Leaders of the free world bear a heavy burden, and often have more to worry about (one would hope) than their physical public image. Plus, censuring one’s superficial appearance is a low political blow, and who are we to find fault with something that one can’t control. Good thing for these 10 authority figures, they seem to have the strong support of the animal kingdom, whose representatives pictured below emulate their appearance to an uncanny extent.
The Huffington Post reported a study that people were able to identify dog-owner pairs over 80 percent of the time, evidencing the fact that dogs actually look like their owners. Psychology Today explains that this is likely because people tend to adopt dogs that look similar to their owners in specific ways. Leading the free world likely leaves little time for pet ownership; however, should these innovators, diplomatics, kings, and chancellors choose to adopt a pet, we have some pretty compelling choices for them.
10. The Merkel Monkey
Apes come in a number of shapes and sizes. This one looks like it has been customized for Angela Merkel’s, he only needs to be trained to imitate the “Merkel-Raute.” Named “person of the year” by Time magazine and second most powerful person by Forbes, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is probably as happy about the resemblance as she is about Turkey joining the EU. This comes in at number 10, but these two definitely bare a striking resemblance.
9. The Koala Pro Tempore
The koala is not scientifically classified as a bear, but a marsupial. Probably descended from a wombat, According to animal conservation group koalajo.com, Koala bears are found in only eight zoos in the United States (being native to western Australia). Though genetic testing has yet to be done, photographic evidence would strongly suggest that Republican Senator Orrin Hatch also shares the wombat ancestor. If this shared ancestry is proven, we will likely see a revision of the DREAM Act to allow pathway to citizenship for these non-native Australian marsupials (supposing they have a U.S. High School diploma or GED).
8. Tom Frieden’s Panda Protegé
Since 2009, Tom Frieden has been the Director the United States Center for Disease Control. In 2015, he was nominated by Michael Bloomberg as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. The giant Panda, like his public sector look-alike, is similarly influential; the People’s Republic of China offers its native bears to the U.S. and Japan on 10-year loans for up to $1,000,000 per year, which U.S. zoos agree to on the condition that half of the revenue be used for local panda conservation in China. There are currently 12 giant pandas in captivity among U.S. zoos, which, if Frieden remains long enough at the CDC, can be expected to display a complete set of bamboo nutrition facts at public exhibits.
7. Le Lemur Francais
President of France from 2007-2012, and named 68th-best dressed person in the world by Vanity Fair, Sarkozy drew criticism for sympathizing with Scientology and Islam. Since being defeated by Hollonde, who succeeded him as president in 2012, he has apparently visited Madagascar–home of the ring-tailed lemur
But a similarity in looks is the perhaps the only thing that these exotic primates share with the former French president. According to lemurworld.com, the mating season of the lemur is very short, and it’s difficult to get them to reproduce. For all his vanity and personal faults, Sarkozy, who has four children by three wives (most recently former model Carla Bruni) doesn’t face this threat of extinction, which might be ammunition in his possible bid for the 2017 presidential elections.
6. Benjamin’s Brown Bear
Contrary to the appearance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Nature Israel reports that bears are presently extinct in Israel. This brown bear looks ready to seek a right of return. Netanyahu, who announced that he plans to run for an unprecedented fifth premiership. If his economic policies have any predictive value, wildlife enthusiasts have reason to hope for a liberalized market for fauna. Bears seeking a right of return can leverage the fact that the country was once home to the native Syrian brown bear, and so any imported grizzlies could probably live alongside the country’s native jackals in a peaceful, two-state solution.
5. A Baboon for the Situation Room
Continually a favorite of Obama, Dennis McDonough has been a member of the National Security Council. In 2013, he was appointed Chief of Staff. Before his ascent into white house politics, McDonough travelled to South America and taught high school in Belize. It was probably during this formative stage of his life when he met the inspiration for his public image: the baboon. Baboons, like White House cabinet members, determine dominance relations based on vocal exchanges, and can become aggressive when lower-ranking baboons become more vocal, or worse, when their female counterparts wander too far from the harem.
4. Kaola bin Abdulaziz
The marsupial is back, and, if he is anything like his human counterpart, he’s koala-fied reform, modernize, and bomb Yemen. He bears a striking resemblance to King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
Also on Time’s 2015 list of Most Influential People (nominated by King Abdullah II of Jordan), bin Abdulaziz was coronated on January 2015, after the death of his brother. One of six children himself, King Salman has more of a penchant for reproduction than his down under doppelgänger; he has had eleven children and three wives. Koalas, by way of contrast, exhibit less interest in mating than most mammals.
3. Chow Chow Abe
Chow Chows (or simply “Chows”) are among the few ancient dog breeds still in existence, and are thought to be the models for the lion sculptures which guard Buddhist palaces.
Shinze Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, who bears a certain likeness to the Chow Chow, has similar staying power. He has been Prime Minister for three terms, since 2006. He is leader of his country’s Liberal Democratic Party. After the abduction of anywhere between thirteen and a hundred of Japanese citizens between 1977 and 1983 by North Korea, Abe is still investigating and imposing sanctions against North Korea. Chow Chows, are similarly aggressive, and are notoriously protective of their home and property.
The American Kennel Club defines the West Highland Terrier as “strongly built” and “exhibiting no small amount of self esteem.” It’s no wonder, then that this one takes the shape of Iranian diplomat Javad Zarif. Zarif is currently the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2013, and was formerly Iran’s ambassador to the UN. Fluent in Persian and English, Zarif is often the spokesperson for Iranian president, such as when he objected to Iranian denial of the holocaust. He also supports Iran’s right to develop enriched uranium. West Highland Terriers, too, enjoy playing with toys and has a natural instinct to bark.
1. Polar Bear Putin
Polar bears have a reputation for aggressive behavior, but they are actually cautious of humans and are more likely to escape rather than fight. This should be no small source of comfort to the U.S., whose consistent distrust of Vladimir Putin, who “bears”(!) a resemblance, was only exacerbated when Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden in 2013. Putin, who was named the World’s Most Powerful Person by Forbes for three consecutive years beginning in 2013, and is currently serving his second term as president of Russia.
After speaking at a Munich security conference in 2007, Putin (who later denied the speculation) was reported to have announced a kind of new Cold War. Polar bears should hope so! They thrive in arctic environments, and environmentalists have serious concerns about the effect of global warming on the current population of 20,000-30,000 bears. An International Polar Bear Day was established for February 27th to raise awareness for this grave global crises. The media will surely be abuzz.
If it’s true that all the world’s a stage, George Orwell’s Animal Farm has just apparently just been adapted for Broadway.