- "Hello again my fellow Americans, I make my way to the east coast today to speak with those young, bright minds who have great futures ahead of them."
- — Joe Lawton on visiting Bullworth
Joe Lawton is a middle-aged man, standing at 6'0", with short, well-kept, gray (once brown) hair, and light-blue eyes. His face bears wrinkles due to age and the stress that comes with his occupation.
In terms of clothing, he is normally seen wearing a black or gray suit with polished black shoes, and a red, black, or blue tie. Though he has glasses, he does not usually wear them.
While traveling to places with a colder climate, Joe wears a black overcoat atop of his suit, black gloves, a red scarf, and a black beanie.
At some point during his time in office, President Lawton comes to Bullworth to meet with students, faculty, and speak at a public event. His arrival is announced at Bullworth Academy a few days beforehand by Ms. Danvers, prompting Dr. Crabblesnitch to become even stricter with the students, but hold off on expulsions.
Joe Lawton was born somewhere in the mid-1900's in the town of Blackwater. His father was George Lawton, a politician who would go on to serve as Vice-President and later President of the United States. He grew up comfortably and attended some prestigious schools in his youth. Joe did mostly average in his classes but showed talent in the areas of finance and law.
Immediately after graduating high school, Joe attended the same university his father had and was able to get along relatively well with a few of the students there, making good friends in the process. His GPA was never very remarkable, but he continued to excel in subjects such as history, finance, and business. Years later, Joe reflected on his time at the college as being beneficial but criticized the university for its elitism and arrogance he encountered there.
After college, Joe joined the U.S. Air Force for a few years but did not see much action during his service. Eventually, he was given an honorable discharge after his tour and went on to pursue a career with his degrees. However, his time in the air force would motivate him to take flight lessons and earn a pilot's license.
Prior to running for office, Joe had a brief career in the private sector with his most notable position being the C.E.O of East Sky Airlines. During that time, he made large donations to various educational institutions, Bullworth Academy being one of them. He continued to serve the role after his failed bid for Lieutenant governor but ended up resigning a couple years later when he was elected State Treasurer.
Joe was praised for his hard work and successes as State Treasure, leading to an easy re-election without facing any opposition. However, Joe soon became ambitious for a higher office and did not seek a third term. Instead, he announced his intentions to run for governor and was narrowly elected in a three-way race. He later won re-election by a landslide, defeating a single opponent in the general election.
As his governorship was nearing its end, his friends and family wondered whether he would seek a different office. After some consideration, he declared that he would run for the U.S. Senate to replace a retiring incumbent Senator. He ran a committed campaign for the office and managed to raise millions of dollars in donations almost immediately. In the general election, Joe faced off against the same opponent he had run against in the gubernatorial election four-years earlier and defeated them once again.
While in the Senate, Joe served as the chairmen of Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, where he oversaw large-scale investigations into major crimes committed in cities such as Los Santos and Liberty City. This included hearings over crimes supposedly linked to the Madrazo Cartel, but many witnesses did not appear and were rumored to have either fled the country or had been silenced.
Three years into his tenure in the Senate, Joe began putting together a campaign in preparation for the Presidential Election of 2004. Several media outlets had speculated him among the potential candidates, though it seemed that better-known politicians stood more of a chance. However, he became the first to announce his candidacy. Before others followed, Joe had traveled across the United States, visited at least 17 states, and delivered dozens of speeches. He also published a book titled Aspects of America which featured an examination of the different lifestyles and opinions in the country but expressed his perspective of reaching common goals.
Ultimately, Joe won the election, receiving 61 million votes and was sworn in as the next President of the United States. At the time he took office, crime rates were high and alleged acts of terror riddled the news headlines. In response to some of this, Joe signed the Jingoism Act into law in an attempt to give the authorities more leverage in preventing and combating these situations. Congress renewed the law at his request a few years later, but it did not bring about the desired effect.
While he was C.E.O, Joe met and eventually married Stephanie Coleman. Before, she had been a lawyer in private practice. They have had three children together and she is currently the First Lady.
His father, George Lawton, previously served as the Director of the IAA, Vice-President, and President of the United States. They have always maintained a positive relationship. Recently, George's mobility has become restricted due to his age and must use a wheelchair or cane to get around.
His younger brother, Andrew Lawton, is a casino owner in Las Venturas. Joe enjoyed his company growing up, but found him to have become more of an inconvenience after they took to their careers. He frequently seeks to use Joe's position to his own advantage, however, Joe never takes his advice.
Emily Lawton is a close relative of his, specifically his niece through Andrew. Though Joe hadn't known her very well, his brother contacted him after she turned 16 to arrange for her live with him, hoping her rebellious behavior would quell since Joe had experience with children. After he declined, Andrew instead enrolled her at Bullworth Academy.
Joe came into contact with the Smiths after his father had a serious fall while they were leaving a public event. Upon further examination, George was discovered to be suffering from internal bleeding, organ failure, and a few other problems. Though George was only given less than 50% chance of survival, Dr. Tennyson Smith managed to save his life. Afterwards, the Lawtons became friends with the Smiths, with Joe occasionally visiting them and sending gifts on holidays.
At some point before becoming President, Joe met FIB Agent Steve Haines. While they are not the closest friends, they have played golf together a few times and has him as one of his phone contacts.
Throughout his life, Joe has come in contact with many influential people, however, he is mostly ignored by the media in favor of celebrity gossip. The only exception was when the Jingoism Act was introduced and renewed. He is partly grateful for the remission since he has always disliked pointless drama and tends to focus more on public issues.
By the time he visits Bullworth, he is roughly two years into his presidency and most students don't have any serious opinions on him. Dr. Crabblesnitch seems to hold some amount of respect for him, likely stemming from the fact that he had made a large donation to the academy once or he may want the school to look good in front of someone as significant as the president.
- Joe Lawton is based on former presidents Barack Obama, George Bush Jr., Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.
- His "yearbook quote" is taken from former president Gerald Ford.
- Joe's past occupation as a C.E.O is a reference to President Garret Walker from House of Cards.
- His wealthy upbringing is based on the early lives of George Bush Jr., John F. Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt.
- After getting his pilot's license, Joe bought a 5-seater Velum plane to use for vacations. However, after being elected president, he could no longer fly due to security reasons.
- Though he hardly drinks alcohol, Joe's preferred drink is gin.
- Along with visiting the town of Bullworth, Joe also plans to travel to Liberty City, Los Santos, and Ludendorff during his state visits.
- Joe's favorite beverage is Sprunk, but he drinks coffee more frequently.
- His favorite song is "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2, which he often had played at his campaign events.
- Joe owns an iFruit phone.
- He hangs a portrait of John Quincy Adams in his Oval Office as a reminder of both of them assuming office sometime after their fathers.