In one the weirdest (and most effective) political ads of the season, nearly the entire cast of The West Wing has reunited to shoot a campaign ad — in character — for a candidate for Michigan's Supreme Court. The whole gang is here — Josh, Toby, President Bartlett, even C.J.'s quiet secretary — walking and talking in that old Aaron Sorkin style to discuss the complicated "crisis" of people not voting on non-partisan judicial ballots. Along the way, they manage to work in an endorsement for Bridget Mary McCormack, a University of Michigan law professor who is appearing on the (you guessed it) non-partisan portion of the Michigan ballot.
How did this ad ever come to be? Well, you may recognize the candidate's sister, Mary Catherine McCormack, as one the participants. She played National Security Adviser Kate Harper during three seasons of West Wing and was the catalyst for this project. How she managed to convince all of her former co-workers to fly to Ann Arbor and reprise their roles for free just to support the issue of partially blank ballots is anyone's guess, but fans of the show surely appreciate her efforts. (Guess Rob Lowe was busy.) We suppose her sister appreciates it, too, since she is about to become the most famous judicial candidate in America.
It's also fitting that the premise of the ad is built on teaching Americans an obscure lesson about democracy, since the original show was frequently lauded for its use of arcane constitutional questions as major plot points. According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, even the country of Burma learned how to be nation by watching old episodes of President Bartlett and his unusually dedicated staff.