Five Fictional Presidents We Wish We Could Elect


This was supposed to go up on another website before the election, but that didn’t quite work out. So, kill fee in hand, I’m posting it here. Pretend it’s still Monday while you read it. Actually, you should do that anyway; that way, the weekend will arrive much sooner than expected, which is always a pleasant surprise.

* * *

As we prepare to choose the lesser of two evils in the looming election, we look with yearning eyes at the fictional presidents we wish we could vote in instead of the real thing. We’ve assembled a Mount Rushmore of the greatest Commanders in Chief ever to grace the screen, plus one to spare. Keep these names in mind as write-in candidates as you spoil your ballot this year.


5. President James Marshall (Harrison Ford), Air Force One

Why he’s delectably electable
Scholars have ranked stubbornness and disagreeableness as characteristics associated with great presidents, and if you’ve ever seen the surly and taciturn Harrison Ford on a talk show, you know he’s as presidential as they come. Plus, if we don’t consider Ben Affleck’s real-life political aspirations — and we really shouldn’t — putting the star of Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger aboard Air Force One is the closest we’ll get to a President Jack Ryan. But beyond that, this Die Hard-on-a-plane scenario essentially makes Ford President John McClane. And you know he’s just dying to yell, “I’m tired of all these motherfucking Soviet neo-nationalists on my motherfucking plane!”

Why we might veto this candidate
What he actually yells is “Get off my plane!” and he sounds uncomfortably close to the subway poltergeist who yells “Get off my train!” in Ghost. Also, his second-in-command is played by Glenn Close, and frankly, the idea of her in turn fending off terrorists aboard the vice-presidential jet in a sequel titled Air Force Two is so preposterous that its green-lighting is inevitable.


4. President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Independence Day

Why he’s delectably electable
While fellow pilot George W. Bush likes to shirk duty and strut around on aircraft carriers with an absurdly stuffed codpiece, and John McCain prefers to crash aircraft after aircraft, when Gulf War veteran Thomas Whitmore dons a flight suit, it’s to personally lead a battle force in cramming heat-seeking missiles up an alien enemy’s poop chute. (It also says something about his meteoric political rise that Whitmore was evidently president by 1996, just five years after his service in the Persian Gulf.) Plus, it speaks to his ability to make cool-headed snap judgments in times of crisis that as soon as he heard Earth had been invaded by extraterrestrials he didn’t have the always-peculiar Jeff Goldblum shot on sight.

Why we might veto this candidate
Electing Bill Pullman president would just result in the Secret Service codenaming him “Bill Paxton,” to the confusion of all. Also, Mary McDonnell, who plays his First Lady in Independence Day, is actually an even better alien-fighting president in the remake of Battlestar Galactica, so why settle for him?


3. President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen), The West Wing

Why he’s delectably electable
In the current financial crisis, you can’t go wrong with a president who’s won the Nobel Prize in Economics. This guy is smart. He not only knows the current temperature on Mars but also can convert it to Celsius in his head. He can quote the Bible chapter and verse in casual conversation like a non-crazy version of televangelist Jack Van Impe. He’s folksy enough that you could have a beer with him, but not without hearing an extemporaneous lecture on the brewing techniques of Trappist monks and the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516, also known as the Reinheitsgebot. And you better believe he’d throw the foreign phrase in your face. He once stood in the National Cathedral and told God himself to go to hell in fluent Latin — and he did it in a way that actually made you kind of fear for God’s safety.

Why we might veto this candidate
He’s got a bit of a weakness for bad girls; his First Lady was played by Rizzo from Grease, and he’s been palling around with Paris Hilton lately. Plus, given the American penchant for political dynasties, electing Martin Sheen raises the terrifying specter of future presidents Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. Also, Martin Sheen once played a presidential candidate that used a baby as a human shield to avoid an assassination attempt in The Dead Zone, so can we really ever trust him?


2. President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), 24

Why he’s delectably electable
Let’s leave aside the fact that he’s a close personal friend of Jack Bauer, and that he could gain election with the simple campaign promise that if you didn’t vote for him, a rogue CTU agent would steal into your house in the dead of night and cut your head off. David Palmer is intelligent, cool-headed, morally upright, and the second most badass character in 24. Scholars have noted the correlation of height with presidential greatness, and, at 6’4½”, Dennis Haysbert has a half-inch on the tallest real-life president, Abraham Lincoln. Therefore, he’s even greater. Plus, Haysbert’s played Nelson Mandela too, so he’s presidential on two continents. Not only that, but he’s the head of a top-secret counterterrorism squad in The Unit, not to mention the spokesman for Allstate insurance. You’re in good hands with Dennis Haysbert. In fact, if you got into any kind of trouble and had to cold-call one celebrity to get you out of a jam, he’d be your best bet. You just know he’d come rock you in his big, strong arms, soothe you with that deep, warm voice, and let you know that everything was going to be all right.

Why we might veto this candidate
Remember how we just compared him to Abraham Lincoln? Well, they both have that whole “cut down by an assassin’s bullet” thing working against them.


1. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews), Idiocracy

Why he’s delectably electable
In the future, you won’t be able to spell “macho” without “Camacho”. In fact, you won’t be able to spell at all. But in the dystopian age of Idiocracy, reading and writing are for, as they say, fags. And that, President Camacho most assuredly is not. On the contrary, he’s the ultimate alpha male, a porn star and five-time ultimate smackdown wrestling champion. He parades around in star-spangled robes with the flamboyance of Apollo Creed during his ring introduction in Rocky IV to the accompaniment of James Brown’s “Living in America”. He heads his own motorcade by driving a three-wheeled monster chopper while shotgunning beer after beer. He fires off a machine gun while addressing Congress, just to get their attention. In other words, President Camacho is the human embodiment of pure awesomeness.

Why we might veto this candidate
Well, he’s kind of a moron. His only good idea is to let someone slightly less inept take over the job of running the country before it completely falls apart under his incompetent stewardship. But hey, if there’s one things Americans have proven over the last couple of presidential elections, it’s that they prefer salt-of-the-earth, glad-handing anti-intellectuals who seem like they’d be fun to have a beer with over snooty elitists who show off with their eloquence — excuse us — who “talk like fags.” So, he might be an idiot, and he might not have a clue what he’s doing, but he’s the president you want, and he’s the president you deserve. But feel free to prove us wrong.

9 Responses to “Five Fictional Presidents We Wish We Could Elect”

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. 2 Kelly D

    After reading nos. 5-2, I was thinking this just might be PC-enough to print/post near the office coffee station for all to enjoy…. Doh! Got me with no. 1.

    Write on.

  3. 3 Peter Lynn

    So motherfucking is PC in your office, but fag is NSFW?

    (Incidentally, the latter is not my word choice — it’s straight from the movie, where Luke Wilson is continually accused of talking like one whenever he says anything intelligent.)

  4. 4 awerjkr

    for cracked?

  5. Why is it that I only found the term “delectably electable” offensive when used for Bill Pullman?

  6. Nobody every cites Dennis Haysbert’s role in “Major League” as evidence that he’d make a good president.

  7. 7 Peter Lynn

    awerjkr: Suffice it to say it was for a humourous website that trades in lists.

    Thom: Quite simply, you’re a Paxton man. There is no shame in this.

    Matt: Actually, I considered mentioning that although Jed Bartlet told God to go to hell, Pedro Cerrano said “Fuck you” to Jobu.

  8. Right on, Matt: I was just going to suggest that Cerrano’s wholesale inability to hit a curveball (despite Jobu’s help) pretty much disqualifies him for the position.

    As for Camacho, do you think “Monday Night Rehabilitation” would be a good way to punish welfare-cheats?

  9. 9 Scott

    They’re busy with Monday Night RAWhabilitation.

    Is it okay that I don’t understand the joke?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: