In honor of this weird tradition, and in honor of our newest president, The Marmalade Mussolini, #45, Comrade Trumpovich, I made a list of the best presidents we never had. My top five fictional presidents. These are the very best fake United States Presidents, which means good ole President Skroob, President Laura Roslin, and President Business aren't included.
President Merkin Muffley
35th President of the United States
film: Doctor Strangelove. Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
actor: Peter Sellers
To begin our list, I chose the Trumanesque, Adelai Stevenson sponsored naive Commander in Chief, Mr. President Muffley, our last president before the great nuclear holocaust of 1964, and named after the pubic wig, the greatest cosmetic invention ever! This honest, sincere, open diplomat, who, despite being completely unprepared, and with all the circumstances and luck going against him, almost stopped nuclear Armageddon. Still a better a president under stress than our real life #45, the Short Fingered Vulgarian.
President Francis J (Frank) Underwood
46th President of the United States
series: House of Cards
actor: Kevin Spacey
President Underwood is the second president, after Gerald Ford, to not be elected by the people of the United States, but appointed through a series of resignations and appointments. This man is a ruthless machiavellian psychopath, a master manipulator, and a killer. And yet, still better than the actual real life 45th president, the failed mail-order meat salesmen, we have now, in reality. At least this guy knows how the system works, what the job means, and how to get stuff done without looking like a Kindergartener.
President David Palmer
43rd President of the United States
actor: Dennis Hayspert
Not only is President Palmer the first black president, a Democrat that ran on a platform of integrity and the welfare of the American People, he survived an assassination attempt before securing his party's nomination enroute to becoming president. This of course happened 4 years before Barack Obama won his Senate seat. President Palmer served for one term, opting out of re-election due to personal trauma, and clandestine anti-terrorism actions, as is the modis operandi for the show 24. And who could blame him? There are crazy terrorists with even crazier Bond-esque plots around every corner in the 24 universe. In fact, he did serve briefly as an advisor in the next administration, but was assassinated in what is probably the only ex-presidential assassination. Overall, a much better National Security president than our current Cheeto-dust Czar.
42nd, or 43rd President of the United States
film: Air Force One
actor: Harrison Ford
Not much is known of this president's career, or platform, or anything really, except he has a military record (Medal of Honor recipient), doesn't negotiate with terrorists (except when he does) and can certainly hand down some beat downs when his Secret Service loses their grip. President Marshall makes the list simply for being the most manly president since Teddy Roosevelt. Certainly a tougher, more physical presence than our newly inaugurated Tangerine Tornado
President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet
42nd or 43rd President of the United States
series: West Wing
actor: Martin Sheen
Probably the most in-depth, realistically written fake president on the list (although I still don't understand the timeline. Why are the presidential elections held during mid-term election years?), President Jed Bartlet's administration is portrayed in a detail unlike any other in fake presidential history. The Right ridiculed his administration by calling it the Left Wing. But realistically, Bartlet was a great diplomat and negotiator, kept America safe from threats foreign and domestic, and was a champion of the American working class. The man knew his Constitution, knew his Bible, surrounded himself with experts to help him with things he wasn't strong in, like foreign policy, and defense, and had the courage to come clean about his uncertain health problems (he has MS).
Mike Curry, the press secretary for real life president Bill Clinton said Bartlet was a patchwork of the perfect president combining "the compassion and integrity of Jimmy Carter... that shrewd decision-making and hard-nosed realism of a Richard Nixon... the warmth and amiability and the throw-the-arm-around-the-shoulder of a Bill Clinton; and... the liberal passion of a Kennedy". Basically the exact opposite of our current sitting Commander-in-Chief, Lord Fuck-face von Clownstick.