Netflix’s House of Cards follows Frank Underwood, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, a Democratic politician from Gaffney, South Carolina, as he traverses the political landscape of Washington. With season four just around the corner, we thought we would look at 10 reasons why Frank would be a good President of the United States. Please note that we tried our best, but this list does contain some spoilers.
10. Decent Poll Numbers
Granted, Frank Underwood is a fictional character working in a fictional Washington, but when compared to President Barack Obama, more people actually prefer Frank as President despite his nasty personality traits. In a poll from early 2015, Frank had a 57 percent favorable rating as opposed to President Obama, who had a favorable rating of only 46 percent.
9. A Moderate
For a whole host of different reasons, Americans are a people divided. The problem with being this divided is that one group of voters is bound to be sorely disappointed come the elections in November. Having Frank Underwood as a President, a moderate Democrat, may solve a lot of those problems. For example, in season one, Frank wants to have the best school system, but goes against traditional Democratic values and essentially goes to war with the teacher’s union. This shows Frank will do what is best for America, and not toe the party line.
8. Military Background
Frank never served in the military, but he did go to a prestigious military school. This type of experience can be incredibly beneficial when someone becomes the Commander-in-Chief because it is important to know how basic military strategies work. For example, some candidates running in the 2015 election have suggested carpet bombing ISIS. But Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who is in charge of fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria says that it would be a terrible plan because how you win a war is as important as defeating the enemy. Frank wouldn’t have to learn basic concepts like that because it would have been part of his education.
7. A Fighter
Frank Underwood’s desire to win is downright ferocious. Not only does he fight for himself, but he fights for others. Notably, there is the episode where he goes to Moscow and demands the release of a gay rights advocate who was arrested because of his lifestyle. When was the last time a president stood up for a citizen like that?
6. Outside the Box Thinker
Some of the major problems facing America need innovative solutions and outside the box thinking is Frank’s specialty. After all, how much of the story revolves around Frank convincing or manipulating people into doing a plan no one sees the merit in except for him? He even admits that he’s an out of the box thinker and that is what makes him so effective.
5. Excellent Negotiator
One of the best traits of Frank is that he is an amazing negotiator. When he sits down to hash out something with someone Frank always has a plan of attack, he sees both the small and big picture, he is calm and he knows that there is always a way to work something out. Of course, this skill would be immensely valuable for dealing with the house and senate, but it would also be great for dealing with other world leaders.
4. Job Focused
One of the major platforms of Frank’s presidency in season three is that he sets out to eliminate unemployment through his America Works program; a universal employment plan that would create 10 million jobs. Of course, the negative side of the program is that it would cost the country $500 billion, which is a lot of money to pay for something that the free market should provide. Regardless of whether it would work, it is a refreshing idea that a politician would identify a problem, develop a detailed plan, and try to implement it, instead of doing nothing and spouting rhetoric. While the plan may not be feasible in real life, it shows the type of focus Frank has to tackle a real and serious problem that gnaws away at the foundation of the American economy.
3. Self-Made Man
Frank never really goes into too much detail about his childhood, but from what we do know, he never really knew his father and he grew up poor. This suggests that he worked hard, got into a prestigious military school, and attended Harvard Law School, all this without the help of family connections. This background means that he would understand the plight of people from lower and middle class.
Frank Underwood is noted for his political savvy and the way he is able to manipulate people in rather cunning ways. Serving 11 terms, which is 22 years, as a congressman probably taught him a lot about the inner workings of the political monster. Experience is valuable in any position, but this is especially true when it comes to something as complex as the American Presidency. Frank knows how the system works, and more importantly, he knows how to get things done.
There is a saying that if you like sausages, never see how they are made. This expression couldn’t be more apt for politics because, sometimes, the end result is more important than how the deals are made. Of course, this “sausage making” is most of the plot of House of Cards and a lot of the grinding is controlled by Frank through Machiavellian tactics. Machiavellian, which means using clever and deceptive ways to achieve a goal, often has a negative connotation because in a lot of stories people who act in a Machiavellian way often have nefarious plans. While Frank certainly has a dark side and a thirst for power, he does seem to genuinely want to improve America.
Also Frank’s tactics are effective and he gets things done. In an era where Republicans and Democrats look at compromise as a sign of weakness, wouldn’t a brilliant puppet master be a nice change of pace if it meant progress? Even President Obama was impressed with the speed and efficiency way Frank gets his goals accomplished.