It’s Election Day, and people seem to think it’s an important one. Many are saying it might be like a top 10, or top 20 most important of our lifetime…something along those lines. It’s apparently big to a lot of people. Well, while we wait around to hear who the top vote-getters are, let’s dive into who are the top FAKE PRESIDENTS we’ve seen…according to me.
5. Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman), Independence Day
This guy is holding shit down as president one minute, and flying a fighter jet the next. Considering we haven’t had a president who saw real military service in decades, he’s that much more impressive.
4. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), Veep
Not a great executive, per se, but that’s not why we’re here. Sadly, Meyer is probably more realistic as a president- marginally clueless, ineffective narcissist who’s life is objectively a personal mess but occasionally rises to the moment- than any others on the list. But man, I’d love to spend a day with her staff.
3. The President from National Treasure 2 (that guy, Bruce Greenwood), National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
Not even a main character in the movie, but this guy is an incredible character actor. He played the scumbag husband in Double Jeopardy, and then played this version of the president. A guy who’s so nice and trusting, he’s willing to go into a secret tunnel with a conspiracy theorist, just because Nic Cage had some bullshit pickup line?
2. Andrew Shepard (Michael Douglas), The American President
Hands down, the greatest movie president of all time. And a criminally underrated movie, with an incredible cast. And…it’s actually a rom-com…maybe the best rom-com of all time. Douglas delivered on all levels. He’s a president everyone could like, while maintaining principles, and who could pick up chicks, despite his frequent cluelessness, through sheer power of his charm. Perfect actor paired with a THE BEST Sorkin President… suck it Jed Bartlett, you were this guy’s chief of staff. And that speech at the end…. forget about it.
And….the Number 1, TV or Movie President all time:
David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), 24
Just seeing Pedro Serrano as president was great right off the bat, but then when he could actually hit the curveball??? Legendary stuff.
It’s hard to consider this now, because of the landscape of television, but when 24 came out, it was a groundbreaking show, despite airing on the same network as Skin!. The show was a completely different format, with a movie star lead, playing one of the first true anit-heroes on a major show. And regardless of how memorable Jack Bauer was, once-Senator-soon-to-be-President David Palmer, was the real fulcrum of the show. He was smart, reasonable, tough, ballsy and sensible…he was exactly what you’d want from a President. He followed his gut when he needed to, but also called out Bauer when he felt the need.
Also, did I mention, IT’S PEDRO FUCKIN’ SERRANO?!?!?!
That’s it. That’s my definitive list.