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Monday, May 09, 2016

Veep, S5E3

Things continue in Nevada. We see the beginnings of litigation, although I am not exactly sure where or what level--the Meyer campaign is seeking a "Hail Mary Injunction," appears in front of a multi-member court, but everyone is making objections. The show also continues developing Richard as character: He has emerged as the one competent person working for the campaign, but is not liked or taken seriously by others, and one reason might be that he is an overweight African-American.

The episode raises an interesting question about the politics of a Twelfth Amendment House election. Meyer starts and escalates an economic war with China, first to cover for a mistaken Tweet, then to avoid looking weak in the face of cyber-security threats from China, which she fears will hurt her electoral chances. But her electoral chances where? Not in Nevada, where the voting is done and what is left is the counting. So it must be the vote in the House. But would we expect the House vote to be anything other than straight partisanship, especially in this political period? Would a member of Meyer's party really vote for O'Brien (or abstain, allowing O'Brien to win that state's delegation vote)? Worse, would this one event cause that member to change his vote (i.e., he planned to vote for Meyer, but now will not because of this China thing), given what a disaster she otherwise has been in office? The show plays the typical "I can't look weak" concerns of an incumbent President running for office, but it may not fit the context.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on May 9, 2016 at 09:56 AM in Culture, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


The 1800 House election is not instructive because the same party structures and conflicts were not in place.

Yes, the House vote is set up as close. But there is an assumption that the individual votes might be something other than straight party-line. And I just do not see that as being realistic, even with an accidental president.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | May 9, 2016 10:49:37 AM

As to the 12A, the show made clear that House elections make the vote in the House very close & up in the air. Meyer also is an accidental President with Tom James a promising alternative (if there was a way to get him in). So, yes, I think the China thing might make a difference. At least, in her mind it might. The 1800 election ultimately turned on one House member.

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2016 10:42:07 AM

"he is an overweight African-American"

Other than an Alzheimer addled advisor calling him "affirmative action Jackson," was there ever evidence that his race factored into how others judged him? I guess his appearance factors in somewhat -- he looks like a sort of non-threatening teddy bear.

But, his overall personality, including at times a sort of cluelessness (down to not realizing key information was leaked thanks to him though not intentionally on either side) seems to be why he isn't taken seriously. The goofy stuff like asking for a selfie, his books on tapes etc. also doesn't help. And, his education makes him helpful and competent (up to a point) NOW, but before, he repeatedly did not seem overly so from when Meyer had him as an assistant on. See, e.g., his failed attempt to fix the music in the data leak episode, Amy finding him very unhelpful, etc.

Posted by: Joe | May 9, 2016 10:38:26 AM

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