They've been targeted for disruption by rival politicians and targeted for death by would-be assassins. But staff members of the Presidential offices called The West Wing continue to serve the U.S. and its President in a second season whose honours included 8 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Drama Series.
In the aftermath of the attempted assassination, there are lives to save... and challenges of governing that remain. But questions of the staff's ability to cope with the psychological impact of the murderous assault hover over the West Wing's efforts as it faces critical midterm elections and tries to broker a deal between an AIDS-afflicted African nation and American pharmaceutical companies.
The Presidency is part formality, part criticality and wholly a reflection of the man in the office. When that man is Josiah Bartlet, it's in his nature to appoint a controversial foe to a staff post because he admires her skill. As for formality, Bartlet continues a tradition by pardoning one Thanksgiving turkey ...and then another. And a critical situation in the Persian Gulf arises when a tanker transports contraband oil.
Don't like green beans? Neither does President Bartlet. But his admitted dislike could cost him votes - and that puts the staff in damage-control mode. Meanwhile, Josh is a disaster waiting to happen due to post-traumatic stress disorder. And, as Christmas comes and goes, it seems like a good idea to extend the olive branch to the opposition and begin the new year in a spirit of bipartisanship. Well, at least it's worth a try.
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