West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Characters* Claudia Jean (C. J.) Cregg

C.J. - NBC Allison Janney as C.J Cregg © NBC Photo: Kevin Foley
Position: White House Press Secretary and, later, White House Chief of Staff
Played By: Allison Janney - won an Emmy for the role.
Father: "Tal" Still living but exhibiting some signs of Alzheimer's; "he retired head of the math department at William Henry Harrison Junior High" [#56] Has been married three times. [#413] See also more information on Fathers in general on this show.
Siblings: Older brothers ("my older brothers are golf crazies." [Black Vera Wang])
Other: A niece, Hogan, who seems to go to school somewhere in the Washington D.C. area.

Education: Went to school for 22 years. At least part of those at U.C. Berkeley. [#3] (And she later says: "My alma mater, UC Berkeley." [#48] and she says,"I have actually a Masters degree from the University of California at Berkeley." [#30])

"I'm Catholic," C.J. when Josh asks her if she knows "Ave Maria". [#5]

Work History: Was in Public Relations (working in television and movies) for a big Hollywood firm earning $550,000 a year before being fired and going to work for the Bartlet campaign (at $600 a week). Had worked in state campaigns before that but never in a national campaign. And as LimeSkittlz pointed out to us, it was also mentioned that she had worked for Emily's List.
Where From: Grew up in Dayton, Ohio. Was living and working in California when she joined the Bartlet campaign and at the end of the Bartlet Administration, she says she is "going back to California" where we learn she still in three years later.
(Calls Josh a Yankee so she may have lived some portion of her life in the South though she seems to be mostly from the West --- a Westerner might call a New Englander, a Yankee, but it isn't done often. [#3])

Physical Traits:
  • C.J. says she's 6 ft. tall [#5] and she towers over most of the men she works with. The President once asked her if she was getting taller as he craned to look up at her. [#19]
  • She needs glasses or contacts and can walk into a swimming pool without them. [#23&24]

Romantic Interests:
  • Danny Concannon, but that relationship (a flirtation) never got much out of the work place and a few kisses until we learn they are married three years after the Bartlet Administration ends.
  • Vice president John Hoynes (a one night stand before he was Vice President
  • a man to whom she refused a job
  • a guy from her high school class she saw at the reunion
  • her secret service man who was killed in Posse comitatis
  • Ben the forest ranger
  • A guy she just started to see as the Press started writing that there were rumors she was a lesbian
---some of the above were sent to us by Ellen Maxwell
Drives: baby blue '65 Mustang convertible

  • "Do you think I have an unusually large neck?... I'm just asking 'cause one of the ---" she asks Josh. [#104]

Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg from "Tomorrow"
NBC Universal Photo Mitchell Haddad

Plays: Tennis (there is reference to a game of doubles with her and Toby against the President and a woman who looked like Steffi Graf [#5]).
Also Ellen Maxwell emailed us that "she played high school basketball and was on an all-Dayton team."

Food & Drink:
  • Loves the crackers, Goldfish.
  • Drinks Grasshoppers.
  • Starbucks coffee drink: "a double shot, light on the soy, cinnamon-chia mocha chino, no whip, sprinkles and another shot on top." "erinbridges" posted that on the Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum.

  • One goldfish named Gail --- a gift from Danny. Gail lives at the White House and C.J. has been known to talk to her: "What's up there, Gail." [#412]
  • C.J. speaks of a wolf eating her cat as if she has one --- of course since she doesn't live in the area where a wolf would get a chance to eat a cat, she could have just been speaking metaphorically. [#5] Later it turns out that she doesn't have a cat and isn't all that sure she would like one. [#59] (we were reminded of this by JP of West Wing Episode Guide).

What She Says About Herself:
  • "Are you kidding me," Mandy asks when C.J. seems a little upset about how friendly she was with Danny.
    "You sounded serious."
    "I'm very dry."
  • "I'm a woman in her prime. I'm a prime woman." --- about the lack of a social life [#13]
  • "Abstinence only. . . . I would have no trouble passing such a class." [#13]
  • "I'm great in bed." [#31]
  • "I haven't had a boyfriend in. . . ." ["Enemies Foreign & Domestic"]
  • "I get a lot of hate mail. After the President I'm the single most visible in the Federal Government. I'm - every day I'm on TV and every day exactly half the people are going to disagree with you and some of those people are going hate you and some of those are going to write letters." ["Enemies Foreign & Domestic"]
  • "I get a lot of hate mail. After the President I'm the single most visible in the Federal Government. I'm - every day I'm on TV and every day exactly half the people are going to disagree with you and some of those people are going hate you and some of those are going to write letters." ["Enemies Foreign & Domestic"]
  • "My day starts at home before 5:00, actually. I scan all the major news outlets online before I get dressed. On my way in I try to stay off the phone. My commute's the one time I can be by myself, gather my thoughts.... I arrive usually around 7:00, 7:30, depending.... The morning starts with Senior Staff and then I have an informal gaggle with the Press and then I meet with my staff and deputies...." [#518 "Access"]
  • "...my mother... was... the communicator in our family; the go-between. She told us what my Dad or Granda had said or she softened what they meant to say. She was a natural. She would have understood this job." [#518 "Access"]

What Others Say About Her:
  • "You're at your best with a pie in your face," Toby tells her. [#102]
  • "Paranoid, Berkeley, shiksa, feminista." --- Josh, overreacting (and just afterwards admitting "Wow, that was way out of line.") [#3]
  • "Pretend for the purposes of this conversation that I'm dumb." --- C.J.
    "Let me try to conjure an image of you as a stupid person." --- Sam [#6]
  • "Do you think the joke reflex you use as a defense mechanism is why you have just trouble keeping a man." --- Josh [#12]
  • "C.J. doesn't understand a word of what you are saying." --- Leo while President talking economics. [#17]
  • "You're at your best with a pie in your face." --- Toby
  • "Look at C.J. She's like a '50's movie star; so capable, so loving and energetic." --- President [#5]
  • ". . . we're gonna watch C.J. do "The Jackal". And believe me, if you haven't seen C.J. do "The Jackal", then you haven't seen Shakespeare the way it's meant to be done." --- Sam [#18]
  • "Your necklace is a monument to bourgeois taste." --- Bernard Thatch of the White House Visitors office (who regularly seems to make such comments about everyone. [#32]
  • "You're a lively conversationalist." --- Toby to C.J. [#48]
  • "C.J doesn't like running. . . . Believe it or not, because it takes time away from helping." --- Toby [#406]
  • "...you were the smartest, funniest, saddest girl in Dayton." --- a high school friend. [#413]
  • "C.J. was someone I found during a senatorial campaign --- in New York. Ah, she was doing PR with a New York firm." --- Toby [#518 "Access"]
  • "What prepares a young girl born and raised in Dayton, Ohio for position as spokesperson for the White House and President of the United States?" --- narrator of the "Access" documentary [#518 "Access"]
  • "I think that she has such great instincts. I think that she is so agile...." ---Donna [#518 "Access"]
  • "She's the best boss.... I really look at C.J. as my mentor. They say that a mentor's a wise and trusted guide or friend. I would say that C.J. is all of those things." --- Carol [#518 "Access"]

Conversations with C.J.:
  • "It just suddenly worked?" C.J. asks Will about the landing gear which had been having possible problems.
    "The gear?"
    "I'm not sure I'm good at living in a world where that kind of thing is possible."
    "But you are."
    "I imagine myself destitute. I imagine myself unlucky in love. But I never imagine my life would be in danger with really uncommon frequency." Then she pauses before turning back to Will. "It feels a little bit good, doesn't it?"
    "Yes it does."
    "I'll make jokes when this whole bullfight with gravity is over." [#419]

Additional Information:
  • When frustrated with the Press Corps, she has been known to sarcastically tell her assistant: "Set fire to the room. Do it now."
  • "So it took me two hours and twenty minutes longer to figure it out than it took you. Doesn't make you smarter than I am," C.J. tells Toby.
    "Of course not."
    "Thank you."
  • "My SAT scores on the other hand. . . ." C.J. interrupts him and leaves and a couple of seconds later, running into Leo, says, "I had fine SAT scores." [#31]
  • ""I think you'll look silly." --- Sam about a desperate stratagem that C.J. proposed to come up with a way to lower expectations for the Presidential debate.
    "I'm used to that."
28 Amendment
Don't miss Neal Rechtman's election thriller The 28th Amendment in which an actor
who portrays a fictional US President on television gets drawn into real-world politics
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