Monday, September 22, 2008

Jed Bartlett and Barack Obama

I've been watching a lot of "The West Wing" lately, 2nd and 3rd seasons, starting with The Stackhouse Filibuster, and most recently with Enemies Foreign and Domestic (where CJ first gets secret service detail because of death threats-- remember what happens with that?). I'm still unhappy with the mainstream choices for this year's presidential election. (Don't worry, I'm not going to vote for McCain; I'm just dissatisfied with Obama, and half-seeking third-party or write-in options. I'm not above writing in Jed Bartlett.) I think watching the fictional ideal of a president helps me to enumerate those specific qualities I look for in an actual president.

I had intended to write about it here, but it seems someone has beat me to it: Maureen Dowd asked Aaron Sorkin to write a mini-screenplay of Bartlett giving Obama some advice. It's great. Bartlett is right on, and Obama is a pathetic loser (but at the same time an underdog you want to beat the odds and win the election) looking for some way to bump his numbers. Jed basically says to stop trying to play nice, and actually get mad. Use what they think are your weaknesses (elitism, for one) as strengths, and catch them in every lie they try to pass off. If Obama actually did that and stood up for something, took a stand and didn't try to please everyone, I might actually be happy to vote for him. As it is, I'd be very reluctant.

I'd also be happier to know whether Obama can play a good game of chess.

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