The West Wing (TV Series 1999–2006) Poster


Frequently Asked Questions

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  • The list is quite extensive, and we can keep adding to it, but for now, as of June 3, 2008, there's one extremely prescient parallel worth noting:

    In the show's fictitious 2006 election, the first ever minority candidate from one of the major parties, a young, well-spoken Democrat who won his party's nomination in a long, heated primary, goes up against a highly respected Republican senator, the key strike against whom may be his age (late 60s). The real 2008 presidential election finds the first ever minority candidate from one of the major parties, a young, well-spoken Democrat who won his party's nomination in a long, heated primary, goes up against a highly respected Republican senator, the key strike against whom may be his age (71).

    In another fairly clear parallel, in the shows final season the president makes an unpopular move of placing over 150,000 troops in Kazahkstan in order to prevent a war between China and Russia over oil in that nation. At the time, the president also has no exit strategy in place and passes on the problem to his successor. This in many ways a blend of US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, featuring 2 wars with no political end in sight passed on to become the next president's issue.

  • Sanvean by Lisa Gerrard

    Dead Can Dance did a version of this track, which was released on a recent box set. Lisa Gerrard (One of DCDs two singer/songwriters) has a version on her album "The Mirror Pool" and that is the version on the soundtrack.

  • Angel by Massive Attack

  • "Gratias tibi ago, domine. Haec credam a deo pio? A deo iusto, a deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem. Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui. Officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem!"

    "I give thanks to you, O Lord. Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments. I was your servant here on Earth. And I spread your word and I did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you!" (Literally, "eas in crucem" translates to "may you go to a cross")

  • The Jackal is by Ronny Jordan and CJ does her version in Six Meetings Before Lunch (2000)

  • Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits

  • The President talks to talk show radio host Jenna Jacobs in The Midterms (2000).

    I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, and always clears the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath, Exodus 35:2, clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important, 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing, while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tightass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits."

    President Bartlet also uses the Ten Commandments during Episode 1, approximately 40 minutes into the episode when he walks into a meeting occuring between C.J. Cregg, Toby Zeigler and Josh Lyman and Mary Marsh, Rev. Al Caldwell and John Van Dyke. He uses the Commandments to blast Marsh, Caldwell and Van Dyke over a separatist group who sent an offensive item to one of his granddaughters.

  • The nickname "Jed" comes from the character's full name Josiah EDward Bartlet.

  • The character of Josiah Bartlet was drawn largely from the best characteristics of Sorkin's father. Martin Sheen has mentioned that the character is a mix of JFK and Bill Clinton.

    C.J. Cregg is loosely based upon Dee Dee Myers, who served as the White House Press Secretary during the Clinton administration and acted as an adviser to the show.

    Josh Lyman was said to be based loosely upon Rahm Emanuel.

    Matt Santos was said to be based loosely upon Barack Obama (during his Senate campaign in 2004).

  • Both Aaron Sorkin and Moira Kelly felt the character had run her course, so she simply disappeared. Her absence was never explained.

  • White House Senior Staff in the Obama Administration currently make $150,000-180,000 a year. The Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, and Communications Director are paid $172,200. The joke is that they could all make substantially more than that in the private sector. C.J. for example left a job making $550,000 a year. Incidentally, President Obama's personal aide is paid $102,000 a year, despite numerous references to Charlie Young making substantially less than that.


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