19 Fictional Presidents: Vote for Your Favorite

A comprehensive list of some of the most popular TV and movie Presidents. Who are your favorites? 

Since 1999, my father has laughed and said, “If only Jed Bartlet were the real President…” in the face of political disaster. And I think most of us can identify. A very solid case could be made that The West Wing’s Commander-in-Chief, played by Martin Sheen, is America’s most beloved President… Even if he wasn’t exactly real.

So now that the election is over, and President Obama has been sworn-in for his second term, I think it’s a good time to look back at Hollywood’s most famous Presidents, and nominate the best (and worst) fictional American Commander-in-Chief*.

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President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet – West Wing

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President Andrew Shepherd – The American President

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President David Palmer – 24

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President Mitchell/ Dave Kovic – Dave

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President Beck – Deep Impact

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President Hathaway – Monsters vs Aliens

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President James Marshall – Air Force One

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President Matthew Santos – West Wing

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President MacKenzie Allen – Commander in Chief

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President Fitzgerald Grant – Scandal

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President Merkin Muffley- Dr. Strangelove

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President Douglass Dilman – The Man

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President Thomas J Whitmore – Independence Day

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President Camacho – Idiocracy

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President Jackson Evans – The Contender

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President James Dale – Mars Attacks

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President Jack Stanton – Primary Colors

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President Caroline Reynolds – Prison Break

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The US President – Love, Actually

 

*I must note here that in my many searches and conversations about this topic, I have been unable to unearth a single Asian-American portrayal of the President, and (unsurprisingly) no Arab-American/Middle Eastern-American representations of American Presidents. And of course nobody representing First Nations or Indigenous populations. On top of that, the number of females who have played the President is startlingly low. Possibly the most-watched female POTUS was acting-President Sally Langston from Scandal, but I decided to disqualify her because one could argue she wasn’t actually the President. 

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer and editor with a special focus in issues facing raising boys and gender in the media. Her work has appeared on Redbook, Yahoo!, xoJane, MariaShriver.com, TIME.com, and more. She and her husband are outdoor sports enthusiasts raising very active sons. She is currently co-editing a book of essays for boys and young men with author and advocate Jeff Perera. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.

Comments

  1. correy stoner says:
  2. I’m towards the end of a massive West Wing rewatch on Netflix and I can’t help but think how much better served we would we would be with people like Bartlet, Santos, Walken, and Vinick in the public debate.

  3. Chris Rock’s Mays Gilliam (Head of State) would be my personal pick to put at the top of this list, but only because the disembodied head of Richard Nixon is, as President of Earth, somewhat overqualified.

  4. Rock Conner says:

    Jed Bartlett, David Palmer

  5. Dave all the way, and not just because that may or may not be my name, too.

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