The more that I read about this, the more absurd I found it. First, let's go to the primary source: the constitution. Article II Section 1 lists the requirements for the 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; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.Note how ambiguous the language is. What the heck is a "natural born citizen?" This clause is often interpreted as meaning that only individuals born on U.S. soil can be president; naturalized citizens cannot (i.e. Arnold Schwarzenegger). However, it makes no mention of parentage. That is, does the individual born on American soil have to have two American parents?
If we turn to secondary literature, such as the Federalist papers, the founding fathers did not leave much evidence. Jay discusses the importance of the age requirement for the president but does not mention citizenship (Federalist 64). Hamilton, also an author of the federalist papers, surely would not have argued for two American parents. He was born out of wedlock in the British West Indies (the island of St. Nevis).
Given the ambiguity and the lack of guidance from the founders, most scholars would just stick with mainstream thought. Obama was born in Hawaii, a U.S. state, in 1961, which makes him a natural born citizen regardless of his parentage. Or was he . . .
The most ridiculous part of some of these lawsuits is that some conservative commentators argue that Obama was not born in Hawaii. His birth certificate is not real! No one is left alive to prove that he was born in Hawaii! Even though the state of Hawaii certifies his birth certificate and a birth announcement in a newspaper from that time was found, these rumors persist. It leaves me shaking my head.
No matter how you slice the pie, however, the Dude is not a natural born citizen. He was born in Germany. His father is German. Doh! I guess I will always have to tell him, "Sweetie, you can be anything you want in this world, but not president of the U.S. But who wants that job anyway?"