The following was written between 10:00 PM and 11:00 PM.
Dear David Palmer,
You were the first black president until Barack came along. You had an all American name: David Palmer. Obama certainly brought change in that respect.
Although anyone in your universe is lucky to make it through the day, I was shocked to see you got shot barely two minutes into the fifth season. I expected you to live a few extra hours at least.
Did you know the actor playing you rejected your character being killed off? At first he refused to shoot that scene.
Funny, he didn’t want to shoot getting shot. An actor from a show where half the cast literally doesn’t live to see the light of day was shocked his character got axed. I mean, the show had killed off Bauer’s wife on her first day. Why not kill his friend? The two of you practically never had any screen time together anyway: You spend an hour in the same room in season 1. After that, you only talk over the phone.
On a more positive note, you are without a doubt the bestest president the United States ever had, on par with Abraham Lincoln who was also a vampire hunter.
In all honesty, I’m not very familiar with American history. Yet people seem to agree Abraham was the best president and I noticed you can get approval from other people when you say that. Whenever I say Lincoln was the best US president people think I read books and stuff.
Funny how that works.
You had a poor choice of women, though, the way Lincoln had a poor choice for theater. I can see how your character aided in Barack becoming president. Let’s just hope Michelle isn’t anything like your wife, Sherry. On average she screwed you over about two to three times a day. Yet you kept letter her in. You kept asking her advice. Were you ever going to learn?
Even so, you were good at your job. Jack Bauer may have been the one to get his hands dirty, you definitely helped. Without you, the US would be a wasteland now.
And that’s the scary part. If your show is any indication the United States is at constant risk of being blown away in increasingly creative ways for increasingly weird reasons.
That’s the one thing that stuck with me when I saw ‘24’: a lot of people don’t like America: Serbians, Arabs, Mexicans, Arabs again, Russians, Chinese, Arabs again, Africans, Arabs once more and even Americans.
Of course you are fictional, but I’d like to think the real American president is like you. I doubt it, but it’s a nice thought. I realize it’s easier being president when you’re presented with a script. Even so, Lincoln would have been proud of you. I guess.
As a testament to your accomplishments I made a list of 24 things you taught me:
If a woman betrays you once, she will do so a second time.
If a woman betrays you a second time, she will do so a third time.
If a woman betrays you a third time, she gets shot.
National security is important, but it’s more important Jack Bauer’s daughter is safe, for she is pretty.
Even though people are constantly calling each other you never get a busy signal.
You don’t say goodbye after a phone call. You just hang up.
Torture is bad, but it’s okay when Jack Bauer does it.
The best time to tell your wife you’re getting a divorce is when both of you have gone 48 hours without sleep.
If you divorce your wife in the midst of an election campaign you can still become president.
If you tell the world your son was involved in the death of the guy who raped your daughter on the day you divorce your wife in the midst of an election campaign, you can still become president, because the American people really dig that.
If an American presidential candidate divorces his wife, that ultimately leads to a nuclear bomb exploding on American soil (just re-watch season 2 and you’ll see I have a point here).
Jack gives his daughter a job at CTU so she will be safe. Wasn’t CTU the place where his wife got murdered and where a bomb went off? Lesson learned: one does not question Jack Bauer. Ever.
Out of nine presidents to run the United States, two are assassinated, one gets damaged beyond repair in a plane crash, one tries to kill himself, one gets fired and one resigns. The United States is kind of like the Roman Empire that way, where only two out of 147 emperors ever died of natural causes.
You don’t negotiate with terrorists, unless of course it’s your ex-wife.
You always win the day by telling the truth, because that would totally work in real life.
If you want to save your brother from embarrassment on the day a terrorist threatens to unleash a virus in American cities, you ask your ex-wife for help. You know, the woman that helped smuggle a nuclear bomb into the country the previous day. Surely nothing can go wrong. It’s not like she’s gonna make you cover up a murder or anything.
If the majority of the cabinet decides to strip you from your power by invoking the 25th amendment only because they disagree with you, you don’t fire them. Surely these are people you can trust.
No matter how many Arab guys you have to kill during the day, in the end the real super bad guy is American.
It is not weird at all your ex-wife changes clothes six times a day.
Terrorists will let you know if they’re planning on blowing something up within the hour.
National crises never last longer than 24 hours.
No one ever uses the washroom for 24 hours straight when there’s a crisis going on. Bowel movements will simply have to wait.
You can travel anywhere in the city of Los Angeles in a matter of minutes. Los Angeles must be a commuter’s paradise.
Events occur in real time. Actually, they do not. I checked.
So as you can see I learned a lot from watching your show. Pity you got shot, but it was to be expected. You’ll be happy to know Bauer’s daughter is still safe and pretty.
A. Van Nerel