A couple of days ago news broke that Rep. Michele Bachmann and her husband had filed for Swiss citizenship, something they were entitled to given Marcus Bachmann’s heritage.
The left, setting aside their “citizens of the world” schtick for a while and donning the mantle of nationalism for the convenience of political haymaking, pounced quickly calling her a hypocrite for posturing as an American patriot while taking dual-citizenship (see the predictable Ed Schultz segment here).
Bachmann has now responded, renouncing her Swiss citizenship:
Bachmann’s spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that she had recently been granted dual citizenship, for which she had been eligible since her 1978 marriage, but “recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family.”
But after the news had been public for less than 48 hours, she issued a Thursday afternoon follow-up: “Today I sent a letter to the Swiss Consulate requesting withdrawal of my dual Swiss citizenship.”
“I took this action because I want to make it perfectly clear: I was born in America and I am a proud American citizen,” Bachmann said in a statement. “I am, and always have been, 100 percent committed to our United States Constitution and the United States of America. As the daughter of an Air Force veteran, stepdaughter of an Army veteran and sister of a Navy veteran, I am proud of my allegiance to the greatest nation the world has ever known.”
I never saw what the big deal is. Does anyone believe that Michele Bachmann was going to be Switzerland’s vote in the US House? Even if we look at Presidential politics, the constitutional requirement is for natural born citizenship in the United States, which Bachmann clearly has. It doesn’t say anything about dual citizenship.
For what it’s worth, Barack Obama held British dual citizenship until he was 23 years old. Obama’s citizenship was British as Kenya was still a colony of what remained of the country’s empire at the time of his birth. That ended when Kenya got its independence from Britain. Technically Obama was then a Kenyan citizen, except that the country then outlawed dual citizenship for adults.
Honestly, it wouldn’t have bothered me had Obama held dual-citizenship in Kenya because, again, the Constitution only requires natural-born US citizenship, which Obama had through his mother.