Barack Obama 2017? It’s been a month since President Obama left office after his second term. Although Barack cannot run again for POTUS, due to constitutional limits, a guerrilla movement is underway — Obama17 — to elect the popular politician as the country’s next leader — that country being France.
Could Barack Obama be the first former president to lead another country in a similar capacity? According to a CNN report, it’s not likely, but a group of French citizens is part of a movement to elect the charismatic president in 2017.
Organizers of a group called “Obama17,” or Barack Obama 2017, are reportedly trying to attract the former American commander-in-chief to set up residency in Paris. An organizer, who requested to only be identified as Antoine, spoke to the news network about the drive to install Barack Obama as president of France.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 23, 2017
“It’s totally crazy, but the cool thing is that once you get past that, you start thinking that maybe it’s possible. Who cares that he’s not French? He’s Barack Obama.”
The Obama 2017 group created a website and has distributed several hundred posters around Paris with Obama’s face emblazoned on them. To solidify its symbolic campaign, the group seeks to garner 1 million signatures on a petition to elect Barack Obama.
Antoine admits the Obama17 effort doesn’t have a chance at passing and it’s a “joke” at best. However, the underlying message is serious and highlights the concerns about the country’s leadership and reported history of corruption over several administrations.
“We want to show that people are fed up with the politicians here. People are tired about it and they like this joke. It gives people a little fun amid all these scandals.”
On April 23, France’s voters will head to the polls for first-round voting of a new president. Based on established protocol, if no candidate obtains 50 percent of the vote, there is a mandatory May 7 runoff for the top two vote getters.
Marine Le Pen heads the far-right National Front Party. She is currently the frontrunner and is expected to earn the most votes — albeit, short of a majority — in the first round. If she wins the election, she will become the first female head of state in France’s history, according to a Time Money report.
Antoine explained his opposition to Le Pen. Moreover, he outlined the motivation behind creating a campaign to elect Barack Obama in 2017.
“We are so fed up with what Marine Le Pen is doing, and with the fact that we weren’t able to find a candidate to vote for, only one to vote against. We started talking about that and it came up that Obama is free — so why not hire him?”
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama recently returned to Washington from a post-White House vacation. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, the former president and first lady took a plane to Palm Springs for a short getaway before hopping on a plane to the British Virgin Islands.
There, they spent time on Sir Richard Branson’s private island. Barack and Michelle were snapped in pictures enjoying the sun and surf. Obama, who left the White House with an approval rating of 63 percent, according to a CNN/ORC poll via Huffington Post, assured supporters that, despite retirement, he would continue supporting things he worked to implement over the past eight years, according to CNSNews.
— CBS46 (@cbs46) February 25, 2017
In the wake of chaos created by Donald Trump’s refugee and immigrant travel ban, President Obama released a statement through a spokesperson and outlined how he fundamentally disagrees with his successor. Obama also said he is “heartened by the level of engagement” seen from peaceful protesters, as Salon wrote.
“In his final official speech as president, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy – not just during an election but every day. Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
The Barack Obama 2017 organizer reports that serious supporters are trying to find a loophole that would allow Barack Obama to run for the French presidency.
“We’ve had some funny emails from lawyers telling us how it could be possible. He would have to be naturalized by the president of the French Assembly,” Antoine said.
“I think if Barack Obama answers this, there will be a huge amount of reaction. I think he might like this kind of thing. People in France would get crazy, especially young people. But he won’t say yes to our proposal,” he added.
What do you think about the Obama17 French group petitioning Barack Obama to become the president of France in the country’s 2017 elections?
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]