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21 February 2008

Art imitates life, then life imitates art imitating life , , ,

Jimmy Smits, who played the West Wing's Matt Santos, with Barack Obama in 2005. Photo via the Guardian, by Chris Greenberg/Getty

Did you get the connection? The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland explains it all. Apparently (and rather bizarrely) the character of Matthew Santos was loosely based on Barack Obama in the first place, back when Obama was not even dreamed of as a near-term presidential candidate, but was just a fresh new face after his amazing speech at the 2004 Democratic convention.
What a difference four years make, eh? I was musing on this today at work, and it occurred to me that an ill-fated US TV show called, I think, Commander-in-Chief followed in the coat-tails of TWW with a female president. She (the character) was not as charismatic and universally loved as the character of Matt Santos. (Sort of like you-know-who.) And I began to wonder about the spooky power that fictional TV (like 24, for instance) holds over the American psyche.

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