Abbey Bartlet
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Abbey Bartlet

The West Wing

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About Her

Living… in the White House. Abbey spends a lot of her time keeping her husband, the President of the United States, in check. While Jed Bartlet has an open mind and is always willing to listen to criticism from his staff, Abbey is the only one who can truly cut him down to size. As she once told him, “You have a big brain, a good heart, and an ego the size of Montana.”

Profession… world-renowned physician. Abbey, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, chose to give up her medical license during her tenure as First Lady. She acts as Jed’s unofficial physician, and treats him for a medical condition that must remain secret for now.

Interests… improving healthcare in the United States. Abbey sees it as her duty, as a doctor, to promote access to healthcare in her country. She spends many hours volunteering at a shelter in one of D.C.’s rough neighborhoods.

Relationship Status… married with children. Abbey and her husband are meant for each other: both of them are extremely intelligent, driven and passionate. Abbey and Jed have managed to raise three children while maintaining their high-powered professional and political lives.

Challenge… keeping her husband’s life-threatening condition a secret from the other White House staff and the rest of the American public. “But we had a deal,” she tells him as they discuss his medical secret, “and that deal is how you justified keeping it a secret from the world. It’s how you justified it to God… it’s how you justified it to me.”

Personality… tough and stubborn. Abbey is the only one in the White House who can give the President guff, and she never hesitates to disagree with him when she sees him doing wrong. Or even if she simply disagrees. For example, “So we’re for freedom of speech everywhere but poor countries, where they can have our help, but only if they live up to [a conservative Senator’s] moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?”

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