Bud Hammond: Former president and darling of the nation. A flagrant misogynist and racist, prone to calling women “hot piece of asses” and Italians “dagos.” Hungry to get back into the political spotlight, he’s not above manipulating his ex-wife into bed in order to secure a diplomatic post.
Garcetti: The current president. Floundering and depressingly pragmatic, he allows a hostage situation to go south in order to secure a nuclear peace treaty with Iran.
Susan Berg: Ambitious journalist who made her name by exploiting Bud Hammond’s infidelities. Once wrote a supposedly feminist book titled “When Bitches Rule.” Secures a week-long interview with Elaine Barrish in exchange for not going to press with dirty secrets about her son. Her editor/boyfriend gives the dirty story to a hot young blogger, with whom he’s also having an affair.
The Hammond boys: Douglas the dutiful son who works for his mother, plans to marry soon, wound tighter than a spring. T.J. the self-destructive gay son who attempted suicide, and has a flair for fashion and drugs.
Elaine Barrish: Formerly Elaine Barrish Hammond. Former FLOTUS, currently Secretary of State. Whip-smart about almost everything besides her ex-husband. After a hookup in a sleazy motel, she realizes he’s been flattering her so she’ll send him to Iran for the hostage negotiation. It’s still the best option, so she doesn’t rescind the offer, but hopefully she’s wised up for good. At first finding herself at odds with Susan Berg, the two come to a sort of mutual respect. Elaine, fed up with the cynicism and incompetence around her, decides to run for president again.