TARDIS Index File

President of the United States

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President of the United States
Type: Political office
Place of origin: United States of America
Used by: Americans

The President of the United States of America was the political leader of that North American nation, elected — according to American Peri Brown — by ordinary citizens once every four years. (AUDIO: The Eye of the Scorpion)

The president's traditional residence was the White House in Washington, DC. Arguably the most famous room in the White House was the Oval Office, the president's symbolic seat of power. By at least 1969, the president was regarded as one of the most powerful people on Earth. (TV: Day of the Moon)

Indeed, it was plausible to infer the the long-lasting impact of the office from the fact that the White House was the official residence from the President of Earth from the 26th century (AUDIO: Scorpius) until at least 4041, (COMIC: Return of the Klytode) long after the United States had become part of a world government.

In 2011, Dr Samantha Madigan told Clyde Langer that the famous Native American curse, the Curse of Tippecanoe, was supposedly placed on the US Presidents. (TV: The Curse of Clyde Langer)

List of presidents Edit

Several American presidents were known to the Doctor and his friends. However, information on most of these figures — even basic details such as their terms of office — was sketchy, as direct contact with American presidents was unusual. Because of the paucity of data, it was possible to list the presidents accurately only in simple alphabetic order.

Madame Tussauds

Wax replicas of many past U.S. Presidents, including George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Abraham Lincoln and Herbert Hoover. (TV: Spearhead from Space)

Timing Edit

The Doctor had some rough idea as to the dates certain presidents served. He could place Abraham Lincoln in the early-to-mid 1860s, as the Fifth Doctor prevented his assassination just days before he was shot by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. He likely would have been able to place James Buchanan as Lincoln's predecessor, since Buchanan was widely seen as a contrast to Lincoln, and was a topic of conversation for people whom the Fifth Doctor knew. (PROSE: Blood and Hope) The Sixth Doctor had detailed historical knowledge of that assassination when he and Evelyn Smythe travelled to Washington DC just before Lincoln lost his life. (AUDIO: Assassin in the Limelight) Similarly, the Ninth Doctor was in Dallas when Kennedy was killed; clearly he knew the time of the Kennedy assassination. (TV: Rose)

The Eighth Doctor once gave a time-ordered list of presidents, saying that if one started in the 1970s with Jimmy Carter, the list would continue: Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Tom Dering, Bruce Springsteen and Norris. (PROSE: Interference - Book One) Certainly, the Eighth Doctor would've been able to place Tom Dering at the end of the 1990s, since he and Samantha Jones spent a lot of time with that president investigating the Station Nine incident and other related events. (PROSE: Option Lock)

The Tenth Doctor spouted textbook knowledge of Herbert Hoover, accurately giving Hoover's number in the order of presidents, as well as his inaugural year. (TV: Daleks in Manhattan) In 1958, he referenced Eisenhower's name when asking if Colonel Stark knew about the Dreamland base, also known as Area 51, showing the Doctor knew he was President at that time. (TV: Dreamland) He also witnessed Arthur Coleman Winters' death on board the Valiant, as well as Barack Obama's transformation into the Master. (TV: The Sound of Drums, The End of Time).

By contrast, the Eleventh Doctor seemed fuzzier than River Song on who had been president in 1969 — though this could have been because 1969 was an inaugural year, a year with two presidents. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon)


The Second Doctor was once encouraged to run for president. (COMIC: Martha the Mechanical Housemaid)

If he was being genuine when he expressed confusion over the incumbent president in 1969, it's possible that he merely forgot what his second incarnation likely knew. Following the successful deterrence of a Quark invasion, the Second Doctor was advanced as a possible candidate for president, in what would have been the 1972 elections (COMIC: Martha the Mechanical Housemaid) — which would have pit the Second Doctor against Richard Nixon's re-election campaign.

Captain Lundvik stated that a woman was President in 2049. The Twelfth Doctor later said Courtney Woods would be President in her future but never specified a timeframe. (TV: Kill the Moon)

After discovering that fragmentary historical records available in the year 4000 erroneously stated that the television presenter Bruce Forsyth was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in 1977, Charlotte Willis jokingly asked the Fourth Doctor if they thought that Gene Kelly was the U.S. President. (AUDIO: The Foe from the Future)

Alternate histories Edit

There were a few people who were presidents in alternate timelines, such as Benjamin Franklin. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear, Neverland)

Behind the scenes Edit

Limiting term length Edit

Exact term length of individual presidents is pretty fuzzy, perhaps because it is irrelevant to most narratives where presidents appear. However, Peri does nail down the generic term to four years when Erimem asks her how the Americans' leaders are chosen in The Eye of the Scorpion.

The Winters problem Edit

One of the more famous presidential conundrums is that caused by Russell T Davies calling Arthur Coleman Winters the "President-elect" during The Sound of Drums.

While there are many differences between the real world and the DWU, such a statement is particularly difficult to understand, just within the context of DWU narratives alone. It's hard to see how he could, in the spring/summer in which Drums appears to occur, be the President-elect, when Day of the Moon give a very clear indication that Richard Nixon's presidency began about six months prior to the Moon landing, which is positively dated to July 1969. He also seems to have been elected after another president mentioned in The Christmas Invasion, but before Barack Obama, who is actually seen and heard in The End of Time. The timing of all this is simply impossible to figure out — not to mention the fact that Trinity Wells says in Drums that Winters arrived in the UK on Air Force One — which wouldn't be the case if he were merely the President-Elect. Eventually, in a commentary, [which?] Davies admitted that he had simply been wrong to call Winters the "President-elect" — which makes that an ignorable production error.

The wilderness years Edit

Another problem area for presidential terms is in the novels which appeared during the 1990s. Here, a variety of not-particularly-reconcilable problems ensue. Not only did some of these "prose presidents" never serve in real life, but they do pretty massively conflict with each other. Most novels seem to agree that presidential order conforms to real history through Bill Clinton's first term, but thereafter, there are a variety of other people — and rather too many of them to all be serving four year terms. It is completely impossible to fit all the presidents from Clinton to Obama posited by RTD and "Wilderness Years" authors into any kind of sensible timeline.

Invalid sources Edit

An unnamed President appeared in the non-canonical story Death Comes to Time, based upon then-current President George W. Bush.

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