A dark-horse candidate comes from behind to win his party's nomination. As if to spite the pollsters and talking heads, the frank and brilliant former governor, Jed Bartlet, captures the White House to become President of the United States.
Surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, the president chooses his staff from the team responsible for putting him in the White House. Leo McGarry, the president's oldest friend -- and the man who convinces Bartlet to run -- is named chief of staff. One of the most powerful men in his party, Leo presides over the West Wing of the White House with a firm hand and a fatherly tone. With uncanny prescience, Leo puts his faith in Toby Ziegler, the only original staff member to make it through the campaign. Despite six previous failures, Toby's work along with a new team of friends and strangers, helps get Bartlet nominated and elected. Now, as the communications director for the White House, Toby holds an important role in crafting the president's word.
Using the power instilled in him as an old family friend, Leo McGarry brings Josh Lyman to the campaign with a simple request to come hear Jed Bartlet speak. In a VFW hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, the skeptical Josh does come and is amazed to finally find a candidate to believe in. Convinced that the man should be president, Lyman gets his friend Sam Seaborn to quit his job at a major law firm where he is about to become a partner and join Bartlet's campaign. Gladly serving at the pleasure of President Bartlet, Sam is now the White House deputy communications director and his friend Josh is the deputy chief of staff. Two men from different backgrounds from opposite ends of the country are united not just by friendship but by their devotion to the president.
"Is Jed Bartlet a good man?" is all that C.J. Cregg wants to know before she agrees to work for him. Toby Ziegler's assurance is all she needs to hear. In an age where the news cycle can last mere seconds, C.J. is the press secretary to the most demanding pool of reporters in the world, the White House Press Corps.
With a staff of more than 1,100 people, the West Wing overflows with offices and personnel. Although the upper echelon provides the very public face of the White House, a support staff of hundreds regularly carries out the duties of the executive branch of the government. Filling these desks are numerous aides and assistants, like Donna Moss, who started working for Josh Lyman during the nomination campaign and is now "deputy-deputy chief of staff." Among her many responsibilities is to make sure that her boss is on time for meetings and fully prepared -- which sometimes means making sure that he is dressed.
While the White House is very much a public institution, there is one man in particular whose job requires him to be either an imposing figure or totally invisible, often at the same time. Charlie Young, personal aide to the president, truly determines who has access. Among the many tasks laid out before this brilliant young man, he is first and foremost the keeper of the schedule.
These people, and a staff of hundreds more, lead America from the most privileged office in the world, from inside
THE WEST WING
Step inside the Bartlet Administration in this richly detailed, perfectly imagined official companion to television's most sophisticated dramatic series, The West Wing. Created by Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing won nine Emmy® Awards, the Humanitas Prize, the Peabody Award, and three Television Critics Association Awards in its first season alone -- and is acclaimed for its superb writing, marvelous portrayals by a stellar cast, and an intelligent, authentic depiction of White House life. Now, the show that has set television's new standard brings you this insider's guide -- which not only presents fascinating details into how groundbreaking television is made, but captures the colorful world of The West Wing and the nation's capital under the Bartlet Administration.
The prestigious Peabody Award cited The West Wing as "a magnificent episodic series that depicts the tension and back-room drama of presidential politics with an unusual mixture of maturity and humanity." Now, experience the excitement and authenticity of The West Wing as never before, with this unique, in-depth tribute.
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Ian Jackman has worked as a collaborator with James Carville on Stickin'. He is the author of Total Request Live: The Ultimate Fan Guide. He lives in New York City.
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