In honor of Independence Day, I felt like jumping into the pool of patriotism and taking a swim. And then the feeling passed and I decided to compile a list of my favorite Presidents. Which is basically the same shit, really.
Before I get to this Presidential list ‘o mine, I’ve a couple thoughts about the 4th of July that have been running around inside ‘me noggin and so Imma clearinghouse their asses before they get my straggling voices all riled up.
Independent (Day) Thinking:
- If John Adams had a blog, it would be called Shit Happens
- Note to all those “Buy American” peeps out there. When y’all are blowing shit up to celebrate our independence . . just know that fireworks were first invented in medieval China.
- The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were not meant to be subverted, retrofitted and reconfigured to contemporary whims and agendas. Just. Saying.
- Fireworks wouldn’t work in space, which is really too bad . . .
- You say “May the 4th be with you” and I say “Go 4th and prosper”.
- Joey Chestnut’s win in the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest reminds me that I have never actually watched the fucking thing. Because it’s grosser than a Senator’s secret Instagram page.
- I’m still hoping there will be a Nas cover to Yankee Doodle Dandy
- Ben Franklin be like . . “Bitches be crazy!”
- Is it wrong that of all the things I could have given thanks to yesterday, I chose Sam Adams? The beer, not the founding father.
- Apologies to the Cowboys and Yankees, but the real America’s Team is the Tampa Bay Rays. Many of their fans have given up, they’re always shipping their best talent away and they’re broke.
As far as my Commander and Chief is concerned, the First Dude has to be bold and decisive. My President must love sports, beer and ’80’s music. My President is tough yet compassionate; he’s flexible as per the big picture and firm as to the details. My President understands that being fair and open minded isn’t a weakness but an impenetrable strength. So with all of those qualities in mind, my favorite President will in fact be a fictional character. Of course.
I’ve divvied up fictional Presidents of tube and silver screen into three categories. There is the Ridiculous . . those Presidential turns that rival November 2016. There is the I Can See That . . those slightly more feasible renditions. And then there is the Sublime . . those fictional characters I would really vote for (and maybe, just maybe . . did).
Special thank you to my Canadian counterpart, Dale “Q-ditty” Rogerson of A Dalectable Life for helping me compile this list. And to anyone who has a problem with this list? Please direct your complaints here.
Kevin James- Yes, Kevin James played President Will Cooper in the movie Pixels. Yes, it was an Adam Sandler flick. Duh!
Mark Cuban- He played President Marcus Robbins in Sharknado. I mean . . in a movie that is one long commercial, how in the hell did they whiff on the name? Baskin Robbins people . . it’s not that hard!
Lynda Carter- Not because her President-Olivia Marsdin- was an alien or that she ruled the world in Supergirl . . nah. What makes this turn utterly ridiculous is that Lynda Carter IS Wonder Woman!
Aaron Eckhardt- I’ve watched White House Down numerous times because I love B movies that think they’re A movies. That is all.
Jamie Foxx- If quoting Abraham Lincoln and wearing Nikes make you President, my neighbor would be running things. So . . no.
Danny Glover- Of all the names they could’ve slapped on Glover for his turn as Prez in 2012, they go with Thomas Wilson? Impeached!
Bill Pullman- Thomas J. Whitmore is a very Presidential name. Being a former fighter pilot and Gulf War vet is great stuff. Too bad it all happened in Independence Day.
Gene Hackman- I have very few rules to which I abide with no deviation, but one of them is that Gene Hackman will never be my President.
Kevin Klein- In the movie Dave, Klein basically played a stunt double.
Martin Sheen- Sorry West Wing fans, but all I know about this show and President Josiah Barlet is that Sheen really thought he could’ve been President. A television celebrity as President? How ridiculous is that?!
I Can See That:
Cherry Jones- She played President Allison Taylor in 24; which just so happens to be one of my favorite shows ever. (The Kiefer Sutherland 24). She falls into the middle because her character was loosely based on Hilary Clinton. Which is sublime and ridiculous. It’s sublime for its idealistic nature and it’s ridiculous because Hilary won an election. Too soon?
Alfre Woodard- As Constance Payton in State of Affairs, there really is nothing not to like. She has the name, she rocks the look and she has the Presidential vibe. But I never watched the show, so there’s that.
Jeff Bridges- He’s my favorite actor, so it pains me NOT to put him in my imaginary Oval Office. Couple reasons why. Jackson Evans? Sounds like a furniture store that does taxes. And another . . The Contender was totally based on Monica-gate and it wasn’t very good, at all.
James Earl Jones- His President Douglas Dilman attains the office without being elected in the 1972 political thriller The Man. The plot was eerily prescient, as Gerald Ford would so just that less than two years later when he replaced Nixon. But I never saw the flick, so outside of his magnificent voice . . I ain’t solid enough on President Dilman to elect him to my highest office.
Harrison Ford- He shows his Chuck Norris side as President in Air Force One. And that’s about it.
And now for my Fantastic Four.
4. Michael Douglas- As President Andrew Shepherd, Douglas is quite fetching as Oval Office Boss. He rocks the look, talks the talk and knows all about the science of women’s shoes. But he’s bottom four because it’s a completely unbelievable role served by by Rob Reiner.
3. Geena Davis- Okay . . I never saw her play MacKenzie Allen in Commander in Chief. But this is Geena Fucking Davis we’re talking about. So she’s in, even if I have to stage a coup to make it happen.
2. Tom Kirkman- You may notice there is a Sutherland vibe to this Presidential post of mine. Because while the current administration consorts with the “Red Menace” , I prefer the red maple leaf. Much friendlier, and they know their beer.
Designated Survivor’s President Kirkman is an idealist of the very best kind. It’s why I do not hold it against him for story lines that have little reality to them. Here’s a President who’s willing to admit when he’s wrong. He listens, and then he goes with his gut. He relates to those he disagrees with. He trusts and verifies. He ain’t against bombing your ass if you fuck with his peeps, but he realizes this isn’t a paint ball contest so he will exhaust all other possibilities first.
I hope the show has one more season in it, somewhere. Because I want me some more President Kirkman.
1. Dennis Haysbert- There is no doubt that Hollywood takes itself way too seriously when it comes to politics. And the idea that Haysbert’s turn as President in 24 was the catalyst for Barack Obama’s ascent to the Oval Office is a tad bit simplistic, to put it nicely.
But there is little doubt that Haysbert owned the role. President David Palmer was a Boss who understood delegation on a doctorate level. And he was so damned efficient! I mean, why mobilize a couple hundred thousand troops to a danger zone when you can just dial up Jack Bauer and get shit done in less than a day?
Palmer was eloquent without being preachy. He made the tough decisions look simple. And he could speak an apple right out of a tree and hand you a glass of ice cold juice in double time. You could argue that giving his ex-wife a key role in his administration was crazy, but I say it shows how secure an individual he was. To navigate all the sharks inside his own administration and the Macbeth-like scenarios she was spinning? That there is power used to its best possible outcome.
And you can say that writing in David Palmer was a wasted vote. And you can say I’m a dreamer. But hey . . I’m not the only one.