Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
Obviously, Leslie is our favorite politician on TV right now (and possibly ever). Whip-smart, determined, and tirelessly positive, she thinks the point of any government is to go above and beyond to serve its citizens. Plus, just think: more parks and waffles for everyone. Count us in.
President of the United States James Marshall, Air Force One
Marshall is the embodiment of the action president trope — after his plane is hijacked by terrorists, he battles them off in mid-air, saving his family and the world! Though we don’t exactly hope for any current or future presidents to find themselves in that situation, it would be nice to have a world leader who does more than sit behind a desk and kiss babies.
President of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol Laura Roslin, Battlestar Galactica
The unwavering, unsentimental President Roslin never thinks twice. When a problem arises, she acts, cool as a cucumber. As actress Mary McDonnell said, discussing her character, “Laura Roslin’s presidency was unique in that she became president during war and cataclysm without the energy of ambition fueling her decisions. This was a woman who hadn’t a clear political ambition. This made her very different from the women in power that we see on TV. Her story was one of a woman grappling with untapped, literally unrecognized, qualities classically male, in order to achieve one paramount goal — the survival of the human race.”
Prime Minister of Britain David, Love Actually
How can you not love Hugh Grant as the hesitant Prime Minister? Especially when he totally back-talks the sleazy American president after the Yankee puts his hands on his favorite office aid, and then dances around the house. Finally, a compassionate leader that we can relate to as a human being. Because we’d totally do that.
Senator Nathan Petrelli, Heroes
Sure, he’s not necessarily a good guy all the time. But, um, any politician who can fly is getting our vote. Just think of the things he could get done! So many cats rescued from trees without a drop of sweat.
Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Similarly, even if Kingsley Shacklebolt wasn’t the calm, never-wavering force of good that he is, you know you’d want to elect him just because of the whole wizard bit. Plus, we’ve heard that in the nebulous post-book world, “the Ministry of Magic was de-corrupted, and with Kingsley at the helm the discrimination that was always latent there was eradicated.” Hooray for that.
President Thomas J. Whitmore, Independence Day
Another action president who totally saves his country by defeating the alien invasion, we finally have a definitive reason in our heads to vote for someone with concrete military experience.
President David Palmer, 24
Palmer is the epitome of the all-around good, stable president, a no-nonsense leader and a powerful ally for Jack Bauer against the terrorists. He also has a strong moral center and we’ve heard he’s a totally sweet basketball player, so that helps.
President Mackenzie Allen, Commander in Chief
The fictional first female president of the United States, Allen was forceful and courageous, not to mention witheringly smart. She as portrayed as relatively ambivalent to power, at least as compared to the men around her, like the Speaker of the House who wants the presidency for its “power to control the universe.” This, we think, ultimately leads to better decisions than those who want power for its own sake.
President Jed Bartlet, The West Wing
Did you think we would forget the best fictional president of all time? No, we would vote for Jed Bartlet — intellectual, fair, fiery, human Jed Bartlet — over almost any real-life candidate. We might even vote for Martin Sheen (though given recent developments, we’re not sure the bloodline isn’t corrupted somehow). Now, if we can only get him to run…