The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The West Wing LIVE Debate Special

Get informed on the two presidential candidates before watching the LIVE debate that takes place Sunday night. Also, did I mention it was commercial-free?

This post will be a primer for everyone that may not be up-to-date on The West Wing, but are going to watch the LIVE debate special Sunday night at 8:00. I will list all relevant information for the two presidential candidates on the show and their stances as stated in the episodes. The debate takes place six weeks prior to the election. The polls have Vinick nine points ahead of Santos and this debate will be the only manner Santos will have to close the gap on Vinick.

Republican Presidential Nominee: Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) from the state of California. He served four terms as a senator before deciding to run for President. Widow, considered to be an atheist, and has an old school conservative view of smaller government. Vinick has moderate views on abortion, he is pro-choice, but is against partial-birth abortions and supports parental notification. His views of a smaller government as well as fiscal responsibility means that he wants to cut taxes and cut the federal budget drastically as well. Vinick has a great distaste for pork barrel politics and farm subsidies such as ethanol farming in Iowa. His stance on the environment is a belief in the balancing act between businesses and the environment. This issue doesn't go into much detail, but corporate conservatives seem to support him despite his pro-environment stances. His military views are unknown, except he gets the accolades that come with being a Republican candidate when it comes to the military. The only views known about his foreign policy is that he is pro-free trade.

Democratic Presidential Nominee: Congressman Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) from the state of Texas. He served as a marine for 20 years prior to entering the world of politics and continues to serve as a marine reserve. He is a catholic, married, and has two children. He has traditional democratic views on abortion, although a revelation in the latest episode showed that he supports a woman's right to choose despite personally being pro-life. He shares the same affinity towards pork barrel politics as Vinick, but despite this he choose to support ethanol subsidies in the primaries in order to stay alive in the primary race in Iowa. Santos' largest issue has been his education policy. He wants a complete overhaul of the education system from a state based education system to a federal education system. His changes include the removal of tenure for teachers, increased pay for teachers, and a change to a 240 day school schedule for American children will be competitive in the world.

The common ground that is shared by the two candidates is far more than any real world election, mostly due to the fact that a pro-choice Republican, they do exist, would never win the Republican nomination. Despite their shared beliefs on abortion, the environment, and fiscal responsibility, they do have discernable differences which will be showcased in this week's LIVE debate.


  • Does the leftist nature of this whole debate permeate the entire show? I've never watched this show because partly I heard it's just a big liberal showcase - true or false?

    By Anonymous umeakai, at 3:26 PM, November 07, 2005  

  • I would have to say false, partly. The show is lefty because well the President is a good ole' liberal, but he really is quite religious. The debate itself showed the stark differences between the Republican candidate and the Democratic candidate mainly on the role of government. The writers did put a moderate tint on the Republican candidate by making him a pro-choice Californian senator.

    By Blogger lampy., at 3:51 PM, November 07, 2005  

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