Jed Bartlet

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Name: Josiah Edward 'Jed' Bartlet
Occupation: President of the United States
Relationships: wife, children, staff
Fandom: The West Wing
Art by Meredith Martini created for the zine The Princeton Files
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Josiah Edward "Jed" Bartlet was a two-term President of the United States on The West Wing played by Martin Sheen. One of the most popular depictions of a fictional President ever, Bartlet continues to carry a mythic weight in American pop-culture. So much so that creator Aaron Sorkin brought him back on the eve of the 2008 election for an op-ed: Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlet. Bartlet also appeared in ads with Paris Hilton ("Paris seeks the advice of the most esteemed fake president of our generation.")


Bartlet came from a mixed-religion marriage of a Catholic mother and a Protestant father. His choice to follow his mother into Catholicism resulted in a rocky relationship with his father, who was emotionally and physically abusive.

Patronymically, he is a direct descendant from a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Josiah Bartlett.

Prior to meeting his future wife, Abigail Bartlet, he wanted to be a priest. He switched to Economics after meeting her. They have three daughters: Elizabeth, Ellie and Zoey, and two grandchildren.

He has a Nobel Prize in Economics. Prior to becoming President, Bartlet was a three term Congressman from New Hampshire and two term Governor of New Hampshire. He won his first term as President in 1998, a campaign which we saw little of in the show except via flashback, and re-election in 2002 against Governor Richie of Florida.

He was recruited as a presidential candidate by his friend Leo McGarry.

He has multiple sclerosis.


The slash pairing between Bartlet and McGarry rests on scenes such as:

  • the kiss between them in In The Shadow of Two Gunmen
  • the candlelit dinner they share ("We see a waiter lighting candles on a table with a simple but elegant setting. Jed and Leo kind of hesitate at the door and the waiter greets them. Jed tells him to hang on and quietly tells Leo that they had been expecting him to have dinner with Abby. Jed says, "So, we'll just, you know...pretend there's no candlelight." Leo: "Or that we're not paranoid homophobes in any way.")--TWOP recap
  • the parallels with Sam/Josh, another huge West Wing slash pairing (just as Leo comes to get Jed to run, Josh comes to recruit Sam to Bartlet's campaign)


The Jeds was a West Wing fanfiction awards which ran from 2001 - 2003. Categories included Outstanding Characterization of President Bartlet, and pairing categories for Jed/Leo and Jed/Abbey. Threesomes (Jed/Leo/Abbey) are also popular.

Notable stories

  • Covenant by baked_goldfish (Jed/Leo, NC-17)