D.B. Woodside as Wayne Palmer
|First appearance||Day 3 – Episode 1|
|Last appearance||Day 6 – Episode 18|
|Portrayed by||D.B. Woodside|
|Days||3, 5, 6|
|Family||David Palmer (Brother)|
|Significant other(s)||Julia Milliken|
The brother of former President David Palmer, Wayne came in to replace Mike Novick as the President's Chief of Staff, after Palmer had relieved Novick of his duties at the end of Season Two. He is a veteran Marine. He also has a sister named Sandra Palmer. After high school, he received a baseball scholarship to Stanford University, where he was a pitcher and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. It is presumed that, like his brother, Wayne Palmer is a Democrat.
Before being employed by the President, Palmer was a member of the United States Marine Corps, though he did not see combat. At some point after being discharged, Palmer worked as an Attorney at Law for Anderson & Siebertz. Afterwards, he served as a COO for Milliken Enterprises, a business owned by Alan Milliken, a high-powered businessman backer of his brother. While Milliken was hospitalized with a stroke, Wayne embarked upon an affair with Milliken's wife, Julia.
Wayne Palmer is currently married, although his spouse is neither mentioned nor seen on screen.
Although Wayne has experienced the difficulty of resolving crises when he was Chief of Staff for his brother, he displays weakness and uncertainty when making tough decisions. He frequently enlists the advice of Karen Hayes and Tom Lennox; an example of which is when he is indecisive about whether Hamri Al-Assad is the man orchestrating the many terrorist attacks in the country, and not Abu Fayed. It is later revealed that it was in fact Fayed, and his decision to kill Assad (which was unsuccessful largely due to the actions of Jack Bauer) causes Wayne to realize his inability to make tough decisions quickly.
24: Season 3
In the early events of the season, Wayne Palmer secretly finds a way to present his brother, President David Palmer, with the "playbook" of his opponent in the upcoming presidential election, including everything that the opponent plans to say in the scheduled presidential debate.
When David gives Wayne instructions to dispose of the playbook, Wayne confides that information in the playbook is essential to the President's campaign. He says that there is material that implicates David in a scandal with Anne Packard, his lover. If this story is leaked, it could prevent David from winning the election.
Milliken, an important backer of the President, finds out that Wayne is having an affair with his wife, Julia, and presents the information to the President, demanding that he fire Wayne as Chief of Staff.
Instead of allowing Wayne to resign, David calls in his ex-wife, Sherry, to dig up dirt on Milliken. When she fails in her attempt to counter-blackmail Milliken, Sherry takes the opportunity to prevent Milliken from reaching his medication during a heart attack and convinces Julia not to help him. Milliken dies from the heart attack in front of Julia and Sherry. President Palmer provides an alibi for Sherry to the police. Sherry then attempts to expose the truth for reasons of her own. Wayne brings in a specialist to obtain evidence linking Sherry to Milliken's death. The evidence is obtained, but Milliken's wife, Julia, facing jail time, arrives at Sherry's house with the intent to kill her. Despite his efforts to stop Julia, Wayne must watch in horror as she murders Sherry and then kills herself. Because of his connection to the deaths of Milliken, Julia and Sherry, David Palmer decides not to seek a second term as President.
24: Season 5
At the start of Season Five, Wayne is helping his brother write his memoirs at Wayne's apartment. It is then that David Palmer is shot in the neck and killed by a sniper. Later, as the FBI comb the crime scene, Jack Bauer quietly infiltrates the apartment but is surprised by Wayne, who is under the assumption that Bauer was responsible for carrying out the assassination. After Bauer manages to convince him otherwise, Wayne helps to uncover information about his brother's death and a plot within the administration.
Shortly after martial law is declared by President Charles Logan, Wayne contacts Secret Service Agent Aaron Pierce to discuss new information concerning David Palmer and the events of the day. As he approaches Logan's retreat, a van of armed commandos working for Christopher Henderson attack his car. He survives and manages to flee his assailants. Wayne escapes, though injured, with the help of Pierce.
Wayne and Aaron walk into the Presidential retreat and confront Martha Logan's personal assistant, Evelyn Martin, then talk to her regarding e-mails that she exchanged with his brother, David Palmer. Evelyn reveals that she told David who was behind the plot in the government, and that a kidnapper (later revealed to be Henderson) has her eight-year-old daughter. Wayne calls Jack Bauer to assist him, and they rendezvous outside the retreat. Jack allows Wayne to come along to the exchange, where the both of them rescue Evelyn's daughter and kill Henderson's thugs, but fail to capture Henderson himself.
Wayne later helps Jack to break into a bank in order to retrieve evidence that demonstrates President Logan's involvement in his brother's death. After recovering the evidence, Jack takes Wayne to meet with Bill Buchanan, who leads him to a safe house as per Jack's advice. Wayne is not seen throughout the remainder of the season; later, according to President Logan, his whereabouts are still unknown. Wayne is also not seen at his brother's ceremony, which takes place in the final episode of the season, "6:00 AM - 7:00 AM", but it is likely that he attended the funeral service in Washington DC.
24: Season 6 and death
|This section may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. (May 2009)|
Wayne is elected President and inaugurated three months prior to Season 6. In one of his first acts as President, he negotiates Jack Bauer's release from the Chinese government. He pays a high price to the Chinese for his release, only to trade Jack to Abu Fayed as well as $25,000,000 for the location of Hamri Al-Assad. It costs him a high emotional price as well; he is forced to sell out an agent who was very loyal to his brother. He pays it, asking Jack to do it for the sake of the country.
Jack is able to free himself by gnawing off a chunk of a terrorist's neck. When the CTU does not act on the information Jack gives them, he organizes an escape plan for Assad, the man the authorities believe is responsible for the events leading up to season 6.
Wayne eventually trusts Jack as corroborating evidence presents itself. He invites Assad to Washington to broker a deal to solve the current crisis as well as to bridge the gap between the Muslims of the world and the US government. As part of the agreement, Wayne pardons Assad of all past crimes.
Internally, Wayne sees strife between Karen Hayes and Tom Lennox, with Hayes stressing the importance that the Muslim-American community had played in turning in terrorists, while Lennox draws up plans for ethnic detention facilities. Wayne initially rejects Lennox's plan, but reconsiders after the suitcase nuke detonated in Valencia, California, north of LA. However, he ultimately decides that the principles of American freedom are more important than the supposed security detention camps would provide, and rejects the proposal once again.
When Assad arrives in Washington, Wayne requests that Assad make his alliance with the President public. This series of events makes the President very unpopular with his own administration, to the point that some members conspire to assassinate him. So far, the only known conspirators are Reed Pollack and a man Pollack referred to as "Carson". Lennox almost joins the conspiracy, but refuses to participate in the killing of a President. As 5:00 p.m. on Day 6 approaches, Reed places the bomb in the pressroom, mere feet from Palmer and sets it off after exiting. Assad covers Wayne with his own body, allowing Palmer to survive the explosion, but Wayne is severely injured. As of 6:00 p.m., Palmer is in stable condition, but it is unknown whether he will ultimately survive. Karen Hayes plans to convince Sandra Palmer to allow Wayne to be woken up. While this is a major risk to his life, it would allow him to stop Noah Daniels from launching a nuclear attack on Assad's country. Hayes received Sandra's permission to free Wayne of his coma, but soon thereafter, it seemed that complications had arisen. However, minutes later, Wayne retracts the order made by Daniels demanding a nuclear strike and resumes his role as President — much to the chagrin of Daniels, who threatens to have Palmer removed from office, citing what Daniels perceives as an incapability that prevents Palmer from properly executing his duties as President.
Daniels attempts to invoke the 25th Amendment by contacting the Cabinet. The subsequent vote for Palmer's removal is a tie, which lets him remain in office, because the number of votes for his removal failed to amount to a majority. Daniels, however, challenges the legality of Hayes' vote — as she had earlier resigned. Hayes counters that she withdrew her resignation before it could be processed. Daniels claims he never recognized her as National Security Advisor and at the Attorney General's suggestion, the case is set to be brought before the Supreme Court, however, Daniels is forced to drop the charge under threats from Lennox. Palmer officially returns to duty, immediately continuing with the nuclear launch; he states that he is aware of critics, Daniels and Lennox specifically, referring to him as a weak President.
Despite Lennox's protests, the nuclear missile is launched from the submarine. The country's ambassador, fearing war with the US, places an urgent call to Palmer, and explains that his government has "uncovered new information", revealing that one of their generals was known to have been supporting Fayed and is now under interrogation. Wayne accuses him of withholding that information up to that point, and tells the ambassador that the attack will be aborted, and then privately tells Lennox that the missile was in fact a dud, and that, unlike Daniels, he had no intention of risking innocent lives. The missile was unarmed and used to scare the ambassador of the country into providing information.
When Lennox comes to apologize to him, Palmer asks Lennox if he has any information over Daniels that might have caused the abrupt withdrawal of his affidavit. Lennox tells Palmer, that his job is to inform and protect him and that those goals do not always go hand in hand.
Despite regaining his office, Palmer's health continues to deteriorate from the combined effects of the assassination attempt, his early removal from his coma, and the excessive use of adrenaline.
During a meeting with the ambassador, Palmer suggests that they shoot one of the renegade general's sons in front of him, in order to force his cooperation. The ambassador argues that his nation could not possibly sanction that type of behavior, but Palmer counters that his country does much worse to political opposition. The ambassador reluctantly agrees. Wayne soon unexpectedly dismisses the ambassador, and orders Lennox to lock the door, as he gasps for breath. “No one can know,” he wheezes as he collapses onto the floor. The White House doctor soon arrives and refuses to give Wayne any more adrenaline. Wayne refuses medical help, and goes back to work. Lennox again confronts him and urges him to seek medical attention, but Palmer refuses; he knows Daniels would only see it as another chance to steal the Presidency. Lennox explains that this will not happen again, due to the evidence he has over Daniels.
When Palmer learns that the nukes have been apprehended, he orders preparations to be made for a press conference and the removal of operations from the bunker and back to the West Wing. He even refuses to wait for an assessment of the situation by the Secret Service. In the Oval Office, Palmer orders Daniels to resign, because he cannot run the country with Daniels undermining his authority. Daniels initially refuses, citing that the Vice President is an elected official and can’t be dismissed by the whim of the President. Palmer reminds him of the tape recording that Lennox acquired. Palmer allows him one week to tender his letter of resignation. At this time, Palmer also authorizes Bauer's mission to rescue Audrey, in spite of the potentially devastating consequences, should the mission go awry.
Palmer announces to the press that Fayed is dead and that the suitcase nukes have been recovered. He thanks law enforcement and the Armed Services, but starts to struggle with his memory during the press questions and stammers. Suddenly, he faints. His doctors suspect cerebral hemorrhage, and they do not think he will regain consciousness. Daniels assumes the powers of President, and Palmer does not appear in the remainder of the season, presumed still in his coma. Yuri Suvarov, the Russian president, says that he wishes the best for Palmer.
Some material released as promotion of 24 (Season 7) revealed that Wayne Palmer died of his injuries shortly after the end of Season 6. Noah Daniels concluded Palmer's term, but ultimately failed to win the general election against Republican Allison Taylor. He is the second President to be killed off in the show during his term, the first one being John Keeler during Day 4.