House of Cards Analysis


Are there any real world events similar to what is shown in ‘House of Cards’? 

House of Cards USA is unquestionably a copy of House of Cards UK. We see clear similarities between the two with regards to character names and plot. Beyond the similarities between the two versions however, is the even deeper and almost eerie similarities between House of Cards (HoC) and real life political events. So is this a classic example of art imitating life or vice versa or is it mere coincidence? Are viewers being a bit zealous, salivating at the idea that they can somehow predict the outcome of the current political campaign and landscape?

Even presidents have weighed in on the debate. Bill Clinton is quoted as saying that it is 99% accurate, being wrong only on the speed at which an Education bill was passed in Congress. President Obama admires how much Underwood gets done while in the Oval office (Larson, L. 2016 “Bill Clinton Says House of Cards is 99% Real”, Business
This paper will objectively highlight two of those similarities and describe how they mirror actual events.

Exaggerated, some may argue, but HoC presents to the viewing public the often narcissistic, back-stabbing, power maneuvering and meanderings of political life.  Understandably, HoC diverts from reality quite often and in many instances reflects quite the opposite, take gas prices and unemployment rates in the Unites States for example. To anyone paying attention to the current unfolding of the presidential campaign with its email-gate, gun-law debate, house infighting and name calling, they both make for excellent drama either way.


It was a given that Hilary Clinton would receive the democratic presidential nod when she announced her bid for the White House in 2015. At least it was until Bernie Sanders’, the unassuming older man’s campaign caught fire and threatened the security of the Clinton camp. An unlikely occurrence once would have expected since Sanders is a socialist outsider. The Clinton-Sanders fiasco pales in comparison the Trump-Republic debacle. Trump was dismissed and ridiculed as a serious candidate and many even thought he would never even run and if he did he would be out the race in days as no one would ever take him seriously or worse, support him. Yet, here we are today, with Donald Trump an inexperienced politician and businessman holding firm as the Republic front-runner.

Similarly in HoC, Claire Underwood, whom no one would have seen as a viable option for Vice President of the United States has, with minimal experience for such a role, cleverly navigated her rise as a top contender to becoming front-runner for Frank Underwood’s Vice Presidency. In addition Underwood is being strongly contested by Heather Dunbar, also inexperienced and wealthy (Moylon, B. 2016 “House of Cards: A KKK Connection Isn’t All Donald Trump and Frank Underwood Share”


In HoC, a colossal scandal flared when it was discovered that Frank Underwood’s father attended a KKK meeting and appeared friendly with a Klan member and taking a photo with him. The undertones of this plot raises the ever sensitive issues of past and current racism. For Underwood, he lost the support of voters in South Carolina, his home state. Could the writers’ have predicted that Donald Trump would have found himself in a similar bind after it was revealed that he was endorsed by David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the KKK. Trump has maintained that he doesn’t know Duke, disavowed the endorsement but hasn’t quite rejected the support. Trump has already been viewed by many as racists and separatist following unfavorable remarks he made about Mexicans and Muslims early in his campaign as well as his controversial positions on immigration and border control (Desta, Y. 2016 “7 ways ‘House of Cards’ Season 4 eerily mirrors real life.”


The fact that this season’s plot of HoC is set in an election year that coincides with the election year of the U.S.A only adds fuel to the fire and invite greater skepticism and debate about its similarities or lack therefore. Having examined the similarities between HoC and two of the most poignant issues that sparked in this season’s presidential campaign (as well as making reference to others) it would be naïve to deny that there are in fact similarities in real world events shown in House of Cards. The examination now leads to the question of accuracy.


1. Desta, Y. (2016, March 07). 7 ways ‘House of Cards’ Season 4 eerily mirrors real life. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from politics/#Sv6h7kRmD5qQ

2. Moylon, B. (2016, March 04). House of Cards: A KKK Connection Isn’t All Donald Trump and Frank Underwood Share. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from

3. Leslie, L. (2016, March 30). Bill Clinton Says House of Cards is 99% Real. Retrieved April 14, 2016, from

This is a part of a House of Cards analysis which deals with the questions of politics and real world events that were repeated in the series. You cannot use either this paper or parts of it without proper acknowledgment in your work. In case you need a full review or any other kind of academic paper, place an order at our website to receive a top-notch essay or research paper custom written according to your demands. 

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