Revisiting Season 6 of The West Wing on DVD over the weekend, we noticed a couple more similarities with this year's real-life presidential race. During the New Hampshire primary, Matt Santos is accused of plagiarising rival John Hoynes' speeches: it turns out that they've been using the same political consultant (Josh Lyman's former girlfriend Amy). The campaign in Iowa focuses on the candidates' support or otherwise for ethanol production. The McCain-like Republican candidate Arnie Vinick opposes subsidies for ethanol and refuses to swallow his doubts in the interest of stirring up votes, ditching his prepared speech at the last minute. This is where art differs from life: in real-life John McCain, also a long-time sceptic on ethanol, flip-flopped in Iowa, suddenly declaring himself a 'strong' ethanol supporter.
Our general impression, returning to The West Wing after a long absence? I never thought I'd say this but, at the moment, real (political) life is far more interesting.