C.J. Cregg

Posted: June 27, 2008 in Decision Makers, Honorable Mentions
Tags: ,

Say what you will about the politics of the show, but TV’s “The West Wing” accomplished a very important feat: the writers of the show provided us with a fully realized female character at a time when women characters on TV kinda sucked. Okay, so C.J. was not a spy-dame, per se, but this lady was obviously vetted with some heavy-hitting, top secret, White House info. A very crucial part of the intelligence process does lie in the relationship with the decision makers at the top, and C.J. was a respected female voice in the White House inner circle. And hey, let’s face it, Allison Janney rocked this role like the Beatles on a rooftop.

Given the intel she was privy to, C.J. had to know what to say, what not to say, and how much to say at any given time. As White Press Secretary, C.J. faced the firing lines on a daily basis. For her troubles, she was targeted by a stalker, Islamic hate groups, rabid conservatives, and garnered the insufferable Secret Service code name of “flamingo”. But C.J. handled it all with style and grace while fighting a constant internal battle of the Old Boy’s Club that is politics for which Janney rightfully earned no less than 4 Emmy Awards for her portrayal.

Any fan of the show can name a favorite moment. C.J. had all the best lines, most in front of the press corp when she unleashed her barely contained fury. But the true moments of glory were when C.J. used her smarts to play the game and held her tongue.

Of course, when she let loose the ballistic missile of words, you’d best not want to be on the receiving end, that’s for damn sure.

And though, I’m not sure about the reality of a transition from White House Press Secretary to White House Chief of Staff, this Agent is willing to suspend disbelief for her gal C.J.

Although, let’s be honest here, despite C.J.’s political smarts, nervy persona, and single-minded determination towards the task at hand (and seriously, I will never forgive the show writers for not making C.J. the VP candidate after Leo died), the crowning glory of all that was C.J. was her incisive humor. So for purely gratuitous purposes, I have to post my favorite C.J. moment:

  1. […] level, she plays Paul McCartney to Allison Janey’s John Lennon, aka dynamic duo of McNally/Cregg. Check out this 2001 episode regarding an arms deal with the fictional country of […]

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