Obama 2017: Petition Calls for Barack Obama to Run as French President

Darin HammondFeb 26, 2017

The problem, however, is that their proposed president isn't actually French.

Of course, the tiny problem of Obama not having French citizenship prevents the former USA leader from standing in the presidential election.

The guerrilla campaign was launched with a website and online petition, which aims to collect 1 million signatures by 15 March, following which the organisers will try to convince Obama to apply for the job.

Around 500 "Obama 17" posters have also been spotted across Paris featuring the Nobel Laureate's photograph and his U.S. campaign slogan "Yes we can" in French ("Oui on peut").

With many in France jumping on the populist bandwagon, giving National Front party leader Marine Le Pen the lead in presidential polling, some on the left are desperate for a candidate to "give French people hope". The site also states, "The French are ready to make radical choices".

"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 website for "OBAMA17" reads, ABC News first reported on Thursday. In the meantime, a campaign organizer told CNN the group plastered 500 photos of Obama around Paris.

An unnamed co-creator of the movement told NPR the campaign is definitely a joke, but hopes it could make people think about what could be done differently in French politics.

However, Obama's chances at winning the French election may be slim. Also, he doesn't speak French - although Michelle Obama studied the language in college, according to a biography.

In 2012, Bill Clinton suggested that he might be able to run for election in two foreign countries: Ireland, because of his Irish family heritage, and France, because he was born in Arkansas, which is part of the Louisiana Purchase, which meant he could immediately apply for naturalization.

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