Saturday, February 23, 2008

Santos of the West Wing was modelled on Obama

Hat-tip to Tom Freeman who says that the scriptwriters of the West Wing have confirmed that they modelled the character of Matt Santos on Barack Obama:

"I drew inspiration from him in drawing this character," West Wing writer and producer Eli Attie told the Guardian. "When I had to write, Obama was just appearing on the national scene. He had done a great speech at the convention [which nominated John Kerry] and people were beginning to talk about him."

Art taking inspiration from life and then predicting it! The only difference between Obama and Santos is that Santos is married to a traditional American who shares his universalist views. Obama's big weakness is his wife Michelle who appears not to.

The secret attraction of Obama is that his world-view is colour-blind and neutral. Listen to his speeches, they are very universalist. Anyone can relate to them, whether you are from Britain, Germany, America, Kenya or the Phillipines. This is backed up by his biography: Kansas mother, Kenyan father, Asian-American half-sister and born and raised in Hawaii, that friendly mixed and exotic out-post of America. This is the melting pot embodied in one family.

Michelle Obama however is culturally African-American in a way Obama is not. All her speeches (which you can see on You Tube) are full of the anger, grievances and victimhood of black America, that are completely absent from Barack Obama's speeches. She doesn't address any other community in America, and gives the impression that without her husband's family connections to white America and asian America, she wouldn't bother with these people at all. Of course black Americans have been victims, but they are also only 13% of the US population. Anyone in the White House has to do the Nelson Mandela forgiveness thing and include the other 87% in their new world. Obama gets this but I'm not sure his wife does. The Obama campaign would be wise to ask her to keep a very low profile, especially as the Republicans have a history of attacking the wife when they can't attack the candidate, as Hillary can attest.

Speaking of Hillary - it looks like she will graciously step aside if she doesn't do well in Ohio and Texas. Her stock has risen during this campaign - it's clear she's the better Clinton, not just intelligent, but calm, disciplined and gracious where Bill is self-indulgent, self-absorbed and impulsive. It was the Bill-the-spouse that scuppered her campaign. If Obama gets elected, I hope he offers Hillary a place on the Supreme Court. It will serve the Republicans right. They plagued the Clintons, determined to try to overturn the 1996 election result, and to attack them beyond endurance. What would be better justice than for them to have to bear Hillary in the court for the next thirty years?

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