As the State of the Union address was getting set to start this evening, Brian made the comment you can’t help but think in today’s world: “If some bad guy wanted to make a real headline, all he’d have to do is take out that building; everything would be shut down.”
Yeah, it’s a pretty terrifying option, but I told him all about the designated survivor, the Cabinet member who gets chosen to sit out attendance at the big event so that there can be a continuing government in case the unthinkable should happen. Brian’s standard question whenever I tell him some random bit of information is, “How do you know that?”, like I’m supposed to be able to remember where I learned every single thing I know. In this case, though, I was able to tell him precisely where I picked up that particular tidbit; I learned it on The West Wing.
As you might imagine, Brian didn’t think too much of my reference, so I assured him that, even though I think television is a perfectly valid educational tool, I had actually verified the info rather than accepted it blindly. And, just to further assure him, I quickly looked up this year’s lucky winner—Energy Secretary Eric Moniz.
But, the conversation—and the entire SoTU—really reminded me how much I miss West Wing. It was truly spectacular television, and I think it depicted how a lot of people wish the White House could be. Not necessarily the actual policies, of course, just the passion and commitment of it all. (Incidentally, my longing for a return of WW is not intended as any sort of affront to the actual POTUS; I actually thought the SoTU was as decent as such things can be—not particularly contentious, even optimistic—though I am always annoyed by the pomposity of it all.)
At any rate, if you never had an opportunity to enjoy The West Wing back in the day, I encourage you to check it out now; it’s available on Netflix. In fact, I think I might have to revisit it myself. In the meantime, in honor of tonight’s topic, here’s a look at President Bartlett having a chat with his own designated survivor. Like so many moments from the show, it’s a gem.