All characters belong to Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Productions, Warner Bros., & NBC. Standard disclaimers apply. Infinite props to Ben Greenman for stylistic inspiration. Please send feedback.
What One Hundred People, Real And Fake, Think About Josiah Bartlet Violet
Anne Bartlet, his mother: That he was always something special.
John Bartlet Jr., his brother: That he was always fighting with their father.
John Bartlet Sr., his father: That he was insolent as a boy. That he did not have proper respect for tradition and authority. That he was too smart for his own good.
Dolores Landingham: That he was too smart for his own good, in high school, but he learned to make it work for him, and to make himself work for the world. That he needed a good kick in the ass sometimes. That, apart from his eating habits and his incomprehensible fear of the intercom button, he was her hero.
Holden Caulfield: That he was a phony.
Tim Russert: That he came from a typical New England upper class background. That he was, however, not a typical man.
Amy White, kindergarten teacher: That he was a bright-eyed little boy who was always bringing pinecones and rocks into class, too fascinated by the world to put it down.
Susan Hotchkiss, fourth grade teacher: That it was a rare and remarkable kid who took as much interest in math as in recess. That he always wanted to know everything about every subject, more than she had to tell him.
Samuel Ryan, tenth grade English teacher: That his mind was insatiable. That if his interests and energy could only be properly focused and directed, he might turn the world upside down.
Martin Luther: That his religion still needed some reforming.
Victoria Paterson, former girlfriend: That he was a geeky kid who talked too much if you didn't know him, but when you did, he was charming. That he was her first lover, and she was his, and she was sorry after she broke up with him to date the captain of the basketball team.
Father Cavanaugh, his parish priest: That he was electrifying in a crowd of people. That something about him just drew you in. That he had something you didn't often see, something even lacking in most priests, something everyone longed for: the clear mark of divine purpose. That he said he was going into the priesthood, but something changed his mind.
Marilyn Monroe: That he was a handsome boy.
Jimmy Wilberforce, his college roommate: That he was a pretty good roommate, because he was never around. That he was crazy about his girlfriend, the type of girl who was nice on the surface, but would bite your head off if you made one innocent comment about her red hair.
Bryce Cayman, college classmate: That he was a show-off, always answering the question ten times over before you had a chance to raise your hand.
Ronald Ehrlich: That he stole Abbey from him.
Abigail Larkin Bartlet: That she wasn't property to be stolen, and that she chose him over Ron because she always had the sense to recognize truth and greatness when she saw it. That she would love him forever.
Mick Jagger: That he couldn't always get what he wanted, but if he tried sometimes, he found he got what he needed.
Nathan Hatch, provost of Notre Dame: That he was a credit to the institution.
Lord Grabiner of Aldwych, chairman of the London School of Economics: That he was a credit to the institution.
Eric Weinstein, former student: That he was a lousy professor, but fun to listen to.
Julie Cross, former student: That she deserved at least a B-plus on that midterm, and it wasn't her fault she hadn't memorized every word Benjamin Franklin had ever spoken.
Adam Winger, department head: That he loved teaching, but that it didn't make him the perfect teacher. That he seemed to know everything about everything, but it was a relief when he left to go into politics.
Elliot Roush, opposing candidate: That he had a tendency to see himself as the white knight, fighting ultimate evil. That he needed to learn that the world came with many more gray areas.
Jennifer McGarry: That in 1993, he saved her sanity and her husband's life.
Leo McGarry: That they had been best friends since Satan was a pup. That best friends don't owe things to each other, but that he owed that man everything. That the world was a better place for having him in it, and would be even better if he took this incredible step. That it would be difficult, unrelentingly so, but it would be, had to be worthwhile.
Josiah Bartlett, his great-grandfather: That it was amazing how the American dream could be transmitted down two centuries of clouded bloodlines.
Harry Moran, dairy farmer: That, one night in the VFW hall in Nashua, he had the balls to give an honest answer, which made him an unusual politician.
Josh Lyman: That he was the real thing.
Peter Jennings: That he was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 1998 election.
Lisa Jiang: That he ruined her engagement and her carefully planned life. That her fiancÚ left her for him. That he didn't deserve to win a thing.
Robert Mitchell, incumbent Republican candidate: That Americans chose to doom themselves.
Noah Lyman: That his son got him elected.
Tom Brokaw: That his victory margin was slim, a plurality but not a majority of the vote.
Lorne Michaels: That it was hard to find someone who did a good Bartlet, but that there was a lot of mileage in that bike-into-tree thing.
Mary Marsh: That he wasn't a good Christian.
Peter Lillienfield: That he wasn't a good President.
Danny Concannon: That he was a good President, all in all, and that no other assignment would ever be quite as challenging or interesting. That he had a remarkable staff, particularly the Press Secretary.
Lord John Marbury: That he was a good leader and a good host. That he was a bit of a pedantic fellow, a bit of a Puritan, but he had a good sense of humor for all that.
John Hoynes: That he was a bastard, arrogant bastard, who was unfortunately right some of the time. That he was a better politician than he let on. That he didn't always let himself know what he was doing, and that was the real danger.
Abraham Lincoln: That the path he paced some nights, over the carpet and down to the bend in the hall in a restless loop, was a path that other feet had followed before.
William Shakespeare: That he would have made an excellent protagonist for a play.
Laurie, a call girl: That she was sorry she'd caused trouble for him.
Al Kiefer: That, for a politician and an economist, he didn't have appropriate respect for important numbers.
Senator Seth Gillette: That he was soft on the environment, soft on social security, and soft in the head if he thought Democrats would take it lying down.
Senator Stackhouse: That he usually did the right thing when you got down to brass tacks.
Representative Andrea Wyatt: That it was good having a Democrat in the White House, even one who was less liberal than he could have, should have, and wanted to have been. That he had a remarkable staff, especially the Communications Director.
Ainsley Hayes: That, tragically misguided as some of his positions were, and she did believe that they were misguided, because she was still a Republican, whatever her friends thought, he was a man of some honor and dignity, and she wasn't ashamed to serve him; she was proud.
Henry David Thoreau: That he should have gone to the woods to live deliberately.
Elizabeth Bartlet: That he managed to have his career and care for his children at the same time. That Abbey did the same. That together, they were the source of amazing love and strength.
Eleanor Bartlet: That he didn't understand her, not really, and she didn't understand him. That she didn't vote for him in 1998 and didn't plan to in 2002. That she loved him in spite of all that.
Edward Bartlet: That for nine days, he was a very good father to the only son he'd ever have.
Zoey Bartlet: That he'd always been there for her, even if it meant letting her camp out on the floor under his desk. That he gave without taking. That he took good care of her.
Jessica Hodges, third grader: That he wasn't as tall as her dad, but he had a nice voice.
Joseph Crouch, former Supreme Court Justice: That he pulled to the right too much, trading in his ideals for good policy.
Justice Arthur Dreifort: That he pulled to the left too much, trading in good policy to please his friends.
Justice Roberto Mendoza: That he tried.
Big Bird: That he was very good at his ABCs.
Tyler Klaxton: That he was encouraging the mingling of the races, and was an enemy of America in general and Aryan people everywhere.
Dennis Whitman: That he was a race-traitor, and his daughter was a race-traitor, and attacking that was worth giving your life.
Gina Toscano: That the bullets flew and she tried to do her job.
Ron Butterfield: That he was a man worth taking a bullet for.
Mandy Hampton: That he had a poor grasp of how to do things for good PR. That his staff was a tight circle, and she'd somehow been shoved out of it. That it was really best for her to go, and best for them to pretend she'd never been there at all.
Ginger Webster: That there was a shooting, and that everyone came back to work the next day, because they were working for something and someone who made it possible.
Sigmund Freud: That he was always trying to prove to himself that he was not his father's son.
C.J. Cregg: That he was brilliant, his mind fascinating and beautiful. That he was stubborn, but he could back it up. That he was worth fighting for, worth standing up for, worth almost anything she could give.
Toby Ziegler: That the voices of his better angels were shouted down by his demons sometimes. That it was an honorable thing to be one of the voices of right. That no one, but no one, could do what that man did to a crowd.
Mallory O'Brien: That in a way, he'd both saved and destroyed her parents' marriage. That he had a remarkable staff, especially the Deputy Communications Director.
Representative Henry Shallick: That, political differences aside, he was good at the job. That political differences couldn't really be put aside.
Pope John Paul II: That he was, like all humans, born with original sin.
Josephine McGarry: That, whatever her brother said, he should have appointed her to the Education post.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger: That he took cheap shots.
Edgar Allan Poe: That he did not know his own darkness.
Dr. Vladimir Stolarczyk: That he was diagnosed with a degenerative illness eight years ago. That his wife, being an excellent doctor in her own right, knew before she was told.
Dr. Lee, anesthesiologist: That he was the President, and he had multiple sclerosis.
Nancy McNally, National Security Advisor: That he had multiple sclerosis, and she should have been informed much sooner.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: That he was an excellent Commander in Chief, who managed to restrain himself from letting his temper carry him too far off course. That he displayed excellent judgment, most of the time.
Lionel Tribbey: That, thank heavens, that man couldn't ruin any more of his vacations.
Oliver Babish: That he had multiple sclerosis, and he concealed it, and in doing so stepped deeper into shit than any President since Nixon.
Richard Nixon: That political cover-ups weren't what they used to be.
Captain Ahab: That he was searching for something immense and impossible, something that was already within himself.
Stone Phillips: That they were lucky to get the bombshell interview. That it was a pity the press conference gave the bigger sound bite.
Sandy, a reporter: That he was going to run for a second term.
Ann Stark: That he was going to lose.
Kenny Thurman: That, considering the stress he was under, he should be forgiven a little distrust. But only a little.
Joey Lucas: That the odds of him getting elected to a second term were low, painfully low, considering he was really a great man. That he amazed her. That she would vote for him. That he had a remarkable staff, particularly the Deputy Chief.
Millicent Griffith, Surgeon General: That he let her keep her job, and that was an act of kindness. That he should talk to his middle child and quit smoking. That his medical condition did not incapacitate him. That he should not have lied.
Aristotle: That he was a great man with a great man's fatal flaws.
Aaron Sorkin: That he was a difficult character, because he had to be the focus of any scene he was in, and he had to be idealistic and even whimsical without losing any of his wisdom and practicality. That the MS was probably a bad idea, but it was too late now.
Martin Sheen: That he was wonderful to live inside, more intense than Captain Willard, even. That he had an excellent supporting cast, and his show gave Charlie's a royal beating in the ratings every week.
The Virgin Mary: That he was a decent man, better than many of those who prayed to her name. That whatever his actions, his heart was clear and pure and fine.
William Jennings Bryan: That he gave Democrats a bad name.
Sam Seaborn: That maybe it's dangerous to believe things too strongly. That maybe it means you get disappointed and hurt, you compromise, and you lose. That it was impossible for him not to believe in that man.
Donna Moss: That he was stunningly smart, definitely noble, certainly deserving. That he changed her life forever, changed all their lives. That she hoped he would be all right.
Bill Clinton: That it would be nice if real life was like that.
George W. Bush: That it would be really nice if real life was like that.
Job: That bad things happen to good people.
Charlie Young: That he was a good man, a fair boss, and the closest thing to a father he'd ever had. That he was a hero.
Catherine Bartlet, his grandmother: That as proud as she always was of her grandson, he did have a tendency to bite off more than he could chew.
Mickey Mouse: That he was destined from his creation to become part of the strange mythology America likes to pretend it doesn't possess.
Annie Bartlet, his granddaughter: That he was always something special.