"The West Wing:" Aaron Sorkin’s Script for an Obama Presidency
Monday, September 22, 2008
President Bartlet of "The West Wing" appeared at last night’s 60th Anniversary Emmy Awards, delivering an eloquent, bipartisan reminder for audiences to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. During this presidential race, pundits have said much about the power of Barack Obama’s words to move crowds, but little about Sorkin’s, and how his idealized American President inspired voters to reconsider the qualities they demand in a candidate for the country’s highest office.
During four seasons with Sorkin at the helm of "The West Wing," (I will refrain from discussing the post-Sorkin downward writing spiral), Martin Sheen’s brilliant economics Ph.D. led with conviction, compassion and humor, quoting both scripture and statistics with ease, and delivering soaring oratory that on several occasions brought audiences to tears . He warned of the dangers of ignorance in government and glossy, ten-word talking points . He celebrated intellect, curiosity, nuance and service. Sound familiar?
With each failure of the current administration, fans of "The West Wing" longed for a Bartlet candidate. It was with Josiah Bartlet in mind that many Americans watched Obama’s keynote to the 2004 Democratic Convention, and his acceptance of the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States. Obama owes much to Sorkin for creating an ideal of what the Presidency and President could be, even in its bleakest days.