuries ago ;-)

Anonymous said...

I agree, Joël. Place of birth plus your parents' nationality plus years of residency are the key.

bernard said...

It used to be, with Sarkozy, every new crime you got a new crime bill by the next day.

Can we get a new law so Bill can run in France? He'd probably trash everyone else.

Oh and by the way, the invite is valid for two, including whatever companion. We're not particular about that.