The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 15 - Hartsfield's Landing - full transcript

A fictitious small town in N.H. is the site of the first presidential primary vote, and the results from Hartsfield's Landing, announced at 12:07 a.m., will dominate the news all day until the final tally, so Josh wants favorable press for the president, prompting to ask Donna to persuade a local couple she knows to reconsider their vote. Elsewhere, Bartlet has just returned from India with a collection of antique chess sets he gives as gifts to the staff. He plays Toby while they discuss their recent blow-up, Bartlet's insomnia and Toby's fervent belief that the president's enormous intellectual gravitas is an asset, not a liability, to the campaign. He also plays Sam as they discuss a critical detente standoff between China and Taiwan. And Charlie and C.J. stand off in a series of pranks over a missing copy of the president's private schedule.

Previously on The West Wing:

Your father used to hit you, didn't he?
He didn't like you.

- Why are we talking about this?
- Maybe if you get enough votes... one more election,
your father...

You have stepped way over the line,
and any other president...

...would have your ass
on the sidewalk right now.

I'm not trying to get
my father to like me.

Good, because it's never,
never gonna happen.

- Look...
- We're done for the night.

I hate to put it this way,
but we're done when I say we're done.

I think you could use
some assistance right now.

- Welcome home.
- Mr. President.

Give me two minutes.

- Thank you. What'd I miss?
- Any further follow-up after New Delhi?

- Sorry?
- Any follow-up after New Delhi?

We spoke about Kashmir.
She assured me they're working...

...towards a peaceful resolution. We also
had a spirited conversation about chess.

- Prime minister plays chess?
- Chess was invented in India...

...somewhere around 600 A.D.
A gigantic chessboard...

...was constructed at Fatehpur Sikri,
which was the capital a long time ago...

...and human figures were used as chess
pieces and moved at the emperor's will.

What I like to call the good old days.


- C.J.?
- Hey, Leo.

What's he doing?

-"The History of Chess" by Josiah Bartlet.
- Get him in the car.

- What's going on?
- Get the press back here too.

- What's going on?
- China.


...and sandalwood. And a lacquered
classic Stanton in boxwood.

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

Hey, don't forget, Hartsfield votes
in three hours and 21 minutes.

We're gonna find out
who the next president is.

I'm gonna give some of the
chess sets as gifts. Did you see them?

- Leo needs you in the car.
- Did he say?


- Yeah?
- Good evening, Mr. President.

- What's going on?
- Intel says Taiwan's getting ready... test-fire three Patriots.
- Where?

A base on an island
in the Pingdong region.

- What's China's reaction?
- An acceleration...

- How big?
- Unprecedented.

Should we tell
Taiwan not to test the missiles?

- No.

We could try,
but they're not gonna go for it.

- They might.
- What are they asking for?

They want us to put some
hardware in the Taiwan Strait.

- Tonight?
-Yes, sir.

I'm assuming Nancy and
Fitzwallace and the chiefs...

- Everyone concurs, Mr. President.
- You?

Yes, sir.

We have a pretty good sense
of the worst-case scenario?

We end up sending the largest
U.S. naval armada to Southeast Asia...

...since the end of Vietnam.
- That sounds right.


- All right, we know the play.
- We're gonna assemble in the Sit Room.

She gave me these beautiful chess sets.

-The prime minister?
- Yeah.

I'm on my way.

Let Fitzwallace know I'm gonna order
the 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait.

-Yes, sir.
- Let's go.


- Good evening.
- Good evening.

Good evening, Mr. President.

Listen, they start voting in Hartsfield's
Landing in about two and a half hours... this may end up being
somebody else's problem.

The scale of the war games
is unprecedented?

It's a simulation of an invasion
of the Penghu Islands.

It includes battle-stance intervention
by foreign aircraft carriers.

- What's the Taiwanese reaction?
- Armed forces are on heightened alert.

The war minister asked
for an emergency meeting.

- What about equipment movement?
- Keyhole shows 10 AH-1 W helicopters.

- Super Cobras?
- On the tarmac at Ching Chuan Kang.

- The Nimitz?
- About two hours away.

- The Independence?
- Also two hours away.

What else can be moved in?

There's a battle-carrier group, the Carl
Vinson, on its way to the Arabian Gulf.

Let me backtrack a second. What's
C.J. facing in the press room right now?

Xinhua's reporting
the live-fire exercises.

Can the Carl Vinson make a detour
into the South China Sea?

- We think that's our next move.
- Sir?

- That's our next move.
- After that?

After our next move
comes their next move.

- C.J.?
- Katie.

Will the president ask the Taiwanese
to hold off testing the Patriots?

No. It's important to remember that
Patriot missiles are defensive equipment...

...used only in the event of an attack.

But it's the testing that's provoking
the Chinese war games.

I'm not in a position to say what's
provoking the war games. Chris?

If the Chinese attack Taiwan...

...we're obligated to defend them
under the '79 Act?

Actually, under the '79 Act, we agree to
provide Taiwan with sufficient capability... defend itself,
but we're getting way ahead.

There's a Pentagon briefing at 10 a.m.

Will the president monitor
the situation all night?

He'll be monitoring the situation
in the China Sea... well as Hartsfield's Landing.

Any of the new people not know
about Hartsfield's Landing?

Hartsfield's Landing is a town
in New Hampshire, population 63.

While the rest of New Hampshire
goes to the polls at 8 a. M...

...the 42 registered voters of Hartsfield
vote at one minute past midnight...

...or a little over two hours from now.
Hartsfield has predicted the winner... every presidential election
since William Howard Taft...

...who, by the way,
founded the seventh-inning stretch...

...wherein we sing
"Take Me Out to the Ballgame"...

...written by Jack Norworth
and Albert von Tilzer.

All part of the service at
Claudia's House of Useless Knowledge.

- That's a full lid. Thank you very much.
- Thanks, C.J.

Albert von Tilzer?

Ironically, neither of them had been
to a major-league baseball game.

The other song they were famous for?

- I didn't even know they were famous.
-"Shine On, Harvest Moon." Charlie.

- What are those?
- I'm distributing chess sets.

I need the president's
private schedule.

- Didn't you get one?
- I need another.

- You gotta sign it out.
- I'm sorry?

Sign it out and sign it back in. It can't
be photocopied or leave the building.

- What is this?
- For the third time in two months...

...a copy wound up in the press room.
I've gotta crack down.

- I've gotta sign it out?
- And sign it back in.

- I'm the press secretary.
- You do a nice job.

- Give me the damn schedule.
- Sign it out and sign it back in.

The anal-retentive side of you
is not gonna help you get girls.

I do okay.


- Donna!
- Yeah?

- You know...
- I was coming.

- You were taking your time.
- I don't have warp speed.

Do you remember Jennifer Flender...

...the daughter of the mom and pop
who had the tackle shop?

Mackey and Roberta Flender.
The Flenders.

The daughter just e-mailed me and
told me her parents are voting for Ritchie.

- Why is she e-mailing you?
- She e-mails me.

- Why?
- She's got a little crush on me.

You didn't sleep with her, did you?

- She's 20 years old.
- Mackey has got guns...

...and doesn't like northerners.
- He lives in New Hampshire.

It doesn't matter. Mom and Pop are
voting for Ritchie in Hartsfield's Landing.

- You gotta talk to them.
- What?

- Two votes could be the margin.
- It's Hartsfield's Landing.

- I thought we were kidding with this.
- We're not.

- It's 42 votes.
- Cast at 12:01 and counted at 12:07.

The rest of New Hampshire
doesn't come in until 9 p.m.

That's 21 hours of the news
having nothing to report...

...but the winner in Hartsfield's Landing.
I want it to be us.

- You have to talk to the Benders.
- The Flenders. Why me?

They liked you.
They took you in, fed you.

- You make me sound pathetic.
- You were pathetic...

...and the Fenders fed you.

- Flenders.
- See, you remember.

- There's a connection.
- Josh...

- Politics in New Hampshire is what?
- Retail.

Thank you. Get on the phone...

...find out what their problem is
and solve it.

- I can't get on this phone.
- Why?

It's a government phone.
I can't use it to intimidate voters.

Sad but true.
Know what I'm thinking?

- Yes.
- A cell phone, Lafayette Park and a coat.

- I'm taking yours.
- It's a good coat.

- I'm taking it.
- No problem.

Excuse me.

- Mr. President, welcome back.
- Thank you. How are you?

I'm fine, sir. I was just... .

- Someone gave me this chess set.
- Yeah, it's from me.

- You're kidding?
- No.

The prime minister gave me a few sets,
and I wanted to give them as gifts.

- I'm really overwhelmed.
- The State of the Union...

...was really something else.
- Thank you again, sir.

This one's a lotus set
in hand-carved camel bone.

She told me it came from a descendent
of Tansen. You know who that was?

- No.
- Greatest musician of his time.

- What time was that?
- Sixteenth century.

He'd go to the human chess matches
in the Mogul court of Emperor Akbar...

...and that began the
family obsession with the game.

- You wanna play?
- You?

- Yeah.
- I'll get killed.

- Why?
- You're a grand wizard...

...or a grand master.
- I'm none of those.

I'm just grand.

You're white,
but don't ever touch me.

- I'm sorry, sir.
- I was kidding.

The Fibonacci opening.
Very interesting.

You're gonna mess
with me the whole time, right?


- So India went well.
- Yeah.

Standing ovation on the floor
of the stock exchange.

The billion dollars from
the Export-lmport Bank didn't hurt.

- I suppose.
- Three billion in foreign investment... the 44 billion China gets.
You're an American.

- Where would you put your money?
- India.

- Why?
- They're democratic...

...English-speaking. There's the rule
of law, better sense of humor.

That's right.

You mind my asking how bad
it's getting out there tonight?

It's bad.

If Kashmir is the
most dangerous place on Earth...

...the second most dangerous
is the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan's got 400,000 troops
on high alert.

The size of China's
war games is unprecedented.

Thought about asking Taiwan
to call off the tests?

- You think I should?
- No, sir.

- Why not?
- Because China's... 300 missiles pointed at Taiwan.
Why shouldn't they defend themselves?

- That's right. Plus, guess what.
- What?

The Patriot tests aren't why
China's showing its teeth.

- They're not?
- No.

- Why are they?
- You ready to come inside?

Yes, sir.

Taiwan's gonna announce that they're
holding their first free elections.

You're kidding.

Defend your queen.

- Mr. Ambassador, please.
- Excuse me, please.

Sir, there is a purpose to this meeting.

Yes, you have discovered
that calling us reckless is not working.

Taiwan is a geostrategic center for
commerce. It sits on an oil lane for Asia...

- Excuse me.
- Unnecessarily militarizing...

- Madam.
- Unnecessarily militarizing...

...on such a large scale is,
in fact, reckless.

Taiwan is a part of China and is not
a protectorate of the United States.

And it is your actions...

...that are an encroachment
on Chinese sovereignty...

...and interference in internal affairs.

Our battle-carrier groups
are in international waters.

Are you claiming jurisdiction?

- No.
- Then let's settle down.

- The Shanghai communiqu?...
- Sir, l...

- The communiqu?...
- Says that there is but one China...

...and Taiwan is a part of China. The
U.S. government doesn't challenge that.

The U.S. is interested
in a peaceful settlement...

...of the Taiwan question
by the Chinese themselves.

A settlement that is not best facilitated
by the U.S. selling arms to Taiwan.

That's not on the table in this meeting.

This year's arm sale was
the biggest in a decade.

Four Kidd-class destroyers,
12 anti-submarine P-3 Orions.

- You approved the AMRAAMs.
- That's not on the table.

I've said what was to be said.

Taiwan's reunification with the mainland
is the will of all Chinese people.

And just so we understand each other...

...the moment that we see them
testing their U.S. -built Patriots... the moment that you will see
us testing our CSS-6 missiles.

- How'd it go?
- They're not voting for us.

- Why?
- Because the old Perrin Pulp Mill... still idle after five years.

- Why is it our fault?
- Instead of protecting American jobs...

...we're letting Canadian importers
take their market share.

It's called free trade.

It's why the Flenders
aren't voting for us.

Did you talk up our accomplishments?

- I couldn't think of them.
- Donna.

They don't care.
They care about the market...

...for away-from-home paper towels
and tissue products.

- Can I give them a commitment?
- A commitment?

- Yes.
- No! You...

We're not making a trade
commitment to the Flenders.

We're not for protectionism,
and neither are the Republicans.

The president's
been good for the economy overall.

- They say he's been bad.
- We're for affordable health care.

What's affordable if you
lost your job at the mill?

- The Flenders don't work at the mill.
- Nobody works in the mill.

All right. If Canada's making cheaper
pulp, New Hampshire has to diversify.

That's why the president's
allocated $500 million...

...for trade adjustment assistance.
Write this down.

That's why he tripled small-business
start-up loans.

That's why he's balancing
the budget. Go.

- It's so warm in here.
- Go.

- Donna?
- Yeah.

Have you seen my copy
of the president's private schedule?

- I don't think so.
- It's stamped"D-12."

- I haven't seen it.
- Thanks.

- Hey, Charlie.
- Listen...

...have you seen my copy
of the president's private schedule?


I'm trying to retrace where
I've been the last hour. I was here.

I was in the mess.
I went back to my desk.

Excuse me.

- Hello.
- Chaz.

You wouldn't know where my copy
of the private schedule is, would you?

- Did you lose it?
- I don't believe I did.

- Yet you don't have it.
- Odd.

- He'd like you for a moment.
- Thank you.

- Where is it?
- How would I know?

Where is it?

I hope you didn't leave
the building with it.

- Give it up, tiny.
- No.

Talk nicer to me. When a reporter
finds it, they're gonna come to me.

It's stamped"D-12," and you signed
it out"D-12." And rules are rules.

- Funny.
- What?

- I never told you it was D-12.
- How about that.

- Look...
- You'll find it in your filing cabinet...

...under A, for"anal."

I don't wanna know
what he's gonna find, do you?


- Okay.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

C.J., I want you to leak it
to two or three sources...

...the USS Carl Vinson is gonna do a
passing exercise with the Independence.

- We want South China media to pick it up.
- Sure.

Mr. President?
Can you see Toby a moment?

Yeah. Give us a minute, would you?

I'll let you know when
there's something new.

- Good evening. Welcome back.
- Thanks. Come on in.

I think this note was delivered
to me by mistake.

- What's it say?
-"Come play chess."

No, that's for you.

- It says,"Sigmund, come play chess."
- That was a joke.

Not so funny, huh?

- That's a beautiful chess set.
- It's a gift for you.

- Really?
- Yeah.

It's hand-carved. It belonged to
the prime minister's grandfather...

...who used it to play
with Lord Mountbatten.

- I'm surprised she gave it away.
- No, she didn't.

We just boosted it from
the palace on the way out.

I've got some little bottles
of shampoo and conditioner too.

Well, it's a beautiful gift, sir.

- Sit down.
- Wouldn't wanna take your time.

Come on, man, you were out of line.
I was a jackass. Let's call a truce.

Well, I certainly apologize, sir.

Let's play chess.

Aren't you in the
middle of a game with Sam?

Yeah. He's one, two, four, eight...

...12 moves away from checkmate.
- Twelve moves?

Yeah. You take white.

Lord Mountbatten used
to play with this set?

With Jawaharlal Nehru,
where they came to an agreement...

...over the necessity
of India's independence.

- An appropriate topic for the evening.
- Taiwan's not gonna be our topic.

- The Evans gambit.
- There's no such thing.

Variation of the Giuoco-piano opening...

...named after British sea captain
W.D. Evans, who invented it in 1820.

- Don't tell me chess moves.
- I moved my pawn.

Well, it's as popular today
as it was back then.

- What is?
- I'm sorry?

- What is our topic?
- Re-election and the Bartlet psychosis.

Seems to me the last time
we were here we didn't do well.

So we get right back on the horse.

I was out of line.
I really do apologize.

You apologized already.
So let's get back on the horse.

Neither one of us ride horses.

That makes it more likely
that we'll learn something.

Sir? Sam says,
"Bishop to queen's knight three."

Excuse me. Eleven moves.

Take your time.

See the whole board.

- Think happy thoughts...
- Sir.


The Spanish brought chess to the
court of Charlemagne in 760 A.D.

"Charlemagne" is French
for"Charles the Great."

The Charles is a river in Boston.

- The Hudson River is not a river at all...
- I'm taking your rook.

Now, take your time.

- See the whole board.
- The Hudson isn't a river?

It is in the Catskills, but once it gets
to Manhattan, it's a tidal estuary.

It's deeper than the body
of water it flows into.


You mind my asking how the meeting
with the Chinese ambassador went?

Well, how do you think it went?

They said if Taiwan tests the Patriots,
they'll start their exercises.

That's right, except they didn't call
them Patriots. What'd they call them?

- U.S. -made Patriots.
- Right.

They want us to say we'll roll
back our sale of arms to Taiwan.

- Good.
- We're not gonna stop arming Taiwan?

- No.
- When they're trying to hold free elections.

- Right.
- Plus, it's the law.

We sell them the Orions.
We sell them the AMRAAMs.

- You gonna move?
- Hang on.

Two carrier groups are
headed to the Taiwan Strait.

- Move.
- The Carl Vinson in the South China Sea.

Beijing wants you to scale back
the weapons. You're not gonna do it.


I gotta go back to Toby in the other
room. He's trying a Balducci attack.

- How does it work?
- See the whole board.

The Aegis destroyers.

- I'm going out for pizza. Want any?
- I'll go get it. I wanna get some air.

We need three, I think.

- 45 minutes to Hartsfield's Landing.
- We're working the room.

- Good.
- It is absurd...

...that 42 people have this power.
- I think it's nice.

- Do you?
- I think it's democracy at its purest.

- They all gather...
- At a gas station.

It's not a gas station. It's nice.

There's a registrar of voters. The names
are called in alphabetical order.

They put a folded
piece of paper into a box.

See, this is the difference
between you and me.

- You're a sap.
- Those 42 people are teaching us...

...something about ourselves.
That freedom is the glory of God...

...that democracy is its birthright
and that our vote matters.

- You getting the pizza or...?
- Yeah. I should call ahead.

- He Krazy Glued my phone.
- Who?

Charlie. Charlie Krazy Glued... phone.


Now we're playing for keeps.

- Josh.
- How'd it go?

I told them about
the trade adjustment.

They're not wild about the Canadian
thing, but their real problem is tax policy.

They wanna go from an
income tax to a sales tax.

Is this gonna end up with
Mackey Flender as fed chair?

- I'm telling you...
- Sales tax is regressive.

Poor people pay a higher percentage
of their income... Tell them we'll study it.

Is the president destroying
the economy to save salmon?

- No.
- I'm having a hard time convincing them.

- There's no salmon in New Hampshire.
- Mackey's sister Fran lives in Oregon.

We haven't made
a decision on the salmon runs.

- Salmon restoration is important.
- Do you know what they're talking about?

Am I the fish guy?
Tell them we're looking into it.

They think the president's
gonna privatize social security.

That's the other guys!

He's not gonna privatize
social security.

He'll privatize New Hampshire
before he privatizes social security.

- We haven't ruled it out.
- We told Congress we'd be open.

- They'd really prefer if we ruled it out.
- Here.

Bartlet for New Hampshire.

It gives all the reasons why Bartlet's
for New Hampshire.

The Flenders, everybody.
All 17 of them...

...or whatever goes on.
Why are you wearing my coat?

- It's warmer than my coat.
- Okay. Go.

- Are we getting pizza?
- It's on its way.

All right.

- What are you doing?
- Trying to get pizza... an uncivilized world.
- It's not easy being you.

No. Listen... I shouldn't sweat, right?

There's a predetermined time
for the carriers?

You know what?
Half of me wants to let them go.

Half of you always wants to let them go.
Everybody wants to.

They need 400,000 troops on high alert
for thinking about holding an election.

400,000 troops and a battery of Patriot
missiles for thinking about an election.

You're gonna turn the
carrier groups around, right?

We'll see how the pizza turns out.

- Yeah?
-Yeah, it's me.

I just wanna remind you that child-
support collection 's up 37 percent.

- What?
- Child-support collection's up 37 percent.

We're cracking down
on deadbeat dads. Tell them that.

- Okay.
-Leo was just here.

- Yeah?
-He was talking about Taiwan.

He's saying 400,000 troops
and a battery of Patriot missiles...

...just to think about free elections.
He was on one of his things.

Okay. Listen, I gotta call them.
We're running out of time.

Yeah, okay.

Let me tell you, you're really
showing me something tonight.

A lot of spunk, a lot of pluck.

This game isn't all about size,
you know?

There's a little thing called heart,
and you've got it.

You know what, old man? The very
minute they swear in the next guy... and I are going round and round.
- Check.

How did you get good?

I had a friend in school
who taught me. He was good.

He was ranked, 18 and under. He was
a really nice guy. Everybody liked him.

- What was his name?
- David Wheadon.

- Everybody had a crush on his sister.
- You still see him?

He went to Princeton. Christmas vacation
he'd saved up to go to San Francisco.

He was on the wharf, and he
saw a guy beating a woman up.

And he went in to stop it,
and the guy stabbed him to death.

Well, he taught you well.

So you know I had this historic stretch
of sleeplessness after our last meeting.

- I didn't know.
- It got so bad...

...Leo brought in the guy from ATVA
who worked with Josh.

- Isn't he a trauma specialist?
- Yeah. We know him...

...and I figured he had to go to school for
everything. We brought him in at night.

- What did he say?
- It was your fault.

He said you shouldn't
bother me so much.

- I really am sorry about that.
- I'm kidding.

Yeah. I forgot for a second
that you're hilarious.

Let's say the Republicans
nominate Ritchie.

- They will.
- First of all, let's stop for a moment...

...and say,"Why?"
They got serious guys in the field...

...Kalmbach, Daniel, Weston.

Democrats had serious guys,
and they nominated you.

That's true.


You think the strike against me is nobody
likes the smartest kid in the class?

Oh, I don't know, sir.

Being the smartest kid in the class
is a pretty good pitch.

It's not a strike...

...unless you watch it as it sails by.
- I don't do that.


- And I'm not a snob.
- I don't believe you are.

If a guy's a good neighbor,
puts in a day...

...if once in a while he laughs,
he thinks about somebody else...

...and if he can find compassion
and tolerance, he's my brother.

I don't care if he didn't
pass finger-painting.

What I can't stomach are people who try
to convince people that the educated...

...are soft, privileged and out to make
them feel like they're less than.

"He may be educated,
but I'm plainspoken just like you."

Especially when we know that
education can be the silver bullet...

...for crime, poverty, unemployment,
drugs, hatred...

- Who are you trying to convince?
- I'm saying, I don't watch the pitch go by.

- Check.
- And if I do...'s not because my father...
- Was an idiot.

Can we talk about...? God!

Can we talk about...? Please, can we talk
about my father with some respect?

The man's gone. Can we...? He was my
father. He wasn't a Dickens character.

Yes, sir.

Mr. President?





I'll be back.

Don't cheat. I know exactly where
the pieces on the board are.

I know exactly where the pieces
are on Sam's board.

I know exactly where the pieces
still are on David Wheadon's.

Sir, the carriers are 35 minutes
from the Strait now.

All right, you can bring the ambassador
back now and get Beijing.

I'm sorry, sir, it's a formality, but I... .

She needs the order.

The Aegis destroyers.

Yes, sir. Just out of curiosity,
what if that doesn't work?

I don't know, but for sure
we're gonna blame you.

Yes, sir.

What's going on?

I don't know. Toby keeps coming
back at me with this... .

I don't know.
He says I let the pitch go by.

- What pitch?
- I soften. I smooth myself out publicly.

It's not a put-on, by the way.
I'm honestly folksy.

- Yeah.
-"Yeah" what?

-"Yeah" nothing.
- You agree with him?

- I don't think you let the pitch go by.
- I don't.

I think you foul it off.

Yeah, well, he keeps coming
back at me.

You invited him back this time,
didn't you?

All right.


...what are you doing?
- Just playing some chess.

- Stay right there.
- Tommy, it's me.

- What happened?
- She ran the card.

- It must be bent.
- Stay right there, please.

- I'm staying right here.
- Look...

Guys, it's me.

- The card says you're Charles Young.
- Yes.

- Okay. Well, obviously, I'm not.
- Why do you have a card that's not yours?

- Because...
- What's going on?

Mr. McGarry, this woman has a card
that doesn't belong to her.

- What...?
- Charlie's getting me back...

- Stay where you are.
- Oh, my God.

- Sign her in with an appointment.
- An appointment?

- Be in your office in 15 minutes.
- Can I move now?

Roberta, those are all good points...

...and valid areas of disagreement.
But what I don't understand...

What I don't understand is you guys
were such fans of the president.

You loved him when he was governor.

You worked so hard for him
when he was campaigning.

Yeah. Yeah.

Well, he didn't lie.

No, he didn't lie, Mackey.

I'll tell you what else, he just accepted a
Congressional censure, and I think it's...

He should be held to a higher standard.
He holds himself to a higher standard...

...but sometimes he can't meet it,
because presidents aren't kings.

He's an economist from New Hampshire.
It's time to get off your horse.


- I'm out here in the middle of the night...
- Donna.

Hold on, please.

I've had it now too.
They're shocked, appalled, disappointed.

Really they're none of those things.
They just wish they were... never missing an opportunity
to feel morally superior.

- What do you want me to do now?
- Let them vote.

- What does that mean?
- I came to tell you to let them vote.

Yeah, this is Josh Lyman.

We just wanna call and thank you
again for all your work...

...and remind you that the polls in
Hartsfield's Landing open in 14 minutes.

You got the chains
on the truck, Mackey?

Okay. Tell your sister in Oregon I'm
gonna learn something about salmon.

Right now, all I know is
that they're good on a bagel.

Good night.

Maybe they are morally superior.

Anyway, they get to vote.

It's freezing out here.

Abbey told me this story once.

She said you were at a party once
where you were bending a guy's ear.

You were telling him that Ellie
had mastered her multiplication tables...

...and she was in third grade, reading
at a fifth-grade level. She loved books...

...and she scored two goals for her
soccer team. And you were going on.

What made Abbey's story remarkable...

...was that the party
you were at was in Stockholm...

...and the man you were talking
to was King Gustav...

...who two hours earlier had given
you the Nobel Prize in economics.

I mean, my God,
you'd just won the Nobel Prize...

...and you wanted to talk to the king
about Ellie's multiplication tables.

What's your point?

You're a good father.
You don't have to act like it.

You're the president.
You don't have to act like it.

You're a good man.
You don't have to act like it.

You're not just folks.
You're not plainspoken.

Do not... Do not... Do not act like it.

I don't wanna be killed.

Then make this election
about smart and not.

Make it about engaged and not.

Qualified and not.

Make it about a heavyweight.
You're a heavyweight.

And you've been holding me up
for too many rounds.

Pick your king up.
We're not done playing yet.

- Hello.
- How you doing?

You really wanna dance with me?

Wouldn't it have been easier
to respect the rules?

- What are you doing here?
- Leo told me to be here.

- Leo?
- What the hell...?

- I devised a system...
- I wanted a copy of the...

- Each copy has a number...
- Marion the librarian was...

- No copy can leave...
- I decided to teach him...

- And could flaunt the rules!
- And Krazy Glued my phone!

I think it's fine that people
blow off steam.

But now it's done, and it's time
for one of you to be mature.

- Well, C.J. 's more mature than I am.
- Hey!

- Excuse me. Leo?
- Yeah.

Nancy McNally's calling for you.

Okay. Well... .

Okay, it's over. That's that.

So how long do you usually
make people your bitch?



- Sorry. I got tied up.
- No, it's fine.

Let's get back to it.

I looked something up
while you were gone.

Eisenhower wanted to avoid sending
ships to resupply Quemoy and Matsu...

...because they'd be a mile
from the Chinese army.

A private could... Well, everybody
was a private in Mao's army.

A private could fire on the ship,
and that'd be it. We'd be at war.

- Eisenhower wouldn't do it.
- No.

Why are you?

- Look at the whole board.
- I am.

- You're not.
- I'm trying.

- Sam...
- Why put carriers in the Taiwan Strait?

- Are they in the Taiwan Strait?
- On their way.

Is that the same thing?

How does this end?


Like this.

Turn them around. I'll make
some calls and thank people.

- Yes, sir.
- Thank you, by the way.

You too.

I'd like to try it without looking
at the note.


China agrees to stand down
the war games.

- Right.
- They agree to let Taiwan test Patriots.

- One Patriot.
- Yes.

We... Please, I wanna be right about this.

We agree not to sell Taiwan
the Aegis destroyers for a period of...

...I don't know, five years.
- Ten years, but you got it.

Sir, the Aegis radar technology
isn't something that...

I mean, what if Taiwan did fall
to China?

Now they have... Plus, these ships cost
something like $800 million apiece.

Four would eat up
half of Taiwan's defense budget.

And so?

You never were gonna sell
them the destroyers.

But everybody wakes up alive
in the morning and saves a little face.

I don't know how you... .

I don't know the word.

I don't know how you do it.

You have a lot of help. You listen to
everybody. And then you call the play.

Sam...'re gonna run
for president one day.

Don't be scared.
You can do it. I believe in you.

That's checkmate.

... two roads, no traffic lights, and town
hall's a filing cabinet and a countertop...

... in the town clerk's basement.
Hartsfield's Landing...

... is where democracy begins
for the world's only superpower.

It's 12:01 a.m., and the registrar,
who 's also the principal...

... and only teacher at the Hartsfield
School, calls the roll of voters.

-Claude Abernathy.

Please step up and cast your vote.
Diana Abernathy.

-Please step up and cast your vote.

-Barney Braddock.

Please step up and cast your vote.

-Lillian Braddock.

Lillian 's 18, everyone.
This is her first vote.

Please step up and cast your vote.
Congratulations, Lillian.

Lillian 's mom, Miriam Braddock,
please step up and cast your vote.