Media

The Cast of 'The West Wing' Reunites for...a Local Mich. Campaign Ad?

A particular candidate for State Supreme Court in Maryland appears to have pulled out all the stops to get voters' attention by making her campaign the centerpiece of an episode of "The West Wing." No, really.

Yes, the show has been off the air for some time, but that didn't stop Michigan Supreme Court candidate Bridget Mary McCormack from getting the cast of the program back on the air, in-character, to support her in a four minute long web ad that has since gone viral.

How did she get virtually the entire main cast back together for this? Well, having a sister who played a recurring character can't hurt. The Washington Post reports:

How did the Michigan law professor , 46, snag the Emmy-winning cast? Connections: Her sister Mary McCormack, who played Deputy National Security Adviser Kate Harper for the show’s final three seasons — and has some of the best lines in the video.

“I’m very happy today,” McCormack told us Thursday, just a few hours after it hit the web. “And I love my little sister.”

McCormack, who launched her bid for office in March, told her sister about a common problem on many state ballots: People vote for the party candidates, but often skip the non-partisan portion where judicial candidates are listed. For years, people have been trying to get the word out, without much luck.

Lightbulb moment! Mary called Janney and Whitford, her closest friends from “West Wing,” and asked them to do a campaign video. “They said ‘sure’ and it spiraled from there,” said McCormack. Others signed on to reprise their old roles: Richard Schiff, Joshua Malina, Janel Moloney, Lily Tomlin and Melissa Fitzgerald. “I think it’s a testament to their good will and good friendships,” the candidate said.

The series' creator, Aaron Sorkin, was not involved in drafting the script. However, as veteran "West Wing" watchers will note looking at the ad, the dialogue is deliberately written to parody his extremely fast-paced style, which frequently makes use of "walk-and-talk" style staging. Everything else comes off practically verbatim like a show episode. Martin Sheen even makes an appearance as fictitious ex-President Josiah Bartlett.

There is one interesting omission in the video - namely, it avoids mentioning McCormack's Party identification. Given that the office she's running for is listed under the "nonpartisan" offices (hence the ad), this makes sense, but it does raise an interesting question. McCormack has received the endorsement of Michigan's Democratic Party, and it's pretty dubious whether the West Wing cast would have reunited to pitch a Republican.

One last thing…
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