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West Wing - Presidential Election Prediction?

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posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 09:19 PM
With Barack Obama's selection of Rahm Emanuel, I have to admit that I found myself checking out Wikipedia to glean more information about him.

I was a bit taken aback when I red this on the page:

his brother Ari is a talent agent in Los Angeles who inspired Jeremy Piven's character Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage.[2] Emanuel himself is the inspiration for the character Josh Lyman on The West Wing.

Wow, pretty crazy I thought....
So I checked out Josh Lyman, the character based on him on The West Wing. I never really watched the show, but seeing the page, I remember the character. I also checked out the Wikipedia on the show itself.

It describes the 'jobs' the different characters did on the show. In the early years, the character Josh Lyman was the Deputy White House Chief of Staff to President Jed Bartlet where I was interested, but not amazed to find that his character was based on Bill Clinton:

Sheen describes the character as being drawn largely from Bill Clinton: "He's bright, astute and filled with all the negative foibles that make him very human," he told Radio Times.

I thought wow, pretty savvy to mimic reality for a tv show. So then I was looking at what the later years of the show, the character Josh Lyman then works for the character Matt Santos in his run for President.

I would say that I was more than a little bit surprised to se this:

According to West Wing writer and producer Eli Attie, Santos is based on Barack Obama.

and more than a bit weirded out by:

but only because it is Jimmy Smits.

But then I realized after laughing about Jimmy Smits as President, that besides not having to 'endure' the Bush years, The West Wing 'predicted' the election of Barack Obama in 2006. President Santos 'assumed' office January 2007... and was a Congressman 2000-2006. He was also "Mayor of Houston" 1996-2000....

I know that much of that is back story for when Jimmy Smits joined the cast, but I would like the ATS membership's opinion on The West Wing predicting the Rise of Barack Obama.... and his cabinet. I am sure there are probably connections that I am neglecting. Please feel free to help figure this out....

Maybe they deserve a Platinum Emmy or something.

posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 09:49 PM
That is an amazing example of life imitating influencing events..whoever the writers are they have an incredible grasp and understanding of not just politics but mass human behaviour. That is how media is used to soften up..harden..steer..oh well.. ..great comparison!

posted on Nov, 6 2008 @ 09:56 PM
Great show. It is an amazing correlation between the show and current events. I can honestly say I learned more about government from The West Wing than any history book or political science course in college.

Aaron Sorkin Rules!!!

posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 12:26 PM
reply to post by hellskitchen

It is interesting that you learned politics from Aaron Sorkin, while he was predicting the politics of the future. Maybe if you were a avid viewer, you can make more connections than I have, I only watched it a few times.

It was pretty amazing for the Jimmy Smits/Obama character to be predicted to win the President in 2006. That was before Obama announced his intent to run for President.

It is truly fascinating.

posted on Nov, 7 2008 @ 12:51 PM
Huge fan of the West Wing here.

The Republican candidate, Arnold Vinick (played by Alan Alda) in the final series was a maverick republican senator who had difficulties with the religious right of the party and appointed a right winger (though male!) to boost his standing among the grass roots.

Matt Santos was, according to one of the writers who had worked in the Clinton administration, based on Obama. They had come up with the idea of a "minority candidate" and then used the then little known Obama as an influence.
Here's a story about it: external source

posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 06:50 PM
reply to post by Supercertari

Thanks for the link....

It is till very strange to me that the West Wing got things so close! Sure they missed on the Rep. VP choice... but pretty close.


posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 12:39 PM
Wow, I guess it is just a happy coincidence.

No soothsayers on the writing staff. Somehow, I was hoping for more juicy connections.


posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 12:48 PM
I don't see how the original president was supposed to be based on Bill Clinton. He was a economist, that won a Nobel Prize, former govenor in a New England state, and he changed his VP half way through, like FDR. It drew a lot of influence from actual political stories and presidents republican and democrat alike. But doesn't all good fiction have a anchor in reality?

Plus you gotta remember when the final season was airing it was going up against the failed woman President show that was airing, so I think they were trying to compete with that partly.

Havn't watched the show in a while since it ended, but I don't think there's any predictions going on.

posted on Nov, 13 2008 @ 12:57 PM
reply to post by djpaec

Very true, maybe not soothsaying, but just good writing that is relative to everyday people. I can see that.

I honestly don't know much about the show, I have watched it less than 10 times....


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