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Monday, March 19, 2007

Presidential Administrations: The Good, The Bad, And The Lost

What characters from science fiction would you like to see in the White House? Which ones would make the worst possible presidential administration?

I've come up with one roster for each, starting with the dream team. Most Cabinet positions are listed, including a few other high-visibility posts. Hyperlinks link to Wikipedia articles about the character or, if not available, about the movie/TV show where the character appears. Many of the entries are followed with a brief explanation.

First, the dream team:

  • President: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)
  • Vice President: Mr. Spock (Star Trek: TOS)
  • Sec. of Agriculture: Kes (Star Trek: Voyager) - All that work in the hydroponics bay pays off.
  • Sec. of Commerce: Lando Calrissian (Star Wars) - Someone with experience in aboveboard business and smuggling knows how markets work.
  • Sec. of Defense: William Adama (Battlestar Galactica, reimagined) - one of sci-fi's most competent military commanders.
  • Sec. of Education: Yoda (Star Wars) - Jedi for 800 years he taught.
  • Sec. of Homeland Security: Lyta Alexander (Babylon 5) - Let the terrorists try to get past a telepath - suggested by reader Trooper THX1138
  • Sec. of Housing and Urban Development: Slartibartfast (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) - The guy designs entire planets; this post should be a piece of cake.
  • Sec. of State: Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek: TNG)
  • Sec. of Transportation: Montgomery Scott (Star Trek: TOS) - Beam us up.
  • Sec. of Treasury: Rom (Star Trek: DS9) - The trustworthy Ferengi.
  • Sec. of Veterans' Affairs: Admiral Akbar (Star Wars)
  • Attorney General: Lee Adama (Battlestar Galactica, reimagined) - His dad did give him a bunch of law books...
  • Dir. of National Endowment for the Arts: Mr. McConnell (Mork and Mindy)
  • CIA Director: Mr. Universe (Serenity) - The ultimate in electronic surveillance.
  • FBI Director: Odo (Star Trek: DS9) - He's an experienced cop, and a master of undercover ops.
  • NASA Director: Jack O'Neill (Stargare SG-1) - Rockets, shmockets - we got something better.
  • National Security Advisor: James T. Kirk (Star Trek: TOS) - Kirk's gotta be there somewhere. Seems like a good post for someone adept at handling "impossible" situations.
  • Surgeon General: Dr. Leonard McCoy (Star Trek: TOS)
  • UN Ambassador: Vir Cotto (Babylon 5) - suggested by reader Trooper THX1138
  • White House pet: K-9 (Doctor Who)

The nightmare team was selected to reflect not evil (although there's some of that), but incompatibility with the office.

  • President: Richard Nixon's Head (Futurama)
  • Vice President: Dr. Zachary Smith (Lost in Space, original series)
  • Sec. of Agriculture: Seymour Krelboyne (Little Shop of Horrors) - Uh, we're supposed to eat the veggies, not the other way around...
  • Sec. of Commerce: Jean-Baptiste Emmanuel Zorg (The Fifth Element) - He actually promotes the broken window fallacy as a viable economic philosophy. Not surprising for Hollywood.
  • Sec. of Defense: Colonel Sandurz (Spaceballs)
  • Sec. of Education: Captain Beatty (Fahrenheit 451) - Chief of the book-burning "fire department;" listed as "The Captain" in film credits.
  • Sec. of Homeland Security: Gaius Baltar (Battlestar Galactica, reimagined) - There sure are a lot of blonde women working at DHS...
  • Sec. of Housing and Urban Development: Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, Vogon Constructor Fleet commander (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) - "All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display in your local planning department on Alpha Centauri for fifty of your Earth years..."
  • Sec. of State: President Adar (Battlestar Galactica, original) - He did such a good job negotiating peace with the Cylons...
  • Sec. of Transportation: Doctor Who (Doctor Who) - The TARDIS can go to a lot of places, but it's a bit unreliable.
  • Sec. of Treasury: Quark (Star Trek: DS9)
  • Sec. of Veterans' Affairs: Saul Tigh (Battlestar Galactica, reimagined) - Shell-shocked alcoholic misanthrope. Perfect.
  • Attorney General: Makbar, Chief Archon of Cardassia (Star Trek: DS9) - link is to the episode "Tribunal" wher Makbar appears
  • Dir. of National Endowment for the Arts: Tom Paris (Star Trek: Voyager) - Star Fleet officer and creator of The Adventures of Captain Proton.
  • CIA Director: Aaron Doral, aka Number Five (Battlestar Galactica, reimagined) - Only the Cylons would employ infiltrator agents who look like each other. (And only the Colonials would fail to spot them in time.)
  • FBI Director: Scorpius (Farscape) - suggested by reader Trooper THX1138
  • NASA Director: HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey) - Open the pod bay door...
  • National Security Advisor: Grand Moff Tarkin(Star Wars) - He shoudl have looked over the specs of the original Death Star a lot more closely...
  • Surgeon General: Dr. Phlox, mirror universe (Star Trek: Enterprise) - The citizens want him to work on finding cures for all sorts of ailments, but he's too busy perfecting the agonizer booth.
  • UN Ambassador: Jayne Cobb (Firefly/Serenity)
  • White House pet: Beach ball alien (Dark Star)

Just for fun, I thought I'd add one completely staffed by Lost characters, including some that had been killed off in earlier episodes. Refer to Wikipedia's list of Lost characters. All Cabinet positions are filled in this list, along with the non-Cabinet slots in the above lists. I created a special post so that Charlie Pace would have something to do. Members of The Others are noted.

Orignally I put Sawyer in Commerce as a joke, but noted that confidence men and diplomats tend to share the same skill set. I also had Jin in charge of US Fish and Wildlife, but decided that his organized crime experience could come in handy at the FBI. The late Edward Mars was a US Marshal, so I moved him from FBI to that post.

  • President: Dr. Jack Shephard
  • Vice President: Kate Austen
  • Sec. of Agriculture: Sun Kwon
  • Sec. of Commerce: Boone Carlyle
  • Sec. of Defense: Sayid Jarrah
  • Sec. of Education: Dr. Leslie Arzt
  • Sec. of Health and Human Services: Claire Littleton
  • Sec. of Homeland Security: The Smoke Monster
  • Sec. of Housing and Urban Development: Benjamin Linus, The Others
  • Sec. of Interior: Danielle Rousseau
  • Sec. of Labor: Tom, The Others
  • Sec. of Navy: Desmond Hume
  • Sec. of State: John Locke
  • Sec. of Transportation: Cindy Chandler, Oceanic flight attendant
  • Sec. of Treasury: Hugo "Hurley" Reyes
  • Sec. of Veterans' Affairs: Sgt. Major Sam Austen, Kate's dad
  • Attorney General: Susan Lloyd, Walt's mom
  • Dir. of National Drug Control Policy: Mr. Eko
  • Dir. of National Endowment for the Arts: Michael Dawson
  • Dir. of US Marshals Service: Edward Mars
  • CIA Director: Kelvin Inman
  • FBI Director: Jin Kwon
  • National Security Advisor: Penelope Widmore
  • Surgeon General: Dr. Juliet Burke, The Others
  • UN Ambassador: James "Sawyer" Ford
  • White House band: DriveSHAFT, featuring Charlie Pace
  • White House pet: Vincent the Dog

Update: I added NEA Director to the dream and nightmare administrations.

Update: I added National Security Advisor to all three administrations. The Season 2 finale of Lost shoudl explain my choice of Penelope.

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