Grew up… in Minnesota. Donna claims that, until she met her current boss, Josh Lyman, she was a sweet, innocent, all-American girl: “I grew up near a farm. And I was cute, and I was peppy, and I always did well on my 19th-century English literature midterm until you came along and sucked me into your life of crime.”
Living… in Washington D.C. Donna left her old life, and her old boyfriend, behind in Wisconsin. She wanted to begin a new life in politics, and chose to work for the Bartlet campaign, where she became Josh’s assistant.
Profession… senior assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman in the administration of President Jed Bartlet. Donna is a great assistant because she truly understands Josh. The two end up becoming good friends, and their bickering and bantering often looks and sounds like flirting.
Relationship Status… single. Donna moved away from Wisconsin in order to distance herself from her ex-boyfriend. She often gives the clueless Josh a bit of dating advice. “You have to ask a girl out on a date,” she once told him. “You can’t just randomly tumble into a girl sideways and hope she breaks up with you soon, the way you always do.”
Challenge… not letting her obvious chemistry with Josh get in the way of her job. It’s no big secret that Donna and Josh have feelings for each other; it’s just a matter of the job getting in the way of their budding romance. Or maybe they each feel like they already know each other’s flaws so well that it would never work. At any rate, the simmering personal drama can be a distraction from the work at hand.
Personality… resilient, dedicated, and smart. Donna’s sense of humor makes her a good companion for the sarcastic Josh. She’s not willing to take any of his guff. “You’ve fired me twice already tonight,” she tells him. “I’m impervious.” People like Donna are what make a Presidential administration function; she’s able to keep her cool in a very stressful environment.
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