Cult of Personality: Some Alternate American Icons for President

Few election years have made it more clear that the U.S. Presidential Race is not about issues, but about personalities.

As a country, we're busy people. We can't be bothered with those piddly details about how to handle war, environmental problems, energy conservation, future terrorism, or improve education for all children. No reason to, really-- not when we can boil it all down to anecdotes, pep rallies and high school yearbook quotes.

Yes, we owe it to ourselves to be able to skim for five minutes and make solid, unflinching decisions on the fate of our country for the next 4-8 years.

So while your blog hostess here at Of Cabbages and Kings doesn't claim to be a fine political mind, I was considering some alternate presidential candidates that should have been tossed out there. Ones, I think, who would have worked well in the Cult of Personality we're currently immersed in and who also have potential as popular, effective leaders.

I'll try to keep it brief, for maximum effectiveness.

  • "David Palmer" AKA "President Allstate" from 24. Firm, smart, a great orator, and part of a rare breed-- an honest politician. Not only that, but he has previous presidential experience-- which yes, technically, should disqualify him from running this time around, but... work with me, people. Who didn't feel uplifted and inspired by watching him take command of our country, even during the terrorist attacks on 24? Okay, so, yes, he died tragically in that show, but I still see him on those Allstate Insurance ads. He looks pretty good for a dead guy. So I think he might rally. President Allstate would be my top candidate. Appropriate sound-bite: "...That's Allstate's, er, America's Stand. Now get me Jack Bauer and a tow truck."
  • "Earl Hickey" of My Name is Earl Fame. A dark horse candidate, Earl Hickey is down-to-earth, has a maverick approach to problem solving, and he get things done. In fact, he has a whole list of things to do, and he makes good on them-- more than we can say for most politicians. Sure, Earl has a past, but who doesn't? At least Earl is forthright about his. He believes in Karma, so that might not go over with the evangelical base, but Earl has a number of other things going for him. Like ex-wife Joy. Voters love a lady with sass, and they don't come sassier than Joy. Appropriate sound-bite: "Earl, I don't care what you say, Crabman and I are stayin' in the Lincoln Bedroom. You think they get QVC on the cable TV in there?" -Joy


  • "Vince" the ShamWow! guy. He's mesmerizing to watch, if somewhat frightening due to his Dick Tracy character one-big-eye-one-little-eye-- something sure to put the fear in any terrorists planning attacks. He has the patter down, and he's very convincing. We know he pours the cola, there's a giant puddle of cola under that carpet, the camera cuts away and then that cola has magically gone. We suspect the ShamWow! had nothing to do with that cola being gone. But yet we buy the ShamWows! That's the power of Vince at work. Vince is prepared to clean up this country, even if it involves doubling your order of presidential terms for only the cost of shipping and handling. Appropriate sound-bite: "That's two terms, for the price of one. You follow me, camera guy?"
  • Dana Scully from the X-Files. Women looking for female candidate they can relate to might do very well with Dana Scully. She's bright, pretty, has a wide base of knowledge, and she already has the wardrobe-- pantsuits galore. Plus, she's a Christian and a mother, which are important qualities for a large chunk of voters. Okay, yes, yes, the baby might be part-alien. But that will just help diversify her voter base. Appropriate sound-bite: "The truth is out there... And we'll feed it to you in vague, cryptic installments over the course of a multiple term run, just to keep you guessing."
Now, I'd tossed around some other options, but I'm not as confident in those selections.

  • I mean, Dwight Schrute from The Office is a powerful public speaker, but the U.S. would officially become a dictatorship.
  • I considered both the Geico Gecko and Charles Dyson, the Dyson vacuum cleaner inventor-- but neither of them were born in the U.S.
  • And Monk, well, he's smart, but the Oval office isn't even enough-- it would freak him out and he'd spend tons of taxpayer dollars on renovating it into the Square Office.

Soon, the U.S. will put itself in the hands of a new leader, but how do we feel about the choices we currently have? I don't know; I like to think we'd have been in good hands with Allstate.

Get out and vote in 2008-- for Of Cabbages and Kings at Humor-blogs. Or check out my friends over at Humorbloggers. Some of them are even running for President-- kinda sorta.


Anonymous said...

Lolz ! I cracked up when I saw the Shamwow guy. Yea, how many candidates would approve a campaign billboard of them holding paper towels.

I'd vote for Donna Scully. Creepy ? Who cares !

Greg said...

I always learn so much at Of Cabbages and Kings. For instance, I had no idea the ShamWow guy's name was Vince.

You make some strong presentations for a variety of candidates who offer everything we current have to choose from and more...I think Dana Scully would be my choice of your suggestions. But I've already got another candidate in mind.

There's a candidate who stands up to be counted every four years who's never made it into office before. He's smart, funny, attractive, knowledgeable on foreign policy and international affairs and would do a lot to bring fresh order to the White House.

No, no...I am not talking about Ralph Nader. Please give to me a break. No, the candidate team I have in mind is none other than SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK. Isn't it time we give them their moment in the Sun?

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- That ShamWow guy shows up on TV about a bazillion times when I'm watching Cash in the Attic on Saturday mornings. He HAS to be running for SOMETHING.

And Scully's been through a lot-- she could use a change of career. She'd appreciate your vote, I think.

kdawg68 said...

Here's my short list - and I can't believe you mentioned the Sham Wow guy - I've brought him up before as well. That headset looks presidential!

-Christopher Walken - although I feel he'd be best in a situation not unlike a Roman military takeover of the Senate. Perhaps he could banish Gaius Marius to Carthage, then promptly declare himself consul-for-life. I'd raise a few crack legions to assist him.

-Beetlejuice. Who amongst us has not looked at "the beetle" and thought "world leader" for sure?

-Tommy Lee Jones. Judging form some of his films (Volcano, The Fugitive, Natural Born Killers) - he does well in situations where he can direct people in various tasks by shouting at them. He should also have a walkie-talkie in his hands at all points in time. He seems to feed off of it.

-ALF - he'd bring intergallactic diversity to anyone's cabinet/ticket

-David Hasslehoff - he'd help us keep relations with Germany somewhat normalized.

-"Corey x2" (i.e., Feldman/Haim) - we have a pretty good track record with former actors in the white house. Why not keep the tradition going with our loveable Coreys?

Jenn Thorson said...

Greg- Snoopy is a FINE choice. I think many of us could get behind Snoopy as a political candidate. Well done! Everybody loves Snoopy.

Jenn Thorson said...

KDawg- Your list rocks! First, I would be horribly disappointed if you had not included ALF in your list. And I can absolutely see both Christopher Walken AND Tommy Lee Jones in this capacity. Very nice!

Shirley said...

Elmo- He's friendly a people monster and not afraid to tackle the tough issues. Why Woopie Goldberg looks different than a fuzzy red thing. :)

Kevin Costner- He protected the president and one got killed on his watch. He has a heads up on enviromental issues even if the movie flopped. He knows all about Native American issues. He would be good for all the homeland stuff.

Mickey Mouse- Because it's a small world after all.

Martha Stewart- All politicians need a little dirt in the background.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shirley- Ah, but Elmo is sort of polarizing-- I know folks who just deeply hate Elmo. That said, though, I think this could be a reaction to tackling those tough issues you'd mentioned. :)

Re: Kevin Costner-- Hm, don't I recall you trying to write him in for president once? I believe I do... :) Well, there's still time!

Re: Martha, she could certainly organize the White House like never before. You might have something there.

Da Old Man said...

I do love Martha Stewart, but I'm still voting for Vince.
Can you see him just dazzling the UN Security Council with ShamWow? Couple cases of ShamWow, and he would have had that whole Katrina mess cleaned right up. And without the mold and mildew. Levees made of ShamWow. Buildings made of it.
I think my mind is boggling. I need to lay down.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Joe, I think you win the non-contest I was having for "Best Creative Application of the ShamWow." The folks in New Orleans and Texas need you to head right down there ASAP and advise on this-- you can't keep this clever ShamWow application to just yourself and my other readers.

Shirley said...

Yes, I did write Kevin in those were actually my reasons back then. :) Good memory. :) Since I'm a lot more grown up though I'm not serious. Though I did see a web site once or a blog or something. So, I'm not alone on a Kevin Costner quest. Lol! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Shirley- Heh, wouldn't it be fun to see the various people who get written in? I bet there's an amazing list. And, yes, I'm sure there's a fair share of Kevin Costners each election. I had a mysterious crush on him after seeing him for the first time in "The Untouchables."

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Super post!!!


Jenn Thorson said...

JJ- Hey thanks. :)

whatloknows said...


How bout just putn two monkeys in office, at least their would be basic primal intellect this term.

Jenn Thorson said...

WhatLoKnows- I also understand apes have been shown to distribute resources (share fruit, etc.) with each other within their communities. So they may, in fact, be more inclined toward improving overall quality of life than your average politician. :)

Jay said...

LOL! I'd vote for Earl. At least I've heard of him!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- Awww, Earl would probably be very tickled by your support, too, from all the way in the U.K. :)

Chat Blanc said...

Loves it!! I'm quite certain Earl could easily be elected because he would get the large, drunken, and vocal redneck population.

Personally, I'd go with Scully. Cuz her sound-bite is killer! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Sandy- Earl certainly would get the drunken redneck vote, but he's got layers. He might be too bright for some of that crowd. Unless, maybe, he promised everyone a Jell-O shot per vote. Something like that.

Scully seems to be pulling ahead in the polls. She could become our first virtual not-official and totally-made up woman president. I'm proud of her.

chyna said...

How about Vince and David Hasselhoff. Since ShamWow is made in Germany we'd have out trade clinched.

He is kinda creepy to look at though so maybe use the Hoff as his people guy and he can do the negotiations. Yep I like it.

Oh and get Martha in there. Can you imagine what the White House would look like after she was done? Hey if the woman can make her horse barn into a dining room for Thanksgiving surely she can negotiate some peace and maybe get the bank situation worked out too.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Ah! NICE trivia about ShamWow, Chyna-- I am scared, of course, that you know that. But still. :)

The plus about Martha is we already know her track-record-- and her jail record. :)