Imagine The West Wing was remade for the Obama era. Who would the main characters be based on?by James Crabtree / October 31, 2008 / Leave a comment
Imagine The West Wing was remade for the Obama era. Who would the main characters be based on? Leo McGarry, it seems, would be Congressman Rahm Emanuel, a politician and former political fixer pegged to be Obama’s Chief of Staff.
Emanuel is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, he comes from one of those accomplished families – like the Powells in the UK – whose every sibling seems off-puttingly gifted. Emanuel’s brother, Ari, is a famous LA talent agent, and the inspiration behind a character, also called Ari, on the HBO series Entourage. His other brother, Ezekiel, is merely a “noted oncologist and bioethicist.” Rham used to be an advisor to Clinton, before more recently being elected as a Congressman in Obama’s home start of Illinois. Once there, he played a leading role in the 2006 Democrat take-over of Congress, and wrote a fairly interesting book called The Plan, laying out a new policy direction for the party. (A pretty blatant British rip-off, also called The Plan and also featuring a scaffolding cover motif, will be reviewed in next month’s Prospect by Peter Oborne.) But most, pertinent to the discussion of Emanuel’s playing Leo in a remake of the West Wing, is the fact that he was also the inspiration for the character of Josh Lyman in the original series.
Such Rahm-related gossip about plum jobs in an Obama administration will continue in coming weeks. The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn recently did an excellent overview of his most prominent wonks, and even included a handy map of their relationships. And not to be outdone, Prospect‘s own DC insider – known as “Tumbler”, after President Bush’s secret service handle – speculated in the current edition about who might get what……
Who’d be in Obama’s cabinet?
Ambitious senior Democrats have been googling an Obama town hall meeting held in New Hampshire in December 2007, back in those distant days when Clinton was the frontrunner. At this meeting, Obama talked about the need for bipartisanship and how, if elected, he’d like to appoint Republicans to his cabinet.
Although Obama said it was too early to give names, when pressed he had some ready. A possible secretary of state was Indiana Senator Dick Lugar, who “embodies the tradition of a bipartisan foreign policy that is sensible, that…