Farragut North: Politics hasn’t changed since the Dark Ages

Idealism to cynicism in one short election.

Idealism to cynicism in one short election.

The script of Farragut North. A political drama that sprung from the mind of a staffer for Howard Dean and Chuck Schumer, but could apply to any politician of almost any age. It is a reminder that a person’s political success can depend on any number of things, and that those things haven’t changed in hundreds of years.

What will kill a political candidate’s campaign? Scandal.

Farragut North is the story of Stephen Bellamy, a young press secretary for a Democratic presidential candidate during the Dems’ primaries. His first mistake? Sleeping with an intern on the campaign. His second? Taking a meeting with the opposing candidate’s campaign manager. Sound like JFK and Benedict Arnold to anyone else?

It’s really a classic formula for a downfall. Barring pissing off everyone that your work with (looking at you, Caesar) and committing a major crime, the worst things you can do are collude with the enemy and let your member loose. It’s all about creating dirt that someone can dig up on you.

Ironically, while creating his own dirt (the meeting with the opposing campaign manager cost him his job), Stephen discovers that his immediate superior also slept with the aforementioned intern and ultimately uses it to discredit him. That’s the other part of politics. Backstabbing. Whose back to stab and when is it most profitable for you to do so.

Isaac Spooner

Willimon, Beau. Farragut North. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2009. Print.


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