LIFE IMITATING ART…. With Joe Biden joining the Democratic ticket, the race is on … for the perfect analogy. The media seems to have settled on Biden taking on a role similar to that of the current vice president. “Is Biden the new Cheney?” seems to be a very common question this morning.

But as silly as this may sound, the first name that came to my mind wasn’t Cheney, it was McGarry. As in Leo McGarry.

Everyone remembers the seventh season of “The West Wing,” right? A young, charismatic, relatively inexperienced member of Congress, who happens to be part of a minority group, endures through a lengthy and contentious Democratic primary season, and defies the odds against a better known and better tested party favorite to win the nomination. Waiting for him is an older Republican senator from out west, who’s occasionally rankled various constituencies in his own party.

Ring a bell?

And what, pray tell, does the captivating Democratic candidate do when it comes time to pick a running mate? He chooses an older member of the party establishment, with a background in foreign policy, who helps bring heft to the ticket.

Sure, the parallels are far from exact, but am I the only one who thought of this?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.