Just As I Thought

It’s a West Wing World

Is it just me, or has the real world of politics been closely following the fictional world of The West Wing?

Is it just me, or has the real world of politics been closely following the fictional world of The West Wing?

In 2005, the show took an eerily prescient turn with a presidential campaign between a young, liberal, hotshot minority (Jimmy Smits as Rep. Matt Santos) and an aging, maverick senator who finds himself at odds with the far-right elements of his party (Alan Alda as Sen. Arnold Vinick).
During the campaign, Santos must fight against a more experienced and notable candidate (Hillary Clinton, anyone?), Vinick fights a right-wing religious candidate… Mike Huckabee?
Vinick’s running mate is a small red state governor and a sop to the conservative right base; Santos’ is a seasoned elder statesman respected in the party.
Oh, and Santos won.

It’s almost as if the writers on The West Wing had a time machine.

And now today, with the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, I’m reminded of a first-season episode in November 1999, predicting ten years in advance the nomination of the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice – in the fictional world it was Roberto Mendoza (Edward James Olmos). Again, the prescience is scary: Mendoza grew up in the projects, worked in law enforcement, and defied the odds of his childhood to become a respected jurist.

Maybe I need to go back and rewatch this series to see what’s gonna happen next.

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