Anyone that knows me will be aware of my obsession with The West Wing. I’ve watched the entire seven seasons four times; I named my car C.J. after the show’s press secretary; and I see Martin Sheen and President Bartlet as one and the same person. I even featured in a Buzzfeed article, thanks to my prolific tweeting about the show.
Fellow West Wing fans will know that Bartlet and his band of unlikely aids entered the White House presidential race, not with an expectation to win, but in the hope of influencing national discussion.
As some of you may know, I am standing for a seat on the UK Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). In standing for Council, I too hope to make a contribution to national discussion, specifically in relation to the ongoing efforts of the CIPR to professionalise the PR industry. Voting members, or those that are interested, can read more about the reasons why I am standing here and on the CIPR website.
In the meantime, and as I gear up for the election 1st – 22nd September, I thought it would be useful to take some inspiration from my favourite TV show and brush up on some West Wing election ideology…
West Wing Election Ideology
1. Elections provide a valuable forum for debate on important issues.
2. Staying true to your ideals is imperative. See ‘Let Bartlet Be Bartlet’.
3. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. See season 4, episode 6 when Sam Seaborne is forced to take up the Californian nomination for Congress when a deceased candidate wins the primary.
4. Negative Campaigning or Mudslinging is for the uneducated.
5. A little light entertainment/down time is essential. See CJ doing The Jackal, Season 1, episode 18 (below).