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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Seasons change...

TV Seasons, that is. The season finale of "The West Wing" was on last night... I'm a "West Wing" geek, I must say. I don't know how many, if any, of the people that actually read my blog watch the show, but it's great. Anyways, here's a rundown of what's happening:

President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) is in his final year of office. Is the show going to end? Nope. They're running a new plotline based on the election of his successor. The Republicans nominated Senator Arnold Vinick (played by Allan Alda), a California senator who is pro-choice and incredibly popular with independents and even Democrats. He had a bit of troubles with the religious right, and had his first VP candidate turn him down based on the abortion issue (guy was a famous Southern Baptist minister), though he found a pro-life governor to satisfy that part of the Republican party. You can think of him as a bit of a Sen. John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenagger rolled into one, politically speaking. He also rejected Christianity, though is not public about it... and he refuses to go to church which created a bit of a problem for him politically once he got the nomination.

Meanwhile, the Democrats were busy in a 3 way race right up to the national convention... usually, the primaries pick a clear candidate for the party, but not this time. The current VP, Sen. Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell, is the frontrunner, though he's viewed by many as a political hack and only got the VP job as a compromise by Bartlet with the Republican Speaker of the House... that was because VP John Hoynes, who was twice elected VP under Bartlet, had to resign due to a sex scandal. Hoynes is running thrid and thinks he can still win the nomination, though this is following a "career loser" storyline that the show has always had regarding him. Then there is Congressman Matt Santos, a Hispanic from Texas played by Jimmy Smits, who is the guy we are all supposed to love because he is running based on principle, and is "his own man". Anyways, in the season finale, everything comes to a head and after several deadlocked votes, Smits gives a big speech to the convention, and President Bartlet puts pressure on the teachers union represenatives, the key player of which heads the New York delegation, to flip the results to Santos. Then, at the end, Santos names Leo McGarry (played by John Spencer), Bartlet's former Chief of Staff and the guy who throughout the show has been the 'power behind the scenes' as his VP candidate.

Meanwhile, current chief of staff C.J. Craig (Allison Janney), looks to have leaked information to the NY Times about a military space shuttle... confident national security information that could carry with it a 10 year prison term. When she had learned about the shuttle, she expressed fears about the weaponization of space... the leak is being investigated, and it has been determined that it was someone in the West Wing... expect a storyline involving C.J. resigning and then Bartlet pardoning her... and it could have a real negative effect on Santos' campaign. And I think that Alda will win... even though all the main characters have been Democrats and would not likely work for a Republican president... On the Republican staff, they have Patricia Richardson and Stephen Root on board, so there is plenty of star power around... plus, John Goodman was once a key Republican on the show as the Speaker of the House, and could potentially fill in the administration. Plenty of new star power to build around.

Anyways, that's where we're left off. Download some episodes from the end of the season if need be... it's a brilliant, brilliant show.


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