Uncategorized | 8:32 am | January 6, 2008 | By Thomas Kaplan

When life imitates art

ROUTE 101, N.H., 8:32 a.m. — In the last season of The West Wing, Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick saw his campaign crash and burn after a nuclear power plant he pushed to build in his home state came close to a meltdown. His opponent, Democratic Congressman Matthew Santos, soared in the polls as Vinick was assailed for his support of dangerous, scary nuclear power.

Apparently some clever real-life politico thought that a pretty nifty idea. I caught an ad on the radio this morning from a 527 group that urged voters to spurn any presidential candidate who supports nuclear power.

You see, there’s a big nuclear power plant in Seabrook, N.H. — my hotel lists it as the No. 2 top attraction in the town — and there’s apparently been some talk about adding a second reactor to that plant. The advertisement, with fear-inducing music, warned voters that nuclear power plants will be attacked by terrorists, melt down, etc. and kill you and your children.

I don’t know the candidates’ positions on nuclear power, and I don’t care enough to look them up. But, in The West Wing, at least, Representative Santos won the election.

— Thomas Kaplan

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