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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 
  • Former Vice President Al Gore is a member of the MST3k Information Club.
    • And 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.
      • Oh, and he's also had a couple 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.
  • Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont 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.
  • American Democratic politician Walter Mondale is a fan of Monty Python.
  • 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 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.
  • The late Jack Layton, 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 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 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.
  • Republican Congressman and 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.
  • 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, 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. 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 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, Republican 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.
  • American 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.
  • The late former Senator 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.
  • Senator 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.
  • 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 person who linked 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.
  • 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 Brothers Grimm had collected.
  • Interestingly enough, while the royals and most of the high official British politicians didn't like Spitting Image at all the British Conservative politicians Edwina Currie and Norman Tebbitt did enjoy watching the show, even though their puppets were not all flattering portrayals of them. Labour politician Roy Hattersley also liked it, despite being portrayed having a mouth like birdbath.

    Prime Ministers 
  • As the above quote already explained, Margaret Thatcher wasn't a fan of Monty Python. But she did enjoy Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister so much that she actually wrote a sketch for herself and the two main actors to perform during a meeting.
  • Winston Churchill's favorite movie was That Hamilton Woman.
  • Jens Stoltenberg, former Prime minister of Norway and lined up to be the next secretary general of NATO, is a gamer. He specifically likes games like Age of Empires and Total War because it involves building a society. It also involves killing lots of people. Should the Finns and the Swedes be watching their borders?
  • Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is a fan of Game of Thrones - due to the circumstances of her removal from office, there were jokes going around about her re-enacting it in the workplace.
  • Taro Aso, former Prime Minister of Japan, is a fan of Rozen Maiden. Otaku have nicknamed him "Rozen Aso" and claim him as one of their own, and this is referenced in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
    • His opponent and successor at the post, Yukio Hatoyama, reportedly is quite the fan of manga and anime, mentioning I"s as a personal favorite.
    • During Takaaki Mitsuhashi's 2010 campaign for the House of Councillors, he cosplayed as Gendo Ikari.
    • Junichiro Koizumi. Huge Elvis Presley and X Japan fanboy. To the degree of using "Forever Love" as background music for several political campaign ads for the Liberal Democratic Party during the 2001 elections.
    • Considering the Japanese as a whole, it's likely that most positions in the government are filled with otaku of one level or another.
  • Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shown his side for singing and playing the piano. He's also a Trekkie.
    • A fair bit of that public display of artistry was done in response to Mr. Harper's public defamatory statements about Canadian artists during the 2008 campaign. In other words, he's trying his best to look like One of Us.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron is a big fan of Spooks.
  • British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was a Tintin fan.

    Presidents 
  • 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.
  • 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 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).
  • Saddam Hussein was a huge fan of The Godfather. He enjoyed the message that "family comes before everything else." [1]
    • Uday and Qusay Hussein were apparently such huge Star Wars fans that they based some of the helmets on Imperial helmets.
  • Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito was a Laurel and Hardy fan and owned a 35mm copy of one of their films: "Busy Bodies".
    • Benito Mussolini was also a Laurel and Hardy fan. He particularly liked "The Devil's Brother" (also known as "Fra Diavolo"), as it was set in Italy. Mussolini even met their producer Hal Roach in Hollywood .
  • Lee Teng-Hui, the first native Taiwanese to become president of said country and later its first democratically-elected leader, is quite the "Japanophile", along with many men and women of his generation, having graduated with honors from Kyoto University and volunteered for the Japanese Army in 1944. Geekier, he's a known otaku and after his retirement, cosplayed as the hawkish principal (with a similar military background to his own) from Sakigake!! Otokojuku to promote Japanese cinema and the show.
  • In a fan mail letter by Stan Laurel from August 1962 Laurel mentions that Tito, French president Vincent Auriol and Prince Harold of Denmark liked to watch Laurel & Hardy films, but expressed doubt if Hitler or Stalin ever saw them? (Note: Stalin did and he was a fan.)
  • Joseph Stalin was a fan of James Cagney, Charlie Chaplin, Tarzan movies and Laurel and Hardy. Despite seeing westerns as American propaganda he also enjoyed watching them. Yet, when he heard John Wayne was a staunch anti-communist he planned to have him murdered. Nikita Khrushchev personally made sure that Stalin's daft order wasn't carried out. Khrushchev also told John Wayne this when the politician visited the U.S.A. in 1959.
  • Leonid Brezhnev was a huge fan of American Westerns. In particular, he loved The Rifleman and met its star Chuck Connors on several occasions. During Brezhnev's 1973 visit to the US, Connors even presented the Premier with two Colt .45s he'd used on his show Branded.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev named his policy of letting Eastern European countries decide for themselves whether they wanted communism or democracy his My Way doctrine, after Frank Sinatra.
  • The current Russian Prime Minister (and former President) Dmitri Medvedev is a fan of classical Hard Rock (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin, among others), which is geeky nowadays... especially in Mother Russia, where even geeks are badass.
  • Czech President Vaclav Havel was a huge Frank Zappa and Velvet Underground fan. During the Cold War, when Havel was still a poet and playwright, all subversive music was banned, which may also explain his admiration for their music. After Havel's inauguration he made Zappa his Cultural Ambassador of Czechoslovakia and invited him to visit his country!
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt loved Laurel and Hardy and his favorite movie was "I'm No Angel" with Mae West.
  • John F. Kennedy was a huge fan of the James Bond books. Surprisingly enough, his favorite movie was reportedly Roman Holiday.
  • Lyndon Johnson listened a lot to Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water during the final years of life. It cheered him up whenever he felt down.
  • Richard Nixon 's favorite movie was Patton. He also appeared in a few episodes of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In delivering the memorable line "Sock it to me?"
  • Jimmy Carter is such a fan of poet Dylan Thomas that he even recorded a special audio message for tourists who visit the poet's birthplace.
  • Ronald Reagan was a huge movie fan, which shouldn't surprise anyone, given the fact that he was a former Hollywood actor. He frequently referenced movies in his speeches (Dirty Harry, Back to the Future, Rambo,...) and even based his Star Wars defense program on the movie Star Wars.
    • For those interested: here is a long list of all the films he and his wife Nancy watched in the White House (though what they thought of them isn't mentioned) [2]
  • George H.W. Bush is a huge fan of Fawlty Towers. During the Gulf War (1991) he used to watch episodes to relax from ongoing stress.
  • Bill Clinton loved High Noon. He screened it a record 17 times in the White House. Interestingly enough, other US Presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan were also big fans.
    • Clinton has also named One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez his favorite novel of all time. During his presidency he made sure that Marquez, who was denied a visa to the USA for more than 30 years, was allowed to be a guest in the country again.
  • American President Barack Obama has demonstrated a deep familiarity with Star Trek, joked at the Alfred E. Smith memorial dinner about being sent by his father Jor-El to save the planet Earth, apparently dressed as a wizard to take his daughters to a midnight release of a Harry Potter book, and according to a possibly apocryphal report on tor.com is familiar enough with Internet memes to make Zero Wing jokes. You just know if he ever gets in a war, something will be called "Operation All Your Base Are Belong To US." He also collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics; in fact, he is reputedly a collector of the mylar-bag-and-backboard, never read'em stripe. This has been escalated and expanded on here.
    • Wired has several more examples.
    • The Spider-Man Obama crossover thing.
    • It was also pretty well publicized that he and Michelle bought their daughters a Wii for Christmas. Poking fun at his failed attempt at bowling during the campaign, he joked that he was much better at Wii Sports Bowling than real life. Gamers everywhere rejoiced — well, except those too-"hardcore"-for-Wii gamers.
    • When he met Leonard Nimoy, he greeted him with the Vulcan hand salute.
    • In a National News Conference about Health Care, Obama argued one of his points by talking about comparing costs for "A red pill and a blue pill."
    • John Hodgman had a whole speech on this.
    • There's also that Newsweek behind-the-scenes special (misquoted at the bottom of the first paragraph) where he was observed by one of their reporters making his wife roll her eyes at a joke about her belt having dilithium crystals on it.
    • And then there's him wielding a frigging LIGHTSABER on the White House lawn in a photo-op for the Olympics.
    • And he appeared in a MythBusters episode where they try to make the solar powered death ray work for the third time. The stated goal of the appearance is to encourage science and technology education.
      • Speaking of death rays... Obama named Stephen Chu Secretary of Energy. Chu is known for his strong critic of fossil fuels, for the Nobel Prize he earned for cooling atoms with laser: the US president hired the inventor of the Ice Beam to fight against Global Warming
    • Obama's favorite films are The Godfather I and II: "Three not that much. That saga — I love that movie. ...I think my favorite has to be, the opening scene of the first Godfather... It sets the tone for the whole movie."
    • Michelle herself; she was the salutatorian of her high school. Although she pales in comparison to Barack's nerdiness, that's still pretty nerdy.
    • He's also familiar with the Vlogbrothers and Nerdfighteria.
    • During a press conference on military technology he jokingly admitted they were building Iron Man
  • Dictator Idi Amin of Uganda was fond of Walt Disney cartoons, though he liked other animation just as much. After he was driven out of his country in 1979 several reels of Tom and Jerry cartoons were found in his palace.
  • Yasser Arafat also enjoyed watching Tom and Jerry because he felt sympathy towards the mouse defeating an aggressor ten times his size.

    Royals 
  • Gaius Julius Caesar wrote fan fiction about Hercules (the Superman of his day) in his youth.
  • English medieval king Alfred The Great was a prince from a semi-civilized country where almost every noble was a Jerk Jock by inclination. He studied classical literature, wrote about theology, and sent many a savage plundering Northman to his doom. He was a nerd with a sword.
  • Philippe II of Spain collected paintings by Hieronymus Bosch and even had one near his bedside.
  • King Juan Carlos of Spain is a radio amateur and motorcyclist.
  • King Abdullah II of Jordan is an acknowledged fan of Star Trek, and guest-starred on Star Trek: Voyager when he was still a prince. Later, when Michael Bay was going to film Revenge of the Fallen in Jordan, he ordered 38 military helicopters to transport the equipment to Petra, allowing the film crew those overhead shots of the same ruins that appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Turns out His Majesty is a big fan of Transformers and loves the franchise.
    • King Abdullah has recently announced the creation of a Star Trek theme park to be built in his country, which he will be funding.
    • Abdullah follows his father Hussein in this regard. Hussein heavily encouraged Hollywood films to shoot in Jordan, including Lawrence of Arabia and Mohammed: Messenger of God, providing considerable logistical support and military extras. He actually met his second wife (Abdullah's mother) while she worked on the Lawrence film crew.
      • The late King Hussein was also an enthusiastic aviator, and personally had a hand in the founding of the nation's first aerobatic display team.
  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly a big fan of Doctor Who. She's also a Wrench Wench (or at least she was during World War II).
    • Michael Grade was the only BBC controller to have never been knighted. Grade is also the man most people consider to be responsible of the cancellation of the classic series. Take from that what you will.
    • She's also a techie; at an age (born in 1926) where many people have long since stopped keeping pace with new technology, she is an avid BlackBerry user. It was her idea to televise her coronation (television then having only one channel that went off the air by the evening and still not as popular as radio), which gained popularity by the coronation. In the 1970s she sent the first email in the UK. She also enjoys playing ''Wii Bowling''. When Obama first met with her, he considered an iPod to be an appropriate gift for her — and she already had one. It's not just that: the iPod was her idea, as she had mentioned that hers was a generation or two out of date. Let the speculation as to whether she and Obama exchanged private numbers begin!
    • She is also a The Beatles fan from the first hour. The band were also the first music artists to receive a MBE medal.
  • Prince Charles is, if anything, an even bigger nerd than his mother. Since his youth he has been a major fan of The Goon Show to the point of making fan film (and doing a very creditable Bluebottle impersonation). Apart from that he is also the highest ranking noble Monty Python fan.
  • Queen Margaretha II of Denmark is a major Lord of the Rings fan, and has illustrated several editions of the Danish translation. She also studied archaeology when she went to uni, and remains an avid amateur archaeologist.
  • King Baudouin and his brother, the later king Albert II of Belgium learned Dutch by reading Nero. Interestingly enough the comic strip's creator Marc Sleen is thus far the only Belgian comic strip artist to ever have been knighted.
  • The Japanese Emperor Hirohito loved Disney cartoons. He visited Disneyland during his official visit to the United States and received a copy of his personal favorite Disney cartoon Lambert The Sheepish Lion as a gift. After his death Hirohito was buried wearing a Mickey Mouse watch.

    Religious leaders 
  • A copy of Tintin in Tibet was once given to the Dalai Lama. He was also photographed reading it.
  • Pope Francis I is a huge fan of J. R. R. Tolkien (himself a devout Catholic). He has even used The Lord of the Rings in his theology writings.
  • Pope John Paul II enjoyed watching the German detective series Derrick.
  • Radicial Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, best known for being a pain in the ass to the US in Iraq, received the derisive nickname "Mullah Atari" in seminary because he was gaming when he should have been studying.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. was a fan of Star Trek, and even convinced Nichelle "Uhura" Nichols not to quit the show.
    • King, however, was less interested in Star Trek and more in the fact that she was cast in a role that had her as an equal among her crew in a job that wasn't a stereotype.

    Other 


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