The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 10 - Bartlet for America - full transcript

In an episode dotted with flashbacks, Leo and his attorney Jordon Kendall (Joanna Gleason) face a Congressional inquiry into whether the president lied to the American people regarding his MS, but this particular day of hearings concerns itself more with Abby and her secretly medicating Jed, and later with Leo's having fallen off the wagon during the campaign (a politically motivated Republican rep on the committee witnessed Leo drunk in his room three days before the nomination); we see the meeting in which Leo talked N.H. Governor Bartlet into running for president, introducing his idea, "Bartlet for America", on a cocktail napkin, which the president later frames and returns to Leo as a gift in thanks for all he's done for the president over the years; Cliff Calley, Donna's boyfriend and special counsel to the judicial oversight committee, asks the committee chair to halt the inquiry before the rep can compel Leo to admit his personal transgression; Leo asks Jordon to Xmas Eve dinner.

Previously on The West Wing:

This is my last week
working for Ways and Means.

- Really?
- I've been traded.

- To where?
- House Government Oversight.

We need to be investigated by someone
who wants to kill us to watch us die.

We need someone perceived
by Americans as irresponsible...

...untrustworthy, partisan, ambitious
and thirsty for the limelight.

Am I crazy, or is this not a job
for the U.S. House of Representatives?

Mike, come on in.

- I was on the other side.
- Yeah. Margaret, could you...?


- Lot of people up there.
- Yeah. Listen.

- There were more threats?
- Seven churches in Tennessee counties.

How many guys on the ground?

We've got 25,
and ATF is sending in a team.

- Has the governor been briefed?
- Right now.

Right, listen, I gotta be here.
I'm stuck with this thing.

- Will you stay with Josh today?
- Yeah.

- Josh.
- And can you do me a favor?

Get me a secure phone hookup
so I can monitor this. I got the cell.

- Good luck today.
- Go. Josh.

Threats were made in Tennessee
this morning.

Mike Casper was just here.
He's with you today.

- Good.
- You'll be all right?

- Because I gotta be here all day.

- It's gonna take all day.
- Yeah. Keep your head there.

Would you? Don't call
during every break and check in.

- Keep your head there.
- I keep it where I want.

- Yeah.

-There are ways.
- Don't start again.

There are ways to get him
out of the room.

I'll keep my head here.
You keep your head there.

I did this for a living.
He gets the floor five minutes.

-I can get him out.
- Don't help me.

- I'm gonna help. Know why?
-You walk around...

...with guilt about everybody you love
dying, so you're a compulsive fixer?

No. It's because a guy's walking
down the street...

...and he falls into a hole, see?

- Yeah.

It's my day, Josh.
I gotta take the hit.

- I'll see you.

- I love tomato juice.
- They're waiting for us, Leo.

- They can wait.
- They can't.

Yeah, they really can.
Seven new threats on black churches.

The governor's coming up.

We might have to federalize
the Tennessee National Guard.

That's just the stuff I know about
that's gonna happen.

And here I am today.

- You shouldn't be nervous.
- I swear to God, Jordan...

...the last thing I am right now
is nervous.

Let's go.

- There he is.
- There we go.

Did I win a Grammy for something?

- Were you nominated?
- No.

- That's ridiculous.
- Well, those things are so political.

Leo, is there something
you haven't told me?

There's lots of things
I haven't told you.

About today?

Good morning.

- Leo.
- He can't take any calls now.

It's the president.

-Good morning, sir.
- I don't care much about your ass...

...but if you need to perjure yourself
to protect me, you do it.

Sir, this isn 't a secure call.

So I'm gonna say to the 17 global
intelligence agencies listening in...

... he was kidding just then.

Whatever it is Josh does,
you let him do it.

-I don 't need Josh...
- Yeah, yeah.

- How does she look to you?


-She looks good.
- What's she wearing?

-What are you wearing?
-What does it matter?

-Why don 't you ask the president that?
-Gray Armani suit.

- I like you and her.

- It's like a '50s screwball comedy.
-You're like a '50s screwball.

- What was that?
- Nothing.

We should do gifts and charitable
donations tomorrow night.

-I'm not doing anything tomorrow night.
- What's tomorrow night?

- It's Christmas Eve.
-I forgot.

-And you don 't work then, right?
- Yeah, actually, nobody does.

The governor's gonna be there at noon,
but I'll be talking to you before then.

You got about 1000 people
in this building standing with you now.

I'll be back when I'm done.


Leo, what's going on?

Will the first witness rise,
raise your right hand to God...

...and swear the oath
written in front of you?


Ain't nothing but a family thing.

"I solemnly swear that the testimony
today will be the truth...

...the whole truth and nothing
but the truth, so help me God."

Would you state your full name, please?

Leo Thomas McGarry.

And would you identify counsel, please?

- We've never met.
- Jordan Kendall, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. McGarry, the committee thanks you
for your appearance today.

Why are we here?
What are we after?

Many, if not most of us, were surprised
by the president's announcement...

...he's been diagnosed with
relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis...

...for seven years
and never mentioned it...

...while asking us
to vote for him for president.

But more surprising still,
if not stunning... that his medical condition
could have been kept a secret...

...from those campaign aides
closest to him.

In this age, when the most minute details
of a candidate's life...

...are brought to light, in a business
where secrets aren't kept secret long...

...this committee would like to know,
quite candidly, how it was pulled off.

Did people lie?
Were people told to lie?

Are people lying now?

You'll be questioned by
majority counsel, then minority counsel.

And each member
will have five minutes to question...

...alternating back and forth
between the majority and the minority.

- Mr. Calley.
- Mr. McGarry, I'm Clifford Calley.

I'm the majority counsel.
Good morning.

- Good morning.
- What is your current job title?

- White House chief of staff.
- What's your previous job title?

General chairman, Bartlet for America.

How long have you known the president?

We met for the first time
about 32 years ago...

...but I would say our friendship
began 11 years ago.

You're the person in the White House
who's known him the longest?

No, the first lady's
known him the longest.

Fair enough.
Mr. McGarry... was you who first approached
Jed Bartlet about running for president.

- Is that right?
- Yes.

- Where and when did that happen?
- Four years ago last month.

- At the statehouse in Concord.
-"New Hampshire: It's What's New!"

"New Hampshire: It's What's New!"

Thomas Hilton started a fishing village
here in 1623, Allen.

That's the point, governor. People think
of us as a New England relic.

- Tourism's our second-largest industry.
- Yeah.

Point is, if we don't find a way
to be fresh and new...

While, obviously,
still retaining our charm.

We'll never be able
to stem the falloff in revenue.

And a slogan's gonna do that?

That's just the beginning.
We've got an aggressive strategy.

- Yeah?
- The Office of Travel and Tourism... gonna run print ads encouraging
people to drive here and view fall foliage.

Slow down, you're going too fast.

There's also a new toll-free number
with reservation information.

This is separate from the campaign
for snowmobiling...

...which brings 367 million
into the state.

367 million in snowmobiling?

That includes the 1. 1 million
in registration fees...

...and 717,000 in gas taxes.
- And the goggles.

- That includes the goggles?
- I don't know.

- I'm not sure.
- It must if you...

Okay. Thanks, guys.
Mrs. Landingham!


Yes, sir.

Speaking of crusty New England relics.

Governor, does it frustrate you
to aim for humor...

...and yet miss so dramatically?
- No.

Abbey wants to eat at Patsy's.
Let them know we're coming.

- Yes, sir.
- What's next?

That's all for the schedule,
but Leo McGarry's here.

Leo's here?

- Leo!
- I'm happy to get him myself... they do in the civilized world.
- Yeah.

- Hey!
- Hey, governor.

"New Hampshire: It's What's New"?

- Jenny and Mallory are okay?
- Yeah.

- What are you doing here?
- I don't know. What do you got?

You got leaves.
I came to look at leaves.

- What are you...?
- I came to talk.

- Everything's okay?
- Yeah.

Why didn't you call?

You would've asked
what I wanted to talk about.

- Where are you staying?
- At the Marriott.

- What do you want to talk about?
- About getting back into politics.

I think that's great, man.
I think it's about time.

You mean the House, but you should
consider the Senate seat... Illinois in two years.
I can help raise money.

No, I wasn't thinking about the Senate.

I was thinking about the White House.

Hey, Leo, I swear to God...

...there's no one I'd rather see
in the Oval Office than you.

But if you run, there's gonna be a lot
of discussion about Valium and alcohol.

I mean, it's gonna come out,
this is the world.

Yeah. See, I wasn't thinking about me.


I've been walking around
in a kind of daze for two weeks.

And everywhere I go, planes, trains,
restaurants, meetings...

...I find myself scribbling
something down.


-He never mentioned his health?

- During the first meeting in his office?
- No.

- Nor during the second at the Marriott?
- No.

Well, then I'd like to ask you this.
If he had told you about his condition...

...would you have thought it
a good idea he run?

- I don't know.
- Well, think about it and try answering.

Listen, I'm gonna talk a little.

And you nod and talk a little bit
back to me.

- What are you doing?
- That's good.

I'm really asking you.

I think Rathburn's being a little snotty,
I think he's gonna have to wait...

...and I think he's gonna have to wait
with the camera on me.

- Mr. McGarry.
- One second, please.

- Listen, what are you doing for lunch?
- I don't know.

I thought maybe we could have lunch
or something.

Leo, you've gotta answer the question.

Congressman, could you repeat
the question, please?

If Jed Bartlet had told you
about his health...

...either at the first meeting
or second meeting...

...would you have thought
it was a good idea for him to run?

Yeah, I don't know.

- Mike?
- Yeah.

- Come on back.
- Thanks.

Churches are burning down,
otherwise I'd be hitting on you.

- I appreciate that.
- Sure.

- Maybe when it's a better time.
- Let's go.

- Where are we going?
- Seventeen-month investigation...

...34 black churches, how is there
no evidence of conspiracy?

- It's probably because we're stupid.
- Mike.

The FBI could invent a pattern,
but then that would be against the law.

- Yeah.
- Okay?

- You met with Leo this morning?
- Yeah. That was big for me.

I don't brief the White House
chief of staff.

All right. Well, let's listen in
on this meeting for a minute.

Hang on.

- This wall is curved.
- Yeah. Let's go.

- I don't have to go in, I can wait here.
- Charlie?

- Yeah.
-Have you ever questioned...

...whether that would be the case?

- Let's go.
-Mr. Chairman, I'd like to...

Phone calls have been coming
all morning.

You should know
that Algiss Skyler called.

Skyler wants you to call up the Guard?

Skyler wants to know why you haven't.

Because local law enforcement
is doing plenty.

Was Eisenhower wrong in '57?
Kennedy in '61?

This is a different situation.

We don't know what the situation is,
do we, Josh?

No, sir. Mr. President,
this is Special Agent Mike Casper...

...who's acting as the FBI's
White House liaison during this situation.

Do we know what's going on,
Agent Casper?

- No, sir.
- Edward.

So far churches have been empty.
There've been no fatalities.

Tomorrow's Christmas Eve,
they're gonna be packed.

- Why shouldn't I send troops in?
- Due respect, Mr. President... do it without my consent,
it's a violation of state's rights.

You would've said the same thing
as governor of New Hampshire.

This doesn't happen in New Hampshire.

You got a pretty big black population
in New Hampshire?

We'll meet this afternoon.
Thank you, governor.

- Thank you, sir.
- Josh, stick around.

- Yes, sir.
- I'll be in the bullpen.

So, what have you got cooking?

- Sorry?
- I said, what have you got cooking?

- I don't understand.
- Yes, you do.

I know what happened at the debate.
He told me.

I know what's gonna happen
this afternoon.

What are you gonna do?

Are you gonna get Gibson out of
the room when it's his turn to question?

I don't think you
and I should discuss it, sir.

The red light is on, so I will yield
the floor back to the chairman.

- Where are we?
- Dearborn will be next.

Congressman Dearborn,
you have five minutes.

Mr. McGarry, I would like to use my time
to talk about Edith Wilson.

-Excuse me one moment.
- Abbey's about to get spanked.

Guys, the things we do to women.

- My wife's a world-class scientist.
-Do you know who Edith Wilson was?

Edith Wilson was Edith Galt
before she became...

...the second wife of Woodrow Wilson.
-And with the help of her doctors...

...she ran this country while her husband
was incapacitated by a stroke.

Do you believe that the president
having a stroke...

...falls within the scope
of the 25th Amendment?

With the Wilsons being dead 80 years,
it doesn't fall within the hearing's scope.

Abbey Bartlet knew
of her husband's condition?

- Yes.
- And she kept it to herself.

Well, I don't know who
she kept it to, congressman.

- She didn't tell you?
- No.

Or anyone else in the high command
of the Bartlet campaign.

- You're smiling.
- Yes, sir.

- Why?
- Because at this point...

...there wasn't much
of a high command.

All we'd done is show a strong third
in lowa.

We were working out of a storefront.

You gotta pop the ball. Pop it.

- I'm popping it.
- No, you're not.

- So my feeling...
- Yeah? we're fine playing this song
in South Carolina.

- I agree.
- Pop it.

As long as he's running against Wiley,
it's fine he's not a real candidate.

It's when Wiley drops
and he runs against Hoynes.


They're gonna cover us
to South Dakota.

Suddenly, we don't wanna be quaint.
People wanna know if he's for real.

We show them we're
an honest-to-God alternative.

We've gotta show them we're bigtime.

Can we get an intern over here?

What about this? A series
of major national policy addresses.

We work with Josh,
we pick three issues.

Yeah. We should start projecting
the image that he thinks he's for real.

We release his tax returns,
put stocks in a blind trust.

- You know what else?
- Yeah.

- He should take a physical.
- Absolutely.

He's got 10 years on Hoynes.
Release a medical report.

I'll take it to Leo.

Guys, let's go.

Let's be working.

Somebody wanna get the ball?

I like some of these new people.
I'm gonna miss them.


Josh Lyman's special.
Sam Seaborn's very funny.

Which one's he?

- The young one.
- They're all young.

Listen, they want me to do some things
before South Dakota.

- South Carolina's next.
- Yeah, we're looking past that.

What do they want you to do?

- Full financial disclosure.
- I have no problem with that.

They want me to take a physical.

What's a physical right now
gonna show?

It'll... .

Nothing. I... .

- You're in remission.
- I'm not lying to anybody, Abbey.

I'm taking a physical.

A physical I'm under no legal obligation
to take.

- I'm doing it voluntarily.
- Yeah.

Now is when people are listening.
Make my speeches...

...get whupped on Super Tuesday,
and we'll all go home.

... headed for South Carolina,
we're planning for South Dakota.

And Mrs. Bartlet...
Excuse me, Dr. Bartlet...

... has yet to mention to anyone
that her husband has multiple sclerosis.

The things we do to women.

The chair recognizes the gentleman
from Virginia.

Congressman Kent.

Chairman, with your permission,
I'd like to skip any statement.

The chair thanks the gentleman
for his consideration.

- Listen.
- They're coming back from the break.

- Yeah.
- You know what I was thinking about?

About when we threw that basketball
through the window...

...of campaign headquarters
in Manchester.

Wasn't there. I heard about it.

- You weren't throwing the ball?
- It was you, Toby and C.J.

What that must have looked like
to somebody on the sidewalk.

I need somebody in the steel lobby
to speak to Darren Gibson.

Sometime toward the end of this hour.

- Jim Jericho.
- Jim Jericho is who I had.

He had to leave town, his wife's sick.
Who do we have?

- One of our people?
- Nick Grindell.

I'll get somebody.
What's this about?

- Nothing.
- It's not about nothing.

- You want Gibson out.
- I'd like them all out.


What's Gibson got?

You'll get a guy for me?


I would like our 10-minute breaks
to be closer to 15 minutes...

... than to a half-hour.

And with that, the chair recognizes
the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to
compliment your committee leadership.

Now, Mr. McGarry,
you're familiar, are you not...

...with Article Il, Section 1, Clause 6
of the U.S. Constitution?

- We're gonna have to do this again.
- He's being snotty?


So I was thinking maybe,
you know, dinner...

Listen to me. I don't like this.

You pay me $650 an hour.
You tell me everything.

What do I have to pay
to only tell you some things?

I don't know, but you have to pay it
to another lawyer.

- So, what are you saying about dinner?
- I'm not kidding around.

- Yes.
- If something happens to the president...

...the vice president assumes his duties.

No, it says the vice president
assumes his duties...

...if the president dies.

Short of that, impeachment or
the 25th Amendment being invoked...

...the vice president
stays vice president.

Who picked John Hoynes
to be running mate?

- The president.
- He have help?

- Yes.
- Do you think...

...people might have benefited...

...from knowing about
the president's condition?

I don't see how. No.

With the possibility that the president
might die in office?

- Hold it.
- A greater possibility with this president.

No, sir. That isn't true.
MS isn't fatal.

And while on national television,
it is criminal to imply otherwise... an offer to score
some cheap points.

You owe an apology to fathers
of children suffering from this disease.

- Mr. McGarry...
- The president chose his running mate...

...using the only yardstick
that means anything:

Ability to assume the duties
of the presidency.

And with John Hoynes, we got our man.

And the vice president was immediately
told of the president's condition.

I can tell you that when Jed Bartlet
takes this stage 72 hours from now...

... these delegates are gonna go
absolutely crazy.

They've scheduled 20 minutes
for a demonstration, but I don 't think...


- Yeah.
- Josh?


- Sam?
- Yeah, I think so.

- C.J.?
- Yeah.

- All right, let's do it.
- All right.


Hi, Leo.

- Hello, Abbey.
- Hello, John.

- Senator.
- Good evening.

I'd like you to be the vice president.

Sit with Abbey and me
for a few minutes.

Can I have the room, please?

- You want anything? Coffee or anything?
- No.

Bartlet! Bartlet! Bartlet!

You ran a good campaign.

You're a young man.
You'll be back.

Thank you.

There's something you need to know.
It's why I asked everyone to leave.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed
with a relapsing/remitting course of MS.

- I'm sorry?
- Multiple sclerosis.

- Did you just tell me that you have MS?
- Yeah.

Which you never mentioned
during the campaign?

I told you because it's something
you need to know.

But also because
I wanted to show that I trust you.

- Oh, you do?
- Yeah.

That's supposed to be me accepting
the nomination Thursday night.

But I suppose your trusting me
is consolation prize enough.

Well, what do you say?

- I'd like to think about it.
- I'd like your answer now, John.

You'll have it when I give it, Jed.

I'm gonna stretch my legs.

If he could please give him
that message as soon as he gets in...

...or, you know,
when he returns the page.

Cindy, if I could tell you what
it was regarding, I'd have told you.

Sorry. Thank you.

- They want you.
- Where have you been?

- You sent me to the Hill.
- Has Sam called?

- No.
- He didn't maybe drop off...

...a piece of paper with a name on it?
- No.

- They want you in the Mural Room.
- Okay.

- Josh.
- And where have you been?

- We got it.
- The president's gonna make a decision...

- What?
- We got it.

- What do you mean?
- Gilbert Murdock...

...a 17-year-old high school dropout, was
pulled over for a failing left brake light.

When the officers approached,
he sped off.

- Why?
- He thought he was pulled over...

...for planning to make
a Molotov cocktail.

- Why?
- Because he was planning to make one.

- Name friends?
- He's a tough nut to crack.

- Took almost 20 minutes.
- We got a conspiracy.

- Let's go.
- Where?

To brief the president.

No. The director will brief the president.

Mike, that's your task force out there.

The only reason you're not
out there with them... you're a woman or something.

I am desk-assigned for health reasons.
A decision I appealed vigorously.

- Let's go.
- We don't take curtain calls.

You'll take a handshake. Let's go.

Of course there's a legal basis.

Religious freedom is a civil right.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964
raises these threats to a federal level.

Credible threats, and no one is trying
to take away your civil rights.

- Sin of omission by any other name.
- Mr. President.

- Yeah.
- Your decision just got a lot easier.

Tell me.

Sir, the FBI is ready to call this
a credible threat.

- We have a conspirator in custody.
- Conspirator?

- Yes, sir.
- Here come the Tennessee volunteers.

Reverend, have the pastors
encourage the women... bake those guys something.

They're spending Christmas Eve
where they don't wanna be.

Ed, you get to be a hero
to the blacks in your state.

Anybody doesn't like it,
the FBI is calling the shots.

- What could you do?
- Thank you, Mr. President.

Thank you, sir.

- I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name.
- Michael Casper.

- How'd you get him?
- Pulled over for a bad brake light...

...and thought it was something else.
- Two-year investigation...

...gets its first crack from a taillight.

In 13 years with the bureau,
I've discovered no amount of money...

...manpower or knowledge can equal the
person you're looking for being stupid.

Some of the world's
stupidest criminals...

...are working in America.
I've always been proud of that.

- Yes, sir.
- Thank you, Agent Casper.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. McGarry, a different case
has been made regarding...

So, what's going on?

I gotta call him and tell him,
you know... .

- It's not gonna happen?
- I don't think so.

It was a long shot, anyway.

Look, I wanted to see him spared this,
but Leo's made out of leather.

His face has a map of the world on it.
Leo comes back.

- Okay.
- All right.

... and at no point did you have
such personal knowledge?

That's right.

At no point did he even raise the matter,
truthfully or otherwise?

-No, sir.
- Damn it.

-At no point did he lie?

-And at no point did you lie?

At no point did he encourage
others to lie?

-And at no point...

...has he been unable
to discharge his duties?

- No.
- Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The chair recognizes the gentleman
from Michigan, Mr. Gibson...

...for five minutes.
- Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Two years ago January, the president
collapsed in the Oval Office.

Is that correct?

I'm not sure what the medical term
would be.

- He involuntarily fell to the ground?
- Yes.

Will minority counsel stipulate
that we can call that collapsing?

Let the record reflect minority counsel
has nodded his head... as to indicate
an affirmative response.

- So ordered.
- Is it the only time...

...since the president took
the Oath of Office that he's collapsed?

- So far as I know.
- Is it the only time...

...since the beginning of the campaign
that he's collapsed?

No, it's not.

I'd like to take you back to 30 October
in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jed Bartlet is the Democratic nominee
for president.

He is about to participate
in the final debate.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to request
a short recess.

- We just got back from one.
- We took breaks... the request of nearly every member
of this committee.

The witness has asked for none.
One time, Mr. Chairman.

We'll take a five-minute break.
Please, let's keep it to 10 minutes.

Come with me.

- Yeah, it will all come out.
- Excuse me. What's going on?

- I was asking the same thing.
- I don't know...

...about testimony from October.
- I got it.

- No, you don't got it.
- We better go someplace and talk.

- Leo?

- I couldn't make it happen.
- Don't worry about it.

You have to tell me what's going on
or I'm walking out the door.

- Look...
- Tell me now.

On the day of the final debate,
I was meeting with two potential donors.

It was nine days till election,
we were too close to call...

... and I didn 't wanna be the guy
who ran out of money first.

You look nervous, Leo.

Don't worry about it,
I brought my wallet.

Anybody wanna eat?
I got steak sandwiches on the way.

- Yeah, and let's have some drinks.
- Sure.

The president was at the debate site
walking the stage.

A podium is a holy place for him.
He makes it his own...

... like it's an extension of his body.

You ever see a pitcher
work the mound...

... so the dirt does what his feet
want it to do? That's the president.

He sees it as a genuine opportunity
to change minds.

Also as his best way of contributing
to the team.

He likes teams.
I love him so much.

- What was going on in your room?
- I like the little things.

- I didn't hear you.
- I said, I like the little things.

The way a glass feels in your hand.
A good glass...

...thick, with a heavy base.

I love the sound an ice cube makes...

...when you drop it
from just the right height.

Too high and it'll chip when you drop it.

Chip the ice and it'll melt too fast
in the Scotch.

You ever try this, Leo?
It's Johnnie Walker Blue.

Bartenders are selling it
for 30 bucks a shot.

Good Scotch sits in a charcoal barrel
for 12 years.

Very good Scotch gets smoked
for 29 years.

Johnnie Walker Blue
is 60-year-old Scotch.

I don't care.
What happened in the room, Leo?

I'm trying to tell you what happened.

Should we get to it?

You don't wanna find out
what a $30 sip of Scotch tastes like?

No, I gotta stay sharp for tonight.

- Why not just say,"I'm an alcoholic"?
- They're two CEOs.

I'm trying to get them to give me
half a million apiece.

It's not really the best time
to mention it.

The president's still at the debate site.

- How do you feel about the temperature?
- Good.

- It's not too cold?
- It won't be later.

This is a 550-seat theater, and they'll
be seated a half-hour before we start.

So the temperature will be up
4 to 6 degrees.

- The hotel room, Leo.
- We already gave to the RNC.

We're worried we backed
the wrong horse.

You wanna hedge your bet.

- That's why we're here.
- Good.

Give me a sip of that.

That's what I remember.

- You had a drink?
- I'm an alcoholic.

I don't have one drink.

I don't understand people
who have one drink.

I don't understand people who leave
half a glass of wine on the table.

I don't understand people
who say they've had enough.

How can you have enough
of feeling like this?

How can you not wanna
feel like this longer?

My brain works differently.

Who was the third person in the room?

Well, now we've arrived at our problem.

- Count on it.
- You wanna be careful there.

You're not the big-money party, we are.

Did I mention that he's thinking
about running for Congress?

I'm thinking about it.

- You were drunk in front of Gibson?
- I don't get drunk in front of people...

...I get drunk alone.

They were going over something
at the debate site.

-I don 't wanna hear about the site.
-The debate site is what happened.

The debate site is how
he gets to bring this up here.

- Where's Leo?
- I'd like to go over...

...the Social Security answer.
We gotta get it to 90 seconds.

- It's down to 90 seconds.
- It's not. They'll cut him off.

I'll put a stopwatch on him
when he speeds up.

When he speeds up, he speeds up.
When he doesn't, it's 90 seconds.

- We need to cut.
- Which words?

Governor, what do you think?

- We were saying the Social Security...
- No.

- It's a tight 90 seconds and...
- No, no, not now.

Well, we gotta do it now, sir.

- Something's wrong.
- Governor?

- Yeah.
- Governor?

- Gabby.
- You wanna sit down?

- Let me get some water.
- Gabby.

- He's saying,"Get Abbey."
- Get Abbey!


-He had an attack?
-I mean, the doctor said...

... it was an inner-ear infection.

But all Josh knew when he called
was he collapsed.

I was supposed to be
down there already.

I was supposed to be down there
an hour ago.

- Yeah?
-Leo, the governor's sick.

- Okay.
-He collapsed. You gotta get down here.

- Okay.

- It's Gibson.
- Okay!



- Hey.
- Forgot my briefcase.

- You having a party?
- I gotta get to the debate site.

The governor collapsed.

I don 't understand how
you could have a drink.

I don 't understand how
after everything you worked for... on that day, of all days,
you could be so stupid.

That's because you think it has
something to do with smart and stupid.

Do you have any idea
how many alcoholics are in Mensa?

You think it's a lack of willpower?

That's like thinking somebody
with anorexia nervosa...

...has an overdeveloped sense of vanity.

My father was an alcoholic,
his father was an alcoholic.

- So in my case...
- Ain't nothing but a family thing.

That's right.

- Who knows?
- Josh Lyman and the president.

- Why nobody else?
- Because.

That's a little boy's answer.

I went to rehab, my friends
embraced me when I got out.

You relapse, it's not like that.

"Get away from me,"
that's what it's like.

- We're back in a minute.
- Thank you.

Just out of curiosity...

...why have you asked me to have
a meal with you every five minutes?

I like you. I've been trying to get it in
under the wire.

You'll answer the questions
simply and directly.

I don't wanna hear about Mensa.
That'll be my job.


- Yes, by the way.
- Yes, what?

Yes, I'd like to have dinner
with you tonight.


- That's where you're going?
- Yeah.

- Just to embarrass the guy?

Leo McGarry's sobriety isn't the subject
of these hearings.

These hearings are to investigate
if any rules, ethical or otherwise...

...were broken by Jed Bartlet
while he was running for president.

That's nice.
I live in the actual world...

...where the object of the hearings
is to win.

- No, it's not.
- It's the object of the majority.

Not while I'm majority counsel, it's not.
This is bush-league.

This is why good people hate us.
This. Right here. This thing.

This isn't what these hearings are about.

He can't have been prepared
by counsel for these questions...

...nor should he
have to answer them publicly.

If you proceed with this line of
questioning, I will resign this committee.

And wait in the tall grass for you,

...because you are killing the party.

Who the hell is this?

You don't have to make up your mind,
Mr. Chairman.

You don't. Declare a recess
till after the holidays.

Buy yourself two weeks.

And give him two weeks
to circle the wagons?

How do you think the speaker's gonna
feel about it? To say nothing of the RNC.

I need a minute.

I tried everybody.

- It's all right.
- I tried everybody. It was a tough fit.

- I couldn't tell them what it was about...
- They're back.

Let's come to order.

Mr. Gibson, you can proceed
with your questioning.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. McGarry, 30 October
in St. Louis, Missouri.

- The day Jed Bartlet was...
- No, I'm sorry.

Mr. McGarry, it's been a long day.
Unless counsel has an objection...

...I'm gonna resume this
after the holidays.


- Mr. Chairman...
- That concludes questioning for today.

We'll pick it up here when the chairman
gavels these hearings back to order.

- I'm sorry?
- You're done, sir.

The House Reform and Government
Oversight Committee is in recess...

...until January the 5th and the chair
wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.

- What the hell?
- I don't know.

We have two weeks.

- I really had to tell you the damn story?
- Shut up. I'm going to dinner with you.


Hey, listen.

You wanna do it
tomorrow night instead?

- What's tomorrow night?
- It's Christmas Eve.

- Okay.
- Okay.

Well, well, well.
Dodged a bullet.

- For the moment.
- Which is more than I can say...

...for me at Rosslyn.
- Yeah.

- Did you get a date with her?
- It's none of your business.

I just came back to catch up
on some work.

See how badly you screwed up
this church thing in Tennessee.

I did the church thing in Tennessee okay
and did it without you.

You mind if I make calls, make sure
Tennessee's still a state and stuff?

So anyway, I have a present for you.

Merry Christmas, Leo.

That was awfully nice of you.