Picking the best and brightest TV characters to fill out the current TV character’s Presidential Cabinet
November 8, 2016 and January 21, 2017. Two days that brought unprecedented change to America. The election and inauguration of a President unlike any other. Much like Barack Obama before him, Donald Trump is a President of many first. He is the first President to never have held elected office before his time at the White House. He is the oldest president, elected at age 70. He is the only President that is a WWE Hall of Famer. But the most important distinction for the purpose of this post is that Trump is the first reality TV character to be President. (Ronald Reagan had some TV shows back in the day so Trump’s only the second, overall TV person.)
When you look at nominations like Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development, it’s clear to see that that the Donald doesn’t care who’s in his Cabinet. In no world should I be more a more qualified candidate for Education Secretary than the actual Education Secretary (I taught elementary school for a year). Since Trump is a TV character and he doesn’t care about his Cabinet, I decided to take it upon myself to choose a Cabinet full of fellow TV characters for him.
Compiling this list was tough because I tried to do three things with this list:
- I made the nominees characters whose experience would legitimately qualify them for a cabinet position. Unfortunately, I won’t have any funny examples like: Captain Planet for the Environmental Protection Agency.
- I tried to make this cabinet diverse in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation. I did not succeed in this task so forgive me. Let’s hope that by the time 2020 comes around we’ll have more diverse characters with cabinet level experience on TV.
- I tried to do shows that I have some familiarity with. For the shows that I haven’t watched, you’ll see an asterisk. If you know of a better alternative for any of my picks, PLEASE let me know in the comments
PS: There will be spoilers.
A perfect example of the type of character that I’m going to be picking is:
Leslie Knoppe (Parks and Rec) – Secretary of the Interior
Leslie is perfect. She successfully ran a local Parks and Recreation office for many years before holding a couple of positions in the Interior Department. And of course she was the Governor of Indiana. That’s experience on all three levels of government. Her passion and dedication to the work is unquestioned and her husband makes a mean calzone.
So there you have it. Sit back relax as I present to you my dream TV cabinet. Also thank you Shreya for the help with this list.
Littlefinger (Game of Thrones) – Secretary of State
I know what you’re thinking, “this guy will back stab you in a second.” That maybe true but I’ll take that risk with an exquisite, tactful statesman like him. In addition, I have 3 things working for me:
- I’m not the President
- He’s fourth in the line of succession. There’s no way I would make him Vice President.
- Part of me asking him to be SoS is a promise of full throated support in 8 years when he, himself, runs for President.
As long as this position is presented as a stepping stone to President, everything is OK.
Chuck Rhodes (Billions) – Secretary of the Treasury*
For all of the movies about banks out there, (Wall Street, The Big Short, Wolf of Wall Street, etc) there are very few TV shows about them. Maybe it’s because traders are so reprehensible in the public’s eye that we can only stand them in concentrated 2 hour doses instead of on a week in and week out basis. I’ve never seen this show and don’t plan too, but I have seen plenty of posters of this show featuring the guy from Homeland and the angry guy from every movie. After reading a quick summary of the show, Paul Giamatti seemed like the best pic. A sentiment I apparently share with every Hollywood casting director.
Commander William Adama (Battlestar Galactica) – Secretary of Defense*
We are in a situation where there is a quagmire in the Middle East and North Korea is slowly building towards a nuclear weapon. It is imperative that we have a leader of the armed forces that is as stoic and even-keeled as possible. No one on TV, save maybe Ron Swanson, fits that description more than Commander Adama. In addition, he is extremely strategic, unlike his commanding officer. You don’t successfully navigate a universe full of Cylons without thinking ten steps ahead of the enemy.
Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife) – Attorney General*
I’ve heard that The Good Wife is a great show and I’ll support any show that’s set in Chicago. I was going to put Alicia Florrick as the nominee until my friend and esteemed TV blogger Shreya told me that Diane Lockhart was the Queen Bee. It helps that she is a clear supporter of many causes I’m personally passionate about. The only problem will be getting her to leave her law firm, which many people have unsuccessfully attempted to make her do plenty of times on the show.
Dwight Schrute (The Office) – Secretary of Agriculture
Dwight will, for sure, be the toughest to pass through Congress for multiple, multiple reasons but his knowledge and passion for farming is unquestionable. But hey, if a neurosurgeon can run HUD and a person who has never worked at a school can run Education, Dwight is more than qualified. Also, this allows Angela to brag about her husband, the Secretary of Agriculture, to her ex-husband, the State Senator.
Lucius Fox (Various Batman series) – Secretary of Commerce
I’m kind of cheating here since most people know Fox as Morgan Freeman in the Dark Knight movies. Fox has previously appeared in a couple Batman animated series before the movies and is currently portrayed by Chris Chalk in the Gotham. Fox is the business manager for Wayne Enterprises, a corporation that has it’s hands in everything from weapons to medicine to philanthropy. With partners across the world, what better company would better understand how to best to conduct America’s business? (maybe Amazon…yeah, definitely Amazon)
George Lopez (George Lopez) – Secretary of Labor
Not surprisingly, this was one of the harder ones to pick. They say there’s a TV show for everything, but that’s false. Where are the shows that deal with the intricacies of labor law. I pick Lopez because he worked his way up to become the manager at Powers Brothers Aviation after initially starting on the floor. We need more blue-collar people like him in DC.
Christina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy) – Secretary of Health and Human Services*
This was a tough decision between the many women on Grey’s Anatomy (Meredith Grey, Miranda Bailey, Callie Torres) and Eric Foreman from House. It’s good to see POCs in the TV medical field. At the end of the day, I chose Dr. Yang because of her international experience. As the Director of Surgery at a hospital in Switzerland, hopefully she can provide a different perspective on the healthcare system having worked in both this and an European system.
Phillip Banks (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Don’t let Uncle Phil’s posh lawyer lifestyle fool you. He started from the bottom. Living in North Carolina as the Civil Rights Movement was heating up, life was hard for him but he found a way to get accepted into Princeton University and Harvard Law. Before he became a judge, he was a lawyer fighting for fair housing. He was also in Selma during the marches and was attacked. Who would have thought the “big guy” was bout that life.
Scott Cohen (Pan Am) – Secretary of Transportation*
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This was THE hardest position to pick because, understandably, there aren’t to many TV shows about transportation, save Taxi. Honestly, I just remembered there was a TV show called Pam Am that lasted for only one season (starting Christina Ricci and a pre-fame Margot Robbie). I just browsed the Wikipedia page and found the highest ranking member of the recurring cast of characters which was this guy. Apparently he’s a Vice President at Pan Am…and an adulterer.
Waylon Smithers (The Simpsons) – Secretary of Energy
Mr. Burns maybe the owner of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant but Smithers actually runs the place. He knows how the industry works and has prevented numerous catastrophes created by incompetent employees like Homer Simpson. Think about it like this, for almost 30 years he has personally attended to a millionaire, egomaniac that is completely out of touch with reality. Sound familiar? That’s the guy that I want to be in charge of the nuclear arsenal.
George Feeney (Boy Meets World) – Secretary of Education
Feeney! Fe-he-he-heeeeeeeeee-nay!………………….Feeney. This is a man that has taught every grade level from 6th grade to college and in the process has found a way to get Eric Matthews into a college. If this man can’t close the achievement gap, then I don’t know who could.
Trapper John (Trapper John MD) – Secretary of Veterans Affairs*
He served in Korea as an Army doctor and now is the Head of Surgery at a major hospital. He has experience mentoring other doctors that have served oversea and is shown constantly navigating the complex healthcare system. This is the right person to fix the inexcusably backlogged VA system.
Lana Kane (Archer) – Secretary of Homeland Security*
This is probably the most important position on the cabinet with Trump. The Secretary of Homeland Security is not only fighting against foreign threats but might also be fighting again the administration, depending on what’s revealed about Trump’s connections to Russia. In that case, we need someone who can handle internal chaos as well as external. No one in all of TVland is more equipped to handle international incompetence with poise and grace than Agent Lana Kane (not to be confused with @agentlanakane) After dealing with Archer and the folks at the original ISIS, Washington will be a piece of cake for her.