"Madam Secretary" stars Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. A college professor and a brilliant former CIA analyst who left for ethical reasons, Elizabeth returns to public life at the request of the President following the suspicious death of her predecessor. The President values her apolitical leanings, her deep knowledge of the Middle East, her flair for languages and her ability to not just think outside the box, but to not even acknowledge there is a box. McCord's team includes her Chief of Staff Nadine Tolliver (Emmy Award winner Bebe Neuwirth), speechwriter Matt Mahoney (Geoffrey Arend), press coordinator Daisy Grant (Patina Miller) and her charming assistant, Blake Moran (Erich Bergen). As McCord debates third world problems and finesses foreign dignitaries at work, that's just a warm-up for when she goes home to her supportive husband Henry (Tim Daly) and their two bright children (Katherine Herzer and Evan Roe), where "politics" and "compromise" take on new meaning.
In second season, Elizabeth appeared before a Congressional committee regarding the attempted coup in Iraq, but on the advice of President Dalton and his Chief of Staff Russell Jackson, she invoked executive privilege and refused to testify. When the committee subpoenaed Henry, he was willing to lie to protect Elizabeth because they were going to accuse her of sharing classified information about Secretary Marsh's death. Elizabeth refused to let him perjure himself and instead told the truth to the committee, and won over the press and pundits with a passionate speech about why she made the choices she did.