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The President of the United States is a character in several Transformers stories.
Optimus Prime met with the President on the lawn of the White House to ask for peace, sort out an understanding, and perhaps form an alliance. Their handshake was cut short by an attack from the Insecticons, who attempted to sabotage the union by claiming to be Autobots. The Autobots forced the Insecticons into retreat but left immediately themselves, deciding that the President wouldn't believe they were framed. To the contrary, the President did give the Autobots the benefit of the doubt -- until, that is, they left without an explanation.
(Note: The President of the United States refers to Optimus Prime as a "lorry," which is what they call trucks in England, but not in America. None of the kids who read Marvel UK comics probably noticed, in writer Simon Furman's defense.)
(Another note: This story, from the 1985 UK Annual, is generally held to not be canon to the main comics, including as it does several contradictions to later (and former) events in the stories (most notably the Insecticons' origins).)
The President flew to the Pentagon, where he was greeted by Defense Minister Dawson. Dawson briefed him on the Decepticon assault on San Francisco, and suggested an air strike. But before a military solution could be devised, Dawson was informed that a nuclear launch had been authorized (by General Robert Hallo, unbeknownst to either man). The President tried to abort the launch, to no avail. During this crisis, he displayed a level of concern that could only be adequately portrayed by Pat Lee's unique command of facial expressions.
The Vice-President is the President's attack dog. He goes to pick up Allister Greaves in person after his spy in the Executive office is revealed.
Greaves isn't much impressed by the Vice-President, he has too many skeletons in his closet. Greaves threatens to release documentation of the Vice-President's tryst with a minor girl in Topeka to the media. The Vice-President dis-involves himself from further direct contact with Greaves.
John is the Secretary of State. He is one of the President's confidantes in his plan to kidnap General Michelle Grajkowski and frame her for the attack on the Autobots.
Bill is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He, along with John, are the President's confidantes in his plan to frame General Michelle Grajkowski.
Elisa is the President of the United State's secretary. She speaks several languages, and always answers the phone with a different accent. A member of the Followers, she sectetly gives Edmund Greaves information about goings-on in the Executive Office.
When Greaves requested information about the Keepers, Elisa promised to send him a synopsis of the upcoming cabinet meeting about them, and then requested Greaves try to remove the Followers agents from Las Vegas, which she felt had become too dangerous. He agreed to try.
The President became aware of Elisa's 'second job,' and when she called Greaves to warn him that the attack on Las Vegas had been pushed up, she was killed. A CIA agent informed Greaves the President very much wanted to speak with him, and a car was being sent.
Elisa's death shook Greaves badly, and was one of his prime motivations to go public with the Followers.
Elisa is probably the source of at least some of the blackmail material Greaves has on the President and the Vice President.
Susan replaced Elisa as the President of the United State's secretary. An unattractive woman with a tough-as-nails attitude, she takes her job as the President's gatekeeper very seriously, once refusing to let the Secretary of State through because he hadn't phoned ahead for an appointment.
Susan may be based on the character Deborah Fiderer from the TV show The West Wing.
- Voice actor: ? (US), Mariko Takigawa (Japan)
The President knew about the Transformers during Colonel Franklin's investigation of them. Shortly before the landslide at Boulder, Colorado, Six-Speed was pulled over by the police, he used a hologram of the President to disguise his lack of a driver. Naturally, seeing the leader of the free world at the wheel of a tiny green race car totally freaked the cops out, and the Mini-Con was able to drive off in the confusion.
Much later, the President officially named Franklin as Earth's ambassador to Cybertron.
Live-action film series
The President seems almost insignificant during the Decepticon invasion, with Secretary of Defense John Keller pretty much running the show. Mostly, he wears red socks, has a penchant for Ding Dongs and speaks with a cheesy southwestern accent and stereotypical dialect ("Can you wrangle me up some Ding Dongs, darlin'?"). He also seems unconcerned with tiny, crazy robots hacking into the computers of his ride—that is, until he's thrown in a bunker somewhere after the resulting emergency landing. He ordered Sector 7 to be terminated and the remains of the dead Decepticons disposed of into the Laurentian Abyss.M! — He may be based off George W. Bush, or may in fact be the President himself, as his face is never shown, and the voice sounds similar, which is ironic as Bush focused on battling terrorists during both terms.
Following Decepticon occupation, the President is dead and John Keller nowhere to be found; the hawkish Vice President, Theodore F. Allen, became the new President following the liberation of America. Allen distrusts both Autobot and Decepticon, viewing them both as hostile alien invaders using Earth as a battleground for their war, so it would probably piss him off considerably to know Starscream's Insecticons have planted a mind-controlling cerebro-strip in his head.
Revenge of the Fallen film
While perhaps even more insignificant than in the previous invasion, it is notable that the President at this time is Barack Obama, rather than a parody of The President. He is reported by name as being moved to a bunker, and can be seen in flashes speaking to the public as the Fallen speaks on the hacked television broadcast. He has no direct physical appearance, but is noted for sending National Security Advisor Galloway who questioning the need for the Autobots, as well as giving him authority to supposedly temporarily shut down NEST after The Fallen's broadcast.
Dark of the Moon film
Barack Obama made a direct appearance in this film, in flashback form, where Sam Witwicky was given a presidential medal for his efforts in quelling The Fallen's invasion and near destruction of Earth, the same awards ceremony where he met Carly Brooks-Spencer. Unfortunately, this awards ceremony also acted as a double-edged sword for Sam Witwicky, as he was later denied a job specifically because the president who awarded him the medal was Obama, as the job he tried to apply for was mostly run by Republicans.
- The President never appeared in the original animated series, but he did have a cameo in Inhumanoids, one of Transformers "sister series" produced by Sunbow and arguably set in the same continuity. Appearing only as a voice from offscreen speaking to his aides in The Surma Plan in 1986, the President of the United States was a soft-spoken man concerned about the future but full of faith in the better nature of humanity. He was portrayed by voice actor Neil Ross, also a great communicator.
- Optimus Prime's Holomatter avatar is modeled after Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of United States.