I'll admit I'm not really in the mood for this today, but I haven't missed a day yet this year, and I'll be damned if this is going to stop me. So here's a briefly profiled but no less cherished of my West Wing favorites, Commander Kate Harper. A Navy veteran and Deputy National Security advisor, Harper was tough and seasoned, with a long history of working in covert operations. She was mysterious and alluring but also sort of awkward and anxious, but mainly she was competent as hell. When the quality of the show hit a bit of a trough after Sam's departure and the middling Will Bailey showed up, Harper injected a needed breath of fresh air into the franchise. I always enjoyed her scenes and found that she had especially great chemistry with Josh and Toby, both of whom she completely intimidated.
She worked in a man's world of power plays and secrets and lies and more than held her own. If we're looking for role models (fictional ones, anyway) for our daughters, if it's about teaching them there's nothing they can't do, I vote for Kate Harper.