West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

Oliver Babish is the fifth and final White House Counsel under President Josiah Bartlet.


While clearly a highly skilled legalist, Oliver's occasional passionate outbursts are somewhat surprising, though no more so than those of his predecessor, Lionel Tribbey. Oliver has a strict personal moral code, which he will not (apparently) compromise. In the office he appears somewhat slapdash with regard to the day-to-day details of business, but when the President needs him he seems to be utterly focused.

He speaks with a certain pleasure of his family, but shows ingrained and somewhat misogynistic tendencies when dealing with Abbey Bartlet to ascertain the extent of her culpability and the President's corroborative malfeasance. He has a rigid view of the law, to which even the President is subject.


Babish attended the University of Chicago for his undergraduate degree in economics before attending Yale University. During his time at Yale, he had a paid internship with the Assistant Attorney General of Connecticut. Babish remarks that the Attorney General reminds him a lot of President Bartlet. After being admitted to the bar, Oliver traveled to California where he "worked off his training wheels" at a small law firm in Malibu called Barnaby, Rackhouse, Summers, Mitchfort, and Saunders-which had the name of every lawyer in the firm in the title. Originally, they were going to add Babish to the name, but he thought "that would just be silly".

After spending two years there he returned to Chicago, where he became the first non-Jewish attorney at Bronstein and Cohen-a prominent law firm that was known for only hiring Jewish lawyers. After only six years at the firm, they made Babish a partner and renamed the firm Bronstein, Cohen & Babish. However, after Babish divorced Liz Cohen, the daughter of one of the other partners, he left the firm because he felt "it was the right thing to do". He started his own legal consulting firm that worked with many local politicians and businessmen called Babish and Associates while also spending time as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago.

White House

He was the Midwest Finance Chairman on the Bartlet for America campaign, after which he moved to Washington D.C. to become a partner at Geller-Dugray. Eventually he was made the White House Counsel after the former White House Counsels quit due to a lack of connection with the President. Babish was on the job three months before the President revealed he had MS-a controversy that Babish dealt with. He also dealt with the space shuttle information leak and was present when President Bartlet fired Communications Director Toby Ziegler. Babish left his job as White House Counsel shortly before the 2006 Presidential Election to become a partner at a D.C. law firm because he was going to be out of a job soon anyways. However, he eventually became the United States Attorney General under President Matthew Santos.

Personal Life

The son of Lee Babish, an appeals court judge in Chicago, and the grandson of Walter Babish, a former Chicago District Attorney who once received a gavel from Louis Brandeis-which was given to Oliver when he entered Yale Law (a tradition in his family dating back four generations).

He has been divorced four times. His first wife was Michelle-a woman he met and married during undergraduate school. They divorced when Oliver's graduate school studies put a strain on their relationship. His second wife was Liz Cohen-the daughter of Dwight Cohen, one of the partners at Bronstein and Cohen; a law firm that Oliver worked at. Oliver and Liz had two kids named Jeremy and Julie. Jeremy and Julie know Ellie and Zoey Bartlet because the Bartlet girls were camp counselors at a prestigious camp in New Hampshire. Oliver and Liz would break up due to irreconsilable differences. After that, Oliver was married to a cocktail waitress named Vicky, whom he met in Las Vegas. They were married for a total of six months before having the marriage annulled. His last marriage was to a girl named Maxine "Max" Maynard, a girl he dated in high school who eventually went to work for Senator Jack Enlow of Illinois and who Oliver caught up with upon becoming White House Counsel. Oliver adopted a daughter Max had from a previous marriage named Marney. The two have since had another daughter named Stephanie[1].


In my entire life, I have never found anything charming
—Oliver to C.J.
Nature is to be protected from... Like a woman, nature seduces you with its sights and its scents and its touch... and then it breaks your ankle. Also like a woman
Abigail – What the hell kind of dates are you going on, Oliver?
Babish – I hear you

Oliver Babish – If I stay, will you do exactly what I tell you to do? 
President Josiah Bartlet – I guess it depends. 
Oliver Babish – I'm afraid it can't depend, sir. 
President Josiah Bartlet – [pauses and thinks] What would my first step be? 
Oliver Babish – First tell your staff. 
President Josiah Bartlet – Yeah. 
Oliver Babish – Then, decide how to make a public announcement. 
President Josiah Bartlet – Yeah. 
Oliver Babish – Then, order the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. Not just any special prosecutor, the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the Bar. He's gonna have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army. The new slogan around here is gonna be "Bring it on!" He's gonna have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone. An assistant D.A in Ducksworth wants to take your deposition, you're on the next plane. A freshman Congressman wants your testimony, you'll sit in his kitchen. They wanna drag you to The Hague and charge you with war crimes, what'll we say? 
President Josiah Bartlet – Bring it on. 

Oliver Babbish: I thought he'd thank you for your service.

Toby Ziegler: He's angry.

Oliver Babbish: Someone should thank you for your service.

Cabinet of President Matt Santos
Vice President   Eric Baker
Secretary of State   Arnold Vinick
Secretary of the Treasury   Rosenthal
Secretary of Defense   Swain
Attorney General   Oliver Babish
Secretary of Agriculture   Ed Keenitz
White House Chief of Staff   Josh Lyman
Ambassador to the United Nations   Nancy McNally

Lionel Tribbey
White House Counsel
Ainsley Hayes
Alan Fisk
United States Attorney General