The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 11 - H. Con-172 - full transcript

In a private, late-night, Cliff Calley informs Leo and Jordon he has negotiated a settlement in the Congressional witch hunt over Bartlet's MS: Bartlet can accept a joint congressional censure (House Concurrent Resolution 172, or H.Con. 172); Leo initially refuses to bring it to the president, insisting it will devastate the president and affect him for the rest of his life, but he does mull it over, and consults with Josh and repeatedly with Jordon about it; Josh begins his romantic pursuit of women's issues advocate Amy Gardner, but flubs it a couple of times while she continues dating other men.

Previously on The West Wing:

You know the thing
with guys like you?

What's the thing
about guys like me?

You wanna get hit over the head.

- I have to go.
- We'll see you.

I went to rehab. My friends
embraced me when I got out.

You relapse, it's not like that.

It's like,"Get away from me."

- Mr. McGarry, the date Jed Bartlet was...
- No, I'm sorry.

I'm going to resume
this after the holidays.

- What?
- That concludes our...

... questioning. We'll pick it up
when the chairman...

... gavels the hearings to order.

- Good evening.
- Good evening.

- What are the police doing outside?
- The door?

- Yeah.
- That's the Capitol Police.

I know. What are they doing?

- I didn't ask for them.
- Who did?

Would you prefer they went away?

If you offer a deal, I'd prefer there
not be armed guards to intimidate him.

- I'm not that easily intimidated.
- I am.

The chairman put them there
to ensure our privacy.

- Tell them to wait at the end of the hall.
- Counsel?

Excuse me, officer.

They've stepped
to the other side of the hall.

- Cliff.
- Want me to overpower them?

I don't care if the police are there,
someone speak.

Yeah. Mr. McGarry...

...this conversation's off the record,
see nobody's taking it down.

You mean what you're about to say
or the five minutes on the Capitol Police?

- The whole thing.
- Okay.

Congressman Gibson.

- Yeah.
- Know where his testimony was going?

- Yes.
- And where it'll pick up?

- Yes.
- We're willing to end the hearings now.

- End his testimony?
- His testimony. The first lady's.

The balance of the witness list. The
hearings. We're willing to end them now.

- In exchange for...?
- A joint resolution. HR 172.


A resolution condemning
the president for lying...

- He didn't lie.
- Leo.

...and let any Democrat
who wants to, vote in favor.

You say White House.
You mean the president.

- Yeah.
- Why aren't you talking to the president?

If you suggest it,
it'll carry more weight...

...than if it comes
from the chairman or the speaker.

- Yeah?
- Yes, sir.

Okay, well.

I'll just call the president
and suggest to him...

...he allow
a huge bipartisan vote...

...on the floor of the House
of Representatives calling him a liar...

...and that he welcome the result.

Then, I'm gonna flap my wings
and fly to Neverland.

- Leo.
- You think I'm so desperate... save my ass I'm gonna
roll over on Jed Bartlet?

I take a bullet for the president.
He doesn't take one for me.

Is that all you got?

- Yeah.
- Good night.

Can you give me some time?

One day.

- I've got copies.
- Have you read it?

- Bits and pieces.
- How is it?

I'm gonna set up
a war room downstairs.

- It's serious?
- Yeah.

- I'm up!
- This is The Camera Doesn 't Lie:

What I Saw at the Bartlet
White House, by Ron Burkhalt.

- You read it?
- Bits and pieces.

- How is it?
- I'm setting up a war room.

- It's serious?
- How many times do we have to do this?

- I'm up.
- We're each taking a couple of chapters.

This is based on what?

- Going through the index.
- So presumably...

...the chapters you've been assigned
are about you. If not, trade.

What we're doing is making
note of anything that's wrong.

- Anything to attack credibility.
- I see one.

- What?
- I'm Larry, he's Ed.

I usually don't know that.

Sam? Are we taking this too seriously?

- No.
- He was a photographer. He was fired.

- My recollection is he was a buffoon.
- He was a buffoon.

Which has always stopped the public
from taking something seriously.

- What are you saying?
- The book's in stores in three weeks.

In a week, the press'll have excerpts and
we have to turn him into a punch line.

"Bartlet played a round of golf
with Toby Ziegler...

...the prickly communications director,
whose inner darkness...

...spelled the breakup of
the one marriage we know about."

It was miniature golf, wasn't it?

- Sam, got anything else?
- No. Thank you.

- Toby?
- Yeah.

- Listen, you know Amy Gardner, right?
- Women's Leadership Coalition?

I've known her a while. She went
out with my roommate in college.

I saw her about some language
in the Vienna treaty.

- I remember.
- Mrs. Bartlet sent me there.

- Yeah.
- I don't know, she's changed her hair...

...or something. Something's going on.

What do you need?

Well, I'm a straight shooter.

- I think my record's clear on that.
- Yeah.

I'd like to see her again.

- Call her.
- And ask her out?

- Yeah.
- No. There's the potential...

...she says no
and I have to move someplace...

...where it'll never be spoken of again.
I need to go under the cover of business.

- You're a straight shooter.
- Yeah. I need friction.

An issue where feministas and the White
House disagree. I can go to her...

...break the bad news,
stand tough, smooth it over.

- Then I take it from there.
- How about the word"feministas"?

You do outreach to women's
groups on the State of the Union.

- They're happy.
- Very happy?

- Yeah.
- With the surplus projections changing?

Women are getting a decent break.

Damn. Where are the pro-lifers
when you need them?

- Don't they know you're trying to get...
- This is not that.

She's got... I really...
I'm bewitched. I'm ensorcelled.

There's gotta be some
way we're screwing them over.

There's an anti-family planning

...on a foreign ops supplemental.
- It's dead.

- Pay Equity Act?
- They're the ones who want to wait.

- Cancer screenings through Medicare?
- Fully funded. Head Start's okay.

- Paid family leave?
- It's a dream.

- They don't wanna waste capital.
- We can't compromise like that.

- They want us to compromise.
- They should be outraged.

They want a study funded.

- How much did we give them?
- Almost everything they asked.

- Almost?
- They wanted 21 million.

They're getting 20.5.

Well, that's practically an insult.

Okay. Paid family leave.
There it is.

- Yeah, I'd go with paid family leave.
- Paid family leave. There it is. Okay.

- Hey.
- Yeah?


Come here.

You're inside, right?

On what?


You were nervous when he
took the stand before the break.

So was the president.

Then they called the recess.

I don't know what was going on.

That's the way somebody wants it,
but you're inside, right?



If it's something Communications
is gonna have to work with... .

The lawyers are talking about it.

- When I have to know, I will?
- Yeah.


Paid family leave.

- Charlie.
- Good morning.

- How was your weekend?
- Good.

- What did you do?
- Most of the time I was with you.

Time well spent.

- Weren't you going to a flea market?
- I got you something.

- You didn't have to do that.
- Yeah?

It's a map of the Holy Land
that was drawn in 1709.

It's titled"Canaan,
Palestine or The Holy Land."

- Hey, nice sucking up.
- Thank you, sir.

Look at these topographical details.

Seriously, I'm gonna have this framed,
this is great.

- If you leave it, I'll send it out.
- No, I'll play with it more.

- Good morning.
- Look at this map, 1709.

The Dead Sea, Jordan River,
Mount Sinai.

That's beautiful.

- You wanna come inside?
- Yeah.

Thanks again, Charlie.

How'd it go?

- Last night?
- Yeah.

It was nothing.

- What did they offer?
- Nothing.

- They didn't offer nothing.
- It was a nonstarter, don't worry.

- Censure?
- Yeah.

Anyway, I'm gonna go to a budget
meeting where the OMB and Treasury...

...will recommend we drop the Child
Poverty Fund...

...from the State of the Union.
- Well, I get it.

See what you can do about it.

- Anything else?
- No.

- I've got a security briefing downstairs.
- Thank you.


- Remember me?
- Margaret!

- I was with you at last night's meeting.
- Yes.

When you left, I wasn't with you.

- Yes.
- Is it just an open house in here?

- The whole system's gotten out of hand.
- Yeah.

- You left without me.
- If I'm gonna make a strong exit...

...I can't wait for you to get your purse.
- How long does that take?

- I've asked that my entire adult life.
- It's a non-binding resolution.

- Know what that means?
- No, tell me.

I've started to take
an interest in government.

- Know the force and effect it has?
- Jord...

None! No force and effect.

This is a sampling of non-binding joint
resolutions from the 106th Congress.

- I have a meeting.
- Resolution supporting Ohio state motto.

A resolution fostering friendship
and cooperation with Mongolia.

- I have a meeting.
- A resolution recognizing...

...the contributions of Tennessee
to the development of country music.

- I have a budget meeting...
- A resolution supporting Little League.

- Jordan...
- A resolution...

This isn't that!

This is 535 congressmen and senators...

...standing up and saying the president
lied and should be ashamed of himself...

...and this is us standing up
and saying,"You're right."

This would be the first time ever
a president has been censured.

Congress isn't talk radio,
it's the seat of democracy.

Their opinion matters. Their
condemnation doesn't need handcuffs... devastate this president.

That is the force and effect, and it's
not gonna happen because of me!

I have a budget meeting,



- Listen.
- Yeah.

- How's it going with the thing?
- My chapters?

- I'm done.
- And?

I'm fine with it.

- What do you mean?
- I'm fine with it.

You're saying it's all true?

- No. Hardly any of it's true.
- What's not true?

My name is Toby Ziegler
and I'm the communications director.

Though there's a typo in
communications at one point. Perhaps.


Perhaps I mumble from time
to time, but prickly, I do not think so.

Nonetheless, I'm fine with it.

Toby, no kidding,
I need a fact/fiction paper.

I'd rather not have
one over my signature.

There's a ticking clock. It has
to get discredited before it's real.

I remember this guy as a not
very talented, not very pleasant...

...malcontent, who wasn't
here very long.

- Am I remembering the right guy?
- Yeah.

Yeah, I don't want him
to know I remember him at all.

That's nice. If we can only get 200
million other people to think that way.

Conventional wisdom
in Washington is like concrete.

It hardens, there's nothing
you can do about it. So let's...

Is there anything in particular?

- In your chapters?
- Yeah.

It says we were sent out of the
Oval Office to write an introduction...

...for a Teacher of the Year ceremony,
while others stayed... discuss Latin America.
We weren't sent out.

We left voluntarily to work
on an education address...

...instead of waiting 10 minutes while
operators connected the president...

...with the president of Ecuador,
who was complaining...

...about how we resolve
the banana crisis.

We weren't sent out.

- Will you put that down in a memo?
- Yeah.

He'll be ready for you in a minute.


On Carol's birthday,
did you attend a s?ance...

...where they tried to contact
Margaret's grandmother?

No, right?

Yes, sir.

You can go on in.


- Hey.
- Good afternoon, Mr. President.

There seems to be a growing
consensus that no one believes...

...I'm serious about paying down
a trillion dollars of the debt...

...when I'm willing to spend
200 billion on the Child Poverty Fund.

- I agree.
- I'm not saying we're not gonna do it.

We're just gonna find a different way
of saying we're gonna do it.

- We're on it.
- Anything else?

- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Thank you.

What's going on?

I guess you should know we have galleys
of a book that's coming out.

A kiss and tell by a photographer
who worked here for about a half-hour.

- Fiction or nonfiction?
- Science fiction.

What else?

Everything else
is the State of the Union.

All right.
Hey, you wanna see something?

Charlie gave this to me.

It's a map of the Holy Land,
drawn in 1709.

He got it at a flea market.

It's hand-colored, copper-engraved.
I was gonna put it in the outer office.

- This outer office?
- Yeah.

- No.
- Why?

- Why?
- Yeah.

Because some people
are gonna find it offensive.

- Why?
- It doesn't recognize Israel.

- It was drawn in 1709.
- Yeah.

There was no Israel. Israel wouldn't
happen for another 250 years.

- Yeah.
- So, what's the problem with the map?

- Some people are gonna find it offensive.
- Why?

- It doesn't recognize Israel.
- Take lunch, would you?

Hey, your favorite movie
was on TV last night.

By God, I'm 50, alive and a king,
all at the same time.

I turned it on as they got to the scene
when Richard, Geoffrey and John...

...were locked in the dungeon. Henry
was coming down to execute them.

Richard tells his brothers
not to cower, but to take it like men.

And Geoffrey says,"You fool.

As if it matters how a man falls down."

And Richard says,
"When the fall is all that's left... matters a great deal."

It matters a great deal.

You trying to tell me something?

No, Mr. President, of course not.


Thank you, sir.

Josh Lyman's office.

- Hi, Amy, it's Donna Moss.
- I'll take it. That's for me.

Yeah, I'm not sure if he's in.
Let me check.

Press hold. And I will pick
up the phone in my office.

I'm sorry, how does
a telephone work again?

Hang on just a second, Amy.

- Amy.
-Hey, J.

- How you doing?
-Good, and you?

- Good.
- My office said you called.

Are you wrestling with someone,
are you in the middle of a match?

- I'm at the gym.
- You spend a lot of time at the gym.

- Compared to whom?
- Compared to me.

- We need to talk about something.
- What's that?


Paid family leave. Sorry,
there was a dog in here for a second.

A dog?

A nice one, it was okay.

So, what about paid family leave?

I'd like to talk about this in person,
any chance we can get together?

Can you have a late drink tonight?

- Yes. As late as you like.
-Great. I have a date.

- But I should be able to meet by 11.
-Well, I don 't want to...

...bust up your date or anything.

We're going to the ballet,
I can meet you.

-How's the Ritz-Carlton?
- Eleven o'clock.

See you then.

- Anything?
- Phone messages.

- Thank you.
- I'm moving the 4:00 with Treasury.

- Okay.
- They upped the prediction... 18 inches by morning.
Jordan Kindall's still in your office.

A resolution recognizing
the important contributions...

...of Americans of Austrian descent.

- Margaret?
- I'm sorry. Was our meeting over?

- Yes?
- Close the door.

A resolution remembering the life of
Washington. There was a chance...

...we were gonna forget.
- Look...

What's the tall thing
at the end of the mall?

A monument?
Where are we?

- Jordan...
- No.

The opinion of Congress matters? Yes.
They rattle it off every day on television.

- It's not the...
- Your reputation's saved.

- My reputation isn't...
- He put you on the hot seat.

- This is not your thing.
- It is my thing.

I can't allow you to talk like that.

I wasn't seeking your permission.
You need to get...

You need to get that I am
the White House chief of staff.

How much longer do you
think you'll keep that job...

...if you tell the story
they'll make you tell?

Play the tape through to the end, Leo.

It's not my decision.

I think it is.

In fact, I know it.

And you know it too.

I have a meeting.

- What are you still doing here?
- C.J. 's here.

- The book?
- Yeah.

- You know if it's started snowing yet?
- It hasn't.

How is it supposed to be 18 inches
by the morning if it hasn't started?

It accumulates by a magnitude,
I don't know.


- Josh?
- Yeah.

You wanted me to tell
you when it's 10:45.

See you.

I'll get home fine.

What's the problem?

It's not fit for man nor beast out there.

Has it started snowing yet?

It accumulates by a magnitude.

- I'll see you.
- You want this?


- Josh Lyman's office.

- Yeah.
-It's Cliff.

I need to meet with you and I need
for nobody else to know it's happening.

- Can you meet me right now?

It's not social.

No way. I can't.

There's nothing wrong.
It's not against the law.

- How do I know?
-I'm a lawyer.

- You're not my lawyer.
- I'll be at Georgetown Law Library... 20 minutes.

I'll be in the Federal Case Law section.

I'm a senior assistant. This is way
over my head. It doesn't feel right.

I can't go deep-throating
in the middle...


Are you there?

- Sir? C.J.
- Thanks.

- Good evening, Mr. President.
- Hey, C.J.

- You're working late.
- You too, what's up?

- Well, this might sound ridiculous.
- Let's lay odds.

- We're trying to vet this book.
- I heard about it.

- So.
- Yes?

"It is well-known in the White House,
after having two daughters...

...Bartlet wanted a son
and sought advice from the book:

...How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby,
by Dr. Landrum B. Shettles.

The book recommends that the
father-to-be 'avoid jockey shorts...

...jockstraps and other
tight-fitting clothes. '"


So I can put you down for a no.

When you're gonna be a father, you
root for 10 fingers, 10 toes, that's it.

- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Wait.

I wanna show you this
map Charlie found.

I know. You can't put it
up in the West Wing.

- C.J.
- It doesn't recognize Israel.

- There was no Israel in 1709.
- That's right.

- So it's not on the map.
- Which is what some will find offensive.

- That's ridiculous.
- Know what would be great?

- If I put it someplace else?
- Yes.

Leo has, in what was his house when
he was married, a map of the U.S.

The first third of it is the
13 original colonies.

The second third is the French Territory
of Louisiana, the third third is Mexico.

In this map of the United States
there is not a single state.

That's because when this map was
made there was no United States.

I'm the president of the United
States. I'm not offended by it.

You're bigger than 10 men.
Say we put it out of the way.

I'm having it enlarged and bolting
it to the hood of my limo.

They don't want us to put
up our map, Charlie.

They're Philistines
in the fight for freedom...

...but that doesn't bother us, does it?

Never mind.

I'm not agreeing with the people
who are gonna be offended.

You're asking for a lot of pain in
exchange for nothing but an old map.

That's the key, an old map,
an old map.

- Spin that.
- You got me spinning things.

- Anything else?
- You didn't have special underwear?

- Thank you.
- Thank you, Mr. President.


- What's going on?
- Thanks for coming.

- What's going on?
- I need to set up a meeting with Josh.

A phone conversation is fine.
I need it right away.

Is this why your office
has been calling?

- We wouldn't be here if you'd call back.
- I return the calls Josh tells me to.

- I need the conversation.
- Why?

- I can't say why.
- I can't.

- I can't tell Josh we spoke.
- There's no jeopardy.

I'd be going behind the backs of
the Counsel...

I'm trying to help Leo McGarry.

Since when are you in the business
of helping Leo McGarry?

You're the one
who had the recess called.

Before the Christmas break.

- You're the reason they adjourned.
- I'm not.

- You had the recess called.
- It was the chairman.

You got him to do it.

Something was about to happen, and a
recess was called and Josh was relieved.

- What was about to happen?
- I can't tell you that.

It was you.

I need to talk to Josh.

I'm leaving now.

Wait by your phone.

- Hello.
- Hi.

- How was the ballet?
- It was wonderful.

- Which one was it?
- Do you know ballet?

I know The Nutcracker,
though I've never been.

- There are others.
- I should start with The Nutcracker?

- You don't like the ballet?
- No.

You've reached that conclusion
without ever having been to one.

I've never been to Bosnia
either. I don't think I will.

Don't mind sending Marines
though, do you?

Not a bit.

- Hey, can I get you something?
- Absolut martini on the rocks.

Two olives, please.

What do you want, J?

- I'm sorry?
- What do you wanna talk about?

Paid family leave.

- What about it?
- It's not gonna happen.

- I know.
- At least not this year.

- I know.
- I mean we can't even go for it.

- We asked you not to go for it.
- We can't.

Josh, our lobbyists sat
with Legislative Affairs...

...and everybody decided it would
cost too much in political capital.

Who was the date?

- Excuse me?
- At the ballet.

A guy I've been seeing.

- And he likes the ballet?
- He likes me.

- I think he likes the ballet.
- What is that supposed to mean?

Thank you.
Thank you for the extra olive.



That's your type, isn't it?

- Won't catch her at the ballet.
- Or in a library either.

- She seemed smart.
- What do you want?

- How can you be blas? about this?
- About what?

The United States is one of
only six other countries out of 152...

...that has no national policy
regarding paid maternal leave.

Neither does Papua New Guinea,
so we're fine.

- Really?
- Why you talking to me? Get...

- Can't do it.
- I know!

But, money has been
put aside for a study.

- That's great.
- The thing is...

...and here's the bad news.
- Yeah?

- You guys wanted 21 million?
- Yeah.

It's gonna be $20,500,000.

You wanna take my head off, go ahead.

What the hell is going on?

Things are tight all over.

Is it possible you're so addled you
constructed some nonsense problem... you'd have an excuse to see me?

I mean, is it possible? I suppose... could say...
- I don't believe you.

- Hey, you threw a water balloon at me.
- And?

- I was throwing that out there.
- Look...

- Like there's no reason you're here?
- I thought there was a problem.

All I know is you and I are here.
Nijinsky's home watching Leno.

Make fun of my boyfriend,
seeing as how you've never met him.

- Your boyfriend?
- Why can't you say:

"Would you like to go out sometime?"

- I'll tell you why.
- Do you need me in this conversation...

Because this is what you like. This.

- Not anything else. It's the fun part.
- That's not true.

It is. We're not in the dorm anymore.
I'm paid a lot of money...

...and I'm not into getting diddled
around by guys like you.

That's the fifth time
you said"guys like you."

- It is not.
- It's the second time.


What's with guys like me?

If this thing went five minutes longer
than you wanted it to go...'d run for the hills.
You hit and run, Josh.

That's not true.

Excuse me.


Donna, I'm kind of in the middle
of something.

What were you doing talking to...?

Okay, tell him yeah.

- I have to go.
- Yes, indeed.

I'm sorry, I can't explain.

I have to go.

Mr. President.

- Can you see Sam?
- Sure.

Good evening, sir.

Everybody's working late.

- I live here in January.
- How's it going?

It's going well, I think, but, I
don't know, who knows at this point.

- The early drafts look good.
- Thank you.

But I'm not here
for the State of the Union.

There's a book coming out
in three weeks.

I heard. I'm not gonna talk to you
about my underwear.

That's disappointing, Mr. President.

I want to ask. The guy claims, while you
don't poll on matters of foreign policy... the first meeting
with the Joint Chiefs... upbraided them
for bloated Pentagon spending...

...and told them 73 percent
of the public was with you on it.

- I don't remember any such poll.
- No, but it doesn't mean it wasn't done.

Remember saying
that at the first meeting?

- I don't.
- Could you have said it?

- I don't even remember the meeting.
- Okay.

Thank you, sir.

Why does it matter?

- Excuse me?
- I said, why does it matter?

Well, because I don't think it's such
a good idea to be casual about the truth.

Neither do I.

Thank you, sir.

- Leo?
- Yeah.

- What are you doing down here?
- Change of scenery.

What are you doing?

Well, I'd like to talk to you
about the deal they're offering.

Please, keep your voice down.

There's nobody here,
and my voice is down.

- Who have you been talking to?
- Cliff Calley.

- How did you get hooked up with him?
- Doesn't matter.

- It does matter.
- I'm not pushing you, okay?

- I just want to hear your reasons.
- What are your reasons?

Gets it over, instead of dragging
it through primary season.

Moreover, you don't take
the stand on Monday.

It's ridiculous to think that
this would end it.

All it means is it would
go down in history.

It's a press release.

When the British ambassador
told the German foreign minister...

...they were going to war over Belgium's
violation of the neutrality treaty...

...the foreign minister said,"You're
going to war over a piece of paper?"

- Leo.
- It is an historical judgment.

Andrew Jackson knew that.

Jackson was censured?

Over the Bank of the U.S.

Guess what?

I didn't know that.

- What's your point?
- History forgets these things.

Presidents don't.

They never get over it.
This one won't.

He'd act like it's fine...

...but he'd never get over it.

So that's my reason.

All right.

- You going home?
- Yeah. Sure.

- Have a good night.
- You too.

McDeere shot one for 23
from the field last night.

He missed his first 18 attempts.

Wouldn't you think
after the first 17 misses...

...the coach would say,
"This isn't your night"?

You don't have work to do?

- I have a lot of work to do.
- And?

- Can't rush these things.
- No.

One for 23. That's exactly one
better than my mother would've done.

She's been dead 12 years.

- Excuse me.
- Hi.

I asked the president
about that first meeting.

- Which meeting?
- The Joint Chiefs.

- What did he say?
- He didn't remember if we did a poll.

Yeah, I don't either.

- Toby...
- How long ago was it?

- I don't know, like, two years ago.
- How many polls ago?

I'm sorry, we can't sit on the sidelines
and ignore this crap. I'm not going to.

- Why am I the only one taking it seriously?
- Reasonable question.

- Let's explore that.
- It's not what you think.

- You hired the guy.
- Yes, I hired the guy, but that's not...

Legitimate news organizations
will cover this.

To say nothing of people
who hate us...

...who are gonna run
it over, over, over, over, over...

The guy was here three minutes
and he was fired. He's not credible.

I'm a lawyer, I'm telling you.
That has to be made clear.

Every time he makes a factual mistake,
we gotta have a press release.

Every time he misquotes
or misidentifies anyone...

...we need to have an affidavit
swearing to the truth.

He needs to be killed
until he is dead, and then killed again.

Or he's gonna keep biting at our ankles
all through the campaign.

He needs to be a joke,
or we're gonna be.

I'm not screwing around.

Me neither. Sit down.

I'm not gonna be a victim of this.

Let me tell you something
I've learned in my years.

There are victims of fires.
There are victims of car accidents.

This kind of thing? There are no victims.

Just volunteers.
Of course we'll get in the game.

I'll talk to the major papers, but we're
not gonna refute every bogus charge.

First of all, there are
too many of them.

I'm not gonna give this guy
the weight of the White House.

I read the book because I had to.
You have a vague recollection of him.

He wasn't here long enough to make
an impression. Have you read it? No.

You're too busy doing a job.

While you convince
the papers it's ridiculous...

Again, we don't know
what's going on in the Oval Office.

There's a problem.
When it's our turn to worry...

...they won't be shy about telling us.

Let's not fixate on the knuckleheaded
stuff in the meantime.

And it feels a lot like
that's what you're doing.

Are you inside?

Josh is.

But let me ask you this: A guy shoots
one for 23 from the field.


But he goes eight for eight
from the foul line.

Why are you fouling this guy at all?
I'd get out of the way...

...and point him toward the basket.

- Yeah.
- So we're done talking about this now.

- Is there any beer?
- You have offices.

It's out in the refrigerator.

- Hey.
- What?

It started snowing.

You owe me half a million
dollars and a drink.

- I paid for the drinks.
- All right, 500 grand.

What are you doing here?

Just hanging out.

Why, do you live here?

I do.

I'm sorry I had to leave quickly before.
I still can't tell you why.

- Is it a matter of national security?
- No.

- Would you tell me if it was?
- No.


You didn't talk to me much at school.

You were having
quite a bit of sex with Chris.

There were times I wasn't.

I studied a lot in school.

I studied hard in high school
and at Harvard and in law school.

My IQ doesn't break the bank,
and I wanted to do this... I studied all the time.

And I missed something,
or it's like I skipped a year...

...because I never learned what you do
after you think you like somebody.

What you do next.
And everybody did learn.

A lot of other people anyway.

I didn't walk out tonight.

When my phone rings at 11:00,
it's important. Not important to me.

Important. And I'm not puffing
myself so...

You know what?

Maybe not so much for you
with the talking.

Thanks for the drink.

- Excuse me.
- Good evening, Mr. President.

You want to step in for a second?

Are you up reading?

Yeah. No. A little bit.

Mostly I've been talking with Babish
and some of the deputies.

The chairman, Trent.

The speaker,
the minority leader.


- Yeah. I'm gonna do it.
- Sir.

- Yeah.
- It doesn't get Abbey off the hook.

She's still gonna have
to deal with the AMA.

- Yeah.
- It doesn't clear us up for the campaign.

It's a different-looking
stage weight around our ankle.

Now it comes with a Congressional Seal.
It doesn't give room to argue the point.

We've got two, maybe as many as three
dozen House Democrats in tight races...

...and you've still got MS.

Doing this to save me the embarrassment
I've got coming to me... about the dumbest reason
I can think...

There's another reason.


I was wrong.

I was. I was just... I was wrong.

Come on, we know that.

Lots of times we don't know
what right or wrong is.

But lots of times we do,
and come on, this is one.

I may not have had
sinister intent at the outset.

But there were plenty
of opportunities for me to make it right.

No one in government takes
responsibility for anything anymore.

We foster, we obfuscate,
we rationalize.

"Everybody does it,"
that's what we say.

So we come to occupy
a moral safe house...

...where everyone's to blame
so no one's guilty.

I'm to blame.

I was wrong.

You're ready for a joint resolution.

As a matter of fact,
it's not a joint resolution.

The president has to sign
a joint resolution.

So technically
it's a concurrent resolution.

House Concurrent Resolution 172.

The lawyers'll haggle over
the wording in the next few days.

So at least I'll make history, huh?

No. I thought so too,
until I was talking to Josh.

Andrew Jackson, 1834.

He was censured in '34,
he got it expunged in '36.

Good point.

It's not that cold out.

Let me ask you something. You may
be the last sane voice around here.

Before I forget.
The map that Charlie gave you.

- Don't put it where people can see it.
- I don't believe it.

Recognizing Israel's a hot button,
wouldn't you say?

In Lebanon. Not here.

It's not like I'm thinking,"God,
I was gonna recognize Israel...

...but now that I've seen this map..."
Know what?

Let's sit here quietly.

Yes, sir.

Would the Secretary read
House Concurrent Resolution 172?

"Whereas, in his conduct of the office
of the president of the United States...

... Josiah Bartlet has engaged in a course
of deceitful and dishonest conduct...

... designed to impede and deny
the disclosure of vital matters...

... of public concern.

The United States Congress
hereby condemns him...

... for acting in a manner contrary
to his trust as president...

... to the prejudice
of the cause of justice...

... and to the manifest injury
of the American people."