Presidents are often depicted in TV and movies. So, just for a bit of fun, who would be the best TV and Movie president right now?

We take a look at the very best world leaders in movies and tv in the last 20 years to try to decide who would be the best. It’s all a bit of fun really to compensate for the high level of politics going on.

Francis Underwood (House of Cards)

Best TV and Movie president Option 1

Movie presidents
Frank Underwood is an awful human being, but is an effective leader and makes shit happen. Source: Netflix

From the very first scene in House of Cards we learned that this is not a man to be trifled with. Putting a dog out of its misery with your bare hands shows an alarming lack of emotion – surely you would attempt to take it to the vet?

Frank is comfortable with heinous things, such as murder (shoving Kate Mara in front of a train), blackmail, lies, adultery etc etc. The list is endless. He has a blatant disregard for others, and a level of selfishness rarely shown on screen which perhaps only ever (but not often) is put to one side for his wife.

On the other hand, Frank Underwood shows a remarkable level of grit, and an unwavering determination to get to the presidency, which he does in Season 3. He is irritable and aggressive, but on the surface calm and calculated.

He’s very, very smart and knows how to lead. He can persuade people to his way of thinking and shows a lot of guts when things go wrong to put the situation back in his favour. Would be make a case of being the best TV and movie president at this time?

Best Presidential quote: “If you don’t like how the table is set, turn over the table.”

Thomas Wilson (2012)

Best TV and Movie president Option 2

Movie Presidents - Thomas Wilson
Thomas Wilson was calm, maybe a little too calm in the face of the apocalypse.

Thomas Wilson was an honourable man, going down with the ship as they say, in the 2012 apocalypse movie. He was a widower and cared greatly for his daughter.

He informed the other world leaders of updates around them impending armageddon with strength, but apart from that didn’t have too much on an impact. I suppose it’s hard to do anything about the world breaking apart, or perhaps you could argue he didn’t do enough to help prevent climate change.

Thomas Wilson selflessly decides to stay behind in Washington DC to deliver final speeches to his audience and is eventually his by the USS John F Kennedy as it is thrown by a tsunami towards The White House.

The calm demeanour in the face of the end of the world gives you a good insight as to how he might have performed as President, but perhaps he might have come across as ineffectual. But, at this time, would a calm president be needed? Would he be your best movie president?

Best Presidential quote: “I wish I could tell you we can prevent the coming destruction. We cannot. Today, none of us are strangers. Today, we are one family, stepping into the darkness together. We are a nation of many religion, but I believe these words reflect the spirit of all our faiths. The Lord is my shepherd…”

Laura Roslin (Battlestar Galactica)

Best TV and Movie president Option 3

Best movie presidents - Roslin
Laura Roslin wasn’t anywhere near the presidency, until disaster struck. But she took the responsibility on with great natural skill.

Laura Roslin became president from nowhere. She wasn’t campaigning and had no desire for the role. Every candidate in line to become The Head of the 12 colonies ahead of Roslin has been nuked. That’s a bit of a shock to say the least.

It’s an interesting comparison with Bill Adama, human-kinds military leader. He once says he has to “take orders from a school teacher”. So Laura had to deal with a lot of doubt in her abilities and general undermining of her character.

She’s a nurturer and very good with words and judging character. Would she be your best TV and movie president right now?

Best Presidential quote: “After what we’ve been through, it would be very easy to give up, to lose hope. But not here. Not today.”

Robert Fowler (The Sum of All Fears)

Best TV and Movie president Option 4

Movie Presidents - Fowler
Robert Fowler was strong, but quick to judge, almost helping to cause World War 3 against the Russians

This film was tense. Robert Fowler had some tough decisions to make and he was getting them wrong. Having said that, he was showing strength and power in his thought process rather than inaction.

He had to deal heavily with a new and unknown Russian leader who he get the wrong impression of, the loss of a nuclear missile in the middle east, and general awkward political manipulations. He needed better intelligence but perhaps didn’t make it easy for others to help him. He’s used to dealing with tense situations, so would he make the best TV and movie president right now?

Best Presidential quote: “Short of gassing the Kremlin, what’s the strongest response we can make?”

David Palmer (24)

Best TV and Movie president Option 5

Movie presidents - Palmer
David Palmer was amazing. Decisive, considerate and he survived an assassination attempt on his life. Combined with Jack Bauer, he was a badass.

One of the first African-American Presidents I can remember seeing on television. David Palmer survived a virus assassination attempt in Season 1 of 24, a very difficult wife, and a tricky relationship with Jack Bauer which later proved to become a great friendship.

He was a no nonsense character, and one who took on advice, led well, was decisive without being impulsive and always seemed to have a great read on the situation even when heavy emotional weight was involved. David Palmer is one of our favourite TV show presidents, but would he make your best TV and movie president right now?

Best Presidential quote: “Take a good look. Do I seem scared? Am I breaking into a nervous sweat? Am I babbling? At a loss for words? Is my voice shaking?” 

Thomas J Whitmore (Independence Day)

Best TV and Movie president Option 6

Movie presidents - Thomas J Whitmore
It’s hard to compete with someone who fights aliens in a jet huh?

Thomas J Whitmore almost certainly has the most memorable speech from a president in a movie. He’s hard to beat as a President, mostly because throughout the film he deals with nearly all situations with grace, consideration and action. He also flies a Jet taking on an alien army and it almost doesn’t feel cheesy.

He’s your every day good guy. He’s relatable, sympathetic, considerate and doubts himself occasionally like we all do. He also puts on a brave face in all situations and leads very strongly. He’s a strong contender for the best TV and Movie president, but would he be yours?

Best Presidential quote: “Good morning. [Turns on mic] Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

James Marshall (Air Force One)

Best TV and Movie president Option 7

movie presidents - James Marshall
Marshall uses his military training to kill the terrorists and save the day, ejecting lead hijacker Gary Oldman from the plane midair. Nuff said.

The Ford. How can anyone compete with The Ford? James Marshall was an Air Force helicopter pilot who delivered more rescue missions than anyone else in their careers. He had received the Medal of Honor.

He was a bit erratic though, in delivering a speech which was totally improvised and clearly different in policy to the notes he was due to deliver to the press. He also speaks Russian, which is a bonus and would be useful, but does that mean he would make your best TV and Movie president at the moment?

Best Presidential quote: “Peace isn’t merely the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.”

Let us know who you would choose and we will do a deep dive on why that president is the best choice for the moment.

Allison Taylor (24)

Best TV and Movie president Option 8

Movie presidents - Allison Taylor
Allison Taylor dealt with a lot and performed admirably as President. Before she was inaugurated her son committed suicide and she was able to copy with that and the pressures of presidency.

Probably one of the most emotional displays as president, Allison Taylor’s son had committed suicide just before she started the presidency. Shortly afterward her husband was kidnapped and she refused to negotiate with those responsible.

Allison Taylor was one of the most courageous presidents, even turning her daughter into the authorities after criminal activity which caused her husband to divorce her.

Talk about having to show some mental strength at work huh? If there’s one thing that Allison Taylor would bring you as president it would be strong moral values and guts.

Best Presidential quote: “When the founders of our country boldly declared America’s independence to the world, they knew that they derived their power to govern from three basic human rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Today, we rededicate ourselves to the preservation of those inalienable rights. But even as we carry forth the torch lit by those great men, we need to remember its light doesn’t always shine as brightly as it should. It flickers and grows dim because of apathy, greed, and fear. De Tocqueville said, in every democracy, the people get the government they deserve. Today, I am asking each of you to help me give you the government you deserve. We all share the responsibility history has placed in our hands. The future—our future—depends on it.”

Let us know who you would choose and we will do a deep dive on why that president is the best choice for the moment.

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Tom keeps things ticking over. He likes relevant use of movie quotes in real life situations and loves film-production, photography, drawing and copywriting.

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