… to those glorious years of the Bartlett administration, when it wasn’t uncommon for a top notch character to hire someone from the opposing political party to work for them. In fact, it was a point of pride. Characters would often say of president Bartlett that “he likes smart people who disagree with him”, which is why such wonderful characters as Ainsley Hayes, Cliff Calley, Joe Quincy and Arnold Vinnick had jobs.
One of Bartlett’s most valued advisers (and one of the show’s greatest characters) was one Mr. Sam Seaborn, an idealistic and principled young man, destined for the seat of the president one day. Sam was very much against the idea of hiring a Republican (as he was a Democrat), at first, though he became Ainsley’s closest ally within the west wing. Sam Seaborn was played by Rob Lowe. Flash forward. Mr. Lowe now stars on a favourite show of mine, Brothers & Sisters, as a charismatic and idealistic Republican Senator, Robert McCallister, who has just given up his bid for President. His communications director, Kitty Walker, has just resigned in order to publish a book.
Now here’s the good part: the wonderful people over on the Brothers & Sisters writing staff pulled out an oldy but goody when Robert was hiring his new communications director. Taking one directly out of the Bartlett playbook, Robert offers the job to the staunchly liberal Kevin Walker.
Not only did this make me incredibly happy because Kevin is my favourite of the entire Walker clan, but it meant that even under the guise of Republicanism, Sam Seaborn is still very much around today.