Snapshot of my computer screen showing a scene of TV series “Commander-in-Chief” role-played by Geena Davis and Donald Sutherland. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces. The current Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces is Barack Obama, the 44th President.

As of 2011, there are nine combatant commanders: six have regional responsibilities, and three have functional responsibilities. Before 2002, the combatant commanders were referred to in daily use as “Commanders-in-Chief” (for instance: “Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command”), even though the offices were in fact already designated as “combatant commander” in the law specifying the positions. On October 24, 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld announced his decision that the use of “Commander-in-Chief” would afterwards be reserved for the President only.

People outside the loop do not have a clear understanding of what happens inside the walls of the White House and the tremendous pressure exerted on the shoulders of the most powerful public office position in the world.  We all know that the President of the United States is a common human being who happened to be elected by the citizens of the United States, also known as “We the The People”, to lead the country.  This person is not a Superman with magic powers, X-Ray vision, muscles of steel and unfathomable wisdom.  The fact of the matter is, that his or her character has the same flaws of your next door neighbor, yet we expect him or her to be perfect in the Oval Office.

Presidents like Harry S. Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ike Eisenhower, Richard N. Nixon, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Ulysses S. Grant, just to name a few, are remembered by the American people as great Commanders-in-Chief.  They rose above their flaws and limitations and led their country in times of war and peace making very important decisions affecting the lives of millions of people domestically and around the globe.  It’s amazing how they age so fast.  Most of the time their hair is white when they leave office and die a few years later.

A television series dubbed, Commander-in-Chief, takes us inside the White House and gives us an idea of what this high office is all about.  I was lucky to watch all seventeen episodes via Netflix.  Each episode was better than the previous one.  Commander-in-Chief is a political drama surrounding the nation’s first female president. This series examines not only the shock of a first woman president, but the thorny issues she will face holding this high office. Not only will she take charge of a grieving nation, but also the care of her own household.

A quote from President Mackenzie Allan that I jotted down was, “So I say to the people of this nation: I am humbled by your greatness. I am humbled by the history being made here today, humbled by the notion that I am the first woman to hold this office. I’m humbled by the responsibilities that rest with me.”  I was thinking of Hillary Clinton, when I wrote this down in my agenda for this blog post.  I think she would have been a remarkable Commander-in-Chief.  I wonder if she is entertaining the idea of running in 2016.

“Commander-in-Chief” is well written and playful with its premise even as it conjures a post-Hillary world where female politicians are pure at heart or at least have learned from Senator Clinton’s early mistakes.

The series began broadcasting on ABC on Tuesday, September 27, 2005, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, although most countries outside North America began screening the series in mid-2006. It garnered the highest ratings for a series debut on a Tuesday night.

Acclaimed actress Geena Davis joins Emmy Award winner Donald Sutherland and an accomplished cast in a captivating blend of drama, excitement, and political intrigue. The series was created by American director Rod Lurie, director of the films The Contender and Deterrence and may have been inspired by The West Wing, a popular political drama on rival NBC network.

The network replaced Lurie with Steven Bochco as show runner, but declining ratings brought about a hiatus, a time slot change and ultimately cancellation.  It was a sad decision, I wished it would be extended for at least one more season.  It was that good.

If you follow American politics, drama, intrigue, and excellent acting, surely Commander-in-Chief is your cup of tea.  I plan to watch it again, after my current euphoria settles down.  Good Day.


8 thoughts on “Commander-in-Chief”

  1. Just remember, it’s fiction. Or propaganda, depending on your point of view.

    I wonder what role our current Commander in Chief is playing in the sudden frequency of US Army war games taking place in the middle of American cities, with no advance notice and no explanation?

    Most distressing here, on Monday, was the fact that the drills were carried out with civilian police and military forces working in tandem. Something isn’t right.

    Houston’s South Side Rattled by Army Drills

  2. Morning Linda:

    Yes, I’m aware that this series is entertaining stuff, yet it is so well done, it makes you think it’s real. I have followed American politics for a long time, but never knew how things were made inside the walled gardens of power. I still don’t, but I do know It’s not an easy job. No matter how well intentioned you are, and how many hours you spend on your job, people will always criticize your actions. It comes with the territory.

    I had the experience of acting several times as temporary Vice-Minister of Economic and Finance when Minister Guillermo Ford traveled abroad. We worked for more than eighteen hours a day, including Saturdays and Sundays. And yet, after our administration ended we had made both friends and foes alike. Been there, done that.

    Truman became President of the United States by accident. He was nominated Vice President to placate the division inside the Democratic Party. When FDR died, it caught Harry Truman by surprise, yet he rose to the historical occasion and led the country through rough times, (e.g. the dropping of two atomic bombs in Japan, the creation of the United Nations, the Korean War, the Cold War, just to name a few). As I mentioned in my post, there are many similar stories of remarkable American Presidents—ordinary people doing extraordinary work.

    Warm Regards,


  3. Dear Omar,

    I find it baffling that my country has had two women presidents already but the U.S. has yet to elect their very first female Commander-in-Chief. And I’ve always thought our gender is enjoying more rights and privileges there. 🙂

    Seriously, I’ve rooted for Hillary Clinton during her presidential battle with Barack Obama. She could have been a highly effective and powerful world leader as proven by her current achievements as Secretary of State. I don’t think she’ll be running in 2016, though. That’s simply a personal prediction of mine.

    I have to share this one conviction with you, although it isn’t a popular one here – and I can’t understand why. I believe the U.S. is the best country in the world. And they are doing things not just out of hidden agendas that could only benefit their land. They basically decide on matters that will benefit the whole mankind or the whole planet. They might have made mistakes, but who’s perfect, anyway?

    The people of that nation do have a good heart. Just my two-cents.

    I hope everything’s fine in the beautiful land of Panama.

    Warmest Regards to you, too..

    1. Morning Marj:

      I have a gut feeling Hillary wants to be President. It’s in her blood, but doesn’t want to make any waves just yet. Her husband will obviously support her, and he is a very popular political democratic leader. Both could be winners if Hillary decides to run.

      I agree with you that the United States is the leader of the free world. I have studied its history for many years and still do. Right now I’m re-reading the book, “All The President’s Men” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about the Watergate fiasco and Richard Nixon. He was a controversial man as you well know.

      I remember Cory Aquino and her yellow dresses. She was a wonderful leader for your country after her husband was murdered at the airport. On the other hand, I never did like Imelda Marcos and her husband, but that is just my perspective far away in Panama.

      Have a great day,


      1. My grammar fiasco: I should have written “people of that nation.” Pardon me for that. Still struggling in various English departments. 😀

        Cory Aquino will always be remembered as a well-loved president although she didn’t do much for the progress of our nation. She was put into power after the death of her husband, Benigno Aquino Jr. – the main catalyst for the return of total democracy in the Philippines. Their only son is our current president who seems to be faring better in governing our country, as compared to his mom during her term. We hope not to be referred to anymore as “the sick man of Asia” soon.

        Nobody in their right mind likes the Marcoses. They plundered our financial resources and abused their power for 20 years.

        I remember the movie “All The President’s Men” starring my then idol, Robert Redford. I am planning to watch “Commander-in-Chief” too when time gets to be more permitting in the future.

        A Great Day to you as well, dear Omar.


  4. Morning Marj:

    No problem. I just fixed the English error. Easy as pie.

    I didn’t know that Cory’s son is the President of your country. I guess politics is in the Aquino’s blood. Am glad the Philippines is enjoying a robust economy. In many ways, your country is very much like ours. After all, both were Spanish colonies in the past. It also played an important role during World War II in the Pacific.

    BTW, do you have Netflix at home? If you do, you could stream “Commander-in-Chief”. I know for a fact you will love it.

    Warm Regards,


    1. Omar dear,

      The Philippines’ economy isn’t that robust yet. It may take several more years for it to happen. Panama is undoubtedly much way ahead, economically speaking.

      Yes, political dynasties are a way of life here, too. But we were relieved, though, when “Noynoy” was elected because the integrity of the Aquino family is unquestionable.

      Unfortunately, Netflix still isn’t available in my country. I’ve no idea why. Anyway, I’ll find a way to be able to watch all the good TV shows soon. “Commander-in-Chief” had also been well-received and recommended by people here way back then.

      Warmest Regards,


  5. Dear Marj:

    Interesting…I thought Netflix was available worldwide. Hope it finds its way to your country soon. Then we can exchange contents to our heart’s content. 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend,


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