A Richard Nixon-esque President, The Beast possesses something of a superiority complex and has few qualms with punishing districts which don't support him. Spider repeatedly accused The Beast of being a power-hungry politician who had no real beliefs, who wanted to be president but had no interest in actually doing the job required of him. However, as Spider finds out in an interview, The Beast simply believes in "getting through the day," doing the bare minimum required of him in order to ensure that the country continues to run and that at least the bare majority of the population survives.
Unlike The Smiler, The Beast's real name is mentioned only in passing early on in the series, and it was Spider who gave him the nickname. Apparently, The Beast's supporters and even his own children refer to him by his nickname, for which he despises Spider. Spider explains that the name originated from his mental picture of the man, "a big black animal squatting in the heart of America...the thing in us that votes to fuck other people in the gall bladder, the lizard brain that says nothing but eat-kill-hump-shit."