“Barack Obama a achevé son deuxième mandat de Président des États-Unis le 21 janvier dernier, pourquoi ne pas l’embaucher comme Président pour la France ?”
Which, translated, says:
“Barack Obama has completed his second term as President of the United States on January 21, why not hire him as President for France?”
That’s right, folks … the French want President Obama for their own! I told my daughter tonight that if the French elect him, we are selling every single thing we own and moving to France! She agreed.
A number of elections in Europe this year are proving to be contentious in the same vein as the U.S. election was last year, though none quite so toxic, since by nature, Europeans are more polite than Americans. The next one will be the Dutch elections in March, with Geert Wilders playing the Trumpian. Then in April, France will elect a new president, or if no candidate wins a majority, there will be a runoff election in May, much the same as the Austrian elections last year.
The three front-runners at the moment are far-right Marine LePen, of the National Front (FN) party, who is largely expected to win the first round, but not with a majority, and is not considered likely to win the runoff. The other two front-runners, vying for 2nd in the first round, are Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! Party (EM) and François Fillon of the The Republicans (LR).
Thinking back to our own contentious election last year, when many people were not enamoured of either candidate and kept hoping for a better choice to magically appear, we can certainly appreciate the French wanting someone to “come in and clean up the mess.” Over the past month, posters have begun appearing with a picture of Obama and sporting the slogan Obama17. There is even a website urging voters to sign a petition promising to vote for Barack Obama if he enters the race. Obama would be a good president for France, the website continues, as he has “the best résumé in the world for the job.” It’s not the first time French citizens have expressed longing for Obama’s leadership — at least two petitions were started last year — but it’s by far the most successful, with some 30,000 signatures thus far. Still somewhat shy of the one million they are seeking, but a good start nonetheless.
The French election season, like that of the U.S., has been plagued by scandal and upsets. François Fillon was caught after hiring his wife for a non-existent position, paying her out taxpayer monies, to the tune of about $900,000! He also hired his two children – no word on how much they were paid. A few weeks ago, Fillon and his wife were questioned separately for five hours on Monday by anti-corruption officers in connection with the allegation. Needless to say, his poll numbers are down a bit now.
And LePen has not been without troubles either. She has been told to repay the French government some $320,000 after it was determined that two of her aides on the French Parliamentary payroll were actually working for her campaign, but she has refused, saying she did nothing wrong. And like Trump, she praises Putin and supports Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.
So is it any wonder that some look toward the grace, dignity and integrity of Obama for a solution? But alas … I am sorry dear French brethren … it is simply not to be. First, Obama is not a citizen of France, which is a requirement for the position. He doesn’t even speak the language, though I am told that Michelle did study French at some point. And to the best of my knowledge, though I do not claim to be in his inner loop, he has expressed no desire to move to France, or to once again have to contend with leading a nation.