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Politics in Entertainment

October 22, 2020

Are you gearing up for the coming election? If you need something to entertain yourself with until the big day, here’s a collection of our best political DVDs to pregame. Some of them are funny. Some are poignant. All of them are good. 

The West Wing

This is my all-time favorite fictional political TV show. I love everyone and would vote for Jed Bartlett (played by Martin Sheen) in a heartbeat. If I have to pick, I think I’m equal parts CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn, but I would be hard-pressed to name a character (or actor) I don’t like. If you only pick one of these, pick this one. You won’t be sorry. I promise.


This one is newer for me. I’ve been a fan of the others for a while, but I’ve only recently been turned on to this. It took me about half way through the first season to start to get it, but now I’m hooked, so give it a little time. I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but I identify with some of the other characters more. Also, I think it’s hilarious that she asks her secretary if the president has called every episode and the answer is always no (spoiler alert). 

Madame Secretary

I wanted to watch this one as soon as the series started, but for some reason I never did. Until now. This one feels very much like The West Wing, except now we care about Tea Leoni as the Secretary of State. I also like Tim Daly as her college professor husband. I’m only about half way through Season 1, but I think this one is gonna stick. 

The American President

Last but not least is my all-time favorite presidential movie. The film stars Michael Douglas, Annette Benning, Martin Sheen, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss. It was written by Rob Reiner and Aaron Sorkin — which is why it feels so similar to The West Wing (also written by Aaron Sorkin).

Here’s my favorite quote from the movie:

Leon Kodak (played by David Paymer): You see, the country has mood swings.
Lewis Rothschild (Michael J Fox): Mood swings? Nineteen post-graduate degrees in mathematics, and your best explanation for going from a 63 to a 46 percent approval rating in five weeks is mood swings?
Leon Kodak: Well, I could explain it better, but I'd need charts, and graphs, and an easel.

I love this movie!

Honorable Mention Goes To...

A little rowdy, but I would vote for David Palmer all day.

Keifer Sutherland is the only member of the government left after terrorists blow up the State of the Union address. 

Set on the smaller stage of Pawnee, Indiana, I kinda forget this one is about politics because it is hilarious.

Ok friends, that’s enough to keep you out of trouble until election day. Exercise your right to vote — in the comments here for your favorite political shows and at the polls for your favorite candidate. You can early vote in Davidson County Wednesday, October 14 through Thursday, October 29 at these locations. Learn more about early voting, and why it's especially important this year, on Congressman Jim Cooper's Vote Early TN initiative page.

Otherwise, we’ll see you at the polls on November 3!

Happy voting…

:) Amanda

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Amanda is a classically-trained pianist who loves to read. Like any good librarian, she also has two cats named after Italian cities. Amanda spends her free time sitting in Nashville traffic, baking, and running the Interlibrary Loan office at the Nashville Public Library.

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