The Constitution on Mars

The season finale of ABC’s Life on Mars aired last week. I’m not a fan of the show, but I’ve caught snippets here and there because it airs immediately after Lost.

The premise for Life on Mars involves a guy who travels back in time to 1973 where he’s an NYPD detective. The hero is torn between the events unfolding in 1973 and trying to find his way back to 2008. Teaser ads for the final episode promised that everything would be revealed.

SPOILER alert in case anyone cares.

The big reveal turns out to be that everything the hero experienced on the show was a dream. Not just the events from 1973, but his “real” life in 2008 was imaginary too. He and the other characters slowly awake from suspended animation to learn that the year is 2035 and that in reality they are astronauts on the first manned trip to Mars. Hence the title: Life on Mars.

The groggy astronauts are still sorting through their current situation and vivid dream memories when they receive a message from Earth. A NASA official makes contact and mentions in passing that President Obama wanted to speak to them personally, but was unable to do so . . .

. . . because she and her sister had to abruptly leave Washington for Chicago to visit their father who is seriously ill.

I guess this is what television writers call a “payoff” moment (not to be confused with the payoff moments that usually happen in Chicago).

Barack Obama’s elder daughter Malia was born on July 4, 1998. Based on the show’s 2035 calendar, she would have been elected in November 2032 and taken office on January 20, 2033.

Article II, section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution states:

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.

Unfortunately, Malia Obama would only be 34 years old at the time of her Life on Mars Inauguration and thus constitutionally ineligible to the office of President of the United States on such date.

There seems to be a pattern here.

Or at least a premise for a spin-off series: The Ineligibles.

Maybe I can pitch this idea to the producers of West Wing.


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