The Most and Least Believable Fictional Presidents

As we welcome a new resident to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., here’s a look at the most and least believable commanders-in-chief to lead our nation in film and television. 

Most Believable

Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”) – Selfish, manipulative, stumbling from one scandal to the next, Meyer is Washington, D.C., at its most believable. It’s satire, but just barely.

James Dale (Jack Nicholson, Mars Attacks!) – When Martians invade, President Dale delivers a plea for peace to the little bulb-headed creatures. Then the Martians kill him. Forget Independence Day – this is how it would really go down.

Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho (Terry Crews, Idiocracy) – In Idiocracy’s future America, the president is Crews decked out in wrestling gear, leading our nation with the power of monster truck rallies and screaming. A future more believable with every passing day.



We want to see your best work. Architects, interior designers, renovation experts and landscapers: Enter your residential projects in Milwaukee Magazine’s new design competition. 

Least Believable

James Marshall (Harrison Ford, Air Force One) – A president that is both a strong, powerful leader and physically capable of throwing terrorists out of planes? It’s just too much to hope for.

David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert, “24”) – When Palmer is nearly assassinated (twice!), he shrugs it off like it’s no biggie. This level of awesomeness is too much to expect from a politician.

Claire Underwood (Robin Wright, “House of Cards”) – Underwood spends five seasons scheming her way to the White House like a certifiable evil genius. In real-life Washington, someone from her staff would have gotten drunk and left a document detailing all her plans in an Uber and brought her down back in season 2.

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.