**MEDIA ALERT**MEDIA ALERT**
**ATTENTION PRODUCERS AND ASSIGNMENT DESKS**
Hail to the Chief!
Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy Are Most-Desired Presidential Seatmates for Air Travel
In honor of President's Day, discount travel site Hotwire.com asked more than 2,500 adults which of seven current and former U.S. presidents they would prefer to be seated next to on an airplane.
While a seat on Air Force One is only available to a select few, the right to vote is available to every American [Mitch's note: Or at least every one of the 2,500 people they asked], and the votes are in. According to the Hotwire survey, Americans would rather share legroom with former President Bill Clinton (27 percent) than current Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush (18 percent). However, President Bush's "red state" popularity made him the first choice among 23 percent of respondents in the South.
What other presidents would Americans most like to share their peanuts and armrests with? The complete list of desired presidential seatmates among U.S. adults is included below.
1. Bill Clinton (27 percent)
2. John F. Kennedy (19 percent)
3. George W. Bush (18 percent)
4. Ronald Regan (sic) (17 percent)
5. Jimmy Carter (10 percent)
6. Franklin D. Roosevelt (8 percent)
7. Richard Nixon (1 percent)
You can understand the one percent figure for Richard Nixon. There might be some realistic concern among the respondents that he'd steal their honey-roasted peanuts. (Jimmy Carter, presumably, would bring his own.)
What the survey didn't divulge -- aside from the margin of error -- was some of the nuances to the responses. For example, would people prefer that FDR have an aisle or window seat? (Naturally, he'd be allowed to preboard.)
More importantly, it didn't get into which fictional president people would most like to sit next to. Here's my guess:
1. President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) from "Air Force One", mainly for his ability to break heads in the event of a hijacking
2. President Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen) from "The West Wing", because he'd say something pithy when the flight attendant announced that their flight would be landing an hour and 45 minutes late, but she hopes the passengers will choose their airline the next time they need to travel.
3. President James Dale (Jack Nicholson) from "Mars Attacks", for sheer amusement.
4. President William Harrison "Bill" Mitchell (Kevin Kline) from "Dave", so they can find out Ving Rhames is really like.
5. President Grover Cleveland. Or wait -- was he a real president?
6. President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) in "Dr. Strangelove", or at least Chauncey Gardiner.
7. President Tom Whitmore (Bill Pullman) from "Independence Day". See #1.
The most shocking revelation in the news release is the breakdown of male and female responses. Among females, first place resulted in a tie between Presidents Bush and Clinton at 23 percent each. Males, on the other hand, put President Clinton well in front at 31 percent. I wouldn't purport to speak for the women who responded to the survey. As for the males, I can only assume the 31 percent was divided equally among guys looking for dating tips, and men who were worried about what idiot nickname George W. would give them ("Hey there, Laptop Guy...").
The least shocking revelation in the news release is that there's still time to make your President's Day discount travel reservations on Hotwire.com. It doesn't mention whether there's a special discount for people willing to sit next to Gerald Ford.