David Wire Newman was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1932 to Donnell "Don" and Ruth (Wire) Newman. The family was fairly wealthy as Don owned a local department store, however David was raised to have a hard work ethic and not to think himself better than others due to money. Newman was a smart boy who was the top of his class in high-school entered into the Navy upon graduating high-school and attended Annapolis. He served as a submariner in the Korean War and was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954. Following the Navy, Newman went to work in his father's business and quickly rose through the company to become the Executive Vice-President in 1960. During his time as the Vice-President of the company he oversaw the opening of two more Newman's department stores.
Newman was a generous and good man who was popular in his community and as such was pushed by many of his friends and family to run for office. In 1964 he ran to be a Pennsylvania State Senator and won. He served in the State Senate for three terms from 1965 until 1971. In 1970 he ran for the United States Congress from Pennsylvania's 2nd District and won with nearly 70% of the vote. Newman served five terms in the House from 1971 until 1981; during his time in the House he sat on the House Ethics and Foreign Affairs Committees and in 1979 became the Deputy Majority Whip. During his time in the House he also was a stickler for civil rights having served alongside African-Americans in the Navy, he also had once met Martin Luther King Jr. and had been present at the March on Washington. In 1980 Newman ran to be the Governor of Pennsylvania and won the Democratic nomination with ease, he then won the election with 56% of the vote and was re-elected in 1984 with 58% of the vote.
1986 Presidential Election
In 1986 he was tapped by many to run for the Presidency. Newman insisted however that he intended to finish off his second term as Governor before considering a run at higher office. The 1986 Presidential Election was filled with a "cast of characters" in the Democratic Primaries who were scrambling to win back the White House after several terms of Republican Presidents. The top contender for the Democratic Nomination was Warren Holt the Senior Senator from Colorado. Although Holt was a talented legislator and a sharp politician, he had previous issues with infidelity and divorce which resulted in some bad press during the primaries. Despite this Holt had pushed through the primaries; defeating veteran Congressman and House Majority Leader Fred Stanley of Ohio, and Secretary of Defense Rick Cranston of North Carolina. However despite winning the most of the primaries, he did not have the delegate count to clinch his party's nomination going into the Convention in Chicago, Illinois. In the weeks leading up to the Convention there were whispers of secret "back-room" meetings that included members of the Democratic Leadership and those in charge of the Convention. Many Democrats (including the ones in power) had voiced their opposition to having Hart as their nominee due to his history. They felt as though he would be an easy target for the media as well as the Republican Nominee, Senator Edward Stern of Mississippi who was known as a "family values" conservative. The secret meetings held talks of the possibility of presenting another name at the Convention and nominating them from the floor. Many top political names were floated in these meetings with
President Newman held heavy ties with Saudi Arabia, selling them arms for oil. He served only one term. During his Presidency, he used the same Air Force One that Bartlet would later use. When Newman took office it was a changing world first of all the Communist bloc was falling from the Eastern European countries at one stage would have been communist. This was the destruction of both the Berlin wall and the Soviet Union. During this time he was remembered for the Gulf War with British Prime Minister Ken Clarke. Both said the destruction of terror was needed after 5 months both forces returned empty handed.
In 1987 his election win was 435-103, this was done in 1991 he lost the election to republician canditate Owen Lassiter. The result was 370 to Lassiter and 168 to him.
As a former President, Newman kept a close eye on intelligence matters and received NSC briefings every morning. Newman maintained close contact with former President Lassiter after his presidency. During the MS scandal, Lassiter advised Newman not to go on CNN denouncing President Bartlet for hiding his multiple sclerosis. After former President Lassiter's death, Newman chose to fly with Lassiter's aging staff to Washington, DC before travelling on Air Force One with Presidents Bartlet and Walken to the Lassiter Library in Costa Mesa.
During the Bartlet Administration, Newman was a silent critic of the President, feeling that his commitment to liberal policies and Democratic ideals was not strong enough, though he followed the advice of Lassiter, in not openly criticizing a sitting President. In private, however, Newman would give Bartlet a vicious tongue lashing if he disagreed with his performance, particularly in matters of foreign policy, which Bartlet himself admitted was never his greatest strength. Newman was equally critical of Republican presidents, whose foreign policies he felt were reactionary and war-mongering. He openly showed enmity for Acting-President and Speaker of the House of Representatives Glenn Allen Walken. Although he lost re-election to President Lassiter, he did not show any lasting anger or jealousy to his successor. He remained in contact with Lassiter throughout Lassiter's presidency and afterwards, although they would not be considered friends they seemed to have developed a grudging respect for each other and a level of trust.
All information about President Newman comes from the episode The Stormy Present. The fact that he used the same airplane for Air Force One as President Bartlet, implies a later date, presumably within the last twenty years. The current Air Force One planes have been in use since 1990.
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See Also: Monroe — Ford • Carter • Reagan • G.H.W. Bush • Clinton • G.W. Bush