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No joke, Americans like fake presidents more than the real ones

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Political dramas are all the rage. “House of Cards” and “Scandal” have a cult following kicked off by the likes of their predecessor, “The West Wing.”

And as popular as those shows are, it’s not really too much of a surprise that their fake presidents have earned way more cred from Americans than our actual president.

It’s not shocking that Jed Bartlet, the POTUS played by Martin Sheen in “The West Wing,” would rake in some pretty impressive “approval ratings” in a not-so-fake Reuters-Ipsos poll taken this month. Sheen’s staple character got an 82 percent favorability rating among fans of the show polled.

Dennis Haysbert’s “24” presidential persona, David Palmer, killed it with an 89 percent approval rating.

Even from way back in the day during the times of “Battlestar Galactica,” Laura Roslin, played by Mary McDonnell, drew a 78 percent approval rating despite the fact that her original role was as secretary of education. See, everyone died and she was the next in the presidential line of succession.

For those non-historian types, that means she was number 15 in line for the White House. (Well, in this instance it got destroyed with the rest of the world by those nasty Cylons.)

Imagine Arne Duncan having that high of an approval rating as president. Yeah.

So, all of these fake presidents blew the real president out of the water in terms of favorability. In another poll by Reuters-Ipsos, Obama’s favorability rating was just 46 percent.

Alright, so fairly likable characters like Martin Sheen, who is squeezably adorable with one of those, you have to love it, charming voices and Mary McDonnell’s dying character just trying to save humanity – they beat Obama. No biggie.

But so did Frank Underwood.

That’s right, House of Cards fans. Frank Underwood, if imagined in the actual Oval Office, is more popular than Obama. What the heck kind of stuff do people think is going on in the Obama White House?

Let’s evaluate this for a second. Frank Underwood murdered not one, but two people. Callously people. Intentionally. As in, not a freaking accident and not by pushing the red, drop a bomb button.

He locked a drunken and passed out Peter Russo in a car, in a garage only to suffocate on the exhaust fumes.

He shoved a journalist into an oncoming train. He turned poor little Zoe Barnes into hamburger.

And folks like him better than baby-kissing, poor people-loving Obama. Cute.

Oh, wait. There’s more.

People like FU better than Obama despite the fact that he not only murdered his way into the White House, he also schemed and lied his way there.

Where’s the approval rating of House of Cards original POTUS, President Walker? That poor dude made one mistake – trusting Frank Underwood.

God help us when the collective TV minds of America somehow think the U.S. would be better off in the hands of a guy who murders, lies, cheats, has threesomes, yells at his wife and secretly smokes in the Oval Office.

By the way, Scandal’s Prez, Fitz Grant played by Tony Goldwyn, he beat Obama too with a 60 percent approval rating. That dude had an affair with his former press secretary and then God only knows who else. He’s also in the habit of giving dogs as consolation prizes. Seriously Americans?

But, who can be all that surprised. Hollywood’s likable presidents lead from half offices on fake Hollywood sets, their makeup touched up regularly and mess ups are just re-shot.

I’m sure Obama has a nose powderer or two, but he doesn’t get re-dos when he outtakes in a speech.

Oh, and Congress hates him. That, and Fox News. So, naturally someone who came up with a despicable healthcare law to make sure more Americans have access to affordable healthcare and who was forced to use his executive power to cut back on the stream of deportations of people brought to this nation through no choice of their own – clearly, he’s way less favorable than liars, murderers and cheaters.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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