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December 16, 2009

RIP John Spencer

The Best TV Show Ever

Today is the fourth anniversary of John Spencer's death, which means it is, by tradition, Quote Leo McGarry Day. A little backstory: during the New Hampshire primary campaign in 2007, a friend told me that then-Senator Obama was the candidate who most reminded her of Jed Bartlet. I hadn't started watching The West Wing yet, but once I did, I began to understand what she meant. (FWIW, said friend has never seen the later seasons, so she doesn't know about Matt Santos.) In that spirit:

"Because I'm tired of it. Year, after year, after year, after year, having to choose between the lesser of who cares. Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low I can hardly look at it. They say a good man can't get elected. Well, I don't believe that."


"The President's nothing if not contemplative, Senator. The man makes the Prince of Denmark seem reactionary."

Honestly, though, given the current state of things in the Senate, I need to throw in a few quotes from Josh Lyman, too.

"LBJ never would've taken this kind of crap from Democrats in Congress. He'd have said, 'You're voting my way, in exchange for which, it is possible that I might remember your name, pal.' We need to win. And I mean win. We need to take a curtain call and a victory lap. And that's how we get momentum. We get it by being tough. We give away nothing."

Someone should give this message to a few Senators:

"See, you won with 52 percent, but the President took your district with 59. And I think it's high time we come back and say thanks. Do you have any idea how much noise Air Force One makes when it lands in Eau Claire, Wisconsin? We're gonna have a party, Congressman. You should come; it's gonna be great. And when the watermelon's done, right in town square, right in the band gazebo. You guys got a band gazebo? Doesn't matter; we'll build one. Right in the band gazebo, that's where the President is going to drape his arm around the shoulder of some assistant D.A. we like. And you should have your camera with you, you should get a picture of that, 'cause that's gonna be the moment you're finished in Democratic politics. President Bartlet's a good man, he's got a good heart, he doesn't hold a grudge. That's what he pays me for."

And, really:

"You know, I'm so sick of Congress I could vomit."
Posted by Kat at December 16, 2009 06:56 PM

Wouldn't the health care debate be fun if LBJ was president? *sigh*

Posted by: Sonya at December 17, 2009 02:42 PM

We just watched the Season 2 Christmas episode where Leo tells the hole-in-the-ground story. It gets me every time...

Posted by: sprite at December 17, 2009 03:22 PM

Ironic, actually. I've been on a West Wing roll since Thanksgiving, and just today got to the Season 7 Election Day episode where the character dies. Good timing.

Posted by: --Deb at December 17, 2009 06:48 PM

Oh I love your Josh quotes in particular this time. sigh.

Posted by: alissa at January 2, 2010 11:03 AM
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