When Republican Presidential nominee John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his choice for vice president — a younger, relatively inexperienced woman — the scenario seemed familiar. If you were watching ABC a couple years ago, it should. It’s essentially the backstory of Commander in Chief.
As Chief begins, Republican President Teddy Bridges (Will Lyman) dies of a cerebral aneurysm midway through his term. This leaves his female VP, MacKenzie Allen (Geena Davis), as the leader of the free world. With concerns over McCain’s health and age, is it unrealistic to think that this scenario could be mirrored in the real world?
The comparison isn’t lost on Chief’s creator, Rod Lurie. He’s an Obama reporter and recently attended the Democratic National Convention. Lurie jokingly told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think that Geena and I need to be paid royalties by the Republicans.”
Though the Chief scenario worked for his fictional Republicans, Lurie is critical of their real-world counterparts. “People who understand politics know anything is possible. Picking a woman is an absolute strategic idea from McCain’s point of view. He’s not talking about governing right now. The idea of this woman actually facing down [Vladimir] Putin and negotiating with [Dmitry] Medvedev is idiotic.”