Burmese Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the US television drama “The West Wing” had given some former generals a view on how to govern in a democracy.
Clinton said that during her historic visit to Burma in December, “He said to me, 'Help us learn how to be a democratic congress, a Parliament.’ He went on to tell me that they were trying to teach themselves by watching old segments of “The West Wing.”
The remark drew polite laughter from the audience. The TV drama focused on wheeling dealing, and the art of negotiation and compromise in presidential-level politics. The show, widely available in video, won numerous awards prior to going off the air in 2006, while Burma’s junta was still in power.
Clinton recounted the anecdote during an event honoring Aung San Suu Kyi in Washington.