Obama -- West Wing
The Hiller Instinct: Obama -- West Wing
Are you starting to see Barack Obama and John McCain?
In fact, according to a West Wing writer, Obama was the model for Smits' character, thanks to his memorable speech at the democratic national convention in Boston in 2004.
But, wait, there's more:
Rahm Emmanuel--the hard driving congressman picked by Obama to be his chief-of-staff--is reportedly the real life inspiration for the west wing's deputy chief of staff--Josh Lyman.
Lyman shouts "Enough! Back to work"
Put it all together and it does sound like deja vu. Take Smits' TV announcement speech:
Smits announces, "I'm here to tell you that hope is real."
Now, here's the president-elect:
Obama announces, "Hope is the bedrock of this nation."
And here's the West Wing version of the battle over qualifications:
Alda proclaims, "The real decision the American people have to make is who they want as their next commander-in-chief?"
Now the real McCoy...I mean McCain:
"The next president won't have time to get used to the office. He can't invite testing from the world." McCain said
The West Wing and the real thing intersected just days before the election--when Smits campaigned with Obama...
"Finally, I wanna say, before we came on, we had a chance to say ‘hello' to the most recent Democratic president, Jimmy Smits," joked Obama.
But West Wing detoured from reality when Smits won a narrow victory in the TV election, while Obama's margin was big and--in the TV series--Smits offers a key job to the man he beat:
"How about Secretary of State?" asks Smits as President-elect Mathew Santos
We know Obama won't make a similar offer to McCain...but will he offer it to Hillary Clinton, who was his major Democratic opponent?
In January, a new West Wing premieres...when President Obama takes over the White House. And the real thing will be different than any TV show: no one will have to worry about ratings, because everyone will be watching.
I'm Andy Hiller, that's my instinct.
(Copyright (c) 2008 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)