Compiled by Steve Sanders
I designed this chronology to be exhaustive and cover all major events as they occur in Bobby McCallister's America. It is not meant to cover the full plots of each episode, but rather to highlight key events that will tie the continuity together. For more complete plots, check out the Jack & Bobby episode guide at www.tvtome.com. Feel free to add stuff to this or point out mistakes that I have made by e-mailing: email@example.com or look for the Jack & Bobby: Chronology thread in the TVtome forum.
Dividing lines are used to separate events that are known to be in a particular year from things that are only assumed to take place between various years.
Note: Information is only added to the chronology after it is revealed in an episode and not based on spoilers.
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Grace begins working in the student union of her University as a waitress.
(Before meeting Juan Roberto. 1x01 Pilot.)
Grace McCallister meets Juan Roberto el Alba, a busboy from Guadalajara, Mexico. Although he doesn't speak much English, the two of them begin a relationship.
(Sometime before Jack was born. 1x01 Pilot)
Jack McCallister is born.
(This is based on him being 16 during the pilot episode. 1x01 Pilot.)
Juan Roberto el Alba leaves Grace. She is pregnant with Bobby.
(He left while she was still pregnant with Bobby. Note: this could have been in 1990. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby McCallister is born.
(This is based on him being 13 during the pilot episode. 1x01 Pilot.)
Courtney's mom (Peter's wife) dies.
(1x02 Better Days. Note: In 1x01 Pilot, Peter says that his wife is "out of the picture" and that it "seems pretty permanent." This is a strangely light hearted way of saying that she died.)
Missy Belknap dumps Jack. She begins dating the football quarterback not long after.
(Exact date is uncertain, but it was presumably not long before September. 1x02 Better Days.) September:
Jack begins 10th grade at Truman High School in Hart, Missouri. Bobby begins 8th grade. The two brothers meet Courtney Benedict who has recently moved in across the street. Grace meets Peter Benedict, the new president of the local university. Bobby learns the truth about who his father was. Jack is suspended from the track team and must serve a month's detention when he covers for Bobby after Bobby brings a bag of marijuana to school.
1x02 "Better Days"
Grace hosts a meeting of the Plains State College Democrats in her house where she encourages marijuana use, which provokes Jack's ire. Peter Benedict announces that there will be no Moonlight Address at the University, he later allows it to continue but with Grace giving the address rather than him. Grace and Peter go out to dinner, although Peter leaves early. Courtney invites Jack and Bobby to the Rock n' Bowl. At the bowling alley, Jack moves in for a kiss, which causes Courtney to leave. Bobby admits to the principal that he brought the pot to school without Jack's persuasion. Jack later convinces the principal that this is not the case. Bobby runs away to Courtney's house after catching Grace stoned. Jack and Grace find him. Courtney tells Jack that she does like him but needs time before a relationship can start.
(1x02 "Better Days")
1x03 "The Kindness of Strangers."
Bobby takes a test for the Challenge Program at Truman High, which he fails. Grace later forces the director of the program to let Bobby in, although Bobby later drops out of it. While Grace is away at a faculty retreat, Jack throws a party for the track team at the house which gets out of hand. He ends up kissing his former girlfriend Missy Belknap, much to the dismay of Courtney. Grace learns that her TA, a single mother, has been plagerizing her papers. She ends up firing the TA. Bobby assists some of his classmates in breaking into the janitor's closet and thrashing it. He later feels terrible about it and returns to the janitor and appologizes.
(1x03 "The Kindness of Strangers.")
1x03 "A Man of Faith."
Bobby helps Warren study for his Bar Mitzvah and becomes interested in religion. Grace reluctantly agrees to go with Bobby as he investigates various religions. Grace offends various religious groups on campus after criticizing religion in one of her lectures. Jack takes a job at Marcus' father's diner so that Marcus can keep his spot on the track team.
(1x03 "A Man of Faith.")
Jack graduates from high school.
(This presumes that Jack is in 10th grade during the pilot and that he finishes on schedule. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby graduates from high school.
(He is in 8th Grade during the pilot. This presumes he finishes on schedule. 1x01 Pilot.)
The War of the Americas breaks out. Future President Eugene Lorio will lose his son Walter at the border during the conflict.
(Date and nature of this conflict are completely unknown. Editor's speculation: this may be the cause of Jack's death. 1x03 "The Kindness of Strangers")
(Date and circumstances are unknown. 1x01 Pilot)
America has its first female president.
(Date is currently unknown. 1x01 Pilot)
President Spencer Harvey resigns in the wake of corporate scandal.
(Date is currently unknown, but is placed after the first female president and before President Helman due to the order of photos in opening montage. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby McCallister is ordained as a minister.
(The date of ordination and Bobby's denomination is completely unknown. He is probably a Protestant, because, although he was interested in Catholicism during his youth, unless there is a radical change in the Church someone with the title of "Reverend" may not marry. 1x04 "A Man of Faith")
President Helman, the first African-American president, visits Africa. This is the first presidential visit to the continent after it suffered a devastating plague.
(The opening montage in the version that aired on TV seems to make it clear that President Helman was the first African-American president. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby comes out of the political closet to his mother...as a Republican.
(Date is uncertain. It must have been sometime before he ran for Congress. 1x02 Better Days)
Bobby calls Courtney and asks if she will help him in his run for Congress by "stuffing a few envelopes."
(Date is uncertain. It is "a while" after Jack died, but certainly more than four year before Bobby runs for President since he would need to serve at least two years in Congress and then at the minimum another two years as governor. It is more likely that this was earlier than 2030. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby McCallister, a former minister, is elected to Congress from the state of Missouri.
(1x01 "Pilot" and 1x04 "A Man of Faith")
Bobby McCallister and Courtney Benedict marry.
(Date is uncertain. It is sometime before Bobby becomes governor. 1x01 Pilot)
Bobby McCallister is elected governor of Missouri.
(Date is uncertain, but is at least two years after Bobby becomes a Congressman and sometime after Bobby and Courtney marry. 1x01 Pilot)
November 2: Dennis Morganthal (R) is elected Senator from Missouri. He is will serve in the Senate through at least 2050.
(1x02 "Better Days")
November 4: Eugene Lorio, a Democrat, is elected the 50th President of the United States.
(1x03 "The Kindness of Strangers")
Early Summer: Bobby McCallister, the Republican governor of Missouri announces his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Senator Dennis Morganthal (R, Missouri) is told by GOP leadership that they would back him if he entered the race they cite Bobby's less than conservative stance on many issues.
(The exact month is uncertain, but Morganthal describes the campaign as beginning early. 1x02 Better Days.)
Adam Chasen becomes the chief strategist for Bobby's campaign. He later states that it was Bobby's electability and desire to become president that attracted him to the campaign.
(Note: Adam must have been a part of Bobby's campaign prior to him becoming an Independent since "electability" was one of the factors that initially attracted him to the campaign. Adam was certainly part of the campaign when McCallister told "The Lie." 1x01 Pilot)
Sen. Dennis Morganthal informs Bobby of his intention to run for President.
(1x02 Better Days)
Pollsters on the tele-screen begin asking voters how they would feel if Bobby McCallister had an illegtimate child or a family member with a drug problem. The GOP was behind these "dirty tricks."
(This is the first mention of the "tele-screen." This is not a replacement for the television since Morganthal mentions TV later in the episode. What exactly it is remains unknown. It is also unknown if Bobby actually has an illegitimate child or if Grace still uses pot or if these are flat out lies. 1x02 Better Days)
January: Bobby McCallister tells a story about how his father was an esteemed professor of archaeology who was executed when he returned to his native Chile. The media doesn't buy it, but McCallister swears to Adam Chasen, his strategist that it is the truth. This will later be known as "The Lie."
(Note: Exact date is uncertain. Chasen comments that it was "six months out." If we assume that his presidential campaign began in the early summer of the previous year this would place "The Lie" around between December and January. 1x01 Pilot)
March: Bobby loses the California presidential primary.
(1x02 Better Days. The California primary is traditionally in March.)
Sen. Morganthal meets with Bobby in a hotel where he offers Bobby the VP spot on the ticket. Bobby replies that he'll "Get back to him on it."
(1x02 Better Days. Note: Chronology viewer Larry noted that it is against the constitution for both the President and VP to be from the same state. While this could mean that while Bobby is from Missouri he is not actually the governor of this state or Bobby could simply establish a residence elsewhere (as Cheney did in '00) if he were to jump on the ticket.)
Bobby McCallister drops out of the presidential race.
(1x02 Better Days)
After a grass-roots letter writing campaign to get Bobby back in the race, Bobby re-enters the presidential race as an Independent. His speech includes the words, "Let this be a time that they said would never come when the wheels of despair, apathy, entropy are rolled backward. A time when hope is re-born." He begins playing the song, "Have a Little Faith in Me." It will become his signature campaign song.
(1x02 Better Days)
Bobby McCallister, then governor, offers Karen Carmichael the chance to be his running mate. She initially declines, citing the fact that the post had all but vanished under the previous two administrations. She is later persuaded to reconsider.
October: At the first Presidential Debate of the 2040 Campaign, a reporter asks Bobby McCallister if he considers himself to be Hispanic, since he has never mentioned his Hispanic heritage during the campaign. McCallister freezes on camera for eight seconds before President Lorio covers for him by saying, "Isn't it enough that a man considers himself an American?"
(1x03 "The Kindness of Strangers.")
November: The presidential race between Morganthal and McCallister is still very close. Incumbent President Eugene Lorio is doing significantly worse in the polls.
(1x01 Pilot. Lorio's ratings were "in the toilet" as established in 1x04 "The Kindness of Strangers")
November 5: A picture is taken of Bobby McCallister leaning against a wall catching his breath as he prepares for a crucial speech. This will become the picture that defines his presidency.
November 6: Bobby McCallister is elected the 51st President of the United States. He is the first Independent president and will eventually be known as the "Great Believer" and will face some "dark times" in his presidency. He will take a stand against religious special interests meddling in his administration although he will also turn the White House bowling ally into a chapel and have Sunday service where he gives a sermon each week.
(Note: One of the ads for Jack & Bobby that aired before the pilot labeled Bobby the 51st President of the United States. This means that there will be seven presidents between George W. Bush and Bobby McCallister. Four of them (Spencer Harvey, Helman, the unnamed female president, and Eugene Lorio) have already been revealed. 1x01 Pilot. Independent party revealed in 1x02 Better Days. Religious information from 1x04 "A Man of Faith")
January: Bobby McCallister takes office. Marcus Ride becomes the senior legal counsel to the President. He had been a friend of the McCallister family for forty years.
(Marcus says that he had been friends with Jack since they were thirteen. This assumes that they were both 16 during the pilot. 1x01 Pilot)
At a cocktail party in the West Wing, Grace McCallister tells a fictitious story about Bobby's father's archaeology career.
(Note: Date is uncertain. Adam Chasen states that it was a few months after "The Lie" was exposed. It would have to have been after Bobby took office, but probably less than a year later. Also of note is that Grace proceeds to tell a story that everyone knows is clearly false. Could this be a hint that she has some form of senility by this point? 1x01 Pilot)
Karen Carmichael meets Grace McCallister. She later recalls that Grace was "quite a character."
(Date is uncertain. This presumably occurs sometime during Bobby's presidency and could very well be the same cocktail party mentioned above. It appears to be the only time that the Vice-President met Grace. 1x01 Pilot)
November 1: Bobby McCallister is re-elected as President of the United States. Karen Carmichael remains on the ticket as his Vice-President.
(Inference: Karen is still VP at this time so Bobby could not have been voted out of office or a different party's VP would have taken over. If, by chance, Bobby had not last in office a full term, Karen would have been listed as President and not as Vice-President. 1x01 Pilot.)
Karen Carmichael steps down from the role of Vice-President.
(The circumstances involving her leaving the position are currently unknown. 1x01 Pilot.)
Victor Sable, a professor at Harvard University, is among the noted scholars who put together a documentary about the life of President Bobby McCallister.
The "Big Questions:" Even though we know that Bobby becomes president there are still some big questions remaining.
1. How does Jack die?
2. Why does Bobby's VP resign?
3. What are these "dark times" that occur during his presidency?
4. What are Bobby's "basest flaws?"
Other fun facts:
In 1x04 "A Man of Faith", Marcus Ride states that there have been two former Hollywood actors who have become President. Will Arnold be the second one?