Television Top Trumps - Will Bailey vs David Rosen

Joshua Malina is an actor who seemingly can’t stay away from Washington. Or from sound stages pretending to be Washington, anyway. After replacing Rob Lowe and his magnificent jawline in the communications office of The West Wing, young Joshua took up the role of legal crusader David Rosen in the utterly insane Scandal. But which idealistic Washington insider has the bigger white hat? (No, that’s not a euphemism. Really.)

Route to Washington

Will: Plucked from obscurity by Rob Lowe’s character Sam Seaborn on a trip to California. Will’s just so damn idealistic and so damn good with those there words. He’s just what the West Wing needs, now that they’ve lost their bright young thing. And his jawline. 8/10

David: We first encounter Mr Rosen when he’s already in Washington, as an Assistant State’s Attorney. So we can only assume he got there based on merit. How boring. 4/10

Impractical idealism

Will: Persists in running a dead man’s campaign because ideas are so terribly important. But then decides to back a veritable moron in cowboy boots, because he thinks he’s the Democrats’ best chance of winning. Which isn’t all that idealistic at all, really. 5/10

David: David has morals. Oh so many morals. And oh such a deep belief in justice. And yet he still hangs around with a bunch of miscreants who have no problem breaking all sorts of laws. Because they’re Doing The Right Thing, y’see. Anything is justifiable, so long as you’re Doing The Right Thing. 8/10

Difficult co-workers

Will: His arrival brings trouble from various co-workers who just aren’t too pleased with him. Like all of the staff writers at the White House, who all quit at once when he’s appointed Deputy Director. And Communications Director Toby Ziegler, who is not as impressed by Will’s jawline and writing as he had been by Sam’s. Basically, Will has problems with people who work for him. And who he works for. Sounds simple. 7/10

David: Employees are the least of David’s problems. He’s teamed up with assassins, and lunatics, and the actually really rather inept president Fitz who can’t seem to stop pining after Olivia long enough to run a country. And his trusty PA turns out to be out to kill him. Nothing like a bit of murder in the workplace. 9/10

Evil enemy

Will: Theoretically, Will makes an enemy of Josh Lyman when they run opposing presidential campaigns. But we can’t bear to see Josh described as evil, so we’ll go with “misunderstood opponent” on this one. 2/10

David: Remember those assassins? Well they’ve come from an evil, secret organisation that exists pretty much just to do some sneaky murdering of terribly important people. And David thinks they’re probably good people to take on. Because obviously geeky lawyers beat trained killers all the time. 10/10

Improbable career trajectory

Will: Goes from an obscure campaign to the communications office of the White House to being the Vice President’s chief of staff, to being a congressman. We’ve seen more ridiculous things happen in Washington, but Will does get about a bit, and does it pretty speedily. 8/10

David: Is assistant DA. Then teaches at community college. Then becomes Attorney General. Because that kind of thing happens all the time. Totally reasonable. 9/10


Will: Has a charmingly awkward fling with security adviser Kate Harper. At least, we think it’s a fling, because The West Wing writers forgot to tell us what actually became of them. Still, they were lovely and mostly functional for a while there. 10/10

David: Has a mildly terrifying fling with Abby, Olivia Pope’s trusty sidekick. There’s secrets and sneaking around and false accusations and a bit of light stalking. Everyone’s dream romance. At least, everyone’s dream if they live in the ridiculous world of Scandal. 3/10

The verdict

David’s score of 43 beats Will’s 40, because solid adherence to your own principles in the face of repeated murder attempts is what really gets you ahead in Washington, it seems.

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