Will Barack Obama make a great French President? A group of Obama-devotees in France seem to think so as their petition for the former United States president to run for presidency in their country gains international attention.
The organizers of the campaign dubbed as “Obama17” made their wish for the former POTUS known in February by putting up posters that mimic ones that were disseminated during Obama’s 2008 campaign with the words “Oui on peut” which translates to “Yes We Can.”
The campaign now has more than 42,000 signatures and continues to grow as Barack Obama’s French devotees aim to gather a total of 1 million signatures by March 15 based on information posted on their official website.
But while the campaign appears to be gaining popularity by the minute, it wasn’t always a serious call as many may believe. In fact, it all started with a joke.
According to The Guardian, the campaign posters appeared around the French capital of Paris as a way of making fun of the upcoming presidential election in France. Four friends wanted to pretend to want Barack Obama leading their country, according to the report.
The friends later decided to create a website with the same message together with an underlying motive of coaxing France out of its “lethargy,” as the website continues to explain the campaign.
“We wish to strike a blow by electing a foreign president at the head of our beautiful country. Barack Obama has completed his second term as president of the United States … why not hire him as president for France?”
Of course, there is no chance that former U.S. President Obama could be elected as the president of France since he is not a French citizen. But that apparently is not important for the Obama17.
In fact, one of them who spoke with CNN revealed why they want Barack Obama as French President.
“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 campaigner who asked to be known only as “Antoine” further explained that while the campaign was a joke, it had serious motivation and purpose.
“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,” he said.
Polls for the Presidential Election in France is not set to begin until April 23 but the political atmosphere suggests that National Front party leader Marine Le Pen would be in the lead.
Unfortunately, Antoine is not a big fan of Marine Le Pen and explained that he is already fed up of voting against their leader which is why he wanted someone to vote for instead.
“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,” Antoine explained.
Since they started, Obama17 received support for their cause including some emails from lawyers who gave them advice on how this Barack Obama could be made the French President.
“He would have to be naturalized by the president of the French Assembly,” it said.
While it remains unclear that the former POTUS is aware of the campaign, the matter appears to be gaining more traction as their deadline approaches. Antoine said it could help if Obama actually answers their plea though he is pretty sure that the American politician would say no.
“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.”
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[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images]