The Washington Post

The West Wing makes a ‘Walk and Talk the Vote’ ad

The “West Wing” is back.

Hillary Clinton said that Burma’s lower house speaker had told herduring her visit last year: “Help us learn how to be a democratic congress, a Parliament. He went on to tell me that they were trying to teach themselves by watching old segments of ‘The West Wing.’”

And now the “West Wing” cast has reunited to make a commercial for Mary McCormack’s sister, Bridget Mary McCormack, a non-partisan candidate for the Michigan State Supreme Court.

They look the same, give or take six years. And they would really like you to support Bridget Mary McCormack.

I have distinct memories of those halcyon years of the Bartlet Administration.

The mistaken assumption that “West Wing” bore any resemblance to what actually happens in the White House or on the campaign trail led dozens of my friends to pursue law degrees and dive headfirst into politics. You can still see them occasionally. They are notable mainly for their continued insistence on walking around while they talk to you, even though at the end of the conversation you find yourself back at the same desk where you started. They are frequently known to mutter, “I just think if we could give a moving enough speech to stirring enough music, we could resolve [Name of Crisis.]” May God, or, as Aaron Sorkin prefers to say, Sorkin, have mercy on their souls.

The ad is worth a gander, if you miss the Shadow Government of 1999-2006. Sure, it’s a political ad. But to anyone who complains that the “West Wing” cast should not wrap themselves around a particular political message — well, did you watch the West Wing? If anything, this is too non-partisan.

(Hillary Clinton went on to say to the Burmese speaker that she would do better than “West Wing.” Although I can imagine that there were a few weeks when everyone tried to resolve things by getting Toby to do rewrites that I wouldn’t have minded seeing.)

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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