Since then, I've seen it again and also had my Swiss cheese memory jogged by fellow Televisiologist Brent McKee. All during the night as I read my usual TV sites, I kept wondering why they were talking about a cocktail napkin when I was thinking of a sheet of legal paper.
Here's the scene that inspired the best moment in the finale for 'The West Wing':
What do you want to talk to me about?
I've been thinking about getting back into politics.
I think that's great, man. I think it's about time. You probably mean the House, but I think you should consider the Senate seat in Illinois in two years; I can help raise money.
No, I wasn't thinking about the Senate. I was thinking about the White House.
Hey, Leo, I swear to God there's no one I'd rather see in the Oval Office than you but if you run there's going to be a lot of discussion about Valium and Alcohol. I mean, it's going to come out; this is the world.
Yeah. See, I wasn't thinking about me.
I've been walking around in a kind of daze for two weeks and everywhere I go...planes, trains, restaurants, meetings...I find myself scribbling something down.
Leo takes a napkin out of his pocket, licks it, and sticks it on the posterboard easel.
It reads "Bartlet for America."
(from the episode "Bartlet For America")
So here's a revision of my original thoughts on the subject:
What better way to honor the memory of the late Leo McGarry during the finale of 'The West Wing' than with a prop which he created?
The series practically ended with President Bartlet unwrapping the framed cocktail napkin upon which Leo had scrawled "BARTLET FOR AMERICA", the springboard for his vision of Jed Bartlet as the POTUS.
I'm hoping it was the original copy and not some well-made forgery of John Spencer's signature, but that would be more in the nature of Television than that of Toobworld.
For in Toobworld, it was real. All of the show was real while at the same time an ideal for what could be in our own world. And I think we were lucky to have it on the air for the past seven seasons.
Someday that framed piece of paper should find a home at the Smithsonian, not only to represent the TV show but also to represent that ideal of what our country could be.
And with it should be the piece of paper upon which Leo scrawled:
"LET BARTLET BE BARTLET".
Sorry about the earlier mix-up........