Jack Bauer doesn't have time to read books. Instead, he gets Wikipedia articles sent to his PDA regularly by Chloe O'Brian. Mixed in with articles about concussion grenades and high-frequency pulse signals causing neurological trauma, Jack likes to refresh his recollection of American history by reading articles on former U.S. presidents. And in honor of President's Day, we offer you Jack Bauer's top 5 All-Time U.S. Presidents:
5. James Monroe (1817-1825): Consider James Monroe the guy to end the Revolutionary War for real. Towards the tail-end of his presidency, Monroe threw down the biggest idea of his time by declaring that Europe (ahem- England) had to stay the heck out of the Western Hemisphere (this being the conveniently-named "Monroe Doctrine"). With colonialism ended in the Americas, two things happened: 1) America finally got rid of the British and 2) The Old World Empires saw the beginning of their decline. Without a doubt, this was the most far-reaching moment in U.S. history since the Founding Fathers declared our Independence. Jack Bauer salutes President Monroe for saying "Dammit!" to the rest of the world.
4. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837): Aside from being a trigger-happy widower, President Jackson also shares something else with Jack Bauer-- he almost got killed several dozen times, most of which was through dueling. Apparently, if you bet on the ponies with "Old Hickory" and lost, he'd take you out back for a little "debt-settlement." And please, don't say anything bad about his wife. Jackson never lost a duel, but he carried around a few slugs in his body from his antics. Clearly, Jackson was our angriest president. But don't accuse the man of being completely humorless. When running for president, critics called him a "Jackass" outright. He liked the nickname and used the donkey as the icon of his campaign. And that image lives today as the symbol of the Democratic Party.
3. Harry Truman (1945-1953): Truman drank a bourbon every morning, wore Hawaiian shirts while vacationing in Florida, liked to bowl and play cards, and he would kick your ass if you said anything to hurt his daughter. Okay, so he and Jack Bauer didn't share a lot of hobbies, but they are both protective fathers, right? Well, the important thing to Bauer is that Truman signed into law the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council. Truman basically helped pave the way for Jack's professional career. That's right, there would be no federal agent Jack Bauer without Harry Truman. 'Nuff said.
2. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909): Historian, NYC Police Commissioner, Rough Rider, big-game hunter, Governor, Vice-President and President-- this guy knew how to maximize a 24-hour period! T.R. was strong, smart and stubborn. "Speak softly and carry a big stick" was his motto, and that is something Bauer lives by, literally. And the guy boxed for fun. While he was President, T.R. liked punching things, and he didn't mind taking a few shots himself. And it is also alleged that Roosevelt could communicate with animals, particularly bears (see photo). Crazy bastard. Oh, and he also was the one to put Abraham Lincoln on the penny. Speaking of...
1. Abraham Lincoln (1861–1865): We'd all be watching "Dukes of Hazzard" reruns on every single channel if it weren't for Honest Abe. And you have to love the idea of a 6 foot 4 inches-tall guy wearing a top-hat. Yikes. But seriously, the guy understood Liberty's value (that's right, with a capital "L") more than any other person in the White House. And he also saw that a divided America would be our undoing. Sure, he's everybody's favorite president (North of the Mason-Dixon, at least) but Jack Bauer is no fool! What, you thought he'd pick David Palmer as his favorite president? Dude, it's just a t.v. show...
Happy President's Day!