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How Aaron Sorkin's West Wing Inspired a Legion of Lyman Wannabes

Another young White House staffer who has been with Obama since the campaign says the show set a standard that he and his colleagues self-consciously aspired to: “Yes, the show was sexier, faster-paced, and more idealistic than Washington really is, but what’s wrong with that? We should aspire to do big and ambitious and idealistic things in this country—even if it takes longer than one hour, or one season.” The West Wing, he says, “was idealistic and so were we. Everyone hoped politics would be like that.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing about the West Wing generation is that, for the most part, its members haven’t lost their Sorkin-fed idealism. Though “the people that get the headlines represent the worst [in politics], by and large, people are doing it for the right reasons,” says Bardella...

Read the full Vanity Fair article here. Go there, now. Signed, The Josh Lyman Fan Club.