Requirements To Be President
The job of President of the United States is extremely demanding, but the requirements to be president are remarkably few. The framers of the Constitution spelled out a great many things in very specific detail, but when it came to officially deciding upon the requirements to be president, they chose simplicity, with just a few requirements that had to be met. The requirements for president were laid out in Article Two, Section One of the Constitution and consisted of only 62 words. From the days of George Washington to Barack Obama today, here are the requirements to be president.
- “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 framers didn’t want anyone from another country with a chance to become president and influence us into foreign conflicts or espouse other policies that were not in the best interests of the new republic. Only native born U.S. citizens or those who were born overseas, but whose parents are both citizens of the United States, may be president of the United States. Also, all residents of the country at that time were grandfathered in at the time the Constitution was adopted. That, obviously, no longer applies. The citizenship requirement was considered the most important.
- “Neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years.” A minimum age requirement of thirty five years old was set by the framers. With shorter expected lifespans than today, back then thirty five would be considered middle aged and it was felt that a person of that age would have enough real-world experience and knowledge to be able to govern the nation effectively.
- “[The person must be] fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.” This requirement to be president is a bit vague. You must have lived in the United States for at least fourteen years—that much is clear from the reading. A residence is an established physical address in the United States. However, are the fourteen years continuous, or can it be a sum of fourteen years over a period of time before the age of thirty five? This requirement has never really been challenged, but in the unlikely event that a case comes up in which it is relevant, then it almost assuredly would be.