What an interesting prompt! I quickly took up the challenge, and came up with the list below. Note: My Zombie president list may or may not be the same as my “best presidents” list.
- Ronald Reagan. I’m not sure if his aggressive Cold War style strategies would work in today’s world (it’s a lot harder to intimidate Gorbachev – who was, ultimately, rational – than to intimidate thousands (millions?) of people driven by religious fervor), but it sure would be fun to see Reagan try. “Mister bin Laden, tear down this cave!”
- John F. Kennedy. Once the nation gets over the disgusting hole in the side of his head, I think Zombie JFK would still be able to inspire us all with his rhetorical abilities. His quotes are my favorite of any modern president. Particularly poignant: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Also, he’s a supporter of Israel. (“Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”)
- Abraham Lincoln. Granted, Lincoln was one of the ugliest presidents, and he would not do well in a televised world. This would go doubly so today: I highly doubt Zombie Lincoln would be more photogenic. That said, I think he would appreciate the enormity of sending our boys to die in Iraq, and be able to convey that gravitas to the world while still likely convincing a majority of Americans to go along with it. (As opposed to just pissing everybody off with a smirk and a few trite lines about freedom.) Also, we could install 21st century defensive technologies in his Top Hat, protecting him from any assassin’s bullet. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. TESLA COIL ACTIVATE!”
- Thomas Jefferson. I love this man, and I think it would be reassuring for the country to know that a Founding Zombie is watching over us. I’d also be curious to see if he drops his whole Agrarian vision today, in the age of commercialized factory farming. Finally, I think it is about time our country has another redheaded president.
- Teddy Roosevelt. For no other reason than how cool it would be to see a fat Zombie Roughrider running around shouting, “Bully!”