On the season finale of HBO’s "Veep," the lovably misanthropic Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States after the sitting president resigned to care for his mentally ill wife. Meyer may be the first female president in the "Veep" universe, but she’s far from the first fictional female president to emerge in film, TV and literature. I’ve got bad, if not totally surprising, news: pop culture has not been kind to commanders-in-chief with two X chromosomes. We took a careful look at history’s fictional female presidents (pro tip: Wikipedia’s lists of fictional presidents are a great way to waste two hours of your life) and found that these women could be divided into five broad, largely unflattering categories.
PURE SCIENCE FICTION
As a genre, sci-fi is a stronghold for female presidents, because what could better represent a distant, disorienting future than flying cars, massive alien invasions, and — a lady in the Oval Office?! Examples include Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter’s "Sunstorm" and "The Light of Other Days," K.A. Applegate’s "Remnants," Robert J. Sawyer’s "Red Planet Blues," Robert Anton Wilson’s "Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy," Jack McDevitt’s "Moonfall," and C.L. Moore’s "Greater Than Gods." Way to go, sci-fi.