Earlier this week we wrote that unlike Carla Bruni, Michelle Obama could never appear in a Woody Allen film. But apparently, Jill Biden can be on a TV drama series — as long as she plays "Jill Biden." In her episode of Army Wives, "Biden" visits the fictional Fort Marshall, where she says things like, "Although only 1 percent of Americans are fighting our wars today, we need 100 percent of Americans to support them and their families." Things that, the AP points out, "sound a lot like those the second lady speaks in real life: She's traveled extensively to support the cause of military families." Also, though the episode doesn't air til August, it was screened yesterday at a real fort, with the real Jill Biden in attendance. Isn't this all a little eerie?
It's not so shocking when public figures appear on reality series (like, say, when Sen. Mark Warner was a judge on Top Chef). But for the second lady to show up on a scripted drama series as herself would be like a real politician showing up on The West Wing — something creator Aaron Sorkin actually vetoed in 2000. Apparently an operative with George W. Bush's primary campaign asked Sorkin if W. could appear "as a pizza delivery guy or something," but Sorkin nixed the idea. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2001 that he even felt bad about an episode that featured a cameo by Jay Leno, explaining,
There was this party scene by the pool and Jay Leno's there and a bunch of other people, and I felt uncomfortable about that. The reason why is that I feel like in a world where there is Jay Leno, Bill Clinton is the president of the United States and we immediately know that. Moreover, for Jay Leno to do a scene with C.J. Cregg a week after Allison Janney was on The Tonight Show, it's a strange line that's a little bit difficult.
Sorkin's right — it's a well-known fact that real people appearing on fictional programs causes rifts in the space-time continuum. So if you wake up on August 9 with a scar and a pencil mustache and an urge to have sex with people you previously hated, you'll have "Jill Biden" to thank.
Related: 'West Wing' Creator Vetoed A Bush Cameo [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]