While other countries petition to keep current U.S. President Donald Trump from sharing the same air space as them, citizens in France are petitioning to have former President Barack Obama run for president of their country. Marred by conspiracy theories, scandal, and the fear of having a far-right leader, French voters are calling on Barack Obama to bring his grace, calm and leadership to a land where it will be appreciated. A petition called Obama 17, requesting the former U.S. president to run in France’s elections, was launched on Monday and is seeking to reach a goal of 1 million signatures.

So far, it has 30,000. French elections will be held in April and May. Realistically, the organizers do acknowledge the chances of Obama becoming their president are way past zero. By law, presidential candidates must be French.

The familiar theme of controversy vs. alt-right

On the other hand, it is the impossibility itself which seems to have inspired the campaign organizers. One member, identified as Antoine, stated he and three friends created the website out of frustration for what France has to offer by way of candidates. They are dismayed by the scandals of candidate Francois Fillon and the elevation and rhetoric of far-right candidate Marine LePen.

The weariness of politics from country to country

Antoine says he and his friends are not activists nor is he aligned with any particular political party. Nevertheless, he is tired of voting for the lesser of two evils absent a candidate who inspires. He says Barack Obama is the only one who has stoked genuine enthusiasm and he and his friends have placed 500 Obama posters around Paris, carrying the slogan “Oui on peut” (Yes we can).

Antoine feels it is stupid to think nationalism will make for better government. The way he sees it, it would be better to pay competent people rather than remain stuck with the same people for forever and a decade.

Barack Obama emerged today from a building in New York City and was met by roaring cheers, shouts of love and plenty of cell phone camera shots. It looked as though those on the street were not willing to let the former president go. Sorry, France.