It is, at the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, US Presidential Election season. Trump and Clinton, as the Republican and Democrat nominees respectively, are beginning to square off in the now-standard Presidential debates, ahead of the 8th November showdown at the polls. It’s all proving to be pretty toxic so far and for once is making the machinations and maneuvering of fictional politics seem trite and mild by contrast.

Neither candidate seems to be wildly popular, even within their own usual support bases. Trump comes across as a demagogue, a misogynist, a racist, a bully and wholly incoherent on policy. Clinton seems too polished, too fake and is considered by many to be untrustworthy, arising out of issues with personal e-mail servers and the attack at Benghazi.


What we need is someone like Kevin Spacey – no stranger to the presidency thanks to House of Cards – we’re looking at his latest White House role in the wonderful film Elvis and Nixon, which is out on DVD on the 31st of October.

So how would our fictitious movie US Presidents fare in this election? We’re not talking about biopics (no Nixon from Frost/Nixon, Kennedy from Thirteen Days or Lincoln from, erm, Lincoln), rather (for good or bad) those Presidents that are products of a writer’s pen and a director’s imagination. We’ll let each of them set out their manifesto and you can decide who gets to sit in the big seat for the next four years.

Andy Shepherd (The American President)

andy-shepherdMy Pitch: I am the President of the United States of America

I am the best-written President that the US have ever had – blessed with a turn of phrase and eloquence of which dunderheads like Dubya and Drumpf can only dream. I am committed to gun control, especially assault rifles and despite my relationship with a lobbyist creating the impression that I’m a little late to this particular party, I also wish to see a long-term commitment to legislation designed to slow and reverse the devastating impact of climate change. Too many people are dying at the hands of guns and too little is being done to look after and improve the environment that we will leave to our children and grandchildren.

I have a team around me that are every bit as intelligent, energetic and passionate as me and despite long-standing concerns among many Americans about the impact of Big Government, I believe that we can lead our citizens down a road that will make life today and the future for all of our children better and brighter.


Jackson Evans (The Contender)


My Pitch: Have you no decency, sir?

I really enjoy taking a more laid back approach to being the leader of the free world. I like a game of ten pin bowling and seeing if I can catch out the White House kitchen by asking for something they don’t have in stock. It’s the little things.

On a more serious note, I’m committed to bringing through the Democratic hierarchy the best possible people, regardless of race, gender, orientation or background. I will not try to disguise my contempt for the bullying and unpleasantness demonstrated by some of my GOP counterparts on the Hill, harping on about family values, morality and integrity whilst demonstrating a venal Machiavellianism that would shame all but the most brazen.

Entrenched partisan US politics is a reality of modern life and looks unlikely to be going anywhere, anytime soon. But I would like to create a platform where those on the right and the left feel they have a voice and are heard.


President (Escape From New York)

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, Donald Pleasence, 1981

My Pitch: Although I shall not be present at this historic summit meeting, I present this in the hope that our great nations may learn to live in peace…

I’m the right President for maintaining law and order. Our prison system was full to bursting and although the solution of turning Manhattan into a high security prison might seem like a controversial one, I believe it is the best way forward. These criminals have given up the right to participate in civilised society and so they will ousted from it. You would catch any of us decent everyday folk opening fire on another human being, losing control like some sort of animal……

Bullies and savages must not be allowed to have their say or their day. We must lock them up and throw away the key. I recognise that we have many issues affecting our country, but I do believe this one is the key. Law and Order, folks. Without it we are no better than the animals.


James Sawyer (White House Down)

Jamie Foxx stars in Columbia Pictures' "White House Down," also starring Channing Tatum.

My Pitch: As the President of the United States, this comes with the full weight, power and authority of my office. F#@? you.

There are many with legitimate grievances against this great country. As my predecessor Andy Shepherd says, America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. We have had and will continue to have tough times and people outside and within the US will come against us. But we are tough and resilient and I believe we will prevail.

I have occasionally been pilloried for being inexperienced, but I recently went through a violent and prolonged hostage crisis at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with my own Secret Service amongst the traitors, but I came through it and stood tall in the face of adversity, even learning how to handle a rocket launcher in the process. I believe that I am now, more than ever, the most qualified candidate. I have always had the wisdom, intelligence and strength for this office, but that has all now been galvanised and battle-hardened by my recent experiences.


Abraham Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter)

abraham-lincolnMy Pitch: For whatever else I am – a husband, a lawyer, a President – I shall always think of myself as a man who struggled against darkness.

We live in an age of career politicians, where our candidates, for all of their political experience, have little idea of what the real world holds outside of our respective ivory towers. Trump might therefore seem like a step in the right direction, with all of his real world business experience, but in fact he has gone too much the other way, having no experience of governance to sit alongside his time in boardrooms and at negotiating tables.

My candidacy is built on two vastly different elements, my early career as an Attorney and all that I have learned through that about our great and precious justice system and a sideline career in fighting vampires. Those infernal creatures of the night have bedevilled much of my life and have consistently proved darn hard to dispose of. So I am a lover and a fighter. A lover of justice and equality. A fighter against blood-sucking fiends. I will fight for your rights, for your freedom and I will dismember vampires with a literally disarming twirl of my mighty axe. Vote for THAT.


President Bennett (Clear and Present Danger)

My Pitch: How dare you come into this office and bark at me like some little junkyard dog? I am the President of the United States!

Colombian drug cartels, despite the many successful steps taken in our ongoing war on drugs, continue to represent a Clear and Present Danger to the USA. Our lives, our country are much more complicated than any single issue, but the continued blight of drug dealing and addiction remain seemingly intractable problems in many of our inner cities and simply must be overcome.

I will not be lectured to in relation to my methods. I will not stand for questions from those who sit conveniently on the sidelines of this horrendous war and suggest that victory can come without making the tough choices. Leadership isn’t that easy. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. These vermin fight dirty and so must we, when the situation calls for it.


President Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Simpsons Movie)

president-schwarzeneggerMy Pitch: These people elected me to lead, not to read.

Building on my experience as Governor of the most populous state in the USA, I have the proven temperament and nous for the highest office in the land. My decision to essentially abandon Springfield to its fate was not an easy one, but as I said to my somewhat impulsive environmental advisor, I was elected to lead and lead I shall. Sometimes a town (or presidential candidate) becomes so unmanageably, irresolutely toxic that it must be allowed (or encouraged) to die, lest it contaminate those around it.

Those of us who have stepped up to serve in office hope never to have to make these sorts of choices, but sometimes a choice has to be made between the needs of the many and the needs of the few. Or the one. It was Springfield versus the rest of the continental USA, sort of like David vs Goliath, or Freddie vs Jason, or Alien vs Predator. I think. I’m not sure anymore.

But whose finger do you want on the button? A spineless wimp who buckles at the first sign of a tough decision, or a man of (Pumping) Iron, ready to ride in and abandon a town of several thousand people, who it should be noted, already had the deathly pallor of some sort of liver disease. You can rely on me. I will not hesitate to abandon the weak and helpless when their time is up.


Thomas Whitmore (Independence Day)

thomas-whitmoreMy Pitch: We will not go quietly into the night.

My candidacy is all about my unique experience. Yes, other candidates have perhaps had more experience of political office, but no-one has experienced the following as I have:-

  • A psychic link with a genocidal alien race
  • Attempting to fire a nuclear warhead into an invading alien ship
  • Making a heartening speech in the face of global annihilation
  • Escaping Washington DC on Air Force One as the entire city was engulfed in an alien laser blast

We know they will return one day and we must be ready. If we fail to prepare then we prepare to fail. No-one is in a better position to help lead the war on aliens when they return to finish what they started. I understand their tactics, their ambitions, I’ve been inside their heads. I am our best hope.


Merkin Muffley (Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

My Pitch: You can’t fight in here, this is the war room.

The world we live in is all about international relationships, alliances and co-operation. Despite the end of the Cold War, we continue to live in times of heightened tension and anxiety and we need a President who can talk to the Russian President man to man. When things go wrong (as they sometimes will), we need a leader who can cut through the red tape and engage our allies first hand.

When I have spoken with Dmitri, I have found him to be reasonable and personable, but as always he is surrounded by advisors and influencers who would see us approach and launch over the precipice which stands forever in front of us. I have been able to get through to him and we have been able to exchange empathetic responses that demonstrate our mutual sorrow at difficulties in the past, such as the near total annihilation of all life on this planet.

We need someone with experience of dealing with a crisis, of sitting around a really, really big round table with war-mongering generals and half-crazed Teutonic scientists and keeping a cool head when all around are losing theirs. I am that President.


James Dale (Mars Attacks)

My Pitch: Why can’t we all just get along?

Yes, these are scary, eye-popping times. Big-brained aliens, flying saucers like some crazy B-movie, burning cattle, peace doves zapped with ray guns. But we don’t have to pick a fit with every single creature that arrives on our shores. Sure, they are different from us, but do we have to be at each other’s throats? Can’t we play nicely? Can’t we find some common ground? Can’t we all just get along, after all?

My critics might dismiss that as woolly liberal talk, but when has making war even done us any good? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan – lots of dead bodies, lots of scandal, lots of collateral damage. Nothing good. We don’t have to roll over like a playful puppy, but we don’t have to discharge our tanks and empty our missile silos at the first sign of a new arrival. I believe that these new arrivals are not here to plant a flag on our sovereign soil, but to understand and be understood, to spread peace and knowledge.

I want to reach out to them with a hand of kindness, not a dagger of violence.


James Marshall (Air Force One)

air-force-oneMy Pitch: Get off my plane.

The disenfranchised, the disenchanted and the downright belligerent – so many have a grudge and a grievance and not always with justification. Some people want to be heard, some just want to tear everything down. In the middle of all of that, I stand as a candidate of principle, strength and (when required) combativeness. I am consummately trustworthy and unlike some of my opponents, I have a long and impeccable military service record – I understand what it takes to serve your country, what it means to be a true citizen and patriot and not just a “taker”.

Although we continue to stand by our ageless principle of not negotiating with terrorists, sometimes they place yourself in your line of sight and refuse to go unheard. Sometimes you have to buy yourself some time, sometimes you have to play a game, trusting that it will all work out for good in the end. Sometimes you have to throw a punch, or even fire a gun. Sometimes you have to throw someone out of an aeroplane, sometimes you have to hope that a dissident will be machine-gunned down before the helicopter taking him to freedom gets into the air.


President Hathaway (Monsters vs Aliens)

monsters-v-aliensMy Pitch: I am a brave President

Like Messrs Dale and Whitmore, I have seen things and faced tests that no-one would have dreamed of if they hadn’t really happened. There is no script for First Contact and so you need someone like me – a keyboard player, a dancer and a brave gun-slinger – ready to roll with the punches and do what needs to be done without screaming like a banshee.

Negotiations and peace-talks have their place, but sometimes you need to unleash hell – let them feel the full weight of the military might of the greatest nation on the planet. Let them eat lead. And if that doesn’t work, be ready to fire with fire, or at least Aliens with Monsters. Let these funny old freaks earn their keep and do something useful. I’ll concentrate on keeping the coffee coming and trying not to inadvertently launch all of our nukes, let the jello guy and fish-man sort out the rest. Stick to what you’re good at, that’s my philosophy. I’ll work on my tunes, Ginormica can fight the giant tin can with the weird eye. I repeat, I am a brave President.


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elvis-nixon-dvd_3dElvis & Nixon is out to download now and out on DVD on the 31st of October.