There are two major conventions going on presently: the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and Comic-Con International in San Diego. Since the former is not exactly inspiring hope concerning the Quest for the White House, perhaps we can find the leadership our country needs in the latter. That's right: this looks like a job for superheroes. So let's dig into the lineups of DC and Marvel Comics and find ourselves an appealing Presidential ticket in each. For the purposes of our thought exercise, we're assuming that everyone is at least 35.
Peter Parker (Spider-Man) - Initially would be considered a good choice, but there is a running joke in Spidey comics about the old Parker luck. It's terrible. So perhaps you don't want the guy to be President. VP? That could work. Parker is intelligent but also has that common man element that would appeal to the electorate.
Thor - Not a U.S. Citizen and therefore ineligible.
Steve Rogers (Captain America) - Laying aside the current Hydra sleeper agent storyline that's going on, Cap is a strong Presidential frontrunner. He's a veteran and proven leader of the Avengers. The press may question whether his use of Super Soldier Serum constitutes some sort of drug use, but I think he'd get around it. Plus: Punched Hitler in the face!
Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) - Cap's VP, right? Wrong. He was brainwashed by the Soviets to be an assassin. That stink is never going to get off of him. His VP announcement would be accompanied by headlines reading "The Manchurian Candidate?"
Tony Stark (Iron Man) - Too many red flags. A history of alcoholism and womanizing combined with his occasional animosity towards an American hero like Steve Rogers would be too much to overcome. But it would be a blast to see him in the debates.
James "Rhodey" Rhodes (War Machine) - Veteran. Much cooler head than Stark. Would probably be on the shortlist for VP, but would ultimately serve as Secretary of Defense.
Bruce Banner (The Hulk) - No. "President Banner destroyed the White House for the thirteenth time this month when unemployment numbers were not as positive as his administration had hoped."
T'Challa (Black Panther) - Would be awesome, but is not an American citizen. Plus he's already King of Wakanda.
Clint Barnes (Hawkeye) - Not a bad veep pick. Man of the people. A good argument could be made for a non-superpowered individual on the ticket. But does he want the job?
Peter Quill (Star Lord) - Maturity is too big of an issue, but would definitely host the after party at the convention.
Natasha Romanova (Black Widow) - Not a U.S. citizen.
The Vision - Not a bad choice, but would ultimately be the catalyst for a 28th Amendment barring androids from the Presidency. He'd serve a lengthy career as a Senator though.
Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) - Danvers served in the Air Force and worked at NASA. Operated under Ms. Marvel until the legacy of Captain Marvel was passed to her. Has led several Avengers teams. I think we've found our VP.
Marvel Ticket: Rogers/Danvers
That's a solid combo. Voters would love the military and leadership experience. Having a female on the ticket would be a huge boost. Best of all, their slogan could be "You and the Captains Make it Happen."
Clark Kent (Superman) - Let's just get this out of the way now. Would be the best candidate for the job. Moral paragon. Wields incredible strength, but believes in restraint. Champion of the oppressed. Raised in the American Heartland. One of the leaders of the Justice League. A family man with a wife and a son. "But," you say, "not a U.S. Citizen." Yes, typically. But in John Byrnes' Man of Steel miniseries, it's established that baby Kal-El was placed in Kryptonian Birthing Matrix and was technically not born until he landed in Kansas. Technicality, I know, but I want to keep him in the conversation.
Bruce Wayne (Batman) - This is a tough one. On one hand, he's a successful businessman who surrounds himself with a great team. Bruce Wayne would pick an excellent cabinet. But can we have some real talk for a second. Bruce has got some issues. Now he has succeeded incredibly in spite of those issues, but there's a darkness around him. That could hamper him. Maybe a veep pick?
Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) - I said Clark would be the best candidate, but you could make a really good argument for Diana. A warrior whose stated mission is peace and a natural born leader, Wonder Woman would make a kick butt President. Alas, she is not a U.S. citizen.
Barry Allen (The Flash) - Could get a lot done, but also seems like he would get too distracted.
Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) - Here's your law and order candidate. He is basically a leader in the space police. He also grew up in Coast City which is would be a huge get in the Electoral College. Hal is also brash. That will play well with some, but give others pause.
J'onn J'onzz (The Martian Manhunter) - Would be great, but there's that whole born on Mars thing.
Dick Grayson (Nightwing) - You know how I said Bruce Wayne has issues? Dick Grayson should, but because Batman was there, he grew up to be the most shockingly well-adjusted person in Gotham City. He moved on from Robin and became his own man. He led the Teen Titans and has been a member of the Justice League. He even successfully filled in as Batman for awhile and mentored Damian Wayne from a punk kid assassin wannabe into a quality Robin. He is probably the most liked dude in the DC Universe. I'm telling you, Grayson has got to be somewhere on that ticket.
Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) - Brilliant and resilient. She was paralyzed and reinvented herself as Oracle, a hacker and information specialist who was probably the most valuable asset to the Justice League. Then she returned to crime fighting. A Grayson/Gordon ticket would be great except there is a romantic history between the two and that would be problematic. Also, people might think there is too much inexperience on that ticket.
John Henry Irons (Steel) - Irons is a brilliant inventor. He left a life of weapons manufacturing (a possible hiccup there in the vetting process) and began helping people in his African-American community. Inspired by Superman in his fatal fight against Doomsday (both got better), Irons used his technological genius to carry on the Man of Steel's legacy. Think Iron Man without the ridiculous wealth or ego.
Jay Garrick (The Flash) - The original Flash. Fought alongside the Justice Society in World War II. Mentored a generation of superheroes and has learned to slow down in spite of his superspeed. Would provide an experienced voice of leadership that would be helpful as a VP if the other candidate is particularly young (you see where I'm going here).
DC Ticket: Kent/Grayson or Grayson/Garrick
Superman and Nightwing are actually pretty tight. Grayson chose his superhero name after a hero from Krypton. The two respect each other deeply and know how to get the job done. Grayson could probably make an Obama-like run to president with his charisma and optimism, but the party just could not pass up pairing him with Kent. Now if the alien thing becomes too big of a deal then you put Grayson at the top of the ticket and then balance him out with Garrick. That way the inexperience doesn't become too big of an issue. I also have to admit that I am intrigued by a Gordon/Irons ticket as well. That would be one barn burner of a primary.