While the president's citizenship eligibility has always been a bone of contention among conservatives throughout his term, there's not much ado about Ted Cruz's Canadian heritage:
When Democrat Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, Republican voter Christina Katok of Walden said she believed he was ineligible for the job.
She reasoned that he was born in Kenya and therefore wasn’t a “natural born” American — one of a handful of constitutional requirements for the job. (Obama's birth certificate shows that he was born in Hawaii, but some critics do not accept that as fact.)
Fast forward six years and another freshman U.S. senator, Canadian-born Tea Party firebrand Ted Cruz of Texas, is being mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. But Katok, who would vote for Cruz in a heartbeat, doesn’t have any concerns about his eligibility.
“As far as I’m concerned, Canada is not really foreign soil,” she said. Katok said she was more disturbed by Obama's "strong ties to Kenya," the African country where his father was born. She also said she didn’t like the fact that Obama did not release his long-form birth certificate during the 2008 race.
Cruz, who recently released his Canadian birth certificate, is at least “up front about it,” she said.
No wonder the alternative spelling for "hypocrisy" involves the letters G, O and P.
What's being left out of the conversation is the real reason why the so-called "birthers" were up in arms over the president's alleged Kenyan origin, despite his fulfillment of all the constitutional requirements for presidential eligibility. Cruz's Canadian birth certificate is of as little issue to conservatives as his heritage or his appearance, both which are sufficiently American enough to pass muster with birthers and Teabaggers who are chafing under Barack Obama's leadership.
Canada isn't as foreign as Hawaii, nor is it as "dark" or "exotic," if you get my drift. Also, Eleanor Elizabeth Wilson Darragh didn't commit the cardinal sin of cavorting with black men or giving birth to a "half-breed," as Stanley Ann Dunham had done. As for his father, Rafael, he managed to bribe his way into the U.S. after realizing that a post-revolution existence in Cuba wasn't as appealing as he previously thought. After his student visa evaporated, so did the elder Cruz's residency in the U.S. Only in 2005 did he remember that his Canadian citizenship would pose problems for his son's political ambitions.
Which should make the younger Cruz's views on immigration a bit softer than those of his contemporaries:
"The 11 million who are here illegally would be granted legal status once the border was secured — not before — but after the border was secured, they would be granted legal status," he says. "And indeed, they would be eligible for permanent legal residency. But they would not be eligible for citizenship."
Or maybe not. The above would turn today's illegal immigrant into an ersatz version of Japan's Zainichi Koreans - able to live in the U.S. as permanent residents, but not able to vote or otherwise participate in politics. It's fortunate for the younger Cruz that such a policy didn't exist during his younger days, otherwise his political ambitions would have been as limited as the average illegal immigrant's hopes of getting U.S. citizenship the safe and legal way.
Out of consideration for the birthers, the younger Cruz not only released a copy of his birth certificated, but he also announced that he would renounce his Canadian citizenship - he has yet to visit a Canadian Embassy and get it all done in writing, for good.
Being the antithesis of Barack Obama in some respects is Cruz's strongest appeal among conservatives. He's neither a "Negroid half-breed" nor was he born in some seemingly exotic locale. Unlike Mitt Romney, he's not some neo-aristocratic nitwit whom conservatives of all stripes had to hold their nose to support, nor is he a visibly batshit insane wet dream for the teabagger types. As long as there aren't any skeletons flying out of his closet, he's a shoe-in as a 2016 GOP candidate.