What Politicians Does HBO’s ‘Veep’ Make Fun of the Most?
With Veep kicking off its seventh and final season Sunday on HBO, it’ll soon be time for fans to say their goodbyes. Given the Arrested Development-level quality of the show’s writing and cast, we’ll definitely be among those who miss it when it goes off the air.
One of the great things about Veep is how it managed to stay in politics so many years without getting partisan. We never learn the party of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character Selina Meyer, and it doesn’t matter in the slightest.
Just like in D.C., money and ambition dominate the action on Veep more than the platforms of either party. As a result, the show has been able to skewer the habits and style of all politicians.
Still, there have been times when it was obvious whom the writers are targeting. Though the show always spread the love around, it couldn’t help focusing on the Clintons.
The Amy Klobuchar joke and unintentional Trump references
When you look back at Veep’s treatment of the Families First bill and other examples of politics getting in the way of progress, D.C. insiders can surely supply a matching reference. Apparently, many can also match Selina’s treatment of her staff to the way certain elected officials handle things.
Take the case of Amy Klobuchar, the senator from Minnesota whose announcement of a 2020 run has prompted minimal enthusiasm. When Klobuchar said she was running, the media began publishing stories from former staffers who described her as a terror on the job.
In one case, there was a rumor that Klobuchar had an aide shave her legs for her. That immediately recalled a moment from Season Six of Veep.
The show’s writers later confirmed to Slate that they included the joke based on stories they’d heard about Klobuchar. However, the many jokes that seemed to reference the Trump administration were simply accidental. (Veep had completed writing and begun filming before the 2016 election.)
So if you’re looking for a direct reference to Trump forgetting to sign executive orders or bumbling his way through trips abroad, you’ll have to ask the president.
The ‘Veep’ take on all things Hillary Clinton
If there is one political figure who Veep skewered the most over the years, it would have to be Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, senator from New York, and Secretary of State. Just looking at Clinton’s resume and the length of time she spent in the public eye would explain why.
Also, how many women have run for president and won the nomination besides Clinton? So that’s been a fact of life for Veep writers. A Washington Post piece from 2015 highlighted several examples of Clinton-isms making their way into the show.
Simple things like Selina’s decision to get her hair cut short and the “Bill Clinton thumb” were easy to include. Likewise, when creator Armando Iannucci discussed the role of Selina’s daughter, he told the actress playing her (Sarah Sutherland) to watch footage of Chelsea Clinton’s appearances.
Indeed, the resemblance between Catherine and Chelsea Clinton is no accident. (Neither, we’d wager, is the character of Selina’s philandering husband Andrew.)
With Veep’s writers knowing this season would be the last, it will be interesting to see how far they went — and whether we’ll get any references to the current folks in charge.
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