Taking a Hard Line With International Kidnappers
Dalton's administration usually takes the stance that it doesn't negotiate with terrorists and doesn't give in to ransom demands, and with good reason. Giving in once would encourage other troublemakers to engage in the same kind of violence. But on Madam Secretary Season 3 Episode 20, this policy became substantially more difficult to enforce when the hostage was Jay -- a respected and loved member of Elizabeth's staff. Dalton chose to stick with protocol and the situation was resolved a different way.
Trying to Avert a Government Shutdown
On Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 3, the threat of a government shutdown hung over Dalton's head if he couldn't successfully negotiate a budget with Congress. Dalton negotiated in good faith, but when Senator Morejon threatens to shut down the government if Dalton doesn't get his way, Dalton feels he must walk away. Morejon gets his way when the continuing resolution fails the Senate, but Dalton certainly tried his best to avert this possibility.
Stepping Down Temporarily Because of Illness
On Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 12, Dalton begins making a series of erratic decisions, becoming so convinced that Russia is responsible for trouble in the Middle East that he nearly causes a nuclear war! It takes a confrontation from most of his staff to get him to realize something is wrong, but after he learns he has a benign brain tumor, Dalton steps down temporarily for the good of the country, putting America's best interest over his ego while he gets treatment.
Taking Swift Action Against a Nuclear Threat
In many cases, Dalton's desire to take swift military action against Russia doesn't become a reality because of new information. But on Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 22, he doesn't have many options thanks to the threat that Russia is testing nuclear weapons. Dalton orders a counterstrike to keep Russia from causing trouble, but he doesn't take this decision lightly.
Talking With a Group of Kids
Dalton often carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, but on Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 3, he has a rare opportunity to do something more uplifting. When a group of inner city students visits the White House, he steps out of the Oval Office to greet them personally and talk to them about what his job is like. This helps fulfill the group's mission of introducing these students to politics and giving them hope that they can participate in the political system someday.
Encouraging Blake to Speak Up
Blake struggled with self-confidence throughout Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 8. Lots of people encouraged him, but it was Dalton who had the most impact. After Blake made a suggestion at a meeting about a crisis, Dalton not only agreed with his idea but told him that he didn't like him keeping his good ideas to himself. Getting a compliment from the President of the United States helped Blake feel ready for the new job position that he was moving into.