|Sibling(s):||David Palmer (brother)|
Sandra Palmer (sister)
|Residence(s):||White House, Washington, D.C.|
34012 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles
|Education:||J.D., Yale University|
B.A. Political Science, Stanford
|Affiliation:||United States government|
Wayne Palmer administration
David Palmer administration
United States Marine Corps
|Profession:||President of the United States|
White House Chief of Staff
COO, Milliken Enterprises
Attorney at Law, Anderson & Siebertz
|Significant other(s):||Julia Milliken (ex-girlfriend)|
|Other family:||Sherry Palmer (sister-in-law)|
Keith Palmer (nephew)
Nicole Palmer (niece)
|Died:||Brain hemorrhage after Pollock/Carson assassination attempt|
|Played by:||DB Woodside|
|Stunt double:||Jalil Jay Lynch (stunt driver)|
|Season(s):||3, 5, 6|
|First episode:||"Day 3: 1:00pm-2:00pm"|
|Last episode:||"Day 6: 11:00pm-12:00am"|
- "When I agreed to run for this office, I thought that I understood this job...I mean I was right beside my brother David when he had to make impossible decisions, you know times when he had to choose between bad options, but, now that I'm the one sitting in that chair, I'm starting to wonder if I'm the right person to lead this country."
- — President Wayne Palmer, "Day 6: 6:00am-7:00am"
Wayne Palmer was the brother of President David Palmer and lawyer Sandra Palmer. He served as David's White House Chief of Staff following Mike Novick's dismissal. By Day 6, he had been elected President of the United States.
Wayne suffered significant brain damage as a result of an attempted assassination carried out by Reed Pollock and Bruce Carson, and spent several hours in surgery. To prevent Vice President Noah Daniels from taking premature action against the Middle East, Sandra and National Security Advisor Karen Hayes convinced Sandra to allow the President's doctors to bring Wayne back to consciousness so that he could resume his duties. However, Wayne only served for a few more hours before suffering a hemorrhage and falling into a coma, which he had not woken from by the end of Day 6. At some point after Day 6, Palmer succumbed to his wounds and died.
Before Day 3
Wayne served in the Marine Corps before working for Alan Milliken, a high powered businessman backer of his brother. He served as Chief Operations Officer of Milliken Enterprises. While Milliken was in hospital, recovering from a stroke, Wayne embarked upon an affair with Milliken's wife, Julia. It lasted for a year before David asked Wayne to join his administration.
When David returned to his Presidential duties after an assassination attempt, Wayne was appointed the Chief of Staff. Before Day 3 started, Wayne and David began working on a re-election campaign.
During the start of Day 3, David and Wayne were strongly focusing on the re-election campaign, as they were practicing for a debate President Palmer would have with Senator John Keeler later in the day.
The preparation for the upcoming debate had to be cut short, as a National Security threat had to be discussed. Someone was threatening to release the Cordilla Virus, a deadly virus that could kill millions, unless Ramon Salazar was released from prison. David refused to endorse those actions, as Salazar was connected to several terrorists cells around the world. CTU was strongly convinced Hector Salazar was the one threatening to release the virus, and they learned that Kyle Singer could somehow be connected.
While CTU handled the National Security threat, Wayne began to focus on the upcoming debate, as it was clear that Keeler might bring up a few personal matters. Wayne offered to have Keeler's plan book stolen, but David refused to be involved in such actions. However, they both learned that Keeler planned on bringing up David's relationship with Dr. Anne Packard, as her ex-husband Ted Packard claimed she was involved in a faulty drug scandal.
Jack then contacted the president and informed him that they would not find Kyle Singer in time and the only way to stop the virus from breaking out was to release Salazar from prison. Both David and Wayne opted against this, as the threat could become nationwide if the American public learned of Salazar's release. Jack offered to break Salazar out of prison himself, which wouldn't implicate Palmer in Salazar's release.
As Jack worked on breaking Salazar out of prison, President Palmer and Wayne prepared for the debate. Keeler in fact mentioned Anne Packard's involvement in the drug scandal, but David lashed out at him and claimed that she was innocent. David was then contacted by Wayne through com, who told him that Jack escaped with Salazar via helicopter, and whether the helicopter should be shot down before it reaches civilian area.
David had a tough time deciding what to do, and he was forced to leave the debate, informing everyone a National Security threat needed his attention. President Palmer decided to have Jack and Salazar shot down, but they arrived above civilian area before they could be. Salazar and Jack managed to escape, while Ted Packard gave documents that proved Anne's innocence before committing suicide.
When Gael Ortega was revealed to be a mole inside CTU, Ryan Chappelle interrogated him and Tony Almeida left the hospital to continue his duties as the CTU Director. He revealed that he, Gael, and Jack were involved in a covert operation to obtain the Cordilla virus by having the Salazars buy it. Tony called the president, and even though Wayne and David were furious over the fact they were kept out of the loop of the operation, they allowed Tony to continue his acting duties, and have Jack continue working undercover with the Salazars.
One of President Palmer's biggest supporters, Alan Milliken, learned that the president was in Los Angeles and requested to see him. President Palmer visited him and learned that Wayne had an affair with Milliken's wife Julia several years earlier, while Alan was recovering from a heart attack. Alan asked David to fire Wayne, or he would take matters into his own hands and cut Palmer out, which could possibly cost the president his re-election.
When Wayne learned about this, he offered his resignation, but his brother refused to accept it. David claimed the only way Wayne was leaving the administration was if he made that decision alone. David decided the best way to handle the situation was to bring in someone who was capable of making Milliken back off. He brought in his ex-wife Sherry and requested she find information that would cause Milliken to back off and let Wayne continue to be part of David's administration.
Eventually Sherry began to find out about some of Milliken's skeletons, but everybody who knew about those skeletons ended up dead. Sherry decided to take a trip to the Milliken house and talk to Julia about the situation. The visit turned into disaster, when Alan found them together and suffered from a heart attack after being verbally attacked by Sherry. Julia tried to get Alan his medication, but was persuaded against it by Sherry.
Sherry told David that she never visited the Millikens' house, while Julia contacted Wayne and told him about what had happened. When the police began to question her, Julia confessed about Sherry's involvement, and the police decided to question Sherry. Sherry claimed she was with President Palmer that night, and he backed up her alibi.
When a vial of the Cordilla virus was released in the Chandler Plaza Hotel by Marcus Alvers, the president realized this was a real threat and came into contact with Stephen Saunders, who was controlling the release of the virus. Saunders made a number of demands and if the president didn't comply with them, he would release the virus. Some of Saunders' demands were to use the phrase "the sky is falling" in a speech, the execution of Ryan Chappelle, and the release of America's Non-Official Cover operatives to Sylviaimports.com. David had trouble making all of these decisions, and Wayne supported whatever was best for the country.
Realizing that the president didn't truly care for her, Sherry began to use her blackmailing tactics. She went to Senator John Keeler and told him about what had happened, and she had a prescription bottle that would prove it all. Keeler realized he could use this information to his advantage, and he asked for President Palmer to drop out of the presidential race, or he would expose the truth. In exchange for helping Keeler, Sherry was promised a spot in his administration.
Wayne decided to take matters into his own hands and hired Bruce Foxton to help him gain access to the prescription bottle. While David distracted Sherry at the presidential retreat, Foxton and Wayne searched Sherry's home in search for the bottle. David wasn't able to convince Sherry that he was still interested in her, and she headed back home. Sherry was startled to see Wayne at her house and was then knocked out by Foxton, who found the bottle taped to her back.
Wayne and Foxton fled the scene, but Wayne noticed Julia walking into Sherry's house. Wayne chased after her and was shocked to see Julia holding a gun to Sherry. He tried to calm her down, but Julia shot and killed Sherry before turning the gun on herself. Julia died in Wayne's hands, causing him to break down.
Wayne arrived back at the retreat and told David about what had happened. David was shocked to learn about Sherry's death. Shortly after they were both informed that CTU was able to prevent all of the Cordilla vials from being released in the public. President Palmer decided it would be the best decision not to seek re-election.
After Day 3
Just as the death of Sherry affected David Palmer deeply, the death of Julia affected Wayne deeply as well and he had trouble getting over it. After his brother finished his term Wayne relocated to Los Angeles, continued to have an active role in politics and began to act as an attorney more often. He eventually found someone and settled down, marrying her. Wayne kept constant contact with his brother David between the gap of Day 3 and Day 5.
During this time, Wayne also started helping his brother, David, to write his memoirs.
During the events of Day 5, Wayne stayed in his penthouse apartment on 34012 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. That morning, his brother, David, was with him to finish writing his presidential memoirs. They were revising them, but David seemed to be distracted. Wayne asked him what was wrong, but David assured him it was ok. Wayne reminded him he was his brother and he could trust him. David then agreed that they needed a break. Wayne decided it would be best to take the break before they tackled the chapter on David's relationship with Sherry Palmer.
As Wayne turned to check the memoirs, David glanced out the window. At that moment, he heard a gunshot and turned around to see his brother lying on the floor, with a gunshot on his neck. Wayne immediately grabbed his brother, holding him in his arms and screamed for help. As he did, Secret Service agents scrambled to the window to see what had happened. ("Day 5: 7:00am-8:00am")
Wayne's brother was assassinated and many federal agents were at Wayne's apartment to investigate the crime. Wayne later learned that the biggest lead CTU Los Angeles had on David's assassin was Jack Bauer, whom everyone believed died 18 months earlier.
A little after 8am, Wayne walked into his studio and discovered Jack in his penthouse. Wayne was furious and accused Jack of killing his brother, but Jack assured Wayne he didn't and he was only at the apartment to get a hint on who the real killer was. As a proof of his innocence, Jack gave Wayne his firearm. As Jack slowly sat back down at the computer, Wayne pointed the gun at him but ended up lowering it, realizing that Jack might be telling the truth. Wayne then decided to help. Jack discovered something in a copy of David's original memoir that lead him to the Ontario Airport. However, the agents learned Jack was in the building and Wayne offered to help him escape. Jack refused, as he told Wayne he couldn't be implicated in anyway to his brother's death. Nevertheless, he swore to Wayne he would find out who killed his brother. ("Day 5: 8:00am-9:00am")
Later in the day, Jack and CTU learned that Walt Cummings, the Chief of Staff of President Charles Logan, ordered the hit when Palmer learned about Cummings being involved in the selling of Sentox VX nerve gas to Russian terrorists. Palmer attempted to warn First Lady Martha Logan about Cummings, which lead to his own death. It was also confirmed James Nathanson and Christopher Henderson were complicit in the plot.
Shortly after 8pm, President Charles Logan evoked martial law on the Los Angeles metropolitan area, however he called it a curfew in order to avoid getting permission from Congress. Wayne left for Los Angeles before martial law was activated, as he discovered there was a source inside the White House. Wayne called Aaron Pierce, the head of Secret Service, to tell him he was coming to the presidential retreat. When Wayne was stopped by the military, Vice President Hal Gardner gave him clearance to enter the city.
While driving to the retreat, armed men led by Henderson's mercenary Brennan shot one of Wayne's tires, and his vehicle crashed in a wooded area. Wayne managed to escape from the car, knock one of the gunmen unconscious, and steal his weapon. When Wayne found a suspicious man walking around, he demanded for him to drop his gun, but was relieved when he discovered that it was Aaron, who left the retreat to look for him. With help from Aaron, Wayne was able to escape to the retreat.
Wayne told Aaron that Evelyn Martin, the assistant to the first lady, exchanged emails with David before his death. Because the content had been deleted, Wayne confronted her and demanded for her to give up answers. Evelyn revealed that she had evidence that revealed the person who was behind the day's events. However, she refused to cooperate as Christopher Henderson took her daughter Amy, and he was willing to kill her. Aaron called Jack Bauer and arranged for him to meet with Wayne and Evelyn.
While Wayne left the retreat, he was confronted by Vice President Gardner, who didn't realize he was coming to the retreat. When Gardner asked why Wayne was there, Aaron covered for him and told Gardner that Wayne had a memento from David. Gardner offered his condolences on his brother's death, and offered to let him speak to Logan, however Wayne politely refused - saying he had to catch the plane he was flying David's body back to Washington in the morning. Gardner knew Palmer and Aaron were fairly close, so he didn't become suspicious. However, he later discussed his suspicions with President Logan, which hinted he may have been involved in Palmer's death.
Wayne met with Jack and he agreed to help Evelyn save her daughter, if she would provide them with the evidence. It is at this time that David's death truly sank in for Wayne, as he had to realize his brother was gone. When Jack prepared to storm Henderson's base, Wayne insisted on coming with him, noting his former career in the Marines, but Jack knew very well that Wayne had never seen combat, and did not wish for any harm to come to Wayne for David's sake, and instead recommend he hide with Evelyn. At this, Wayne painfully expressed to Jack how his brother had been shot and then died in his arms, and rhetorically asked if he could walk away after such an event. At this, Jack willingly gave him a firearm.
Together, Jack and Wayne stormed Henderson's base, while Evelyn drove there. After Evelyn got her daughter back, Jack took out all of the hostiles surrounding the area and Evelyn was shot. Henderson managed to escape and Wayne shot at the car, but he wasn't able to stop him. Evelyn then revealed that Logan, not Gardner, was the one involved in the day's events.
Wayne and Jack brought Evelyn and her daughter back to a motel room. Jack wanted to go after the evidence at the bank and suggested for Wayne to stay with her. Evelyn encouraged Jack to bring Wayne with him and get the evidence. After entering the home of Carl Mossman, the evening bank manager, Jack and Wayne were able to get into the bank. Jack was able to secure the audio recording that implicated Logan in Palmer's death. Once Carl realized what Jack and Wayne were up against, he agreed to help.
When Jack realized Henderson's men were outside of the building, he had the silent alarm triggered. While Cooper and the mercenaries engaged the police and military in a gunfight, Jack, Wayne, and Carl ran to a vehicle. However, Carl was shot and died seconds later in the car. Jack realized the president would do everything in his power to have Wayne eliminated, so he dropped Wayne off with Bill Buchanan, the former Director of CTU Los Angeles. Several hours later, after Jack was able to get the recording back, it was erased by Miles Papazian.
Later in the day, Logan tried to have Wayne reached, as he wanted him present for David's memorial. None of Logan's staff was able to get in contact with him, and Logan decided to proceed with the ceremony without him. After giving Palmer's eulogy, Logan was detained by Secret Service, as a conversation between him and his wife implicated him in the day's events.
After Day 5
Wayne received a visit at his home from Tom Lennox, who suggested for him to run for the presidency; Wayne accepted, and Lennox spearheaded his campaign ("Day 6: 1:00pm-2:00pm"). Wayne asked Noah Daniels to be his running mate on the ticket. Wayne and Daniels very rarely agreed politically and had a difficult relationship that Wayne described as a 'marriage of convenience.' But Daniels had military experience and he managed to convince the voters that Wayne would be a successful president. Palmer won the presidency and he named Tom his Chief of Staff after he spearheaded his Presidency campaign. Karen Hayes was appointed as Special National Security Advisor, while Reed Pollock was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff. Ethan Kanin succeeded James Heller as the Secretary of Defense, Kevin Graves became the Attorney General, and John Smith was appointed to Navy Chairman.
Eleven weeks prior to the events of Day 6, America suffered from a siege of terrorist attacks, mostly bombings. The government learned that Hamri Al-Assad, a well known terrorist, was behind the attacks. Abu Fayed, Assad's partner, agreed to give up Assad's location in exchange for $25 million and Jack Bauer. Wayne had the money wired to one of Fayed's accounts and he negotiated with the Chinese for Bauer's release, as he was taken prisoner by Cheng Zhi at the end of Day 5. Tom Lennox proposed a set of emergency measure against Muslims that would result in massive internment into detention camps. Although many including Vice President Daniels, supported the plan, Wayne had decided not to implement his plan.
During the open moments of Day 6, Wayne discussed the National Security crisis with advisors Tom Lennox and Karen Hayes. They told him that the only way they would get through the crisis was if Jack Bauer was killed. Before Bill Buchanan and Curtis Manning dropped Jack off to Abu Fayed, Wayne spoke to him on the phone. Wayne offered his gratitude and condolences for everything Jack had done for the country and his brother.
Less than an hour later, Jack contacted CTU Los Angeles and had them patch him over to Wayne. Jack revealed that Fayed was the one responsible for the attacks and Hamri Al-Assad was innocent of the accusations brought against him. Jack requested for the military strike to be called off and Wayne considered it. After both Tom and Karen advised against it, Palmer decided to go forward with the strike. Fortunately, Jack was able to reach the destination in time, and he escaped with Assad.
Shortly after the strike, Abu Fayed contacted Palmer and demanded for the release of prisoners, whom he called freedom fighters. If the prisoners weren't released within an hour, Fayed would go forward with a major attack. Wayne realized that Jack was right along and he regretted the decision he made. When CTU began to work with Jack and Assad, Wayne had hope that they would be able to capture Fayed. However, they didn't have any results by the end of the hour and Wayne went forward with the prison release. Wayne was informed that one of the prisoners was an engineer that could re-trigger Russian Suitcase Nukes, which were in Fayed's possession. Wayne called off the release, but Hasan Numair was able to escape with help from a corrupt guard.
After Sandra destroyed records at the Islamic-American Alliance, she and Walid Al-Rezani were arrested by the FBI. Wayne had the charges dropped and both of them released, but it would take a longer process for Walid to be released. Wayne disagreed with his sister's actions, and she felt she had to do it in order to protect the rights of Islamic-Americans. Sandra was convinced that the FBI's investigation of the Islamic-American Alliance was Tom's doing. Sandra then noted that neither she nor David ever liked him.
Wayne requested for Jack to lead the investigation on Fayed, and he reluctantly agreed. When it was confirmed that Assad wanted to seek peace with the West, President Palmer agreed to give him immunity. Advisors in Wayne's administration were against the presidential pardon, but Wayne felt it was the only way to find Fayed and make peace with Assad's backers. After Jack was forced to kill Curtis Manning in order to save Assad, a suitcase nuke detonated in Valencia. Wayne witnessed the explosion through satellite and was horrified.
After the nuclear attack, Wayne met with his advisors in order to discuss how to handle the aftermath. Many of Wayne's advisors felt they should take action and retaliate against any country that may have funded Fayed's actions. Wayne was against the idea, as he felt he should find the real enemy instead. Wayne gave a speech to the country, but it was clear to government officials and the public, that Wayne feared what may happen next. Karen then decided to submit her resignation, much to the chagrin of Wayne. He felt she was one of his best advisors and wouldn't be able to perform fully without her. When Wayne asked if Tom had something to do with it, she told him that it was her decision and that he was his best advisor. Karen requested to be transferred to CTU Los Angeles, in order to be with Bill, and Wayne met the request.
After Karen resigned, Tom confronted Palmer and showed his condolences for his loss. Tom then re-proposed his National Security plan, which required Islamic-Americans to be placed into detention centers. Wayne initially refused to look over the plan, but he agreed to it. He asked Tom to gather the Cabinet members together, and Tom was convinced he would authorize the plan. During the meeting, Wayne revealed that he refused to endorse the actions of Tom's plan. Despite Tom and Vice President Noah Daniels having a difference on opinion, Wayne refused to change his decision.
Hamri Al-Assad arrived at the White House and Wayne had him brought down to the presidential bunker, as Secret Service moved the White House staff to the bunker after the nuclear attack. After Wayne greeted Assad, he warned him that the peace treaty would be called off if any further nuclear bombs detonated on US soil. Palmer then asked Assad to ask for his followers to help find Fayed and stop any further attacks. When Assad asked how he would do this, Palmer asked for him to take part in a national address. Despite immediate disapproval of the idea, Assad agreed to it.
Vice President Daniels continued to hold a disappointment in Palmer not giving authorization to Tom's plan. After Assad submitted his speech, Wayne called in Tom and asked him to oversee the speech. Wayne informed Tom that he still valued his opinions, despite his disapproval of the detention center. Tom looked over the speech and made many valid points, which Wayne took note of. Wayne then had Tom's take on the speech sent over to Assad. However, Tom began to disappear and Wayne couldn't find him. When Wayne asked Deputy Chief of Staff Reed Pollock where Tom was, he gave some excuse.
Wayne prepared for the national address by meeting with the ambassador of Fayed's country. The ambassador was cruel to Assad and didn't like the idea of Assad being part of the nation address. After the ambassador was dismissed, Wayne thanked Assad for agreeing to his terms. Wayne was then contacted by Jack Bauer, who told him there only lead on Fayed was a man named Dmitri Gredenko. The only way to find Gredenko was through Charles Logan, who was under house arrest. After Wayne spoke to Logan himself, he agreed to allow Logan a temporary pardon. When Logan told Wayne that he was a changed man, Wayne informed him that he would not forgive him for David's murder.
When Tom was nowhere to be found, Wayne asked for Reed to find Tom before the national address started. Wayne didn't known that Tom was locked up in the boiler room, as Reed conspired with Bruce Carson to have Palmer assassinated, which would give Daniels the chance to take control of the country. When Assad stood up the podium to rehearse, he noticed a red liquid drip. Assad realized that the liquid was from a bomb and he yelled for the Secret Service to get Wayne out of the room. However, Palmer wasn't taken out of the room in time and Wayne was found unconscious. He was rushed into surgery and was in a stable condition when Noah took control of the office.
Despite being in critical condition, doctors revealed to Karen Hayes that the president had very strong vitals. Palmer had to be put into a chemically induced coma in order to be stabilized. When Karen asked if Palmer could be brought into a conscious state, the doctor told her that he would need consent from a family member, particularly his sister Sandra. The doctor strongly advised against this, as it could be damaging to the president's state. Just as Vice President Daniels was about to go through with the nuclear strike, Palmer suddenly called it off and called Daniels to explain to him that he was resuming his duties as Commander in Chief. After the call Daniels claimed Palmer was delusional and began the process of removing him from office by calling Attorney General Graves.
When Wayne was told the cabinet had been convened to decide whether or not to evoke the 25th Amendment against him, Dr. Welton advised him to use a wheelchair for moving out of his hospital bed, but he refused. Though Karen argued that President Roosevelt had been perfectly able to lead the country from a wheelchair, Wayne insisted that when he confronted Daniels and the cabinet he needed to be on his feet, fearing he would appear too weak otherwise. Wayne asked Welton to give him a shot of adrenaline to enable him to do so, despite the risk it would increase his blood pressure and worsen his condition.
Tom Lennox led the cabinet's meeting, while Attorney General Graves stood by on video phone to advise on the process. Dr. Welton was called in to testify regarding Wayne's medical condition, and he stated to the cabinet that he believed the greatest danger had passed, but could not guarantee that the demands and pressures of leading the nation might cause a relapse. After Welton was dismissed, Wayne addressed the cabinet, emphasizing Daniels had only initiated this process because he was displeased with the cancellation of the nuclear strike and insisted to all members of the cabinet they should only vote to evoke the 25th Amendment if they genuinely believed him to be medically incapable, not simply if they disagreed with his policies.
The cabinet's vote turned out to be evenly split, and Graves stated it meant Palmer would remain in office, as Daniels would have needed an explicit majority to replace him. However, Daniels suddenly argued that Karen Hayes' vote, which had been in support of President Palmer, was invalid, as she had resigned earlier and was never actually reinstated as National Security Advisor. Graves advised this was a strictly legal matter and passed the case over to the Supreme Court, to decide Karen's validity as a member of the cabinet.
Sandra put together the affidavit for Wayne's case herself, and she and Karen both expressed their confidence that Wayne would win, as Daniels' own actions over the past few hours, including allowing Karen to attend cabinet meetings without any objection, proved he had no intention of rejecting her resuming her position. Regardless, Karen felt the whole situation was her fault, and Wayne assured her that she would not be the scapegoat. Sandra later got a call informing her that Vice President Daniels had suddenly withdrawn his affidavit and dropped the case, which she announced to Wayne and Karen. Although they were confused by Daniels' sudden change, they were pleased with the result: Wayne would remain Commander in Chief.
With his position in office secured, Wayne's first act as President again was to request Karen gather all the information on Daniels' nuclear strike plan, leaving Karen to assume he intended to cancel it permanently. Wayne suddenly had a relapse and began feeling too much pain, prompting him to call in Welton and ask him to give him another shot of adrenaline. Welton highly advised against it, but Wayne insisted he needed it in order to lead the country and told him that he would got another doctor to administer the drug if Welton didn't. Welton injected the drug into Wayne's skin.
Shortly after, Wayne made a decision which shocked his entire cabinet, especially Tom and Karen. He had decided to go forward with the nuclear strike, Daniels' original plan. Everybody thought Wayne fought to stay in office in order to prevent the strike. When confronted about it by Lennox, Wayne claimed he had only fought to stay in office, period, and defended his decision by pointing out how most of the cabinet, including even Lennox himself, thought he had been too weak up to this point. Admiral Smith informed President Palmer that the nuclear launch had been successful.
With the missile minutes away from its target, Lennox and Hayes desperately tried to persuade the President to abort the strike, reminding him that Fayed had no national backing and the action would possibly incite a third World War. Shortly after the launch, the Ambassador called to inquire why Wayne had taken such drastic action, and revealed under duress that his government had uncovered ties between Fayed and one of its top generals, Mohmar Habib, who had contacted Fayed as recently as the failed attack on San Francisco. Although the Ambassador claimed this discovery was recent, Palmer forced him to admit that he and his government had in fact been aware of this information for far longer, but had refused to share it out of political considerations. Satisfied that he had attained his goal, Palmer called off the strike, revealing to his very surprised cabinet that the entire strike had been a ruse by himself and the Joint Chiefs to coerce the Ambassador into cooperating with the United States; indeed, the missile itself had not even been armed with a nuclear warhead.
Later in the hour, Bill Buchanan informed Palmer that General Habib needed to speak directly to Fayed, who was being led to believe that he had been rescued from CTU by terrorists loyal to the general. The Ambassador promised to place a call to Habib, but could make no guarantees that he would be willing to cooperate. Palmer suggested threatening to kill Habib's family unless he spoke to Fayed, reminding the Ambassador that he was still in a position to make good on his threats of military action. Reluctantly, the Ambassador agreed.
At 1:30am EST, Palmer collapsed in his office, from vascular damage caused by the adrenaline. He ordered Dr. Welton to administer further shots so that he could return to work, but Welton refused. Welton advised him that another shot could kill him and he offered his resignation. Wayne told Arthur that he wouldn't accept his resignation and he dismissed him from his office. Tom suggested for Wayne to seek some medical treatment. Wayne felt that Daniels would use it against him, but Lennox felt the vice president wasn't a threat. When Wayne asked what Tom had over Daniels, he revealed he had a recording that implicated Daniels and Lisa in a perjury plot.
Karen interrupted Tom and Wayne to reveal some good news. She just got off the phone with her husband and the two suitcase nukes were secured, in the control of CTU and the military. Karen also revealed that Abu Fayed had been killed. Palmer felt the American people should know that no further attacks would take place, and he decided to hold a press conference. After he asked Karen to set up, she told him that she would have reporters come down to the presidential bunker. Palmer told her that it wasn't necessary, as he wanted to return to the Oval Office. Secret Service was informed about Palmer's decision.
After Wayne returned to the Oval Office, he asked for Vice President Daniels to meet him in his office. Wayne offered his gratitude and appreciation towards Daniels, as his idea of a nuclear attack is what gave him the idea to bluff the ambassador of Fayed's country. However, Wayne felt his and Daniels' political differences would cause further differences in his administration. Wayne asked for Noah to resign as the Vice President. Noah refused to resign, but was forced to comply when Palmer threatened to release Tom's recording. Wayne told Noah that he wanted his resignation within a week.
While Wayne prepared for the press conference, he got a phone call from CTU. Jack Bauer requested to speak with Wayne and Bill Buchanan made it possible. Wayne congratulated Jack for saving the country, but Jack decided to get straight to the point. Jack revealed that Audrey Raines was being held captive by Cheng Zhi and he would agree to release her for a circuit board from one of the nukes. This would give China access to military technology that Russia had concealed from them for years. Jack told Wayne that he owed him and he would destroy the component with a package of C4 once Audrey was safe. Wayne agreed to authorize the operation and he told Buchanan to give Jack everything he needed.
During the press conference, Wayne began to take questions from reporters Robin and Ian. After Wayne addressed one of the reporters by the wrong name, he began to answer a question that regarded the detention centers. Wayne began to rapidly stutter and he then collapsed. Welton diagnosed Palmer with brain hemorrhage and he stated that it was unlikely Wayne would regain his consciousness anytime soon. Wayne was brought to the Bethesda Naval Hospital to receive a MRI, which would determine the damage inflicted on his brain. The 25th Amendment was put into immediate effect and Daniels shut down the operation Palmer authorized.
As of the end of Day 6, he was still alive, albeit in critical condition. Russian President Suvarov expressed his well wishes to Vice President Daniels for Palmer's recovery.
After Day 6
Wayne eventually succumbed to his injuries and died. His death was still in the news at the time of the next election. Noah Daniels served out the remainder of Wayne Palmer's term before losing the general election to Senator Allison Taylor. (24: Redemption)
Selected cabinet and administration officials
- Authorized numerous internment camps primarily for Muslims in response to Abu Fayed's reign of terror; the camps were openly compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt's camps for Japanese-Americans used during World War II.
- Paid a "very high price" to obtain the release of Jack Bauer from the Chinese.
- Released the prisoners of Palmdale Military Prison, one of which was Hasan Numair.
Background information and notes
- Palmer's Secret Service code name is "Citadel."
- Wayne appeared in a replay of his collapse at the press conference aired on CNB channel on the Oval Office TV in "Day 6: 12:00am-1:00am."
- Wayne was the first president who was seen in the Oval Office during his term in office.
- Wayne's brother David Palmer was a Democrat. It can be safely assumed that Wayne Palmer was also, as he served as David Palmer's Chief of Staff, but as it is not mentioned explicitly, it is not stated in this project.
- Wayne would be the first U.S. president to be a sibling of another president.
- He is the second African American to serve as President of the United States in the 24 universe.
- According to the executive producer Howard Gordon, the writers of 24 "don’t know where he is. I like to think he’s alive. 24 is such a weird world, unless you see them go down, they’re not out."(link).
- Palmer's death, while not confirmed on-screen, is mentioned in an official prop newspaper written for 24: Redemption, which is used by John Quinn to whack Chris Whitley in the head. Following the series' conclusion, the newspaper was auctioned off along with many other props on eBay. David Fury commented on Twitter that he personally believed Wayne was alive, saying the Palmer family had been through enough.
- Wayne holds the fifth place for most appearances by a deceased character, with 48 episodes. David Palmer is in first place at 80 episodes, Bill Buchanan and Audrey Boudreau are second with 64 episodes and Michelle Dessler is in fourth with 62 episodes.
- According to a deleted scene, Wayne and his wife had a family. Besides the fact that he wore a wedding band, however, nothing else is mentioned of his family.
- Wayne was the shortest-serving President seen on 24, lasting only three months before being incapacitated. This would also make him the second-shortest serving President in the country's history, behind only William Henry Harrison (who died after a month in office).
- David and Wayne Palmer are the only Presidents in the 24 timeline that were assassinated, however, Wayne is the only sitting President to be assassinated.
- When asked in a 2007 interview if Wayne was in any way inspired by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, showrunner Howard Gordon shrugged it off by saying that “If he started being this great, noble, perfect, correct-acting guy, we have nowhere to go. Plus, it demonstrates the impossibility of the situation. There are no good answers. Worse than any other season, there [are] no good answers. And you see that uncertainty on this guy’s face, and I think that’s kind of interesting... We needed a president this year who was neither of those archetypes, who was part of the `24’ history and mythology. … We needed somebody to whom it meant something to sacrifice Jack[...] And Wayne Palmer’s a guy who owed Jack tremendously and still had to put Jack on the sacrificial altar, who lived in the shadow of his great brother. [Wayne] was probably ushered into office prematurely and would arguably have to face the greatest crisis America had faced.” link
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