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And they granted me both things very happily."On the presidents he drew his inspiration from:"In this order: John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- all Democrats, of course." (laughing)On the critically acclaimed season two finale, 'Two Cathedrals,' in which Bartlet deals with the aftermath of his longtime secretary's death as well as the public disclosure that he had multiple sclerosis:"There was loss, and there was possibility."On whether he thought the show resonated across party lines:"Absolutely, yeah, I do indeed.I think it gave the American people a sense of pride and true patriotism.In just a few weeks, Americans will go to the polls to vote in another election held in a polarized political environment.15 years ago, though, the country first glimpsed a different kind of Washington -- albeit a fictional one. 22, 1999, and showcased a president and White House staff that, while partisan, embodied much of what Americans of all sides want in politics.
You don't have all the information about this person when you're playing a scene in the first season. You discover it as you go along, which is the fun of it.""I knew it was that kind of episode that was going to be very emotional, very high-stakes.
And the danger when you hear that is that you're going to have a letdown when you read it.
On his original commitment to the show: "I was asked to sign on for four to maybe five episodes of the first 22, including the pilot ...
On what he asked for before joining the show as a regular:"I only asked two things: that the president be Catholic, and that he have a Notre Dame degree.
Yet, his portrayal of Jed Bartlet would ultimately lead to six Emmy nominations.
He said during the interview that if the show had continued he would've been interested in staying on in a more limited role as an active former president.