Ted Cruz for President?

The U.S. Senate candidate's national profile rises further with a speaking slot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Too bad that he can't ever run for president. Or can he?
Thu August 9, 2012 7:14 pm
AP Photo/Houston Chronicle | Johnny Hanson

Republican United States Senate candidate Ted Cruz was added to the list of featured speakers at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, news that, as Chuck Lindell of the Austin American-Statesman  wrote, “continues a post-runoff victory lap that has raised his national profile and cemented his status as an A-list Republican.”

Lindell also notes that Cruz has been speaking out on behalf of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney this week.

Cruz will be one of of five convention “headliner” speakers, making a prophet out of Slate’s David Weigel, who on July 30—one day before Cruz actually defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican Senate nomination—wrote:

Hell, I’m already opening a Word file to write my “Cruz wins national attention for prime-time Republican convention speech” story.

Weigel also speculated that as an Hispanic, Tea Party-favored Republican from Texas, Cruz’s ceiling could be high:

Cruz could theoretically serve in the Senate for six or seven terms, chairing the Judicial Committee when President George P. Bush needs some lawyers put into robes. Or he could be picked, in his 40s, as the first conservative Hispanic on the Supreme Court. There is an inescapable logic to nominating Cruz, just as there was logic for the 2004 Illinois Democratic primary voter to pick charismatic, black Barack Obama over drab, white machine candidate Dan Hynes. 

But for one big thing, of course. Unlike Obama, Cruz cannot go on to run for president.

No, not because the job is going to George P. Bush . As anyone who ever saw a David Dewhurst ad can tell you, the Cuban-American Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, and therefore isn’t eligible to be elected president or veep.

Or is he? The Statesman’s Ken Herman investigated the question earlier this week, and decided that, in fact, Cruz could run for the job:

Is the Canadian-born son of a Cuban-born dad and a Delaware-born mom constitutionally eligible to serve as president or vice president?

I’m no constitutional (or any kind of) scholar, but my research indicates the Delaware part shouldn’t be a problem (though it is among our least significant states). But what of the Canada and Cuba portions of the Cruz bio?

We must look to the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1: “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.”

The pertinent (in my non-expert eyes) section of the report says there are several ways to meet the “natural-born citizen” requirement, including “by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.” That — and 270 electoral votes — seems to get Cruz into the White House. And experts tell me having one parent who is a U.S. citizen when you’re born out of the country meets the standard.

Herman also joked that there was no need to worry that Cruz was overly Canadian, as he “shows no fealty to hockey [and] can’t possibly have more Rush on his iPod than I do.”

Well, maybe Rush Limbaugh.

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