Thursday, Sept. 20 — The cast of Aaron Sorkin’s political drama, “The West Wing,” has reunited — in a four-minute political ad for a Michigan Supreme Court justice candidate and voting in non-partisan races in general.
The four-minute public service announcement on the importance of voting in non-partisan political races was the idea of Mary McCormack — a West Wing cast member and sister of the Michigan Supreme Court candidate Bridget Mary McCormack. (Video’s below.)
“My little sister and best friend has been trying to figure out how she can help me,” candidate McCormack told City Pulse political columnist Kyle Melinn. “I told her how few people vote for Supreme Court justices. She said, ‘Do you think it would make a difference if some of my friends from the West Wing did a video about that?
“I said, ‘Maybe. Let’s see if they’ll do it.”
McCormack is one of three Democrat-nominated justices seeking the court, along with Connie Marie Kelley and Shelia Johnson. Incumbents Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra are Republican-nominated, as is Colleen O’Brien.
She said there’s two versions of the video: One that mentions her specifically and one that doesn’t, focusing on voting for non-partisan candidates in general. In the video on McCormack’s campaign website, three characters from the show (Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff) spend about 40 seconds pitching McCormack as a good candidate.
“She likes baseball and I’m gonna buy her a ring,” says Schiff, who has appeared in such TV series as “Monk,” “Becker” and “NCIS.” The video also includes appearances by Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen.
McCormack said the ad cost “under” $5,000 — largely for insurance and food — and was shot in Los Angeles in a day.
About mid-way through the longer version, the script sneaks in a bit of family humor.
“Quick question: Who is Mary McCormack?” asks Janney.
The candidate’s sister appears in the doorway to respond (about herself): “No clue. But something tells me she’s delightful and whip-smart, possibly hot? Hard to say, really.”