A West Wing Writer Imagines a Deadlocked Democratic Convention
April 13, 2008 7:46 AM   Subscribe

A West Wing Writer Imagines a Deadlocked Democratic Convention
posted by shivohum (59 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Barack: I can win the nomination without you, but I can’t win the election without you. I need you, Hillary.

Here's a better ending:

I can win the nomination despite you and I can win the election in spite of you. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
posted by three blind mice at 7:57 AM on April 13, 2008 [28 favorites]


But tell us how you really feel, three blind mice.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Next Week: An I Love Lucy Writer Imagines Labor Conflicts Within Chocolate Factories...
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 8:07 AM on April 13, 2008 [24 favorites]


It would be great if this didn't turn into another Barack/Hillary turf war fight, you know? There's plenty enough of that all over the net, does it need another spot?


I like the writing on the piece, reminds of the West Wing's glory days, solid plotting and acting, with tight writing without the inane repetitive banter that Sorkin seems to love. Still, the final meeting between Barack and Hillary seemed a bit weak, I'd imagine Hillary being a lot tougher (and I'm a Barack supporter). Still, a good, fun read.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:09 AM on April 13, 2008


Oh and I like this comment from the main story:

"There's one scenario in which Hillary steps aside that no one has yet pointed out. We know that if Obama gets the nomination and loses, she can come back in 2012 as the great unifier and savior of the party. But if Obama wins in November, Hillary's days of running for President are over. So how does Obama win the White House and Hillary still win too? There's one job that she and Bill covet even more than President and that's Supreme Court Justice. It's a job for life and she can have as much or even more longterm impact than even the President has in two terms. No more campaigning, no more digging into her personal life and again, it's ajob for life. In late July, she goes to Obama with the deal. Put me on SCOTUS if you win and I back you for POTUS."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on April 13, 2008 [9 favorites]


It reminds me of the politics I see at every level. Counting noses is a full time job, as LBJ used to say.
posted by Senator at 8:15 AM on April 13, 2008


A Right Wing author imagines a dreadlocked Democratic Convention

Damn hippies.
posted by Artw at 8:17 AM on April 13, 2008 [8 favorites]


It would be great if this didn't turn into another Barack/Hillary turf war fight, you know?

Sorry. I got confused by the subject of the FPP: "A West Wing Writer Imagines a Deadlocked Democratic Convention."

I just didn't like the implausible, phony, feel-good ending imagined by the West Wing Writer. Maybe a cage match.
posted by three blind mice at 8:20 AM on April 13, 2008


Obviously to have a truly deadlocked convention, things would have to be different then they are now. Gore, for one thing, doesn't really have a chance at winning unless one of the other two candidates drops out, and if one were willing to do that, then the convention wouldn't be deadlocked, would it?

I think most of the remaining super delegates are unlikely to overturn the 'will of the people' and if Obama maintains his lead through the end of the voting, Hillary would need to get them to break by like 75%. Not going to happen.
posted by delmoi at 8:31 AM on April 13, 2008


I just didn't like the implausible, phony, feel-good ending imagined by the West Wing Writer.

You thought it was a feel-good ending? Really? Seemed deeply cynical to me, what with all the double dealing, ego clashing and final "Mccain'll kick his ass".

Maybe a cage match.

Jesse it is then
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 AM on April 13, 2008


Hillary has never seen this kind of ruthlessness outside of her family. For the first time ever, the thought flashes through her mind that this guy could maybe turn out to be a good president, maybe he could stare down the Putins of the world.

That bit was good. For some reason though I can't picture Bill Clinton saying "fuck you" to anyone. It's like trying to imagine a big ol' honeybear telling someone off.
posted by SassHat at 8:44 AM on April 13, 2008


surprisingly plausible except that she'd hold out for something - i suggest secretary of state - she can use her "experience" and be tough, if called for, but she can be fired if she gets too far out of line
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 AM on April 13, 2008


I'd kinda like to see AG Hillary. Sorta the personification of "Payback's a bitch."
posted by RavinDave at 9:00 AM on April 13, 2008


For some reason though I can't picture Bill Clinton saying "fuck you" to anyone.

I thought Bill's down-home Machiavelli was the most realistic part. (And I like him).
posted by Bookhouse at 9:07 AM on April 13, 2008


I don't think Hillary has earned anything in this campaign. Not a SCOTUS spot, not a cabinet position, nothing. I hope she gets primaried in NY and loses.
posted by empath at 9:13 AM on April 13, 2008


Brandon Blatcher writes "I like the writing on the piece, reminds of the West Wing's glory days,... without the inane repetitive banter that Sorkin seems to love."

But that's the best part of any Sorkin-(co-)authored screenplay. That's like saying you like banana splits without bananas, caramel , or chocolate sauce.

I like the rapid-fire patter; it forces me to listen, and lets me feel I'm getting high-bandwidth entertainment.
posted by orthogonality at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2008


Even if you didn't introduce the piece as from a West Wing writer, it would have been as easy guess from the get go:

Hooker (looking up from his work): Are you a superdelegate?

CUT TO:
West Wing opening credits, music;

posted by ruelle at 9:27 AM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


SassHat writes "That bit was good. For some reason though I can't picture Bill Clinton saying 'fuck you' "

After looking the young intern up and and down, the ex-President nodded at her with a twinkle in his eye, and purred in his iconic hoarse voice a familiar proposition: "Baybee, youh shure look mm-mm-good in that low-cut dress, uh-huh, and ol' Bill the Big Dog shure 'nuff would like to fuck you, uh-huh."
posted by orthogonality at 9:35 AM on April 13, 2008


I like the rapid-fire patter; it forces me to listen, and lets me feel I'm getting high-bandwidth entertainment.

It works fine, when used sparingly, as opposed to several times an episode. Then it just becomes a gag 'cause you know how it's going to end and you really haven't gotten much outta it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:50 AM on April 13, 2008


Lawrence O'Donnell was a White House economic advisor I believe. The West Wing equivalent of Ed and Larry.
posted by timsteil at 9:51 AM on April 13, 2008


"Hillary looks pained—as much by the Clark deal as by the love in the Obama marriage."

Oh snap!
posted by orthogonality at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2008


I spent almost this entire post thinking West Wing was Spin City.

I really liked Spin City, so can we get one of their writers to re-write this thing?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Next Week: An I Love Lucy Writer Imagines Labor Conflicts Within Chocolate Factories...

The Week After That: A Mary Tyler Moore Show Writer Imagines Workplace Safety Issues for Clowns
posted by jonp72 at 10:16 AM on April 13, 2008


I loved West Wing (still do! watch it on DVD all the time!), but thought this piece was sort of silly. New York magazine is silly in general, though, and I'm looking forward to when my subscription runs out, not only because it's silly but because they seem to pile up in my house so quickly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


O'Donnell occasionally represents the center on KCRW's Left, Right and Center (a staple of my Saturday morning run) when the usual center, Matt Miller is on the road or otherwise unavailable. He never holds his own. He is a good enough teevee fiction writer, but he's a veritable dim bulb when it comes to trying to hold a conversation with the likes of Arrianna, Blankely and Robert Scheer. It's somewhat hard to believe that he was once an insider based on his apparent lack of command of the issues.
posted by psmealey at 10:17 AM on April 13, 2008


You don’t need me. You’ve got my biggest supporter as your VP

Is Clark really that significant a player? I mean, I liked him last time out and all, but would he really be able to sway delegates to Obama? It fit nicely in the West Wing style, but honestly I've paid no attention to Gen. Clarke since '04. Has anyone else? Does Arkansas love him more, as a native son, than the Clintons?
posted by mumkin at 10:19 AM on April 13, 2008


This seemed to me like it was meant more as a parody of the West Wing than as any even half-serious statement about the democrats. Especially the fat man + hooker bit at the beginning, which if anything was more plausibly written than the Sam Seaborn + hooker opening of the real show (I mean, c'mon; is there any chance a high-end call girl / law student in DC wouldn't know what POTUS means?)
posted by ook at 10:26 AM on April 13, 2008


Hillary’s car is pulling away from the hotel. She spots Oregon senator Ron Wyden getting into his car. She has her car chase Wyden’s car. At a traffic light, she jumps out with a gang of Secret Service agents and they surround Wyden’s car. She climbs into Wyden’s car and rides with him, working on him to vote for her. When Wyden finally says he thinks only Obama can beat McCain, Hillary is ready for that. She tells Wyden that McCain’s winning the White House is the best thing that can happen for Wyden’s reelection in 2010, because the president’s party always loses seats in midterm elections. A Democratic president is going to make Wyden’s reelection that much tougher.
I thought this was supposed to be fiction.
posted by Flunkie at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Needs more Mary Louise Parker.
posted by Dizzy at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


That was a great read. Thanks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:16 AM on April 13, 2008


OK, now give me Obama's SOTU address as written by Graham Linehan of Father Ted/Black Books/IT Crowd fame.
posted by jtron at 12:05 PM on April 13, 2008


According to series creator Aaron Sorkin, Schiff was cast in the role of Toby Ziegler over many other actors auditioning, including Eugene Levy.

Sometimes it's good not to do too much reading into things.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:12 PM on April 13, 2008


I actually think Hillary would be great for a SCOTUS seat. Can you think of another person who could more effectively make Antonin Scalia's life a living hell? Sure her confirmation would be tough, but I think the Dems have earned a bit of turnabout with the giant middle fingers that were Roberts and Alito (not to mention Harriet Miers, what the fuck was up with that?).
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 1:03 PM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you haven't read The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court yet, do it now. Great read.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:06 PM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I actually think Hillary would be great for a SCOTUS seat.

Except for the part where she has open and demonstrable contempt for the law and the Constitution and no substantial experience as a lawyer or a judge. Oh wait, those are her qualifications, aren't they?
posted by The Bellman at 1:12 PM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I really don't think it's in anybodies interest for Clinton to be put anywhere near the mechanisms for regulating free speach, what with her regular calls for banning this or that.
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on April 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Can you think of another person who could more effectively make Antonin Scalia's life a living hell?

The warden at Leavenworth?
posted by Relay at 1:26 PM on April 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Can you think of another person who could more effectively make Antonin Scalia's life a living hell?

chef boy-ar-dee?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:32 PM on April 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can you think of another person who could more effectively make Antonin Scalia's life a living hell?

Jessamyn?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on April 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Damn, I thought it said The West Wing Writer. I was hoping for a piece by Aaron Sorkin. That would've been something.
posted by Artaud at 2:29 PM on April 13, 2008


Actually, I went to a talk where Jeffrey Toobin collectively bet the audience that if Hilary became the next President, Obama would be the Justice who replaced Stevens. Toobin said he had brought the hypothetical up with Obama, who gave a non-denial denial. Curiouser and curiouser...
posted by Bromius at 3:13 PM on April 13, 2008


Studio 60 writer more like.
posted by Artw at 3:19 PM on April 13, 2008


if Hilary became the next President, Obama would be the Justice who replaced Stevens

Clearly, we do need agile, able liberal minds on the court, but Obama is much more skilled as an orator and leader than his is a jurist. As prestigious as some might consider that appointment to be, it would be a prison for Obama and his massive potential.
posted by psmealey at 3:34 PM on April 13, 2008


For some reason though I can't picture Bill Clinton saying "fuck you" to anyone.

What if it was in the form of a proposition?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I can’t win the election without you. I need you, Hillary."

Wow, this is like porn for... shit, I don't even know. I wanted to come up with something hilarious, but this was so masturbatory, it's put me off my taste for comedy.
posted by Eideteker at 6:40 PM on April 13, 2008


"I can’t win the election without you. I need you, Hillary."

Wow, this is like porn for... shit, I don't even know. I wanted to come up with something hilarious, but this was so masturbatory, it's put me off my taste for comedy.


Aww, that's just pillow talk, baby.
posted by OldReliable at 9:12 PM on April 13, 2008


It's porn for wonks for dummies.

It had some giggles in it, though.
posted by lysdexic at 9:26 PM on April 13, 2008


Obama is much more skilled as an orator and leader than his is a jurist.

Just curious...but how do you know? He was editor of law review at Harvard, so I'd assume his legal analysis skills are impressive. I haven't read any of his stuff, though, have you?
posted by miss tea at 4:14 AM on April 14, 2008


I'm sure they are too, miss tea. But, when you have someone with that much charisma and ability to inspire, putting him on the bench as 1 of 9 effectively hides his light underneath a bushel.
posted by psmealey at 4:37 AM on April 14, 2008


Ah, I see what you mean. I do agree.
posted by miss tea at 6:19 AM on April 14, 2008


This just made me think about the imagined Florida recount behind the scenes in the Al Franken Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them audiobook.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:46 AM on April 14, 2008


I can win the nomination despite you and I can win the election in spite of you. Don't let the door hit you on your way out.
posted by three blind mice at 10:57 AM on April 13 [29 favorites +] [!]


this is how we're gonna lose the election...
posted by mdn at 11:42 AM on April 14, 2008


this is how we're gonna lose the election...

Bah. Don't believe the hype.

That stuff is utter crap. We're going to hear these tropes about Obama and his wife being "condescending" and "looking down their noses at regular Americans" and all that crap for the next 7 months. You know why? It's the GOP's southern strategy for Obama. It's more or less the "that Negro thinks he's better than you" whisper campaign, which hearkens ugly, ugly memories of Jim Crow, KKK and lynchings.

That's why ultimately it will fail. It's way too close to that kind of hate speech, and sooner or later, the perpetrators of of this angle of attack on Obama will be outed as the racists they are.
posted by psmealey at 1:38 PM on April 14, 2008


You know why? It's the GOP's southern strategy for Obama.

Yeah, of course it is, it's their strategy for every democrat (we're always "elitists") but the point is that he, and way too many of his supporters are feeding right into it. That whole "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" attitude toward Hillary is not productive, and it really seems indicative of a larger blindness to me.
posted by mdn at 3:16 PM on April 14, 2008


I dunno. I think that even the mouth breathers know how high the stakes are in this election, and it won't do to elect the guy "you want to have a beer with". I guess we'll see, but after 8 years of (phony) regular guy-ness from George Walker Bush, I just don't think that line is going to play this time.
posted by psmealey at 4:50 PM on April 14, 2008


People said the same thing four years ago, psmealey.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:09 PM on April 14, 2008


It's true that a lot of people in 2004 were saying that there was no way the Bush could win re-election, just based on a good hard look at reality. But, John Kerry was a loser who stood for nothing, and deep down, I think we all knew it. He was the default candidate that party wonks and the media closed ranks around immediately after Iowa, because his caucus win there somehow made him "electable" and because the DNC was so goddamn anxious to get a candidate and not have a contentious primary season. The rush to get a nominee pretty much robbed us of the chance to get a real candidate in there, and instead we got a guy who fit the suit, but didn't have what it took.

I am somewhat pleased that this season has gone the way it has, because to use 1992 as an analogue, Perot's presence for most of the campaign helped Clinton focus and stay on his message. Whoever wins the Democratic nomination, the candidate will be tougher for it and better able to take on whatever dirty tricks are coming.

I do think that Obama is the real deal. A mature, measured candidate, a genuine political mind who can appeal to a broad swath of voters both within the party and to swing voters (and some Republicans). Although I criticize HRC for living in her bubble, and being too test-marketed, I do think she is mentally tough enough to win the Presidency, she just needs to shit-can these losers she's surrounded herself with if by some stroke of litigiousness luck she wins the nom.

Don't forget that whoever wins will run against John McCain, who is looking more and more like a geriatric Charlie Brown these days. He's stumping for a raft of failed policies and regurgitating the Herbert Hoover playbook when faced with financial market meltdown. Say what you will about Hoover's presidency, but he was a very accomplished engineer and very intelligent guy. McCain got into the USNA due to his family pedigree and finished dead last in his class. Beyond those trivial details, McCain is not just disliked, but widely loathed within the GOP. Don't look for Religious Right voter suppression drives, and thugs at the polls in support of this Republican candidate this time around. I think he's very much on his own, and really, he doesn't have much of anything to run on.
posted by psmealey at 5:49 PM on April 14, 2008


One reason why Hillary would be a great VP for Obama: assassination insurance.

(I look at Cheney in the same light.)
posted by Pronoiac at 3:43 PM on April 26, 2008


One reason why Hillary would be a great VP for Obama: assassination insurance

Yeah, that's not hitting any chords with me. I'd almost rather have Chuck Schumer in the #2 slot than Hillary. Almost.
posted by psmealey at 5:13 PM on April 26, 2008


« Older If you've ever been to Bangkok you might've run in...  |  The Government Is Trying to Wr... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments