Read, White, and Bleu: A Literary Presidential Election

vote buttonUnless you’ve been hiding under a stack of books, you know there’s a little something called the U.S. presidential election on the calendar for 2016. But fear not: We’re booksellers, not political pundits, and Bas Bleu has no plans to wade into the partisan fray.

However…

As with most things in life, we found ourselves thinking about the election through the lens of literature. We began to wonder: Which literary characters would we like to see as president? Who would their running mates be? What would their platforms and stump speeches look like?

That’s when we decided it was high time to host our own presidential election—bluestocking-style. And you, dear reader, are the electorate! Your first order of business is to help us create a list of nominees. The filing requirements are pretty simple:

  • You must nominate a team of two fictional characters. They can hail from the same book, the same book series, or simply a single author’s canon.
  • You must designate which character you’d like to see as president and which character as vice president.
  • Though this is an American election, feel free to look outside of American literature for your candidates.
  • Your submission—made via this blog’s comments or on Bas Bleu’s Facebook page—certainly can include only names. But if you’re feeling creative, we encourage you to suggest platforms, campaign slogans, etc. Have fun with it!

Our editors are still brainstorming our own candidates, but to give you a few examples we like so far: Emma Woodhouse and Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Emma and Persuasion; Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Wilkes from Gone With the Wind; from To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus and Boo…or Scout and Boo…or some other combination you may convince us is better.

Our current plan is to spend primary season narrowing down our candidates to six (or so) pairs. Then, we’ll present the candidates’ platforms. As November 8 approaches, we may fine-tune our ballot to just two teams. Or maybe we’ll reject the two-party system and enjoy a broader race! We’re open to debate!

As for today: The nominations are OPEN!

135 thoughts on “Read, White, and Bleu: A Literary Presidential Election

  1. Mr Darcy for president, and Col. Fitzwilliam Darcy for veep, Ebeneezer Scrooge for Secretary of the Treasury (I crack me up)

  2. Mr. Darcy for Pres , Siegfried Farnon for Vice President, Sherlock Holmes for Secretary of State, Lord Peter Wimsey head of the CIA, and Richard Sharpe as Secretary of Defense.

  3. I nominate Cthulu. No running mate. I mean, he’s Cthulu. He wouldn’t tolerate a mate. Or a Senate for that matter. Or a House. Very simple party system. No further voting required.

  4. Armand Gamache for President and Myrna the psychologist for VP, from Louise Penney’s Three Pines series. Right now, they are the smartest people I know!

  5. Hamlet for President — “Elect a decider who knows when to take action”
    MacBeth for VP — “A Magically Great Vice President–For Now, at least”

  6. For President, Dan’l Webster from Benete “the Devil& Dan’l Webster” (( for rock bound, copper bottom Union) with Kit Carson. For latter see Gov Bent & Kit Carson parley peace with Commanche Raiders.

  7. From the novel “Lonesome Dove,” by Larry McMurtry: Woodrow Call for President and Augustus McCrae for Vice-President. Those two could accomplish anything!

  8. I nominate Ned Stark for president and Davos Seawoth for VP, both from the Game of Thrones books. Ned is an excellent leader who inspires such loyalty through his fair and just rule, that a war erupted at his untimely death. Davos is the most loyal and kindly second in command ever. Plus he showed that you can learn to read even as an adult. Always improving and looking out for others

  9. I nominate Ma Joad for President, with her common-sense practicality and can-do attitude. Miss Havisham for VP! She probably COULD demonstrate flawless etiquette at fancy events – if she wanted to – and would certainly NOT put up with foreign nations crossing her!

  10. I nominate Jamie Fraser from Outlander for President and Claire Fraser for Veep. There doesn’t seem to be any crisis with which they can’t cope!

  11. I am on my second round of “Outlander” [on 4th book now] and agree–Jamie and Claire Fraser could do a heck of
    a job at handling anything! Diana Gabbledon as Sec. of State!

    • I’ve been reading the whole series for the 2nd time around as well! Just finished book 5. Love them as much as the first time!

  12. Rhett Butler for president–He was a Southerner, but could get along with the Yankees when needed. The Union soldiers liked him–this means he could garner votes in both the Northern and Southern states. He was a businessman and knew the side of legal and illegal allowing him understanding of how the world works. He was well educated, well traveled, and came from a well-established family that would take him back into their fold if he were to give the family a good name. This would provide the capital he would need to fund his campaign. He was personable and if running today would have a great TV presence as eye-candy. It is likely if he were to become president, Scarlett would be right there beside him making for a glamorous first lady. (She would then set herself in a position to run for president herself one day–aka Hillery) For Vice-President, (since rules require it to be from the same book, Gone With the Wind) I will choose Dr. Meade. This man is just the opposite of Rhett Butler. He is a tireless servant of the people. He is educated, and level headed and as head of a Civil War hospital, he is a proven leader and could handle the Senate just fine especially during a crisis. Captain Butler and Dr. Meade, both having served the military in some capacity are able to understand wars, rumors of wars, and the cost both financially and human life. They had a mutual respect for one another and could exchange ideas and come up with a workable option just as they did for the protection of the citizens during Reconstruction. Mrs. Meade would be the grandmotherly type figure as the vice-president’s wife. Not a position that is well known–just like in the book–a supporting character.

  13. For president, I nominate Jo March. She’s smart, savy and got things done in an era when many thought a woman could not or should not do so. Think what she could do today. For her running mate, I’ll go with Scarlett O’Hara. With Jo to keep her in check, she’ll be fine.

  14. I would nominate John Galt for President and Hank Reardon for Vice-President with Dagny Taggert as Secretary of State.

  15. I would nominate Jane Eyre for our first female president. Of course, her Mr. Edward Rochester would make a very able vice-president.

    • i would nominate miss annie sullivan & helen keller they would make AN AWESOME TEAM FOR AMERICA AND BRING BACK COMMONSENSE AND RID NORTH AMERICA OF THE RICH OVER INDULGENT WHO REFUSE TO PAY TAXES LIKE THE LITTLE PEOPLE !!!!! EILEEN KIMMEY

  16. I nominate Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces as President, and Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye as VP. The Potus would be too lazy to do any harm, and the Veep would be too angst-ridden to attempt a coup.

    • Yossarian from Catch 22 would be Secretary of Defense, with Major Major Major as his deputy, Doc Sarvis from The Monkey Wrench Gang would be Secretary of the Interior, Milo Minderbinder from Catch 22 would be Secretary of Commerce, and Robert Leffingwell from Advise and Consent will finally be confirmed as Secretary of State.

  17. Dorothea Brooke for President, with Ladislaw for Vice President! Once elected, she’ll name Maggie Tulliver as Secretary of Education.

      • I will commit all of my delegates to this team at the forthcoming nominating convention.I admire their prudence and their passion(the slow burning kind).

  18. Hermione Grainger for President (we need to finally have a woman!) and Harry Potter for VP! They will appoint Albus Dumbledore as Secretary of State

  19. JEAN VALJEAN FOR PRESIDENT

    ROBIN HOOD FOR VICE-PRESIDENT

    BOTH WOULD HAVE GREAT EMPATHIC FEELINGS FOR THE POOR AND BE TOUGH AS NAILS ON THE INDULGENT RICH.

    • Yeah, but Jean ValJean might try to steal the White House China. And he would always be looking over his shoulder at his VP.

  20. “Ready Country One?” I nominate Percival as President and Aech as the veep, both from Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”. There will be room for Artemis in the cabinet, of course.

    • C.R. for President is a good choice but Winnie… someone could bribe him with a pot of honey and there goes the country. How bout Tigger?

  21. I think this is a great idea. I go with Atticus for Pres. and Shane for VP., Sherlock Holmes for Sec. of State,
    Sir Lancelot for Sec. of Defense,, Silas Marner for Sec. of the Treas., Jane Eyre for Health & Human Resources,
    Mowgli for Sec. of the Environment.

    • Atticus would be a good candidate but Sir Lancelot does not work as a Sec. of Defense. Lancelot would be too busy getting his hair done to be concerned about what Putin and the boys were up to. 🙂

  22. I thought about this for awhile because of the rather unique set of survival requirements which allow normal human beings to not only live, but also to do some good whilst they are in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential offices. And, after due consideration, I nominate Amelia Peabody (Amelia Peabody Mysteries, Elizabeth Peters) for President – not only because of her exceptional range and depth of interests and mental acuity, but also for her unique combination of cleverness and adaptability in highly changeable situations.

    For Vice President, although I’m sure he’d decline humbly and would have to be dragooned by a plea to his conscience, Brother Cadfael. (Brother Cadfael mysteries, Ellis Peters). Like Amelia, he is a master of his particular passion (herbs, etc., while she is passionate about Egyptian archaeology, her family, and the next mystery down the sandy road. Like Amelia, Brother Cadfael doesn’t trip over his/her own personality, but stays focused on the task at hand.

    Secretary of State….hmmm….Musashi Matsuo, author of the Book of Five Rings. Admittedly, this is more biography (in a way) than fiction, but it is unmistakably literature.

  23. I nominate Jon Snow for President (George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Ice Series). Jon would have to give up guarding the 7 Kingdoms but he can be written into the U.S. election (a VAST improvement over Trump and do we dare say it, Palin!). Jon could run as an independent.

    For V.P., Jon Snow should have someone who will look out for him and who has a fighting spirit, none other than his little half-sister, Arya Stark. Arya is really good with a sword and would have Putin and his criminals running for cover.

    For his Sec. of State, Jon should have Tyrion, a Lannister, that’s true, but the only Lannister worth his weight in gold, and one skilled in the art of diplomacy and cunning and the innate ability to lie like a rug. Plus, he can play Cavasse and has a sense of humor.

    For Sec. of Defense, Jon should have a wildling, but not the King of the Wildlings, because he has issues. Giantsbane might be a good candidate because just the sight of him would be mind numbing.

  24. Hermione Granger for president and Matilda Wormwood (from the Roald Dahl book). I know one is a witch and the other too young so technically they may not qualify – but they would make a pretty swell team.

  25. Sherlock Holmes, President. VP is Lisbeth Salander. Platform is: solving the world’s problems and not apologizing for how it’s done.

  26. My vote is for Eve Dallas and her gorgeous, brilliant husband, Roarke. I’d elect Eve President for her finely honed skills at perceiving deceit as well as her negotiation abilities. Roarke’s wealth and cunning would make him a valuable “First Man.” Too rich to be dishonest, besides he’s gone that route already.

    • I think Eve would make a better Secretary of Defense, although really, do you see her playing politics? What about Mira as President (Dennis for First Husband — yes!) and Feeney as VP???

  27. I nominate Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple for president and Hercule Poirot for VP. I can’t imagine a better pair to quietly and calmly solve our government’s problems.

  28. The Grandma in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane for President and Edward for Vice President. Edward doesn’t say much, but he’s seen a lot and he is of great value to his constituents. Grandma is very wise.

  29. Billie Zahurak takes the floor and nominates Stu Redman and Larry Underwood from Stephen King’s “The Stand” for President and Vice President, respectively. Both have leadership and political experience, having served on the “Boulder Committee” and showed their political prowess, although both would’ve preferred to decline. This would be the first duo pres/VP that I’ve had a crush on.

  30. I would nominate Dorothea Brooke as President and Dr. Tertius Lydate as Vice President. Both have integrity, a sense of social justice and idealism that would result in benefits for the disadvantaged.

  31. Jamie and Claire from Outlander for Pres and VP!! Both old and new world sensibilities and a lot of experience in the area of justice!

  32. While a number of respondents have already pointed to a number of my favorite literary ‘leaders’, I want to nominate Aragorn and Gandalf for President and Vice President. This ‘power couple’ in Tolkien’s original (not the film series) exhibits the courage and leadership skills so needed today. Their cabinet of course will need Faramir, Eowyn, Eomer, Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, and Radagast as Secretary of the Interior.

    • I was going to nominate the same two people for President and VP. My second choice would have been Frodo for President and Sam for VP. They are the true heroes of the books.

  33. I would like to nominate Hannibal Lector as POTUS ~ as he is intelligent, strong-willed & more than a little quirky. He might even frighten Vladimir Putin! Pres. Lector would get things done! Often over lavish White House diners … uh, dinners. VP should be Inspector Morse ~ as he is the greatest detective, mentor & calm problem-solver ever!! Our nation needs their combined age, wisdom & taste. Plus, can you truthfully say that the “others” out there are any better ~ or even as good??! CC

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  35. All I could think of was British characters, who would not be eligible to run. Then my husband said: It’s easy! Mark Twin for President and Will Rogers for Veep.

  36. I would nominate Ford Prefect (Prefect is Perfect) for president and Arthur Dent (Dent the Status Quo) for vice president.

  37. Love all the responses. Perhaps I would think about nominating Yale grad and WW I veteran Nick Carraway AFTER he left Long Island and headed back west to Minnesota. Sadly, Nick would have wanted Gatsby as his running mate, but he would have forcibly settled for his literature-imitating-life creator, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  38. Huck Finn for president. A guy with plenty of street smarts, Huck also learned and matured from his experiences. He promises to be a man of great compassion.
    Tom Sawyer for veep. While he lacks depth, he is personable and loyal to Huck. With any luck, he won’t whitewash his way to the top slot.

  39. Plantagenet Palliser for President. Phineas Finn for VP — and Madame Max would be a perfect Secretary of State. Oh, wouldn’t Lady Glencora be a delicious First Lady?? Trollope know his politicians!

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  45. What amazing comments! How fun! I am so torn, as there are several good choices. Ilije Hermione and Harry, and Hagrid would be great in several cabinet positions. Love Jim and Huck and C. Robin and Pooh, although where does Owl, with his wisdom, fit in?
    Sherlock and Holmes…great, especially if Holmes is Martin Freeman…but wait, he’s Bilbo, right? Oh, dear!

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