There’s more from this scene over at today’s Bartlet’s Quotations but I wanted to comment on this section.
It’s a scene from He shall, from time to time (s01e12) and the President, who has shown flu symptoms all day, passed out in the Oval Office.
We see him in bed, being cared for by Admiral Hackett, when suddenly Dr. Abigail Bartlet arrives on the scene. She gets an update from Hackett and then finally turns her attention to the president:
Honey, you still dizzy?
I was wondering when you were gonna notice me.
Are you still dizzy?
He’s lying. Give him Flumadine, 100 milligrams, twice a day.
Thank you, admiral…
a) How hot is Dr. Bartlet?
b) After conspicuously ignoring him for several moments, she calls the president “Honey” in front of Hackett and Charlie…
c) …and then totally dismisses his answer and says he’s lying.
Which just goes to show, you can be the President of the United States and impress/intimidate everyone in the room…except your wife.
She dismisses Hackett and Charlie:
Thank you, admiral. Would you mind waiting outside for a minute?
No, ma’am. [leaves]
Thanks, Charlie. [pause] Charlie, would you mind waiting outside for a minute?
No, ma’am. Do you need anything?
No, thanks very much.
Charlie leaves and closes the door
Hackett, who has never met her before, leaves at Dr. Bartlet’s request without even looking towards the president. (He also accepts her medication suggestions without question or hesitation, but that can be explained by her being a medical doctor as well as the president’s wife.)
Watch the scene again notice when Charlie asks “Do you need anything?” it’s not clear if he’s talking to the president or first lady, but she has no hesitation in answering.
She totally takes charge of the scene and the president, without hesitation, and everyone around the president defers to her without question.
Which is, I have no doubt, exactly how it would happen in real life, but the great part about the scene is how “not a big deal” it is. She commands every bit as much respect as he does, and, when push comes to shove, has at least as much authority, if not more.