Imagine this -
For a truly historic election, a new candidate goes up against the "obvious" choice for the democratic primay. Young, a minority, too "idealistic," maybe naive, he's considered a long-shot. His major campaign problems are his family problems, his race, and even his religion. But he surprises people by taking over, inch by inch. The Republican candidate is decided pretty early on - an old, white Senator - so old many think this is his last shot at the Presidency.
The democratic primary is rough and long - neither candidate will give up, and the delegates are more of a deciding factor than ever. But this minority candidate comes out on top - and many consider that his great speeches are the deciding factor. So the dem candidate is thrown against the old guy Republican candidate many think will be impossible to beat.
The two choose VP's - for the democratic candidate, another old, white guy, longtime politician. For the Republican, a younger, up-and-coming leader in the GOP. The Republican senator pretty much had to pick someone like him - the old guy is considered a bit too moderate, and needs someone much more right wing that will get him in with the ultra-conservatives.
It seems the republican strategy is working. The polls put him just too far out, with little time left. But a catastrophic national event, seen by many as - if not caused, then certainly not helped - by the republican senator - vault the underdog democratic candidate into the lead. Despite some unusual debate surprises - forced by the repub candidate - it's just not going to happen. More and more in the waning of his run, the repub seems to go against his true, more moderate leaning nature, and into strong right-wing statements, at the advice of his campaign. None of it works. Even the big lead up to the VP debate, in which the low expectations of a certain VP candidate are used to their advantage, does little for either campaign.
Just hours from election day, a death close to the democratic candidate makes election day not quite as happy as it should be, but the dem takes the White House, and big adjustments to his life, and the life of his young wife and two young children, are the news of the day. Well, that and the potential pardons of the outgoing president.
One of the more unusual appointments, the incoming president appoints his former candidacy rival as his Secretary of State.
Welcome to the election during the last season of "West Wing."
As an unabashed fan of the West Wing, this past year has been part entertaining, part conspiracy theory. I mean, have you ever seen "Wag the Dog"? Did Aaron Sorkin write this election?
The funny part is, the "you can't make this stuff up" things about this election. Because people actually did make this stuff up. Political shows, interest in the election, all were beating away any previous elections for the amount of news made in any given week regarding the craziness of the campaign. Does anyone wonder why? We were living in an NBC drama show!
Okay, okay. It's all said with a bit of humor. Obama was even supposed to be the inspiration for Matt Santos (West Wing candidate), so maybe not totally surprising (though really, that show aired last in spring of 2006). In fact, some of the writers couldn't imagine some of the stuff that happened this election just for the unusualness of it.
In one episode, the democratic candidate is facing finance problems, and his wife comments that don't they have a strong Internet campaign? His chief of staff comments that yeah, but it's only small donations, not enough to make a difference. I'm guessing that line would be rewritten today.
Speaking of chief of staff, one of the eerier bits to come out of this - the inspiration for Josh Lyman, one of the key characters, is Rahm Emanuel. Both Josh and Rahm, after stints as key advisor to the last dem president - become chief of staff.
Yeah. There's a big possiblity we are all living in some wierd bubble, "Truman Show" style.