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Characters: House Of Cards US White House

Season 2 spoilers follow. You have been warned.

The White House

    open/close all folders 

The Walkers

    Garrett Walker 

President Garrett Walker

Played By: Michael Gill

Tusk: He's easily manipulated.

45th President of the United States, former Governor of Colorado. He trusts Frank as a close advisor and lieutenant while constantly allowing his administration to falter due to Frank's machinations.

Tropes

  • Benevolent Boss: Walker is considerate and pleasant toward his subordinates. It's a shame he's so easily manipulated by those subordinates.
  • Butt Monkey: His presidency consists of one crisis after another and his marriage is also severely damaged.
  • The Chains of Commanding: Frank makes sure the chains are as heavy as possible and that the President gradually tumbles under the weight.
  • Fatal Flaw: He's very gullible. An example of this is the end of season 2. He realizes that Frank has been the source of most of his troubles, so he cuts Frank off and he brings back his old chief of staff. Walker then offers Raymond Tusk a pardon in exchange for revealing Frank's illegal activities to the Department of Justice's investigation. Everything would have worked for Walker if he had just kept to his plan. Frank would have been imprisoned and Walker could have at least salvaged one term in the presidency. However, Walker changes his mind when Frank sends him an emotional letter pleading for the president's friendship, and refuses to give Tusk the pardon. Tusk then perjures himself by implicating Walker in illegal activities, readying the congress to impeach Walker and causing Walker to resign.
  • Good Is Dumb: The least morally dubious politician on the show, and is being constantly manipulated by Tusk and later Underwood.
  • Hope Spot: Gets one near the end of Season 2, when he finally sees Frank for the duplicitous, power-hungry liar that he is and cuts him out of his circle. However, he underestimates just how good a liar the man is, and pretty soon Frank schemes his way back into Walker's good graces and orchestrates his downfall.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Becomes a victim of this from both Frank Underwood and Raymond Tusk in Season 2, resulting in him being manipulated out of the White House. Even more so with Frank, who uses a series of brilliant Batman Gambits against Walker.

    Patricia Walker 

Patricia 'Tricia' Walker

Played By: Joanna Going

The wife of President Garrett Walker and First Lady of the United States. She befriends Claire during Season 2, supporting her legislative moves, while also dealing with marital stress.

Tropes

  • Good Is Dumb: She has this in common with her husband. Tricia wants to do the right thing at all times, but is manipulated rather easily by Claire.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of Claire Underwood.

Vice President

    Jim Matthews 

Vice President James 'Jim' Matthews

Played By: Dan Ziskie

Frank Underwood: Oh, Jim Matthews: [Garrett Walker's] right honorable vice-president. Former governor of Pennsylvania, he did his duty in delivering the Keystone State, bless his heart, and now they're about to put him out to pasture. But he looks happy enough, doesn't he? For some, it's simply the size of the chair.

The Vice President and former Governor of Pennsylvania.

Tropes

  • Grumpy Old Man: Matthews is rather bitter and short-tempered in office, although he's polite and friendly to his constituents.
  • Kicked Upstairs: How he views his vice-presidency. Matthews hates being away from his home state, which he feels a strong connection to.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Probably the most direct and blatant example in the series, of current US Vice President Joe Biden. Both are from Pennsylvania (though Biden grew to political prominence in Delaware), have the same speech and mannerisms, adopt a folksy demeanor, seem to shoot for centrist, blue-collar voters, and are viewed by many as burdensome to the administration they serve.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: By winning race for governorship of Pennsylvania. He was rather happy with that, since he had come to loathe his vice presidency, as he had grown to consider it equal to being Kicked Upstairs.
  • Vice President Who: Matthews feels ineffectual and locked out of the loop by the President, whom he dislikes immensely. Likewise, Walker considers Matthews to be a pain in the ass and only used him to get voters.

    Jackie Sharp 

Vice President Jacqueline 'Jackie' Sharp

Played By: Molly Parker

A congresswoman chosen by Frank Underwood as his replacement before taking the job of Vice President. Debuts during the first episode of season 2.

Tropes

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted, kind of. She believes Remy Danton is this because of his pursuit of money, thinking he's a playboy. Turns out he's really a one woman type of man and doesn't like one night stands, which he makes clear after having one with her.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Frank noticed this quickly about her and chose her because of it. He later makes her an offer to join him in his plans for becoming POTUS with his wife Claire.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: Done in a very subtle way to someone who isn't an enemy, but becomes one by the end of the episode.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Tries to take this stance after having sex with Remy Danton for the first time. However, ultimately subverted as she develops a serious relationship with him by the end of season 2. When they break up, she tries to put this front up.
  • Just Following Orders: Sharp's excuse for her actions which resulted in the deaths of many innocent women and children in the Middle East when she was in the military before becoming a congresswoman.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Sharp' certainly fits her. She has a sharp mind, and she's lethal.
  • Lonely at the Top: After becoming Majority Whip, she loses one of her few friendships in the world and puts her career ahead of a budding romance with Remy, who even points out the job has made her cold.
  • Worthy Opponent: Proves to be an equal to Claire Underwood in every way, after the two match wits over a bill about male military officers and rape. Impressed by this, Claire decides to work with Sharp and make her an offer to join Frank in their plans for the White House.

Secretary of State

    Catherine Durant 

Catherine Durant

Played By: Jayne Atkinson

The Secretary of State and former Senator from Missouri.

Tropes

  • The Iron Lady: She might be as easily manipulated by Frank as anyone, but there's no shame in that and there's no denying Durant is tough lady who isn't easily intimidated.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She seems to be based on Hillary Clinton; she actively opposed the sitting President during the primaries, and later she would be promoted to Secretary of State. She even somewhat resembles Clinton in appearance.

    Michael Kern 

Michael Kern

Played By: Kevin Kilner

The President's original choice for the position of Secretary of State.

Other Staff

    Linda Vasquez 

Linda Vasquez

Played By: Sakina Jaffrey

The President's newly appointed Chief of Staff at the beginning of season 1. She aids Frank's schemes at some points and obstructs them at others, and at first seemingly does so solely at the behest of the President, but it is later revealed that she has her own agenda.

Tropes

  • The Consigliere: To President Walker.
  • Graceful Loser: After she resigns in Season 2, Linda gives Frank a precious gift. Frank mentions how he respects her even more for losing with dignity.
  • Informed Ability: All of the traits Frank ascribes to her in the first episode. She is easily duped for most of the season, doesn't question why Frank is taking such an active role in the Walker presidency, and even when she confronts Frank on his long-term goal to be president, she accepts his admission without conflict.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Resigns in Season 2, after she realized she can no longer compete with Frank in the White House.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Attempts unsuccessfully to use her influence to get her son into Stanford despite the fact that the admissions committee has turned him down.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Averted. Despite resigning during Season 2, Linda is given a chance to get her job back, if she helps President Walker bring Frank Underwood down. Unfortunately for her, Frank's Batman Gambit with the letter, prevents this from happening.
  • Worthy Opponent: Frank views her as one, as she is one of the few people he acknowledges are just as smart, tough-minded, and ruthless as he is.

    Christina Gallagher 

Christina Gallagher

Played By: Kristen Connolly

A headstrong congressional staffer involved in a secret relationship with Peter Russo, before becoming personal assistant to the President.

Tropes

  • Demoted to Extra: Despite her large role in season 1, Christina is demoted to a fairly minor role albeit one with an arc. She exists mostly as an Unwitting Pawn for Claire to use in season 2.
  • Honest Advisor: As his campaign adviser, this is her job and she does her best at it.
  • The Mistress: For Russo, but only due to secrecy and not true infidelity. The First Lady suspects her of being this to Garrett.
  • Nice Girl: She one of the most morally upright characters and this is reflected in her general demeanor.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Christina has a big shining pair of 'em, which is quite helpful when dealing with Russo.
  • Put on a Bus: Claire sets the seeds into First Lady's mind that Christina is a sycophant willing to sleep her way to the top (given her past relationship with Russo, and she ends up getting transferred off-screen from the White House to another location.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Claire Underwood uses her as one to help crumble the President's marriage.

    Nathan Green 

Nathan Green

Played By: Jeremy Holm

the White House/FBI liaison.

Tropes

  • The Bully: To Gavin Orsay: Green is excessively cruel to him.
  • Jerkass: Green is a smug, sadistic bully.
  • Kick the Dog: His barbaric treatment of Gavin Orshay, and especially Gavin's guinea pig Cashew, whom he slowly crushes under his foot.
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