Congress Is Evil, Presidents Are Awesome
There are more evil politicians in movies than there are lower back tattoos at a Saliva concert. And yet none of them ever seem to be the president. Seriously, every movie with a shady politician somehow manages to limit their offices to senators and congressmen, with the occasional CIA director thrown in to keep things spicy. Operation Treadstone is always created and run without the president's knowledge or involvement.
Universal Studios"OK guys, the plan is set. Don't go telling the President about it now!"
Movies like Iron Man 3, X-Men, the Star Wars prequels, Bob Roberts, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The American President, and others revolve primarily around conspiratorial senators, vice presidents, and the like abusing their power. But why? Wouldn't it make more sense to have an evil president? After all, isn't that a scarier proposition?
Then films like Air Force One, Independence Day, and the bizarrely interchangeable Olympus Has Fallen / White House Down combo take it a step further, depicting the president as a gun-toting ass-kicker who's immune to the seductive charms of stupid "politics."
Columbia PicturesPresident of the United States of FuckShitUp
So What's The Deal?
Americans tend to see Congress as a bunch of old, out-of-touch white men deep in the pockets of special interests. We don't agree on much these days, but we do agree on how much we hate the people we elected to office. In real life, the American government is protected by a system of checks and balances that don't allow any one branch (or person) to completely take over. But an efficiently run bipartisan commission doesn't readily lend itself to shootouts with M16s or badass one-liners.
Marvel StudiosAnd even fewer lend themselves to the president wearing Iron Man armor.