The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 3, Episode 16 - Dead Irish Writers - full transcript

Another lively episode centered around a lavish W.H. party, this one for Abbey's birthday the night before a N.H. medical board begins hearings on whether to suspend her license over her secret treatment of her husband's MS. Abbey repairs to the residence with C.J. and Amy Gardener to get blitzed on wine and discuss her concerns about her medical career. Donna is restricted from joining the party because a decades-old cartography error puts her birthplace in Canada. Toby and U.K. Ambassador Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees) repair to a nearby bar to share a bottle of very rare Scotch and to discuss a planned W.H. visit by an IRA political activist, which culminates in Marbury surprising Toby with his progressive vision. Late in the episode, Donna joins the women in the residence and makes an off-the-cuff remark that causes Abbey to rethink her stance on the issue of her license.

Previously on The West Wing:

You broke some laws.
You should be ashamed of yourself...

You're gonna get asked questions
and tell the truth.

And I was almost sure I saw you giving
the president an injection of something.

You're not a medical expert,
you didn't keep records... violated medical practices.
And most important, you're his wife...

...which is a violation
of the AMA's ethics code.

It is becoming clear what the
president's biggest liability will be.

- What?
- You.

- Do you like these earrings?
- I do.

- You wanna look at them first?
- Are they new?

- You've worn them?
- Yeah.

I love them.
"Laissez-faire doctrine," 15 letters.

- Social Darwinism.
- No, that's not the answer, see...

...because social Darwinism
isn't a doctrine. It's a force of nature.

The answer is libertarianism.

- I'll be ready in two minutes.
- Take your time.

Passive-aggression is not gonna
get me out the door any faster.

Boo-boo, I gave up on getting
you out the door in the late '70s.

Plus, it's your birthday. You're old,
and you don't move around that fast.

-"Libertarianism" has 14 letters, not 15.
- I know, so I'm shading in the extra box.

- And it's not my birthday.
- It's your birthday week.

It's a week of festivities,
like Mardi gras or Lent.

Three letters."It may be bitter."
"Tea," right?

-"It may be bitter"? Why"tea"?
-"Woman" doesn't fit.

"End," you idiot. Bitter end.

When the medical board gives
the results of the hearing... they slap it up
on an x-ray light board?

"Here's where the problem is in your
testimony, Abbey. Here and here."

That's funny.
The other 23 jokes weren't funny.

It's not that they weren't funny.
Just they weren't"ha-ha" funny.

But 12 years of medical school,
my life, my work, my future...

...everything, up on the x-ray board,
that's comedy.

I know it sounds like
you're praising me...

Oh, shut up.

It's not your life or 12 years
of anything, or anything.

They're gonna give you the very least.

They can't give me the very least.

The least they can give me
is a letter of concern...

...which is private and unpublished,
but that isn't available to me...

...because I fought the case
and stood by my convictions.

This isn't some guy off the street
talking. I'm a very successful politician.

- How many people are at this party?
- About 200.

But that was five or six hours ago
when it started.

Once more
with the passive-aggressive.

Body organ, produces hydrochloric acid.
That's the kidney, right?

- Or the lima bean?
- Pancreas.

They can't take medical school
away from you.

- Jed...
- Abbey, come here.

I know you're scared...

...but I'm very confident,
so you be whatever you want.

Whatever happens, happens tomorrow.
Tonight is your birthday party.

And your earrings are great.
So are your shoes.

So can we, for the love of God,
get out of this room?

- Good to get that off your chest?
- Yeah.

Pheasant and morel consomm?.

Miniature ravioli of foie gras
and smoked goose confit.

A little canary-melon sorbet
as a palate cleanser.

- All served on the finest Lenox china.
- Oh, you planned this all yourself?

A '97 Willamette Valley pinot noir,
a '94 Hogue Cellars zinfandel.

You really planned this all yourself?

I'm like Gatsby,
but without the problems.

Listen, we're gonna
keep this relaxed, right?

I'm not sure I'm up for a lot
of first-lady fanfare tonight.

- What?
- I wish you'd mentioned that before.


- Ladies and gentlemen, Abbey Bartlet.
- It's gonna be relaxed.

For dessert, we're having
kumquat napoleons.

- Shut up.
- Okay.

- Happy birthday, Mrs. B.
- Oh, thank you, Josh.

- Amy, a friend.
- Happy birthday.

- You look beautiful.
- Amy.

I'm responsible for the two of you.
I haven't gotten credit yet.

- The jury's still out.
- I hope Donna's coming.

Donna was invited. All the women of
the West Wing. We're doing a calendar.

- Not sure what's keeping her.
- Abigail!

Now it's a party.

Yes, Your Lordship.

- Your breasts are magnificent.
- Oh, thank you, John.

Mr. President, the first thing
that attracted you to Abigail...

...was it her magnificent breasts?
- It was.

You know,
there are places in the world...

...where it might be rude to talk
about the physical attributes...

...of another man's wife.
- My God!

- Really?
- Yeah.

Abbey, I bring you warm wishes...

...from Her Royal Majesty.
- That's nice of her.

- I can't deliver the same wishes for you.
- What did I do?

Brendan McGann
cannot visit the White House.

Look, we knew this was
gonna be a thing.

- But it doesn't have to be tonight, right?
- No. I shall take it up with Gerald.

- Who's Gerald?
- I'm pretty sure he means Leo.

- You have a new chief of staff?
- No.

Well, then, Gerald it is.
Abbey, enjoy your birthday gala.

I shall await a dance.

I won't make you wait long,
Your Lordship.


So... . So far, so good.

- Leo?
- Yeah. Do me a favor, would you?

Check out a rumor that Robert Nolan,
chairman of the New Hampshire...

...Medical Board is gonna recuse himself
from Abbey's hearing.

- N-O-L-A-N?
- Yeah.

- And what's the source?
- I don't know.

But it's coming
from the Manchester Union Leader.

Change taxicabs a couple of times.

I don't want the paper knowing
we're asking questions.

- That's no problem. What's going on?
- Let's confirm the story first.

- If it's true, bring it to the president.
- Okay.

And one of us... Well, you need to talk
to Abbey tonight about tomorrow.

- Happy birthday, Abbey.
- I'll get this other thing.

- Hey.
- Hey.

- Jack Enlow?
- No, it's C.J. Cregg. We've met.

And laughed and laughed.

- Is Jack Enlow at the party yet?
- I'm not at the party.

If you're gonna start with Enlow,
can I send the press home?

- I'm not an instigator.
- You are.

I'm on the side of the angels.

I'll say this. You can wear a tuxedo.

- I know.
- I know you know.

- Good evening.
- Why is Dalton Millgate coming here?

- How'd you know he was coming?
- How do you think?

- Because you know everything.
- Yes.

I had him for a semester.

He's having trouble getting funding
for a superconductor.

I told him I'd put him
with Jack Enlow.

- You gonna fight with Enlow?
- Why does everybody think...?

- Never mind. I'm just doing him a favor.
- Okay.

- How you feeling about the first lady?
- I was feeling good, and now I'm not.

- Why?
- We're checking it out...

...but I think the swing vote's
gonna recuse himself.

- President will wanna call him.
- Maybe.

Yeah, he can't. He can't call him.
It could send us into a whole new thing.

You ever mix politics and the president's
family and get a good result?

- No.
- Me neither. I've been at this longer.


He can't pick up the phone.

- Isn't it called a supercollider?
- Is it?

- You called it a superconductor.
- Whatever.

- Keep blood off your shirt.
- I'm not an instigator.

Donna. What are you doing here?

- Are you having a good time?
- The party's started.

Is the champagne flowing
as smoothly as the badinage?

- Elegant men and beautiful gowns?
- The men are in tuxes.

-"And" beautiful gowns, not"in."
- What are you doing here?

There was a problem when the Secret
Service did its check on the guest list.

- A problem with what?
- With me.

Donna, you work in the White House.
You fly with the president.

- What's the problem?
- I do not know.

- Come into the party.
- I don't think I should.

- Why?
- Well, they'll shoot me.

- They wouldn't tell you the problem?
- Said they'd get back to me.

- You want me to get into it?
- That'd be very nice.

- You look good.
- Thanks.

- Dr. Millgate.
- Sam.

- It's been a long time.
- Yes.

And now the student
becomes the teacher, huh?

Not really, no.

Okay. So did I disappoint you
when I didn't go into physics?

- No.
- Why?

- You were bad at it.
- No, I wasn't.


- I just needed a little encouragement.
- No.

Congress isn't gonna fund
your superconductor.


Superconducting supercollider.
This is exactly what I'm talking about.

A 54-mile tunnel 150 feet belowground,
in which protons and antiprotons...

...would be flung into each other
at the speed of light.

- Can you remember that?
- Yes.

Because when you talk about it
you shouldn't sound like an idiot.

There's no lobby for this, Sam.
There's no presence in Washington.

It's just me coming to see you. That's
how seriously the government takes it.

- Well, Congress spent 2 billion.
- I know.

But all they did was clear the land
and build a lab. We need the thing.

- Now, is he there?
- The senator? Yeah.

- Because you said he'd be at the party.
- He's there.

- Go talk to him.
- Okay.

I said I'd do this, but it's likely he's
gonna say this is an unaffordable luxury.

We're losing the race
for discovery, Sam.

For discovery.

Tonight, it's just me and you.

- That doesn't really sound like enough.
- No.

- What hotel you staying at?
- I'm not staying at a hotel.

- Where can I call you?
- I'll be right here.

- It's not like a drive-up window...
- You're wasting time.



- Yes, sir.
- I'm gonna need you later.

- Sure.
- I wanna work on my toast.

- Want Sam or Toby?
- I don't need help writing.

I can write a damn toast.
I just wanna say it out loud.

- Any warm body is fine.
- Thank you, sir.

- When I give you the signal, we'll go.
- What's the signal?

It'll be something like,"Charlie,
we're gonna work on the toast."

- Excuse me.
- You finally got here.

I think Abbey's gonna pull
a hamstring about tomorrow.

- You mind if I talk to her a little bit?
- About what?

You know, what she should
be saying tomorrow.

- I'm feeling all right about it.
- Just in case.

I don't know. She's pretty pissed.

- Yeah, but at you, right?
- Yeah.

- Yeah.
- All right.

- Did she like the fanfare?
- Loved it.



- Chuck.
- Good to see you.

- You're friends with the first lady?
- My wife.

- Oh, sure. You know Amy Gardner?
- Just by reputation.

- I thought you were great on Crossfire.
- I don't think I was on Crossfire.

- I meant Josh.
- Actually, you meant Sam.

- I heard it was you.
- As long as you heard I was great.

Listen, you've still got
my number, right?

- About the thing?
- Yeah.

- Nice meeting you.
- Good seeing you, Chuck.

"About the thing"?

- You guys pulling a heist?
- No.

Come on. Let me in on the action.

I can be a dame.

I won't blow the whistle,
get you cheesed.

No, Mugsy. Chuck Kane heads
Intergovernmental Affairs at Treasury...

...and he wants a job on the campaign
as deputy political director.

- Is he gonna get it?
- I don't think so.

- Who else are you considering?
- Mark Rothman and Robbie Gill.


I was thinking Mark and Robbie
are funny names for women.

- They're men.
- I know.

They happen to be men.
They happen to be men.

You're not hiring enough women
in senior positions for the campaign.

- How do you know?
- Because it's my job to know.

We're in a dangerous area.

If women were the only voters...

...the Democrats would win
in a landslide every time.

If men were the only voters,
the GOP would be the left-wing party.

Women will be 60 percent of the vote.

Don't you think they should make up
40 percent of the campaign staff?

Let me tell you why
this is a dangerous area.

Because I can't make decisions based
on the fact that I like your smooth skin.

You're right.

- Don't try and trick me.
- You're right. This should be off-limits.

I apologize.

- You're trying to trick me.
- No.

I'll be scared for the rest of the night.

- Hey, what happened to Donna?
- Donna. Yes.

Excuse me.

- Josh.
- Yeah.

Where's the president?

He went with Charlie
to work on his toast.

I'm gonna need a few minutes
of uninterrupted time...

- Gerald!
- Yeah.

Gerald, old sock.

- Gotta go.
- Yeah.

Brendan McGann cannot come
to the White House.

- How are you, John?
- I'm well.

But McGann cannot
come to the White House.

Hang on. Toby.

- You know Toby Ziegler.
- Yeah. We've met on occasion.

Toby, come here.

- Lord John Marbury.
- Yes.

Good evening, Your Lordship.

Well, good evening. Yes.

Talk to him about McGann.

- You object to him coming?
- My objections are irrelevant.

Her Majesty's government
has objections.

- Which are?
- He's a terrorist.

Hang on a second. Sinn F?in is a political
party, in fact, the oldest in Ireland.

- And the political wing of the IRA.
- Sir...

A terrorist cell. You are honoring a man
at your St. Patrick's Day dinner...

...allied with car bombers
and murderers of British soldiers.

This, not to mention, Irish men,
women and children.

You are doing it to appease Democrats
from New York City and Boston.

- He's not being honored, just invited.
- He shouldn't be given a visa.

And I think we have to be careful
how we use the word"terrorist."

- Can I call you John?
- I am John, Lord Marbury...

...Earl of Croy,
Marquis of Needham and Dolby...

...Baronet of Brycey, England's
ambassador to the United States.

And a terrorist is a terrorist...

...even if he wears a green necktie
and sings"Danny Boy."

Yes, you can call me John.

You feel like a drink?

Yeah. I was looking for some Lagavulin.

- It's a 16-year-old Islay single malt.
- I know Lagavulin.

They usually have it here.

Let's go down the street.
They keep a bottle there.

Lead on.

Excuse me.

- Senator.
- Yes?

- Sam Seaborn.
- Sure.

- Wondering if you had a moment.
- I promised my wife a dance.

This will just take a moment.
I've an eminent physicist in my office.

- Dr. Millgate. You've heard of him?
- Yes.

He asked me about the supercollider.
I didn't have any answers...

- It's dead.
- It is?

- As a Greek poet.
- I'm sure there are live poets in Greece.

- Could you tell me how it died?
- I don't know.

You're a ranking member
of the authorizing subcommittee.

- How can you not know?
- It was put on anonymous hold.

- That only applies to nominations.
- You're wrong.

- Anyone can hold any bill for any reason.
- I don't understand.

- How long does the objection last?
- Until the senator loses.

You just tell your floor leader.

- That's insane.
- Says you.

This isn't a duck hunter with a gripe
in my office. It's Dalton Millgate.

- Who's blocking the damn supercollider?
- It'd compromise the anonymous hold.

It would compromise
autocratic obstructionism.

We're talking about the Senate,
the saucer that cools the coffee.

- And the drain that swallows it, sir.
- Check around.

- I'm on record in favor of it.
- Thank God the hold's anonymous.

- It's you.
- Sam.

- You really care about the supercollider?
- I didn't before.

It's a long night,
and we're not done yet.

Go dance with your wife.

- Hi.
- They covered the arrivals on the news.

Everyone looked so nice. And happy.

I brought you some food.

- What's going on?
- I don't have all the answers...

...but it's pretty weird so far.


Secret Service says there's
an INS notation next to your name.

- What kind of notation?
- U.S. citizen: N.

- They're saying I'm not a U.S. citizen?
- No...

- Yes.
- I don't understand.

- They're saying...
- I'm a U.S. citizen.

Born in Minnesota, moved to Wisconsin,
now I live in Washington. What happened?

- A mistake of some kind.
- You think?

We're sorting it out.

I've voted in every election...
I paid taxes as a citizen of this country.

I have a birth certificate
and a passport.

- It'll just take a few more minutes.
- You brought food?


- Go away.
- All right.

- Give me the olives.
- Okay.

I'd kind of like to wait until
we know something for sure...

...before we start planning.
- Yeah.

The thing is, though,
the first day's important.

What I'd like to do, for instance,
is schedule a public event... we're not scared.

- What about a comment?
- You'll make a comment.

But body language is gonna be
just as important.

Can't hang your head. You gotta smile,
but you'll look smug... You've gotta...

And there can't be...
Obviously, there can't be no reaction.

What about the campaign?

I'm not gonna tell a man's wife
she can't campaign.

I don't know what that means.

I think we can get a lot of use out
of you in targeted Democratic areas.

Big cities, evening fundraisers.
We'll keep you out of the South.

- Can we talk about this tomorrow?
- We need to...

How about tomorrow?

- It's important.
- A lot of things are important.

Of course.

I'm sorry. Enjoy the party.

Thank you.

"I've known my wife, Abbey,
for nearly 150 years."

I won't do that.
She won't think that's funny.


Okay, I should... Yeah. Okay.

"Thank you all for being here tonight."

By the way, do you know where
the term"toast" comes from?

- Can I say something, sir?
- Yeah.

I'd stick to Mrs. Bartlet
and not get into etymology...

I was talking to you. The Stuarts.

They'd put a piece of toast
in your wine cup to improve the flavor.

In 1643, members
of the Middle Temple...

...toasted Princess Elizabeth
by pledging to die in her service.

Hey, that could be the button.

- Excuse me.
- I haven't seen you all night.

I've been tracking something down.

- Charlie.
- Yes, sir.

- What is it?
- A piece in the Manchester Union Leader.

"Sources close to Robert Nolan
of the New Hampshire Medical Board...

...predict that he will announce
his recusal from the case..."

No, damn it.

..."because of his relationship with the
Bartlets." What does this mean?

We think the board
was evenly divided...

...and Nolan was the deciding vote,
which is what dictated a lot of it.

- Damn it!
- There was a personal relationship.

They worked together for 20 years.
I appointed him to the board.

- Excuse me, sir.
- C.J., you should probably tell Abbey.

Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. President.

The Union Leader says Nolan's
gonna recuse himself.

What's gonna happen?

They're gonna suspend her license
for a year.

- We just talked for a little bit.
- And?

I don't think you need to be concerned
about her leaving you for me.

I was pretty concerned.

She's definitely leaving you
for somebody...

Will you leave me alone.

I'm trying to be a husband,
and your mojo's getting all over me.

Marbury's sitting with Toby.

- This is Brendan McGann, right?
- Yeah.

Yeah, I don't know what
to say about that.

- I'll see you inside.
- Yeah.

Thank you, Mr. President.

- Josh.
- Good evening, ma'am.

I'm sorry to do this at a party.

This is a list of names I'd like you
to consider for deputy political director.

We got it down to a few finalists.

Yeah, I'd like you to add these names.

I notice these are all women.

Women are 60 percent
of our vote, Josh.

Don't you think they should make up...

...40 percent of our campaign staff?
- I'm sorry?

I said, women are 60 percent
of our vote. Don't you think...?


- You'll get on it?
- Yes, ma'am.

Having a good time?

You bet.

- You look beautiful.
- Thank you, ma'am, and so do you.

I need to speak with you for a second.

- This can't be good.
- No, I'm afraid not.

Abbey, The Union Leader's
got sources...

...saying Dr. Nolan's gonna recuse
himself from the case.

- Claudia Jean.
- Yes, ma'am.

Let's get drunk.


- Hey, it's a list of women.
- Yes, it is.

- She got right on it.
- Yes, she did.

- You love me?
- You went over my head...

...and you did it behind my back.
- Quite the contortionist am I.

What position is Abbey Bartlet in
to know anything...?


- Yes, ma'am.
- C.J. and I are gonna get drunk.

- Come on.
- Yes, ma'am.

- You're going?
- First lady asked me to booze with her.

- I want to write a book one day.
- Amy...

You're beeping.

- All right, listen.
- Yes.

Well, first of all, you're not allowed
to smoke in the White House.

- You're kidding.
- No.

And the search
for civilization continues.

Come outside.

I need you to tell me everything
you can about the supercollider.

- How much time we have?
- About 10 minutes.

If you pay close attention, stay quiet,
I can teach you how to spell it.

Listen, this is what I do.
I get things fast.

- Since when?
- What is it?

It's a machine that reveals
the origins of matter.

I'm assuming from the look on your face
you couldn't tell me what matter is.

There's a lot of knowledge out there.
I may have missed some things.

By smashing protons together
at very high speeds and temperatures...

...we can re-create the big bang
in a laboratory setting.

Creating the kinds of particles
that only existed... the first trillionth of a second
after the universe was created.

Terrific. I understood that. What kind
of practical applications does it have?

None at all.

- You're not a helpful person.
- Don't have to be. I have tenure.


There are no practical applications!
Anybody says different is lying.

I need to be able to show him
I can paint him as against something.

Children, baseball, fresh air...

...campaign finance. What does it mean
to be against the supercollider?

- I don't know where to start.
- Come on.

I really don't.

Listen, what's your motivation?

What are you talking about?

Well, you did me the favor,
and now you're still going.

I have a history
with this particular senator.

Well, that's a really
stupid-ass reason, Sam.

I like to win.

So this guy ate your Froot Loops...

- What do you care?
- I don't.

- What's your motivation?
- I'm a particle physicist.

Not suddenly. Why now?

The budget resolution has
to be passed by April 15.

That means the authorizing bill
to Senate Appropriations...

...has to go up mid-March.

Now, you can shoehorn a road
or a bridge at the last minute...

...but not 12 billion
for a supercollider. Also...

...I have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

There's something to be said for
giving McGann credibility by inviting him.

It strengthens him in dealing with
the violent members of his own party.

Degrees of violent.

If we legitimize him,
Protestants will wake up...

...and accept they've gotta negotiate.

You were the author of the president's
speech at the General Assembly?

- There were many authors.
- Of which you were one.

The IRA backed out of its promise
to put its weapons beyond use... agreed to
in the Good Friday peace accord.

True or false? Until it disarms...

...the IRA and its political representatives
in Sinn F?in are a terrorist group.

- True.
- When did it become...

...policy of the United States
to negotiate with terrorists?

We've had Arafat here, John.

And my heaven, isn't that
paying bloody dividends?

- It wasn't worth trying?
- You're making the mistake of youth.

The president's not a kid.

The country is.

Involving yourself in an old conflict
without sufficient regard for history.

Listen to the warning of old friends.

It was Kipling who warned to expect:

The blame of those ye better
The hate of those ye guard

But wasn't it James Joyce who said:

"History is a nightmare
from which I'm trying to awake"?

Yes, but it was your own great
Irish master, Eugene O'Neill, who said:

"There is no present or future.

Only the past happening
over and over again, now."

So we should butt out of Ireland
until we know what we're doing?

I'm saying Brendan McGann
cannot come to the White House.

- Say, speaking of dead Irish writers...
- Yes, another drink.

Here we go.

"Awasiwi odanak:
Far from the things of man."

When Jed first took me to his house,
which is 25 miles from anywhere...

...he said,"Awasiwi odanak:
Far from the things of man."

- What a jackass.
- I'm gonna open the wine.

The wine is a '95 old vine zinfandel...

...from Hogue Cellars, which belonged
to King Boudewijn of Belgium...

...and is best sipped while making
anagrams out of the phrase:

"My husband's an enormous jackass."

Amy, what are you looking for?

Anything I can take notes with.

This is an excellent corkscrew.

It just slides right in there
like power steering.

The right tool for the job.

The corkscrew sucks.
Should I call a steward?

We don't need to call.
I'm board-certified in thoracic surgery.

And a good thing too.

Did Josh have a nutty
on the campaign hiring?

He's, you know... . He's adjusting.

Well, let him adjust faster. Jackass.

- Excuse me.
- Oh, Donna.

I'm sorry, ma'am.
Josh was looking for Amy.

She's right here.
Where have you been all night?

It's a little tough to explain.

Tougher to explain than
secretly prescribing Betaseron?

It turns out I'm not
an American citizen... Secret Service wanted me
to talk to INS.

I was born in Warroad, Minnesota,
only I wasn't.

INS just clarified the border,
and it's now in Manitoba.

- You're not an American?
- Missed it by four miles.

- You seem pretty calm about it.
- No, I'm very upset.

I don't know my national anthem.
I've thrown out Canadian pennies.

I've been making fun of the queen.

- I'm sure it'll all work out.
- Thank you, ma'am.

- Where are you going?
- They've let me into the party.

- Stay and have some wine with us.
- Really?


That's very nice of you.

- Probably shouldn't drink, though.
- Don't worry.

- Canadian, huh?
- Yeah.

You feel funnier?

No, but I am developing
a massive inferiority complex.

- Did it come out?
- Next best thing, it's in the bottle.

- We'll decant it.
- Now it's a party.


This is a good bottle of wine.

It's almost made me forget
how much cork I swallowed...

...from the first bottle of wine.

I don't understand.
It was good corkscrew, graphite.

- C.J.
- Stop talking about the corkscrew?

- Yeah.
- I wanted to ask you a question...

...but I'm not sure how.
- What?

If the most they can give you
is a year's suspension, is it...?

- That big a deal?
- Yes.

Yes. I'm a doctor.
It's not like changing your major.

You, of all people...

I mean, women talk about their husbands
overshadowing their careers.

Mine got eaten.

- Your husband got eaten?
- My career.

Yeah. Well, I'm on
dangling modifier patrol.

- What's your problem?
- Are you first lady right now?


Sometimes you like to talk,
and I think that's great.

Sometimes you're Abbey and sometimes
my boss. I respect both very much...

- I'm Abbey.
- Yes, I agree with her.

They take this job away from me,
I've got nothing.

I don't have a cat.

I could get one, but I don't have one.

Frankly, I'm not wild about cats.

I don't hate them. I'm just not... .

- I could learn to like them, I guess, if l...
- C.J.

You've got a husband and children,
a home and a life.

We're talking about one year
of not having a medical license.

Jed got censured and that came
with no tangible penalty.

It was a banner headline.
He's having a nervous breakdown.

- That's different.
- Why?

- Because it is, and you know it.
- I'm first lady again.

- You are first lady, Abbey.
- Yes.

And it's not like it's been
a detour from health care.

What, you've expanded Medicare
to cover mammograms...

...cancer clinical trials. That's money
that could've gone into Viagra.

You were the one who said"no dice"
to cutting infant nutrition programs...

...nursing-home standards...
- There's plenty of stuff left.

- That's not the point.
- What's the point?

- I'm a doctor.
- Mrs. Bartlet, you were also a doctor...

...when your husband said,"Give me
the drugs and don't tell anybody."

Oh, my God.
You switched back to first lady.

- That's all right.
- I'm so sorry, Mrs. Bartlet.

It's okay.

He took the censure standing up.

I was very proud to have voted
for him that day.

Me too.

Let's get back to the party.

Okay, here we go.

Time is tight.

That's when the juices get flowing.

I'm not sure we have time
for juices, sir.

- I could tell the story of the ditchdigger.
- Sure.

- You know the story?
- I do not.

Abbey and I are walking,
we see a ditchdigger.

I said,"You glad you married me?
You could have married him."

She said,"Jed, if I'd married him,
he'd be president."

- What do you think?
- No.


It seems like a story
about how cool you are.

It is.

- Do you love her?
- Very deeply.

- That'll work fine.
- No, it won't.

In my house, anyone who uses one word
when they could've used 10...

...just isn't trying hard.
Let's keep at it.

The darkness in our sunshine,
the shadow on our souls...

...the biblical sins of the fathers.

For Americans, it's slavery.

Slavery is your original sin.

That and your unfortunate history
with your aborigines.

Native Americans.

For the English, it's Ireland.

Well, they've given us
a couple U.S. presidents...

...a lot of Boston Democrats
and half the New York City Police.

Not to mention the song,
"Yankee Doodle Dandy."


Centuries of home rule foiled by English
conservatives or Ulster Orangemen...

...immortal martyrs, secret tribunals
leading to public hangings...

...followed by war, followed by...

...followed by, followed by... .

Wouldn't you say we
were doing you a favor?

By intervening?

That's the act of a friend.

What is left to do but talk?

What could be better for that wounded
place than sitting down and talking?

- Not to talk to Brendan McGann.
- We can't choose who.

- Of course you can't.
- Then, what can we do but talk to him?


You must talk to him.


Toby, despite appearances,
I do have lucid moments.

And I know that England is running out
of turns in this particular... .

But as ambassador for Her Majesty's
government, I must tell you that...

Brendan McGann cannot come
to the White House.


Understood, Mr. Ambassador.


- F.D.R. smoked.
- Yeah.

In the White House, Campobello,


- He got re-elected six or seven times.
- Is there no doctor you can see...?

Next time the Bartlets invite me
to a party...

...remind me to bring five assistants
and a loaded gun.

You got my note.

All infrastructure projects earmarked
for Illinois will be anonymously blocked?

Let's play our game.

- Don't make me mad.
- Don't make me laugh.

I couldn't figure out this on-the-record,
off-the-record crap until Dr. Millgate...

- This is Dr. Millgate, by the way.
- Churchill smoked.

Until he told me it'll be built in Illinois.
So you have to be for it on-the-record.

Off-the-record, it crowds out
all the pork... the Senator Enlow Off-Ramp,
Rest Stop, Hotel and Casino.

Don't send me notes anymore.

Sam, screw the Froot Loops.


I apologize.

I apologize for my tactics
and my behavior.

- Okay.
- Okay.

Please don't let that jeopardize,
you know... .

The subcommittee should have hearings
and learned testimony.

I'm a Democrat, Sam.

How's a $20 billion astronomy lecture
gonna help elect the president?

It won't."We've discovered a seamless
framework for the universe"...

...isn't a good 30-second spot.

If we could only say what benefit
this has. No one's been able to.

That's because great achievement
has no road map.

The x-ray's pretty good,
and so is penicillin.

And neither were discovered
with a practical objective in mind.

I mean, when the electron was
discovered in 1897, it was useless.

And now we have an entire world
run by electronics.

Haydn and Mozart
never studied the classics.

They couldn't. They invented them.


- What?
- That's the thing that you were...

Discovery is what...
That's what this is used for.

It's for discovery.

Even if this thing passed the Senate,
it's dead in the House.

Just as long as democracy's
not dead in the Senate.

I'll withdraw my anonymous hold.

- Because you're scared of my threat?
- Yes.

- Good.
- You think I was a hurdle...

...good luck
with the Appropriations Committee.

Thank you.

- See, that wasn't so hard.
- I've gotta get back to the party.

I've gotta get on a train.

- We can get you a room for the night.
- No.

God, Dalton, isn't there anything...?
Sloan-Kettering or...?

All right.

Thanks, Sam.

Now you think I'd make
a good physicist?

No, but you're not bad
for government help.

- Mrs. Bartlet?
- Yes.

Excuse me, but I'm so sorry
about the way I spoke before.

Oh, don't be. You were good.

- I've got a surprise for you coming up.
- Really?

- Excuse me.
- Yes.


- Actually, first of all, Amy.
- Yes?

I understand, and I forgive you.

- You forgive me?
- I do.

- What the hell kind of thing is that...?
- Honey.

Thank you for forgiving me, Josh.
I appreciate that.

- No problem.
- Jackass.

Donna, you're an American again.

INS has a grandfather clause.
If you pass a three-part literacy test... American history exam and fill out
a one-page form, you're back.

- My adopted country.
- Wow, Josh.

- I wish you'd mentioned this before.
- Why?

- Wow.
- You were very good in there, Donna.

What the hell is going on?

I was gone for 45 minutes.
They were all Americans when I left.

I know exactly how you feel,
Mr. President.

I called Nolan.
I know I shouldn't have...

...but the rules are different
when it comes to family.

There isn't a man
who doesn't understand that.

I also think partiality
isn't a vice in this case.

He knows you,
and that's a good thing.

He's gonna consider
not recusing himself.

I'm gonna voluntarily forfeit
my license...

...for the duration of our stay
in the White House.


I'm gonna do a toast in a minute,
and I'll tell the ditch story.

But I wanted to say
that I love you very much.

- I love you too, Jethro.
- Don't call me that.

I think I will.


- Lord John.
- Abigail, may I grasp your breasts?

I'm standing right here.

- You may kiss my cheek.
- Excellent.

- Abbey.
- Oh, Gerald.

I haven't had a chance
to say happy birthday.

Happy birthday, Abbey.

Happy birthday, Abbey.