According to French social scientist Patrick Weil, an expert on French naturalization and immigration, French civil law permits “citizens of states or territories over which France has ever exercised sovereignty or extended a mandate or protectorate” to apply “immediately” for naturalization as a French citizen. Normally you’d have to live in France for five years before applying. But Clinton was born in Arkansas, which was once part of France, and which was then acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase, making it “a state or territory over which France has ever exercised sovereignty or extended a mandate or protectorate” [emphasis added]. . .
“As I wrote in 2001, he would need to move to France and learn French, but he could apply immediately. It would take between one year and 18 months, enough to run for the next election,” which is in 2007.
This is a brilliant proposal. Offhand I can think of several advantages:
- The French love him — in 2001, a national poll was made by a French magazine that said that 53 percent of French citizens would consider a Clinton candidacy favorably
- While on one hand there’s that pesky ‘rich tax”, there ways around it, and there’s money to be made: The French don’t mind a little corruption in their politicians. Case in point: Chirac
- After becoming anaturalized French citizen, Bill doesn’t even have to give up his American citizenship, avoiding hassles over the wife’s political carreer.
- Bill can be interviewed on every single TV channel on earth and continue to do Oprah-type weepy confessionals. Think two birds in one shot: promote the book, and run for office
- Blaming The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy for every dang thing plays even better “over there”
- Jacques may not like it, but Nick (a.k.a. Sarko) might be agreeable to the Prime Minister job
- The food’s good, and plentiful (but having “interesting and cheap Vietnamese, Algerian, Ethiopian, and West Indian food” all in one day might be too much for past-middle-age tummy). Bill can always jog to a nearby McD’s if he’s homesick
I say, go for it!