- He was played by Ed O'Neill.
Biographical information Edit
Originally, Governor Baker was the frontrunner for the party's presidential nomination in the 2006 election, and he is said to be leading in the polls in both the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire primary. His campaign manager is Bruno Gianelli, who had managed Josiah Bartlet's re-election campaign in 2002. Eventually, though, he announces in November 2005 that he will not seek the nomination for family reasons. Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, the manager of Texas Congressman Matthew Santos's bid for the nomination, speculates at the time that Baker might not want to face off against Senator Arnold Vinick of California, who is then seeking the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Vinick and Baker are old friends; Baker was a staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee when Vinick was a freshman senator.
Prior to the Democratic National Convention in San Diego, which is expected to be deadlocked, Baker is offered the vice presidential nomination by Vice President Bob Russell, who believes that making Baker his running mate will bring him enough delegates from Pennsylvania and other states to defeat Representative Santos and former VP John Hoynes for the nomination. Russell also believed that having Baker on the ticket was a neccesity in order retain Pennsylvania and other blue states that would become more marginal due to Vinick's moderate stance.
Instead of accepting second place on a ticket headed by Russell, however, Baker decides that he would offer himself as a candidate for the nomination on the second ballot. Blue-and-white placards emblazoned with the words "Draft Baker" flood the floor of the convention (presumably thanks to Baker's operatives) as the first ballot's voting winds to a close, and Baker announces his intention to accept this "draft" to reporters on the convention floor. Almost immediately, a stampede of delegates to Baker, which come from all three of the other candidates, eliminate Hoynes from consideration and create a virtual tie between Russell, Santos, and Baker.
By the second day of the convention, Baker has taken the lead in the balloting and seems to be well on his way to taking the nomination by the following morning. However, the Russell campaign leaks to the media that Baker's wife Dorothy had been twice hospitalized for clinical depression. His failure to disclose that fact when he was under consideration for the vice-presidential nomination and when he presented himself as a candidate stalls Baker's momentum, and the convention enters its third day without a clear nominee. (The Democrats were sensitive to complete health disclosures due to the MS scandal in the Bartlet Administration.)
During the third day of balloting, Santos's rousing address to the convention, combined with behind-the-scenes machinations by President Josiah Bartlet and Josh Lyman shifts the momentum to Santos. He then defeats Russell, Hoynes, and Baker for the nomination. Not wanting to subject his wife to further public scrutiny, Baker again declines the vice presidential nomination when Santos and Josh Lyman offer it to him. Santos then selects former White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, who had repeatedly demanded that Santos drop out of the race for the sake of party unity, as his running mate. In the run up to the election, Baker (along with several other Democratic governors) campaigned for the Santos/McGarry ticket.
Following the death of McGarry on Election Day, Santos chooses Baker for the Vice Presidency, eventually deciding to submit Baker's name to Congress under the terms of the 25th Amendment, rather than asking the Electoral College to vote for him. Baker was confirmed as Vice President.
|2006 Presidential Election|
|Santos/McGarry (D) | Vinick/Sullivan (R)|
|2006 Democratic Primary|
|Atkins | Baker | Clarkson | Hoynes | Rafferty | Russell | Santos | two others|
|2006 Republican Primary|
|Allard | Bennett | Butler | Vinick | Walken | three others|