Thu
Feb 24 2011 4:56pm
Hail to the Chiefs! The Top SF&F Presidents

In addition to the fact that banks were closed and no mail was delivered, we suspect this past Monday also featured an inter-dimensional party where George Washington dance-battled Jimmy Carter to the thumping beats of Lady Gaga. Though we have no proof that this kind of thing happens every President’s Day, it seems totally feasible. But it also got us thinking about the chief executives in our favorite genre films, TV shows and books. Luckily, we have wonderful readers and followers here at Tor.com and via Facebook and Twitter, they helped us sort out who they’d elect in the universe of science fiction and fantasy presidents.

President Laura Roslin (Battlestar Galactica)

President Laura RoslinWe didn’t even need Col. Tigh to help us fix the vote on this one because without a doubt Laura Roslin was mentioned WAY more than any other SFF president. It was the first one we thought of, too, and we’re all glad we did. As many of you pointed out, if you don’t agree that Roslin is the best president ever, she’ll happily direct you to the nearest airlock. Though both Baltar and Lee Adama were briefly president, (and even Tom Zerek if you count the coup) the good money on who was most effective at helping humanity flee from the Cylon tyranny was always on Laura Roslin. Despite many of her controversial decisions, we would all vote for her over and over again.

 

Peter Wiggin (Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card)

Hegemon Peter WigginContinuing the trend of rulers who obtain power very quickly, Peter Wiggin was mentioned almost as much as Laura Roslin. Though this Hegemon initially started his life as cruel and manipulative, he eventually unites the planet and is remembered for being a kind and benevolent leader. Between creating the Free People of Earth, and generally preserving the peace, it’s easy to see why the people of the Ender-verse think upon Peter Wiggin as an around good guy, despite his questionable past.

 

President Thomas Whitmore (Independence Day)

President Thomas WhitmoreBill Pullman’s portrayal of the President of the United States in the cheesy feel-good classic Independence Day made a HUGE impression on many of you. When we thought about what made this President great there were a lot of options. He’s Bill Pullman, formerly Lone Starr from Spaceballs. He flies a fighter jet. His wife (in the movie) is Mary McDonnell (President Roslin!). But really, the reason we’d all vote for Whitmore is because of that speech. Good presidents have to give good speeches and that one is a doozie.

 

President Zaphod Beeblebrox (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams)

President Zaphod BeeblebroxEasily the most ineffective President in the cosmos, you can’t help but love Zaphod. Without thinking too hard about the political satire going on in all the Douglas Adams books, the fact of the matter is a hilarious President with two heads actually sounds fantastic to us. Can you imagine if Obama suddenly had two heads? Would stealing the Heart of Gold help fix the economy? Either way inventing the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster will definitely help distract us from our collective worries. Sure, he’s just a figurehead to distract us from who’s really in charge, but we love him. Vote Beeblebrox!

 

Minister Kinglsey Shacklebolt (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Minister Kingsley ShackleboltOne could make the argument that one of the biggest problems in the wizarding world of Harry Potter were all the corrupt or inept political leaders. During the run of all seven books the Ministry of Magic goes through quite a few Ministers. Cornelius Fudge seemed totally out of touch with reality, while Rufus Scrimgeour was just a little too rough and tumble with everyone’s civil rights. To be sure all this lack of effective leadership surely made it way easier for Voldemort to cruise in and take over. But by the end of Deathly Hallows one of the most levelheaded and steadfast members of the Order of the Phoenix, Kinglsey Shacklebolt, became Minister of Magic. Forget all the marriages and children in the epilogue of the 7th book. The real happy ending is the fact that the magical world finally got a competent chief executive.

 

Luckily the election of the greatest fantasy or science fiction president never ends! Out there in mutliverse you can vote as often as you like!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in: Thementalmob, Cawthraven, Algotruneman, Brandwich, Lindsayribar, RichardFife, Berwyn77, Robotbabybunnie, Chris_emf, Dkscully, Morgangaynin, Moviesbybowes, Stevenjwhite, Doug Carrithers, Ben Millard, Karl Besser, Jarle Bokorm, Lisa Metzel Bonnet, Wes Sandbom, Michael O’Brien, Mike Benesch, Joshua Klein, Ashley McGee, Seanan McGuire, and Holly Heisey!


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11 comments
Tansy Rayner Roberts
2. Tansy Rayner Roberts
ROMANA, President of Gallifrey.
John Fitzingo
3. Xandar01
Henry Hayes - SG1
Seems like such a nice guy.
Tansy Rayner Roberts
4. mndrew
President Sheridan - B5.
Erick Chase
5. TheMarchChase
Pardon me-
The Doctor, the 407th and 409th President of Gallifrey.
James Hogan
6. Sonofthunder
Great list - heartily agree with all of them(er, except for Laura Roslin, whom I can't speak to...seeing as I've never seen BSG...yes, yes, I know...), especially Peter Wiggin. I have to say, though Peter is such a terrible person for most of Ender's Game, OSC is some kind of a genius for reversing our perception of him with just a few lines at the end of the book. And I so want that sticker to put on my car. And I don't even put bumper stickers on my car, but I'd do that one in a heartbeat.
Mike Conley
7. NomadUK
Science fiction? Not entirely, I suppose, but close enough. I'm with The President — Henry Fonda in Fail Safe. The most powerful man in the world, and willing to do whatever it takes to save the world from his own country's mistake. That's the guy I want in charge of US nukes.
Tansy Rayner Roberts
8. Awightknight
How could you forget the greatest Movie President Ever:
President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho not only was he president but he was a porn star and 3 time smack down champion.
Tansy Rayner Roberts
9. sniffy
I second Sheridan and Camacho.
Eli Bishop
10. EliBishop
I always liked the President in Deep Impact, not just because he was Morgan Freeman, but because he's pretty much the only elected official in history who was able to admit when the situation was totally hopeless.
Tansy Rayner Roberts
11. jennb
I was just about to say the same thing about Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact but "EliBishop" beat me too it. He was so excellent in that movie (which I think was unfairly lambasted). He was such a believeable president: calm, confident, and in command.

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