Honoring Our Favorite (Fictional) Leaders for Presidents’ Day

It’s that time of year again to celebrate our commanders-in-chief.

In honor of Presidents’ Day this year, we want to pay homage to some of our favorite leaders beloved by our staff here at XDS. There have been many influential and highly respected presidents throughout history that come to mind on such an occasion. Good old George, the very first United States President and the father of our country. He was known for his lessons in good faith and justice to all as well as for leading the Continental Army in the American Revolution. Lincoln is often considered to be America’s best president, praised for his crisis leadership, vision beyond his time, and pursuit of justice equality. Franklin D. Roosevelt was loved by the public, guiding the nation through the depression and keeping hope alive among the people. Truman is another well-loved and respected president, remembered for his strong hand in crisis that ended WWII. Ronald Reagan was an actor and California governor before becoming the 40th President of the United States. He was an influential voice of modern conservatism and because of his powerful public speaking abilities, he was dubbed, the “Great Communicator.” We cannot leave out JFK. He was young, handsome, and charming. His charisma and patriotic spirit won the hearts of the American people and his tragic death will forever live in infamy. Last but not least, we must honor President Barrack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States, a truly proud moment for this country. We could go on, as there are so many amazing presidents to admire, but enough about them.

A heated debate has emerged as the team at XDS ferociously discusses the revered, the respected, and even feared, leaders to ever grace or disgrace in some cases our T.V. screens. Some we look upon with admiration and awe, while others will live infamously in television history for all time. We of course do not condone the actions of those who are certainly some bad apples, but they do provide us with some thought-provoking entertainment.


Here is our salute to some of our favorite on-screen Presidents.


Jed Bartlet, The West Wing 

Nominated by Mallory & Erica

animated gif of Jed Bartlet

The gals have high praise for President Jed Bartlet of The West Wing. President Bartlet is the kind of leader every real-life politician should strive to be which may be the reason his speeches are commonly plagiarized in real life. A smart and funny man, he believed that people are inherently good. He worked to achieve bipartisanship in congress and stayed true to his own morals throughout his two terms. During his service, President Bartlet negotiated an Israeli-Palestine peace deal, vastly increased employment rates, survived an assassination attempt, and elevated diverse applicants to positions of power within his administration. As XDSer Mallory puts it, “real presidents can’t even.”


Elizabeth Keane, Homeland

Nominated by Shai

animated gif of Elizabeth Keane

Elizabeth Keane, a former New York senator, and a native Manhattanite is the Nation’s first female president in the world of Homeland. She portrays a smart and determined character and can dominate a room while maintaining a sense of humor, making her enthralling to watch. While in the end, she stepped down as Chief Commanding Officer for the greater good, she is seen as a survivor who is a tough cookie in a political landscape full of lies, deception, political games, and dubiousness.


The President’s Underwood, House of Cards 

animated gif of Francis Underwood and Claire Underwood

Frank Underwood Nominated by Tim R. 

Manipulative, power-hungry, controlling, selfish, and murderer are just a few words that describe one of T.V. history’s greatest villains, Francis Underwood, President of the United States. He’s the bad guy that we love to watch and can’t wait to see what he will do next. Although his presidency was obtained through lies, deceit, unethical and illegal behavior, we watch in rapt attention because he is a forceful leader and effective politician who gets things done. He is a man on a mission despite any obstacle he may face, he always has a plan and achieves his goals, and his self-motivation is unmatched.

Claire Underwood Nominated by Doug

Claire Hale Underwood, a formidable character that we all love to hate. The first female Vice President and President of the United States is smart, seductive, and polished, just what you would expect every first lady and Madame President to be. She is always impeccably dressed and showcases only the best of manners, but behind closed doors, she is maniacal, power-hungry, and trusts no one. Some may think her ruthless, but she will do anything to protect the Underwood legacy. She is an on-screen icon whose ambition is without mercy and while we may not like her, her inextinguishable hunger to take what she wants and take no prisoners while doing it makes for the perfect T.V. villain.


Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III & Olivia Pope, Scandal

Nominated by Tiffany

animated gif of Fitzgerald Grant and Olivia Pope

Fitz may be the President, but we really want to talk about Olivia Pope, the women holding the President’s puppet strings. She is the main character of Scandal, a strong, smart, and confident woman who is at the center of every cover-up in Washington. She thinks fast, is effective, and trusted by many, she is a fixer, the best there is. We not only love and admire the character she plays and the strength she portrays but who can pass up a juicy top-secret forbidden love story? While in the end, she may not be the hero we want her to be, but she sure is an anthem to female empowerment.


Selina Meyer, VEEP

Nominated by Chen

animated gif of Selena Meyer

I mean what can we say, no one makes us laugh like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her character in VEEP does not disappoint. Selina Meyer portrays a VP who has the perfect mix of political charm and barely concealed rage. She is desperate to make her mark in the White House and keeps us entertained with her sharp wit as she navigates the day-to-day mundane tasks of being the Vice President. While she eventually makes it to the oval office, her time as VEEP is challenging to say the least. With no real power, her attempts at policymaking are often laughed off and ignored by the President and his cronies. She plasters a smile on her face, silently cursing everyone behind closed doors, while going about her day putting out political fires, juggling public appearances and photo ops. We certainly feel the challenges of being an underestimated female in politics but we laugh our way through this series just the same.


Charles Logan, 24

Nominated by Kristin

animated gif of Charles Logan

Lies, cover-ups, backroom deals, and sacrificing your own all in the name of doing what’s best for the country is the motto for the infamous Charles Logan. The Vice President gains the presidency after President John Keeler is put out of commission from a terrorist attack. Logan bumbles his way through being the chief commanding officer often making foolish and cowardly decisions, making him the perfect antihero to the main character of the show and our savior, Jack Bauer. Charles Logan is essentially inept to handle anything and is constantly putting the nation in danger. He is a toxic leader with no principles and no real strategy for running the nation and keeping the American people safe and prosperous. Nonetheless, we delight in his inability to get anything right and have 0 expectations for him to be a good person. But why would we? We’ve got Jack to save the day, and he always does it in under 24 hours.