In honor of President's Day, please enjoy these speeches from some of our greatest fictional presidents. All too often these days, speeches from our presidents are merely jumbles of catchphrases, designed to merely not offend anyone. Our presidents are also rarely faced with asteroids or alien attacks, moments that inspire truly great rhetoric. And they rarely get inspirational music played over their speeches.
5: President Dave Kovic (i.e. President Bill Mitchell), from Dave. Kovic, pretending to be President Mitchell while the President is incapacitated by a stroke, announced that he is making the government personally responsible for giving all Americans a job:
4: The President (name unknown), from Armageddon. As a team of roughnecks begins their mission to drill a hole into an oncoming asteroid and then insert a nuclear bomb, the President tells the entire planet that humankind has the technology to prevent humanity's extinction:
3: President Mays Gilliam, Head of State. Despite just being an alderman, Gilliam is selected by the national party to run as a puppet candidate president. He goes off script in this speech though, in which he enumerates the ways in which government and society are failing to live up to our expectations:
2: President Thomas Whitmore, Independence Day. Moments before personally leading a squadron of fighter planes against alien invaders (whose shields will be momentarily disabled due to the heroic space mission of Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum), President Whitmore declares July 4 to be a new day of independence for the entire world, fighting together to prevent humanity's annihilation.
1: President Andrew Shepherd, The American President. After being called out by a Republican senator for the politics of his girlfriend, President Shepherd makes an unexpected visit to the briefing room, where he defends the ACLU, cutting carbon, gun control, and offers the most exciting defense of a presidency ever.
BONUS: While not a movie president, no list of presidential speeches can be complete without The West Wing's President Bartlett. In this speech, the president offers a eulogy for students killed by a pipe bomb at their college swim meet: