Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Obama Gets Advice from The West Wing's Jed Bartlet

Image from source, Wikipedia

The West Wing was, at least in its first five seasons or so, one of my favorite TV shows. It depicted an idyllic world, where the President of the United States (POTUS, as they taught us), was competent, thoughtful, and really believed in putting the people first. Since it started in 1999, when President Clinton was still President, it only presented a minor departure from reality.

But the difference between the fictional President Jed Bartlet (played wonderfully by Martin Sheen), and the real life President George W. Bush (played by an overgrown frat boy), was extreme to say the least. Bartlet was a Democrat, but partisan squabbles were very low on the show's radar. The President and his staff were always at great pains to do what was right by America. The same couldn't be said for W.

Maureen Dowd wrote a column this weekend, depicting a hypothetical discussion between Barack Obama and Jed Bartlet. It's funny, and what's more, rings true. Not true only in the sense of today's political reality, mind you. It rings true to the character Aaron Sorkin created in Bartlet. I don't know how much of this column is Dowd, and how much is Sorkin, but I could actually see and hear Martin Sheen in my head. Great writing. Enjoy.


Aaron Sorkin Conjures a Meeting of Obama and Bartlet

BARTLET: Senator.

OBAMA: Mr. President.

BARTLET: You seem startled.

OBAMA: I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET: I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a LancĂ´me rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even. . .

Read more at: New York Times

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