Steve Benen spies a parallel between Barack Obama’s choice of Joe Biden and Matt Santos’ selection of Leo McGarry as a running mate during the final season of The West Wing. There really are a somewhat freakishly large number of parallels between the Santos-Vinick race and the Obama-McCain matchup. It’s worth noting, though, that it’s not all coincidence. As Jonathan Freedland pointed out in a perceptive Guardian article some months ago Santos was actually modeled in part on Obama. Eli Attie, a writer on the show who’d previously been a speechwriter on the Gore campaign, was interested in Obama and called up David Axelrod to get insights on Obama’s approach to help borrow some material for the Santos run.
As Freedland says, we’re looking at “a bizarre case of art imitating life — only for life to imitate art back again.”