In the last episode of season 2 of House of Cards, President Walker goes to Camp David amidst the looming fate of impeachment. By then, Frank Underwood and him already have a fallout, and the President refuses to speak to Frank directly.

Frank writes a "heart-felt" letter to the President, and the President immediately changes his mind on Frank, and that proves to be the final nail in the coffin. How can a President of the United States of America, the most powerful man in the free world, the one who rose to the top despite the treacherous DC politics, the one who just had an epiphany about who Frank really is one episode ago-- Frank is just manipulating everyone including the president to serve his own lust for power, can change his mind so suddenly? It seems to me President Walker is so gullible that he definitely deserves to fall.

Really, I can't believe that any barely competent politician can be this gullible, let alone a battle-harden President. Any explanation on why this President is so easily being manipulated?

Well, I know he has to be this gullible for Frank to make it to the top in the shortest time possible, but the whole plot is simply unrealistic.

2 Answers 2


You are right, the president is portrayed as rather naive and is mostly a puppet in the hands of Frank and Tusk. I doubt that this is a likely scenario in the real world, at least to this extent, and it is one of the very few things one could criticise on this otherwise outstanding show. However, even if it requires a little bit suspension of disbelief on the viewer's behalf, it surely is not impossible in the context of the show.

How could he become president if he is so gullible?

To answer that, we would have to see how he actually became president: In contrast to Frank, who acknowledges proudly that he achieved all this without a single vote, Garrett Walker won the election for presidency. While we clearly see that D.C. has a lot of backstabbing and intrigue going on, which Walker is not good at, he has two things that helped him win elections:

  • He has a very charming and honest appearance. This quality is likely to make him a favorite with the voters.
  • He has friends with a lot of money (Tusk). Money wins elections.

Also, it seems that Frank helped him with the political part of controlling the parliament. At least that is suggested at the first episode and likely the reason why Frank expected to become VP in return.

To sum it up: Walker became president because the people like him and also exactly because he is gullible. By putting someone like him in charge, man like Tusk and Frank expected to be able to control him to their own advantage.

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    At least that is suggested at the first episode and likely the reason why Frank expected to become VP in return. He expected to become Secretary of State. It is only when that rug is pulled out from under him that he and Claire change their plans (which is the start of the show)
    – Flater
    Jun 7, 2017 at 9:36

I think Walker's weakness in the hands of Tusk and Underwood are direct references of the weakness of Bush II at the hands of Chaney and Rumsfeld.

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    Let's not get off on a tangent here ... I'm looking at this as pure speculation/opinion no based in any fact or otherwise. Can you provide some documentation from the writers this was the direction they were going for here? Oct 19, 2014 at 23:11

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