A "West Wing" Endorsement

Schiff1500_14360tRichard Schiff, aka Toby Ziegler of “The West Wing,” was one of the stars who showed up on the campaign trail in Iowa for Joseph Biden.

After Biden was out of the race, Schiff wrote a piece for the Independent in which he shared his thoughts of campaigning and why Biden didn’t get beyond the caucus.

Schiff wrote, “I have been fortunate, through my acting career, to have met with formidable people in our political world. I have met senators and congressmen and secretaries of state, presidential nominees, generals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ambassadors. I had dinner with President Clinton and spent an entire day with him, when we were given honorary doctorates from my alma mater. He’s a fascinating man, as are all of them. But other than the obvious showbusiness fare, rarely did anyone ask me a question of substance. Mostly, I listened. I quietly listened to posits and pontifications, theories and solutions, questions asked rhetorically – and quickly answered. Joe Biden is the only one of them who is genuinely curious; who seems to have a profound affection for people and their varying views of the world; who isn’t looking for support or potential adversaries, but for what concerns us and what worries us and what he can do about it. The more we talked and stumped together, the more I found myself proud to know the guy. And the more I hoped he had a chance in hell to win this thing.”

He recalled speaking in Independence, Iowa:

“I eye the audience. There’s an old guy to my left who stares at me as if he’s got a rifle in the truck that he might just get up and fetch at any moment. At the next table, there’s a couple with two fidgety, soon-to-be-crying infants. I spy a couple of smilers in the gaggle, two women who seem to be sympathetic to the pathetic nature of my task. Or they might just be waiting for an opportunity to persuade me to join them at church in the morning.

“I begin. I tell them the story of my Christmas dinner, just a couple of days before. I tell them that a clan of my Irish-Catholic in-laws descended on our house in Los Angeles. That I was asked – no, confronted – by all of them with particular curiosity – no, scepticism – as to why I chose to desert the family during the holiday week – and why Iowa, of all places. “I’m going to stump for Joe Biden.”

“I tell this intimate gathering in Iowa that the reaction surprised me. “I love that guy!” is the response I got. I tell them how everywhere I go, and everyone who asks me what I’m doing in Iowa, when I say it’s to stump for Joe Biden, I get the same response: “I love that guy.” But that they also say, invariably: “But does he have a chance in hell?””

Some Biden’s Hollywood donors included entertainer Barry Manilow, Norman Pattiz, Fox’s Tom Rothman, and Kirk Kerkorian. His leadership PAC, meanwhile, has drawn such donors as Cher.

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