Thursday, January 20, 2005

Who would make the better President?

West Wing probably jumped the shark when President Bartlet stated "I can't move" a few weeks ago. But the upcoming fictional presidential election (between Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits, and Joshua Malina's candidate) has me interested--and I'll tell you why. I want to know who would make the best president: Hawkeye Pierce, Bobby Simone, or Jeremy Goodwin?

(Yes, I know that Joshua's character on West Wing is only the campaign manager. But let's go ahead and promote him to candidate.)

Let's go one at a time. I believe that Hawkeye would run as a Democrat due to his pacifistic tendencies. He's sensible, has a good health care plan, and genuinely cares for people. Sure, M*A*S*H Veterans for Truth (most notably Frank Burns and Margaret Houlihan) will one day come back with the antics he performed during the war, but his heart is in the right place. However, the ceremonial portions of the job won't be important to him. I can see him showing up for state dinners in his bathrobe and making wacky comments at press conferences.

Bobby? I think he's a Democrat, but in this three-man race, he runs as the Republican. Law and order, take no crap, we'll-bend-the-rules-a-little-to-get-the-bad-guy Republican. He'll start a real conversation about race in this country, like he did with Sipowicz. He'll have compassion for the poor, since he knows them so well. He'll have a heart of gold. We'll feel safe.

Jeremy would run as the third-party candidate. In a Howard Dean-like way, he'd challenge Hawkeye to be a better pacifist, because only he could position himself as more of a pacifist than Hawkeye (due to his intense dislike of hunting). He'll advocate for the handicapped and be the "book-smart" candidate. Smart blue-state liberals would turn up their noses at those who would compromise by voting for Hawkeye. Jeremy gets about 5 percent of the vote.

This leaves it wide open for Bobby to win it all--a 53% to 42% to 5% landslide. Nobody would trust either liberal candidate, enough so that even the split liberal vote wouldn't matter. Bobby gets Republican votes and minority votes. Republicans--good ones, not loser buttheads--ride his coattails into Congress. The world gets a little better.

And you know what? I'd vote for Bobby. In a way, he'd represent what I don't like about Bush...a distrust of intellectualism, the idea that we have to vote for the tough guy or appear wimpy (as we would voting for Hawkeye or Jeremy). But, bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I must admit that neither Hawkeye nor Jeremy would be at all good in a crisis...Hawkeye would lose perspective, perhaps having flashbacks to his near-drowning as a child in Maine, while Jeremy would overthink situations to the point of paralysis. Bobby would listen to the options, pick one, and stick to it. He'd kick ass, but still look just effeminate enough to make you think he was actually giving a massage. He'd be unafraid to tackle the big issues. He'd get my vote.


Anonymous said...

"But, bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I must admit that neither Hawkeye nor Jeremy would be at all good in a crisis."

I suppose all that meatball surgery really lowered his "crisis management" skills, eh? Being a bleeding heart liberal myself, I admit no such thing.

I think I'd have to pull the lever for Hawkeye. If nothing else, he'd be a funnier President. And we all could use a bit of that right now.


TeacherRefPoet said...

Point taken, Spoon. Still, in a time of international crisis, I don't think Hawkeye would have the interpersonal skills or the sense of nuance to see us through. Bobby would, and he too has excelled in a high-stress job in his past.

Anonymous said...

You _didn't_ think that episode where Hawkeye broke into the peace talks and dissed both sides for arguing how high the flagpole should be was one of the greatest moments of modern diplomacy?

Hawkeye in '08!

As an aside, my Sweetie is going to Denver for a few days in February. Any suggestions for vegetarian fare and/or good times would be appreciated.


lemming said...

Hawkeye's time in a psychiatric hospital probably also hurts his chances of being nominated.

That having been said, I'm with you, Mr. Spoon, Great post!

Joe said...

Well, I can see your scenario, TRP, but you overlook two significant details. First, Bobby Simone's candidacy will be completely destroyed when it's discovered that he's actually Chicago drug lord Julio Gonzalez! A catchy theme by Michael MacDonald isn't enough to save him this time.

In the chaos that follows, no one's quite sure how Otter Stratton from Animal House gets the Republican nomination.

Stratton and Pierce split the "zany antics ensue" vote, and in a rare victory, the witty thinking people of America squeak out a victory with Jeremy Goodwin, 50.4% to 29.8 (Stratton, helped by his frat boy charm) to 19.8 (Pierce, who screws up by developing an overpowering sense of moral superiority at the end... again).