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Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Schott
|Created by||Debora Cahn|
|Portrayed by||Kristin Chenoweth|
|Occupation||Deputy Press Secretary/Media Consultant (Season 6), Santos Campaign Aide (Season 7), Press Secretary of the First Lady (end of Season 7)|
Annabeth Schott, played by Kristin Chenoweth, is a fictional character on the political drama The West Wing. She joins the Bartlet administration in Season 6 as Deputy Press Secretary for media relations following the promotion of C.J. Cregg to White House Chief of Staff, although she applied for a different position after working for and reportedly "discovering" political talk show host Taylor Reid. She holds a bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Maryland.
As Deputy Press Secretary, Annabeth is often called upon to brief the press, particularly as Toby Ziegler, who has been filling in for C.J., is often occupied by his duties as White House Communications Director. Although able to talk to reporters effectively outside of the realm of press briefings, Annabeth finds herself nervous in the formal briefing setting. Instead, she does her best to coach Toby, who is prickly and mumbly with the press, to use his natural "watchable quality" to turn him into an able Acting Press Secretary.
Toward the end of Season 6, Annabeth assists Leo McGarry in running the 2006 Democratic National Convention. Leo is announced as the vice-presidential running mate of Matt Santos at convention and in Season 7, Schott joins the Santos-McGarry campaign as Leo's chief aide. The two bond quickly and are rarely seen apart in the first half of the season. At one point when Leo suggests they get dinner, Annabeth says she thinks it would be best if they kept their distance when not working "because of the tension." After walking away, Leo wonders to himself "What tension?"
Leo uses Annabeth's name to leak to the press that he is a poor debater, lowering expectations for his performance in the vice-presidential debate, in which he performs spectacularly. When confronted by Annabeth on this, Leo mentions that she should never use her cat's name as her computer password. The two continue to be close and at one point when Annabeth is singing to herself, Donna Moss muses that it is because of Leo.
On the night of the 2006 election, Annabeth goes to Leo's room where she believes he is taking a nap. She finds him unconscious on the floor, having suffered a second heart attack. He is rushed to the hospital and soon pronounced dead. Annabeth is the only one of his friends and family with him when he dies.
Following Leo's death and the election of Matt Santos as President, Annabeth is selected by First Lady Helen Santos as her Press Secretary, working alongside Donna Moss, who is named Helen Santos' Chief of Staff.