Quizzes

Would You Vote for President Bartlet, Meyer, McCord or Underwood?




Image: HBO

About This Quiz

Presidents are larger-than-life figures. They appear in the news and they figure prominently in history. They appear in fiction both as themselves in documentaries or when a narrative film uses real footage, and sometimes actors play them in historical dramas. Some real presidents have faded into history, forgettable men who accomplished little of importance. Other real presidents come to mind as soon as the word “president” is uttered, so total and far-reaching were their accomplishments.

This post: Would You Vote for President Bartlet, Meyer, McCord or Underwood?

Fictional presidents have the benefit of living by the narrative rules of their fictional worlds. Few of them propose bills that really mean anything because the shows’ and films’ producers don’t want to alienate anyone in the audience. These fictional men and women usually sign bills with names like “The American Infrastructure and Defense Act” which mean nothing. Indeed, real politicians have often taken a page from their fictional counterparts, writing bills with boring names that, when said, sound vaguely patriotic.

Even with all these similarities and vagueness, fictional POTUSes are unique, with the figures of Presidents Bartlet of “The West Wing,” Meyers of “Veep,” McCord of “Madam Secretary” and Underwood of “House of Cards” cutting unique profiles that appeal, as presidents, to very different people. Which one is right for you?


Image: HBO

About This Quiz

Presidents are larger-than-life figures. They appear in the news and they figure prominently in history. They appear in fiction both as themselves in documentaries or when a narrative film uses real footage, and sometimes actors play them in historical dramas. Some real presidents have faded into history, forgettable men who accomplished little of importance. Other real presidents come to mind as soon as the word “president” is uttered, so total and far-reaching were their accomplishments.

This post: Would You Vote for President Bartlet, Meyer, McCord or Underwood?

Fictional presidents have the benefit of living by the narrative rules of their fictional worlds. Few of them propose bills that really mean anything because the shows’ and films’ producers don’t want to alienate anyone in the audience. These fictional men and women usually sign bills with names like “The American Infrastructure and Defense Act” which mean nothing. Indeed, real politicians have often taken a page from their fictional counterparts, writing bills with boring names that, when said, sound vaguely patriotic.

Even with all these similarities and vagueness, fictional POTUSes are unique, with the figures of Presidents Bartlet of “The West Wing,” Meyers of “Veep,” McCord of “Madam Secretary” and Underwood of “House of Cards” cutting unique profiles that appeal, as presidents, to very different people. Which one is right for you?


CBS
Which personal quality would you most want to see in a president?

Thoughtfulness

Ruthlessness

Empathy

Confidence

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HBO
How would you rather your president beat their opponents?

I would like them to prevail because they have the best ideas.

Find their weakness and lean on it until they snap.

I think the virtues of the president should shine through.

Any way they can!

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NBC
The president is in a scandal. How would you rather they handle it?

I’d like them to want to take responsibility, but be saved when a subordinate falls on their sword.

Take control of the scandal and direct it at their enemy.

Take full responsibility, be the pubic villain and get the guilty party punished.

Avoid all responsibility by instigating a bigger crisis.

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Lorado/E+/Getty Images
What do you think counterterrorism is really like?

Boring most of the time

Horrifying most of the time

Like “24”

I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing.

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CBS
Which of these best encapsulates your governing philosophy?

Do the best job you can, while you can, and get some good things done when there’s time.

Destroy your enemies and stamp your policies into law.

Heroically champion policies that aspire to a better future, even if they aren’t realistic.

I haven’t thought about it too much.

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Katrina Wittkamp/DigitalVision/Getty Images
What do you think of Iowa voters?

They’re a fascinating lot who the country can learn from.

They’re egomaniacs who think they’re in charge.

They’re just people like anyone else, but they take their responsibility seriously.

I can’t be honest about that here!

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Wiki Commons by Official White House Photo
How would you prefer the president handle congratulating athletes on major victories?

Say something off the cuff to a reporter when talking about something else.

Invite the athlete to the White House.

Why bother?

As briefly as possible!

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Wiki Commons by Gage Skidmore
Which presidential quality of Bill Clinton do you admire?

When he spoke to you, it felt like you were the only person on the planet.

He had a good partner to work the ref.

He got a lot done, given the times.

I’m not a fan.

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Netflix
What do you feel is the most consequential part of a presidency?

How they handle domestic issues

Their legacy

How they handle international relations

Not getting hung up on obstacles that pop up

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Vesnaandjic/E+/Getty Images
Which right stands above the rest?

Free press

Privacy

Religion

They’re all equally important.

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NBC
Would you like to have a president who stands up to their party?

I’d like one who would do that, when called for.

I’d like one who owns their party.

I’d like one who is always loyal to their party.

I’d like one who knows how to play the game and does whatever has to get done to stay in office.

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ericfoltz/E+/Getty Images
North Korea is threatening nuclear war if the US doesn’t leave the south. What do you want the president to do?

Inspire other interested parties to pressure China

Declare war!

Send in spies to start a coup

Give up something so China will take care of it for us

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Wiki Commons by Mary Anne Fackelman
Which presidential quality of Reagan do you admire?

He could read a good speech.

He was re-elected.

He shepherded the nation through the end of the Cold War.

I’m not a fan.

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Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/Getty Images
What sort of professional background would you like your president to have?

Economist or lawyer

Professor or nonprofit employee

Intelligence agent or general

Senator or governor

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NBC
What is the president’s single most important responsibility, other than keeping the nation safe from other nations?

Laying the foundation for the future

Keeping the powerful away from government

Keeping us safe from pandemics

Uh, staying in office, obviously!

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Wiki Commons by Gilbert Stuart
Which presidential quality of President Washington do you admire?

He knew when to step down.

He knew how to fight dirty when he had to.

He’s on the one-dollar bill.

I’m not a fan.

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© www.stefanbock.de/Moment/Getty Images
Is it important to you that your preferred POTUS be elected?

Yes. Without the mandate of the people, POTUS won’t have any authority.

Not at all. A benevolent tyrant is just fine by me.

I would like a little taste of the candidate as POTUS before having to vote for them.

I have no issue with vice presidents taking over the job.

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Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/DigitalVision/Getty Images
What do you think of the idea of “Medicare for All”?

It sounds great. It’ll never get out of committee.

It would take some serious arm twisting to accomplish.

I believe we can and should pass it.

I do not think it’s a good idea.

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CBS
Other than the president, what do you view as the most important and powerful position in government?

The Speaker of the House

The Senate Majority Leader

The Secretary of State

The Vice President

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d3sign/Moment/Getty Images
In what way should government be a part of the lives of ordinary people?

It should protect them from other people who want them to act in a certain way.

It should protect the powerful so they’ll let it protect other people.

It should stay out of our private lives.

It should stay out, unless the people want it to be involved!

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Northern Lights Entertainment/Lauren Shuler Donner Productions
What did you like about the film “Dave”?

Everything

I’ve never seen it.

Nothing

I liked the cast.

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Wiki Commons by Kheel Center
Which of these historical politicians would you consider voting for as president today?

Tip O’Neill

Lyndon B. Johnson

Harry Truman

None of them

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Wiki Commons by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
Which presidential quality of FDR do you admire?

He understood that the people needed someone to talk them through the crises we faced.

He stopped at nothing to get his legislation passed.

He did a lot of good for a lot of people.

I’m not a fan.

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Netflix
Should POTUS be willing to compromise on the issues they ran on in order to get things done once in office?

Compromise is the essential quality of our system, so of course they should.

Sadly, compromise is a part of life, though only when there is no other option.

Not on everything. Sometimes you have to be willing to fight.

Yes! It’s an essential part of the job.

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Kutay Tanir/DigitalVision/Getty Images
How would you feel about POTUS getting political help from China?

That would be an abomination!

That would be in keeping with certain strains of American politics.

That would be a serious crime.

Who cares?!

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Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision/Getty Images
The founding fathers didn’t like political parties. What is the point of political parties?

It allows the people to differentiate politicians without having to look too deeply at their personal views.

They’re the natural tribes of America.

They’re the best way to raise money.

I don’t know.

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HBO
Which of the following qualities would you most hope the president wouldn’t have?

Dishonesty

Spinelessness

Cowardice

Naivety

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Netflix
How should the voice of the president sound when making a public address?

Steady and earnest

Firm and without a hint of vulnerability

Stern but optimistic

It depends on the moment.

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Hill Street Studios/DigitalVision/Getty Images
In which elections do you vote?

All of them!

Only the federal ones

Mostly local elections!

I don’t usually vote.

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gilaxia/E+/Getty Images
What’s the best thing about the US of A?

America is the home of the American Dream. What else is there to say?

The USA stands for order and peace.

America is the nation that espouses the moral high ground.

Its ability to change with the times

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