Casting the West Wing

I just finished watching The West Wing. I used to make fun of my roommate a couple of years ago when she first discovered this national treasure.  Every single time I saw her in that season – she was watching this show. I laughed because I startedto forget what our couch looked like without her on it – and I even found myself whistling the West Wing theme song though I had never seen one episode because it would get stuck in my head as I passed through rooms in our apartment.

I just didn’t get it. What was the big deal?

I was so silly back then. You just don’t know what you don’t know… You know?

Now, I get it.

This show is FOR REAL good. I care about the characters like they are real people – and that doesn’t happen that often. I have to assume that is good writing. Or maybe some sort of sign that I need to make more friends in the third dimension. Either way, these characters matter to me now. So much so that I like to think about which of my friends would best be played by the cast of the show.

And so that is what this post is about – me using fictional television characters to embody and satirize my real-life friends. And obviously all this happens in The White House which makes everything about a million times more patriotic and likely to happen some day.

Here we go:

President of The United States (Josiah Bartlet)

Diann Cotton

People need to trust you if you are going to be making all those decisions on their behalf. You need to look trustworthy and then actually BE reasonably trustworthy. You have to be likeable and winning and inspire people to more. I don’t know a woman at our church that wouldn’t follow Diann Cotton wherever she wanted to go. And let’s be honest – there’s no one that would look better or more regal on a presidential button than Diann.

Chief of Staff (Leo McGarry)

Fabs Harford

You want this girl on your team, people. Not just because of all the positive things I am about to say – but also because having this girl campaign against you would be like a nightmare wrapped in a horror movie with a soundtrack exclusively featuring Weird Al Yankovich. It would just be bad. But let me tell you if she was on your team, she would give you everything she had. And if it wasn’t enough – she would go down with the ship. There’s no one I would rather have in that role than Fabs.

Deputy Chief of Staff (Josh Lyman)

Daphne Bamburg

Here’s the deal. This girl is the type that is good – no, great – at things that most people don’t even know about. She’s like a jack-of-all-trades. And unless you are paying attention you may miss the giant mural that she drew on a chalkboard while she was on her way to draw up a creative brief before her lunch appointment to plan the 2016 Summer Olympics. Undercover Efficiency Ninja.

Director of Communications (Toby Ziegler)

Annie Lent

When your job is running the free world you must have people that are capable of seeing the thousands of things that need to be fixed – this is one of the things that I love about Annie. She can look at something and see where it can be better. She does it with things as small as lunch destinations (the Lord knows she won’t darken the door of a Chili’s unless it’s under duress) and as big as the lives of her friends. She just has a knack for seeing things as they should be. Love that about her.

Press Secretary (CJ Cregg)

Theresa King

I think there are two things everyone should want in a Press Secretary. First, they have to be able to think on their feet and navigate really tough questions. Anyone that has seen Theresa at a Women’s Development info session knows she is a pro with this. Secondly, they have to be able to take the worst situation in the whole, wide world and make it seem like it’s an opportunity rather than a burden. “There’s a meteor headed right for earth? What a great opportunity to see if those bunkers all the crazy people have are really as durable as they claim!”   Again, this is Theresa’s strong suite.

Personal Secretary to the President (Mrs. Landingham)

Laura Bess

This girl is able to support people like no other girl I know. She likes to be your right arm and help you do what you are made to do better. She is neat like that. And she is really funny, too – which would really help with heavier White House moments like nuclear power plant meltdowns and multi-country stand-offs.

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