On Thursday night, we invited a friend over to have pasta and watch “West Wing.” After eating too much, we carried our wine glasses into the living room, settled down on the couch, switched on the TV and got–Al Gore’s concession speech.

While it was a gracious speech, I found myself restlessly waiting for it to be over so that I could watch the show. When the usual Talking Heads came on to dissect the speech, we all groaned but decided to wait patiently to see if they would still run the show during the next hour.

When 9 p.m. rolled around, we settled back in the living room, turned on the television, and–Oh no, now it was George Bush’s acceptance speech! And of course, the Talking Heads had to go over that one for 45 minutes as well.

I felt ashamed of myself for preferring the dramatized politics of television to the politics that were actually going on at that moment, until the next day, when the Washington Post reported that TV watchers in our nation’s capital, surely the most politically savvy citizens in the country, called their local stations to complain about missing the show.

Has the election just been going on for so long that we have all finally tuned it out? Maybe it’s because those speeches were just what we expected, filled with boring political platitudes. In “West Wing,” we get to go behind the scenes and find out what?s really going on.

One of my favorite films, “The Miracle at Morgan’s Creek,” ends with the quote, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” With the environment in trouble, the Middle East exploding, the economy slowing down, and a lot of angry voters out there, I sincerely hope that George W. Bush is up to the exceptionally challenging job ahead.

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