The West Wing characters: Margaret Hooper
“Red meat has been found to cause cancer in white rats. Maraschino cherries have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Cellular phones have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Has anyone examined the possibility that cancer might be hereditary in white rats?”
Her name alone fills me with joy, as I hear the voice of John Spencer calling. The bond between Margaret and Leo is yet another element of The West Wing that I couldn’t bear to be without. While Donna and Josh explore the sexual tension approach to the boss-assistant relationship, Margaret and Leo serve as an offbeat, comic relief even in some of the show’s darkest hours. Namely, in the aftermath of the Rosslyn shooting when Margaret offers her services in the form of forgery and a coup d’etat. Even when Leo’s not getting frustrated by Margaret or, often as the case may be, vice versa, there is a perfectly compelling bond between the two of them, with as much loyalty as you’ll find anywhere within the show. It’s a perfectly formed relationship, without falsehood or miscommunication. I feel that both characters have an enormous amount of love for one another, and that bond of mutual respect translates to the screen.
While we never got to know too much about Margaret outside of the White House, although I like to think she had a slightly Benedick/Beatrice romance during Bartlet’s presidency that she kept under wraps, I think she always came to the table as a fully-formed character. She was a formidable force. I think that it’s impressive, that Sorkin could have created so many characters on the assistant level that were just as brilliantly crafted as the senior staff. In my mind, Margaret would have been the only person for the assistant position to Josh under Santos’ government. I like to think that’s what happened, anyway. Quirky, with brilliant comedic timing, NiCole Robinson shined so bright every time she was on screen and I whole-heartedly adore her and the character she brought life to. There could never have been enough Margaret moments, many of which made me confuse this show for a gosh darn comedy!