May 3, 2018
5 TV Presidents who'd get lower approval ratings than Trump
Donald Trump has been president for two weeks, but according to Gallup, already half of Americans disapprove of him. For comparison, it took Barack Obama 936 days for over half of America to disapprove of him, and George W. Bush over 1,200 days to also reach a majority disapproval rating.
That figure was particularly shocking to me; I assumed that Obama was better liked that George W. Bush. I grew up in Texas during the Bush era, but I assumed the rest of the outside world knew how bad he was as soon as he took office. Were those laughs during Will Ferrell’s impressions just canned laughter?
Anyway, the point is we’re barely one month into the year and we already wish we had a different president. I mean, this sentiment would have been more useful in November, but what’s done is done. Likewise, despite all the Huffpost op-eds, I doubt Trump will be impeached even if his approval rating reaches zero. As we surrender ourselves to the next four (and possibly eight *shudder*) years, let’s think about the TV presidents who would be doing way worse than using CIA memorials to insist on the “record-breaking” size of their inauguration crowds, or getting into Twitter feuds with TV stars.
5. Selina Meyer, Veep
Selina temporarily became president after President Hughes resigned, and the season 5 cliffhanger implies she might be able to take the Oval Office for herself. Selina’s been fighting for more power and importance since she was first selected as VP, but she still lacks the political savvy to successfully steer the country. Her fumbles make great comedy, though.
What’s wrong with her Presidency: As Amy said in her big blow up, Selina only has two functions: no decisions or bad decisions. Although Selina wants to do good things, her egotism causes her to become obsessed with receiving all the credit, and her good deeds usually backfire.
Projected approval rating: 49%. She started an international sanction war with China over a tweet, and no one believes in her “Mommy Meyer” bill. She won’t leave office as everyone’s best friend but, dammit, she tries, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus has six Emmys, so that’s got to count for something.
4. President Pinky, Pinky and the Brain
In the episode “The Pink Candidate”, Pinky picks up enough momentum from a complaint about a Family Circus cartoon to be elected president. Although Pinky is the more scatter-brained genetically modified mouse, he learns enough about constitutional amendments and government procedure to oppose Brain’s plans to take over the world, which makes it seem like he’d be a decent president after all. Unfortunately, Brain’s instruction book for world domination falls into the wrong hands, so to protect his friend from being sent to prison, Pinky takes the blame and gets impeached.
What’s wrong with his Presidency: Pinky made the mistake of hiring his friends instead of people who could carry out his platform of removing unfunny cartoons from the newspapers.
Projected approval rating: 35%. There’s a sizable portion of the American population at any given time who would be okay with declaring war on every country on Earth, so Pinky wouldn’t leave office completely disliked.
3. Frank Underwood, House of Cards
Frank Underwood successfully plotted and schemed his way into the presidency, but actually sitting in the Oval Office proved to be more difficult than Frank anticipated. Six months into his term in season 3, he’s unpopular with the public, Congress, and even his own party. The re-election road was also extremely bumpy, with his wife outmaneuvering his attempts at manipulations, and a journalist finally exposing his crimes in the newspaper. Season 5 will tell if Frank and Claire are successful in distracting the public long enough to hold the White House, but even if he does, there’s no guarantee that Frank will have a successful second term.
What’s wrong with his Presidency: Frank is unpopular with politicians who could help him move his legislation along, and most dangerously, he can’t control Claire, the only person in the world clever enough to keep up with his schemes. If she ever decides to go against him, history has shown that he’ll lose.
Projected approval rating: 30%. Frank will probably piss Claire off, so she’ll sabotage him and he’ll leave office almost as disgraced as he was when he entered it. Luckily for the American people, there are term limits to the presidency.
2. D.W Read, Arthur
Okay, she doesn’t really become president in the episode, but D.W. does influence President Not-Bill Clinton to sign a bill into law that gives a pony to every citizen and changes the national anthem to “Crazy Bus“. Just imagine how quickly the federal government would go into debt paying for 318.9 million horses, and how quickly suicides would spike from hearing a children’s song about a funny clown driving a “bus-a-looey” around during every single sporting event, professional or amateur.
What’s wrong with her Presidency: D.W. is only concerned with molding the country according to her personal preferences, and doesn’t think about the good of the majority.
Projected approval rating: 15%. It’s hard to stay mad at a cute four year old, even if she does collapse the economy.
1. Fitzgerald Grant III, Scandal
Fitz was such a horrible president that you’d wonder how the man ever got elected if you didn’t already know his campaign rigged the election for him. He went on drinking binges when his mistress ignored him, he dumped his wife to bring his mistress into the White House, and he brought a string of rebounds into the White House after the mistress dumped him. Sometimes Fitz remembers to sign a useful bill, but most of the time, he’s ruled by his head and not the one above his neck.
What’s wrong with his Presidency: Everything. Just everything. Thank God for term limits.
Projected approval rating: 5%. Fitz is the absolute worst, and I never knew what Olivia ever saw in him.
There, that’s five fictional presidents who would probably screw this country worse than Trump. 2020 doesn’t seem so far away, does it? It’s just a little over… 1,400 days. Oh, God.