Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bob Russell (The West Wing)
After the resignation of Vice President John Hoynes due to a sex scandal, Bartlet's first choice to replace him was Lewis Berryhill, the Secretary of State, played by William Devane. However, Berryhill's nomination was opposed by House and Senate Republicans, along with more than a few Democrats, most notably the Minority Leader. Instead, Bartlet appointed Bob Russell with some reluctance, under the provisions of the 25th Amendment after Congressional Republicans made it clear that they would not confirm a more viable candidate who could conceivably be nominated to succeed Bartlet. Russell was on the list of names given by the Speaker of the House, which included a lesbian and several other politically unappealing individuals.
A conservative Democratic Representative from Colorado at the time of his appointment, Russell was initially derided by some of the senior West Wing staff as mediocre and shallow and a tool of Colorado mining interests. Russell's dismissive nickname around Washington was "Bingo Bob," and he was often referred to as the "Congressman from the Western Colorado Mining Company." However, he soon established himself as an ambitious and shrewd politician with a wry awareness of his own shortcomings. In time, he vied with Hoynes and Texas Representative Matt Santos to win the Democratic presidential nomination during the 2006 election. After a strong early start as the presumptive Democratic nominee, Russell lost the crucial California Democratic primary, and several later primaries, to Santos. Russell offered Santos and then Pennsylvania Gov. Eric Baker the opportunity to be his running mate, but both declined. After several deadlocked ballots at the Democratic National Convention, President Bartlet threw his support to Santos, as did a key teacher's union leader, and Santos secured the presidential nomination, with former White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry as his running mate.
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