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Drafting your fantasy politicians league before the 2016 political conventions? Look no further! We're taking a trip down memory lane with our favorite American TV politicians—the ones we'd love to see in office (Bartlet for actual President!), and the ones we just love to watch make a mess of things (looking at you, Underwood.) Check out this gallery before the conventions kick off on Monday.
President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing (Martin Sheen) President Bartlet is one of our favorite presidents of all time—and not just one of our favorite fictional presidents.The West Wing commander in chief won us over by solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shutting down an anti-gay practitioner in one of history's best TV speeches, and showing genuine confusion over the existence of the Butterball Turkey Hotline. President Bartlet, we expect to see your face on currency soon.
President Frank Underwood, House of Cards (Kevin Spacey) Spacey's Underwood is manipulative, conniving, and downright evil—but that’s why we love to watch the House of Cards commander in chief so much! We watch him rise from Democratic majority whip, to vice president, to President of the United States throughout the series. Having committed murder twice, he’s the epitome of the antihero—and the epitome of the anti-Bartlet.
President David Palmer, 24 (Dennis Haysbert) President Palmer had to deal with a lot during his time in —and out —of office. He displayed integrity, honor, and loyalty through it all. He was also the first African-American president elected on 24, and was a Democratic U.S. Senator —sound like anybody else you know?
President Selina Meyer, Veep (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) Selina Meyer might not have won the election to make her a "legitimate" president, but she won the race to our hearts in Veep, where her struggle to gain respect, power, and influence, first as vice president then as an accidental president, kept viewers laughing. She's won four Emmys in a row for the role (her fourteen nominations total surpass even Lucille Ball) and will be a favorite to win for the fifth consecutive time in 2016.
Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, Madam Secretary (Téa Leoni) Elizabeth McCord isn’t your typical politician. In fact, before serving as secretary of state she wasn't even involved in politics, and was a former CIA analyst and professor. That could explain why Madam Secretary is so much fun to watch —that, and McCord’s fun relationship with personal assistant Blake Moran (Erich Bergen).
President Fitz Grant Scandal (Tony Goldwyn) Okay, so Scandal President Fitz Grant might not always make the best decisions, he might not always have the greatest morals, and he might get involved in one too many scandals (pun intended), but as far as his relationship with Olivia Pope goes, we love him. He’s kind of like President Underwood —we wouldn’t actually want him as our president, but he’s fun to watch.
Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
President Matt Santos, The West Wing (Jimmy Smits) Yes, we already had a president from The West Wing on the list, but it would be a crime to leave off President Matt Santos. President Bartlet’s successor was about to return to Texas and leave the world of Washington behind when deputy White House chief of staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) convinced him to run for office (thank you, Josh. Thank you.) We didn’t get to see much of President Santos in office, following his election on the tragic night of his running mate’s death, but we’re sure he did some great things.
Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
President George W. Bush, Saturday Night Live (Will Ferrell) We had to include one real president —or, at least one depiction of a real president. Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impersonation of George W. Bush was so spot-on that it might go on record as being one of the best SNL impersonations ever —it was so good that Ferrell starred in a Broadway play as Bush. He returned to SNL last year to remind us of the uncanny resemblance.
Eric Liebowitz/ABC/ Getty Images
Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty, Spin City (Michael J. Fox) Mike Flaherty, New York's deputy mayor, may not have been able to keep his personal life straight on Spin City, but as far as his job went, he was pretty good at it —especially compared to his replacement Charlie Crawford (Charlie Sheen). We’ll put him on the list, simply because who doesn’t love Michael J. Fox?
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Senator Bobby Ewing, Dallas (Patrick Duffy) There was a lot more going on in Dallas than the mystery of who shot J.R.—like when Bobby Ewing was elected to the U.S. Senate. He won the seat in a landslide, and even though his time in office seemed to be spent blurring the lines of familial conflicts of interest, we still think, deep down, he had some integrity —if only his family would’ve stopped getting in the way.
ABC Photo Archives/ABC/Getty Images
Lieutenant Governor Benson DuBois, Benson (Robert Guillaume) Who doesn't love the butler-turned-politician who rose in the ranks working for Governor Gatling (James Noble)? He managed to pull together the life of the scatter-brained governor, and in the final episodes of the series, had an election face-off with his boss. But the series ended on a cliffhanger, so we'll never know who won that election... though our money's on Benson!