A few months ago, I spotted a blurb in the Wired print magazine about @McGarrysGhost, the Twitter alias of the late Leo Thomas McGarry, former fictional White House Chief of Staff on the TV show The West Wing.
I enjoyed the show not only for the cast and the great scripts, primarily by Aaron Sorkin, but also for the commitment to political discourse. And when I re-watched the seventh season on Bravo two years ago, it became clear the writers had more political prescience than many real political experts, given how closely that season paralleled the 2008 Presidential election. In fact, the show’s writers had modeled President Bartlet’s successor Matt Santos after a certain then-freshman Senator from Illinois, which makes it all the more amazing.
After I followed the late Mr. McGarry, I discovered that he’s not the only fictional character from the show haunting Twitter. There’s President Bartlet, (@Pres_Bartlet,) Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, (@joshualyman), Josh’s one-time assistant, Donna Moss, (@donnatella_moss), and Lord John Marbury, the British Ambassador to the United States.
It goes without saying that those of a different political persuasion than the fictional Democrat Jed Bartlet probably won’t enjoy the tweets quite as much, though the ones from Bartlet and McGarry’s Ghost are as insightful as most of the talking heads occupying the news channels right now.
And, occasionally, a lot funnier.