Acting president of the United States

An acting president of the United States is an individual who legitimately exercises the powers and duties of the president of the United States even though that person does not hold the office in their own right. There is an established order in which officials of the United States federal government may be called upon to take on presidential responsibilities if the incumbent president becomes incapacitated, dies, resigns, is removed from office (by impeachment by the House of Representatives and subsequent conviction by the Senate) during their four-year term of office; or if a president-elect has not been chosen before Inauguration Day or has failed to qualify by that date.

Presidential succession is referred to multiple times in the U.S. Constitution – Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as well as the Twentieth Amendment and Twenty-fifth Amendment. The vice president is the only officeholder named in the Constitution as a presidential successor. The Article II succession clause authorizes Congress to designate which federal officeholders would accede to the presidency in the event that the vice president were unable to do so, a situation which has occurred on three separate occasions. The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947 and last revised in 2006. The order of succession is as follows: the vice president, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president pro tempore of the Senate, and then the eligible heads of the federal executive departments who form the president's Cabinet, beginning with the secretary of state.

If the president dies, resigns or is removed from office, the vice president automatically becomes president. Likewise, were a president-elect to die during the transition period, or decline to serve, the vice president-elect would become president on Inauguration Day. A vice president can also become the acting president if the president becomes incapacitated. However, should the presidency and vice presidency both become vacant, the statutory successor called upon would not become president, but would only be acting as president. To date, two vice presidents—George H. W. Bush (once) and Dick Cheney (twice)—have been acting president. No one lower in the line of succession has yet been called upon to act as president.

Constitutional provisions

Regarding eligibility

The qualifications for acting president are the same as those for the office of president. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 prescribes three eligibility requirements for the presidency. At the time of taking office, one must be a natural-born U.S. citizen of the United States, at least thirty-five years old, and a resident of the United States for at least fourteen years.[1]

A person who meets these requirements may still be constitutionally disqualified from the presidency under any of the following conditions:

  • Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, gives the U.S. Senate the option of disqualifying individuals convicted in impeachment cases from holding federal office in the future.[2]
  • Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits any person who swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the United States, from becoming president. However, this disqualification can be lifted by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress.[3]
  • The Twenty-second Amendment prohibits anyone from being elected to the presidency more than twice (or once, if the person serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a presidential term to which someone else was originally elected).[4][5]

Regarding succession

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 makes the vice president first in the line of succession. It also empowers Congress to provide by law who would act as president in the case where neither the president nor the vice president were able to serve.[6]

Two constitutional amendments elaborate on the subject of presidential succession and fill gaps exposed over time in the original provision:

  • Section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment declares that if the president-elect dies before his term begins, the vice president-elect becomes president on Inauguration Day and serves for the full term to which the president-elect was elected, and also that, if on Inauguration Day, a president has not been chosen or the president-elect does not qualify for the presidency, the vice president-elect acts as president until a president is chosen or the president-elect qualifies. It also authorizes Congress to provide for instances in which neither a president-elect nor a vice president-elect have qualified.[7] Acting on this authority, Congress incorporated "failure to qualify" as a possible condition for presidential succession into the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.[8]
  • Sections 3 and 4 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment provide for situations in which the president is temporarily or indefinitely unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.[9]

History

Before the Twenty-fifth Amendment

Tyler receives news
1888 illustration of John Tyler receiving notification of William Henry Harrison's death from Chief Clerk of the State Department Fletcher Webster, April 5, 1841

On April 4, 1841, only one month after his inauguration, William Henry Harrison died. He was the first U.S. president to die in office.[10] Afterward, a constitutional crisis ensued over the Constitution's ambiguous presidential succession provision (Article II, Section 1, Clause 6).[11]

Shortly after Harrison's death, his Cabinet met and decided that John Tyler, Harrison's vice president, would assume the responsibilities of the presidency under the title "Vice-President acting President".[12] Instead of accepting this proposed title, however, Tyler asserted that the Constitution gave him full and unqualified powers of the presidency and had himself sworn in as president; this set a critical precedent for the orderly transfer of power following a president's death.[13] Nonetheless, several members of Congress, such as representative and former president John Quincy Adams, felt that Tyler should be a caretaker under the title of "acting president", or remain vice president in name.[14] Senator Henry Clay saw Tyler as the "vice-president" and his presidency as a mere "regency".[15]

Throughout Tyler remained resolute in his claim to the title of President and in his determination to exercise the full powers of the presidency. The precedent he set in 1841 was followed subsequently on seven occasions when an incumbent president died, and is now enshrined in the Constitution through section 1 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment.[11]

Since the Twenty-fifth Amendment

Proposed by the 89th Congress and subsequently ratified by the states in 1967, the Twenty-fifth Amendment also established formal procedures for addressing instances of presidential disability and succession.[16] Its Section 3, which allows the president to voluntarily transfer his authority to the vice president, has been invoked on three occasions by two presidents. (Section 4, which addresses the case of an incapacitated president who is unable or unwilling to issue voluntary declaration, has not been activated since the amendment came into force.)[17][18] President Ronald Reagan did so on July 13, 1985, when he underwent colon cancer surgery while under anesthesia. Vice President George H. W. Bush discharged the powers and duties of the presidency during his incapacity, serving as acting president until later that day, when Reagan reclaimed his authority.[19][20] The next to do so was President George W. Bush, who underwent a colonoscopy procedure on June 29, 2002, and again on July 21, 2007. Vice President Dick Cheney temporarily became acting president on both occasions.[21][22]

List of acting presidents

Acting president Qualifying office Period Party President
Vice President George H. W. Bush portrait George H. W. Bush
1924–2018
(Lived: 94 years)
Vice President July 13, 1985
11:28 am – 7:22 pm
Republican Ronald Reagan
Richard Cheney 2005 official portrait Dick Cheney
Born 1941
(78 years old)
Vice President June 29, 2002
7:09 am – 9:24 a.m.
Republican George W. Bush
Vice President July 21, 2007
7:09 am – 9:21 a.m.
Republican George W. Bush
Sources: [17][18]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Article II. The Executive Branch, Annenberg Classroom". The Interactive Constitution. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The National Constitution Center. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Article I". US Legal System. USLegal. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Moreno, Paul. "Articles on Amendment XIV: Disqualification for Rebellion". The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Peabody, Bruce G.; Gant, Scott E. (February 1999). "The Twice and Future President: Constitutional Interstices and the Twenty-Second Amendment". Minnesota Law Review. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Law School. 83 (3): 565–635. Archived from the original on January 15, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  5. ^ Albert, Richard (Winter 2005). "The Evolving Vice Presidency". Temple Law Review. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. 78 (4): 812–893.
  6. ^ Feerick, John. "Essays on Article II: Presidential Succession". The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Larson, Edward J.; Shesol, Jeff. "The Twentieth Amendment". The Interactive Constitution. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The National Constitution Center. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Continuity of the Presidency: The Second Report of the Continuity of Government Commission" (PDF). Preserving Our Institutions. Washington, D.C.: Continuity of Government Commission. June 2009. p. 31. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2012 – via WebCite.
  9. ^ Kalt, Brian C.; Pozen, David. "The Twenty-fifth Amendment". The Interactive Constitution. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The National Constitution Center. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Freehling, William. "William Harrison: Life In Brief". Charlottesville, Virginia: Miller Center, University of Virginia. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "A controversial President who established presidential succession". Constitution Daily. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: National Constitution Center. March 29, 2017. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  12. ^ Dinnerstein, Leonard (October 1962). "The Accession of John Tyler to the Presidency". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 70 (4): 447. JSTOR 4246893.
  13. ^ Freehling, William. "John Tyler: Life In Brief". Charlottesville, Virginia: Miller Center, University of Virginia. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Chitwood, Oliver Perry (1964) [Orig. 1939, Appleton-Century]. John Tyler, Champion of the Old South. Russell & Russell. pp. 203–207. OCLC 424864.
  15. ^ Seager, Robert, II (1963). And Tyler Too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 142, 151. OCLC 424866.
  16. ^ "Presidential Succession". US Law. Mountain View, California: Justia. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Feerick, John D. (2011). "Presidential Succession and Inability: Before and After the Twenty-Fifth Amendment". Fordham Law Review. 79 (3): 928–932. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  18. ^ a b Neale, Thomas H. (November 5, 2018). Presidential Disability Under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Constitutional Provisions and Perspectives for Congress (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  19. ^ Boyd, Gerald M. (July 14, 1985). "Reagan Transfers Power to Bush for 8-Hour Period of 'Incapacity'". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2018 – via The Times’s print archive.
  20. ^ Maugh II, Thomas H. (July 27, 1985). "Reagan's Surgery for Colon Cancer Breaks a Taboo, Brings a Floodtide of Calls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  21. ^ O'Donnell, Norah (June 29, 2002). "President George W. Bush's Historic Transfer of Power". News report, NBC Nightly News. New York, New York: NBC Universal. Retrieved December 15, 2018 – via NBCLearn.
  22. ^ Pelofsky, Jeremy (July 23, 2007). "No cancer found after Bush colon exam". Reuters. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
Acting (law)

In law, when someone is said to be acting in a position it can mean that, the position has not yet been formally created, the person is only occupying the position temporarily to ensure continuity, or the person does not have a mandate.

It can also mean that the 'acting' person is temporarily filling and executing the role of a position in case the person meant to execute the role is incompetent or incapacitated.

Examples of acting positions include:

Acting mayor

Acting governor

Acting president

Acting prime minister

Acting President of the United States

Acting President of Israel

Acting President of Pakistan

Acting President of PolandIn the United States, the rules for appointment of acting officials are covered in many cases by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

Acting governor

An acting governor is a person who acts in the role of governor. In Commonwealth jurisdictions where the governor is a vice-regal position, the role of "acting governor" may be filled by a lieutenant governor (as in most Australian states) or an administrator.

In some U.S. states, it is a constitutional position created when the governor dies in office or resigns. In other states, the governor may also be declared to be incapacitated and unable to function for various reasons including illness and absence from the state for more than a specified period.

In these instances, the state constitution will declare which official is to serve as governor and whether this person will have all of the powers of the office or only specified ones. In many states, the person succeeding to the governorship or becoming acting governor is the lieutenant governor; however, not all states have such a position. If the state constitution provides for an acting governor in the event of the governor's disability, it will also provide for a method by which the governor can be declared to be no longer disabled.

Acting president

An acting president is a person who temporarily fills the role of a country's president when the incumbent president is unavailable (such as by illness or a vacation) or when the post is vacant (such as for death, injury, resignation, dismissal). The following articles detail the constitutional role of an acting president in various countries:

Interim and Acting President of Israel

Acting President of Moldova

Acting President of Pakistan

Acting President of Poland

Acting President of Russia

Acting President of the United States

Benjamin Wade

Benjamin Franklin "Bluff" Wade (October 27, 1800 – March 2, 1878) was an American politician who served as one of the two United States Senators from Ohio from 1851 to 1869. He is known for his leading role among the Radical Republicans. Had the 1868 impeachment of U.S. President Andrew Johnson led to a conviction in the Senate, as president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, Wade would have become Acting President of the United States for the remaining months of Johnson's term.

Born in Massachusetts, Wade worked as a laborer on the Erie Canal before establishing a law practice in Jefferson, Ohio. As a member of the Whig Party, Wade served in the Ohio Senate between 1837 and 1842. After a stint as a local judge, Wade was sworn into the United States Senate in 1851. An opponent of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Kansas–Nebraska Act, Wade joined the nascent Republican Party as the Whigs collapsed. He established a reputation as one of the most radical American politicians of the era, favoring women's suffrage, trade union rights, and equality for African-Americans.

During the Civil War, Wade was highly critical of President Abraham Lincoln's leadership. In opposition to Lincoln's post-war plans, Wade sponsored the Wade–Davis Bill, which proposed strict terms for the re-admittance of Confederate states. He also helped pass the Homestead Act of 1862 and the Morrill Act of 1862. In 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Johnson for his defiance of the Tenure of Office Act. Wade's unpopularity with his more moderate Republican colleagues may have been a factor in Johnson's acquittal by the Senate. Wade lost his Senate re-election bid in 1868 but remained active in law and politics until his death in 1878.

Central Locator System

The Central Locator System (sometimes called the Central Locator Service) was a program of the United States' Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) responsible for determining the identity of the President of the United States or the Acting President of the United States, as well as his or her physical whereabouts. As of the late 2000s, it was slated to be replaced by the Internet Protocol Locator.

David Rice Atchison

David Rice Atchison (August 11, 1807 – January 26, 1886) was a mid-19th century Democratic United States Senator from Missouri. He served as President pro tempore of the United States Senate for six years. Atchison served as a major general in the Missouri State Militia in 1838 during Missouri's Mormon War and as a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War under Major General Sterling Price in the Missouri Home Guard. He is best known for the claim that for 24 hours--Sunday, March 4, 1849 through noon on Monday--he may have been Acting President of the United States. This belief, however, is dismissed by nearly all historians, scholars, and biographers.Atchison, owner of many slaves and a plantation, was a prominent pro-slavery activist and Border Ruffian leader, deeply involved with violence against abolitionists and other free-staters during the "Bleeding Kansas" events.

Designated survivor

In the United States, a designated survivor (or designated successor) is an individual in the presidential line of succession, usually a member of the United States Cabinet, who is arranged to be at a physically distant, secure, and undisclosed location when the president, the vice president, and the other officials in the line of succession are gathered at a single location, such as during State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. This is intended to guarantee continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic occurrence that kills the President and many officials in the presidential line of succession, such as a mass shooting, bombing, attack or catastrophic natural disaster. If such an event occurred, killing both the President and Vice President, the surviving official highest in the line, possibly the designated survivor, would become the Acting President of the United States under the Presidential Succession Act.Only Cabinet members who are eligible to succeed to the presidency (i.e., natural-born citizens over the age of 35, who have resided in the United States for at least 14 years) can be chosen as designated survivors. The designated survivor is provided presidential-level security and transport for the duration of the event. An aide carries a nuclear football with them. However, they are not given a briefing on what to do in the event that the other successors to the presidency are killed.

House of Cards (American TV series)

House of Cards is an American political thriller web television series created by Beau Willimon. It is an adaptation of the 1990 BBC miniseries of the same title and based on the novel of the same title by Michael Dobbs. The first 13-episode season was released on February 1, 2013, on the streaming service Netflix.

House of Cards is set in Washington, D.C. and is the story of Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina's 5th congressional district and House Majority Whip, and his equally ambitious wife Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). Frank is passed over for appointment as Secretary of State, so he initiates an elaborate plan to attain power, aided by Claire. The series deals with themes of ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, betrayal, and power.House of Cards has received positive reviews and several award nominations, including 33 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor for Spacey, and Outstanding Lead Actress for Wright. It is the first original online-only web television series to receive major Emmy nominations. The show also earned eight Golden Globe Award nominations, with Wright winning for Best Actress – Television Series Drama in 2014 and Spacey winning for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 2015.On October 30, 2017, following sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, Netflix announced that the sixth season would be the final season. On November 3, 2017, Netflix announced that Spacey was removed from the show. On December 4, 2017, Netflix announced that the season would consist of eight episodes and would start production in early 2018, without Spacey's involvement. It was released on November 2, 2018.

Inauguration of Zachary Taylor

The inauguration of Zachary Taylor as the 12th President of the United States was held on Monday, March 5, 1849 (one day after his term Constitutionally began) at the eastern portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. This was the second instance (after 1821) of an inauguration being rescheduled due to March 4 falling on a Sunday, the Christian sabbath. The inauguration marked the commencement of Zachary Taylor's only term as President and of Millard Fillmore's only term as Vice President. Taylor died 1 year, 126 days into this term, and Fillmore succeeded to the presidency. The presidential oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. Inauguration Day started off being cloudy with snow flurries, but turned to heavy snow during the inaugural balls.

José María Rojas Garrido

José María Rojas Garrido (June 7, 1824 – July 18, 1883) was a Colombian Senator, and statesmen, who as the first Presidential Designate became Acting President of the United States of Colombia (now the Republic of Colombia) in 1866 during the absence of President elect Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera. He was a prominent journalist for several Liberal Party newspapers, and is considered one of the most important orators in Colombia's history.

List of The West Wing politicians

The following is a list of fictional political figures that have appeared or been mentioned in the television program The West Wing.

List of presidents of the United States

The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States, indirectly elected to a four-year term by the people through the Electoral College. The officeholder leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.

Since the office was established in 1789, 44 men have served as president. The first, George Washington, won a unanimous vote of the Electoral College. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office (the only president to have done so) and is therefore counted as the 22nd and 24th president of the United States; the 45th and current president is Donald Trump (since January 20, 2017). There are currently four living former presidents. The most recent former president to die was George H. W. Bush on November 30, 2018.

The presidency of William Henry Harrison, who died 31 days after taking office in 1841, was the shortest in American history. Franklin D. Roosevelt served the longest, over twelve years, before dying early in his fourth term in 1945. He is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. Since the ratification of the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1951, no person may be elected president more than twice and no one who has served more than two years of a term to which someone else was elected may be elected more than once.Of those who have served as the nation's president, four died in office of natural causes (William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin D. Roosevelt), four were assassinated (Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy), and one resigned (Richard Nixon, facing impeachment). John Tyler was the first vice president to assume the presidency during a presidential term, and set the precedent that a vice president who does so becomes the fully functioning president with his own presidency, as opposed to a caretaker president. The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution put Tyler's precedent into law in 1967. It also established a mechanism by which an intra-term vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled. Richard Nixon was the first president to fill a vacancy under this provision when he selected Gerald Ford for the office following Spiro Agnew's resignation in 1973. The following year, Ford became the second to do so when he chose Nelson Rockefeller to succeed him after he acceded to the presidency. As no mechanism existed for filling an intra-term vacancy in the vice presidency prior to 1967, the office was left vacant until filled through the next ensuing presidential election.

Throughout most of its history, American politics has been dominated by political parties. The Constitution is silent on the issue of political parties, and at the time it came into force in 1789, there were no parties. Soon after the 1st Congress convened, factions began rallying around dominant Washington administration officials, such as Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Greatly concerned about the capacity of political parties to destroy the fragile unity holding the nation together, Washington remained unaffiliated with any political faction or party throughout his eight-year presidency. He was, and remains, the only U.S. president never affiliated with a political party.

List of slave owners

The following is a list of slave owners, for which there is a consensus of historical evidence of slave ownership, in alphabetical order by last name.

List of vice presidents of the United States by time in office

This is a list of vice presidents of the United States by time in office. The basis of the list is the difference between dates; if counted by number of calendar days all the figures would be one greater.

Since 1789, there have been 48 people sworn into office as Vice President of the United States. Of these, nine succeeded to the presidency during their term, seven died while in office, and two resigned. Since the adoption of the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (February 10, 1967), when there is a vacancy in the office of the vice president, the president nominates a successor who takes office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Living presidents of the United States

This article shows the variation in the number of living presidents of the United States from the inauguration of the first president of the United States in 1789 until the present. The following table includes all 44 persons who have taken the presidential oath of office. (Persons who served as acting president of the United States or as president of the Continental Congress are not included.) Currently, in addition to the incumbent, Donald Trump, there are four living former presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Lucifer's Hammer

Lucifer's Hammer is a science fiction post-apocalypse / survival novel by American writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, first published in 1977. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1978. A comic book adaptation was published by Innovation Comics in 1993.

President for One Day (disambiguation)

President for One Day may refer to:

David Rice Atchison, a 19th-century U.S. Senator best known for the claim that he served as Acting President of the United States on March 4, 1849

Clímaco Calderón, who served as President of Colombia on December 21, 1882

Pedro Lascuráin, who served as President of Mexico for less than one hour on February 19, 1913

United States presidential line of succession

The United States presidential line of succession is the order in which officials of the United States federal government assume the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States if the incumbent president becomes incapacitated, dies, resigns, or is removed from office (via impeachment by the House of Representatives and subsequent conviction in a trial by the Senate). Presidential succession is referred to multiple times in the U.S. Constitution – Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as well as the 12th Amendment, 20th Amendment, and 25th Amendment. The Article II succession clause authorizes Congress to provide for a line of succession beyond the vice president, which it has done on three occasions. The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947, and last revised in 2006.

The line of succession follows the order of Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, and then the eligible heads of federal executive departments who form the president's Cabinet. The Presidential Succession Act refers specifically to officers beyond the vice president acting as president rather than becoming president when filling a vacancy. The Cabinet currently has 15 members, of which the Secretary of State is first in line; the other Cabinet secretaries follow in the order of when their departments (or the department of which their department is the successor) were created. Those heads of department who are constitutionally ineligible to be elected to the presidency are disqualified from assuming the powers and duties of the president through succession, and skipped to the next in line. Since 1789, the vice president has succeeded to the presidency intra-term on nine occasions, eight times due to the incumbent's death, and once due to resignation. No one lower in the line of succession has yet been called upon to act as president.

Widely considered a settled issue during the late 20th century, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 demonstrated the potential for a decapitation strike that would kill or incapacitate multiple individuals in the presidential line of succession in addition to many members of Congress and the federal judiciary. In the years immediately following the attacks, there were numerous wide-ranging discussions in Congress, among academics and within the public policy community about continuity of government concerns including the existing constitutional and statutory provisions governing presidential succession. These discussions remain ongoing. One effort put forward by the Continuity of Government Commission, a nonpartisan think tank, produced three reports (2003, 2009 and 2011), the second of which focused on the implicit ambiguities and limitations in the current succession act, and contained recommendations for amending the laws for succession to the presidency.

Zoey Bartlet

Zoey Patricia Bartlet is a fictional character played by Elisabeth Moss on the television serial drama The West Wing. Zoey is the youngest of President Josiah Bartlet and Abbey Bartlet's three daughters, and is featured more prominently in the series than either of her sisters.

Zoey and presidential aide Charlie Young become romantically involved in the first season of The West Wing. Their interracial relationship prompts a white supremacist organization to target Young unsuccessfully for assassination, although President Bartlet is shot and Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman is badly wounded in the shooting.Zoey and Charlie's relationship ends in the second season, largely due to Charlie's demanding work schedule. By the fourth season, Zoey is seen dating a young French man named Jean-Paul Pierre Claude Charpentier.

Zoey graduates summa cum laude from Georgetown University. On her graduation day, she is kidnapped and held for several days, which leads President Bartlet to invoke the 25th Amendment, transferring presidential authority to Speaker of the House Glen Allen Walken as Acting President of the United States. Jean-Paul's unintentional complicity in the kidnapping (he spikes her drink with what he thinks is ecstasy, but is actually GHB) ends their relationship. Zoey is found and recovered by the FBI after approximately 50 hours of being missing. Later, in the sixth season, Charlie and Zoey are shown to have resumed their relationship, with Charlie even considering asking Zoey to marry him. No mention is made of the relationship, or her occupation, in the seventh and final season, and she is seen only once attending Leo McGarry's funeral.

According to President Bartlet, Zoey speaks fluent Italian. Her Secret Service codename is "Bookbag". Her birthday is in December, which is established in the episode "In the Room".

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