One Of Us / Political Geeks

"Now that brings me to the Liberal Party. During the last few days, I gather that there have been some ill-natured jokes about their new symbol, a bird... Politics is a Serious Business, and one should not lower the tone unduly, so I will say only this of the Liberal Democrats' new symbol and the party it symbolizes: This is an ex-parrot... And Now For Something Completely Different."
Margaret Thatcher, Conservative Party Conference, 1990note 


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    Regular politicians and government officials 
  • US Democrat and former US Vice President Al Gore is a member of the MST3k Information Club. He is also an avowed fan of Frank Zappa, stating so on the congressional record during the PMRC hearings, and a clip of the statement was used by Zappa himself in an audio collage on the hearings, available on Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention. Gore also had a couple of guest appearances on Futurama. Although how much of that is nerdity and how much is the fact that his daughter is one of the writers is uncertain. But he did include a clip of Futurama in his environmental and Academy Award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
  • US Democrat and senator of Vermont Patrick Leahy is a huge Batman fan. In fact, at his own request, he lent his voice to an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, and had a cameo in Batman & Robin, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises (here he is in TDK). He gets props for donating the money he earned from those gigs to the Montpellier public library.
  • US Democratic politician, former Senator of Minnesota and former US Vice President Walter Mondale is a fan of Monty Python.
  • US Democrat and Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado not only fought SOPA / Protect IP, but is an avid League of Legends player who posts on the official forums. (He claims he's partial to Anivia and Maokai, for those who are curious.)
  • Former US Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has quoted Pokémon 2000 in debates and and his announcement of dropping out of the campaign (where he did actually mention it was from Pokémon), and his 9-9-9 plan may have been inspired by SimCity. Whether he's a nerd or just has a nerd in the family he's soaked this stuff in from is uncertain, however, and an interview where he seemed to say that Superman used Kryptonite like Batman used gadgets would make the latter seem more probable.
  • Canadian social democratic politician Jack Layton, once the former leader of the Canadian Official Opposition, as well as his wife and fellow member of parliament Olivia Chow, were both Trekkies. Yes, that is indeed him at a Trekkie convention. In a custom-tailored Starfleet uniform.
  • The First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond, a self-described Star Trek "obsessive," was awarded an honourary membership of the Starfleet fan organisation in 2010.
  • Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, arch-conservative Republican politician, activist, pundit, and Presidential candidate, spends much of his free time reading spy novels and reviewing them on Amazon. A somewhat tame example, but a lot more than you'd expect from a 67-year-old Southerner. And never let it be said that his reviews are half-assed; at one point, he was an Amazon Top 500 Reviewer.
    • In addition to reviewing books, he also writes them. Not just the typical political punditry books, either, but best-selling Civil War Alternate History novels. It's about as close to Fan Fiction as can be without quite going over.
    • He is obsessed with dinosaurs. During his campaign for the Republican nomination for president in the 2012 election, he said that those who would benefit from his policies were "people who like dinosaurs." There was a cast was made from a T-Rex skull from the Smithsonian mounted in his office during his time as Speaker of the House.
    • Newt is also known to be a huge Star Wars and sci-fi buff. So much so that when the History Channel did a documentary about the literary and mythical themes of Star Wars, Newt was one of the BigNameFans who appeared throughout the documentary giving commentary about his favorite aspects of the saga. He also made the comment that "Star Wars proves that there is real evil in the world and that it can be defeated", which you can either consider to be funny, ironic, hypocritical or a tad disturbing.
  • In 2012, the German Pirate Party experienced a huge wave of popularity and won seats in several state parliamants. Started as a protest movement against outdated copyright laws and inadequate handling of information technology by politics, it consists of a great number of young academics and engineers, making it the quintessential Nerd Party. Which is not helped at all by the fact that one of its most prominent members, Christopher Lauer, is a highly gifted physicist and historian of science and technology who is affected by ADD. But there's a good chance that he's invited to talk shows and interviews because of that fact.
    • Their Berlin faction also has Ponytime.
  • A 2012 candidate for the Maine state senate was actually attacked by her opponent for playing World of Warcraft. When she won, she promptly linked to a familiar theme on her Facebook page.
  • In Britain, Labour MP Tom Watson is a huge fan of video games, like Batman Arkham City and Halo. He's also a fan of Mark Hamill.
  • US Republican Congressman and former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is well known to be a huge nerd. He's an eager policy wonk who geeks out about policy details relating to the mathematics of the federal deficit and other issues, making him one of the best known math geeks in Congress. He is also on record calling Monty Python and the Holy Grail his favorite movie, and Radiohead as his favorite band.
  • US Republican and Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie (R) is an obsessive fan of Bruce Springsteen. Like world's biggest fan level of obsessive. Since the two of them have opposite politics (Springsteen is a well-known liberal Democrat, and was a prominent supporter of Barack Obama's 2008 run), all of Christie's attempts to reach out to the Boss have sunk like a lead balloon. At least until Hurricane Sandy, when Springsteen gave a few shoutouts to the Governor for his efforts to get assistance for the devastated Jersey Shore.note  Reports have it that the squeeing could be heard from New York to Baltimore.
  • In 2003, San Jose publication The Wave administered the Voight-Kampff test on San Francisco's current Mayoral candidates. Generally, the candidates were confused but willing to go along with it... Only US Democratic politician and gay rights activist Tom Ammiano actually recognized it as being from Blade Runner.
  • Libertarian leaning Republican congressman Ron Paul has compared neo-conservatives to Orcs for their aggressive foreign policy. He has also made references to a Batman comic book where Batman rescues the work of von Mises from the Nazis.
  • Rick Snyder, US Republican and governor of Michigan, is a huge fan of Star Wars, MythBusters, Good Eats, and classic rock. He even calls himself a nerd in his own campaign tagline. With a resume like that, he naturally won the election.
  • US Republican politician and Governor of Utah John Huntsman is a fan of Captain Beefheart.
  • British Conservative MP Mike Weatherley is a World of Warcraft player, as best shown when he sparked a debate about whether the theft of in-game items, paid for with real money, counted as an actual crime.
  • US Republican and Senator of Alaska Ted Stevens was known to be a huge comic book nerd and often wore a The Incredible Hulk tie on the Senate floor.
  • Chuck Grassley, Republican Senator from Iowa, is a Japonophile who used Gratuitous Japanese to imply that the people responsible for the mortgage crisis should take the honourable samurai way out.
  • US Republican, Senator of Arizona and former presidential candidate John McCain is a fan of 24 and appeared in an uncredited split-second cameo as a CTU suit. He's also said on-record that his favorite superhero is Batman. In a speech on the floor of the Senate, McCain used a rather stiff reference to The Lord of the Rings to criticize some fellow Republicans for, as he saw it, playing at being heroes. The kicker was when one that he named, former Senate candidate Sharon Angle, responded in kind and took being called a Hobbit as a badge of honor. His favorite movie is Viva Zapata, because, as he told it: "It's a heroic tale of a person who sacrificed everything for what he believed in and there's some of the most moving scenes in that movie that I've ever seen."
    • Both McCain as well as former Secretary of State Colin Powell are proud fans of Abba.
  • US Democrat politician Alan Grayson, in reference to Dick Cheney, recently said "On the Internet there's an acronym that's used to apply to situations like this. It's called STFU." He recently sent out a fundraising email based entirely around how the recent Green Lantern film could have been better if it had included an iconic exchange from the Dennis O'Neil/Neal Adams run on the comic.
  • It's probably not surprising that Edward Snowden (the man who leaked the NSA documents detailing American intelligence data collection) is a computer geek, given his profession. It's perhaps more notable that he is a serious fan of anime and role-playing video games.
  • Italian politician and novelist Niccolò Machiavelli, best known for The Prince, used to dress up in a toga and pretend to be a Roman, imagining himself in the Roman Senate and other surprisingly nerdy things for a man with a Magnificent Bastard reputation.
  • Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels was a huge film fan and especially liked Gone with the Wind and Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It has been said that Hitler himself also liked Disney cartoons and some supposedly hand drawn drawings of Disney characters by Hitler have surfaced, but their authenticity has not been confirmed. Also all American movies were banned in Nazi occupied Europe after the war started, so politics and ideology still came before everything else. Hitler and Goebbels' fondness for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs can be easily explained though: it was a fairy tale that the German The Brothers Grimm had collected.
  • Former (due to a very unfortunate incident) IMF Chairman Dominique Strauss Kahn is a champion chess player and he owns an iPad. Which he uses mostly to play chess.
    • In a 1992 episode of Desert Island Discs British Conservative Party politician Norman Tebbit choose music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Giuseppe Verdi, Gustav Holst, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ludwig van Beethoven and Frank Sinatra as his favorites. He was also, despite being mercilessly mocked on the show, a fan of Spitting Image.
      • Two other British politicians who liked Spitting Image despite being regular targets in the program were Labour politician Roy Hattersley and British Conservative Party politician Edwina Currie, who was Minister of Health (1986-1988) under Thatcher. They both appeared in a lot of interviews and documentaries about the show. Hattersley grow very fond of his puppet, despite being portrayed of having a mouth like a birdbath. In Currie's case her love for the show is understandable. Her portrayal as an evil vampire actually made her more notable to the British public. Also bear in mind that many high profile celebrities, including the British Royal Family and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, absolutely despised the show, so Tebbit, Hattersley and Currie at least showed some sense of comedy.
  • Curitiba City Hall often makes references to movies, video games and cartoons when posting news on its Facebook page.
  • Both former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former US President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty once appeared as a special guest in a 1983 episode of Dynasty.
  • British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock appeared in a music video by comedienne Tracey Ullman: "My Guy's Mad At Me". During a 1998 broadcast of Desert Island Discs he named Giuseppe Verdi, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Simon & Garfunkel, John Lennon and Dory Previn among his favorite music.
  • US Republican politician and former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney cited Raiders of the Lost Ark and O Brother, Where Art Thou? as his two favorite movies of all time on his Facebook page.
  • US Republican politician and former Vice President Dan Quayle named Ferris Bueller's Day Off his favorite movie, because "it reminded me of my time in school." Which is a strange thing to say considering Ferris actually skips school for most of the story.
  • US Republican politician and Senator of Pennsylvania Rick Santorum favors Field of Dreams as his favorite picture.
  • Flamboyant mayor of London Boris Johnson was a guest in a 2006 episode of Desert Island Discs where he choose music by The Beatles, Booker T And The M Gs, Johann Sebastian Bach, The Rolling Stones, Johannes Brahms, Van Morrison, The Clash and Ludwig van Beethoven as his favorites to take with him to a deserted island.
  • Former British Conservative Party leader William Hague guest starred on a 2001 episode of Desert Island Discs where he choose music by Fryderyk Chopin, Edward Elgar, Bryn Terfel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Scott Hamilton, Gene Harris, Walking Tim and Frank Sinatra as his favorite records.
  • In a 1971 episode of Desert Island Discs British politician Glenda Jackson choose music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Igor Stravinsky, Antonín Dvořàk, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ella Fitzgerald and Dmitri Shostakovich, with her favorite book "Persuasion" by Jane Austen. She appeared again on the show in 1998 when she choose music by Ike And Tina Turner, Igor Stravinsky, Elvis Presley, John Adams, Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, Stevie Wonder and Michael Tippett as her favorite records.
  • In a 1989 episode of Desert Island Discs controversial British Conservative Party politician Enoch Powell, known for his 1968 anti-immigrational "Rivers of Blood" speech choose music by Joseph Haydn, three pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven and four pieces by Richard Wagner.
  • Labour politician Tony Benn choose music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Johann Sebastian Bach, Flanders & Swann, Felix Mendelssohn, Joan Baez, Mahalia Jackson, Roy Bailey, Stephen Benn in a 1989 episode of Desert Island Discs and "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx as his favorite book.
  • US Republican politician Rudolph Giuliani, who famously was major of New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, regularly appeared on Saturday Night Live playing a cab driver complaining about New York and uttering the line "Friggin' Giuliani". He seems to like TV shows, as he played himself in episodes of Seinfeld, Mad About You, Dellaventura, Eddie, Cosby, "Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child", Law & Order and Hannity. Together with Tony Blair he is thus far the only politician to ever accept a guest spot on The Simpsons, more specifically in the episode "Stop Or My Dog Will Shoot". He is also a big fan of Opera [1]. Giuliani also played himself in comedy movies like Anger Management (2003). He also once performed in drag as Marilyn Monroe at the Inner Circle dinner on March 8, 1997. Alongside actress Julie Andrews. We are NOT making this up: [2]
  • French far right politician Jean-Marie LePen reportedly loved the comic strip "Super Dupond" by Jacques Lob, Gotlib, Alexis and Jean Solé. The series is about a stereotypical chauvinist and xenophobic French Jerk fighting for everything French. LePen clearly didn't understand the comic strip was meant to be a Satire of such people. Disgusted by his approval the creators eventually terminated the series.
  • Senator Scott Ludlam, deputy leader of the Australian Greens, plays role-playing games, board games, and video games, and participated in a live D&D session at PAX Australia 2015 (he brought his own dice).
  • Texas Senator and 2016 Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is a movie buff who's favorite movie is The Princess Bride, which he quotes a lot. In addition, he is a huge Star Wars fan and has admitted that he cried during an emotional scene in The Force Awakens. He's also a fan of House of Cards and does voice impressions.
  • A photo surfaced of 2016 Presidential candidiate Hillary Clinton playing a Game Boy in 1993, which she said she'd become addicted to when dealing with the death of her father. On the 2016 campaign trail, she said she liked to watch cat GIFs.
  • President Trump's Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, is a genuine anime otaku, and even cosplayer, and regularly attended anime conventions.

    Prime Ministers 

    Presidents 
  • Julius Caesar wrote fan fiction about Hercules (the Superman of his day) in his youth.
  • Charles De Gaulle:
    • My only international rival is Tintin''.
    • Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny of Astérix once heard that De Gaulle had named all the members of his cabinet after Asterix characters during a meeting. They had heard this first hand from one of the politicians. Later however the minister in question denied the story in the strongest possible terms.
  • Chinese President Chiang Kai-Shek became a Tintin fan after he read The Blue Lotus and was inspired by Hergé's stance against the Japanese occupation of China in the 1930s in this story. He invited Hergé to visit China, but the artist only managed to get there after Chiang Kai Shek had already passed away.
  • Adolf Hitler and most Nazi members were obsessed with the music of Richard Wagner. They watched all his operas and enjoyed the German folkloric themes in the stories. That Wagner himself was an antisemite might have also contributed to this fandom. Tragically, playing Wagner now has unfortunate implications, owing to the Nazi Party's love for his work.
    • Hitler also enjoyed watching movies. His favourite films were King Kong (1933) and Lives Of A Bengal Lancer, which involves a handful of white people defeating hordes of Bengalis and upholding imperial rule. Apparently he liked it for the soundtrack...
    • As most Germans of his age he was also a huge fan of Karl May. He enjoyed his Cowboys and Indians stories and read them whenever he felt despair. He even recommended the books to his military staff and praised May's "tactical finesse and circumspection". Ironically enough, most of May's stories feature pacifist messages and preach racial tolerance, something that Hitler obviously ignored in his policies.
  • Kim Jong Il, dictator of North Korea, was a huge film fan and had a collection of thousands and thousands of movies. He loved films starring Elizabeth Taylor and enjoyed the James Bond and Daffy Duck franchise. The only Bond film he didn't like was (surprise, surprise) Die Another Day (where North Korean terrorists are the villains).
    • The tyrant was also a huge fan of Godzilla. So much even that he ordered the kidnapping of a South Korean director to direct a ripoff of Godzilla.
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