With the Democratic and Republican Party conventions just a few weeks away, speculation is running wild about who each candidate is likely to pick as his running mate. But who could measure up to the impossible standards that both Obama and McCain will be looking for in their potential Vice Presidents? No real person could have the faultless moral character, good looks and ineffable belief in truth, justice and the American way necessary to win over the voters - which is why we're choosing from some of our favorite comic book politicians under the jump.
Tony Stark Experience: Brilliant engineer, CEO of Stark Industries, leader of the Avengers, former United States Secretary of Defense, current director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Probably Political Allegiance: Going by his Civil War decisions, Republican. The whole "Guantanamo for super-villains in the Negative Zone" thing? A bit of a give-away. Pros: Good looking and charismatic, Stark turned his inherited family company into an industry leader with his own inventions and business know-how. He is strong on national security and defense and has mostly been very popular as Iron Man, one of the country's most public superheroes. With a net worth estimated at over US$3 billion, his fortune could be used to help fund the campaign. As a particular plus for McCain, Stark was also a prisoner of war. Cons: Though undeniably successful, Stark has a laundry list of character flaws. He is a recovering alcoholic. His reputation as an incorrigible playboy and womanizer might not play well with the Republican base. His somewhat self-appointed leadership of the superhero community has often come under harsh criticism, especially his role in the controversial "superhero civil war," and failure to prevent a "secret" invasion from terrorist forces from another planet. Also, his presence on the ticket may lead some journalists to ask why McCain didn't construct his own indestructible suit of armor to escape from his captors in Vietnam.
Lex Luthor Experience: Genius scientist and inventor, CEO of LexCorp, former President of the United States. Probable Political Allegiance: Tough on crimefighters and pro-death penalty (for Superman), he's probably a Republican. Pros: Much like Ronald Reagan's famous flirtation with making former President Gerald Ford his VP in 1980, Luthor might be considered in attempts to craft a high profile "dream ticket" by McCain's advisors. With his world renowned genius, Lex could single handedly organize the entire campaign while solving the energy crisis and defeating the world's grandmasters in highly publicized chess tournaments... as long as Superman wasn't around to distract him. His hardline stance on "illegal aliens" would play well with those concerned with immigration reform. Cons: His presidency ended in scandal after it was revealed that he had bought arms from well-known extraterrestrial terrorists, and he still nurses a murderous obsession with killing Superman. His long history of scheming and plotting bring a lot of baggage, and he has respected enemies in the press. Widely thought of as a dangerous, egotistical maniac. But then, that never stopped Nixon.
Mitchell Hundred Experience: Civil engineer maintaining the Brooklyn Bridge, Mayor of New York City. Probable Political Allegiance: Officially independent, so woo-able by both sides. Pros: Though he gave up his less-than-spectacular career as a masked crime fighter to run for Mayor of New York, Hundred is still considered a hero by many for using his superpowers to stop the second plane from hitting the World Trade Center on 9/11. As mayor, with his engineer's mind and keen political sensibilities, he has largely handled a variety of crises and scandals with confidence and success. Thirteenth generation American. Cons: Paranoid conspiracy theories abound as to the nature and origin of his ability to control machines, and the rest of the country might be less accepting of this strangeness than seen-it-all New Yorkers. Hundred is also single, and despite going on a few public dates many suspect that he might be gay—-rumors that were given fuel when Hundred presided over the city's first same-sex marriage. His inability to stop the first plane hit the World Trade Center is likely to be mentioned in attack ads: "You want a leader who can keep America safe... But Mitchell Hundred can only keep half of you safe."
Barbara Gordon Experience: former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, information broker for superheroes, Ph.D. in library sciences. Probable Political Allegiance: Her hardline pro-gun control stance marks her as a Democrat. Pros: As daughter of legendary Gotham City police commissioner Jim Gordon, Barbara has some serious law-and-order credentials to her name. Her family's long standing friendship with billionaire Bruce Wayne would likely bring in a seriously big ticket donor, and her friendship with almost every single superhero in the DC Universe would probably mean that Barack could respond to charges of being too big a celebrity by pointing to Gordon and saying, "But she knows Superman!" Cons: Distracted by her crime-fighting career, Gordon didn't make much of a name for herself as a congresswoman, and since quitting politics, a near-fatal gunshot wound has left her paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, which may alienate voters with unpleasant memories of FDR or those who think that having a black nominee was bad enough, but a wheelchair-bound woman is just going too far. She is also a known associate of the controversial vigilante known as "the Batman," which isn't likely to earn her many points outside of Gotham.
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde (Marvel Universe) Experience: youngest ever member of the X-Men, Mayor of Chicago and President of the United States in an alternate future timeline. Probable Political Allegiance: Democrat. Or, given that she's a mutant, probably Canadian. Pros: Putting Pryde on the ballot would be sure to bring out both the Jewish and the mutant vote come election day—-key demographics in certain swing states, such as Ohio. She is also one of the most politically experienced candidates, if you count her long career in a parallel universe. Cons: Pryde is chased by whispered rumors that she is bisexual, mostly from fanboys who couldn't get over their crush on the character from the 1980s. Additionally, an Obama/Pryde ticket would be impossible if Kitty ran as a resident of Illinois: when both the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates are from the same state, the Constitution prohibits that state's electors for voting for that ticket. More problematically, Pryde has a well-documented history of using hate-speak that would undoubtedly be used against her. While we here at io9 would love nothing more than to see a McCain/Stark ticket take on an Obama/Pryde team, we think that each of these prospective Veeps creates more problems for their candidates than they would solve (Although the debates would be very watchable, if only to see how quickly they were disrupted by supervillains with grudges). Obviously, there's only one solution: Both parties should offer the position to former District Attorney Harvey Dent. Who should accept both invitations, and then run with the slogan "Flip-Flopping? What else would you expect from me?"