Matt Santos redux?

Sun, December 24, 2006


As I read the headline on the front page of the Sunday Washington Post this morning, I started to ponder what seems to be our timely viewing of season six of The West Wing (as I’ve mentioned before, we are WAY behind on our popular TV shows)!

“Clinton and Obama Clear the 2008 Playing Field.”

Seems that a variety of candidates, like Senators Evan Bayh and Mark Warner, have already decided to drop out of the Presidential race because of what they perceive to be the insurmountable odds of taking on Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the 2008 nomination.

Interestingly, that was the theme of the end of the West Wing’s season six — could underdog Democratic candidate Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) overcome the perceived upper hand of the former and current vice presidents who were running to replace Jed Bartlet?

The episode we watched last night was the one where Santos/Smits was being excluded from the New Hampshire Democratic primary debate because he was not a “serious” candidate — read: not high enough numbers in the polls.

So, with what little ad money he had, he did a live, one-shot TV commercial telling people he would always be straight with them and look them in the eye to talk about his views. And with that, and the massive TV news coverage his audacious approach got, he and all the underdogs got in on the debate. And most of you know what happened with Santos’ candidacy at the end of season seven.

So, where do we find someone like that who’s not afraid to take on those who, even though they have not announced, have somehow been annointed before the game begins? Not that I have anything against Clinton or Obama — as far as I’m concerned, both would probably make fine presidents. But should they be our only choices to consider at this stage of the game?

Isn’t there a Democrat out there with some inpired truth-telling? I’m not holding my breath on my dream ticket — Gore/Feingold 2008! (I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing)! Does that kind of candidate exist only in my fantasies and network television? Probably.

The way I see it, Al Gore is the underdog at this point, but all the dirt on him is out there already. You know the GOP is just starting it’s wind-up to let the mud sling against Hillary and Barack. There’s not much left to throw at Gore. Plus he’s got the momentum from An Inconvenient Truth, which from my own warmer-than-normal weather experience in the last couple of weeks, is something we need to think more seriously about.

So as crazy as that may sound, I think it’s time for Gore to enjoy his holiday with his family, and then call Feingold and get the ball rolling.

Who knows — crazier things have happened in politics.

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6 Responses to “Matt Santos redux?”

  1. Johnny Says:

    I remember 92 and everyone thinking that “H” would be unbeatable, so they all chickened out.

    Only this ambitious governor from Arkansas was willing to give it a shot.

    Also, remember his long-too-long speech from the ’88 convention? That was what had several people say, “Keep an eye on this man.”

    And, Obama had the same speech effect in the last convention.

    You must be a “Yellow dog D”!

  2. RogueDemocrat Says:

    “Only this ambitious governor from Arkansas was willing to give it a shot.”

    Not true!

    While big names like Cuomo, Gephardt and Nunn took a pass on the 1992 race, there were six major Democratic contenders: Clinton, Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, Bob Kerrey, Tom Harkin and Doug Wilder.

    Tsongas won over a dozen primaries, and Brown also carried a few states. Tsongas in particular helped set the tone of the fall campaign with his economic and deficit-reduction plans.

  3. Gunfighter Says:

    Being a Virginian, myself, I am disappointed in Mark Warner for exiting the field so early.

    I hope that Warner has decided against running for President because he has set his sights on unseating John Warner from his Senate seat.

    Truthfully, I wouldn’g give much hope (or support) to a Gore candidacy. We saw, in 2000, that he didn’t have the belly to make a real fight of it when he should have cleaned the floor with monkey-boy. I don’ think we can stand a repeat of that debacle.

    Hillary Clinton… would the party
    (and it’s adherents) be crazy enough to get behind her? That remains to be seen. I am as hard core a Democrat as the next true-believer… but I don’t think I could support her at all. It seems to me that she has been all about coming across like a Republican these days.

    My dream team of Mark Warner/Bil Richardson isn’t going to happen now, but maybe an Obama/Richardson?

    We shall see.

  4. Bill Says:

    I don’t think he meant “Only” as in the only one. I think it was the beginning of the phrase that might have started “Except, theis ambitious governor from Arkansas…”

  5. Mamma Says:

    Wasn’t The West Wing the best show?! It always made me so sad though that honorable politicians were only on TV.

    I’m surprised of your lack of excitement about Obama. I saw him at Bistro Bis a few weeks ago–he definitely has the magnetism.

    So glad to find a fellow mom blogger in the area. I was beginning to think I was all alone (though I’m in the suburbs…)

  6. Mamma Says:

    I also need to second the disappointment about Warner. If he could win here in VA…

    I’m a bit concerned about Richardson, I understand he has some Bill C. problems. Frankly, I’d always be willing to take a philanderer over an idiot!!

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