movie presidents idiocracy

Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, Idiocracy (2006)

The Actor: Terry Crews

The Moment of Crisis: 500 years from now, humanity has devolved into a race of bumbling morons. Lazy, proudly stupid, and named after corporate products, the people of the future have no idea just how profoundly doomed they truly are, especially since the popular sports drink Brawndo is doing much to help crops grow. And that brings us to President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, who has to do something about this.

The Reaction: While he’s certainly a moron, President Camacho ultimately does what every good leader does – he delegates. After discovering a man who has awakened from suspended animation and realizing that his “average” 21st century intelligence now makes him the smartest man in the world, the president appoints him Secretary of the Interior and asks him to fix things. It’s not smooth sailing (President Camacho does try to execute his new employee in a monster truck rally), but things eventually work out.

The Final Grade: It’s tempting to give President Camacho a low score just for being a totally dummy, but that would be unfair. After all, the world does get back on track (sort of) on his watch – he just had to find the right person to kickstart things. How about a B-?

movie presidents olympus has fallen

Benjamin Asher, Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

The Actor: Aaron Eckhart

The Moment of Crisis: North Korean terrorists seize the White House with several goals. First, they want the United States to remove its fleet from the Korean Peninsula, clearing the way for an invasion of South Korea. Second, they want to detonate every single American nuclear warhead while it’s still in its silo, transforming the entire country in a wasteland. All they need is three top secret codes from three high-ranking officials, each of whom is in their custody. Naturally, one of them is President Benjamin Asher.

The Reaction: It’s kind of astonishing how quickly President Asher folds. In order to save the lives of his colleagues, he orders the the other two officials to give up their codes to the terrorists. After all, he’ll never give away his. But the terrorists only need two, as they hack their way past the third password. Whoops. If a badass Secret Service agent hadn’t been present to take on the terrorists and murder them with a bunch of headstabs, America would be completely destroyed because the President valued the lives of two government officials over every single citizen of the nation.

The Final Grade: Since his stupidity was motivated by compassion, President Asher gets a D instead of the total failing grade he probably deserves.

movie presidents white house down

James Sawyer, White House Down (2013)

The Actor: Jamie Foxx

The Moment of Crisis: President James Sawyer proposes a Middle East peace plan that will see American troops removed from the region while additional resources are sent in to help ailing nations. Naturally, a few key people in power don’t take too kindly to this. Mercenaries storm the White House and take control of the entire building, capturing the President. Soon, the whole thing is revealed to be a coup dressed up to look like a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, a vengeful Secret Service agent plots to launch nuclear missiles at Iran using the president’s access codes to start World War III. It’s a bad day in general.

The Reaction: President Sawyer is no solider and he spends the bulk of his time running and taking cover and getting his ass saved by a tough cop who just so happened to be interviewing for a Secret Service position that day. However, he proves himself formidable, bravely stepping into dangerous situations and refusing to make things easy for his captors.

The Final Grade: Since he seems like a good man with a good head on his shoulders and since he manages to generally make wise decisions while under fire and discover the root of the plot against him (it was that dastardly Speaker of the House all along!), President Sawyer gets a solid B. He probably could have handled things a little more smoothly, but hey, sometimes you have to break some eggs to keep your peace plan intact.

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