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Who Can Be President?
SSCG13 The student will describe the qualifications for becoming President of the
United States.
a. Explain the written qualifications for President of the United States.
b. Describe unwritten qualifications common to past presidents.
A. Written Qualifications:
 Article II, Section 1
 35 years old, natural-born citizen, eliminating
naturalized citizens
 Resident of U.S. for 14 years
QUESTION: Does natural-born mean only citizens born in U.S.
and its territories? What about a child born to a U.S. citizen
visiting/living in another country? 2008 John McCain born in
Panama on an American military base; first presidents were not
even American citizens at birth and others were born in areas
that had not yet become part of the U.S.
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGER: movement to amend Constitution
to allow naturalized citizens to become president; idea lost
B. Unwritten Qualifications:
 44 Presidents – all white males, 1 Catholic the rest
Protestant, 27 lawyers, many wealthy
 More varied backgrounds than Congress
 Experience as a Senator, Governor, Vice President
 Average age 54 (JFK youngest elected at 43, TR 42
when took over for McKinley, Reagan oldest at 69)
C. The Process
 Major & minor political party nominations
 Winning the electoral college
 Twelfth Amendment: Separate election of president
and vp by electoral college