Aaron Sorkin predicted the future Obama administration!

Barack Obama was the inspiration for the West Wing’s President Matt Santos, and inbound White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was the basis for Josh Lyman. If anybody actually wanted a real-life West Wing, this is probably as close as you’re ever going to get.

I don’t mean to inject politics into CS, but I hadn’t heard about any of this before yesterday and today. I’m not even actually a West Wing viewer - but if you had to pick a fictional political world to live in, it beats the hell out of the terror-riddled America of 24.

Richard Schiff was on the BBC’s “Daily Politics” yesterday and said the same thing about Obama/Santos, even linking their campaign catchphrases. Although did Sorkin actually have anything to do with the Santos character?

Based on the timeline and the comments in the Wikipedia source articles, I’m guessing he actually didn’t. Oops. Well, the show is still currently 2/2!

The show modeled Santos on Obama – that’s been reported many times. But that was after Sorkin left.

They also took some of McCain’s characteristics for Arnold Vinnick, Santos’s opponent.

I stopped watching WW before the Santos character was introduced, but reading the wikipedia blurb on him, he has almost zero similarities to Obama. In what way is the character supposed to be based on him?

Ahem!. :slight_smile:

The very article you link to states than Lyman was based on a completely different person.

I’m also very skeptical Santos was based on Obama; the claims for this appear to all be made after Obama had become a significant player in his year’s election.

I think the parallels are pretty simple: Up-and-comer and not part of the Democratic top-tier establishment (unlike Bartlett’s VPs). Congressional figure but hadn’t served extensive time in Washington yet. Young and ethnic. Seemingly a bit more liberal on the continuum from some of the other potential party nominees.

Jimmy Smits said that his character was modelled after Obama after the splash he made at the 2004 Democratic Convention. Obviously, not everything is completely analogous, but BO was the primary source of inspiration for the character.

As a huge fan of West Wing, and a huge fan of Barack Obama, I have to say, the feelings I had while watching WW, about the belief that we can do things better, the sheer patriotism, the absolute respect shown by the characters for the opportunity they had to serve at the pleasure of the President, are all things that I see in Obama.

That and a sassy First Lady who still has the hots for POTUS.

Here is a New York Times article discussing the similarities between the Obama and McCain campaigns and the Santos and Vinick campaigns from the West Wing. For example, “when the press starts asking where Vinick attends church, he tells his staff that ‘I haven’t gone to church for a while.’ Asked in July by The New York Times about the frequency of his church attendance, Mr. McCain said, ‘Not as often as I should.’” Also, “when an aide suggests a fund-raising drive in a Latino community, Santos snaps: ‘I don’t want to just be the brown candidate. I want to be the American candidate.’ The Obama campaign has made similar assertions.”

Teri Polo as Michelle Obama? Huh.