Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Foreshadowing Vinick as Santos' Secretary of State?

I've been watching The West Wing over the past several months with my Mom and her husband. We finished the final season, Season 7, last week. I thought this morning: It was awesome that Democratic President Matthew Santos selected his once Republican rival for the Presidency, California Senator Arnold Vinick, to be his Secretary of State.

I didn't think so the first time that I saw that episode, since I was expecting for Santos to select Vinick to be his Vice-President, plus I was more interested in Vinick's domestic stances than in where he and Santos agreed on foreign policy. I was envisioning Vinick as Vice-President guiding Santos to the center and making Santos receptive to conservative ideas to improve the environment, education, etc.

But now I think that Vinick is a perfect choice to be Secretary of State, and that, if I had put two and two together when I first saw that episode, I would have thought so even then.

Why? Because one of my favorite scenes in Season 7 is when Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick are having their televised debate during the election, and Vinick talks about how taxes in Africa inhibit economic advancement. What I've liked is not so much what Vinick was saying (as good as that was), but the fact that Matt Santos was respectfully listening to Vinick and giving him the floor, without interrupting. This was an informal debate, in which the candidates could freely interrupt each other, but Santos stood back and let Vinick make his point about Africa, as if it was worth hearing (which it was).

I should have said to myself, "Man, if Santos wins, he should pick Vinick to be his Secretary of State!"


  1. Uh dude, in case you hadn't read, Vinnick was originally scheduled to win the Presidency, until the actor who played Leo passed away, so the writers changed it.

  2. That's what the New York Times article said. But Lawrence O'Donnell said: "We actually planned at the outset for Jimmy Smits to win, that was our .. just .. plan of how this was all going to work, but the Vinick character came on so strong in the show, and was so effective, it became a real contest ... and it became a real contest in the West Wing writer's room." I got this from the wikipedia article on Vinick.


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