Scripting the Democratic Convention, West Wing-Style

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Watching the slow-motion train wreck that is the Democratic nomination process is entertaining in a horrible kind of way, but just wait until the flaming hulk comes hurtling into the station. That’s what New York magazine asked West Wing writer Lawrence O’Donnell Jr. to do, commissioning him to a draft a movie treatment of this August’s Democratic confab-slash-conflagration in Denver. The result, “Four Days in Denver,” is a brilliant piece of political theater, featuring lots of closed-door hijinks, a decisive Clinton-Obama staredown, an inconveniently thin Al Gore, an implausibly popular Wes Clark, and a convincingly savvy Michelle Obama. Plus there’s lots of satisfying trash talk, like this Charlie Rangel comeback to Bill Clinton: “If your wife is elected president, I’m still gonna be chairman of Ways and Means and she’s gonna need me every fucking day. So how do you wanna leave it: Fuck you, Charlie, or I’m sorry, Mr. Chairman?” Who knew superdelegates with appropriation powers could be so much fun? If you’re looking for an amusing, semi-realistic guess about what’s happening behind the poll numbers and delegate counts, check it out.

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