Sunday, November 6, 2005

West Wing Live

I'm watching the closing statements of the Presidential candidates on NBC's popular West Wing live broadcast. The entire sixty minute episode, with only one interruption for commercials at the the thirty minute mark, was devoted to a mock debate between the Democratic candidate (Jimmy Smits) and the Republican candidate (Alan Alda).

On the suggestion of Senator Vinick (Alda), the candidates agreed to discard typical debate format and engaged in a lively teté à teté that was reminiscent of the Bush/Kerry debates of 2004, with the Democratic Congressman Santos (Smits) even using the line "I voted for it before I voted against it."

Both Alda and Smits brought believeability to their characters, with a few very minor slips. Alan Alda gave an especially realistic performance as a Republican candidate arguing for tax cuts, for increasing border patrol, for reducing the size of the federal government, and for oil drilling in the Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge.

Jimmy Smits presented us with a Democratic candidate who stands strong on education, healthcare and job creation ("I'd delete two words from the current Medicare plan: Over 65"), while openly admitting that he would raise taxes on Americans earning more than one million dollars per year.

Alda was a confident politician, while Smits (in my opinion) did a respectable job of portraying one. My vote: Arnold Vinick for President.

You can cast your vote online at, but good luck getting there. It's my guess that half of America is logging on right now, which would explain the download lag.

Kudos to Alda and Smits for a fine performance! And good luck to both as they do the whole thing live again for viewers on the west coast.

One thing's for sure: this has me looking forward to the real thing in 2008.


Sent from my Palm Zire 72

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