West Wing: Live Debate
Of course it wasn't real, they actually debated the issues, and by no surprise the discourse was a timely reflection of the current political paradigm. All and all, the debate -- issue by issue -- was something our real candidates would be wise to aspire to in '08. The discussion regarding healthcare was particularly interesting... Medicare for all? The debate on educational funding was noteworthy as well.
In a nutshell the contrast of the up-and-coming liberal idealist versus the pro-big-business pro-tax-cut elder conservative reminded me more than just a little of the Cheney-Edwards debate. Much like the '04 vice presidential debate, the young Democratic candidate had the facts on his side, but lacked the experience and stature to deliver the point effectively -- or at least as effective as the point could be. Not sure if that was the intent, but that was my general perception.
As far as acting, Smits seemed a bit uncomfortable with the live format, but kudos to Alda for an awesome performance -- especially considering that Alda's real life politics are a polar opposite of his character's.