The latest idea for a real-life cameo on the CBS drama “The Good Wife” — former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — has been nixed before it even got anywhere. The Golden Globe-nominated drama has had public figures occasionally appear as themselves, including Vernon Jordan, Lou Dobbs and Joe Trippi.
Producers of the show said Friday they were writing an episode with a role for Rumsfeld, who was the defense secretary in George W. Bush and Gerald Ford’s administrations.
Robert King, who produces the show with his wife Michelle, said he wanted Rumsfeld to appear as a witness in a lawsuit, testifying about why aggressive interrogation techniques like water-boarding are sometimes needed during wartime.
“It’s an episode about moral relativism about what is considered torture and what is not,” Robert King said.
But Keith Urbahn, who works for the former defense secretary, said the idea rules Rumsfeld out.
“This area is so fraught with legal ramifications,” Urbahn said. “I don’t think people would take kindly to us doing a fictional play on it. It’s sort of a nonstarter because of the subject.”
Rumsfeld would likely be willing to look at a script if it were another subject matter, he said.
Rumsfeld, who was defense secretary during the first six years of Bush’s eight in office, has kept largely out of sight since retiring. He is writing his memoir, and will emerge with its release in a few weeks and an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
King said he hadn’t asked Rumsfeld yet. If Rumsfeld didn’t appear, the episode would have a fictional character, he said.
Jordan’s cameo was the most high-profile. In one episode, he tried to make an unfriendly takeover of lead character Julianna Margulies’ law firm. In another, he was a guest at a legal gala.
“The Good Wife,” in its second season, is the only Golden Globes’ best drama nominees to be aired on a broadcast network.
Margulies said the show’s quality is becoming a role model.
“The show definitely allows other network shows at the 10 o’clock hour to be more daring and different and take more chances on substantive material,” she said.