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Margaret Hooper works as the Senior Assistant to the White House Chief of Staff.


Margaret is generally rather eccentric and exhibits a number of personality quirks. She at one point reveals to Leo that she had practiced the President's signature "just for fun", much to Leo's dismay.[1] Despite the fact that some might mistakenly construe her quirky behavior as detrimental, Margaret is highly competent at her job and exhibits unconditional loyalty to Leo. Margaret is also a mine of information, a fact acknowledged by Ginger to Sam during the 2002 Bartlet Re-Election Campaign.

Sam – Do we have some sort of condensed... Reader's Digest index... of, well... all human knowledge?
Ginger – We usually just use Margaret[2]

Margaret becomes pregnant during her time working at the White House. She at one point mentions having relatives in Canada. It is at one point implied that Margaret might be gay. Toby is talking to a beauty-pageant winner, when a series of male White House staffers, along with Margaret, interrupt to get a look at her.[3] On a separate occasion, Josh comments upon noticing Margaret's pregnancy that he "didn't even know she was married", after which he is given a significant glance by C.J. indicating that he had forgotten something important. It might be presumed that Margaret is gay and is still unable to get legally married. Josh simply says "Oh, right" and moves on. However, it could also just be that she's a single mother.[4]


Margaret works on the 1998 Bartlet Campaign and is in charge of assigning volunteers before becoming secretary to Leo McGarry and later C.J. Cregg.

As with the President and Mrs. Landingham, Margaret has a complex, almost symbiotic relationship with Leo, although in their case it is essentially more of a father-daughter dynamic. On one occasion, for example, when Leo is interviewing Ainsley Hayes for a position in the White House Counsel's office, Ainsley remarks that Margaret seemed to be a very good secretary. Leo observes that she will be glad to hear that, given that she is listening on the other side of the door, then proceedes to bang a fist on the door, drawing an 'Ow!'.[5]

After being promoted to Chief of Staff, C.J. comments that she finds the fact that Margaret is also tall to be "reassuring". This is beneficial at one point, when C.J. has to borrow a top from Margaret after having been drenched in coffee. During the investigation of the White House Leak of the secret military space shuttle, Margaret is subpoenaed. Senator Dresden focuses his questioning on C.J. Cregg's phone calls with Greg Brock and her ability to listen in on those calls. The proceedings last for an entire day. Upon returning to the White House, Toby Ziegler confesses to being the leak and C.J. has Margaret call the White House Counsel's office to send someone over. (Mr. Frost, Here Today)


  • Leo McGarry There is a very clear father-daughter dynamic at play here, one very obvious example of which is Margaret's orchestration of endless visits from friends on the day Leo receives his final divorce papers. (The Portland Trip) Margaret will and would do absolutely anything for Leo and he loves her in his own gruff way, but there is no indication of romantic feelings on either side.
  • C.J. Cregg At least prior to working together, C.J. finds Margaret "odd ... but you run this office like a Swiss watch, and you're tall, which is reassuring". (Liftoff) The two women develop a very palpable rhythm with Margaret's experience showing in her gentle nudges to stop C.J. taking sole responsibility for everything that goes wrong in the world.
  • Mrs. Landingham Unlike Debbie Fiderer, Mrs. Landingham had a very explicit "private school headmistress" manner of relationship with all the other PAs, and Margaret was no exception. Like Mrs. Landingham, Margaret was physically more distant from the other women, who crossed each others' paths all through their working day.


SEASON 1 (17/22)

SEASON 2 (17/22)

SEASON 3 (15/21)

SEASON 4 (/23)

SEASON 5 (/22)

SEASON 6 (/22)

SEASON 7 (/22)

Notes and references[]