Commander in Chief/First Choice

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First Choice
Commander in Chief s1e02.jpg
Season 1, Episode 2
Airdate October 4, 2005
Production Number 102
Written by Dee Johnson,
Rod Lurie
Directed by Rod Lurie
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First Choice is the second episode of the first season of Commander in Chief, and the second episode overall.

Guest Stars: Anthony Azizi (Vince Taylor), Natasha Henstridge (Jayne Murray), Kristen Shaw (Norah Woodruff), Julie Ann Emery (Joan Greer), Pamela Dunlap (Gilda Rockwell), Bruce Boxleitner (Tucker Baynes), Ned Vaughn (Reporter Charlie), Mary Page Keller (Grace Bridges), Kate Jennings Grant (Reporter Samantha), Steve Tom (Reporter #3), David Wells (Usher Waverly), Edward Edwards (Hale Richardson), Ted Porter (Agent Elderson), Lisa Waltz (Alison Remarque), Kim Estes (Senator Phelps), Brion Rose (Waiter), Arthur Senzy (Agent Swift), Phillip Jeanmarie (Student at Debate), Peter Trencher (Moderator), Stephen Lee (Stephen Wilding), Patrick O'Connell (Suit #1), Hunter Allan (Tommy Bridges), Lillian Lehman (Laura), Bella Shaw (CNN reporter), Scott Williamson (Ralph Dolan), Leslie Hope (Melanie Blackston), Stan Kelly (Roman Wolfe), Peter Coyote (Warren Keaton)


Plot Overview

Focuses on the hunt for a new Vice President. While the Allen camp focuses on prior political opponent Warren Keaton, Templeton surreptitiously leaks the name of Republican Tucker Baynes to the media with the help of his Chief of Staff, Jayne Murray. Additionally, the Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Alison Remarque tries to suggest that they look at their preferred candidate.

Additionally, Rebecca Calloway's personal diary disappears during the move of their belongings to the White House, sparking panic that the information within, which includes disparaging remarks about her mother, may get out to the media. Sister Amy Calloway is found to have been reading it. On a similar front, Mackenzie starts to find it difficult to balance family issues as well, missing meals with the family and working into the late hours.

President Allen has Kelly Ludlow promoted to White House Press Secretary after the previous one sabotages a press conference by suggesting that Allen had invoked the War Powers Act in liberating Oria Medula.


  • President Bridge's widow, Grace Bridges, and her son are both staying in guest bedrooms while waiting to move out.
  • Jim Gardner has close ties with Jayne Murray.
  • Warren Keaton speaks Arabic to Vince, who is of Palestinian descent, although Vince doesn't speak it himself.

Arc Advancement


  • Templeton's motives for pushing Tucker Baynes is that he has information regarding an out of court settlement for sexual harrassment against him that he intends to leak and damage the credibility of the Allen Presidency. Further, this helps remove a challenge to his bid for Presidency after the Allen term is over.




The Show

  • According to Rebecca's diary, she's a virgin.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments


  • Alison: You understand, I don't mean to take advantage of the death of a president, but this is an opportunity for the party.
    Mackenzie: Well, one of the benefits of being an independent is that I don't have to worry about such things.
    Alison: Well, as you said, you can't govern without us.
  • Kelly: Oria Medula was to be brutally tortured until she died because she had a child out of wedlock. Stoned until her skull caved in. The President wasn't acting as a representative of women. She was acting as a representative of the human race.
  • Rebecca: You know, you can be a real pain sometimes.
    Amy: Yeah, and you're a virgin.
  • Warren: Vice President is really being Secretary of the Useless.
  • Warren: Ok ma'am. No game. I don't see a reason why I should join this administration. You're an Independent. In two years, you'll run as an Independent. You stand an Independent's chance of winning, which is zero. Why in God's name should I want to join a losing team?
    Mackenzie: You're probably right. Probably I'm going to lose. But knowing that, I'm not going to waste my time trying to be popular. I'm not going to waste my time campaigning. For the next two years I'm going to do one thing, and one thing only. And that's what's right for the American people. What are you going to do with your next two years, Warren?


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