Rob Medich
May 03, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

On TV, the Democratic primary race is already on: Martin Sheen’s Josiah Bartlet is seeking reelection on The West Wing, and Dennis Haysbert’s David Palmer is gunning for the gig on 24. Here’s how they stack up. — Rob Medich


President, former governor and economics prof, Nobel Prize winner

Issues Supports family wellness act; opposes guns, estate tax, and Big Tobacco

Scandal First Lady (Stockard Channing) helped cover up his multiple sclerosis

Fowl Play Called the Butterball Hotline from the Oval Office

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ”Effective at the lectern,” says TIME White House correspondent Jay Carney, but ”too pure to be believed”


Senator, former House Ethics Committee chairman, attorney

ISSUES Supports balanced budget amendment; opposes campaign finance reform

SCANDAL Wife (Penny Johnson Jerald) helped cover up their son’s role in death of his sister’s rapist

FOWL PLAY Authorized a covert Kosovo mission that turned out to be a turkey

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM Not ”polished by consultants,” notes Carney, but seems ”detached and anxiety-ridden”

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