But having watched Bartlet and his staff for all these years, there is one thing I bet Sorkin would have made more of had he penned this parting episode: Regret. It's probably true that our current president doesn't have any capacity for introspection, and that on the day he leaves the White House, the experience will slip from his mind like a long-ago bender. But most of us would feel the press of history; you couldn't work in the most powerful building in the world for eight years and not wonder, on the day you leave, whether you spent your time wisely. Especially not Bartlet. It's hard to believe -- as we're made to in Wells' finale -- that on Bartlet's last day on the job, he wouldn't have made a bigger fuss about all he didn't get done, about the promise and the hope he'd squandered without ever meaning to.

Then again, maybe we're spared Bartlet's histrionics because, in the scheme of things, his fictional presidency was relatively free of sin, at least as compared with how these things often go down in real life. Bartlet's greatest transgression was lying about his medical condition (multiple sclerosis) during a campaign. He didn't listen in on Americans' phone calls. He didn't ignore a genocide. He didn't start an unnecessary war.

Perhaps the only thing to regret, after seven years, is that Bartlet's administration only ever served on TV.

—Farhad Manjoo, at Salon.com


Lots of things going on, sweet darling fabulous Elena lives in my house now, The Wydelles have a new website with some new live songs coming in the next few days, I think I'm going to Six Flags on Friday, I think I might see Lona play tomorrow night! I'm going to go to Savannah next weekend and swim and ski and go to the beach, I'm about to send a thousand bucks up to New York City for a lofty spot in the middle of the city (fingers crossed), I've been reading this girl's work all day, because she worked in the MIT Media Lab and it makes me envy her early drive (I don't know how, but I lost almost all my drive at Tech; someone today told me I could get it back; it's not impossible) and now she's a well-respected expert that writes sometimes for Salon (I want to do that), and now I'm driving to Athens to watch Twin Peaks with my favorite kid.


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