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Elizabeth Keane
Elizabeth Keane.jpg
Status: Alive
Nationality: Flag of the United States.png American
Profession: Former U.S. Politics President.png President of the United States
Marital status: Divorced
Children: Andrew Keane (deceased)
Others: Carrie Mathison (former senior advisor)
Rob Emmons (Chief of Staff) (deceased)
David Wellington (Chief of Staff)
President Morse (predecessor)
Ralph Warner (Vice President/Successor) (deceased)
Played by: Elizabeth Marvel
Season(s): 6, 7
First episode: "Fair Game"
Last episode: "Paean to the People"

Played by Elizabeth Marvel, Elizabeth Keane is the former President of the United States.

Biography

Elizabeth Keane is the President of the United States in 2016.

Season 6

Before she takes office, Keane enlists Carrie as a foreign policy advisor, while things are complicated by Dar Adal's attempts to manipulate her agenda.

Season 7

After a special ops group attempts to assassinate her, Keane lashes out at the U.S. intelligence community, ordering dozens of arrests, including Saul Berenson. She ultimately resigns the Presidency.

About Her

Elizabeth Keane was recently elected President of the United States and is in transition mode. A former senator from New York and a native Manhattanite, Keane is direct, to the point, and not without charm. She had a son who died in combat in Iraq, and this, combined with a lack of foreign policy experience, gives the CIA plenty to worry about.

In the Season 6 finale, she became President but Saul, due to his position, was targeted by the police in relation to the attempted assassination on Keane.

Throughout Season 7, she frees Saul Berenson from prison and makes him National Security Advisor but her presidency is under intense scrutiny due to her handling of the situation with people protesting against her position and possible collusion with the Russians.

She is forced to step down in favour of her Vice President Ralph Warner, but is later re-sworn in until she addresses the nation and tells them that she is stepping down from her position permanently, which will see him take him over from her as his successor.

On the ride home, Keane looks at the Jefferson Memorial and then gazes at the Washington Monument. It’s not clear what’s running through her head, but from this point on, Keane grows quieter than before, no longer looking like her paranoid self from the last string of episodes. She contemplates her role, and the next day, visits her son’s grave. Director Lesli Linka Glatter smartly lets the camera linger on Keane (and Elizabeth Marvel’s extraordinarily nuanced performance) as she wordlessly places a wreath on Andrew’s tombstone, then straightens the American flag next to it. It’s somber and it’s human — and it’s in this moment (at least I think so), that Keane finally lets herself acknowledge her own truth…

…which is that she no longer wants to be president. Instead, what she wants to do is save the democracy. And that night, she discards Wellington’s prepared speech for her address to the nation and has her team set up the broadcast from inside the Oval Office instead of in front of a live audience in the East Room. She tells a worried Wellington that she wants to speak to the American people directly and from the heart, and that she’ll wing it — “I’ll let the spirit move me,” she says — once she begins. He protests, but she shuts him down. “Trust me, David,” she says. “I got this.”

And she really does. From behind her desk, she delivers a speech that perfectly captures the thesis statement of Homeland‘s seventh season: This country, for all the threats it faces from the outside, has been, for a long time, destroying itself from inside-out. Every attack it fends off from a foreign power begets more distrust within the government, sows more conflict, and creates more fissures within the pillars that hold up democracy. America is “an easy target” now, she explains, because it is “as deeply divided a nation as I can remember.”

She was part of the problem, she concedes: The assassination attempt on her life made her paranoid and angry and vengeful. “I wasn’t above using the power of this office to lash out at my enemies,” she admits. “I don’t believe it was against the law, but it was wrong.” Which brings her to the point she wants to hammer home to Americans — and which I tried my best to transcribe:

For over 200 years we have had an angel on our shoulder in this country. Lately, I’ve been wondering where she’s gone. Look around, we’re in trouble. Our democracy is, and it is not Russia’s fault. It is ours. We are the ones killing it. When we think of democracies dying, we think of revolution, of military coups d’état, of armed men in the streets, but that’s less and less how it happens anymore. Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Nicaragua, the Philippines. The democracies now die when we’re not looking, when we’re not paying attention…the end arrives slowly, like twilight. And at first, our eyes don’t notice.

I spent much of the afternoon with Vice President Warner, who I have come to know as a deeply honorable and decent man. [At this point in her speech, Wellington looks back at Warner, only to find that Warner’s left the room.] He and I agree… [This country is] locked in an existential conflict over race and identity and culture. The signs are everywhere and flashing red. Something must change. Something bold must be done. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do know I have become part of the problem. I open my mouth and half of you hear only lies. That’s not only unacceptable, but unlikely to change anytime soon. No single leader can save a democracy, but without a leader you can trust, no democracy can be saved.

From there she tells the American people that she’s resigning as president, and that she’s doing it not because she’s weak, but because she’s trying to “shock this country back to its senses,” so that everyone can remember that they need to “find common ground.” When she signs off, her staff is speechless. And Saul, who’s been watching from inside his office, closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

Behind the Scenes

Appearances

Season 6
Fair Game The Man in the Basement The Covenant A Flash of Light Casus Belli
The Return Imminent Risk Alt. Truth Sock Puppets The Flag House
R Is for Romeo America First
Season 7
Enemy of the State Rebel Rebel Standoff Like Bad at Things Active Measures
Species Jump Andante Lies, Amplifiers, F**king Twitter Useful Idiot Clarity
All In Paean to the People
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