West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Characters * Samuel Norman Seaborn
Sam Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn © NBC

So, what happened to Sam?

Position: Deputy Communications Director
Played By: Rob Lowe
  • Laurie, a High Priced Call Girl
  • Mallory, Leo's Daughter
Princeton. Undergraduate [#101]
Duke Law School [#25]
Left school in 1991

Work History: He worked at Dewey Ballantine (real world law firm, see www.deweyballantine.com, David Bogartz sent us this link). And/or just before joining the Bartlet Campaign he was at Gage Whitney Page in New York; had been there some time, since he was about to be made partner. (Michael Singer tells us: Dewey Ballantine is definitely a real law firm. one of the best in the country ("12th according to one listing I saw"). . . Gage Whitney Page is not as far as I can tell. I couldnt verify that it is fictional, but I did an hour of searching to no avail." Sam said,"I left Gage Whitney Making $400,000 a year." [#42]
Where From: "I'm from Southern California." [#102] (from Robyn.)

Personality Traits: Sam stumbles a lot --- over boxes in his office [#9], etc. Also two references are made to him having fallen overboard "Hold onto a rope of something," Leo to Sam when Sam is about to go boat racing for the weekend. [#14] And then there is Congresswoman Reeseman who approaches Sam in the gym saying, "I heard the clang and the 'ow' and I figured it must be Sam Seaborn." [#17]

Languages: He speaks Spanish ["Ways & Means"}

Romantic Interests: Mallory (his boss's daughter). Laurie (a high-priced call girl which he slept with only before he found out how she was working her way through law school). Made a pass at Leo's wife before he knew who she was [#101]. Was engaged around 1997 to Lisa Sherborne, who later interviewed him at the White House during a State of the Union Address for Vanity Fair. [#25]

Middle Name: Norman (he says his middle name is Norman but he is legally changing it to "On Schedule" [#18] and then in "Ways and Means" a subpoena is issued using his full name: Samuel Norman Seaborn)

When a friend says: "I make more money than you do," he answers: "You and any kid with a good paper route." [#102]
But "in the private sector," he does bill out "at $500 an hour" [#7] and he is the lawyer the lawyers in the office turn to when they need legal help.

Leisure Activities: Tries to get away from the office to go sailing. Tries to take a trip to Bermuda.

Skills: Can recite the members of Congress in alphabetical order.

Office Decoration: Keeps an early American flag on his wall with the slogan "Don't Tread on Me".

Favorite Writers: C.J. asks Sam the following:
"Hey, Sam, who's your favorite writer?"
"Who's your favorite fiction writer?"
Sam answers Dickens. [#39]

What He Says About Himself:
  • "I'm not a good tour guide. I don't know anything about the White House." [#101]
  • "My name is Sam Seaborn and I'm the Deputy Communications Director. What does that mean exactly? Well, to begin with I'm a counselor to the President, mostly on domestic matters, though generally not security related. I work with Toby Zieglar the Communications Director and C.J. Cregg the Press Secretary on crafting our message and getting it out through the electronic and print media. And while my functions here are generally perceived to be politically skewed it's important to remember its not the D.N.C., but rather your tax dollars that pay my salary so I work for you whether you voted for us or not.... I graduated law school eight years ago and started working at Dewey/Ballantine....While there really are a great many things on which I can speak with authority, I'm not good at talking about the White House." [#101]
  • "I don't think I know any state secrets.." [#102]
  • "I feel like more and more I'm playing a role in policy decisions." [#102]
  • "I argue for a living." [#102]
  • "I can recite the members of Congress in alphabetical order." [#102]
  • I'm nuts for dental hygiene [#15]
  • "I'm less visually observant than others, but I make up for it. . .. With cunning and guile." [#41]
  • "I'm not Catholic." [#46]
  • "I don't know what the cool restaurant is and I don't care. . . . And I don't know where the Tommy Hilfiger party is and I don't know what to do when I get there." [#55]
  • "Ok , for people outside the building , I'll fall on my sword , but for people inside the building, I wasn't there!" [#60]
  • "I got a letter last year asking if I would donate my brain to a medical school in Grenada. I'll tell you, there are days when I think 'Yeah, why not just get it over with?'" ["Enemies Foreign & Domestic"]
  • "I love Josh like a brother and he's a world-class political mind, but until today I didn't know he was smarter than I was." [#401-402]
  • "I'm a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton and editor of the Duke Law Review. Tell her I've worked for Congressmen and the D-triple-C. I have seven years at Gage Whitney, and for the last four I've served as Deputy Communications Director and Senior Counsel." [#406]

What Others Say About Him:
  • "Are you a moron?" [#101]
  • "You crafted a significant portion of the President's stump speech.." ---Mallory [#108]
  • "That Sam is young drives me nuts too." --- President [#9]
  • "Thank you for that display of geek bravado." --- Laurie [#7]
  • "I'm sorry to be rude, but are you a moron?" --- Mallory [#101] - (supplied by Robyn)
  • "Sam, look at yourself. How much healthier do you want to be?" --- Toby [#17]
  • "Sam Seaborn is very funny." --- Abbey [#53]
  • "You just worked 48 hours straight --- and that was the weekend." ---C.J. [#401-402]
  • "You're one of the big minds of your generation." ---Leo [#404]
  • "You've ghosted for Senators, movie stars. I think the King of Belgium one time." ---Will Bailey [#406]

Memorable Lines:
  • "Well, this is bad on so many levels." [#101]

Additional Dialogue and Information:
  • Sam has a early American flag on the wall of his office with the motto: "Don't Tread on Me." [#14]
  • This is what he says about what should be done about education: "Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. . . . Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense." [#18]
  • "I'm not going to let you down," Sam tells Josh when Josh has asked him to run once more into the breach.
    "You never do," Josh tells him. [#401-402]
  • "When did you write that last part?" Bruno asks him about the President's words about a tragedy that happened just before the speech."
    "In the car."
    "Freak." [#401-402]
  • "Sometimes I like to call you cupcake. Is that okay?"
    "Totally." [#404]
  • "No, this isn't going to be a part of my life." --- talking himself out of taking on an impossible and quixotic task.
    "Wow, you just did a whole thing all by yourself."
    "Yeah, I do that." [#404]
Last we heard Sam was going to lose his bid for a seat in the House of Representatives. And we had heard before, that when he lost the election, he'd be promoted and would become a senior advisor to the President. So where is he now?
At this point (May 5, 2003) there has been no sighting of Sam since Toby told him he was going to lose the election [#417]. This seems to be one of those cases where only Aaron Sorkin knows what happened to someone and he's waiting to tell us some time in the future. Maybe. But since Sorkin is leaving at the end of this season, someone else may or may not answer this question.

See Cliffhanger Information: Who's Shot and Who's Not.

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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