TIME

See How Much Americans Prefer Fictional Presidents to Barack Obama

The real President trails in the polls to Francis Underwood, Fitzpatrick Grant and other actors who play politics on TV

Being leader of the free world isn’t easy–especially when you have actors running around showing people they can do a better job than you. President Barack Obama’s approval rating trails that of many actors who have played President on television in recent years, according to the mischievous pollsters at Reuters/Ipsos.

20th Century Fox Television (1); Getty Images (3); Netflix (1); AP (1)

The poll found 46 percent of Americans view Obama favorably, according to the survey published Monday. Americans’ favorite TV president? David Palmer of 24. Of those who have watched the Fox thriller, 89 percent said they hold a favorable opinion of the President played by Dennis Haysbert. Martin Sheen’s Jed Bartlett of The West Wing scores an 82 percent favorable ranking among viewers. President Laura Roslin of the SyFy channel’s Battlestar Galatica pulled in a 78 percent favorability ranking from those who have watched her outfox Cylons.

Obama even trails the famously scandalous leaders of House of Cards and Scandal. Fitzgerald Grant, one of Shonda Rimes many gifts to the world, has a 60 percent favorability rating from Scandal watchers. Francis Underwood, the Netflix President played by Kevin Spacey, is seen favorably by 57 percent of the show’s audience.

When compared to real competition, Obama performs much better. At this point in his second term, George W. Bush carried a 34 percent approval rating.

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TIME 2016 Election

See 10 Presidential Campaign Launches

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TIME Singapore

Global Leaders Pay Respects After the Passing of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore Obit Lee Kuan Yew
Joseph Nair — AP A live broadcast by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the death of his father is watched in a reception area at a hospital where the city-state's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed away on March 23, 2015, in Singapore

The nation’s architect was lauded for being a visionary and fostering relations between Asia and the U.S.

Messages of condolence flooded in from the East and the West on Monday as the world paid tribute to Singapore’s founding father and first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, following the former strongman’s death at the age of 91.

Lee died in the early hours of Monday morning local time at Singapore General Hospital, after being treated for severe pneumonia and then an infection since his initial admission over a month ago.

The former head of government has been largely credited with fostering the environment that allowed the former British colony to transform into a flourishing bastion of international business and innovation.

“The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together, and brought us here. He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans,” said Lee’s son and serving Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a televised address. “We won’t see another man like him.”

Flags were at half-mast across the city-state as Lee’s compatriots began observing a week of official mourning. A state funeral has been scheduled for March 29.

During his time as head of government, Lee was also viewed as an adroit statesman who helped foster ties and understanding between Western powers and rising nation-states across Asia.

“Minister Mentor Lee’s views and insights on Asian dynamics and economic management were respected by many around the world, and no small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice on governance and development,” said U.S. President Barack Obama in a statement.

Former President George H.W. Bush echoed these sentiments. “I will always be proud that Lee Kuan Yew was my friend,” he said. “I respected his effective leadership of his wonderful, resilient and innovative country in ways that lifted living standards without indulging a culture of corruption. I was also proud of the progress Singapore and the United States achieved together as partners. Because of the example set by Lee Kuan Yew’s singular leadership, let me add I am confident that the future will be bright for Singapore.”

Chinese Foreign Minister spokesperson Hong Lei described Lee as the bedrock of the Sino-Singaporean relationship and a visionary on the continent.

“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is a uniquely influential statesman in Asia and a strategist boasting oriental values and international vision,” said Lei.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Lee was both a “far-sighted statesman” and “a lion among leaders.”

President Joko Widodo of Indonesia called Lee “a close friend of Indonesia and renowned as the founding father of modern Singapore.”

“As a great leader and a statesman who truly loved his people, he was also known as an influential political figure in Asia,” he added. “Under his leadership, Singapore has succeeded in transforming itself into a major economic hub for the Asian region and stands in equal footing to other developed nations of the world.”

Amid the tributes, advocacy groups also cautioned against ignoring the strongman’s authoritarianism and checkered record on human rights in the wake of his death.

“Singapore still is, for all intents and purposes, a one-party state where political opponents are targeted and contrary views muzzled — and that too is a part of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy that many of the new generation of Singaporeans are none too happy about,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

In his homeland, though, the overriding feeling was one of mourning a beloved patriarch.

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME viral

Here’s What Too Many Cooks Would Look Like If It Were About U.S. Politics

Washington is a sitcom

If you loved Too Many Cooks, you’ll love CNN’s version of the viral internet sensation.

With a cast including everyone from Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin to Sarah Palin to Kim Jung Un, the fake ad casts U.S. politics as a bad ’80s sitcom, complete with cheesy footage of hunky cowboys and glorious bald eagles.

There’s also a terrifying demon sheep at the end that will haunt your dreams more than the image of John McCain doing the robot dance.

 

TIME remembrances

Lucy Coffey, Oldest Female U.S. Veteran, Dies at 108

The nation's oldest-living female vet lived through Pearl Harbor and met President Barack Obama

(SAN ANTONIO) — The nation’s oldest female military veteran is dead. She was 108.

Lucy Coffey was found dead in her bed in San Antonio Thursday morning. Friend Queta Marquez, Bexar (BEAR) County veterans’ service officer, said Coffey had been sick for about a week and had a chronic cough.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

The Indiana-born farm girl was working at a Dallas grocery store the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The San Antonio Express-News reports that she quit the store in 1943 to join the new Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, which stationed her around the Pacific. She spent a decade in Japan before she moved to San Antonio.

She visited Washington on an Honor Flight. She met President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who spent 30 minutes with her.

TIME White House

Rudy Giuliani Wants Barack Obama to Be More Like Bill Cosby

Rudy Giuliani at FOX Studios in New York City in 2014.
Rob Kim—Getty Images Rudy Giuliani at FOX Studios in New York City in 2014.

Says president should speak more about race and crime like the comedian

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that President Barack Obama could leave a unique legacy if he spoke about the intersection of race and law enforcement like Bill Cosby.

“[Obama] could explain that yes, there are bad police and yes, there are police that act improperly and yes, there are more contacts between the police and blacks and we’re doing everything we can,” said Giuliani on John Gambling’s New York radio show on AM970. “If an African-American president stood up and said — I hate to mention it because of what happened afterwards — the kind of stuff that Bill Cosby used to say.”

Before allegations of sexual assault fueled his fall in the public eye, Cosby repeatedly and sometimes controversially criticized the African American community for a lack of emphasis on proper parenting and education, especially among the poor. He has denied claims of sexual assault from multiple women.

Giuliani praised Cosby’s message as he admonished Obama to explain the virtues of America’s police force amid ongoing controversy about policing in Ferguson, Missouri. “This president has a chance to leave a legacy that no other president will have a chance to leave until we get another African American president and who knows when that is going to be,”Giuliani added in the radio appearance.

The former mayor recently came under fire for questioning the President’s love for his country. “He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country,” he said in a February speech.

TIME White House

The Meanest Tweets Obama Didn’t Read

You ain't seen nothing yet

Correction appended, March 13

Keeping with a tradition on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, President Obama read mean tweets about himself Thursday night. But compared to what he’s gotten from Congress, the tweets were fairly tame.

Obama himself made that point.

“I have to say, those weren’t that mean,” he told Kimmel after the segment. “I’ve gotta tell you, you should see what the Senate says about me all the time.”

For example: After the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in France, Obama was criticized for not going there to show his support.

Texas Republican Rep. Randy Weber tweeted: “Even Adolph [sic] Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons.” Weber later deleted the tweet and apologized.

But it wasn’t the first time. In a series of other tweets from January 2014, Weber called Obama the “Kommandant-in-Chief,” a “socialist dictator” and suggested that POTUS stands for “Poor Obama Trashed U.S.”

Some of the tweets aren’t so much mean as they are cutting in good sport. After Obama joked during the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2013 that Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell wouldn’t be a good drinking buddy, McConnell tweeted a picture of himself having a beer with an empty chair for Obama, complete with a glass of red wine and the message “Greetings from Coal Country!”

And sometimes the mean tweets are friendly fire. Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur once jokingly tweeted (and deleted) as the stock market hit a now high that Obama was the “worst socialist ever.”

Still, most of the meanest tweets come from off Capitol Hill. Businessman Donald Trump is a serial offender when it comes to saying mean things about Obama. Here he is blaming Obama for a bad call in the Super Bowl:

And there’s this:

And this:

Even KitchenAid, a company that makes kitchen appliances, accidentally tweeted something mean about Obama. In 2012 someone tweeting for the company posted about the president’s grandmother, who died before he took office, “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics.” The company swiftly apologized for the tweet.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described a series of tweets by Texas Republican Rep. Randy Weber. The tweets were sent in January 2014 and they are still online.

TIME Smartphones

Barack Obama Says He Doesn’t Send Texts

Email is fair game, though

 

If your most recent text to Barry O. could not be delivered, don’t take it personally.

The President doesn’t text. On an appearance with Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, President Obama told the talk show host that he uses a Blackberry for email, but not for SMS. And iMessages? Forget about it.

“I don’t text,” said President Obama. “I email.”

“I still have a Blackberry,” he added to laughter when one person in the audience gave a ‘whoop.’ “The one old guy there, look at that. He’s my age. Somebody in my generation.”

Recorders in smartphones can be hacked and turned on to record conversations, even when the phone is off. So Obama doesn’t get an iPhone.

“I can’t use phones with recorders in them. The new-fangled stuff, for security reasons I don’t get,” said the President.

Watch the full clip above.

TIME Internet

This GIF Won 2014’s GIF of the Year

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington on March 9, 2015.
Pool—Getty Images U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington on March 9, 2015.

Watch President Barack Obama on a skateboard

We continue to live in a world of GIFs. We use them to talk and to mock and to react when words fail us. It may not surprise you to learn, then, that there is an awards show that celebrates GIFs specifically: the GIFYs.

After accepting votes from the public for 2014’s best GIFs in categories such as “animals,” “cats” (in a class by themselves), “weird” and “art + design,” winners were announced March 5.

The No. 1 gif, according to voters, featured President Barack Obama skateboarding. It debuted on an episode of The Tonight Show.

For comparison’s sake, 2013’s GIF of the Year featured Oprah Winfrey unleashing a swarm of angry bees upon her studio audience.

And because your day may be lacking in amusing GIFs, here also are the GIFs of the year in the categories of animal, cat, weird and art + design.

See the rest of the winners on the GIFYs’ official site.

Nominees were submitted by the general public and also hand-picked by a panel of expert GIF-ologists. The awards show itself is presented by the Los Angeles branch of ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

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