Congressman Thomas Bell (William Katt, “Top of the Hill,” CBS, 1989): Taking over his ill father’s seat in Washington, D.C., Bell was an idealist who often ran up against those much more skilled at the political game.
Representative Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy, “Tanner ’88,” HBO, 1988): The Michigan politician pursued the Democratic presidential nomination.
Senator William Powers (John Forsythe, “The Powers That Be,” NBC, 1992-93): He wasn’t a paragon of personal ethics, but professionally, Powers did his best for constituents.
Mayor Randall Winston (Barry Bostwick, “Spin City,” ABC, 1996-2002): He came across as a fop at times, but New York’s mayor always had his city’s best interests at heart.
President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen, “The West Wing,” NBC, 1999-2006): Originally designed to stay in the background of the series, Bartlet was the ideal of what many want a president to be.
President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert, “24,” FOX, 2001-06): The chief executive who regretted having to put counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer in harm’s way time and again is widely deemed the model for the outcome of the real-life 2008 election.
Senator Bill Sterling Jr. (Josh Brolin, “Mister Sterling,” NBC, 2003): Created by political insider Lawrence O’Donnell, Sterling was another optimist frequently facing off against jaded peers.
President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell, “Battlestar Galactica,” Syfy, 2004-09): Even the future will have a president, as indicated by this leader who dealt with illness while handling political concerns of the galaxy.
President Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis, “Commander in Chief,” ABC, 2005-06): Not alluding to other characters who had filled the slot before, Allen was the first female president in this drama.
President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones, “24,” FOX, 2009-10): Another woman occupying the Oval Office, Taylor found her loyalty to agent Bauer ever-shifting.