Tom Selleck stretches his dramatic range by playing a liberal Democrat in this comedy-drama satirizing the underside of party politics. Governor James Pryce (Tom Selleck) is a well-respected politician with a strong reformist streak who is a shoo-in for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, thanks to a well-run primary campaign organized by his manager Lauren Hartman (Laura Linney), and the savvy speechmaking and moral support of his wife Jenny (Nancy Travis). Now Pryce has to pick a vice-presidential candidate, which proves to be not all that simple. Senator Parker Gable (Robert Culp) helped give Pryce his start in politics, and his wife Meg (Faye Dunaway), a Queen Bee on the Washington social scene, has asked Pryce to consider Gable as VP. Pryce believes Gable would be the right man for the job, but he's well known to chase anything in a skirt, and Pryce thinks his nomination would be a scandal waiting to happen. Besides Gable, the two most likely choices for Pryce's running mate are Senator Mitchell Morris (Bruce McGill), whose strong links to a number of corporate benefactors make Pryce nervous, and Senator Terrence Randall (Bob Grunton), whose outspoken support of campaign finance reform does not sit well with Shawna Morgan (Teri Hatcher), the fundraising expert who has been filling Pryce's war chest. Running Mates was produced for the TNT cable network, where it first aired on August 13, 2000; Gerald Rafshoon, the film's executive producer, has an inside perspective on Washington wheelings and dealings, having served as White House director of communications under President Jimmy Carter.
by Mark Deming synopsis