The best fictitious U.S. President(s)

From books, movies, TV shows, whatever. Whenever we despair of the current occupant of the White House, we can always imagine an alternative. I’d nominate:

Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) from The American President. Witty, bright, clearly enjoyed the job and did his level best despite the political cost.

Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman) from Deep Impact. Smart, serious, imposing, and just the voice I’d want to hear broadcast the Oval Office when the shit really hit the fan.

Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) from The West Wing. Sheen played Shepherd’s chief of staff in The American President, but came into his own at the core of this great political TV show. A principled statesman, a bibliophile, history buff and Nobel Prize-winning economist. Jed, we hardly knew ye…

Frederick March as President Jordan Lyman in Seven Days in May is the first one who popped into my head.

My vote: David Palmer, from 24. (He was so damn charming and confidence-inspiring that I won’t think very hard about his repeated endorsements of torture as state policy.)

Honorable mention has to go to President Merkin Muffly, who did his best to save the world after the Soviets had set up the doomsday machine and one of his generals had set in train events that would trigger it. In the face of a worse crisis than any president has every faced, and confronted by insane and incompetent subordinates and a drunk and incoherent Soviet Premier, President Muffly never loses his calmness.

Peter Griffin

President Widmark from Buckaroo Banzai who managed to lead this country despite being in traction.

Unless I hallucinated it, in my youth (late 1960s, possibly early 1970s) there was a Saturday morning cartoon called “Super President”. That’s right; a superhero whose secret identity was President of the United States.

John F. Kennedy from Action Comics. He was such a great guy that Superman trusted him with his secret identity!

There’s also Prez.

There was also the president in the classic mystery story, “The President of the United States: Detective” by H.F. Heard. I don’t recall his name (or if it was ever given), but he was clearly a man ahead of his time and would nowadays be doing PowerPoint shows and winning an Oscar for him. And the story was written in 1947.

And he refuses to fight in the War Room.

President Thomas Whitmore from Independence Day.

Rallys the troops at Area 51, then jumps in a fighter jet and attacks the aliens.

a CinC with nads.

There was a book for kids where a 13 year old kid gets elected, points out the stupidity of the decision, resigns. At least, that’s how I recall it…

– IG


Not hallucinating, yes there was such a cartoon. I even remembered the name w/o looking it up: President Norcross.

Henry Fonda in Fail Safe–forced into an unbelievable situation and compelled to make the most horrific of decisions, putting his country (and the safety of the world) before all other personal or party interests.

“There’s been a little problem with the bomb, Dmitri… the bomb… the hydrogen bomb…” :smiley:

Ah, yes. Signing the “Declaration of War: Short Form” on advice of National Security Advisor Yakov Smirnof.

“Declaration of War, the short form.”

The unnamed President in Robert Heinlein’s “The Happy Days Ahead” (published in Expanded Universe ).

Richard Jordan’s character in The Hunt for Red October was billed as a Henry Kissinger type. But he performed the same function as the President in the novel.

E.G. Marshall in Superman II, Emma, Queen of the South Seas, Ike, Collision Course: Truman versus MacArthur, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s “Ordeal by White House”

“Of course it’s a friendly call, Dimitri! If it wasn’t a friendly call, well, you probably wouldn’t even be getting it.”

Large parts of that phone call are reputed to be improvised.