December 28th, 2007
12:46 PM ET
10 years ago

Richardson to hit the trail with a 'former president'

Martin Sheen, aka former President Josiah Bartlet, is hitting the trail with Richardson.

Martin Sheen, AKA former President Josiah Bartlet, is hitting the trail with Richardson.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton isn't the only White House hopeful to barnstorm Iowa with a former president this year.

Former TV President Josiah Bartlet, also known as actor Martin Sheen, is set to hit the trail with Bill Richardson this weekend. Sheen announced his support for Richardson earlier this month, hailing the New Mexico governor as "ready for prime time."

Sheen is no stranger to the White House - at least, not the Hollywood version. He has played the President of the United States at least four times: in addition to his run on The West Wing, Sheen played the commander-in-chief in the 1983 mini-series Kennedy, the 1987 TV movie Medusa's Child, and the 1983 movie The Dead Zone.

"I am looking forward to Martin showing me around the White House, and I hope I can serve as many terms in the White House as his characters have," said Richardson.

But it's unclear whether Sheen's endorsement will pay off at the polls. In 2004, when he was a TV "sitting president," Sheen campaigned for Howard Dean - the onetime Democratic frontrunner whose campaign quickly fizzled when the primary season began.

UPDATE: More than one member of the Bartlet administration is set to campaign in Iowa this weekend. Richard Schiff, Bartlet's hardened Communications Director Toby Ziegler on the show, will campaign with Democrat Joe Biden, the Delaware senator's campaign announced.

“The West Wing inspired its audience to seek the kind of presidential leadership that is based on experience, judgment, wisdom, and conscience,” Schiff said.

"Iowa, and America, need Joe Biden because he is ready to lead from Day One and in the high-stakes world we live in, there are no re-takes.”

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iowa • Joe Biden
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. David B, Los Angeles

    I think you have your facts wrong, John King. Bill Richardson neither arrested or falsely imprisoned Wen Ho Lee. As Secretary of Energy, he did fire Mr. Lee for a security breach. Termination of employment is a far cry from imprisonment. It was the FBI, under Attorney General Janet Reno and President Bill Clinton, who imprisoned Wen Ho Lee; where he was mis-treated and not given basic rights afforded most prisoners.

    At his SENTENCING HEARING, the judge apologized for the mistreatment. Did you read that? Wen Ho Lee PLEAD GUILTY to a federal offense. Where is the false arrest? Hard to claim false arrest when you plead guilty to an offense in which you were arrested. Mistreated? YES! Denied rights? YES! Falsely arrested? NO!!! Arrested by Bill Richardson? NO! Fired by Bill Richardson? Yes!

    December 28, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Roger Aurora, Illinois

    yes, being the choice of martin sheen is the reason he shouldn't be your choice. I can't believe it's petty differences like that that you need to find reason why BR isn't a phenominal candidate. Face it, you were never going to vote for him, most of you haters are just looking for a reason why. BR can't be swift boated. he can't be cornered on poor character. He's made mistakes, but he's the first to acknowledge and apologize, point in case when he talked about school vouchers or the inappropriate 'maricon' comment. he's an honest average guy when it comes to that sort of thing.

    And I'm troubled by how compedative Biden and Richardson have gotten. I really think they're both sides of the same fantastic coin.

    December 29, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  3. Kevin, San Francisco, CA

    Where was Clinton and Edwards when Sheen passed that universal healthcare bill on TV? Hmm? Where was Obama when Sheen called for a tactical strike on terrorist training sites in the Oval Office stage set? This is a huge endorsement for Richards from a former fictional president with real, fictional experience.

    December 29, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  4. mark wilkes barre pa

    Martin Sheen = end of the line for richardson

    December 29, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  5. Julie in VT

    Bill Richardson, 6 time Nobel Peace Prize nominee (he just recently got his 6th nomination) out-qualifies ALL other candidates on either side. He's a governor, former ambassador, congressman, energy secretary and successful negotiator with some to the worst of the worst on the world stage. If you need to know more about this man, go to his website: Please don't let the media choose our nominee again!

    December 29, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. curtis

    where all the white people that complained Oprah and Obama were racist because he was black. Looks like another celebrity endorsement to me I wonder could it be that Seen and Richardson share some mathching political veiws. We may never know......

    December 29, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. mary in NYC

    Check out and then try to figure out why someone with
    Senator Biden's experience, intellect and heart isn't in the top tier of candidates. We can thank a supine media for relentlessly feeding us the line that the only true
    candidates in the race are Clinton/Obama/Edwards. Along with government reform, we need some reform in journalism. Then, perhaps, we might try re-introducing civics into the classroom.

    December 30, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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