The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 4, Episode 19 - Angel Maintenance - full transcript

The President, C.J. Cregg, Will Bailey, and others are returning from a long flight overseas. As Air Force One is about to land, the indicator light for the nose wheel fails to come on, prompting pilot Colonel Jessie Weiskopf to call off the landing, and notify the President of the possibility of terrorism. The White House Press Corps is on board, therefore CJ and Will must keep the story under wraps, due to it being a world market event. This becomes a challenge when a F-16 Eagle jet is sent to inspect the nose wheel on AFO. Meanwhile on the ground, Josh is working with Congressman Tom Landis (R-MD) on legislation to Clean-up Chesapeake Bay, which angers Congressional Democrats. Toby meets with Congressman Mark Richardson (D-NY) who has introduced legislation to reinstate the draft, furthermore Toby notifies the Congressman a soldier from his constituency was killed in action in Equatorial Kundu. Donna works with members of the 1st Airlift Squadron, 89th Airlift Wing to learn about "Angel Maintenance," in order to brief CJ, when she returns. Angel is the code word for the President's plane.

Previously on The West Wing:

Steve, Betsy, Julie, Julia...

There are some 120 news outlets
covering the hour-to-hour movements...

...of the president. Only the cream
of the crop ride here.

The rest are in the zoo plane.

- Have you decided on a press policy?
- I don't decide that for our armed forces.

We're gonna have
a dabba-do time.

Unless there are any updates,
I'll see you on the plane.

Because it's 18 hours from Manila,
it's 9:25 p.m. Eastern.

- It should be 10:25.
- We left Manila at 3:25 today.

- We left Manila at 3:25 yesterday.
- In Manila, it was yesterday.

- Was it?
- Well, no, actually, it was tomorrow.

But it's 9:25 right now, Eastern. Agreed?

I've agreed that it's 9:25. I'm just saying
it should be 9:25 in the morning.

But it's not. You can just look
out the window and check.

Ladies and gentlemen,
this is Lieutenant Colonel Caplan.

Colonel Weiskopf told you that
we were beginning our initial descent...

... but Andrews approach has asked us
to make a left turn at Valhalla Vector...

... maintain our altitude, and proceed
along jet route five.

We assume there's a problem
on the ground...

... and just as soon as they have it
figured out, they'll wave us on in.

He's saying the deadline for Colombia's
recertification is midnight.

- Yes, sir.
- Didn't I sign those papers already?

Yes, but the statute requires you have
a briefing on the current drug situation.

- We'll do it in the car on the way in.
-Just to check:

They'll tell me the narcotraficantes run
the parliament, but we should...

...recertify them as an ally
in the drug war.

It's pro forma. Better than having
them as an enemy in the drug war.

- You mean calling them an enemy.
- I did.

- You gotta be briefed in person...
- Sir, Colonel Weiskopf to see you.

- The deadline for that is today, right?
- Yes, sir.

- Jessie,"left turn, maintain altitude"?
- Would you excuse us, please?

Leo, hang on a second.

- What's the problem on the ground?
- No problem on the ground, sir.

When we deployed hydraulics, our
nose-wheel light didn't illuminate.

Chances are, it's a problem
with the light itself.

But we have no way of knowing
if our front wheels locked.

An F-16's been scrambled from Durbin
Air Base. It'll be here in 22 minutes.

- Then what happens?
- They pull alongside to get a visual read.

- Then what?
- If we don't have our wheels?

- Yeah.
- There are a number of options.

- Keep me briefed?
- Yes, sir.

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


We've got a problem up here.

Listen to me. Are you listening?

It's something that sounds
worse than it is.

I can't tell you how many times
this happens.

It's a 30-cent piece of plastic.

It should cost more, don't you think?

A friend of mine landing a Beechcraft
at Teterboro puts down the gear...

... the wheels fall right off the plane.
He ditched it.

You got more of these stories?

Oh, yeah, a thousand of them.

Seriously, man, if they dug a grave for
me every time I lost an indicator light...

I've got a plane full of reporters up here.

- C.J. will know what to do.
- Sir?

- Well, we're gonna give it a try.
- Good evening, Mr. President.

Charlie, stay in here, would you?
Here's what's going on.

The light that indicates that the
landing gear is locked didn't go on...

...which usually indicates
a light problem.

But what they're gonna do is, they've
sent a fighter jet to fly up alongside...

...and get visual confirmation it's down,
and then we land.

- Here's the tricky part.
- Here's the tricky part?

The press can't know this is going on.
There are two issues:

One is that the Nikkei's about to open,
the other is national security.

We can't broadcast that Air Force One
is up in the air and can't land.

They said it's a ground problem.
We'll stay with that.

What'll we say when they see
an Air Force fighter out their window?

- That's gonna take some thought.
- Okay.

Thank you.

Can you give me some tarmac jargon
about what's happening on the ground?

We shouldn't give them too many
details. Let's say a runway incursion.

A maintenance truck caused a fuel spill
on the runway they want us to use.

- Are you all right?
- Yeah.

Ed, Larry, can you talk to Will
for a second?

Anybody notice Chris has been
on the phone for 20 minutes...

...but hasn't spoken?

- Hang on.
- Who remembers Dial-A-Joke?

C.J., what's going on?

A maintenance truck caused a fuel spill
on our runway a few minutes ago...

...and they're cleaning it up.
- C.J.

I don't know how long it's gonna take.

That was a stringer we use
on the lvory Coast.

He's got double confirmation
of friendly-fire deaths... Kundu a few hours ago.
- Thanks.

Signal, this is C.J. Cregg. I need you to
page Leo McGarry with a call holding.

Does it feel like there's still
too much regulation?


I'm not saying"is there,"
I'm saying"does it feel like there is."

Stop thinking like a Republican.

- I am a Republican.
- And that's fine.

I have nothing with that, I really don't.
I'm just saying stop thinking like one.

It's thinking like one that's gonna
get this bill passed.

If it feels like, in the toxic provision,
there's too much regulation...

It's cleaning up Chesapeake Bay.

It's not regulation, and regulation
is what congressmen do.

Not Republican congressmen.
We look out for local business.

When the Chesapeake turns fluorescent
colors, local business will...

...have a bigger concern.
- That's why I support this bill.

- And why the president's signing it.
- You skipped where the majority votes.

- I'm asking you again, does it feel too...?
- No, it doesn't...

...feel too regulated. It doesn't have
the texture of the je ne sais quoi...

- Hey, shut up.
...of big government...

Let's get back to work.

What does"Chesapeake" mean?

"Big Shellfish Bay."

- You never spent any time there?
- No.

It's incredibly beautiful.

- Josh.
- You ever been there?

Chesapeake Bay? No.

There was a fuel spill on the ground
at Andrews.

They've gotta clean it up
before he can land.

Man, after an 18-hour flight?

I'm heading back to my office.
Why don't you move onto...

...point/nonpoint source pollution and
storm runoff. Back in a few minutes.

They've got a problem with landing gear.

- I know, I wrote the note.
- You wrote"landing geak."

They've got to stay, check it out.

- They're saying it's nothing, right?
- They're saying it's a light.

I want the president to look
at the Medicaid rules.

- I'll fax them there.
- Josh.

- Congressmen.
- We had a meeting canceled.

Yeah, they spilled something
on the runway.

"Runway incursion," it's called.

Nothing like flying 8000 miles,
then circling the parking lot.

- You were with Landis?
- I'm sorry?

You were working with Tom Landis?

- Donna...
- You want me to fax those?

- And get C.J. on the phone.
- Yeah. That's an R.

It's a K.

- Chesapeake Bay cleanup.
- We talked about this.

- It's nothing. Chesapeake Bay cleanup.
- He's a vulnerable Republican.

- You're giving him his seat.
- It's a bipartisan bill, a victory for us.

An environmental bill. The Republicans
hate it. It's very regulatory.

I don't care, his name is on it.

He's delivering Chesapeake Bay to
Maryland. They will reelect him.

I appreciate your thoughts.

You know what some Hill Democrats
call the Bartlet reelect?

"The lonely landslide."

There's a sentiment that the president
wanted a Republican congress...

- That's absurd.
- Why help one of the most...

...vulnerable Republicans...?
- You're for divided government.

Divided government's what we got.
We should go on a hunger strike?

No, but do you wanna
take back the House?

If Hill Democrats don't think
your hearts are in it...

Then what?

There's a reason they're calling
it a lonely landslide. I mean...

...we've talked about this.

- Anyway, look, have a good night.
- Good night, congressmen.

Toby, they just told me.
Donna's getting C.J. on the phone.

- I sent Will in my place.
- It's not like they won't fix it.

- You don't have to feel guilty about it.
- No, thank God I sent Will in my place.

How long before they know?

They're about five minutes away.

That's about all the time
C.J. 's got to work with...

...because there's a wire-service guy
at Andrews right now...

...who records the wheels' downtime.

Pretty soon, he'll say,
"Show me the spill."

A wire guy on the ground?

Toby, 20 White House reporters are
about to see a supersonic fighter jet...

...200 feet outside their window. It'll
be a story, but he'll be down by then.

A couple of hours ago, we lost
five guys in friendly fire in Kundu.

- What happened?
- A platoon of infantrymen called in... air strike during live fire training.

There was a GPS error,
and they became the target.

- Oh, God.
- I need you to talk to Mark Richardson.

Right away. He's speaking
at Brookings tomorrow...

...and he's coming out against U.S.
involvement in Kundu.

- We knew he felt that.
- We didn't know he was...

...saying so at the Brookings Institution,
so let's see what we can do.


Called in an air raid, and the computer
hit them as a target.

How would you like to have
to be the guy who explains that?

Were Simmel and Segal giving you a hard
time about the Chesapeake cleanup?

- They're not big fans of mine.
- I meant the nuisance of circling...

...when I said,"Thank God I sent
Will instead of me."

- Not the other thing.
- I knew what you meant.

It's gonna be on the right side of the
plane, and we'll be near Harper's Ferry.

Blue Ridge Mountains,
what can we look at?

- At night?
- Any lights, fireworks?

It's Wildflower Week at Shenandoah
National Park. Lilacs, ochre, crimson.

- Do they light up?
- We're nowhere near that park.

- I was looking at Blue Ridge Mountains.
- A festival of lights?

- Or astronomy? Is there a comet?
- C.J., Will.

Yeah, it's confirmed.

Five infantrymen.
They're on their way back.

- Have the families been notified?
- No, I'm gonna do that on the ground.

Will, I was supposed to get a Colombia
recertification briefing in the car.

- Can you do it up here?
- You don't want someone from State?

The statute says
it's gotta be in person.

Yeah, I can do it.
What are you certifying?

That Colombia's an ally in the drug war.

- So, what's the plan?
- Looking for something in the mountains.

- At night?
- Something with lights.

- Is that gonna work?
- I don't see how it possibly can fail.

All right, let's get this over with
and land.

- It's time. It's a minute away.
- Okay.

- Good luck.
- Did you say,"good luck"?

- Yeah.
- You're doing it.

I screw with them all the time,
they won't buy it from me.

Or from anybody.
The plane will be close.

It's not worth a try? Look at my face.

- It's not worth a try?
-"Look at my face"?

- Listen...
- I'm going.

Hey, listen, everybody.

We're about to go
by something incredible.

You hardly ever get to see this.

It's out the left side.

- What is it?
- You gotta come over to the left side.

- Everybody over here.
- What are we over?

The Blue Ridge Mountains. There's a
festival of lights and bonfires here...

...that accompanies the"wildflower
renaissance" with lilac and ochre.

That you can see from 33,000 feet?

Yes. It's arranged in a pattern that
befuddles astronomers to this day.

- We should be coming up on it any...
- Oh, my God!


Of course, on the right side
of the plane is an F-16 Falcon.

What the hell's going on?

- She's on our wing.
- Have we been attacked?

Is that one of ours?

What's going on?

Signal, this is C.J. Cregg.
Shut off the phones in the press cabin.

There's a problem
with the plane's landing gear.

- Is it down?
- Sorry, sir, we don't know yet.

- Why not?
- There's no moon. It's tough to see.

- What's next?
- We do a flyby at Andrews, take a look.

- How close do we fly to the tower?
- Pretty close.

- At what altitude?
- Pretty low.

We can't stay up here for a couple days
and wait till there's a moon?

We'll let the boys in the Falcon
poke around a bit first...

...but I want to...
- What else?

We're gonna have to refuel pretty soon.

- Larry, go back and mention that to C.J.
- Yes, sir.

- No one's in a position to file right now.
- Not in a position to...?

Air Force One isn't landing
and has a military escort.

You'd file that, not mention
the landing gear?

We'd mention the gear,
along with the maintenance truck.

The truck was to avoid panic. You were
gonna know the truth at the end.

I won't broadcast that the
president's plane is in distress.

It creates very real security concerns
and happens to be a world-market event.

- It is a market event.
- The story's embargoed.

If a cell phone appears, the phone
will be confiscated by a steward.

- They wanna refuel.
- They wanna refuel.

How do they do that?

Instead of an F-16 coming up
next to us...

...a KC-10 is gonna, well,
land on top of us.

They know how to do it.

- They're gonna do a midair refueling.
- What does that mean?

It means they think we're gonna be
up here a little while longer.

How long can they stay up there?

Theoretically, they can get refueled
for months.

- I don't see that happening.
- Me neither.

The Falcon will give them
a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

And if it's thumbs-down,
they lay down foam?

You guys shouldn't be talking
about it out there.

You want me?

You had a conversation with Simmel
and Segal a little while ago?

- About the Chesapeake cleanup.
- They're pissed as hell that Tom Landis... working in the Roosevelt Room.
- He didn't storm the gate.

They would've preferred that
to your opening it.

The House is angry we didn't take back
the House. It was their fault, not ours.

Stopping all bipartisan legislation
is like saying,"Let's blow up the place.

- Maybe voters will hire us to rebuild it."
- I'm with you.

But I need you guys to make
a small change to Chesapeake.

- We're finishing it. What do you need?
- The caucus chair and the DCCC...

...want revenue enhancements,
a dedicated levy from local businesses...

...and binding targets
on all the nonpoint source stuff.


It's about three ways of saying
a brand-new tax on local business.


I'm fine with that. I'm for it. But Tom's
gotta take this back to Republicans.

And we have to take it to Democrats.
It's reasonable.

We put the same provisions
in Superfund.

Super. What's going on up there?

Margaret, get me the Sit Room.

The F-16's having trouble seeing
the gear because it's a moonless night.

They just took on another
four hours' worth of fuel.

On one.


Are we comfortable any longer
with the plane up there by itself?

I agree.

And there's gonna be a wire-service
reporter on the ground at Andrews...

...who's gonna start seeing something.
Have them spill some fuel out there.

Please, on a runway
we're not gonna need.

The president.

At least all our friends are gonna have
some company now.

22nd Tactical Fighter Wing
with their missiles armed.

- I'm Toby Ziegler.
- He's waiting for you. You can go in.

Thank you.

Congressman, I have some bad news.
One of your constituents died today.

Gunnery Sergeant Harold Dokes
from Bedford-Stuyvesant.

It was a friendly-fire accident.

Five guys reported fire, and a computer
popped their coordinates...

...and their bodies are being
flown here now.

What did you wanna talk to me about?

Your speech at the Brookings Institution.
Are you opposing intervention... Kundu because it's black kids
who are doing the dying?

I oppose intervention in Kundu because
I'm waiting for intervention in Brooklyn.

But the fact that this is immediate... The
mass slaughter of tens of thousands...

...of Africans, which calls for...
- I understand what it...

You ever been to
a maximum-security prison?

Maximum, no.

The black kids are dying there too.

- The lives we're saving in Kundu...
- I wasn't elected by the lives...

...we're saving in Kundu. I was elected
by the lives doing the saving.

But you agree there are
moral imperatives?

If there are moral imperatives, you've got
to tell me we're gonna get everybody...

...beginning with the Saudis.

Obviously, we need votes
from the Black Caucus next week.

Are you telling me it isn't in
the interest of black America...?

It is in the interest of working-class
America, black, Latino and even white... be able to choose between more
than a McDonald's or a Marine uniform.

- How is opposing the Peacekeeping Bill...?
- I'm not opposing the bill.

The Black Caucus will stand behind it,
but with a proposed amendment.

- Doing what?
- Reinstating the draft.

The kids in my district will live longer
if their fortunes...

...are tied more closely to the fortunes
of the kids in Josh Lyman's district.

You wanna draft a million
middle-class kids out of spite?

I don't wanna draft anybody
out of anything.

I'm just trying to promote
some patriotic unity.


- Yes, sir.
- Find out when the president...

...expects to call the parents of
Sergeant Harold Dokes. I'll be next.

- Yes, sir.
- You want a drink?

Thank you.

You know what gripes my ass?

How you doing?

- Good.
- If anything ever happened to me...

...chances are it's when I'm next to you,
and I'm gonna be an"also dead."

"Senior Bartlet advisor Joshua Lyman
killed by a pack of wild dogs.

Also dead, Diane Moss."

I'm not feeling useful right now.

- I should know how to do more here.
- No one's feeling useful right now.

No, you're doing things.
You're doing something right now.

- What are you doing right now?
- What are you doing now?

Nothing. This is my point.

How come you go out
with so many Republicans?

- I don't.
- You do. Cliff, Commander Wonderful...

...Dr. Free-Ride.
- I don't know. I got a good response... the ad I put in Roll Call.
"Seeking 30-something male...

...into emotions to recommit."
I can do more. I wanna learn how.

Do you know how to lock
the landing gear?


- Let's go. You got the...? And the...?
- Here.

- Thank you.
- What does the foam do, exactly?

- On the runway?
- Yeah.

It's flame-retardant. For fire.

But it's not impact-retardant, is it?
I mean, the plane would still...

...coming out of the sky at some
velocity, have to land on concrete.

You can take this back to the office.
Any movement?

- No.
- He knows about the kid from Bed-Stuy?

Yeah, he's got a long list of kids
from Bed-Stuy.

The Black Caucus will back the bill
if we back reinstating the draft.

- He's going through with that stunt?
- Yeah.

The Left's come full circle, hasn't it? By
the way, draftees aren't as well-trained.

It's why there were so many casualties
in Vietnam.

- Right. Also, the Vietcong.
- Plus that.

- What if we said we'd allow debate?
- It's a stunt, and Kundu is for real.

We can't get involved. Talk to OMB
and find out what we can give him.

Wake somebody up,
I gotta go meet with Nancy.

Is cocaine production in Colombia
up or down?

It's up 200 percent.

And how many of our extradition
requests have been honored?


- None?
- No, there was...

- Yes, none.
- Any good news?

- Anything we can hang our hat on?
- Their attorney general reported that...

...their narcotics people stole
$2 million of antidrug money.

- That's good news?
- Usually, they don't report it.

What did they spend it on?
If you tell me cocaine...

- No, sir, vacations.
- So I recertify them in recognition...

...that they took our money
and went to SeaWorld.

- And reported it.
- All right, leave that stuff with me.

Thank you, Mr. President.

You want one?

- You want a beer?
- No, thanks.

- It's gonna be fine.
- What do you mean?

- I know you're afraid of flying.
- I'm not.

- I can tell.
- Four hours of fuel they took.

- You know it was there?
- He's afraid of flying.

- I'm not.
- It's okay, you're afraid of flying.

I am not. I'm not afraid of flying.

- I experience flying.
- Why sign up for the Air Force Reserve?

For a lot of reasons, and one was the
romance of flight, but I got over that.

I never thought that would happen.

But these guys practice hard landings
all the time. This isn't a big deal.

- Hey, everybody. How's it going in here?
- Good.

- How's it going up there?
- I don't know why...'s taking so long to clean fuel up
off a runway. It must be...

- Can't use another runway?
- Guess not.

How about landing at Dulles?

I'm sure that's what they're gonna do
if they... You know.

I wanna read over what we got,
but we're all done here except...

...the Caucus chair wants to add
revenue enhancements.

- The chair wants revenue enhancements?
- Yeah.

- A tax on local business.
- A dedicated levy.

- That's a tax.
- Yeah.

- From the Caucus chair or the DCCC?
- Both.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign
Committee wants a tax?

We can find more offsets.
There's a way to do this.

You guys wanna pass this or not?

Of course. Whatever Republican votes
we may lose...

...we'll make up on the other side.
- It's not gonna get out of Committee.

I'm sorry.

Yes, it will. You gotta find more offsets
and more ways to bury them.

It's 18 million to clean up
Chesapeake Bay. It's nothing.

- It's watershed management.
- Yes.

Leo wants you to call these members
of the Congressional Black Caucus.

They just walked off
the Kundu Peacekeeping Bill.

And to work with Airlift Ops
on Angel maintenance procedures.

We're gonna need it when they land.

What are Angel
maintenance procedures?

Angel is the code word
for Air Force One.

- I didn't know that.
- C.J. 's gonna be answering questions...

...about maintenance procedures.
She'll need briefing.

Why didn't I know that Ops
calls the plane Angel?

I usually deal with them.

All right, well, deal with them now.

- No, not on this.
- Yeah.

I talk to them about people's luggage.

We don't have a luggage problem.
Call your guys at Airlift Ops.

Say they gotta educate the press
secretary on maintenance procedures... soon as Angel's on the ground.

Karen. Make these phone calls
for Josh, please.

Leo, how many times has the Black
Caucus, on retreats, at dinners...?

There was a dinner two years ago where
the vice chairs pulled a map of Africa.

They wanted Africa as a priority. Now
they're making me look like an idiot.

- Mark's got a tough district.
- Now they want Brooklyn as a priority.

When did they become Smoot
and Hawley? Hang on a second.

Jessie Weiskopf's coming down,
and he ain't smiling.

Sir, they can't get a visual read. We'll
go ahead with the flyby at Andrews.

- Okay. And how long will this take?
- About an hour and 15 minutes.

- An hour and 15? Where are we?
- Over central Tennessee.

They took us off the jet routes.

All right. Pretty soon, though,
we gotta stop just flying around.

- This is qualifying as space travel now.
- What's going on?

The Falcon couldn't get a visual read,
so we'll buzz the tower at Andrews.

Weiskopf says it's gonna be
an hour and 15.

I'm gonna call the families
from up here, of the five guys.

- We'll send up the numbers.
- Thanks.

Thank you, Mr. President.

They're gonna fly by the tower
at Andrews.

My question about the foam is that
the steel is still landing on concrete.

They have their back wheels.

Can you get me C.J.?

- Will.
- Yes, sir.

I'm gonna call the families now.
They'll send up some information.

- Can you help me out?
- Yes, sir.

Just give this to C.J.
You should read it on the way.

Yes, sir.

Do me a favor, find out what happens
if I don't certify Colombia.

Find out what happens
if I decertify Colombia.

- Really?
- If I'm up here, I should do something.

- Yes, sir.
- The flyby's gonna take an hour and 15.

- Would you tell C.J.?
- Yes, sir.

C.J.? If there is an issue
of national security...

- There is.
- Isn't it a national issue for everyone?

Meaning, turn on the phones.

Ask Steve what time it is.
It'll crack you up.

How is it a threat to anyone
on the ground?

Air Force One doesn't break
all by itself.

Somewhere, they're talking about
the possibility the plane was sabotaged.

- By screwing with the wheel?
- If the problem's a leak in hydraulics...

...they recycle the gear,
the plane'll blow up.

No, you're right, I should definitely
let you use the phones.

We're gonna do a flyby at Andrews.
This thing's almost over.

What are you doing?

- Hey.
- What are you doing?

- Did OMB have anything?
- Budget doesn't have what Mark wants.

He can call OMB himself.

Leo, let's say we study some version
of his amendment.

- We'll look ridiculous.
- It's not ridiculous.

- It's a stunt.
- It is, but it's not ridiculous.

- We say we're gonna study the draft...
- There'll never be a draft.

He wants the debate. We want
our peacekeeping appropriation.

- Everyone's happy.
- Hardly anyone's happy.

The president's gonna study, reinstate...
We're for peacekeeping in Kundu.

- Mark's point is who...
- I know Mark's point.

- People who got nowhere else to go.
- They go for advancement.

The five guys on their way home
didn't advance very far, is Mark's point.

It was a computer error, Toby.

Yeah, I know.

Find out what"considering the
amendment" has to look like... order for the Black Caucus
to stay on board.

I will. Thank you.

Decertifying Colombia triggers automatic
economic or trade sanctions.

- We lose some money.
- Yes.

The State Department feels...

...the president's credibility
with his legislature... based on his ties with the U.S.,
which would be significantly damaged.

Right, but I'm more concerned
with our credibility.

He told me at the
Summit of the Americas...

...that he'd work toward
crop diversification.

Did he mean opium and coca?

They asked that I remind you that
his opponent in the last election...

...took campaign cash from the cartels,
and if we weaken the president...

...we could get a reactionary.
- He's not helping us... why should I give him
political cover?

Listen, I'm serious.

What would happen
if I don't recertify Colombia?


...actually, you can't.
- I can't what?

Can't not recertify. They'll be
automatically recertified.


- Because the deadline was midnight...
- It has to be delivered.

- The actual paper?
- That's what the Counsel's...

- This is how the world works?
- How recertification works.

I want this plane to land!

Did it work?

- All right, thanks.
- Thank you, Mr. President.

You wanted to see me?

The Chesapeake cleanup
isn't gonna happen.

- At all?
- It's not gonna come out of Committee.

Because of the revenue enhancements?

- I think a little of everything.
- What happened?

They weren't wild about it
in the first place.

Deaver didn't like that Landis was
working so closely with you.

Those two idiots told the Republicans?
They were already pissed at him.

He's vulnerable,
and they want his seat.

We take back the House, there's any
number... Mileage standards...

...reauthorize CWA, many things we can
do that help the environment more.

Should the president open a pizzeria
while Republicans have Congress?

We've got peacekeeping appropriations
next week.

I don't wanna get into it over
$ 18 million for Chesapeake Bay.

We're gonna lose an ally in Landis.

One way or another,
I think we're gonna lose Landis.

I say the two parties can't get
together on anything.

The pizzeria thing was funny.

Thank you.

- I was just coming down to see you.
- I just needed Leo for a second.

Angel has maintenance every day
whether the plane's flying or not.

Every 154 days, the plane's completely
taken apart...

...and put back together again.
24 hours before wheels-up...

...fuel is sealed in a tank truck,
guarded by sharpshooters.

One hour before wheels-up, Air Force
specialists analyze fuel for purity...

...and the right levels of octane
and water.

The wiring is shielded to protect
it from a thermonuclear blast.

To sabotage it, you have to get by
48 members of the Airlift Security Unit...

...or join the maintenance crew, which
takes 12 years after a 2-year check.

- What do they think happened?
- A light didn't work.

- Why?
- I asked them.

- What did they say?
- That sometimes lights don't work.


- Hey. Air Force One gonna land?
- Pretty soon.

Can I just ask, out of curiosity,
what point was Hoynes alerted?

As soon as Andrews
waves off the plane.

Would you guys mind? Could you
give us the room for a second?


Democrats want a tax on clams?

It's not the Democrats,
it's the Republicans.

- It's not gonna happen.
- What do you mean?

It's not gonna get out of Committee.
The White House will pull its support.

But there's room in the EPA
and Interior budgets.

- Room for everything but my name?
- Yeah.

You guys are really gonna go
after the seat next time?

So are the Republicans, Tom.
You'll probably have a primary challenge.

If you keep squeezing out...

...the liberal Republicans
and conservative Democrats...

That's who's beatable.

If I'm running scared, I run to the right.
That's where the money is.

This was something that was never
in my lap the right way.

A friend of mine's a comedian.
He was doing his standup here in town.

People from the German Consulate
came down to see him...

...and they came backstage afterwards,
and they said to him:

"How come we don't have anyone
as funny as you back home?"

My friend said,
"Because you killed them all."

Well, that's a bit of an overstatement.

- Isn't it?
- Maybe.

Thanks for the work.

You should really come to
Chesapeake Bay. It's incredibly beautiful.

I will.

- He said I should come in.
- Yeah.

"The president does not think
we should reinstate the draft...

...nor does he intend to do so...

...but he respects Chairman Richardson
as a leader...

...and is eager to hear what he has to
say and to engage in thorough debate."

- What's that?
- What C.J. will say tomorrow...

...for the votes of the Black Caucus
on peacekeeping in Kundu.

- It's not gonna screw you too much?
- No, it'll screw us the regular amount.

This isn't new.
The Union Army had a draft...

...that you could buy yourself out for
for $300.

The money came in handier
than the soldiers.

Yeah, but I don't think
that was my point.

If you have money, you have a greater
life expectancy.

You're gonna have better health care,
better shelter, better lawyers.

And if you've got today's
equivalent of $300... get to be united behind the war
effort without actually fighting the war.

And you're one of my constituents too,
so I shouldn't have to tell you that.

You don't, congressman,
I was just on the job tonight.

What was your lottery number?

One twenty-five.
It was the last six months of the draft.

It went up to 90 that year.

But I didn't have the 300 bucks.

I'm gonna call Sergeant Dokes'
family now.

- I'd like to stay, if you don't mind.
- No, but stay standing.


- Are we near the tower?
- Gear's down.

- What?
- They got the indicator light.

They recycled the gear, and the light
went on this time. We're landing.

I was the one who said it first.

Signal, this is C.J. Cregg. Please turn
the phones back on in the press cabin.

We're landing. We got an indicator light.
You should feel free to file.

Thank you all very much.

- Thank you, C.J.
- Thank you, C.J.

- C.J., thank you.
- Thank you, C.J.

Thank you.

- You heard?
- Yeah.

Sit down.

Why did you ask about the front wheel
before asking if it was the front wheel?

If you have the rear wheels,
you can try a hard landing... come down hard on the back
wheels to whack the front into place.

- To whack it into place?
- Yes.

- I'm happy I didn't have that information.
- Hit it wrong, the plane breaks in half.

- It just suddenly worked?
- The gear?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

I'm not sure I'm good at living
in a world where that's possible.

But you are.

I imagined myself destitute,
I imagine myself unlucky in love...

...but I never imagine my life would be
in danger with uncommon frequency.

- Feels a little good, doesn't it?
- No.

- Yes, it does.
- I'll make jokes when this is over.

Ladies and gentlemen,
this is Colonel Weiskopf.

From the hollering, you've heard we have
an indicator light on our landing gear...

... and we are cleared for landing
at Andrews Air Force Base.

Our total flight time has been 22 hours
and 13 minutes, using three flight crews.

We will have traveled 10,700
air miles on our return trip...

... a significant portion of that over
West Virginia and Tennessee.

White House staff informs us that, while
airborne, three pieces of legislation...

... have been negotiated and initialed
by the president.

We've had an engagement, a birthday,
Colombia was recertified in our drug war.

I hope you won 't consider this time
we've spent together a waste.

And now I'm being handed...
Hang on just one moment...

Ladies and gentlemen, they're gonna
move us to runway three-niner.

There's a strong wind shift under
10,000 feet, so Andrews has asked us...

... to abandon our descent and maintain
our current altitude.

I'm sure we'll be down in no time now.