The American presidential election (87)

Barack Obama (playing himself) pals around with Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) to discuss
“The West Wing” and how to spread the wealth

For me, the best entertainment television ever produced was “The West Wing”. I watched every episode of every one of the seven series as they were first broadcast; then I rewatched every episode of every one of the first five series on DVD; and the DVDs of series six & seven are on my Christmas list.
So, like many other “West Wing” fans I could not fail to notice the similarities between the real life Barack Obama and the fictional Matt Santos – except that we now know that the Santos character was modelled on Obama in a case of art imitating life before seemingly life imitates art.
As it looks ever likely that Obama will win the presidency, more and more commentators are picking up on the Obama/Santos comparison including stories this week on both sides of the Atlantic – such as this piece in the “Guardian” and this item in the “New York Times”.
Of course, the pre-election comparison is between Obama and the Santos character, but post-election the better comparison might well be between Obama and the Jed Bartlet character (played by Martin Sheen). After all, both are very well-educated, both are academics, both are liberal, both are immensely fluent, both are calm and considered – just what you want in a US President.


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