Americans are often told anyone can grow up to be president — but if you're 10-year-old Alena Mulhern, that's just a big fat lie. And, no, it's not because she is only 10.
Mulhern was adopted from China when she was 10 months old, and despite growing up in the United States and being a U.S. citizen, the U.S. Constitution forbids her from ever assuming the nation's highest office.
It's all there in Article II, Section I, Clause 5, the area concerning presidential eligibility.
"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."
Mulhern, however, has no intention of taking the news lying down. She is engaging in an effort to convince lawmakers to reverse the law, something that would require the Herculean effort of a Constitutional amendment.
The precocious pre-teen has already taken her case to the Massachusetts state legislature, where she testified before a House committee about the importance of changing the rules.
"We should all have the opportunity to run for president," she told the committee, local television station WBZ reported.
Mulhern even did a little politicking from the sidelines of the hearing, telling WBZ — in a de facto spin alley — that she would be a unifying figure. "I would be a great leader and bring people together. I would guide our country so it would be an even greater place to live, work and raise a family," she said. "Most of all, I love my country. I want to serve my country, and this is my country."
It's far from the first time the politics of birthright has been in the news.
Even since Republican-led charges that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, the question of who is qualified and not qualified to serve as commander-in-chief has often dominated the national conversation.
Leading Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump made an early splash in national politics trumpeting birther conspiracies that ultimately led to Obama releasing his long form birth certificate. John McCain, who was born on a naval base in Panama, and Ted Cruz who was born in Canada, have also faced sporadic questions.
The same clause too, also doomed any presidential possibilities for Terminator-turned-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was born in Austria. Like Mulhern, Schwarzenegger has made known his desire for a Constitutional change.
Mulhern 2040? Change must come first.