Random Thoughts: Which TMNT Character Would You Elect President?

As we all know, it’s an election year here in America. And while the reality of the US political system stands somewhere between “Depressing” and “Potential Apocalypse”, we here at wanted to do our civic duty and ask you all an important question: Which Ninja Turtle would you vote for if they were running for president?

Below, we’ll give you a rundown of each candidate, detailing their presidential qualities and qualifications. After you’ve read them all, give us your choices in the comments! We’ll tally up the community’s selections and present our official endorsement for the highest office in all of the land!

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Leonardo: First things first, he’s the leader. Who better to lead the free world than someone who has leadership experience? He has experience listening to those around him, and processing that into the best plan of action. Leo would make one hell of a commander in chief too. He’s led not just his brothers and friends into war, but also the Foot Clan on two separate occasions.

Leo is the most patient of his brothers, a quality he’ll need when dealing with your average politician. He’s also the most spiritual of his brothers, a quality that might help him win votes with more conservative voters.

Leonardo is probably the most moderate of the four. He’s measured and deliberate. However, he can sometimes be self important, and is quick to point out when others are wrong. He is the classic politician.

Plus he’s already got the whole blue thing going for him, so he’ll fit in fine with the Democrats.


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Raphael: Raphael is an interesting candidate. At first blush, he will come off as blustery and thin skinned. Think back to the first TMNT movie and look at how easy it was for Casey to get under his skin. But we all know that Raph is much more than a stereotype of “strong and sensitive.”

Raph’s key trait is passion. Yes, he is quick to anger, and yes that can sometimes cloud his judgement. But he is also fiercely loyal and caring. Do not mistake his anger for self righteousness. He is always fighting for the little guy and will protect those who he cares for.

He is more hawkish than his brothers, and will need great people as his vp and cabinet to rely on for guidance. Don’t forget, however, that in some iterations of TMNT he takes on the mantle of Shredder and leads the whole Foot Clan himself.

And since it was mentioned for Leo before, I must point out that Raph will have Republicans happy with his red color scheme.


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Donatello: If Leo is the classic politician, than Donnie is the prototypical diplomat. A lot of time has been dedicated to the Leo/Raph dynamic, but Donatello might actually be the real foil for Leonardo. The current IDW run has done a great job exploring how Donatello’s modernism clashes with Leo’s traditionalism.

Donnie’s key qualities are rationale and empathy. In the second TMNT movie and the IDW run, he questioned his place in the world. In the fourth TMNT movie, he got a job and ran his own business. His embrace of technology and work as an inventor will leave him open to innovation and eager to support it. He is definitely less hawkish than Leo or Raph, but he is not afraid to fight.

He has a rather diverse American experience, and will acknowledge and dedicate resources to the problems facing the nation today. He won’t have patience for politics as usual.


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Michelangelo: Wow, Mikey as President. It’s kind of a crazy thought. Most people think of Michelangelo as the party dude. It’s easy to think he would get overwhelmed  pretty quickly, but Mikey would actually make a really great politician.

Ok, let’s walk that back a little bit. As your traditional “politician”, Mikey would probably not be great. He’s too invested, and has too much heart. He would not understand the more underhanded aspects of Washington. But this is what would make him a great choice. When he says he’s for the people, you know he would mean it. In the IDW run, when Splinter takes over the Foot Clan, he opts to go out on his own. His morals are unbreakable, his will unending. Plus he’s always trying to bring people together. You wouldn’t have to worry about “crossing the aisle” with Mikey. He’d probably just rearrange the seats so there wasn’t an aisle anymore!

And let’s not forget, he’d have one hell of an inauguration party!

Alright, that’s the four brothers. You’ve got Wisdom and Leadership. Passion and Strength. Knowledge and Empathy. Heart and Will. But let’s throw a monkey wrench in this election, shall we? After all, the Turtles, being teenagers, aren’t even eligible to vote, much less run for office! So for our final two candidates, let’s turn our heads towards the elder statesmen of the TMNT universe. We’re, of course, talking about Splinter and Shredder.

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Splinter: Could there ever be a more even tempered president than Splinter? He has seemingly endless wells of patience. And he’d have to, raising four teenagers by himself. He’ll relate to hard working families, who have to scrape together a survival. And think about how resourceful he has to be. His family lives in a sewer. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a job, and while we’ve seen some iterations where the turtles work (Donnie and Mikey in TMNT 4 spring to mind), they can’t be making a ton of money. He definitely knows how to stretch a dollar. Pizza isn’t cheap, and it’s not like you can get food stamps when you have no social security number…also when you’re a giant anthropomorphic rat.

Splinter also would rely on his discipline and wisdom. He’ll work to understand people and have them understand him. He’ll fight when he needs to, but looks for peaceful resolutions.  He has leadership capabilities. In a way, he has a little bit of all the qualities we looked at in his sons. And in a way, that makes sense.

Oh, and since someone in the comments will bring this up, yes Splinter in most of his incarnations would be ineligible for President, since he was born in Japan in most versions. However, in the IDW run, his rat form was born in America! And the Paramount TMNT version was also American born. So we’re good.

Shredder: Let’s get this out of the way. Shredder would obviously make for a terrible president. He’s a dictator. He’s out for global domination. He’s a murderer. He has no consideration for life, except for Karai. But can’t you see him trying anyway? Whether it’s the original cartoon Shredder, the 2005 version who passed himself off as a businessman by day, or even the Paramount version who used Eric Saks as a front, he would totally try the political game.

And he’d be a cutthroat at it too (pun intended). No character has more determination than Oroku Saki. In the face of constant defeat and obstruction, he dusts himself off, wipes off his blades, and gets right back up, always marching forward on whatever scheme he’s focused on. He’d be a killer in the political game (again, pun intended).

Well, there’s your candidates. We could go on forever, considering how deep the TMNT well goes, but that doesn’t mean you have to vote for one off this list! Like the idea of an April/Casey ticket? Want to throw a different name in the ring you think would fit better than the traditional suspects? Write in your own candidate in the comments, but be sure to include why they’d make a great candidate!

We’ll keep a running tally on who you vote for in the comments over the next 2 weeks. After that, We’ll make a new post with our official endorsement!

Oh! There’s a little side project for you too! If you fancy yourself an artist, why not send us some fan art of your favorite candidate up at the podium! Who doesn’t want to see a turtle in a suit?

We’re looking forward to your choices! Have fun!

The Author

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere is a sound designer and engineer, voice over artist, and a lifelong shellhead. He grew up on a healthy diet of Turtles movies, comics, cartoons, and toys, and can recite the first movie in its entirety from memory. He is excited to be a part of such a great team in the middle of this current Turtle Renaissance!

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