This week, most of you have heard about the hilarious story of New York City potentially taking the segment of Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower and renaming it “Barack Obama Avenue.” The question has been whether this is just a fun fantasy, or if there’s a possibility it could actually end up happening.
This did all start as a joke. Someone created a petition to rename the New York City block on a lark, but it ended up getting a massive amount of signatures, and there’s buzz that certain members of the New York City government might take up the cause. From there, things get a bit tricky.
CNN has taken great pains to explain why the effort faces a number of hurdles. For instance, streets in New York City aren’t supposed to named after people who are still living. And in the neighborhood where Trump Tower is located, there has been a decade-long moratorium on renaming segments of streets. CNN flatly says “it won’t happen” – but that’s overlooking one obvious factor.
These aren’t normal times. When Donald Trump is involved, the traditional rules almost never apply – in either direction. If New York City is ever going to make one exception to the rules, you’d better believe this would be it. Donald Trump is more despised in his hometown than just about anywhere else – and the city is largely run by Democrats.
Also, New York City recently took a block on the Upper West Side and renamed it “Sesame Street.” That’s about as worthy of a cause as we can think of, and it proves that the city is willing to do these kinds of things when it feels they’re warranted. So yes, “Barack Obama Avenue” can happen in front of Trump Tower. That doesn’t mean it will. But it’s silly to presume that it’s impossible.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report