The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 1, Episode 16 - 20 Hours in L.A. - full transcript

President Bartlet is making a whirlwind 20-hour trip to Los Angeles. On the flight he meets Zoey's new bodyguard, who assures him that she will protect his daughter from those who have been sending racist threats. Josh is excited to hear that Joey Lucas will be at the evening's fund raiser, but dismayed to learn that the host is threatening to cancel the party unless the President makes a public statement supporting gay rights. Back in Washington, Leo needs to convince Vice President Hoynes to break a 50-50 tie by voting for an ethanol gas tax.


- Do you ever get a night off?
- No, actually.

It'd be cool to go out.

She asked? I should have
locked her in the dungeon.

Are you the jackass choking funding
for O'Dwyer in California?

- What is happening right now?
- You idiot! I'm Joey Lucas!

- What did I do to you?
- You made me beg.

I asked you
to be vice president.

- I'm gonna up your protection.
- I'm starting college.

You'll have plenty of friends.

I don't like doing this to him.

I didn't want you to think
I was getting pleasure from this.

He knew the vote would be tight.

- It's ironic.
- Yeah.

It's ironic it all comes down
to a vote on the ethanol tax credit.

- 50-50 tie.
- I understand the irony.

- Are you being brusque?
- It's 3 a.m.

Don't blame me. That's what you get
from an even number of senators.

- Blame the Constitution.
- That's what I usually do.

Am I gonna meet her on the plane?

Zoey's got a new agent
on the detail.

Have you seen these agents?
They got the hair, the clothes...

...walking around campus strapped to
a.44 with a wire in their ear.

- Really blend in.
- You don't want them blending in.

You want them carrying a sign
that says "I'm carrying a loaded gun. "

- Can I say this one last time?
- No.

- If you get tired, stay at the hotel.
- I won't get tired.

You won't sleep on the plane
and you've got the fundraiser.

- I'm coming home after.
- That's a full day and night.

Plus, round trip D.C. to L.A. in 24
hours. That's really no good for you.

It'll be fine.

Be that way.

Your impersonation
of my mother is getting sharper.

Thank you.

Have a good flight.

- C.J., Charlie! My flying companions.
- Good morning, sir.

Everybody on board?

- Press in a good mood?
- I wouldn't say they were.

They're not wild about
taking off at 3 a.m.

We're gonna race the sun
to the Pacific horizon.

I'm sure that'll pick them right up.

It's 50-50 on the ethanol tax credit.

- I can still make calls.
- It's gonna be 50-50.

We'd like to talk about
the Al Kiefer meeting.

You two are so freaked out.

- We'll listen to him.
- Yes, sir.

Wanna see the best part
about having my job?

This is the president.
I'm ready to go.

- It's Clinique Daily Face Protector.
- SPF 15?

- I brought SPF 15 and 30.
- Have you tried the Lancome Sun Stick?

- No, did you bring it?
- Plus Elizabeth Arden moisturizer.

You understand
we'll be there one day?

- There's tanning time.
- I have alabaster skin.

Cameron's gonna introduce
a bill tomorrow.

Gays in the military?

- It's Cameron. Who cares?
- Ted Marcus might.

- He won't know.
- Might.

You don't know,
you'll get back to him.

- It's Cameron, so who cares?
- Marcus is gonna care.

You wanted to know
when he went to the cockpit.

This man has got to be stopped.

How you doing?

- I can't be attentive on this trip.
- It's okay, you're working.

I've been listening to you about
how to be a better boyfriend.

- I know attentiveness...
- This is one of the times it's okay.

It's hard to tell the difference.

- I know. Doesn't that suck for you?
- A little bit, yeah.

Don't be nervous.

Come on in.

Mr. President,
this is Special Agent Gina Toscano.

- How do you do?
- Mr. President.

- I'll step out.
- Thank you.

I'm sorry we haven't met before.

- You've been with Zoey, what?
- Two weeks.

From the Army?
How'd you get there?

- I was ROTC, University of Virginia.
- A Mountaineer.

That's West Virginia.
I'm a Cavalier.

- With a degree in...?
- Criminology.

- You were a lieutenant.
- With military police.

- How old are you?
- I'm 27, sir.

- How long have you trained?
- A year and a half.

- Were you the first one to sign up?
- Yes, sir.

All right.

You know Zoey's dating
my body man Charlie?

You know about the letters?
Are they white supremacists?

I can't say for sure. We're working
with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

You don't have artist sketches
or psychological profiles?

Not much of either one.

I know what I'm looking for in a
crowd, if that's what you're asking.

- It is.
- Yes, sir.

Zoey's 19, and she wants
to be a teenager.

She wants a college experience.
I loved college. So did my other kids.

I want her to be comfortable with you.
I don't want her trying to escape.

It's not your job to tell me
if she's cutting class...

...or dying her hair blue or going
to a club with her friends.

You know what your job is.

Yes, sir.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. President.

- Gina.
- Yes, sir?

If she's cutting class,
I wanna know.

- No deal, Mr. President.
- Okay.

We didn't say it enough.

Ethanol accounts for 20%
of Iowa's corn crops.

- The tax credit created...
- 16,000 new jobs.

- That's what we never said enough.
- Is it over?

Sam's been calling senators
for the last hour.

When my phone rings,
it'll be him saying it's over.

- At least we're gonna win.
- Yeah.

- Good morning.
- Good morning, Leo.

You need to sign this.

And this.

Where it says your name. You're not
the Belgian foreign minister.

- I said I was sorry.
- I'm not upset.

- I had to stay behind for this.
- Of course.

- There'll be other trips, Margaret.
- I know. There'll be other trips.

- Not to California.
- Yes, to California.

They've got 54 electoral votes.
We're not gonna be strangers.

Leo McGarry's office.
It's Sam.

Get the vice president over here.



We're landing soon.
I wanted to go over the itinerary.

At the moment we're on schedule.

The president will be met
by Congressmen Hark and Jansen...

...the mayor and city council.
Photos only, no formal remarks.

We'll depart at 6:20, at which point
I predict we won't be on schedule.

At the hotel, the president will get
his briefing, followed by staff time.

At 10 a.m. we'll leave for a meeting.
The president will hear a debate...

... on the proposal to amend the
Constitution to prohibit flag-burning.

At 3 p.m. we go to South Central for a
town hall meeting on school vouchers.

That takes us to the event
you've been waiting for...

... the fundraiser
at Ted Marcus ' home.

The press will wear coats and ties,
and stay in the press area...

... unless you've got $50,000
to look at the good stuff.

Welcome to Los Angeles.
Local time is 5:40 a.m.

The temperature's a balmy 73 degrees.

- Need help with your luggage?
- You're fine.

There were messages for you.

I've spent half my life
in hotels, and I can't...

- Levy.
- Later. This isn't for your room?

- It's for yours. Mandy.
- Later. You sure?

- Yes. The deputy whip.
- Later. There used to be keys.

Give me that.

You stuck it in, turned it,
you're through the door.

I loosened it.

- Dreyfus from political affairs.
- Later.

Joey Lucas.

- Really?
- Yeah.

- She called?
- Yes.

- She's here?
- In this hotel.

- She's in this hotel?
- She's at the fundraiser.


- Really? Why did she call?
- To say she'll be at the fundraiser.

- Really?
- Yes!

You've got a crush on her.
Do something...

- ...because you're bothering me.
- I don't care.

- Call her right now.
- I'll see her tonight.

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. "
Know what it means?

Gather now because later
you might not be able to.

"Interpreting the Classics"
with poet Donna Moss.

- Call her or stop bugging me.
- Let's call her.

- Really?
- Yeah. Let's do it.

Call her,
then we'll do everybody else.

I have alabaster skin, you know.

- Dial the phone.
- I'm just saying.

- Also, Ted Marcus called.
- What?

Ted Marcus called.

Hang on. Damn it.

Better call him first.

- Good morning.
- Beat me to the door.

Cameron introduced
his resolution this morning.

- I didn't know that.
- House Resolution 973.

- This is beautiful.
- Banning gays in the military.

- I was on a plane all night.
- It happened this morning.

- Studio chairman. Nice work.
- Let's not talk about my house.

What do you want to talk about?
Why'd you haul me out here?

You want to watch your tone. I'm
sending you home with $2.5 million.

What do I want to talk about?

Cameron's bill is a joke.
It's the House. It's procedure.

Know how many bills get introduced,
never get a vote?

That's it?
You came to me with that?

I came because you asked.
I've got a cab waiting.

- You're right.
- Don't worry about it.

- I'm being silly.
- It's nothing. See you later.

- The president's looking forward to it.
- Pack it up. The party's off.

I'm sorry, it's not gonna happen.

- The food and flowers?
- Give them to the guys.

- You're a bad bluffer.
- That's why I never do it.

- You won't cancel the fundraiser.
- I already did.

The president will eat room service
tonight. Your cab's waiting.

- That was abrupt. I apologize.
- Accepted.

- You can't cancel.
- Witness the loading of trucks.

This is ridiculous.
You'll be a joke to our people.

Disrespected by the Democrats?
What will I do with my $3 billion?

No one will pass a bill
banning gays in the military.

If the House and Senate passed it,
the president would never sign it.

- Okay?
- Fantabulous.

- You won't flake on me?
- We're fine.

- The party's on?
- You bet.

As soon as I hear the president
say what you said.

Tell me what time
I should be tuned to my TV...

- hear him say that.
- It won't happen.

Then we've got a problem.
Don't screw with me.

I've been president
longer than he has.

- The vice president.
- Thank you.

- Morning.
- Mr. Vice President.

- Still 50-50?
- That's how it'll stay.

- Sam talked to Huntington?
- He talked to him...

...he talked to Gianelli, Calley...

- ...Martinson and Rathburn.
- Recently?

This morning. Nobody's moving.

- It looked like it'd go this way.
- Not to me. I was surprised.

Well, I was in the Senate
with 94 of these guys.


The president needs you to fulfill
one of your constitutional duties...

...and vote for the tax credit.
We need you to break the tie.

He also asked me to tell you that he
regrets putting you in this position.

Get me off the hook.
You can't ask me to do this.

- I know how you feel.
- I don't think so.

I spent eight years in the Senate
voting against this tax credit.

I'm still right, but the point is...

16,000 new jobs. $4 billion
in plant and equipment...

...because the tax credit
made it economical.

This tax credit has accomplished
none of its goals.

Production is minimal. It will never
reduce dependence on foreign oil.

It requires energy to produce, which
washes out any conservation effect.

John, what's the point?

The Republicans will make me eat it
for dinner, and you know that.

So let's get serious.

Mr. President, I rise today
to say that the American flag... the most recognized symbol
in the world.

Wherever it stands,
it represents freedom.

Americans who served our nation
in war have carried it into battle.

They have been killed
for wearing it... it represents the most feared
power to tyranny. That is liberty.

Mr. President,
this is not a perfect nation.

But to the world, our flag
represents that which is right.

To Americans it represents...

...our national unity, our national
endeavor, our national aspiration....

I've just come from Ted Marcus'.

He's threatening to cancel unless
the president comes out against 973.

- It won't pass.
- I explained that.

- What did he say?
- He takes it seriously...

...and is distressed
by the president's silence.

He feels it's a betrayal
of the gay community...

...for him to be so publicly
supportive of the president.

It's not in his interest
for a statement to be made.

- It'll give credibility....
- Use those words.

A man of his media savvy will realize
the president can't be blackmailed.

And should the president choose not to
kowtow to Hollywood blah-blah-blah...'ll only solidify his public
reputation as a man of character.

Which buys more than
$2.5 million of support.

If he has the party, he gets
10 minutes alone with the president.

- I can sell that.
- Let's go back.

How's he doing?

He looks like he's thinking
about ways to kill himself.

It's disgraceful that individuals
would desecrate the flag...

...that our nation's veterans
have fought so valiantly to protect.

Mr. President, it's important
that we finally enact... protections for our flag.

I rise in strong support
for the flag desecration amendment.

I'm sorry, I've just been told
I have to go.

This is a debate
that is going to continue... town halls, city halls,
state legislatures...

...and the House of Representatives.

There is a group that focuses a great
deal of time and energy on this.

So much so that
I am moved to ask this question:

Is there an epidemic of flag-burning
that I'm not aware of?

I mean it, is there an outbreak
of flag desecration?

No, so let's blow off Kiefer.

- Don't feel threatened by Kiefer.
- I don't.

Excellent. We're doing it over lunch.
Back at the hotel.

Where's Zoey having lunch?

A place called the Playa Cantina.
She wanted an L.A. experience.

- Is it good?
- They make guacamole in front of you.

That's an L.A. experience?

- She meant the people.
- There won't be any.

You'll be joining her?
It'd be easier at the hotel.

The hotel wouldn't make
a guacamole in front of me.

- I need to talk about Marcus.
- In the car. Who's talking to Leo?

He's with the vice president.

- Sir, this lunch with Al Kiefer...
- Those people don't like me.

They haven't gotten to know you.

You'd think there was an epidemic
of flag-burning, endangering lives.

I'm having lunch with Zoey. Sit with
Kiefer, let me know when to listen.

- See you there.
- I'm not in the car?

No, you made fun of the guacamole.
You were thinking it.

- Fair enough.
- Good.

- I can't believe you did this.
- Surprised you.

I wanted to eat lunch with L.A. people.
I wanted atmosphere.

- They cleared out the place.
- But the guy made guacamole.

- This is fun.
- I was having fun...

...but you come within 100 meters,
and my protection quadruples.

I hadn't thought about that.

Now that you mention it,
yeah, I think you're right.

- It is.
- Is somebody after me in California?

All kinds of things. You've got smog,
freeway shootings, fires, mudslides.

Plus, apparently there is
a mad rash of flag-burning going on.

- You think you're funny.
- Right there, they made the guacamole.

On flag-burning, it's obvious.
If he says nothing, he takes a hit.

If he stands in opposition to it,
update your resumes.

- I don't buy that.
- People respect a man with beliefs.

You are looking at this the wrong way.

Don't play defense. Lead the charge.

- You said we couldn't.
- I didn't.

You said if we opposed it vocally,
we'd take a hit.

Right. I'm saying
don't stay quiet, and don't oppose it.

Lead the charge the other way.


Has Al said something
I should listen to yet?

We'll let you know.

Do you want to sew up
re-election right now?

Want to lock down
your second term in this room?

- What do you got?
- A truckload of voters.

About 47 percent.
Overwhelmingly white men.

Pool and patio types who voted
against you by 20-plus points.

They share an affinity to authority,
a president.

They see you as smart, with vision.
Why didn't they vote for you?

Because they also see you as a wimp.

- Two-thirds rate you as "weak. "
- We've heard these numbers.

I never get tired of hearing them,
especially in front of my daughter.

I know this is not a popular idea.
But I've got numbers and I trust them.

The reason you all look pale is,
so do you. This is not theoretical.

The flag-burning amendment made it
through the House easily.

It hasn't made it through the Senate
yet, but that day will come soon.

Laws against flag-burning
are overwhelmingly favored.

A constitutional amendment won't
be subject to a presidential veto...

...or overturning by the Supreme
Court. This means one thing:

It's over! The game's
been played and won.

You know the results early, so you
get to pick which side to be on.

Not only do we get
to be on the winning team...

...we get to lead
the winning team.

Excuse me.

- Toby, you're smiling.
- I just figured out who you were.

- He's gonna say Satan.
- No.

You're the guy who runs into
the 7-Eleven to get Satan cigarettes.

- Mr. President.
- Yeah.

- We'll talk about this later.
- We will?

Eagle's moving.

- Mr. President...
- Men with patios think I'm weak.

I won't mention the 49 times
we asked you not to meet him.

Was that Marcus on the phone?

We sold him on 10 minutes
in a room with you. Ten minutes.

I used to like parties.

I just wanted a regular lunch,
in a restaurant with people.

- Dad sees danger behind curtains.
- Walk on the other side of me, okay?

Let's get in the car, okay?

Look at this house!

- I mean, look at it.
- It's a nice house.

You haven't said anything
about my dress.

You look very nice.

- You're not looking.
- I'm looking at the house.

Let me introduce myself. Mark Miller,
head of development at Paragon.

Good to meet you. Does my money
buy me a few words alone with you?

Throw in chocolates and nylons,
get you more than that.

- Sure.
- I'll be at the bar drinking a lot...

- ...if anybody wants me.
- Nobody will.

- I'll come right out. I'm a big fan.
- Thank you.

There's a place for you
in our company. In development.

- What?
- Development of projects.

- What's that mean?
- You'd develop feature projects.

Movies? You don't want me.
You want Toby or Sam.

- I'm not a writer. I can't act.
- You'd just be in development.

- And what's that?
- Shepherding, developing projects.

I thought a guy writes a movie
and a guy directs a movie.

And in between there are
designers and technicians and actors.

- So tell me what I'd do again.
- Development.

At the moment I have a good job
and I understand what it is.

I sure appreciate... Sam!
Would you excuse me, Mark?

I'm sorry. I've gotta talk to Sam
about a thing the president wants...

Pretend you're talking to me.
Walk me outside.

Did he offer you a development deal?
Me too.

Do you know what it is?
Me neither.

The bedrock principle
of the First Amendment... that government cannot prohibit
expression because it's disagreeable.

Justice Brennan for the majority.

I'm a real fan, David. It's not just
Baywatch and Knight Rider with me.

Thank you.

Nick Fury, Panic at Malibu Pier,
The Cartier Affair, Pleasure Cove.

Excuse us.

- He's into me.
- You're scaring guests. He's married.

- It's California. A girl can dream.
- Stop drinking.

Matt Perry right there. Goodbye.

- Josh!
- I know that voice.

How long was it gonna take
for you to say hello to me?

I got your message this morning,
but I've been running around.

I didn't see you until now.

I saw you.

Well, then you should
have said hello to me.

- You looked absorbed in conversations.
- I can assure you I was not.

- Well then.
- Well then, what?

- Hello.
- Hello!

- We're just here for the day...
- Josh, we gotta talk.

Can you not...?

- Don't leave the party, okay?
- Okay.

I know we've had our ups and downs,
but let me be your guy for a second.

You can't be the first vice president
to break a tie going the other way.

- I'm not looking to make history.
- You're gonna get ink either way.

I know. It eats at you that there's
friction between you and my staff.

You think they don't respect you,
and they do.

They don't trust you.
Neither does the president.

I know that's blunt, but I convinced
him to put you on the ticket.

And I'm gonna be standing here
when you make history.

Allow for the possibility that my
motives might not always be sinister.

You and your staff are remarkably
smug. Frankly, so is the president.

The fact you think I care
if there's friction is proof of that.

You won't set foot in the west wing,
you won't be on the ticket next time.

Leo, I think you guys set me up.

You think the president could arrange
for a 50-50 tie in the Senate?

I think the president can do
whatever he wants.

You're wrong.

- Where's the president?
- At Ted Marcus' fundraiser.

I think it's time for you to call him.

Give me a reason not to fire him.

When you run out of reasons, remember
you can't fire the vice president.

I can ask for his resignation.

I gotta tell you something
you won't like.

- What?
- He's right and we're wrong.

- About what?
-About the ethanol tax.

- Leo's right.
- Sam's weighing in.

I got McCambridge, Aiello
and Dane to vote our way.

Send them back. We lose, and
the vice president's off the hook.

Let's do that.

I'm not done with Hoynes,
but dump it.

- The thing about the vice president...
- I'll call him from the plane.

Craziest thing I've ever heard.

- Jay, you can't drive all those cars.
- Not all at once.

I know not all at once.

- Claudia Jean, this is Veronica Webb.
- Pleasure to meet you.

- Can I talk to you?
- Sure. Excuse me.

The president appreciates
your laying off Leo McGarry.

- It hasn't gone unnoticed.
- You give me material every night.

- Well, if there's anything I can do.
- You know what would be great?

Get the president
to drive his bike into a tree again.

It's my bread and butter.
It's what I live on.

You're very funny.
How does she look like that?

Clean living. Prayer.

Gotta go.

Sorry, I gotta talk to Sam.
Pretend you're talking to me again.

- Let's use code names.
- Where's Josh?

Talking to that woman. Maybe they're
just pretending to be talking.


- Wanna know what we did for lunch?
- What?

We met a pollster who said
we could sew up re-election...

...if the president favored
a flag-burning amendment.

- I heard.
- How?

I hear everything.

It was a stupid joke.
I don't get a sympathy laugh?

Seriously, this guy
had some pretty scary numbers.

Josh, I just made
a three-picture deal.

- A deal to do what?
- It doesn't seem to matter.

This is Joey Lucas
and her assistant.

You're running
O'Dwyer's campaign in the 46th.

I know who you are.

I was telling her
about Kiefer's numbers.

I've seen those numbers.
We share polling data.

- And?
- Kiefer asked the wrong questions.

His poll said 80% favored
a flag-burning amendment.

The same percentage favors
sending litterbugs to prison.

- He never asked how much they care.
- Please say that you did.

- How good do I look to you right now?
- That depends on the numbers.


Less than half of those in favor rated
the issue "fairly" or "very important. "

12%, less than a third,
said the issue would swing their vote.

The only place this war
is being fought is in Washington.

You're looking
very good to me right now.

I thought so.

- Good to meet you.
- Pleasure.

Nice meeting you.

You have any idea how big
you just scored with Toby and Sam?

- But still....
- What?

If the president talks about this,
he should say people shouldn't do it.

It's a form of protest that,
for a lot of people, is troubling.

- Your poll says that?
- I do. So do a lot of people.

Vox populi vox Dei.

- The voice of the people is a dog.
- The voice of God.

- I came here with someone.
- I'm sorry?

I came here with someone.

I should go. I have to go.

Wait. Will you call me
next time you come out here?


I will call in advance of my coming.

It was really good to see you.

You too.

I don't need to tell you
that I've got a large microphone...

...and I'm gonna demand you announce
you'll veto Cameron's bill.

It won't pass.
It won't get voted on.

I'm saying, as a gesture.
As a symbol.

As a gesture, as a symbol, demand that
and you'll be Cameron's friend.

The people in my house want this.

They're complaining that
you take money without listening.

Give me the name
of one person who's complaining.

I'll call personally and say
I'll never sign a law like that.

- Then why won't you say that...
- Ted.

- Why won't you say that publicly?
- Because I know what I'm doing!

I live in the world
of professional politics...

...and you live in the world
of adolescent tantrum!

Don't you ever
slap Josh Lyman around again.

He's the deputy chief of staff.
He's not some associate producer.

- You're right.
- Don't screw with me.

- You're right.
- Right this second...

...the worst thing that could happen
would be to put that up for debate...

...which happens as soon as
I open my mouth. Get it?

I'm a human starting gun!

- Trust me. I know what I'm doing.
- I do trust you. I do.

And I like you too.

Thank you.

Have you enjoyed yourself tonight?


Me neither.

If you don't mind my saying... look more tired than you did
a couple of months ago.

Imagine how tired I'm gonna look
a couple of months from now.

I haven't slept well lately.

Kept everyone up
on the plane on the way out.

You know, we left at 3 in the morning.

I really want to try
to sleep on the way back.

- That was it?
- Yeah.

- Because she was with somebody?
- She was with somebody.

- She's with somebody.
- She could've just said that.

- Why would she have been saying that?
- For the allure.

- Go see her.
- It's 1:00 a.m.

Knock on her door.

I'm not gonna knock on her door
at 1 a.m.

You had to see her once more
before you left...

...because God knows
what fate awaits you there.

- Are you okay?
- Gather ye rosebuds.

I am not gonna knock on her door.

Were you just clucking?
Was that what that was?

I don't have her room number.

Yes, you do. Phone message!

First of all, don't do
that anymore. "Phone message! "


Tell them I'll be down in one minute.

- How's she gonna know I'm knocking?
- There's a button. A light flashes.

I'll be there in a minute.

- What can I do for you?
- You know, I got the wrong room.

I don't think so.
You looking for Joey?

- Yeah.
- She's right here.

No, I'm not.
I was stopping to say goodbye.

- Don't bother.
- Who's there?

I wanted to say goodbye.
We're taking off.


Thank you for talking to us tonight.
That was helpful.

She said goodbye.

I know.


Anyway, Mr. Vice President,
it's taken care of.

- We can put it to rest.
-Thank you.

- You're welcome. Bye.
-Good night.

- Wait. John?
-Yes, sir?

I wanna tell you,
a couple of years ago in Iowa...

...I admired the way you hung in there
on the ethanol tax credit.

You said what you'd been saying
for eight years...

...even though you knew
it wasn't gonna play.

My confession is, you and I agree on
ethanol, but only you said it.

You stood in there even though
you knew you were gonna lose Iowa.


...I just wanted to say... had a good day today.

Thank you, Mr. President.

I'm gonna try to sleep now.

Good night. See you in the morning.