Greatest Fictional US Presidents

President Francis Underwood (House of Cards)

In this top rated political drama series, Frank Underwood starts off as a senator, progresses to Whip of the Democratic Party and eventually manipulates his way to becoming the 46th President of the United States, without having to be voted in.

Frank is more popular for his preference and use of wit and manipulation over good leadership and his ‘breaking the fourth wall’ mantra.

President David Palmer (24)


Actually considered by many (read: the internet) to be America’s first black President, David Palmer was authoritative but comforting at the same time. No matter what hue his and Jack Bauer’s relationship might be he always came through for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent. He was killed off, which was a crying shame, and had a messy personal life but we will always remember him. A poll by Blockbuster named Palmer as respondents’ Favorite On-Screen President as visitors also named him the TV President they would most like to see in the Oval Office.

President James Marshall (Air Force One)


The President who apparently has a black belt in martial arts. The entire world needs one of those. James Marshall, a Vietnam War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient is the quintessential President of a bygone era and that might be just where his appeal lies. He kills the bad guys, saves the innocents and utters the infamous line, “Get off my plane!” right before flinging the villain to his death. 90s cheesiness at its best. But he is ultra-masculine and actually gets stuff done with his own hands and who could deny the appeal of that?

President Josiah Bartlet (The West Wing)


Probably the greatest fictional President of all time, mostly because of the realistic depiction of a man with all the power in the world simply trying to do the right thing. Just like the dad we all wish we had. Josiah Bartlet had the smartest and most searing comebacks ever to come out of a TV President’s mouth. Apparently his impact was so great that a Mike McCurry former press secretary for the Clinton administration, described Bartlet as the ideal president, possessing “the compassion and integrity of Jimmy Carter… that shrewd decision-making and hard-nosed realism of a Richard Nixon… the warmth and amiability and the throw-the-arm-around-the-shoulder of a Bill Clinton; and… the liberal passion of a Teddy Kennedy.”

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