Top Twelve Fictional Presidents
Admittedly, television and movies are littered with numerous examples of fake Presidents. How does anyone narrow it down to just a few names? One will inevitably overlook some great portrayals. And the options are numerous, ranging from great to terrible, humorous to boring, and from the completely bizarre to the inspired. To keep the candidates manageable, we’ll limit eligibility to fake Presidents, and not portrayals of real Presidents. We’ll also limit it to Presidents of the United States, and not Presidents of other entities.
After sifting through the candidates, we at Gunaxin have chosen our favorites, the Presidents we feel anyone in real life could live up to and do a fine job. These President are simply put, the best of the best. But there were so many to choose from, that even we feel we had to leave some good ones out. If your favorite is missing, we apologize. But we also feel these twelve are an especially strong group of leaders. Here they are:
12) President Camacho
As portrayed in : Idiocracy
His full name is President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, but that was too long to fit in our heading above. Here’s a guy who enters the House of Representin’ and can command a group of idiots to follow his lead. The five time Ultimate Smackdown Wrestling Champion and leader of the free world is the perfect man to rescue the United States out of its stupidity induced down spiral. His solution? Just find the smarter man and let him do his thing.
11) President Merkin Muffley
As portrayed in : Dr. Strangelove
Supposedly inspired by Adlai Stevenson, his meek appearance and bald pate gives off the vibes of an egghead liberal unprepared for the problems of nuclear war. Maybe he’s not the greatest leader in the free world, but buoyed by Sellers’ brilliant performance he gets great bonus points for his line, ”Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here! This is the War Room.”
10) The President
As portrayed in : Escape from New York
When you crash land onto Manhattan Island, but its been turned into a maximum security prison, that’s not a good thing. The President survives the crash but is soon held hostage by the inmates, who even chop off one of the poor man’s fingers. But he gets revenged, as he guns down the gang leader, The Duke near the film’s end while shouting, “Ayy!! Number Onnee! You’re the Duke! You’re the Duke!”
9) President James Dale
As portrayed in : Mars Attacks!
In Tim Burton’s campy B-movie homage, Nicholson’s aloof President may not be the most effective commander-in-chief, but he proves to be one of the funniest. In his defense, its a no-win situation for him when Martians attack. Plus he gets bonus points for his great lines. For example, after the Martians destroy Congress, he proclaims, ”I want the people to know that they still have two out of three branches of the government working for them… and that ain’t bad.”
8) President Tom Beck
As portrayed in : Deep Impact
Here’s a President that had to deal with a meteor crashing into the Earth and causing an ‘Extinction Level Event’. Despite the massive damage and incredible loss of life, he manages to deliver a great speech and his actions in constructing underground shelters helped save millions.
7) President Thomas J. Whitmore
As portrayed in : Independence Day
A President who can lead his troops into battle. Literally. Even after his Vice-President and wife are taken out, he assembles a rag tag fleet of former airmen and crop-dusters at an Air Force base in a final battle against super powerful aliens.
6) President Jackson Evans
As portrayed in : The Contender
He comes across as likable and friendly, but beneath the surface he is a shrewd, manipulative politician who can crush his opponents. And yet while enagages in some of these bulldog tactics, we still like him. It helps that his agendas are usually on the noble side.
5) President Bill Mitchell (Dave Kovic)
As portrayed in : Dave
Okay, you can argue this one a little bit since Kline is himself being the fake President for a fake President. But he pulls it off, and because people believed he was the President, he can count in my mind. Testing the theory that anybody can be president, Kline’s doppelgänger run at the Presidency was a complete 180 from the man he replaced.
4) President Josiah Bartlet
As portrayed in : The West Wing
An encyclopedia of knowledge and a Nobel Laureate, Bartlet represents an idealized president, endowed with a fierce intellect, great (though not infallible) personal integrity, toughness tempered with essential compassion for the less fortunate, and a sense of humor. Although he suffers from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, he managed to control his illness and be a great President who was popular and always the smartest guy in the room.
3) President Andrew Shepherd
As portrayed in : The American President
Aaron Sorkin can really write Presidents and for Michael Douglas he created one with smarts, charisma, charm, and an overall strength. That is a definite winner in my book. Although the movie plays as a romantic comedy, you got to love a guy who can interrupt a date in order to bomb Libya.
2) President James Marshall
As portrayed in : Air Force One
Take many of the above qualities of Presidents on this list and in a President who can kick ass. Part action hero, he can take care of terrorists himself. Even while quipping, stuff like “Get off my plane!” Who wouldn’t want to vote for a man like that?
1) President David Palmer
As portrayed in : 24
This was a tough race between the top two, but has there ever been such a universally beloved President? I’m giving the edge to Palmer in this one, as he is a man who inspires loyalty wherever he goes. 24 has gone through a lot of Presidents, but the best of bunch is easily David Palmer, who served as President in Seasons 2 and 3. A popular and charismatic leader, not only was he brave and principled, he taught me about the swoop and squat.