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Original Airdate 10-09-05

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It's three weeks into the presidential campaign and the Vinick camp is playing hardball. As the episode opens, Santos is on a roll, thanks to the good timing of his mandatory military-reserve training (he looks fairly commanding in his uniform). To counter it, Vinick decides to box in the Latino Santos by focusing on immigration issues. And it works, despite a grilling by Chris Matthews (who appears as himself) on Hardball. But then Vinick finds himself cornered by a religious-right group demanding a say on judicial appointments.
From NBC:
The Vinick camp decides to turn the tables on the Santos campaign by targeting issues of immigration - issues Santos has avoided. An eager NSA agent briefs Vinick about an assassination which Vinick shrugs off.


Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick Republican Candidate for President
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Santos / McGarry Campaign Manager
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Democratic Candidate for President
Special Guest Stars    
Janeane Garofalo as Louise "Lou" Thornton Media Consultant
Patricia Richardson as Sheila Brooks Vinick / Sullivan Campaign Manager
Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli Vinick / Sullivan Campaign Strategist
Guest Starring    
Brett Cullen as Ray Sullivan Republican Candidate for Vice President
William Russ as Dan Vinick / Sullivan Campaign Staffer
Julian Acosta as Leon Montero Vinick / Sullivan Campaign Staffer
Matthew Del Negro as Bram (Howard) Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Peter MacKenzie as George Rohr American Christian Assembly
Chris Matthews as Himself  
Tom Everett as Charles Frost CIA / NSC
Gavin Glennon as Secret Service Agent  
Annie Morgan as Anne Vinick Staffer
Becky Meister as TV Reporter Sally
Sumalee Montano as Vinick Reporter #1  
Timothy Davis-Reed as Vinick Reporter #2 Mark O'Donnell
Ben Siegler as Vinick Reporter #3 George
Colette O'Connell as Ellen Trayers Boston Globe Reporter
Kris Murphy as Santos Reporter #1 Katie Witt
Phil Trask, Jr. as Santos Reporter #2 Kevin
Micheal Earl Reid as Harley Parker Minuteman
Alicia-Lee as Senate Reporter #1  
Ken Michelman as Ted Zukoski Chicago Tribune Reporter

Information Links


Media Quotes

A poll conducted by the real-life political pollsters Zogby International found that Santos of Houston holds a 16-point lead over his Republican rival from California, played by Alan Alda.

"I'm very flattered by that, but considering the polls in the recent elections I only put so much credence in them," says Smits, 49.

"Smits might be next 'president'"
by Diane Holloway
March 4, 2005
Austin American-Statesman

"I'm very flattered by that and Zogby's very respected as we all know, but considering the effect that polls had on the 2000 election and the more recent election, I can only put so much credence into the polls," he [Jimmy Smits] said, then laughing.

"Popular vote gives election to Smits' Santos on 'West Wing'"
by Sarah Rodman
April 6, 2005
Boston Herald

Some Boeing Co.employees in Long Beach will get their shot at 15 seconds of fame today.

NBC's "The West Wing" will film part of an episode in Boeing's C-17 assembly plant, and a number of employees will appear as extras. No special acting ability is required - they'll be playing Boeing employees.

"Orange County business briefs"
September 17, 2005
Orange County Register

Actor Ron Silver says he has had fewer movie offers and dinner invitations since he parted political company with his Hollywood colleagues and spoke at the Republican National Convention last year.


Silver is currently shooting episodes for the television series "The West Wing," in which his character, formerly a Democratic consultant, crosses the aisle to work for the Republican candidate played by Alan Alda.


"Just another case," he said with a laugh, "of art imitating life."

"Silence isn't golden for Silver"
by Maggie Farley
September 20, 2005
Los Angeles Times

Matthews, to his unconcealed delight, will soon add another string to his bow. At the start of next month he will appear in the hit TV series "The West Wing." Senator Arnold Vinick, the fictional Republican presidential contender played by Alan Alda, will be subjected to a "Hardball" interrogation:

"I was smiling through it," Matthews laughed. "They wanted me to be tougher. By the fourth take they said it was perfect. But Alan Alda was perfect in every one of the takes. He's a pro!"

"Host with a punch: Cult hero Matthews plays hardball across the board"
by Niall Stanage
October 4, 2005
Irish Echo

O'Donnell, who was charged with writing Vinick, called it "my greatest pleasure on 'The West Wing,' especially since I once said that it would never be a Republican political show."

He said his mind was changed after attending the 2004 GOP convention in New York and seeing the party's future in people like former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman, mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: politicians who are liberal on some issues, conservative on others.

"Sun sets on 'West Wing'"
by Aaron Barnhart
May 14, 2006
Kansas City Star

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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