2010 US Presidential Election

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The idea is that we follow the last two yaesr of the West Wing Santos Adminstration as well as following the Republican nomination battle. Going on the basis of our own world, the Republican Canidadtes would be soon getting to announce their intentions to run.
The Front Runners for the Republican Nomination are listed below(all are people that appeared or mentioned during the series).
Governor Ray Sullivan of West Virginia
Leaves office in January after eight years in office.Popular with both Dems and Republicans.Was Vinick's running mate in 2006, as he is widely seen as a "Vinick Republican" moderate apart from abortion. Expected to annouce in early January. The clear front runner.
Governor Eric Swenson of Florida
Elected in 2004 to replace the 2002 Republican Candiadate for President Robert Ritchie. Easily won re-election in November. More popular and again more moderate than Ritchie, but is very wary of running for President after what happened to Ritchie in 2002.
Governor Edward Pratt of Tennessee
Two term Governor who ends his term in January 2009. Popular Governor from the right of the party.
Senate Majority Leader, Robert Royce of Pennsylvannia
The moderate Majority leader who is believed to offered his services to Vinick as a running mate in 2006. Belived by many to have no chance.
Congressman and former Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley from Washington
Speaker of the house from 2003 to 2006 until the Republicans lost control of the House. On the right of the Party. Looks certain to run.
Of the candidates that ran in 2006, it is looks unlikely that any of those candidates will run.
Given 12 years of Democratic rule, I'd guess that a wide field of Republican candidates would enter the race. Assuming that Sullivan doesn't pull a "George Allen," he would have a head-start on the nomination. I don't know if they ever showed Governor Swenson or not, but he could be a Bobby Jindal-like minority politician.

The smart money is that the Republicans would try to go back to the right after Vinick's centrist campaign. However, 2006 was a much, much closer election than 2008, so the Republican power brokers might want another centrist, moderate approach (perhaps if Santos shows a very liberal presidency, which is unlikely). I wouldn't count out right-wingers such as Walken or Butler, who seem to have significant power bases within the party.

I seem to recall a Santos campaign aide bringing up resentment that a Latino candidate was nominated before a black candidate, and various factions in 2006 wished for a female candidate (Amy Gardner and that pro-choice group). If the Republicans nominate one or both of those, they should at least nullify any "minority advantage" Santos has (although his four years should ideally do that anyway).

Governor Peggy Wade of Oklahoma, an enemy of Bartlet and pro-gun control, was most likely a Republican, so there's a woman you could throw in there. Governor Mike Reed of Ohio gave the keynote address (his "eight is enough" speech) at the 2006 RNC, and that's generally a spot for an up-and-coming politician. Vinick won't be in the election, but Robert Ritchie might try a desparate run for the nomination. He won't get it, but at least he'll fulfill Bartlet's prophecy that "he'll be back." Assuming Ritchie is roughly the same age as actor James Brolin, then he'd be roughly the same age as Vinick, seventy years old.

Senator Swain of Rhode Island, might be a good liberal Republican to throw into the race, assuming he didn't get Santos' offer of Defense Secretary. Senator Chris Carrick of Idaho, a former Democrat, might be funny to throw into the race just to see the look on Josh's face.

Of course these are all just based on running against Democrat Matt Santos. It's possible that Santos might not run again (despite his idealism, he always seemed ready and eager to retire from politics), which would open the floodgates for countless Democrats (and the series has shown plenty of viable Democratic candidates over the years). That'd be an interesting scenario. Also, if Josh, for some reason, felt that Santos was doing a horrible job (and/or if he was fired, as Santos could be talked into doing), he could just find some mediocre, idealistic mayor or something and propel that person to the nomination.
As always Tim your knowledge of the West Wing is superb.
Eric Swenson is mentioned a couple of times as Governor of Florida during the 2006 election, but you get the idea that he is more moderate than Ritchie. Good calls about Peggy Wade and Carrick.
The other person that could run for the Republicans is Congressman Matt Skinner. He is seen in 2001 as right-wing, other than that Josh Lyman respects him and that he is Gay!!!. That would be very interesting. I think he should run!!!!
I don't think Walken would run in 2010 having lost in 2006, and would likely support Haffley or Pratt. Butler would be the wild card. Reed did not stand for re-election 2006 for whatever reason.
I see the Republican divided by three factions, the moderate Vinick Republicans (Sullivan), the middle ground (Pratt, Haffley), and the right-wing (Butler).
The Daily Telegraph, England, Thursday December 11th 2008

Former Governor of Ohio first to declare in Race for the White House

It may be over thirteen months until the Iowa Caucus, but the first Republican candidate has announced his intention to the seak the Republican nomination in 2010.
Former two term-Governor Mike Reed, 51, of Ohio annouced at at a rally in the state capital Columbus yesterday. Reed who was term limited after serving two terms between 1999 and 2007. He is viewed by many more to the right of the Republican party than the 2006 nominee, Arnold Vinick, but has strong support with independents and many conservative democrats.
With the Republicans having been out of the White House for twelve years by the next election, the race is expected to be wide open and long. The 2006 Vice Presidential caniddate Ray Sullivan who leaves office as Governor of West Virginia next month is thought to be annoucing his run then. Other candidates that are thought to be certain run are Congressman, and Former Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley from Washington and Senate Majority Leader Robert Royce of Penyslvannia.
For your consideration...

December 13th, 2008

Chicago Tribune, A06

Gillette Denies Rumors of Third Party Candidacy

North Dakota Senator Seth Gillette, a favorite of the left wing of the Democratic Party, denied reports that he would mount a third party run for the presidency in 2010. Gillette has been critical of several of President Santos's decisions in the first two years of his term, and has expressed disappointment in the party leadership after considerable Democratic losses in the 2008 midterm elections. Gillette was rumored to be considering a similar run in 2002, which never materialized. When confronted by reporters, Gillette said, "The Democratic Party is struggling, that's for sure, but the best way to pursue a progressive agenda is to hold the party together in these rough times. I have always been a Democrat, and there is no reason to believe that the Democratic Party is not the best force for progress in this country."
The Sunday Times, London, Sunday December 14th 2008

Republicans getting ready for 2010
This week has seen the Republicans getting ready to run for the White House which starts in just over a year.
Former Governor of Ohio, Mike Reed announced on Wednesday his intentions, whilst yesterday two more candidates entered the race. Jimmy Hobuck a four term Senator from Alabama told the press that he formed an exploratory committee to look into running, whilst Congressman Sam Wendt of South Carolina announced that he will formally start his candidacy later in the month.
Of the three candiates, Reed looks the most likely to have a serious chnace of winning the nomination. 51 years old, he won the Governorship at the age of just 41, having previously been in the Ohio State Senate. A lawyer by trade, he made his name at the Republican Convention in 2006, when he made a key note speech, which has now become known as the "eight is enough speech". Popular with the right of the party he also had good support among Democrats, winning re-election in 2004, with 67% of the vote.
Jimmy Hobuck, 58, is a four term Senator from Alabama, whilst Sam Wendt, 56, is about enter his seventh term in Cogress he said he intends to run to make sure that "Conservative values remain and end the Santos Adminstrations path of Socalism".
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The Sunday Times, London, December 28th 2008
More and More Republicans running
It has been a busy few days in the week running up to the Christmas Hoildays in the United States as three more Republicans have announced their intentions to run for the White House in 2010.
Jeff Haffley, the Former Speaker of the House from 2003 to 2006 when the Republicans lost control of the House, announced his clear intentions last Monday, whilst on the same day Governor Edward Pratt of Tennessee also said he would be formally announcing his run once his term as Governor ends in January. A day later Congressman Sam Wedt launched his campaign after annoucning he would run two weeks ago.
This brings the number of those already running to five, whilst the favourite Two Term Governor of West Virginia and 2006 VP candidate Ray Sullivan is expected to enter the race in the first week of 2009, along with Senate Majority Leader Robert Royce.
Rumours abound that the 2002 Republican Nominee Robert Ritchie from Florida, is "seriously thinking about making another run", along with the current Governor Eric Swenson.
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday December 30th 2008
Gay Republican to Run for the White House ?
We already have the first Latino President, but the Republivans could be the first of the major Parties in America to have a openly Gay candidate to run for the highest office in the land.
Five Term Vermont Congressman Matt Skinner, 50, is said to be acording to sources "almost certain to run", and to "show that the Republican Party is changing". Skinner who has said in the past that "my sexuallity is not as important as my views". Skinner is very popular in his home state, the liberal normally Democratic state of Vermont, a state which Arnold Vinick won by four points in the 2006 election. Skinner has become a member of a group in the Republican Party caklled informally by many "Vinick Republicans" along with Ray Sullivan, Vinick's former running mate.
If he does run, it would seem he would have little chance of winning, but after over a decade out of the White House, who knows. After who have belived a Three Term Latio Congressman from Texas would win the Presidency at this time in the electoral cycle four years ago.
Jindal is not black. He is of Indian (the Asia ones, not the Native ones) descent.

He didn't say Jindal himself, he said a Jindal analogue, meaning an equivalently roled figure. The President was Latino, he countered with another minority. In the same sense that Jindal would be a counter to Obama. ;)
Wait, whatever happened to Rev. Butler, the (unintentional) Huckabee analogue? In OTL ol' Huckster is still slated to run in 2012.

Similarities between the fictional 2006 election and the real-life 2008 U.S. presidential election have been noted in the media: young minority Democratic candidate (Matthew Santos on the show, Barack Obama in real life) has a grueling but successful primary campaign against a more experienced candidate (Bob Russell on the show, Hillary Clinton in real life) and chooses an experienced Washington insider as his running mate (Leo McGarry on the show, Joe Biden in real life), whereas the Republican contest is determined early in the primary season with an aging maverick senator of a Western state being the nominee (Arnold Vinick on the show, John McCain in real life), defeating an ordained minister as the closest competitor (Reverend Butler on the show, Mike Huckabee in real life), and then selecting a socially conservative running mate from a small Republican state (West Virginia Governor Ray Sullivan on the show, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in real life).

I propose we add in Mackenzie Allen into this race, as well as some other Commander-in-Chief characters like Theodore Roosevelt "Teddy" Bridges. That is if anyone's still reading this anymore.
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As I started this thread I am going to see it through in "real-time" over the next two years!!!!
Rev Butler I haven't decided if he will run or not again, the same goes for Walken.
Matt Skinner's home state was never stated but I went with a liberal Dem state like Vermont, where Ithink a Gay Republican could get elected and also Vinick won the state in the 2006 election.
Mark, since you started this thread, I hope you don't mind if I add to it. I'd like to make it slightly a crossover with Commander-in-Chief, since they're both straightlaced political dramas (as opposed to say 24).

I think instead of having Mackenzie Allen be the Sarah Palin analogue as Commander-in-Chief unwittingly almost predicted (is a maverick's running mate and accidentally becomes President because her much older partner dies of illness after being elected to office), I'll make her more like her original character on the show, a moderate Republican who breaks party lines. So basically she and Teddy Roosevelt Bridges run a Ron Paul-type campaign, even though their platform is a lot less radical and more like a hypothetical Bloomberg Unity '08 run. My real candidate for this race is a fictional Asian-American GOP Jindal-analogue. Does this sound good?

Also, The West Wing had a gay Republican presidential candidate? If Gov. Crist came out in real life, the show would truly be prophetic.
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The Richmond Times, December 31st, 2008
Conservative Preacher Won't Run for Pres

Reverend Don Butler, Virginian televangelist and former presidential candidate, has announced in a press conference this morning that he will not be running for president. Despite a strong showing in the 2006 Republican primaries, Rev. Butler said today that he will “continue to do God's work from the church, not the state”, and that “getting in the White House is like getting a white elephant for Christmas.” He reaffirmed his desire to focus on the efforts of his ministry and his involvement in the American Christian Assembly.

Despite his statements, Reverend Butler has been increasingly involved in politics since 2006. Following his defeat in the Republican primaries he created the Family Service PAC, a political action committee staffed by many members of “Butler's Brigade”, supporters of his presidential campaign. That fall he also began hosting a talk show on FOX News, “The Butler Did It.” He continues to hold speaking tours throughout the country, and has acted as an advisor to multiple Republican campaigns, the latest being Andrew Wu's successful 2008 gubernatorial run.

Rev. Butler is seen by many political analysts to still have a stake in the race to the White House. Butler was Governor Vinick's first choice for vice president in 2006, but declined because of the latter's views on abortion. Georgh Rohr, a spokesperson o the ACA, has made comments that the reverend “wouldn't rule out” becoming the running mate of a “sufficiently family-friendly presidential candidate.”
Matt Skinner was a Gay Republican Congressman who appeared in three epsiodes during the first couple of seasons. He was a liberal Republican, and Gay. His home state was never disclosed, but I guessed Vermont as a Liberal State, and one where Vinick won in 2006.
Very good entry on Butler, liked Governor Andrew Wu, what state did he win?
I could see the speaker of the house making a run for the White house.

But the main question is, does Donna marry Josh?
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