The most-talked-about election in years is less than a month away. The most unpopular president in recent history is finishing up his second term -- and he's already got his own movie. W hits screens October 17, courtesy of perennial conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone.
Spurred by Bush, the election, and a tumbling economy, we thought the timing was right for a look at U.S. presidents in the movies. Some portrayals are fairly plausible (Michael Douglas in The American President, George Clooney in Spy Kids). Others offer unique alternatives -- perhaps just the change our country needs.
Consider Air Force One's President Marshall, a man willing to take on evildoers Die Hard style. Or Independence Day's President Whitmore, who can talk the talk and walk the walk in the face of a hostile alien invasion. And who could forget Idiocracy's President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, a man truly of the people and one of the future's most popular leaders?
With the goal of true change in mind, here are five movie presidents we think deserve their shot at the White House.
5. President James Marshall
(Harrison Ford in Air Force One)
Okay, let's be real. How many presidents could take on airborne terrorists bare-handed and save their family? Clinton? Doubtful he'd go that far to save Hillary. Plus he'd probably be busy flirting with a stewardess. Bush? Whether Jr. or Sr., neither man looks to have the goods to duke it out like Marshall. And what of this year's candidates? Well, McCain is a bit too long in the tooth these days. And with his scrawny stature, Obama probably wouldn't fair too well in fisticuffs.
In reality, it's hard to imagine any president being as resourceful as Marshall in Air Force One. It probably doesn't hurt that the actor portraying him trained as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. We may not know much about Marshall's political qualifications or party ties, but on pure tough-guy status, he takes the title hands down.
4. President Tom Beck
(Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact)
We might get a real African-American president in the White House come January, but the movies got one a decade ago in this disaster flick.
When it comes to powerful characters, few hold a candle to Morgan Freeman. Here, he brings supreme confidence to the highest office in the face of an unimaginable scenario -- one sure to send approval ratings into a downward spiral and that could, to boot, annihilate humanity. Plus Freeman's the only one who's successfully portrayed both both God and the Head of State -- an experience level that is, quite simply, unmatched by any party.
3. President Mays Gilliam
(Chris Rock in Head of State)
Gilliam may not be the most experienced man to head the country, but no candidate has ever embodied the term "man of the people" more acutely.
For those who've stayed awake during the recent snoozer presidential debates, can you imagine Mays at the helm? Disagree with Gilliam's politics or not, his quick wit and sharp delivery certainly up the entertainment value of the usual, humdrum presidential addresses.
2. President Thomas J. Whitmore
(Bill Pullman in Independence Day)
Like Marshall, Whitmore is a man of action who's willing to kick it old school and fight alongside his soldiers in a time of crisis. Plus Whitmore takes it one step further, delivering a rabble-rousing, patriotic speech off-the-cuff before climbing into a fighter jet to battle the alien invasion.
In terms of cojones, few can match this heroic leader.
1. President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho
(Terry Crews in Idiocracy)
Marshall might be able to take on terrorists, but President Camacho's muscle-bound stature would probably have kept the terrorists away in the first place. Sure, Camacho's not the brightest president of all time, but he's willing to admit it and turn to others for advice, when need be.
A former professional wrestler and porn star, Camacho brings a fresh perspective and unique background to the highest office in the land. I mean, seriously, how many other presidents would you truly want to party with?