Feb 16 2009

10 Women and Minority Presidents From Television and Movies

Published by at 9:30 am under Lists,Movies,Television

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Apropos of Presidents’ Day, I wanted to do an article on fictional presidents from television and movies.  Compiling a list of everyone who has played the President would be excruciating – not to mention redundant – so I decided on writing about just the women and minority presidents.  Now that Obama is President, the idea of a woman or minority candidate winning the presidential election has become a reality.  The thing is, in the movies and on TV, minority and women presidents have held office well before Obama even decided to run.  Here’s a list of ten women and minority presidents from television and movies.  If you’re off today, enjoy yourself!

President Laura Roslin – Battlestar Galactica

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Former Secretary of Education Laura Roslin became President of the Twelve Colonies after a cylon attack left her as the highest ranking political figure in the Presidential line of succession.  Cylons don’t eff around.  In addition to battling cylons, President Roslin often encounters health problems, particularly cancer.

President Allison Taylor – 24

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First appearing in the surprisingly good 24: Redemption, President Taylor became the first woman president and has kept that role in the seventh season of 24.  Taylor was a U.S. Senator and defeated incumbent President Noah Daniels.  President Taylor currently has a lot on her plate: terrorist attacks (of course, this is 24), her unbelievably annoying husband, and the mysterious death of her son.  It’s a good thing she can count on Jack.

President Tom Beck – Deep Impact

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President Tom Beck has the unenviable task of informing the American public that a comet is heading toward Earth and will likely destroy much of mankind upon impact.  In addition to attempting to destroy the comet with nuclear weapons a la Armageddon, Beck declares martial law and holds a lottery, the winners of which will be allowed to live underground in caves in hopes of surviving the collision.  Deep Impact wasn’t the greatest movie, but:

Deep Impact : Armageddon :: Ridley Scott : Tony Scott

Yeah, I think that works.

President Lindberg – The Fifth Element

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President Lindberg is essentially Debo from Friday as President without being a complete bully.  Obviously, people listen to what President Lindberg says.

President David Palmer – 24

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David Palmer is as memorable as any television or movie president, regardless of race of gender.  For three seasons of 24, President Palmer served the Unites States honestly, firmly, and admirably, and made the perfect partner for Jack Bauer.  There’s no denying that Palmer is a stud – he played college basketball at Georgetown and managed to keep his cool when most presidents would have hid under their desks.  Palmer’s assassination in Season 5 of 24 was a dark, dark day for television.  I bet I could fall asleep in his big, bear arms in less than two minutes.

President Wayne Palmer – 24

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Wayne isn’t as studly as his brother David, but he’s pretty awesome nonetheless – he’s a former marine and received a law degree from Yale.  Wayne Palmer was elected President just prior to Season 6 of 24.  I still can’t get past the fact, though, that the American people elected a president with a shaved head and goatee.

President Camacho – Idiocracy

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In Mike Judge’s dystopian future, America has embraced anti-intellectualism and society has become a collection of morons.  As such, the people elect Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho as President, a former porn star and wrestling champion.

President Mackenzie Allen – Commander in Chief

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Unlike President Allison Taylor, who was elected, President Allen became President after the previous President died in office from a cerebral aneurysm.  The events in Commander in Chief seem to take place in our “universe,” as the show references real-life politcal figures, such as Al Gore and Dick Cheney.  Geena Davis is excellent as President Allen and earned a Golden Globe for her portrayal.

President Mays Gilliam – Head of State

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Staright-shooter Mays Gilliam is chosen as a presidential candidate after the deaths of his party’s presdiential and vice presidential nominees in plane crashes.  With his brother Mitch by his side, Mays speaks his mind and doesn’t give generic, politcal answers, helping to endear himself to the American public and ultimately win an election everyone thought he had no chance of winning.

President Douglass Dilman – The Man

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After the President and Speaker of the House are killed in a building collapse and the very ill Vice President refuses to assume the Presidency, Douglass Dilman becomes the first black President.  President Dilman faces additional problems due to his race, but makes it clear by the movie’s end that he will not be dissuaded from running for President when his term is up.

Honorable Mention: President Walter Emerson – Deterrence

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I know that being Jewish doesn’t count as being a minority, as it’s a religion and not a race, but I figured that at just around 2% of the United States population, the Jews should have someone to represent them in this article.  In Deterrence, President Emerson’s dealing with the Middle East were particularly difficult due to Middle Eastern leaders’ unwillingness to enter a dialogue with a Jew.  Emerson was not elected, but rather assumed the Presidency following the death of the President, making his decision whether or not to launch a nuclear attack against Iraq all the more scrutinized.

Hopefully you’re not at work today and are enjoying a nice day off.  Did I miss any minority or women presidents?  Hit me up and let me know!





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One response so far

  • http://blog.sparkymat.net sparkymat

    How about Harriot Jones (Doctor Who)? I know she was a Prime Minister and not the President, but close enough.

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