Talk:Josiah Bartlet

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Rebuttal to ommission of "Former President"[edit]

To call Bartlet anything than the former President of the United States is wrong. At the end of the series, he has been succeeded by Matt Santos, and is therefore the former President. By extension, C.J. is no longer Chief of Staff, and has been replaced by Josh. Her article reflects this information correctly, labeling her the "former White House Chief of Staff."

Additionally, your Batman analogy is just wrong. First, Batman is not an office, it is a persona. Second, to continue the discussion of C.J., she was Press Secretary for the majority of the show's run. Does this mean that it is incorrect to call her the "former Press Secretary?" How can she be both Press Secretary and Chief of Staff? Likewise, Bartlet can never be both a private citizen and the President of the United States. He may always be referred to as "President Bartlet;" that is a matter of custom, as you will hear Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter referred to as "President Clinton" and "President Carter" even after they have left office. However, this does not mean that either of them are still President of the United States.

Personally, I don't like that C.J.'s article calls her "former" Press Secretary either. It would probably be better to just say she's a "character" and then say that in the early part of the series she's Press Secretary and later she's Chief of Staff (although that might be a spoiler for those who haven't seen the later seasons.)
My Batman analogy wasn't meant to be an exact analogy. I was just trying to make a point about how Bruce Wayne is overwhelmingly identified as Batman and therefore to call him "formerly Batman" is to imply that there was a long period in which he was no longer Batman. Likewise, I feel that calling Bartlet "former president" implies that he is the "former president" throughout the show, which is incorrect.
But, be that as it may. We'll probably just have to agree to disagree on that. How about we just let the reader decide what he is? I've changed the article so that it explains that he's POTUS until the last episode. (NOTE: I deliberately have not written who his successor is because that's a spoiler for those who haven't seen the 7th season.) --Hnsampat 17:27, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The key thing to remember here is that we are dealing with fiction. The key things that people want to know about the character will be what they were and did in the series to the best phraseology is something like "chracter was President of the US for virtually all of the series". DJ Clayworth 17:59, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

(Just my 2 cents) I think Wiki should talk about the TV show for everyone, including people who did not watch the series yet. Is the fact it was on TV means it happens for everyone? Is the minute a book is published means it is over? In literature because a character dies at the end we do not constantly refer to him as “the dead serial killer” we say “the serial killer”.
Pretend you have to sell the series to a new market (on Mars), then you have to make a “sales pitch” will you explain how “this former president did this and that”? Rather how “this president do this and that”. This being said, it is a minor issue IMHO (no flame-war from me, will not edit in any way on this), but I am pretty sure specific rules exists, any English Lit or Journalism teacher can butt in here? For my personal knowledge)YegLi 30 Oct 2007 —Preceding comment was added at 23:01, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


I think the lead is technically wrong when it says that he was always President. Remember when I think Chloe was kidnapped and he stepped down for a bit? American Patriot 1776 00:49, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Fair point, but that's actually a gray area in American law in real life as well. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush invoked the 25th Amendment during their presidencies when they were going to be under anesthesia for a few hours when undergoing colonoscopies. Their VPs (George Bush, Sr., and Dick Cheney, respectively) became the "Acting President." There's a bit of a debate as to whether Reagan and Bush were still POTUS while under anesthesia. Generally, though, it is agreed that they were and that their VPs were just "Acting Presidents." Likewise, Glen Allen Walken (who took over when Bartlet invoked the 25th amendment) wasn't the "actual" POTUS; he was the Acting President. --Hnsampat 10:28, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

There is no doubt that Reagan and Bush were still the President. They held the title and the office, just not the powers of the office. Nooders123 23:34, 23 May (BST)

Govenor of New Hampshire???[edit]

In 'Bartlet for America', we see Leo going to visit Bartlet to encourage him to run for president. He was govenor of NH at this time. However in The Shadow of Two Gunmen, when the results of the primaries come in, they say that former NH govenor wins the primaries. The Presidential Election took place in 1998, so the primaries would have taken place before this, and so Bartlet would not have still been govenor in 1999, right?

Although throughout the primary season he is called Govenor, is this because he still holds the office or is entitled to in the same way that former presidents still hold the title and not the office? Nooders123 23:34

It's possible that he resigned as Governor after accepting the Democratic Nomination for President. In New Hampshire the Governor is elected every two years so his office would have been up for election on the same day he was elected President. Had he not resigned he would still be Governor when the election was held. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:23, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

In the flashback in another episode Barlet was in the Governor's Mansion some three days after he was elected President. Former Governors do not live in the Governor's Mansion. Therefore if he was a former Governor at the time, he would have been there on the invitation of the Governor who replaced him.--The Shadow Treasurer (talk) 06:47, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

What about the terms? Two terms, 1995-1999? One term is four years. So it has to be one term. SpencerHill (talk) 22:43, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Succession boxes[edit]

Does anyone else think these are a little dumb? Only two names go in any of these (Bartlet and Santos) and now the series is over we know we will never get any more. Having a succession box for a position only ever held by one or two people is not very useful. DJ Clayworth 18:02, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and it makes the page rather "busy" for no apparent reason. Jc37 00:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


The issue of "former", and whether Owen Lassiter precedes the President Bartlet, are all issues of timeline skew, and shouldn't be an issue on this page for the several reasons Hnsampat stated above. (In particular, point 3.)

Also, while we "can" say former President Clinton, we can also say President Clinton.

So at this point, I would think that the point is moot, and the article should be done in the present tense.

If one felt it necessary, a footnote or subsection at the bottom could inform about the Santos victory. This would leave the article intact, and yet give accurate information. Jc37 00:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Presidential line of succession for the Bartlet administration[edit]

Because that page and this page duplicate information, I turned it into a template for easier editing of information.

This page has better formatting, so I suggest that we merge the two into the template.

However, the template includes the Speaker and the Pres Pro-tempore of the Senate.

Maybe we should remove them, and just rename the page: President Bartlet's cabinet on The West Wing.

(Or something like that : )
- Jc37 01:37, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Present Tense[edit]

While I agree with the "present tense", there is a grammatical problem with tense in the sentence progression.

"In the seventh and final season of The West Wing, Bartlet is in the last year of his term. He is succeeded by Democratic Congressman Matthew Santos, a former Houston Mayor, who defeats Republican Senator Arnold Vinick of California in the 2006 presidential election. Bartlet returns to his New Hampshire home aboard Air Force One with his wife, and has the last word of the series: when Mrs. Bartlet asked the introspective former President Bartlet what he is thinking about, Bartlet replies, "Tomorrow.""

Event A follows after event B. So if event B has occurred, then event A needs to be past tense.

So since, in the sentence, Bartlet is defeated by Santos, then anything that occurred prior to that MUST be in the past tense.

Incorrect:He is succeeded by someone, who defeats someone.

Correct:He is succeeded by someone, who defeated someone.

Following this in rewriting the paragraph:

"In the seventh and final season of The West Wing, Bartlet is in the last year of his term. He is succeeded by Democratic Congressman Matthew Santos, a former Houston Mayor, who defeated Republican Senator Arnold Vinick of California in the 2006 presidential election. Bartlet then returns to his New Hampshire home aboard Air Force One with his wife, and has the last word of the series: when Mrs. Bartlet asked the introspective former President Bartlet what he is thinking about, Bartlet replies, "Tomorrow.""

- Jc37 05:46, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

While I see your logic, I disagree. This is one of those quirks about literary present tense. In normal speech, it makes sense that if something in the present follows something else, then that other thing is described in past tense. However, one of the keys to literary present tense is that the entire literary work is in the present tense. We saw the 2006 election and we saw Santos beat Vinick. So, for us, that is as much in the present tense as is Santos succeeding Bartlet. The entire series has to be in the present tense. The only situation in which it might be acceptable to say "Bartlet is succeeded by Santos, who defeated Vinick" is if Santos' victory over Vinick occurred before the show began. (This is also why it is usually considered acceptable to call Bartlet the "former" governor of New Hampshire but not the "former" President; he was governor of New Hampshire before the show began, if that makes sense.) So, while it may seem illogical, literary present tense dictates that the grammatically correct sentence read: "Bartlet is succeeded by Santos, who defeats Vinick," since both events occur during the story of the show. --Hnsampat 12:42, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, no. It's either grammatically correct or not. If there is a stylistic concern about keeping the wording in literary present tense (LPT), then the sentence(s) need rewriting. Style only outweighs grammar in poetry : )
Btw: Check out Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)#tense (and other places on that page) for a discussion about LPT and several other examples. - Jc37 21:48, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
On this one, I'm going to have to side with jc37 slightly. The LPT is limited to the event that you are talking about currently. An example:
"Goldilocks opens the door to find three beds, just like the three bowls of porridge she found earlier."
So the sentence in question should have Santos succeeds Bartlet, Santos defeated Vinick. — Scm83x hook 'em 22:21, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to respectfully disagree with both of you and stand by my statement that present tense is needed here. However, let's agree to disagree and compromise on this. I'm going to change the wording to something along the lines of "In 2006, Congressman Matt Santos defeats Senator Arnold Vinick, becoming Bartlet's successor." Sound good? --Hnsampat 01:27, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

There are several problems with the most recent edit:

"In the seventh and final season of The West Wing, Bartlet is in the last year of his term. In that season, the 2006 presidential election is held, in which Congressman Matthew Santos, a former Houston Mayor, defeats Republican Senator Arnold Vinick of California, becoming Bartlet's successor. Bartlet then returns to his New Hampshire home aboard Air Force One with his wife, and has the last word of the series: when Mrs. Bartlet asked the introspective former President Bartlet what he is thinking about, Bartlet replies, "Tomorrow.""

How about this:

"In the seventh and final season of The West Wing, Bartlet is in the last year of his term as president." (And add some bridging sentence.)

"Near the end of this season (and the series), the Democratic nominee, Congressman Matthew Santos, a former Houston Mayor, defeats the Republican nominee, Senator Arnold Vinick of California in the 2006 presidential election, and thereby becomes Bartlet's successor."

"Bartlet subsequently returns to his New Hampshire home aboard Air Force One with his wife, and while en route, has the last word of the series. It occurs when Mrs. Bartlet asks the introspective former President what he is thinking about, and Bartlet replies: "Tomorrow.""

I split this in three sections, because they are three separate ideas (which should be separate paragraphs) The first paragraph could use some fleshing out (Bartlet in the final season), if for no other reason than to bridge going from "last term" to suddenly talking about another semi-related event (the election) which also occurred in the last season. - Jc37 02:57, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. That paragraph, as currently written, crams too much information into too few words. Go ahead and change it. --Hnsampat 12:56, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I was about to suggest that the "bridging sentence" be something about Bartlet dealing with the Kazakhstan issue, but I just noticed something. This article says little to nothing about Bartlet's policies and accomplishments. Maybe we should expand on that a bit? Also, on an unrelated note, the article says that Bartlet served on the New Hampshire State Board of Education. In what episode does it say that? As far as I know, he never served on that (although one of his former election opponents did win a local school board election in "The Midterms"). --Hnsampat 13:01, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Middle Name[edit]

What episode is his middle name "Edward" from? I can't seem to find it searching through transcripts. Is it from the 6th or 7th season, or is it just assumed by the nickname "Jed?"-- 18:47, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

It's a reference made by the Special Prosecutor when he hands down the subpoena for the impending grand jury investigation. The episode referred to is "Ways and Means" (Season 3) Prqc 19:35, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks alot. It's not in the transcript, because it wasn't stated. It was seen on the paper.--Tim Thomason 02:47, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Bartlet's Brother[edit]

Should there be some mention made in this entry that Bartlet has at least one brother, Jonathan? (Mentioned in the 2nd season episode "Somebody's Going to Emergency...") LJade728 04:14, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Should there be some mention of Bartlet being censured by the House during Season 3?


Abby mentions in "The Indians in the Lobby" that Bartlet doesn't speak French. So, we know Bartlet speaks four languages and French isn't one of them. Here's the question: should we specifically mention that he doesn't speak French just because it's been mentioned on the show as such?

I say we should not. There are many other languages that Bartlet does not speak (i.e. every other language in the world except for the four that he does speak). While other episodes may not explicitly say "Bartlet doesn't speak X," we can infer what other languages Bartlet doesn't speak. For example, since he needs a translator to talk to Abdul Shareef, we know he doesn't speak Arabic. Since President Nimbala of Equatorial Kundu speaks to Bartlet through a translator, we can assume that Bartlet does not speak whatever language Nimbala speaks. Also, we can infer he doesn't speak Spanish since he has to talk to all Latin American leaders through translators. Ditto for the Indonesian president. If we say that Bartlet doesn't speak French, then it's only fair that we also mention what other languages he doesn't speak, according to other episodes of the show. (Failing to do that would indicate that we feel that French is more deserving of mention than other languages.)

But, as we can tell, that list of languages he doesn't speak would get very long very quickly. So, that's why I say that we just stick to the languages he *does* speak and no others. --Hnsampat 11:54, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

More basically, the number of languages a character speaks is more trivial minutiae than anything notable. Certainly the languages he doesn't speak is even less notable (or more non-notable). --EEMeltonIV 13:00, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Merely asking for a translator is not enough to infer the lack of ability to speak a language. Politicians often use translators as a tool to give them more time to think when speaking to foreign dignitaries. At other times a the translator serves to fill in for a politicians lack of complete fluency. Moreover what viewers infer is not fact, but Abby specifically mentioned that President Bartlet speaks four languages but not french. The same source that gives you the fact you cite lends equal veracity to my point, the same sentence even. Now I don't know all the rules for this forum (and until I received a message I didn't know I could communicate with other Wikipedia Users) so I am sorry if I make some mistake in the signing of this post. ForeverZero 05:01, 27 April 2007 (UTC) ForeverZero

The fact that Bartlet does not speak French, though, is trivial. Okay, so Abbey may have mentioned that he doesn't speak French. That still is not enough to merit its inclusion in the article. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. It adds nothing to the article to point out which languages he *doesn't* speak. It's just one of those things that is interesting without being notable. Furthermore, by including it in the article, we are demonstrating that we consider French to be superior to other languages, since we are going out of our way to mention that Bartlet does not speak that. I know that you feel we are merely quoting Abbey and so that should be okay, but it's not. --Hnsampat 15:17, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Huh, I think you're right. You guys have a good point. BUT HE STILL DOESNT SPEAK FRENCH!!!!! ~FZ

I added the citations for the other languages, but I thought I would explain, since there was a thing here. In "He Shall...", Bartlet translates a passage from a Latin version of the Constitution; in "The Women of Qumar," he tells Charlie that Ernst Haeckel's book is better in the original German; and Bartlet frequently speaks English throughout the series. And it actually is kind of weird that Bartlet has a doctorate in Economics but can't speak French, especially given the significant early French work in political economy. But if I didn't speak French, I wouldn't want in my Wiki article, either.Hansonfan 17:42, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Other proof that he speaks Latin and German is of course the great scene in the season two finale where he yells at God in His "own language" and I forget the episode but there's a scene where Leo is frustrating Bartlet a bit and the President says a quick sentence in German to express his annoyance. Incidentally, Bartlet is supposed to be an idealized version of Bill Clinton and Clinton also speaks a bit of German. And as for the fourth language, if you don't mind wild speculation (at least on the Talk page), if he planned on becoming a Catholic priest (that was why, after all, he went to Notre Dame in the first place), there would be a strong chance that he would know some Italian.-- (talk) 15:17, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Possibly, but I believe it would be more common for people studying theology to have learned New Testament Greek. It would certainly be consistent with his interest in classics for the four languages to be English, Latin, Greek and German. ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
Found the German reference. It's in "Enemies Foreign and Domestic", Leo keeps persisting that they should help out their friends and contributors who will announce a huge chip recall and Bartlet exasperatedly asks: "Was willst du von mein Leben?"-- (talk) 15:32, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

He can't speak Latin either since no one does. Reading a language out loud is not the same thing as conversing in it. I have changed the text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

He does speak Latin. Remember when he yells at God in Latin in "Two Cathedrals"? --Hnsampat (talk) 19:51, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

In my understanding of Abbey's "You speak four languages, why isn't one of them French?" was irony and simply her making fun of him misspeaking. Lyly _ Neuc (talk) 16:18, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

i agree with the last comment by Lyly _ Neuc, or at least with the possibility that you are taking Abbey to seriously and more than that - to literally. She could both be exaggerating (again, high and low) when mentioning "4 languages", and understating when she states "one of them is not French". After seeing the show about 50 times over, my subjective view would be that Bartlet does speak French. Not only that, but even before seeing this discussion it came to me impulsively, even though i never thought about that concrete piece of detail. I did spontaneously however read Abbeys comment in a way described, not to say such observation is correct. I'd also add that I've seen everything made by Aaron Sorkin about 50 times over at least, and again my impression would be he doesn't think about these details when writing a line "You speak 4 languages". And finally, yeah, its fucking awesome Bartlet speaks Latin :) [Matija Radeljak] 22:21, 18 January 2017 (UTC+1)

Presidential Library?[edit]

When do we find out about the presidential library? What ep? --Mattbray 10:19, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

It's the very first episode of the 7th season. (I don't remember the title.) --Hnsampat 13:02, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

It's much earleir in the series. Season Two ( Somebody's going to Emergenyc...) --Darthbalmung 02:12, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

That's true. In that episode, they're talking about selecting a location for the Bartlet Presidential Library. But the first the we actually see the library is in the first episode of season 7. --Hnsampat 02:39, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Question re Bartlet[edit]

Question: Barlet's Presidency started in 1998, did it not? That certainly fits with the elections in 2002 and 2006. This needs editing, no? --Stephen K Bush 22:05, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Bartlet was elected in 1998, so his term began January 20, 1999. What exactly do you feel needs to be edited? --Hnsampat 22:40, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Out of Universe[edit]

I'm going to try to make a very small start on turning this into a genuine, encyclopedic, out-of-universe description. 17:33, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your efforts. However, the edit that you made was redundant, as that information is already in the article under "Notes" (although that may not be the best place for it). But, please keep up the effort! --Hnsampat 02:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Secretary Of Defense[edit]

I think the cabibnet listing should be changed to show that Miles Hutchinson was not Secretary of Defense from day 1 of term 1. At some point in the first term he became secretary, but theres many military strategy moments early that he is not in the situation room where he would most definatly be had he been the Secretary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:29, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

I must admit, the approach to Mile Hutchinson is very vague. We know he was Secretary of Defense in the very first episode (Pilot) which was the middle of Bartlet's first year. My guess is that he would have been Secretary of Defense since Bartlet began his first term (20 Jan 1999). Unless you have evidence to cite otherwise I reckon the wikipedia article is fine to state that Hutchinson was Secretary of Defense for all of Bartlet's presidency (1999-2007). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


Please could this word be explained? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

From the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (which can be accessed, along with other dictionaries, at
hok·ey /ˈhoʊki/
1. cloyingly sentimental; mawkish.
2. obviously contrived, esp. to win popular appeal or support; phony.
I've Wiktionaried the term in case anybody else gets confused. --Hnsampat (talk) 15:15, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Info on Presidency[edit]

It should be amended to show that his presidency was struggling to get anything done until the episode Let Bartlet Be Bartlet. ~ Dancemotron (talk) 05:16, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Then go ahead and add it. :) --Hnsampat (talk) 05:24, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if I'd say that, exactly. The point in that episode, I think, wasn't that the administration wasn't getting anything done, it's that they were gravitating towards what was popular as opposed to what they believed to be right. Shoemoney2night (talk) 10:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
They weren't even doing what was popular. They mere merely doing what was safe. Remember how their approval ranking dropped by a few points without them doing anything? The point, though, is that when we say they couldn't get "anything" done, we mean they couldn't implement their own policies and were basically getting pushed around by Congress and the media. --Hnsampat (talk) 12:32, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it deliberate that the article barely mentions that he's a Democrat? I'm not a viewer of the programme, but I came to the article to find out which party he's a member of, and it's brushed over so lightly in the article that I had to come to the talk page here to get confirmation. --VinceBowdren (talk) 22:57, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

On the contrary, I think that his being a Democrat is so obvious to viewers of the show that none of us noticed that it isn't explicitly spelled out in the article. We need to fix that accordingly. --Hnsampat (talk) 23:01, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Shouldn't be too difficult - needs added to the infobox, and the article's current introduction could do with a rewrite. It certainly wasn't deliberate IMO. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 11:29, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Pro-Life ?[edit]

Is this character really pro-life, in the sense it´s used in the USA, or pro-choice ? It was debated before if he could be qualified as "devout", and this was also debated before. I just got the impression that he´s not really pro-life. If so how could he have won the Democratic Party nomination ? (talk) 13:43, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

He personally opposes abortion on moral and religious grounds, but he does not feel it is the government's place to be legislating the issue. So, if we must categorize where his "loyalty" lies, then he's pro-choice. But, if there's anything that The West Wing tries to prove in each episode, it's that politics and government is way more complicated than simple right-vs.-left stance on issues. --Hnsampat (talk) 15:13, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Since this is just a fictional character, it wouldn´t be impossible that a more pro-life then pro-choice Democratic President to be elected. Sorry, but you seemed to confuse the question : "he does not feel it is the government's place to be legislating the issue". Then, he would be an anarchist ? Sorry but there legislation everywhere concerning abortion. Most European countries tend to be nowdays more pro-choice, unlike almost all Latin American countries, except Cuba, and most of the Muslim countries, who are pro-life. What you now said also contradicts what you wrote before, that he was pro-life : "In any case, the whole point is moot, because Bartlet is pro-life. This is made clear in the pilot episode when Leo mentions to Rev. Caldwell that Bartlet is scheduled to give a speech encouraging women to avoid abortion. Leo says that Bartlet does not publicly push for pro-life legislation, however, because he struggles with whether it is proper for him to impose his faith on the public at large." So he seems to be pro-life only in a platonic way or there are any chance he would vote to overrule the 1973 law ? Martin Sheen himself is more into the pro-life side. (talk) 20:08, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

We're arguing over semantics here. I suggest that we end this discussion, since this isn't going to result in any change to the article. This talk page is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject, but rather is designed specifically for discussing changes or potential changes to the article itself. Thanks! --Hnsampat (talk) 20:35, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

This highly controversial issue is been always at stake at the American presidential elections in the last decades. I was just wandering if the things I asked are given a clear answear in the TV series. Anyway, it´s just fiction and, like it´s been pointed over and over, Democratic Party propaganda in form of TV series. The article doesn´t point, and that´s relevant, if he´s pro-life or pro-choice. It would make sense if this was added then. (talk) 21:58, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

The article doesn't make a huge issue out of it because the series itself doesn't make a huge issue out of it. In fact, the topic barely ever comes up on the show. You're the only one making any issue out of it and just because you are strongly interested in the abortion issue doesn't mean the article has to mention a word about it. The key criterion for inclusion here is notability and the series doesn't make an issue out of Bartlet's stance on abortion and therefore that tidbit of information isn't notable enough to include in the article. Furthermore, the kinds of questions you're asking require us to speculate, which is banned in Wikipedia under the policy of "no original research". So, there's no real argument that can be made for furthering this discussion. The article doesn't mention the subject because the series doesn't make an issue out of it; only you do.
Also, I take exception to you claiming that the show is "Democratic Party propaganda" (which, by the way, is not something that's been stated "over and over" like you say but rather has only been said by you) and I take exception to you blindly dismissing the show like that, since you admit that you've never watched the series yourself and thus have no basis for making any sort of judgment about it. It is a show that has received widespread critical acclaim and has been praised by liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans alike, not because it takes particular stances on issues but rather because of how it accurately and dramatically depicts government at work, which is way more complicated than a simple question of "Are you in favor of or against laws that restrict abortion?" The show demonstrates that politics may be conducted based on knee-jerk responses to various issues, but that governing is done based on nuance, compromise, and cooperation. But, really, I shouldn't even have to say all of this because this whole discussion is completely off-topic and will not bring about any change to the article. Wikipedia talk pages are not a forum for debating the abortion issue. Let me just say this: there is way, way, waaaaaaaay more to life, politics, Catholicism, Jed Bartlet, Martin Sheen, The West Wing, the Democratic Party, and this Wikipedia article than just the question of abortion. Can we please bring this discussion to a close now? Thank you very much. --Hnsampat (talk) 22:31, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Look, to be honest, I quite dislike american politics. If there was a TV series with USA with an agnostic President, with a new Constitution, with the parliamentary system, that means a different Head of State and a different Head of Government, without trying to copy american politics, who is rather depressing from an european point of view, I certainly would find it interesting. In matter of "Democratic Party" propaganda in disguise, we just need to point that most of the actors are from that party, and they even show a presidential election were both candidates are pro-choice, and obviously "religious". There is a strange religious paranoia in American politics, which explains the almost total absence of non religious politicians and the discrimination of non religious people. See Talk:Discrimination against atheists. Even dismissing the Democratic Party propaganda question, it would be a monument to "political correctness". (talk) 02:54, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

And, if you had actually watched the show before passing judgment and denouncing it, you may have learned that Arnold Vinick, the Republican candidate during the 6th and 7th seasons, is actually an atheist or an agnostic. But, really, there's no point arguing with you. You clearly have an agenda in mind and an axe to grind, but this is not the place to do it. There will be no further discussion on this subject unless you have something substantive to contribute, rather than just "questions" about the show meant to try to reassure your own biases. Thank you very much. --Hnsampat (talk) 03:35, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

(To the IP address intent on pushing an agenda) - If you don't care much for the program let alone the political system of the country it depicts then why are you participating in a discussion of topics to include or exclude on one of the television show's main characters? The show is over and finished, there aren't any new episodes and you aren't going to change anything by publishing ur opinion in a totally inappropriate manner in an irrelevant place. Yes, the program has explored abortion and the many view points attached to it but that makes it no less different from any other issue the program has explored. Terrorism, federal budget negotiations, drugs, international relations, states' rights, constitutional line of succession, the death penalty are all issues explored and many more but a fictional character's portrayed views on each issue doesn't require heavy abuse, unless of course your obsessed with what writers write in television scripts. On a side note, I'm sure from an American perspective, it was just as depressing watching the European countries' Parliaments squabble at each other during Question Time in the 1930s and 40s whilst their citizens were on the verge of being eaten alive by facism or communism or both. Regardless of which, this is a discussion forum on Martin Sheen's Josiah Bartlet, fictional President of the United States in the NBC television show The West Wing in case you needed reminding. To clarify anything, Matt Santos, the Democratic candidate who ran against Vinick in the 6th and 7th seasons actually told Leo McGarry that he himself was more prolife, a similar feeling that Bartlet has, but the two of them, in McGarry's words, were going to dance with the party that brought them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

could the info box be more like the ones of the typical president?[edit]

it would be kind of cool... you could even try to put the signature (i think someone with more skills than i could make it up from -the only place i've ever seen it- the episode "bad moon rising", where it can be seen behind toby at 35'...) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Camilorojas (talkcontribs) 05:50, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid not. Bartlet's not a real president; he's a fictional character, and so the fictional character infobox is used. Thanks for your enthusiasm, though! --Hnsampat (talk) 18:46, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

A Genuine Devout Catholic Would Have to be Strongly Pro-Life[edit]

This is more then obvious for a former Catholic like I was. It´s so difficult to be truly devout from a Catholic perspective, that means total commitment to the Catholic faith and it´s principles that a Catholic who disagrees with the Church in this issue, in any circunstance doesn´t qualifies himself as devout, because only anti-abortion legislation shows the protection of human life since the beginning. Not many Catholic politicians I can think about can be qualified as truly and that´s the real point "devouts". These are the cases of Lech Walesa and Julius Nyerere, who, despite their political differences, are or were strongly pro-life. All the Catholics who support abortion rights or hide that under a total morally unacceptable "choice", are at odds with the Church because they are under a severe mortal sin, and can and in my modest opinion should be denied communion. Believe me, for any person who passed intensily by the Catholic Church it´s easy to understand why the Catholics don´t have the right to disagree with the Church in such issues. That´s why this fictional charater is totally disqualified from being genuinely "devout". If anyone asks a decent priest or bishop he would say the same. That´s the end of the discussion, and I think I can speak in the name of those who don´t follow the Catholic Church anymore but understand fully this very controversial issue.---- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I've reverted you: see previous discussions above. In summary: Bartlet doesn't disagree with the Church as to its moral position; he simply disagrees that he should abuse his position as President to force his moral views on the nation. I note that the Church didn't excommunicate him, nor does it excommunicate numerous real-life politicians who "fail" to force through a Church line against the wishes of their electorate. Cheers, This flag once was redpropagandadeeds 17:56, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

We are not starting this discussion again. We've had it several times and the overwhelming consensus has been opposed to what is really becoming a holy war on Wikipedia waged by this one IP user. The IP user is clearly a one-issue contributor to Wikipedia solely interested in the specific task of asserting in Wikipedia articles that Catholic politicians who are not 100% in favor of outlawing all forms of abortion are not "true" Catholics. If you look through this user's contributions (including the contributions of his/her various other IP avatars), that's all this user has done on Wikipedia. The user doesn't even care about the broader categories of Catholicism or abortion or about the Catholic Church's views on other issues. The user judges Catholic politicians solely on the issue of abortion (if they favor outlawing abortion, they're Catholic, or else they're not), which the user is free to do outside of Wikipedia, but then that user tries to use Wikipedia to assert that viewpoint. This is disruptive POV pushing that frankly may require administrator intervention. In the meantime, however, I say that we deny recognition to this user, who uses these talk pages to create controversy and generate discussion that will give him/her a forum for airing his/her viewpoints. Enough feeding. Deny recognition. This discussion goes no further. --Hnsampat (talk) 16:38, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


I've added an in-universe tag because the biography section is very long and completely lacks perspective from the real world. Feel free to remove it once the problem is fixed. – DroEsperanto(talk|contribs) 14:35, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Er...I'm not sure if the length of the biography section alone is enough to classify the article as "in-universe." I feel like the article does include out-of-universe information in the "Creation and development" and "Reception" sections. Still, the biography could use some trimming; in particular, I think we should get rid of the "presidential appointments" thing altogether. What are the thoughts of the community? --Hnsampat (talk) 19:25, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Change Cabinet Table[edit]

How do you change the cabinet table in this article? I'd like to correct the years of service for a member of teh Cabinet but when I go to "edit" for that section, I just see Template:List of cabinet officials and then What's going on?

Fixed the template directly. JasonCNJ (talk) 10:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Unneccesary Removal of My Summary[edit]

It's beyond silly that my summary of Bartlett's Presidency which I made the effort to add at the bottom has been removed. Your own criticisms of the article say that it needs to be expanded to include an "out-of-universe" style. My summary was reasonably based in fact, took into consideration an "out-of-universe" perspective and made a sincere effort to add a meaningful conclusion to the article which had been noticably absent. You editors obviously have no goal other than to be king of s**t hill. Word gets around and believe me, there are people who realize that there are very good reasons not to take Wikipedia seriously. I'm not sure I really see any good reason to continue to contribute to your discussion when it's not really a discussion; or to make sincere well-meaning efforts to improve your encyclopedia when it's not really an encyclopedia. Go bully other people, no one needs this nonsense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

First of all, chill out. Wikipedia is by definition the online encyclopedia that anybody can edit. This means that nobody owns any contribution to any article and that means that any contribution can and will get mercilessly edited by other users. So, be aware of that whenever you contribute and don't take it personally. Second, if you disagree with some other user removing your contribution, you're not going to get what you want by ranting and engaging in personal attacks. Now, about your contribution. I think you meant well and made a good-faith edit. However, you also unfortunately crossed over into analysis, speculation, and original research. Hence, your edit was removed. You are welcome to continue to contribute, but please keep Wikipedia's policies and guidelines in mind and remember that others may disagree with you. In that situation, the best way to handle the situation is to rationally explain your reasons on this talk page, not to rant and rave. That kind of behavior will only get you in trouble. --Hnsampat (talk) 15:22, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Problematic sentence in first paragraph[edit]

This sentence is unclear: "Sheen is one of the main characters of The West Wing, who appeared in all but thirteen of the episodes in the series, sporadically and during the final season, for a total of 142 of the 155 episodes."

It's not clear what "sporadically and during the final season" either means or refers to. I might assume it's intended to mean that some of the thirteen episodes in which Sheen did not appear occurred sporadically during the show's final season.

If so, then the above might be reworded: "Sheen is one of the main characters of The West Wing. He appeared in all but thirteen episodes, or 142 of the show's 155 total episodes. He did not appear in some of the episodes from the show's final season."

That the episodes in which he did not appear were spaced "sporadically" will be assumed by the reader. It does not need to be stated, as no reader will assume that the episodes in which Sheen did not appear were spaced evenly throughout the season (for example).

Would these changes be agreeable?

Explanation of my recent (mostly stylistic) edits[edit]

Bartlet's compassion is an important personality trait. I removed the words "[compassion] for those less fortunate"... Less fortunate than whom? Than Bartlet himself? If so, then is Bartlet's compassion for his political rivals (who are less fortunate when he defeats them, for example), equal to his compassion for the least fortunate among us?

Certainly not -- and the latter meaning is intended. My edit seeks to clarify.

To expand: Bartlett has compassion, especially for the least fortunate. It therefore seems unnecessary to add words that limit the description of that compassion to some unspecified class ("those less fortunate") -- which may, for example, include Bob Mayer (Vinick's speechwriter, played by Stephen Root -- who may arguably be considered "less fortunate" than Bartlet, Santos, Josh Lyman, and so on).

Surely Bartlet's compassion is for the "least" fortunate in society, and that is what is meant by the clause "for those less fortunate." Removing the clause clarifies that meaning because the clause is unnecessarily limiting, and confusing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salon Essahj (talkcontribs) 01:50, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

SAT result[edit]

Perhaps the meaning of Bartlet's SAT result needs explaining to us foreigners who have never taken the test. According to the Wikipedia article on SAT:

The older SAT (before 1995) had a very high ceiling. In any given year, only seven of the million test-takers scored above 1580. A score above 1580 was equivalent to the 99.9995 percentile

Originally, I thought Bartlet's 1590 score was supposed to be out of 2400 (shows how much I know) but that didn't really sit with him being 1)very smart and 2)very focussed. 1590 out of 1600 is a bit different. Especially if you do it twice. Moletrouser (talk) 10:14, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Notability, sources and article length[edit]

I liked The West Wing, however, we should remember that this is an article about someone who never existed, except on a TV show where every other characters is fictional, too. So the article's length should reflect that the subject is not, in fact, notable at all. I also question whether Wikipedia articles describing specific episodes can count as reliable sources. It seems to be a circular argument: it happened because it happened. There are many good source notes and some which should be deleted because they are not actually sources, but merely descriptions on a different page which also have no sources.Catherinejarvis (talk) 17:38, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles are not sources[edit]

Using a Wikipedia article that does not have a source does not count as a reliable source. It is important to remember the policy on in-universe as well; this "person" never lived and never did things. "He" is fictional and so his actions are not relevant. The article should reflect real world experience: the actor, the producer, and not go on and on about the characters non-existent doings.Catherinejarvis (talk) 17:18, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Is the use of "amnesty" NPOV?[edit]

Under the "Presidency" section, the article includes the sentence, "Bartlet's accomplishments as President include granting amnesty to illegal immigrants from the Americas...." However, in the Wikipedia article on this application of the word "amnesty," it says: "In the illegal immigration debate, allowing illegal immigrants to legally remain in the United States is often called, usually by its opponents, amnesty.[22] Some observers contend that the word amnesty is improperly applied here. One reason is that the proposals under consideration include financial penalties for illegal immigrants. Another reason is that the government's current practice is generally to deport but not prosecute illegal immigrants and so there is sometimes no legal adjudication of 'guilt' to be forgiven."

I don't know what Bartlett did on the show regarding illegal immigrants, so perhaps someone familiar with this plot line can say if this the use of this word is NPOV or not in this context. Holdek (talk) 00:27, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Even though in "the Pilot" Cuban immigrants were coming into the United States after escaping a hurricane fleeing Cuba, I don't recall amnesty being granted to them. It's possible it happened if someone wants to review the entire episode carefully or that in view of the current political situation over President Obama and Congress on immigration, that someone is trying to express a political point of view through Bartlet's page. I don't know which. (talk) 21:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

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