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Not sure, whether to ask here, or at English.SE, but at Harry's first Quidditch match his friends held up a banner saying: "Potter for President".

What does it mean? I'm sure it must be some kind of cheer. But is it a common thing to say? Or does have it anything to do with Quidditch? Is the seeker who caught the snitch called President?

11

In the American version published by Scholastic Press in chapter eleven there is the text:

Ron and Hermione joined Neville, Seamus, and Dean the West Ham fan up in the top row. As a surprise for Harry, they had painted a large banner on one of the sheets Scabbers had ruined. It said Potter for President, and Dean, who was good at drawing, had done a large Gryffindor lion underneath. Then Hermione had performed a tricky little charm so that the paint flashed different colors.

and a few lines later:

Out of the corner of his eye he (i.e. Harry) saw the fluttering banner high above, flashing Potter for President over the crowd. His heart skipped. He felt braver.

Annoyingly my niece has my UK edition so I can't check that - can anyone else check to see what text it has?

Anyhow, I don't think there is any great significance to the phrase "Potter for President". It's just meant as encouragement for Harry, and indeed it worked.

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    I'll check it tonight, that's the earliest I can do anyway :P – CandiedMango May 8 '14 at 9:59
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    I checked my copy, English (Philosopher's Stone). Potter for President is there too. I guess Potter for Prime Minister sounds stupid (Dean is a muggle born so would be familiar with Prime Ministers as much as with Minister for Magic and in any case Potter for Minister wouldn't be alliteration, as said below). In seriousness x for President isn't a super-rare saying though mostly used in fun (in the UK at least). – Mac Cooper May 8 '14 at 15:50
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Are you referring to the movie or the book. I can not quite recall reading about this poster.

But I think they would have written "Potter for President" because of the reoccurring "P", as opposed by "Potter for Minister", which would maybe have made more sense in the british context.

Generally, "Someone for President" is a common cheer to promote a special person and it jokingly refers to the person becoming the President of the United States of America.

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    Outside of political associations, "president" is often the title of someone at the head of an organization such as a club, corporation, etc. I don't think this is uncommon enough even in the U.K. as to be unrecognized; Doctor Who, for example, is a British TV show and uses the term "Lord President" for the head of the Time Lords. – user11521 May 8 '14 at 16:57
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    I wouldn't say that "Someone for President" is necessarily American flavored. – Nit May 8 '14 at 23:11
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It's nothing related to Quidditch or even the Harry Potter Universe I imagine you read the American Version as it is basically just a chant used for popular and/or successful people. Something along the lines of "We like him so much he should be President" President of the United States of America. Although I don't actually remember that part you're referring to in the books.

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    I will look it up later this day, to include a reference. Would be nice if someone knows what the banner says in the British version. – Angelo.Hannes May 8 '14 at 9:04
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    @Angelo.Hannes I'm not sure I remember a banner at all but if you give me a book/page/chapter I'll have a look. – CandiedMango May 8 '14 at 9:39
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    see the answer of JohnRennie. Apparently it is in chapter 11. However, it is the first Quidditch match in the first book. Griffindor vs Slitherin. – Angelo.Hannes May 8 '14 at 9:45
  • I need to check it in the book – Kevin The Knight Jun 3 '14 at 9:24
  • @KevinLauntner I totally forgot about this. – CandiedMango Jun 3 '14 at 9:31
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I would echo the comments about it being meant as encouragement for Harry, and that the alliteration was snappy.

However I would also add that Hermione, Dean, Seamus and Harry himself all grew up having either one or two Muggle parents or guardians (Ron and Neville are the odd ones out).

"Potter for President" may seem like something that would only make sense to a Muggle or somebody who had been exposed to a Muggle-environment, hence it looks incongruous in the book (I'm not sure we are introduced to any other Wizarding presidents by this point). But if you consider the backgrounds of the characters who made the banner, and the character who it was for (Harry), it explains why they would use these words that might seem more significant to a Muggle than a Wizard.

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It's a generic term of support.

The phrase, 'x for President' is neither inherently political nor inherently American, despite what the other answers claim.

'Potter for President' is not an idiom that was created for the American editions. It features in the original British Bloomsbury edition.

As a surprise for Harry, they had painted a large banner on one of the sheets Scabbers had ruined. It said Potter for President and Dean, who was good at drawing, had done a large Gryffindor lion underneath.
[...]
Out of the corner of his eye he saw the fluttering banner high above, flashing Potter for President over the crowd. His heart skipped. He felt braver.
(Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 11, Quidditch).

Its meaning is quite clear to a British reader. 'X for President' is another way of saying 'x is awesome' and incidating your support for x. They were not actually suggesting that he should be elected president of any particular organisation. They were just giving him personal encouragement to spur him on.

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