Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Michele Bachmann is Swiss now"

From Foreign Policy's Passport blog:
Sure, why not?
Arthur Honegger, a reporter for public broadcaster Schweizer Fernsehen, told POLITICO the Swiss consulate in Chicago has confirmed that the former Republican presidential candidate became a citizen March 19. The Swiss consulate in Chicago covers the state of Minnesota, which Bachmann represents.
Marcus Bachmann, the congresswoman’s husband since 1978, reportedly was eligible for Swiss citizenship due to his parents’ nationality — but only registered it with the Swiss government Feb. 15. Once the process was finalized on March 19, Michele automatically became a citizen as well, according to Honegger.[...]
Bachmann's office confirmed that the congresswoman had received Swiss citizenship, and attributed the decision to her children.
"Congresswoman Bachmann's husband is of Swiss descent, so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978. However, recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family," said Bachmann spokesperson Becky Rogness.
The timing of this is pretty funny given all the fuss over Mitt Romney's Swiss bank account. SuperPacs could presumably have had a pretty good time with the all-American congresswoman's dual citizenship. Marcus Bachmann seems to have waited until after his wife dropped out of the race to make his application.
There's nothing in the constitution that prevents members of congress -- or presidents for that matter -- from holding dual citizenship, so long as they don't renounce their U.S. nationality, though it's obviously pretty unusual. (In the video above, Bachmann rules out the possibility of running for office in Switzerland, where she would now be eligible.)...MORE