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.
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.
Vice President Selina Meyer (
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep,"
HBO, 2012): Already, it's clear this "veep" says what many other politicians likely only think.