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With the American Presidential elections on the horizon, we look at some potential candidates from the world of film and TV. We have chosen seven fictional US presidents we would vote for if they actually existed. And it is a shame they don’t, as all of them have better ideas and hair than Donald Trump.
President Tom Beck, Deep Impact (1998)
President Beck is one leader who knows how to keep his cool in the face of catastrophe. In the 1998 disaster-movie Deep Impact, Morgan Freeman’s president remains remarkably calm in the face of a seven-mile long comet which is heading towards earth, threatening to wipe out humanity and life as we know it. True, his plan to put everyone in underground caves could have been constructed by a 14 year-old boy preparing for the zombie apocalypse – but he gives one hell of a rousing speech.
President Benjamin Asher, Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
Putting the slightly absurd elements of Olympus Has Fallen aside, you can’t help but notice how hardcore President Asher is. Aaron Eckhart depicts a relatively young president who isn’t afraid to die for his country. This means he is pretty much 100% badass whilst also being 100% unrealistic. Moreover, the president and vice president are also conveniently unable to perform their duties which means Morgan Freeman gets to step up again. So once again we’d probably vote for Morgan Freeman.
President James Dale, Mars Attacks! (1996)
Jack Nicholson’s bat-shit-crazy presidential character wouldn’t usually seem like a plausible nomination. But this time round he may not look out of place. Sure he’s clinically insane, but he had some commendable underlying values. His ‘why can’t we all get a long speech’ continues to have modern day significance and his ‘unique’ methods for running the country are certainly innovative. No one can deny if all leaders signed important papers without looking at them, there would be fewer controversial referendums.
President Josiah Bartlett, The West Wing (1999-2006)
Martin Sheen’s president from one of the most notorious political TV-series, portrayed a presidential figure from a more human angle. Whilst his debating techniques weren’t necessarily as conventional as we see in real-life leaders, Josiah Bartlett was certainly a president we could warm too. With his multiple sclerosis and relatable inability to remember junior staffer’s names, he is undoubtedly the most vulnerable but believable president on this list. Sheen won a Golden Globe for his performance, highlighting the quality of this character.
President David Palmer, 24 (2001-2010)
Another great suggestion from the world of TV, President Palmer. He doesn’t have an easy ride – experiencing a divorce, an assassination attempt which leaves him wheelchair bound and a mistress who abandons him. Not to mention, just when he quits being president and things start to calm down, he is assassinated via a shot through the neck. Nevertheless, Dennis Haysbert’s character continues to prove he can rise above his personal woes to carry out the world’s most difficult job.
President James Marshall, Air Force One (1997)
Unlike most of the others in this list, Harrison Ford‘s president is the central protagonist of the film. President Marshall is no ordinary president, using his kickass military training to save multiple hostages and his family against some atypical evil Russians. All whilst aboard a plane which places him in some pretty hairy situations. Marshall certainly goes above and beyond the usual call of duty and he also ticks the ‘great speech’ box.
President Thomas J. Whitmore, Independence Day (1996)
Finally, with the sequel currently in cinemas, we must consider Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore. With one of the most rousing Presidential speeches in cinematic history and a persistent attitude, Whitmore is a born leader. And when aliens travel 90 billion light years to pick a fight with your country in a spaceship a quarter of the size of the moon, only a true boss would think to take them on. Sure his battle plans predominantly consisted of nuking everything, but he did save the world. Well, for twenty years.
In all, a variety of candidates who would go to great lengths to save their country and/or the world. The Americans don’t have any of these to choose from on November the 8th, but we’re pretty sure that whoever wins won’t have to face alien invasions. But if it does happen, Trump’s battle plan would probably involve one hell of a wall.