The West Wing (TV show)

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Martin Sheen playedfictional U.S. President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing.

The West Wing (1999 - 2006) was a TV show depicting the term of the fictional U.S. Democratic U.S. President Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen), and the frequent political realities of a party not holding majorities in Congress, despite holding the presidency.

Although sometimes accused of having a liberal slant (it has been referred to as "The Left Wing" by critics), the show was widely praised by real-life members of both parties, and even benefitted from the involvement of important figures from them, such as Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers and Reagan press secretary Peggy Noonan.

The election for Bartlet's successor which ended the show has drawn renewed attention for its similarity to the 2008 presidential election two years later. In both cases, the Democrats nominate a young Senator from a minority ethnic group (Matt Santos on the show, Barack Obama in real life) who picks a Washington insider as his running mate (Leo McGarry, Joe Biden). He runs against an old Republican senator portrayed as a "maverick" (Arnold Vinick, John McCain), who picks a conservative Christian as his running mate (Ray Sullivan, Sarah Palin). In both cases, the Democrat won.

It is sometimes regarded as one of the best TV dramas of modern times, sharing a pedestal with shows like Lost and The Sopranos. It was widely hailed by political scientists and was a favorite of critics.[Citation Needed]

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