Given the loonies that are running for office this electional season, one is reminded of Douglas Adams' theory about the role of certain politicians. C'mon you know that you think that Adams might be right.
The President [of the Imperial Galactic Government] is very much a figurehead---he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.
In another version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the President is elected, though some voters may have thought that they were voting for the worst dressed sentinent being in the galaxy when they elected Zaphod Beeblebrox; the slogan of the other person running: Don't vote for stupid.