Saturday, May 13, 2006

Fourteen Days Of The West Wing - Day 13

Okay, I have a confession to make. I haven't been going over a collection of West Wing DVDs (or even video tapes) to write up the scenes that I've been using the past few days. There's a website called West Wing Transcripts which has transcripts on line for virtually all of the episodes. Well except for Season 6; they only have the first three episodes for Season 6, and as amazing as those episodes were they have virtually nothing to do with what the bulk of the season was about. It was a momentous season since, if you have a tendency to follow the West Wing story line religiously it seemed to compress most of the seventh and eighth year of Bartlet's administration into a single season so that we could get to "the good stuff" - the race to replace him. The latter half of the season was split between "White House stories" and "Campaign stories". And, as the book says, it was good. New characters were introduced or expanded upon and the well oiled team that we'd become used to seeing splintered. Donna spread her wings away from Josh, while Toby seemed resentful of Will and Josh. Leo had his first heart attack and gave up his job to C.J. We learned a lot about Kate Harper who, while she was actually only Deputy National Security Advisor, seemed to replace Nancy McNally in everything but title (I can only assume that there were problems in getting Anna Devere Smith since she only appeared in two Season 7 episodes and early episodes of Season 6). And of course they introduced Kristen Chenoweth's character of Annabeth Schott. Her voice took a lot of getting used to, but once you did she proved to be a very watchable actress in the sort of role she was not normally seen in.

Anyway, that's an explanation for why I only have brief "memorable quotes" from the IMDB rather than full scenes this time.

Leo talks to Josh about Senator Arnold Vinnick running for President

Leo McGarry: You ever see Arnie Vinick campaign up close? He'll go into those high school gymnasiums in Iowa and New Hampshire and blow them all away. He'll shake every hand in the joint, kiss every baby, hug every widow on Social Security, and sound smarter and more honest than any Republican they've ever seen. Because he is.

Next we have Congressman Matt Santos jump starting his presidential campaign in New Hampshire with an ad done live on a local station because that's all their campaign can afford.

Representative Matthew Santos: Good Evening. I'm running for President. And if you don't know who I am, I wouldn't be surprised. I've been shut out of tomorrow night's debate for suggesting that it actually be a debate, and this is the only ad I can afford. I got in this to improve a broken school system; to fix entitlements, 'cause they're going bankrupt; to expand health coverage, 'cause it'll save money if fewer people show up in emergency rooms. What I've found is that Presidential campaigns aren't about these things. They're about clawing your opponent's eyes out, so long as you don't get tagged for it. So how 'bout this - I will never say anything about my opponents, or anything about anything - without saying it myself, right into the camera. You might not get to hear much of me but when you do, you'll know I stand by it. I'm Matt Santos. And you better believe I approved this ad.

Then there's a bit of wit from the Bartlet administration's unofficial Press Secretary (Toby was doing a lot of the briefings but Annabeth Schott was the power behind his throne).

Reporter: Would the White House care to comment on the expected contrast between the high degree of organization and discipline in the Republican Convention and the Democrats' anticipated free-for-all?
Annabeth Schott: I believe the American people will be the beneficiaries, in that they will be presented with a clear choice: do they want to be governed by people who are animated, or animatronic?

Finally here's a quote from Arnold Vinnick after he's been nominated for President, in a speech that Leo feels makes him and not whoever the Democratic nominee is the natural successor to President Bartlet.

Sen. Arnold Vinick: My commitment to strive to be worthy of the example of the great men who have gone before. Presidents walk in giant footsteps. They have magnificent legacies to uphold. I stand here on this day and put my name forth, as one who aspires to their example, who will daily make that sacrifice, who will honor not just the office, but the people that office serves. Their President of these United States of America.

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