Yes, yes, YES! I can't tell you how ecstatic I still am since last night's election named Barack Obama our next President. Having worked in small ways for the campaign, contributing funds, debating undecided voters and cold-calling voters in Snyder County, PA, not to mention that this was my first opportunity to actually vote, it feels like as much a personal victory as it is a national one. And so it should - that's democracy. I would have a hard time naming another eligable person I'd rather to see as the 44th President of the United States... but I could probably think of a few fictional ones. Of all the fictional characters to sit in the Oval Office in film and TV, here's my Top 5.
5. Dave Kovic (as Bill Mitchell) - Dave
A lookalike coerced into impersonating the President after he falls into a coma, Dave manages to end balance the budget and pass a full-employment plan. Not bad for an actor.
4. Tom Dobbs - Man of the Year
Speaking of actors, what about the movie where a pastiche of Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert ran for President? Yes, the movie sucked, but wouldn't you like a president who was that funny? You wouldn't even notice if he was awful, you'd be so distracted by laughter.
3. David Palmer - 24
Remember when this show was actually good? Before the shocking assassination for President David Palmer, the series had a conscience, David Palmer. Palmer (who was never explicitly stated as a Democrat, but get real) kept Jack Bauer from crossing the line and kept a trigger-happy post-9/11 America out of the Middle East. Also, American television's first black president.
2. Laura Roslin - Battlestar Galactica
Imagine being thrust into the most stressful, high-pressure job in the world on the same day you found out you had terminal cancer. Then imagine that happening while you are in space running for your life from an army of robots who can't die? Laura Roslin handles the mantle of the President with grace and understands the weight of her office better than anyone who would have ever actually asked for it.
1. Josiah Bartlet - The West Wing
What can one say about Jed Bartlet? The West Wing was designed as an idealistic look at what government would be like if the people with power were actually trustworthy. President Bartlet, though he can have a short fuse when those he cares about are in danger, is passive, considerate and very, very liberal. Bartlet is not perfect. He hides his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis from the public. His (great) sense of humor makes him a lot of enemies and he doesn't always take his opponents seriously. But over the course of the show, it becomes clear that there is no one, real or imagined, who you'd rather see in the White House. Fans of the show know exactly what I mean. (Hint hint: go watch the show.)