Obama17 is a campaign ignited by the French to hopefully entice U.S. President Barack Obama into becoming their next president. One of the coordinators of these efforts wanted to be known only as Antoine. He admits that trying to get Obama as their new leader began as a joke, but he says it now has purpose because it has gained media attention and the interest of the people.
The campaign has launched their own website, and has already put up more than 500 posters around the city of Paris saying “Oui on Peut,” for Yes We Can. They have a petition requesting 1 million signatures of supporters for Obama to run for president of France. They are currently at 44,309. “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,” stated one of the organizers.
The French are scheduled to go to the polls in April to vote for their new president. Among the top three candidates so far are Francois Fillon, Benoit Hamon, and Marine Le Pen. The French are impressed with none of these and in fact, are quite dissatisfied with the heated debates, scandal, and political rhetoric they have seen thus far.
That is the reason for the push for Obama, someone they know they probably have no chance of securing as president. They feel it gives the people something to enjoy and take their minds off of the seriousness and disappointment with the current candidates. The campaign gives them someone the people can believe in and would want to give their support to.
The only barrier that they can see, aside from the fact that Obama may not be interested, is that he also is not French. This may not be such a barrier after all. The organization has had suggestions pouring in from lawyers on how to get around that little problem.
Antoine is not hopeful Obama will want to come out of retirement to run for president in France, but he does hope he is at least aware of their efforts to get his attention. Who knows, he may even feel flattered enough to pay France a visit, and they would be thrilled.
Do you think Obama would make a good president for the French? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter: @lcarterwriter.