D. Wire Newman was the last Democratic President of the United States prior to Josiah Bartlet.

Early History

David Wire Newman was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 27, 1938 to David and Catherine (nee Wire) Newman. To differentiate between himself and his father, he was regularly called "D.W" over the course of his life, eventually also answering to "D. Wire" once he entered politics. D.W.'s father David was the wealthy owner of Newman's department store in Pittsburgh, and the head of a very well-to-do family. Despite coming from wealth, D.W. was instilled with a hard work ethic and a genuine love of his country. Although the family was more than able to pay for a private school, D.W.'s father sent him to public school so that D.W. could grow up with a more diverse group of people instead of the wealthy and privileged. While in high-school D.W. was an honor's student and played both basketball and baseball. After high-school D.W. joined the Navy and attended Annapolis. Following Annapolis he continued to serve in the Navy for five years (spending an extended period of time on submarines). He returned home in 1966 and ran for an open Congressional seat but lost in the Democratic primary to a Pittsburgh City Councilman. Following the defeat D.W. went to work in his father's company serving as a manager at Newman's Department Store for one year until he was promoted to Vice-President of the company. During this time D.W. oversaw the expansion of the company with the opening of two more department stores in Philadelphia and Erie. In 1971 he made another attempt at politics by making a successful run for a vacated State Senate seat, he would become powerful voice in the State Legislature and was re-elected in 1972, 1976. In the summer of 1977 he became the Senate Majority Leader and would hold that position until he left the Senate in 1979. In 1978 he launched a bid for Governor of Pennsylvania. A popular name in the state, he quickly won the Democratic Nomination and went on to face off against a Republican former Lieutenant-Governor in the general election. D.W. won the election with 52% of the vote. His term as Governor was successful as he lead the development and a modernization of the Pennsylvania Railroad, as well as the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and created the Pennsylvania Lottery. Due to these successes and despite being known as a liberal Democrat, he was offered the position Secretary of Transportation in Republican President Ronald Reagan's administration. D.W. however turned down the offer as he intended to run for re-election as Governor of Pennsylvania.


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.


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.

Presidents of the United States
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