West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Characters / Abigail Ann (Abbey) Bartlet

Abbey Stockard Channing as Abbey Bartlet © NBC Photo: Byron J. Cohen
Position: First Lady of the United States
Age: Birthday is in March
Played By: Stockard Channing
Query: Why doesn't this character appear more often or why hasn't the character appeared recently (whenever).
Full Name: Abigail Ann Bartlet
Nickname: Abbey

Spouse: Josiah Bartlet, President of the United States
"When they are apart, they talk on the phone three times a day." [41]
Children: Elizabeth Bartlet Weston ("Liz": who has a 12-13 year old daughter), Eleanor Emily Bartlet ("Ellie": who is 24 and in medical school at Johns Hopkins and gets married at the White House in "The Wedding" and about to give Jed and Abbey another grandchild - April Whiteside reminded us to include this info) and Zoey Patricia Bartlet (who is in college at Georgetown and has dated Charlie although we don't know where that relationship is near the end of season 3)
Grandchildren: Annie (age: 12 in the pilot episode which may have been August ?1999?) and Gus (age 5 in the fifth season) - April Whiteside reminded us to include this info
Siblings & In-Laws: The president has a brother-in-law (who gave him a gift, he gave to Goodwill). So Abbey may have a brother (either that or Jed has a sister in addition to the brother, John, whom we have heard about). [#104]

Education: Medical Degree from Harvard (probably did some undergraduate work in Britain since the dates seem to suggest she married Jed Bartlet about the time he was in the London School of Economics)

Experience in Medicine
She has been practicing medicine for 26 years and is Board Certified in the following [#42]:
  • Internal Medicine
  • Thoracic Surgery
She is also [#42]:
  • Adjunct Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Harvard Medical School
  • On the Staff of:
    • Boston Mercy Hospital
    • Columbia Presbyterian

Religion: Catholic (The webmaster of "The West Wing Episode Guide" reminded us of further information that she may be Catholic with "in War Crimes she goes to Mass with Jed and debates the homily with him" and speaks of being Catholic.)

Past Romantic Interests: Dated Ron Erhlich (now Chairman of the Federal Reserve) before she married the President, some 33 years before the first season takes place. [#17]

What's this about a Ouiji Board?
There was some report in the press about her using a Ouiji Board:
  • "Like we don't have enough trouble with the First Lady and her Ouiji Board." --- Sam [#5]
  • "On the heels of Mrs. Bartlet's Ouiji Board." --- Josh [#5]
Note: One wonders if the person writing these lines (Sorkin) knew at this point that Mrs. Bartlet is a medical doctor? Not that it is impossible for a medical doctor to have used a Ouiji board on a regular basis, but it seems likely that the character of the first lady was developed into a medical doctor after these were said and that, therefore, the 'to-do' about the Ouiji board was blown out of proportion and this First Lady does not try to predict things using this device.

What She Says About Herself:
  • "The truth works almost every time." [#7]
  • "Unnamed sources make me crazy." [#46]

What Others Say About Her:
  • "Mrs. Bartlet's Ouji board." --- Josh (2nd mention so there must have been some kind of to do about that at some point). [#5]
  • "I have learned not to ask my wife too many questions as it seldom leads to anything but more confusion. I miss her very much." --- The President [#5]
  • "I never saw you study while you were in Med School." --- The President [#12]
  • "Your guy has a 48% approval rating. My guy's at 61." --- One of the First Lady's staffers on the popularity of the First Lady compared to the President at that time. [#17]
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