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The Senior Staff

(And others in The White House ...)

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"'Cause I am tired of working for candidates who make me think I should be embarrassed to believe what I believe, Sam. I'm tired of getting them elected. We all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said "liberal" means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.

"And instead of saying "Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-eductaion, anti-choice, pro-gun, 'Leave it to Beaver' trip back to the fifties," we cowered in the corner and said "Please, don't hurt me." No more. I really don't care who's right, who's wrong. We're both right. We're both wrong. Let's have two parties, huh? What do you say?"

Josiah Bartlet is the President of the United States. For being the Leader of the Free World, he seems to get his way less often than he would like. Although prone to lose his temper -- to say nothing of his glasses -- when caught unprepared, Jed Bartlet is a good man, and an excellent President.


"I'm sleeping better. And when I sleep, I dream about a great discussion with experts and ideas and diction and energy and honesty. And when I wake up, I think: I can sell that."

"No, no 'however'. Just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it."

"Charlie, I've been tapping my finger on the desk for about a minute now. The magic man thing works a lot better when you pick up on the signals, Tonto. What's that you say? There's a phone call for Donna?"

"A President stood up. He said we will land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. You know what we knew when he said that? Nothing. We didn't know anything. We didn't know about the lunar surface. We didn't know how to land one of these things. All we'd ever done is crash it into the ocean. And God knows we could figure out how to land soft. We didn't know how to blast off again, but a President said we're gonna do it, and we did it. So I ask you, why shouldn't I stand up and say we are going to cure cancer in ten years?"

"Did you know that thereís an underground tunnel out of here? ... I havenít been able to find it even though I search almost everyday."

"Unless a war breaks out, I'll be spending much of my day talking about bananas."

Dr. Abigail Bartlet is the First Lady. She's another one who gets her way less often than she would like. Abbey will yell, get drunk, call her husband 'Jackass' -- and then admit he could have gone to the moon if he'd wanted.


"What the hell kind of free world are you running?"

"You go from 'I have a lot to say' to 'I can't say it right now because I have so much to say', to 'I've gotta read about agriculture, and you're not with me, and go to hell'?"

"Here we go. Awasiwi Odinak. Far from the things of man. When Jed first took me to his house, which was 25 miles from anywhere, he said, "Awasiwi Odinak. Far from the things of man." What a jackass. The wine is a '95 Old Vine Zinfandel from Hog Cellars, which once belonged to King Baudouin of Belgium and is best sipped while making anagrams out of the phrase "My husband's an enourmous jackass."

Leo McGarry is the White House Chief of Staff. Jed Bartlet's best friend, Leo is the one who first convinced the President that he would make a good President. Now, according to Bartlet, he's the guy who runs the country.


"Because I'm tired of it: Year after year after year after year, having to choose between the lesser of who cares? Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences!"

"We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill!"

"Right out of the gate, the Bartlet campaign is pandering and bumbling and performing abortions in the Rose Garden."

"I donít want it in my pocket. I donít want it in your pocket, Samís pocket, and I sure donít want it in the Presidentís pocket."

Joshua Lyman is the Deputy White House Chief of Staff. Josh,an outdoorsman who prefers to remain indoors, possesses a delicate system and a mean poker face.


"Depending on how you look at it, it started either with a cabinet secretary losing her temper, a committee chairman baiting her during a hearing, the President answering a question he shouldnít have, a dentist appointment, or me being stupid."

"The President spoke briefly. The President has never spoken briefly in his life. But, he spoke."

"She doesn't know that these things fall out of the sky all the time... once every ten days, as a matter of fact. Since the first year we started putting man-made objects in space, 17,000 have come back and remarkably, not one person has been hit. So I suppose there's an argument to be made that we're due."

"Relative size is one thing, but you're telling me that Germany isn't where we think it is?"

"A book which if I was stuck with it on a desert island, I still wouldnít read it: 'The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California.' I believe I would eat this book before I read it."

CJ Cregg is the White House Press Secretary. CJ eats goldfish crackers, falls into swimming pools, and maintains a normal life by working out from 5 to 6 every morning.


"Don't you dare lecture me, Mr. President. Don't you dare do it."

"Liberties, schmiberties."

"Yes. I agree with her. Look, they take this job away from me, I got nothing. I don't have a cat. I could get one, but I don't have one. Frankly, I'm not wild about cats. I don't hate them. I'm just not... I could learn to like them, I guess, if I ..."

"We're leaving exactly one hour later than we planned. At 5:00, he'll board Marine One for the trip to Andrews, where he'll board Air Force One for the trip to New York. We're just trying to be helpful because we understand that a Presidential motorcade rolling through midtown Manhattan around 6:00, 6:30 really helps keep things well-lubed out there. As a matter of fact, we apologize to New Yorkers for the inconvenience, but the delay was inevitable. I meant to say 'unavoidable.' The delay was unavoidable."

Toby Ziegler is the White House Communications Director. Toby joined the campaign at Leo's request, but he was the President's second choice for the communications job. Turns out, the President is relieved that David Rosen passed on that job; he could not have done better than Toby.


"You heard the news and you slammed the door so hard that it broke. Okay? You heard the news and you broke the White House."

"I'm just, you know... I'm just the guy who does the thing."

"Weíve been navigating by the North Star, which turned out to be the Delta shuttle from LaGuardia. Itís a miracle weíre not in Nantucket right now."

"CJ, so help me if you use the words 'Pwesident' or 'bwiefed' again ..."

Sam Seaborn is, for the moment, the Deputy White House Communications Director. Sam quit his job at a law firm where he was about to make partner to join Josh in working on President Bartlet's campaign. I have a hunch Sam still has a little itch for Leo's daughter Mallory. Sam still functions as a lawyer at times, but he very much enjoys being a writer. He's about to split for as-yet-undisclosed reasons.


"Also, if I was arrested for coveting my neighbor's wife, I'd probably bear false witness."

"What Toby means to say that if 90% of success is showing up, we're just happy that someone's standing up for the other ten."

Donna Moss is the self-proclaimed Deputy Deputy White House Chief of Staff (doesn't that look like a typo?) -- which is a long way of saying she makes it possible for Josh Lyman to exist and to function in society. From finding him clothing to helping him recover from a gunshot wound, Donna's job description goes far beyond typing and filing. Donna joined the Bartlet campaign after dropping out of college to support a doomed relationship. She likes books, ski equipment, and her adopted country.


"Iím gonna ask you to form a horseshoe against that wall. Not an actual horseshoe. That takes special training as a blacksmith."

"Is the champagne flowing as smoothly as the badinage? Are there elegant men and beautiful gowns?"

"No, I'm very upset. I don't know the words to my national anthem. I've been throwing out Canadian pennies my whole life. I've been making fun of the Queen. We don't do that."

Charlie Young is the Personal Aide to the President. Charlie originally applied for a job as a messenger at the White House, but was hired instead as the President's body man. Charlie is postponing college until his sister finishes school. He is dating Zoey, the daughter of his boss -- The President.


"If I see a grizzly bear, I'm supposed to sing to it, sir?"

"Well, I haven't, but he's the President of the United States, so my guess is no, it's probably not a typical marriage."

"Off the top of my head I wouldn't be able to give you a comprehensive list. Just suffice it to say that anything I've done to upset you, even if it exists in your kind of confused little mind, I really apologize for."

Amy Gardner was, until recently, the head of a women's political organization. She lost her job when Josh won the welfare vote, but it isn't clear yet whether their relationship will suffer. As Josh-and-Donna-happy as I am, I've gotta say that having Amy around might be good for the administration's public policy. I've grown attached.


"I was just thinking Mark and Robbie are funny names for women."

"I would hope not, and I congratulate you for punishing poor women as a symbol of the strength of mainstream values!"

"I have wit, I have charm, I have brains, I have legs that go all the way down to the floor, my friend."

"The First Lady just asked me to get boozy with her. You don't think I want to write a book one day?"

Simon Donovan, may he rest in peace, was CJ's Secret Service agent, until he was killed in an armed robbery hours after his job on CJ's detail ended, thus freeing him to date her if both parties so desired (which, judging from the length of their kiss on the New York streets, they did). Poor Simon. All he wanted was a Milky Way bar.


"I have spent my adult life protecting people. You're the first person who's got me seriously thinking about switching sides!"

Fla. Governor Rob Ritchie is a suspiciously familiar Republican who is running for President. He's very, very stupid, and so, probably has a good shot at winning.


"Crime. Boy, I don't know."

"You're what my friends call a superior sumbitch. You're an academic elitist and a snob. You're, uh, Hollywood, you're weak, you're liberal, and you can't be trusted. And if it appears from time to time as if I don't like you, well, those are just a few of the many reasons why."

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