After a grueling 2012 presidential campaign, today everything comes to a head as Americans head to the polls to decide who'll be living in the White House for the next four years. But while we wait for the results to come in, we invite you to take a political breather by weighing in on the best (and worst) television presidencies fake TV America has ever had. Herewith, our personal picks; cast your own votes in the poll and comments below!
24's David Palmer
24's idealistic and beloved David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) led the country mainly by letting Jack Bauer do his thing. President Palmer was also voted by real-world watchers as one of their favorite on-screen Presidents, securing his place at the head of the list as the best fictional President fake-America’s ever had.
The West Wing's Josiah “Jed” Bartlet
Another fictional president viewers remember more fondly than most real-world leaders, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) was a social crusader who pioneered immigration amnesty, a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine, and Social Security reform, all while suffering multiple sclerosis. Despite his inability to balance the budget, we’d give Bartlett another term any day.
Commander in Chief's Mackenzie “Mac” Allen
President Allen (Geena Davis) went from VP to POTUS after the president suffered a heart attack. As America's first female president and one of the country's only Independent leaders, she had to deal with sexism in the Oval Office and at home, but still managed to guide America as capably as Bartlett, Palmer, or any other of her fictional counterparts.
Stargate SG-1's Henry Hayes
Sure, President Henry Hayes (William Devane) may have gotten rid of Stargate’s Major General Hammond, but he also kicked out his conniving and evil VP and helped defend Earth against alien invasion from Anubis. A man who knows his way around a Stargate is a man who deserves four more years!
Cory in the House's Richard Martinez
Often heard uttering the catchphrase “The President of the United States!” and known for harboring an obsession with mentoring the son of his head chef, President Martinez (John D’Aquino) would be considered insane in the real world. But in the world of Disney Channel's Cory in the House, where characters' pants fell down to reveal funny underwear and the offspring of the kitchen staff got to roam the halls of the White House with impunity, he fit right in.
Battlestar Galactica's Gaius Baltar
Not only did Gaius’s (James Callis) sexual shenanigans get the Twelve Colonies destroyed, his obsession with Cylon Number Six almost brought about total human genocide. Presidency highlights included revealing the ship’s location to the Cylons (come on, Gaius!) and surrendering the human race to the Cylons (come ON, Gaius!).
Doctor Who's The Master
The Master (John Simm) ran on a platform of overwriting the DNA of everyone in the world (including President Obama), turning them into clones of himself, and killing the Doctor. He kept his first promise but fell apart on the second, and his DNA-tampering was reversed during a confrontation with the Time Lords. Sorry The Master—we know Barack Obama and sir, you are no Barack Obama!
Futurama's Head of Nixon
As the regular President of the United States, Nixon was a crook. As a disembodied head and Futurama's President of Earth, Nixon (Billy West) was downright EVIL. Highlights of his administration included the senseless Bouncy Ball Planet War, the failure to stop the invasion of Earth several times, and mounting his head on a giant robot and destroying Washington, D.C.
Prison Break's Caroline Reynolds
Corruption, thy name is President Reynolds (Patricia Wettig). Framing protagonist Lincoln Burrows for her brother’s (fake) death, Vice President Reynolds poisoned her way up to the Presidency and then squandered her time conspiring with and against The Company, Burrows, and anyone who stood in her way, only to resign halfway through.
The Event's Raymond Jarvis
Another sniveling coward, VP Jarvis (Bill Smitrovich) became acting Commander-in-Chief after an assassination attempt on the president’s life... and promptly caved to alien invaders in between bouts of being accused of the assassination attempt on the president’s life.
Note: To submit a write-in candidate, type the actor's name and list the show/character in the comments.