A petition that would rename the section of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in front of Trump Tower to “Barack H. Obama Avenue” is sparking viral interest and has now topped 350,000 signatures.
The MoveOn.org petition is calling on New York City officials to rename the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets to “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.” The name would honor America’s 44th president and would mean an address change for Trump Tower.
The petition appears to be aimed at getting under the skin of Donald Trump, who has reportedly lobbed attacks at his presidential predecessor dating back to years before Trump’s presidential run. While he was still known as a real estate magnate and reality television star of The Apprentice, Donald Trump was one of the key figures pushing “birtherism,” the debunked idea that Barack Obama was born outside the United States and that his birth certificate was a forgery.
Trump has reportedly continued to attack Barack Obama after moving into the White House, sometimes taking to Twitter to criticize the former president and accuse Obama of spying on his 2016 presidential campaign.
The petition to rename Fifth Avenue is now getting some very famous backers. Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show, promoted the petition on his show on Thursday and noted the difference between political trolling among the right and the left.
“This is the difference between trolls on the left and trolls on the right,” he said, via Deadline. “One harasses Chris Cuomo at dinner, the other is like ‘We’re submitting a formal request through the proper channels of city council — see you in 14 months — you’ve been PETISH’D!”
The publicity seems to have helped the petition, which at points on Friday was gaining tens of thousands of signatures each hour.
But as CNN pointed out, the petition is not likely to do very much about the address in front of Trump Tower. Elizabeth Rowin, the woman who first started the petition, admitted that it was a joke meant to needle Donald Trump, so it’s not likely to have much follow-up behind it.
“We request the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets be renamed ‘President Barack H. Obama Avenue,’....”— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) August 15, 2019
That stretch includes Trump Tower, which would make President Trump’s address there 725 President Barack H. Obama Ave. https://t.co/KOuk8zBPRq
The report added that any petition to re-name a New York City street has to first go through the city’s community board. The specific body that oversees the neighborhood where Trump Tower is located put a moratorium on co-naming streets, which has been in place for the last decade. But if the intention is supposed to irk Donald Trump, then the petition may still be a success.