- "President" redirects here. For analogous positions in other countries, see President of the Islamic Republic of Kamistan or President of the Russian Federation.
The President of the United States (POTUS) was the elected head of state of the United States of America. The president led the executive branch of the federal government and also held the title of commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces.
Powers and duties
The Constitution of the United States enumerated the specific powers granted to the president and to the executive branch. The duties of the president included directing the foreign and domestic policy of the United States, appointing federal officers, and conducting treaties with foreign powers. As commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces, the president was authorized to order military engagements with the advice and consent of Congress. ("Day 2: 8:00am-9:00am", "Day 2: 11:00pm-12:00am", "Day 7: 8:00am-9:00am", "Day 8: 4:00pm-5:00pm")
During serious national security crises, the president assumed an active role in directing federal law enforcement efforts. ("Day 2: 8:00am-9:00am", "Day 2: 7:00am-8:00am", "Day 3: 5:00am-6:00am", "Day 7: 8:00am-9:00am")
The president was indirectly empowered to draft and introduce legislation, via senators or representatives, for the United States Congress to pass into law. They were also granted the power to veto any legislation passed by Congress. ("Day 3: 10:00pm-11:00pm", Veto Power)
The term of office for president and vice president is four years. ("Day 3: 1:00pm-2:00pm")
The modern presidential campaign begins with the primary process, in which the major political parties of the United States nominate their chosen candidate to run in the general election. ("Day 1: 12:00am-1:00am")
During the general election, a series of presidential debates are held, in which the major candidates discuss and debate the issues facing the nation. ("Day 3: 5:00pm-6:00pm")
The president and their immediate family typically reside in the White House, located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The White House features a secure underground bunker for use in times of grave national crises. ("Day 4: 11:00pm-12:00am")
The president traveled for state business on a U.S. Air Force Boeing 747 designated Air Force One. On occasions in which the president traveled aboard a marine aircraft, that aircraft was designated Marine One. ("Day 2: 11:00pm-12:00am", "Day 5: 6:00am-7:00am")
In the event of a vacancy due to death, removal, or resignation, the vice president assumes the office of president. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution dictates the procedures involved, also stipulating that the president can be removed from his position with a vote by his cabinet if he is deemed incapable of executing his duties. ("Day 2: 2:00am-3:00am")
- George Washington (Veto Power)
- John Adams ("Day 7: 9:00pm-10:00pm")
- Andrew Jackson (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- Abraham Lincoln ("Day 2: 11:00pm-12:00am", "Day 6: 6:00am-7:00am")
- James Garfield (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- Theodore Roosevelt (–1909) ("Day 9: 11:00am-12:00pm")
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1940s) ("Day 5: 7:00am-8:00am", "Day 6: 6:00am-7:00am", "Day 9: 11:00am-12:00pm")
- Harry S. Truman ("Day 6: 6:00am-7:00am")
- John F. Kennedy ("Day 5: 6:00am-7:00am")
- LBJ (Findings at CTU)
- Richard Nixon (1970s) (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- Gerald Ford (1970s) (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- Carter (1979) (Veto Power)
- Ronald Reagan ("Day 2: 3:00am-4:00am")
- George H. W. Bush (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- George W. Bush (24: The Ultimate Guide)
- Obama (2012) ("Day 9: 5:00pm-6:00pm")
Harry Barnes served as president within two years prior to Day 1. Barnes' administration saw a great expansion of the U.S. national security apparatus in the aftermath of 9/11, including the passage of the Patriot Act and the controversial proposal of the New American Privacy Act, spearheaded by Barnes' Attorney General James Quincy. (Veto Power)
While attending the G8 summit in Los Angeles, President Barnes and Chinese Premier Xu Boxiong were exposed to the Cat's Claw virus by a radical ecoterrorist during an event at the Vanderbilt Complex. Both Barnes and Xu were provided with the antidote before they became symptomatic. (Cat's Claw)
After winning the Democratic Party's nomination, Senator David Palmer of Maryland won the general election with 60% of the popular vote, becoming the first African-American president in United States history. Palmer served one term as President of the United States, from shortly before Day 2 to shortly after Day 3. ("Day 2: 8:00am-9:00am", "Day 3: 12:00pm-1:00pm", "Day 5: 7:00am-8:00am")
As president, Palmer faced several national security crises, including resolutions to a nuclear crisis and the containment of a biological virus. Palmer was forced to temporarily grant Vice President Prescott the powers of the presidency twice in the same day under the 25th Amendment; once, as a result of Palmer's supposed indecisiveness, secondly, resulting from an incapacitating assassination attempt. After the death of his ex-wife Sherry Palmer, he decided not to seek a second term. When President Charles Logan had difficulties making decisions, Palmer was brought in as a special advisor in Day 4.
During Day 2, James Prescott utilized the 25th Amendment and became the acting president. Eventually, Palmer had his position returned; however, an assassination attempt quickly reversed this. Prescott continued to serve as the commander-in-chief until Palmer was stable enough to return to his duties.
When President David Palmer dropped out of the election, John Keeler later became president. Keeler served as president during Day 4, but an attack on Air Force One incapacitated him. Keeler, suffering life-threatening injuries, was unable to return to his duties.
When an attack on Air Force One by Mitch Anderson caused President Keeler to be incapacitated, Charles Logan was sworn in as president. Holding the position through Day 4 and Day 5, Logan was unseated when his responsibility for the assassination of David Palmer and the selling of Sentox VX nerve gas to terrorists was exposed to the public. He was kept under house arrest for a time, until being pardoned by President Daniels. On Day 8, he offered his services to President Taylor, who took him on as a special advisor, until Logan attempted suicide.
When President Charles Logan was unseated and arrested for treason, Hal Gardner was sworn in and finished up the term started by President Keeler. It is unknown if Gardner ran for office after the term was over.
Wayne Palmer ran for office, when Tom Lennox convinced him, and won the election. Wayne served as the president during the events of Day 6 while co-conspirators, including Reed Pollock, schemed to assassinate him. When he was incapacitated, Noah Daniels became the Acting President. Wayne later died from his injuries.
Senator Allison Taylor won the general election and became the successor to Daniels as President during Redemption. She was also the first female President. However, sometime after Day 8, Taylor stated she would resign from office due to her complicity in the cover-up of the assassination of IRK President Omar Hassan.
Vice President Mitchell Hayworth took over the Presidency during 24: Deadline, on the same day as, but after the events of Day 8, after Taylor resigned from office due to her complicity in the cover-up of the assassination of IRK President Omar Hassan. It is unknown if Hayworth ran for re-election or if he was defeated by Heller.
Former Secretary of Defense James Heller became President, presumably either defeating Hayworth in the primaries or general election. Despite his worsening condition of Alzheimer's, he stuck out his position as President, joining forces with fugitive Jack Bauer to prevent an oncoming drone attack from British terrorist Margot Al-Harazi. Following Al-Harazi's defeat, Heller was forced to deal with a military conflict with China after rogue operative Cheng Zhi tricked a U.S. submarine into sinking the Chinese carrier Shenyang. Though the conflict was eventually stopped, Heller indicated he would not remain in office much longer, due to his deteriorating mental faculties.
- The sitting (male) President of the United States is not identified in 24: Legacy.
Background information and notes
Timeline of presidents
- Real presidents who served during the airing of 24 include George W. Bush (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009), Barack Obama (January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017), and Donald Trump (January 20, 2017 – January 20, 2021).
- No President on 24 has ever been re-elected. David Palmer did not run for re-election, John Keeler and Wayne Palmer were incapacitated, Charles Logan was arrested and removed from office, Noah Daniels lost to Allison Taylor, and Allison Taylor and James Heller resigned from office. Assuming they became President, Hal Gardner and Mitchell Hayworth either did not run for a full term of their own, or lost their re-election bids to Wayne Palmer and James Heller respectively.
- Of the 4 actors who portrayed US Presidents on 24 and who took part in the Main Cast, three of them have been nominated for their work on the show. Dennis Haysbert (David Palmer) was Nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2002, Gregory Itzin (Charles Logan) was Nominated for the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2006 and for best Guest Actor in 2010, and Cherry Jones (Allison Taylor) won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2009 becoming the only actor besides Kiefer Sutherland and Sarah Clarke to have won an award for their work on 24.
- David Palmer is the only President to serve a full term on 24 (albeit interrupted for a few months by Vice President Prescott as Acting President). His brother Wayne, ironically, was the shortest-lasting President seen on the show, being in office for only around three months. Noah Daniels, who served out the remainder of Wayne's term, is therefore the show's second-longest-serving President.
- David Palmer (during Season 3) and James Heller (during 24: Live Another Day) are the only Presidents to appear in all episodes of a season. David Palmer and Allison Taylor are the only Presidents to last two seasons in office, however, Palmer was briefly unseated in Season 2 on account of 25th Amendment proceedings.
- The sole mention of party affiliation in the series, in "Day 1: 5:00pm-6:00pm", establishes that David Palmer (and by extension, James Prescott) ran on the Democratic Party ticket. It's commonly assumed that Wayne Palmer and Noah Daniels were also Democratic presidents, while the others belonged to the Republican Party, although this has never been established for certain.
- Each president was introduced on-screen at least one episode before taking office. This includes Allison Taylor, who appeared briefly in Redemption prior to her inauguration.
- Season 1 and Legacy are the only seasons not to feature an on-screen President. Two of the 24 Declassified novels have posited that Harry Barnes was President in Day 1 and was defeated by David Palmer in the subsequent election.
- As Bill Buchanan noted during Season 5, Hal Gardner was to be sworn in as President following Charles Logan's resignation, and although it is never confirmed on-screen, no reason is given to suggest Bill was proven wrong in his comment.
- Allison Taylor stated that she would be resigning sometime after Day 8, however no-one was mentioned as being her successor to the presidency. Mitchell Hayworth was her Vice President during Day 7, but he was not mentioned at all in Season 8; however, in 24: Deadline, he was confirmed to be her successor.
24 actors who have portrayed Presidents of the United States include:
- Tomas Arana as President Harry Carey in The President's Staff (2013)
- John Cothran Jr. as President Howard Oliver in The Last Ship (2016)
- James Cromwell as:
- President Robert Fowler in The Sum of All Fears (2002)
- Former President D. Wire Newman in The West Wing (2004)
- President George H. W. Bush in W. (2008)
- Roger Cross as an unnamed president in the TV movie Polar Storm (2009)
- Alan Dale as President Morse in Homeland (2017)
- William Devane as:
- John F. Kennedy in The Missiles of October (1974)
- Henry Hayes in Stargate SG-1 (2004)
- An unnamed president in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
- Christopher B. Duncan as President William Johnson in The First Family (2012-15)
- Tom Everett as an unnamed president in The Island (2005)
- Bob Gunton as:
- President Richard Nixon in Elvis Meets Nixon (1997)
- President Woodrow Wilson in Iron Jawed Angels (2004)
- David Herman as:
- President Bill Clinton in MADtv (1995-96)
- President Jimmy Carter in King of the Hill (2001)
- Penny Johnson Jerald as President Amanda Waller in Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
- Benito Martinez as President Benjamin Castillo in the The Unit (2008-09)
- Neal Matarazzo as President Gerald Ford in Crisis 76 (2004)
- Esai Morales as President Julian Navarro in The Brink (2015)
- John Allen Nelson as President John F. Kennedy in Fire Bay (2011)
- Geoff Pierson as:
- President Wayne Banning in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (2001)
- Former President Cornelius Moss in Designated Survivor (2017-present)
- Robert Pine as President Stevenson in Veep (2017)
- Jimmy Smits as President Matthew Santos in The West Wing (2006)
- Kiefer Sutherland as President Tom Kirkman in Designated Survivor (2016-present)
- Jon Voight as President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Pearl Harbor (2001)
- Ray Wise as President Michael Dugan in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 (video game, 2000)