Jamal Simmons points out the similarities between an Obama-McCain election and the Santos-Vinick campaign from Season 7 of The West Wing:
Then there is Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is perfectly filling the role Alan Alda played, Arnold Vinick, the older maverick Republican senator from the West (California in the show). Due to his willingness to buck Republican Party orthodoxy from time to time, Sen. McCain, like Alda’s Vinick has trouble with the right wingers who are accustomed to having much more influence with the GOP nominee.
Kinda. Vinick always struck me as a kind of Hollywood-fantasy version of John McCain: the pro-life senator from Arizona became magically transformed into a pro-choice senator from California. This of course, served the show well in its desire to sneer at religious conservatives, but it also made Vinick’s nomination far less plausible. The most senior Democrat in America right now, Harry Reid, is pro-life, but you’d never see the equivalent heterodoxy at the top of the Republican party.
(The social liberalism really was the only thing keeping Bartlett from being a full-blown neocon, IMO. The guy did order the assassination of another country’s defense minister, for crissakes.)