West Wing Writers Get Election Déjà Vu

Politics imitates fiction imitating politics in closing days of the 2008 race
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2008 6:14 AM CDT
Actor Alan Alda, who played fictional Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick in 'The West Wing,' arrives at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Monday, Sept. 8 2008.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press )
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(Newser) – A minority Democratic candidate battling an older Republican maverick in an election overshadowed by national crisis sounds pretty familiar to the makers of The West Wing—who wrote that script 4 years ago. As the 2008 race enters the home stretch, the parallels between it and The West Wing's final two seasons have left the writers amazed, they tell the New York Times.

The West Wing's fictional Democratic challenger was loosely modeled on Barack Obama, making some similarities inevitable, but other details—ranging from the vice-presidential picks to the Phillies' spot in the World Series to digs about the GOP nominee's computer skills—have life imitating art. Many West Wing fans now wonder if the show's depiction of a down-to-the-wire Democratic win will also foreshadow reality.