Halloween is over now, folks, and it’s time to focus on more serious matters. After all, we're about to decide who will be running our country for the next four years.
It’s a crucial decision, sure. But who to vote for? Some claim Barack Obama couldn’t live up to the hype of "Change" built around his 2008 campaign, others feel Mitt Romney is too wishy-washy about what his plan really is. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was another option? After all, fictional presidents face cataclysmic catastrophes all the time, yet they manage to keep their cool and lead the free world, without even breaking a sweat. No policy, no rhetoric, just decisive action. If any of these guys were running in 2012, it'd be easy to figure out whose name to check on the ballot.
Here are the nine fictional presidents we wish we could vote for this year!
9. David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) in 24
Poor President Palmer. He was dealing with terrorist threats left and right during his presidency, which probably made it hard to get anything else done. He had several really bad days. Luckily he had Jack Bauer around to kick some ass when need be. (At least once an hour.) Palmer’s stressful time in office ended in an unfortunate assassination, but hey, at least he was never bored.
8. Jack Stanton (John Travolta) in Primary Colors
Jack Stanton really was our president ― or close enough. He’s not-so-loosely based on Bill Clinton, with Emma Thompson playing his Hillary. And at the recent Democratic National Convention, the main takeaway was, “Hey, why can’t Bill be running again?” Like Clinton, Stanton has his vices, but ultimately he’s still got the country’s best interests at heart.
7. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) in Veep
Okay, so she’s not POTUS ― yet. Selina may not be the most competent Vice President we’ve ever seen on screen, and in the event of the president’s death (which she’s secretly rooting for), we aren’t sure we’d trust her to run the nation. Selina's a selfish narcissist who worries more about PR than policy. She is, however, hilarious, the butt of so many media jokes we only wish were real. With Selina as VP, we’d be constantly entertained by the news out of Washington.
6. Mike Brady (Gary Cole) in The Brady Bunch in the White House
Whoever thought it was a good idea to make a movie about Mike Brady as President of the United States has probably lost their job by now, and admittedly, we haven’t watched. (Has anyone?) But with his fatherly wisdom and wholesome values, Mike Brady certainly seems like the perfect man for the job, and how groovy would it be if the First Family occasionally busted out with spontaneous musical numbers?
5. Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) in Independence Day
Roland Emmerich’s movies pretty much always have a president in them, from Obama stand-in Danny Glover in 2012 to the Bush/Cheney parodies of The Day After Tomorrow. But Whitmore is clearly the best ― not only does he give rousing speeches about celebrating our independence from extra-terrestrials, but he’s also willing to fly a fighter jet himself in order to make it happen. It’s nice to see a Head of State who doesn’t just delegate the dirty work to someone else.
4. Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis) in Commander-in-Chief
The first female president! (In this show’s reality, anyway.) VP Mackenzie Allen takes office when the president dies of an aneurysm, which is too bad for him but lucky for us, since she’s a good one. The former president actually asked her to resign rather than become commander-in-chief, but Mac decides her more open-minded beliefs are better-suited for the nation’s leader. But does the fact that this show was canceled after one season mean we’re not likely to see a female in the real Oval Office any time soon?
3. Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) in Deep Impact
Remember when a black president only happened in fiction? Long before Obama was elected, there was a big ol' comet headed toward Earth, and only the soulful words of President Tom Beck could comfort us as the world saw massive destruction. When facing extinction, Morgan Freeman is exactly the man you want around to wax poetic ― remember, he’s also played Nelson Mandela and God.
2. Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) in The West Wing
The West Wing aired from 1999 to 2006, and boy do we wish Josiah Bartlet had actually been president during that time. In office, he helped put women and minorities in positions of power in the Supreme Court, championed alternative energy, created new jobs for millions of Americans, and negotiated peace between Israel and Palestine. Even better ― no recession! Alas, Romney would be quick to point out that Bartlet was unable to balance the budget, but no president is perfect. He’s still got our vote.
1. James Marshall (Harrison Ford) in Air Force One
Lowering taxes and fixing the economy is all well and good, but when things go wrong, don’t we really prefer a president who can kick ass? Most of these other presidents would have perished aboard Air Force One when it was taken over by Russian terrorists, but not James Marshall! That’s because he’s played by Harrison Ford, and Harrison Ford does not negotiate with terrorists. Added bonus: he comes complete with Glenn Close as a VP! It’s hard to imagine either Romney or Obama saying “Get off my plane” with such convincing menace.
Would you have voted for any of these guys? Let us know your favorite fictional president in the comments!