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Will McCain Need To Drop Out Of The Race?

| Filed under: PolitikJohn McCain

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This has been brewing around for some time, but The New York Times has a new report on the issue.

Gabriel J. Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona, has noticed what many have seemed to overlook.

According to the United States 14th Amendment, it clearly states "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.”

However, John McCain was NOT born in the US!

McCain was actually born to American parents but in the Panama Canal Zone, not in the US.

According to Prof. Chin, that is not enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement stating that our president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

It wasn't until 1937 that a law was enacted giving children of American parents born after 1904 in the Panama Canal Zone citizenship.

Though, according to Chin, the law came too late to make McCain a natural-born citizen.

Prof. Chin adds, “It’s preposterous that a technicality like this can make a difference in an advanced democracy. But this is the constitutional text that we have.”

Funny. Somehow we're almost certain that if it would have been Obama who was born in the Canal Zone, the Republicans would have fought to make him ineligible.

And, although several legal experts agree with Prof. Chin's findings, they add that nothing will probably come of it.

Peter Spiro, who focuses on the law of citizenship at Temple University says, “No court will get close to it, and everyone else is on board, so there’s a constitutional consensus, the merits of arguments such as this one aside.”

And, in April, the Senate approved a nonbinding resolution stating that McCain would be eligible to become president. They declared that our founders wouldn't have wanted to decline the offspring of military personnel stationed out of the country the right to presidency.

However, a lawsuit challenging McCain's qualifications is currently pending in the Federal District Court in Concord, N.H.

So, even though the 1937 law made McCain a citizen, it didn't make him one that was naturally born because the citizenship was conferred after his birth.

Sounds all a bit confusing!

What do U think?

[Image via WENN.]

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684 comments to “Will McCain Need To Drop Out Of The Race?”

More comments: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 »

  1. sharo says – reply to this


    1

    first…sharon mirrors is the best drag queen!!!

  2. MEL B says – reply to this


    2

    I think the man has every right to run for president- no one questioned whether he was a citizen or not when he fought for his country, did they?

  3. scmat says – reply to this


    3

    He'll stay in… The republicans would pitch a fit!!

    But Mitt Romney would retain his delegates if McCain dropped out, and it would make him the new candidate.

  4. ALB says – reply to this


    4

    Everyone's so worried about the constitution being upheld, and Obama's FISA vote… but no one cares about this!?

    Kick him the hell out. It's time the DEMS play just as dirty as Repubs.

  5. gffg says – reply to this


    5

    oh shut upo already1!!

  6. Ncyby says – reply to this


    6

    BASTARD!

  7. Emily says – reply to this


    7

    This is OLD OLD OLD news Perez!! Quit trying to drag McCain through the mud. If you want Obama to win so badly then report something GOOD about HIM and leave the Republican bashing out of it.

  8. Sara says – reply to this


    8

    2nd!
    ANYTHING is better than Obama!!

  9. court says – reply to this


    9

    once again…old news

  10. leen says – reply to this


    10

    the dems would be smart not to challenge this…

  11. lq says – reply to this


    11

    WTF? Did Matt Drudge hack your site, P? ENOUGH WITH THE POLITICS ALREADY.

  12. Jay says – reply to this


    12

    the First Congress, on March 26, 1790, approved an act that declared, "The children of citizens of the United States that may be born beyond sea, or outside the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural-born citizens of the United States."

  13. yenna says – reply to this


    13

    firrrrst

  14. imrig says – reply to this


    14

    Wow, this is a good one. So he's a citizen, but not a natural born citizen? Sad, I was probably going to vote for him. I agree it's a small technicality that will probably result in nothing, but I also agree that we should respect the constitution. Good lord.

  15. david says – reply to this


    15

    WHO CARES

  16. TYPIC says – reply to this


    16

    If this was Obama they would not allow him to continue with the race for President!!! AGAIN, WE SEE HOW THE LAW IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR SOME TO FOLLOW BUT NOT ALL!! SCREW MCCAIN …. THAT OLD BASTARD IS GOING TO LOSE ANYWAYS!!!

  17. docli says – reply to this


    17

    Hey Perez, just thought I'd drop a line to let you know that the whole issue of McCain's birth was resolved MONTHS ago…before the legislature. He is, due to being born to US citizens, on a US naval base, an American by birth. You're always so right on with your info and I'd hate to see you not spot on with this one! P.S. You look awesome!!!

  18. hmm says – reply to this


    18

    I'm voting Democrat, but I would interpret "born OR naturalized" as qualifying him. It doesn't say natural born. The law "naturalized" him as a citizen. However, I know damn well that if Obama had been born in his father's land of Kenya, the repugnants would try to say he was not "naturalized" and was not qualified, because that is their typical MO.

  19. KjRod says – reply to this


    19

    THe law is written for a purpose and should be followed. There should not be exceptions made "just becasue". I don't care for either McCain or Obama… But, our Judicial system is so flawed and works only for those with money and power so what does it matter… us little folk with meager income whos vote doesn't count ….really don't care!

  20. nobod says – reply to this


    20

    i say any excuse to not elect him.

  21. Miche says – reply to this


    21

    Exactly.. military personnel should still qualify.

    We wouldn't want McCain to say the only reason he wasn't president was because of something as silly as this. :)

    OBAMA '08!!

  22. HRC08 says – reply to this


    22

    Laurence Tribe, the left iconic constitutional lawyer already argued for McCain's citizenship, where have you been?

  23. samsa says – reply to this


    23

    FRICK ON A STICK

  24. meg says – reply to this


    24

    The liberals are just as blood hungry when it comes to breaking political stories against the other side, but thats "okay" because the media is dominantly liberal. Have you tried being neutral?

  25. yagmi says – reply to this


    25

    what is our alternative? the bible thumping huckabee??? No thanks. let him run./

  26. Quinc says – reply to this


    26

    I think you should stick to gossip and stay out of politics…I don't care who you vote for or what you think. I come to this site for gossip same as everyone else.

  27. tasha says – reply to this


    27

    i think he shodnt b allowed to run bc its the constitutional law so it doesnt matter hes not born in the us so he cannot run

  28. nobod says – reply to this


    28

    i agree, he should be able to become president if the votes are enough.
    you say "What do U think?". the whole purpose of using U instead of YOU is that it's easy. if you capitalize it, it beats such purpose!

  29. RJII says – reply to this


    29

    the law is the law

  30. carol says – reply to this


    30

    you fail to mention that THE REASON HE WAS BORN THERE WAS BECAUSE HIS FATHER WAS SERVING OUR COUNTRY IN THE MILITARY. so it's prepostorous to knock him out on that regard.

  31. Maria says – reply to this


    31

    Hopefully, Obama will win.

  32. bark says – reply to this


    32

    …but wasn't Obama born in Hawaii? Doesn't that make him foreign-born, too?

  33. e says – reply to this


    33

    If you are born outside America to both American citizen parents it's OK.
    It's legal.

  34. ghost says – reply to this


    34

    Come on,he was a p.o.w and served our country.If Arnold can govern Cali. then McCain should be fine AND when he does blow away that muslim tied, with a manly wife Obama,I will be danicing in the streets!

  35. Katie says – reply to this


    35

    If I'm not mistaken, McCain's father was in the military and Senator McCain was born on an US military base in Panama. US militiiary bases are concidered US soil. This is a non issue.

  36. kamil says – reply to this


    36

    As long an McCain the Neo-Con…. (socially conservation… economically wastful) does not become president I dont care. I hate NEO CONS!!!!!!

  37. LB says – reply to this


    37

    It's ridiculous that children born before 1937 to military parents stationed in a foreign country should be denied the ability to run for president. His father was serving this country while he was born, and he was born to natural born parents. Congress SHOULD pass something allowing him to run. As Prof. Chin said, it IS unfortunate that a presidential candidate would have to bow out of the race due to a technicality from a bygone era. I think McCain should be able to run, even though I'll be voting for Obama. lol.

  38. ha says – reply to this


    38

    Wow

  39. Baske says – reply to this


    39

    Barack Obama is not a legal U.S. natural-born citizen according to the law on the books at the time of his birth, which falls between December 24, 1952, to November 13, 1986. Federal Law requires that the office of President requires a natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. Citizen parents. This is what exempts John McCain, though he was born in the US Panama Canal Zone

  40. Mike says – reply to this


    40

    OMG, he was born on a military base, I can't even believe this is an issue, he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and someone has the gull to question his citizenship. OUTRAGIOUS

  41. Heda says – reply to this


    41

    I wish they would of included something in the constitution in case people elected a f****** moron!!!

  42. MEL says – reply to this


    42

    Are you fucking kidding me Perez??? Layoff the McCain bashing!!!! This is old bullshit. Oh yeah and he UNLIKE Obama fought for this country and was a POW. STFU!!!

  43. aveen says – reply to this


    43

    Ha ha, Obama is as white as his granny in Kansas and as black as his other grammpy in Kenya. how come no one talks about THAT? Instead of identifying him as BIRACIAL, he is a black amerikkkan. How comes he doesn't speak proudly of his WHITE ROOTS???? Amerikkka is RACIST against the WHITEYS!!!

  44. e says – reply to this


    44

    If you are born outside America to both American citizen parents it's OK.
    It's legal.

    Damn Perez im not even American and i know that shit.
    You are trying too hard.

  45. Mel says – reply to this


    45

    "However, a lawsuit challenging McCain's qualifications is currently pending in the Federal District Court in Concord, N.H."

    Surely not by Democrats!

  46. blech says – reply to this


    46

    Barf. This is stupid and pathetic,Perez. Since when did you become a CNN correspondent? I thought you only dabbled in gossip.

  47. old n says – reply to this


    47

    Not only old news, but stupid news.

    US Military Bases & All US Embassies around the world are considered US soil
    McCain was born on a base - hence, he was born in America.

    This is a 100 % non-issue that some idiot w/ no understanding of the facts has tried to drag up more than once.

    McCain was born on US soil.

    The fact that that soil sits outside the border of the 48 contiguous state is irrelevant.

  48. o says – reply to this


    48

    Let's see. Beacuse he was born to American parents, actually serving in the military, he isn't an American Citizen. Are you even an American citizen?

  49. Vox says – reply to this


    49

    This is ancient news. People (read Dems) try to get this to take hold every time McCain's name comes up for the presidency.
    /
    It is very clear, and very settled, that McCain is a natural-born citizen. If an American couple goes to France on vacation and have a baby, that baby is a natural-born American citizen.
    /
    When Brangelina gives birth in France, their twins will be natural-born American citizens - and eligible for the presidency (God help us)
    /
    You need to get your facts straight, Perez, and quit publishing liberal talking points you don't understand..especially when the 'news' is older than you.

  50. Bridg says – reply to this


    50

    Shut the Fuc* up. Its the dems that are such winey ass babies. Leave the man alone. I use to enjoy coming to this site…. Do you think that if McCain had gone to a church that preached on white things and the pastor said the things that Obama's pastor said that he would have gotten this far? NO. Its a racial, liberal thing. He would have been fried for attending a church like that.

  51. Chick says – reply to this


    51

    Sounds retarded. Are we really sinking that low to find dirt on a decent Republican candidate, Perez. You make me sick.

  52. Laura says – reply to this


    52

    get rid of the clone Bush!! I am sure this will hit BORN USA Citizens and they will wake-up and get rid of him…

  53. Shan says – reply to this


    53

    are you fucking kidding me. his father was in the military dipshits!!!!!!!!!! so does that mean children born in military bases overseas aren't american citizens!!!!!!!!!!

  54. val says – reply to this


    54

    Re: Mike – gall. The word is gall.

  55. dumb says – reply to this


    55

    Give me a break. If you are so sure that Obama is going to win in 2008 then why do you have to keep bashing McCain. I doubt perez hilton will change someones opinion in politics.

  56. PH says – reply to this


    56

    Perez, no line you have ever written has been more true!
    "Funny. Somehow we're almost certain that if it would have been Obama who was born in the Canal Zone, the Republicans would have fought to make him ineligible."

    But what's the difference - what is one big ole republican from another - all jerks!

  57. Lou says – reply to this


    57

    I really would not care….I'm still not voting for him anyway.

  58. FReal says – reply to this


    58

    Anyone born to two American parents is automatically an American citizen, even if it takes place on the moon. I would like him to drop out though so that I could vote for Romney.

  59. dclio says – reply to this


    59

    katie is right, non-issue, the canal zone was a us territory, and all us military bases abroad are considered us soil, same with embassies, mccain is a us citizen.

  60. susie says – reply to this


    60

    he was born in the panama zone because his father was stationed there in the navy. serving the United States. where is that in the fucking fine print?
    start posting some of the dirt thats out there about obama and HIS past. thats actually worth looking at.

  61. tj says – reply to this


    61

    What do I think? I think you should shut the hell up about politics and maybe go back to CELEBRITY GOSSIP. Remember what that is? And quit bashing republicans, it just makes you look even more stupid.

  62. Grace says – reply to this


    62

    Stick to the gossip, seriously, I have been checking your site less and less because it's too bogged down with non-celeb news. I use repretable sources for my real news… not perez.

  63. FUCK says – reply to this


    63

    Fucking idiot. He was born on a US Base which therefore makes him a U.S. Citizen. Captain Retard. Geesh, get your fucking facts straight.



  64. 64

    shouldnt they have brought this up like a year ago????? im sure that is not something they would just overlook. dummmb

  65. STUPI says – reply to this


    65

    Qualifications for the Office of President

    Age and Citizenship requirements - US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

    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.

    Term limit amendment - US Constitution, Amendment XXII, Section 1 – ratified February 27, 1951

    No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

    SO IF WE OVER LOOK HIM NOT "REALLY" BEING BORN HERE I GUESS NON OF THE QUALIFICATIONS MEAN SHIT!! LET'S START ELECTING PRESIDENT'S FOR LONGER TERMS AND PRESIDENT'S UNDER 35 YEARS OLD AND FOR SHITS AND GIGGLES LET ELECT ONE THAT IS NOT EVEN A CITIZEN AT ALL!!!!

  66. jules says – reply to this


    66

    I agree that nothing is probably going to be done about this…and it is a minor constitutional infraction…but it sets a dangerous precedent that will favour the Republicans down the line.
    You let it slide this time, what about 4 years from now when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a naturalized citizen, wants to run for president?
    I'd wager he'd be a little more of a threat to the Democrats than McCain is.

  67. Laura says – reply to this


    67

    What is it with you and the New York Times Perez? They are linked to the some fishy things, people do your research.. Perez has bought in.

  68. Katie says – reply to this


    68

    I believe it was an army base he was born on. His dad was serving his country. It's not like they were living there for shtis and giggles.

  69. shut says – reply to this


    69

    stop trying to poison your readers with your biased political commentary against republicans and let them decided for themselves about both candidates from the information provided by RELIABLE, FACTUAL, NEWS media outlets. stick to what you know — celebs and hollywood. for fuck's sake, stop pontificating. you want to talk politics? move to DC like i did, learn about politics firsthand, and then maybe the sludge you spew about this election will have the slightest merit to it. you dumb hack.

  70. AQUAE says – reply to this


    70

    oh, perez. i love your site so much, and it so cute that you are mucking around in all of this politics stuff. but you really do make yourself seem so dull when you report on non-celeb current affairs.

    this is ooooold news!!! there is no scandal. it was already decided that mccain can run, since he was born on a US military base… and US military bases are considered US soil.

  71. Melli says – reply to this


    71

    He was born on a military base in a foreign country.

    If he's not an American, there are a LOT of folks out there that think they are, but are apparently illegals.

  72. Krist says – reply to this


    72

    There is actually a similar issue that affects Obama: Barack Obama is not legally a U.S. natural-born citizen according to the
    law on the books at the time of his birth. Presidential office requires a
    natural-born citizen if the child was not born to two U.S. citizen
    parents, which exempts John McCain though he was born in
    the Panama Canal. US Law very clearly stipulates: '.If only one parent
    was a U.S. citizen at the time of your birth, that parent must have
    resided in the United States for at least ten years, at least five of
    which had to be after the age of 16.' Barack Obama's father was not a U.S.
    citizen and Obama's mother was only 18 when Obama was born, which means
    though she had been a U.S. citizen for 10 years, (or citizen perhaps
    because of Hawaii's being a territory) the mother fails the test for being
    so for at least 5 years **prior to** Barack Obama's birth, but *after* age
    16. It doesn't matter *after* . In essence, she was not old enough to
    qualify her son for automatic U.S. citizenship. At most, there were only 2
    years elapsed since his mother turned 16 at the time of Barack Obama's
    birth when she was 18 in Hawaii. His mother would have needed to have
    been 16+5= 21 years old, at the time of Barack Obama's birth for him to
    have been a natural-born citizen.
    Of course, both of these exceptions seem contrived and artificial, and against the spirit of the law.

  73. meme says – reply to this


    73

    This one is a drop in the bucket - what we need to focus on is:
    -
    John McCain - graduated rock-bottom of his class at West Point 894 out of 896 - ROCK BOTTOM.
    -
    He never would have gotten into West Point without his Daddy.
    -
    -
    Do we REALLY want this from the republicans AGAIN ??????

  74. Dawn says – reply to this


    74

    This is ridiculous! I would never, never vote for McCain or any republican that I know of…They all seem a bit crazy, fake homophobic, racist, sexist, and out of touch with reality; HOWEVER, there is no way anyone can claim that McCain is not a natural born citizen - his parents were natural born American serving their country and this man has almost given his life serving his country. Lets kick his ass fair and square - this is bullshit that republicans usually try.

  75. kelke says – reply to this


    75

    Oh yes Perez. You are so wise and omnipotent. Only Republicans smear. Only Republicans are hypocrites. Only Republicans run dirty campaigns. Democrats are perfect. Democrats are unbiased. Why, they are perfect human beings that never engage in dirty politics. No never. Your bias is disgusting.

  76. uncle says – reply to this


    76

    THE REVEREND JESSE JACKSON SAID IT BEST! "CUT HIS NUTS OFF!" AND IN THE WORDS OF THE SAINTLY REVEREND WRIGHT, GOD DAMN WHITEY AND ALL OF HIS WHITENESS! JOHN McCAIN HAS NO BUSINESS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AT HIS AGE!

  77. Beth says – reply to this


    77

    Wasn't he born on a military base? That is American soil as far as I know. I'd never vote for him myself, but he's not stupid, and I assume the Republican party knows the rules. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't get this far in a presidential race without knowing he is eligible.



  78. 78

    "Funny. Somehow we're almost certain that if it would have been Obama who was born in the Canal Zone, the Republicans would have fought to make him ineligible."

    SO SO TRUE!!!!! It would be a big ass deal, trying to bring a black man down.

  79. Ruby says – reply to this


    79

    Re “McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out” (news article, Feb. 28):

    Surely “natural-born citizen” means a person who is born a citizen without a need to be “naturalized.” The phrase “native-born citizen” could easily have been used if anything else was intended.

    There are many deliberately inexact phrases in the Constitution, such as “cruel and unusual” and “due process,” in need of interpretation and reinterpretation based on changing circumstances and ideas. This is not one of them.

  80. me says – reply to this


    80

    Come on Perez, I read you all the time and I love your site, but this is getting a little ridiculous. I enjoyed it when you were putting stuff up that was interesting and about all of the candidates, but you've gotten worse than ABC News lately. Anyone who follows politics knows that McCain wasn't born in the US and it was already discussed at length about six months ago. Stick to real gossip.

  81. Poppy says – reply to this


    81

    Hey, does it mean Angelina&Brad's frenchie twins won't be able to run for master of the universe/american presidency ???? How prepostorous!!!

  82. Sarah says – reply to this


    82

    "It wasn't until 1937 that a law was enacted giving children of American parents born after 1904 in the Panama Canal Zone citizenship." So that means he is a citizen because he was born after 1904.

  83. Ruby says – reply to this


    83

    I do not understand the controversy over Senator John McCain’s citizenship. The following from the United States Code could not be clearer:

    “[8 U.S.C. 1403](a) Any person born in the Canal Zone on or after February 26, 1904, and whether before or after the effective date of this chapter, whose father or mother or both at the time of the birth of such person was or is a citizen of the United States, is declared to be a citizen of the United States.”

    Where’s the question?

  84. none says – reply to this


    84

    Fuck Osama… I mean Obama!!

    McCain '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  85. kenn says – reply to this


    85

    god shut up the panama canal zone is considered to be the U.S. much like an embassy. And if ur born in an embassy, it is the same as being born in any state. god shut up perez ur fat ass is not a consitutional lawyer and never will be, there is so much you dont understand, just seriously shut and go back to college.

  86. Chris says – reply to this


    86

    Perez–I'm really disappointed. This news is SOOO old. They already hashed this out ages ago. As a side not, the only reason McCain wasn't in the continental United States at the time of his birth was because his mother was traveling with his father during his father's tour of duty with the US MILITARY. Yeah they really broke the rules by serving our country. Get over yourself.

  87. Gia J says – reply to this


    87

    "Funny. Somehow we're almost certain that if it would have been Obama who was born in the Canal Zone, the Republicans would have fought to make him ineligible."

    EXACTLY!!!! Lets see Matt Drudge put this on his front page!

  88. Melis says – reply to this


    88

    McCain '08

  89. Wallo says – reply to this


    89

    So he can fight a war but not run for President? Perez you've got PROBLEMS. Big ones. Oh, and stop drawing dicks on everything, it's old and busted okay? We get it, you're a fan of the peen. Try something new, huh?

  90. Ruby says – reply to this


    90

    Re: uncle – Your Jesse, wanted to cut off Obamas nuts…Here is a knife

  91. Ashle says – reply to this


    91

    Why should McCain be denied the opportunity to become President because his father was serving our country? Let's not get too petty here. He is a citizen of the U.S., let him run. By the way, Go Obama!

  92. Heath says – reply to this


    92

    He has American parents, therefore he is an AMERICAN CITIZEN. Besides, before Clinton screwed up and gave it away, the US owned the Panama Canal. Do your homework, Perez.

  93. amand says – reply to this


    93

    This is so ridiculous..every three months this comes up like it is a huge scandal and something that needs to be discussed. We need to focus on issues and not crap like this.

  94. mike says – reply to this


    94

    Mccain will beak Obama, no question about that.

  95. I thi says – reply to this


    95

    I think you suck when you talk about politics

  96. Cerag says – reply to this


    96

    This is a load of shit, and you posting this shows that you have no understanding of how this presidential requirement works.

    It's a shame that he is the nominee, but he has every legal right to be.

  97. wow says – reply to this


    97

    this is dumb if your born to US citizens then you are a citizen of that country. And if he was born to military parnts then most likely he was born on a military base which is US soil although not in the US. Im not a supporter of McCain but this is just dumb. My parents were in the military and i was born overseas and it desn't mean anything. Whatever

  98. mel says – reply to this


    98

    Re: Bridg – Exactly Bridg, that is what pisses me off. That racial shit can be put to rest but if a white person did that all hell would break loose. We had to deal with the fucking Jena 6 shit hear was nothing but racial shit. We couldn't even walk in our own tell without being threatened that day. Pathetic!!

  99. lisa says – reply to this


    99

    you people are idiots.

    there are two types of citizenships: natural born and naturalized.

    if you weren't born here, you have to get natuarlized.

    however, if you were born elsewhere and one of your parents is a NATURAL BORN citizen, you gain the same rights as a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN.

    so mccain could've been born in freakin' china and he would still be eligible to run for president.

    what's more concerning is the fact that he's 71 years old. federal employees are REQUIRED to RETIRE AT AGE 65. No ifs ands or buts. I'm pretty sure being president of the united states is a federal job, making him an employee. Yet, he can still work and be president 6 years past the retirement age?

  100. me says – reply to this


    100

    A few notable successes as generals started out at the bottom of their West Point class: Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart, U.S. Grant, and many others.

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