Some French People Really Want Barack Obama To Be Their President

Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images.
We'll admit that this sounds like a pie-in-the-sky liberal fantasy, but picture this: Former president Barack Obama. As president of France. That's the fantastical idea four friends came up with "after a drink," according to NBC.

Unlike many of us, they turned their tipsy musings into reality. The Obama 17 campaign was launched earlier this week, reports Time, and there are campaign posters plastered around Paris. A petition is currently circulating calling for Obama's candidacy. The group's goal is to collect 1 million signatures by March 15 in order to persuade Obama to throw his hat in the ring. It's received about 27,000 signatures so far.

"Barack Obama has the best résumé in the world for the job," says the petition site. "Because at a time when France is about to vote massively for the extreme right, we can still give a lesson of democracy to the planet by electing a French President, a foreigner."

The French election is likely to come down to a run-off, with recent polls showing far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, who has been called a liberal Donald Trump, as frontrunners. Unless a candidate wins a majority in the first round (on April 23), which is unlikely, the two candidates with the most votes will face off in the second round, which is on May 7.

With the wave of far-right populism sweeping Europe, and the eventful aftermath of our own recent election, we can certainly sympathize with the desire to elect a tried-and-true, beloved candidate. It seems to be a national form of self-care as France goes through its own contentious presidential election.

We have to be a little selfish for a moment, though: Even if Obama wanted to run away to Paris, we'd love to keep him right here stateside — preferably in NYC, where we can watch him drink iced coffee, wave at people, and generally give us hope.
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