Explore Our Blog Archives
Home 5 Politics 5 What If Leslie Knope Became President? (And other TV favorites)
What If Leslie Knope Became President? (And other TV favorites)
December 23, 2019

Being a TV junkie myself, I often think ‘what if they ran for president?’ while watching some of my favorite characters. Parks and Recreation was the perfect mockumentary show poking fun at politics and the people behind the curtain. Sometimes the world needs more humor, and what would it look like if a character such as Leslie Knope ran for office? Her experience definitely fits the bill.

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Experience: Regional Director of National Park Service Midwest Region
City Councilor
Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation
Political Stance: Liberal

She does have qualifications!

There’s no one more dedicated, passionate and ridiculously up for the job as President of the United States than Parks and Recreation’s protagonist, Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler. First of all, politics are in her blood: her mother, Marlene Griggs-Knope, who served as a big political figure in the public school systems, set a big example for her at an early age. Throughout the show, she goes to great lengths to try to impress her mother, but her rough exterior barely gave in to her ambitious daughter.

She does go above and beyond

During high school, Knope served as co-vice president and founded many political groups including Young Democrats and Young Independents. As the show begins, holding the title of Deputy Director of the Parks Department, this determined lady goes way above and beyond her job description, conducting manual labor (and oftentimes enlisting the unsolicited help from her coworkers), pulling all-nighters planning events, and creating many a 100-page book binders to assist her in meetings. There’s no doubt she would not sleep one single day in office.

Her perseverance paid off

Although she was relatively low on the political totem poll as the show began, Leslie quickly rose to the top, becoming City Councilwoman and Deputy Director of the Midwest Region of the National Park Service. As the show closed, she was the Governor of Indiana and had always strived to be the first female president. With great allegiance to Hillary Clinton, we wonder if she would run against her or beg to become her vice president.

She’s tough on the bad guys and is the ultimate person to lead: she inspires, cares and uses her whole heart with everything she does. Her Type-A personality yet silly demeanor is the exact person I’d want running our country: someone who can relate to the common man but have the balls and audacity to turn this country around.

Another contender…

Leslie Knope for President

Sandy Cohen, The O.C.

Experience: Public Defender
Private Practice Lawyer
Head of the Newport Group
Law Professor

Serving the Underdog

One of TV’s most beloved dads, Sandy Cohen, played by Peter Gallagher in the teen drama, The O.C., would be a fabulous contender for president. Growing up in the Bronx, this left-wing, East coast Jew experienced rough times early on in life before moving to Orange County and living the life of the wealthy by marrying his college sweetheart, Kirsten. He then opted for a smaller paycheck to be a public defender, always serving the underdog.

Being a big fan of the show, I often ask, “What would Sandy do?” in dire situations.

His memorable talks with his sons Seth and Ryan were direct, smart and were directed more as a confidant or friend, rather than an authoritative father.

Attending Berkeley College, we see a glimpse of what the college-aged Sandy was like: handsome, ambitious and always trying to make a difference. In office, he would most likely legalize weed, make guns illegal and work to make college affordable for everyone. With his lawyer background and a sturdy head on his shoulders (plus those uncontrollable eyebrows that SNL would have a heyday with), Sandy would always be fighting for the little man as president.

What other TV characters would you like to see in office?

Either of these guys?

Leslie Knope for President

What if we really had Julia Louis Dreyfus in office? At least we would laugh a lot.