Commander in Chief (2005): S01E07 – First Scandal


Commander in Chief is an American political drama television series that focused on the fictional administration and family of Mackenzie Allen (portrayed by Geena Davis), the first female President of the United States, who ascends to the post from the Vice Presidency after the death of the sitting President from a sudden cerebral aneurysm.


A new book is released which reveals that President Bridges had asked Allen to resign the presidency on his deathbed. This results in a major crisis in the White House and protests in the streets outside. In the meantime, General Keaton’s confirmation hearings are set to begin in the House of Representatives and Speaker Templeton appears set to reveal some damaging personal information on Keaton that a Republican congressman learned when the two were friends and serving together in the Army.

Rebecca convinces her father to allow her to go to a party hosted by her boyfriend and the two go alone to his room where he expresses his interest in having sexual intercourse with her. Rebecca, realising that she likes him but this is something she is not yet ready for, declines and leaves and it is revealed to the viewers that her boyfriend was recording them with a hidden video camera.

Rod convinces President Allen to confront her chief of staff, Jim Gardner, on the book as Rod believed Gardner is the source. Gardner denies this and, citing the President’s lack of trust in him, tenders his resignation. Eventually, he and the President discuss this and Gardner suggests that President Bridges himself may have been the source as he was very close to the author and often used him as a sounding board for his ideas. This, however, does not explain how the author obtained Allen’s handwritten resignation speech which she penned after Bridges’s death. As Press Secretary Kelly Ludlow said, on the night the speech was written it was “a full house”. Among others Attorney General Melanie Blackston, now a rival, and Speaker Templeton could have swiped the letter.

Finally, as the House hearings on Keaton’s nomination to the Vice-Presidency enter the late evening, questioning begins on the damaging personal information, which seems to relate to Keaton’s deceased daughter, who we learn was a medical doctor and a single mother. Templeton halts the hearings, then informs Keaton that he knew what was coming forward and would not permit such dirty politics. Keaton expresses his gratitude and Templeton indicates he will expect the favour to be returned.

In the end, President Allen has a news conference in which she admits that Bridges had asked her to resign but that she would have been derelict in her duty as the elected Vice President to comply with his request. She agrees to answer all questions on the subject on the condition that the press gallery not raise the issue again. The Speaker announces that the House has held a snap vote and confirmed Keaton by a margin of 386-46 (a comment by the president that Keaton should “kick some tail, just like [he] did in the Senate” suggests that his nomination has already been confirmed by the United States Senate, as per the 25th Amendment) and the President returns Gardner’s resignation letter unopened.

Commander in Chief Series

You can find a full index and overview of Commander in Chief here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 08 November 2005.
  • Running Time: 42 minutes (per episode).
  • Rating: TV-PG.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

YouTube Link

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