Owen Lassiter was a former President of the United States who died in January 2004.
Lassiter's administration is considered partially responsible for causing or enhancing many of the Middle Eastern problems that the Bartlet administration faced years later. He apparently was instrumental in propping up and supporting regimes overseas, and "playing God" in other countries. 
Lassiter's administration was looked on with disdain by Bartlet and his staffers, especially Toby, who showed contempt for his ultra-conservative policies.
President Lassiter spent many of his last years travelling to foreign countries, including the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam. He maintained a habit of telephone communication with former President D. Wire Newman and current President Bartlet, generally regarding issues of the day or historical former Presidents.
On a trip to China with Congressman Glen Allen Walken, Lassiter was forced to relieve himself in some bushes in Beijing when a restroom was unavailable. Walken would later speak fondly of the incident and Lassiter's reciting of Lincoln's second State of the Union during the situation.
Lassiter spent his last years continuing his travels. He travelled not only to foreign countries and sites of foreign battlefields, but also sites of American battlefields of the Civil War. He collected jars of dirt from the battlefields and spent most of his time at the replica of the Oval Office in his library.
Lassiter made several calls to President Bartlet, as well as writing him a letter, entitled Need for an American Empire. Lassiter gave his last call to the White House the same night of his death, postponing a trip to Ford's Theater by President Bartlet.
He was found deceased in his Oval Office, from complications due to his hip surgery.
- President Josiah Bartlet
- Former President D. Wire Newman
- Former Secretary of Defense Bobby Bodine
- Former Attorney General Dwight Mothman
- Former Secretary of the Treasury Max Perlman
- Former Secretary of the Interior Robert Rosiello
- Earl Rankowsky
- Former Acting President Glen Allen Walken
- White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler
President Lassiter was played by an unknown stand-in. His hands as he wrote his letter were the only physical time he was seen, and his image was seen on posters at his funeral.
Lassiter may have been Bartlet's predecessor. This is never directly stated however. This is indirectly referenced in The Stormy Present ("Now I realize the men on this plane are the only others who have been there before and really know"). However, people also refer to him as if his presidency took place many years before Bartlet's term, and his cabinet members are all very elderly at the time of the funeral.
Lassiter appears to be inspired by President Ronald Reagan; he was a right-wing Republican who served as the Governor of California before being elected to two terms as President. Like Reagan, he was known for his strongly conservative views, and was deeply polarizing after his presidency.
|Presidents of the United States|
| Washington 〉J. Adams 〉Jefferson 〉Madison 〉J.Q. Adams 〉Jackson 〉W. Harrison 〉Polk 〉Pierce 〉Buchanan 〉Lincoln 〉A. Johnson 〉Grant 〉Hayes 〉B. Harrison 〉McKinley 〉T. Roosevelt 〉Taft 〉Wilson 〉Harding 〉Coolidge 〉Hoover 〉F. Roosevelt 〉Truman 〉Eisenhower 〉Kennedy 〉L. Johnson 〉Nixon 〉Newman 〉Lassiter 〉Bartlet (Walken) • Santos|
See Also: Monroe — Ford • Carter • Reagan • G.H.W. Bush • Clinton • G.W. Bush