Election 2008 Imitates the ‘West Wing’

My wife and I have been watching “The West Wing” on DVD the last few weeks and are on the last few episodes. It occurred to me last night, watching the closing days of the campaign between Matt Santos and Arnie Vinick, how eerily similar the candidates were in style and tone with Barack Obama and John McCain. Slate’s Torie Bosch explains that this was no accident:


While it will likely get dragged down into the mud by the natural forces and impulses of American politics, an Obama-McCain matchup has at least the possibility of being the political junkie’s fantasy: Two moderate-in-style candidates with significant disagreements on the issues and differences in approach who will conduct a clean, articulate campaign based on those differences but aimed at bridging the divide in the country.

The Santos-Vinick campaign ultimately becomes a 50% plus one contest as it goes down the home stretch, but the candidates at least try to make it more than that. We’ll see how long real life will imitate art.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.