TV's Presidential Nightmares: Characters You Hope Never Run

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Imagine a world where your most beloved television characters could run for president. Sounds like a great idea, right? Now, consider some of those characters actually being in office.

Part of what makes certain television characters so enticing is their flaws, but those flaws could translate badly in positions of power.

Some are hilariously incompetent, while others are downright dangerous and power-hungry. Either way, it's not the best mix.

TV Presidential Nightmares Lead - The Office

While it would be hilarious to imagine some of these characters running the United States, some of our top picks are a real horror show when it comes to how they use their power and influence in their own respective universes.

Let's take a look at some of the worst presidential picks from our favorite shows!

Kendall Roy - Succession

Kendall on the Road - Succession Season 4 Episode 9

Kendall Roy is one of many complex characters from Succession, but a few things are certain about him.

He's a deeply flawed character with substantial daddy issues and a yearning for power, as are all of his siblings.

But what truly sets Kendall apart is his substantial lack of empathy. While he might appear to be a great visionary with a few issues here and there, his unethical behavior, drug use, lack of a moral compass, and volatile personal life could get in the way of running a country.

Plus, let's not forget that he killed a guy. Or just left him to die. It depends on your perspective.

Joffrey Baratheon - Game of Thrones

King Joffrey with a Sword

There are few characters from any franchise that are hated quite as much as Joffrey. For this Game of Thrones character, the hate was well-deserved. Joffrey was an excellent example of an absolute sociopath in a position of political power.

Throughout his arc on the show, Joffrey displayed all of the traits of a dangerously deranged prince.

He was cruel, sadistic, and immature. He enjoyed using fear and punishment over diplomacy and justice, and he completely lacked regard for human life.

It's scary enough to think about what the world would look like if he were the last one standing on Game of Thrones, but quite terrifying to think about him launching his candidacy for president of the United States.

David - The Last of Us

Listening - The Last of Us Season 1 Episode 8

David is well-known as one of the worst, most vile characters on The Last of Us. He's also a great example of what happens when dangerous people are put into positions of power.

David is a preacher who leads a group of survivors post-outbreak, using his manipulative tendencies to unite them under shared religious beliefs.

When food begins to run out, he convinces the group to engage in cannibalism.

He uses manipulation, the desperation of others, religious beliefs, and cruelty to secure his place as the group's leader. Imagine someone like that being president of an entire country. Scary stuff!

Hannibal Lecter - Hannibal

Hannibal looking smug - Hannibal Season 3 Episode 12

Mads Mikkelsen absolutely kills the depiction of the famous cannibalistic psychiatrist in the television series Hannibal.

This character's quiet nature and quick thinking are what allow him to commit countless murders unchecked.

Those qualities could also be quite terrifying in a presidential leader. Hannibal Lecter uses psychology to his advantage in order to manipulate those around him to avoid suspicion. 

If someone like Hannibal were in control of an entire country, he would delight in the veil of power and diplomacy that could cover up his heinous, people-eating habits.

Tedros - The Idol

Tedros Drugged Out - The Idol Season 1 Episode 5

The Idol may have been a major flop, but there's no denying how easy it is to hate Tedros, the show's antagonist, and how scary it would be to imagine as a president.

Tedros is extremely abusive, sleazy, creepy, and also happens to be a cult leader.

Those are not the best attributes for a presidential leader. He clearly had a thing for manipulating and abusing unwell young artists, but that wouldn't fly with the US as a whole.

All these traits, coupled with an incredible desire for fame and wealth, could prove disastrous for a nation with someone like Tedros in a position of power.

Joe Goldberg - YOU

Unhinged Joe -tall  - YOU

It's pretty obvious why Joe would make a terrible president. Being a serial killer isn't high on anyone's list of valuable assets for public office. Joe's tendency toward obsession and Machiavellian personality traits could bring an entire nation to destruction if he were in a position of power.

Joe lacks a moral compass, showing no remorse (except in some notable circumstances) for those that he stalks and kills under the deluded guise of love and a need to "protect."

YOU's leading man is also a pro at living a double life and is profoundly dishonest, which realistically could make it quite easy for him to campaign for president of the United States.

That's a scary thought.

Connor Roy - Succession

The Eldest Son - Succession Season 4 Episode 2

We absolutely had to include the eldest Roy sibling in this list, mostly because he very seriously tried to run for president in Succession.

Connor is hilariously naive and aloof in the show, and his rich kid childhood has clearly done a number on his ability to look at his circumstances realistically.

Connor has a serious sense of entitlement and a need to be recognized. Whether that need is for his father to see him or the whole world to see him (or both) is unclear.

What is clear is that he really believed he could make it in the world of politics with absolutely no political knowledge or experience. Fortunately for the United States, his campaign was a major flop.

Michael Scott - The Office

The Devil Wears Prada  - The Office

Michael Scott is the lovable and incredibly unprofessional regional manager at Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch, and that is where he belongs. There are few entries on this list more unqualified to be president than Orville Tootenbacher himself.

Michael lacks professionalism, makes terrible decisions, and doesn't quite have the mental capacity to understand complex issues.

And, of course, he tends to create chaos on The Office through sheer ignorance and immaturity.

This makes for great television, but it does not make for a good presidential leader. However, he would make a hilarious one.

What are your top picks for people who must steer clear of the Oval Office?

Well, other than the people actually running, that is.

Drop your thoughts on characters who are totally unsuitable for the job below!

Em Casalena is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.

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