Weekly West Wing blogging continues, I think it will become a regular feature here. Not too regular, cause the show is going off the air, but more regular that the "quote of the day" or Craig's helpful 16 part guide to entitlement reform (still waiting on part 1, come to think of it)
So fiction finally caught up with reality tonight as Leo McGarry death reflects the death of John Spencer. Its really hard to watch really good actors reacting and know that they aren't acting. As if a down-to-the-wire election night wasn't emotionally draining enough draining enough. I actually found the parts when the lawyer types were discussing the legal issues and election-night lawyering. It helps get the mind off the actual tragedy of the moment.
Do you notice how important that concession phone call has become after Florida 2000? That election night Gore famously needed to take back his concession call. Kerry didn't call Bush until well into the next day, when it was clear that no recount was possible. It used to be the concession was just one of those little niceties that we do. Now it really means something. It means "I won't contest the election."
I will leave the speculation about the fuure episodes to Mike Tomasky, who's the Editor over at TAP. Last week he came up with the idea that Santos will pick Vinick to be his VP:
Right? This is perfect television politics: A national unity administration. Santos shows the kind of bold leadership that yada yada yada, and Vinick, for the sake of this great nation, decides that yada yada yada. They even end up seeing eye to eye on nuclear power!
The wingnut woman adviser to Vinick, who keeps pestering him to campaign in the South and forget these swing voters in these pusillanimous purple states, is put in her place (as a stand-in, of course, for the America she represents); Ron Silver probably gets a piece of the action, but he has to report to Bradley Whitford. America is healed.
The more I think about it, the more I believe that's where the show is headed. A nice warm, fuzzy ending.
UPDATE: News story in the NYTimes about how the election result came about. The original plan was for Vinick to win the election, but after John Spencer's death, the plan change to spare the viewers the emotional one-two punch. They didn't think we could take it. They would be right. Also, Martin Sheen turned down an offer to run for Senate. Read all about it.