Usually, when a presidential candidate is the villain, they're so Obviously Evil that even the Republicans wouldn't touch them. That way, the reader can feel superior to all the SHEEPLE who would presumably be taken in by this huckster. My goal here is to do the opposite — to create a candidate that reasonable people might be tempted to vote for.
Holbrooke Morgan is the last of the big three female characters. If Isabel is the maiden of the trio (she’s had sex with men and women, but work with me here) and Carrie is the mother, Brooke — the most conventionally attractive of the three — would be the crone. Here’s her description:
She was on the tall side (and with her heels, she was as tall as Carrie), swan-necked and willowy, with blond hair that she kept in a complicated braided bun on the back of her head. She was three years older than Carrie, but looked about five years younger. Her suit, black and sharp-edged as if chiseled from obsidian, was an Arrigo Ciardi original. Carrie would never be able to wear a suit like that, because Arrigo Ciardi would commit seppuku with his own scissors before he ever agreed to design an outfit for a woman over size six.
Notice she’s being compared to Carrie a lot. There’s a reason for that — in a way, she’s Carrie’s alter ego. She was born into wealth and privilege, and married into even more of it. She is intelligent, highly ambitious and a skilled manipulator. The best villains are those who could have been heroes.
Her agenda is almost beside the point — dictators can be right-wing, left-wing, or (very often) just interested in preserving as much of the status quo as humanly possible. The platform she runs on is not that different from Carrie's, only with slightly less emphasis on helping the disadvantaged and a willingness to cooperate with the Brownlist. For the rest, just think of her as Michael Bloomberg's evil sister.