They both love to watch "Modern Family" with their families. They both have a thing for NBC's Thursday-night comedies. And they each have a favorite edgy cable drama. But what do the presidential candidates' favorite TV shows, as they recently revealed to TV Guide, reveal about them?
First, unless they're keeping serious addictions to "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" under wraps, they both have good TV taste. Barack Obama loves to LOL with the "Parks and Recreation" gang, while Mitt Romney gets his laugh on with "30 Rock." And when it comes to tense cable action, Obama tunes in for "Homeland," while Romney likes his drama with a side of Western and a dollop of levity, via "Justified."
Here, with a caveat that the views expressed below are strictly for fun and in no way meant to endorse either candidate's philosophy, is what the presidential contenders' viewing habits say about them:
"Homeland" -- The President's fondness for this particular post-9/11 terrorist-themed drama suggests he looks at all sides of conflicts and the motivations behind them. That's obviously a good quality for the leader of the free world to have.
"Modern Family" -- Fans of the show appreciate the writers' ability to tell a sweet story without getting too saccharine, and they recognize that many different household configurations can make up a family.
"Boardwalk Empire" -- This show is rife with real-world historical connections, including ties to Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago. We're guessing he also appreciates its story of the political rise and community involvement of Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi).
"The Wire" -- Again, the president's love for this show, which he has repeatedly referred to as his favorite, shows that he understands the complexities of major topics like the war on drugs, education, and the media. And, as with "Homeland," his fondness for "The Wire" suggests that he appreciates storytelling that is challenging and thought-provoking, as well as entertaining.
"Parks and Recreation" -- Obama has called this NBC comedy a family favorite, particularly of his daughter Malia. Given that the show's heroine is civic-minded aspiring POTUS Leslie Knope, could this mean President Obama has visions of joining John Adams and George Bush as presidents whose offspring eventually followed them to the Oval Office?
"Justified" -- Romney's love of the FX Kentucky lawman drama suggests he, like Obama, does not believe conflicts are black-and-white. Few TV heroes or antiheroes are as complicated as frenemies Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
"Modern Family" -- See above, though we'd add that, for all the liberal vs. conservative arguments about marriage and family values, it is very interesting that both candidates embrace these quirky, relatable families as the ones they like to watch with their own families.
"NCIS" -- It remains, consistently, one of the most watched primetime programs. The show's appeal: You know what you're getting, from the procedural-type storylines to the endearing characters fans have come to know and love more with each season. For Romney, like other "NCIS" fans, the show is comfort-viewing.
"Friday Night Lights" -- He and the president both have their share of political footballs, but Romney's love of this warm-hearted pigskin-themed drama suggests that he believes teamwork, hard work, loyalty, and camaraderie pave the way to success.
"30 Rock" -- This is maybe the most surprising pick on either list, since much of the humor on the show is at the expense of conservatives, including the whole Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) persona. Maybe Mitt Romney has a better sense of humor than he's been given credit for? That's also not a bad quality to have, particularly for a potential leader of the free world.