The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 4, Episode 21 - Life on Mars - full transcript

On his first day on the job, the new deputy counsel uncovers a trail of clues to a scandal that will end one person's career.

Previously on The West Wing:

Senator, you're the favorite to be
the Democratic nominee for president.

I'd like you to come to
Nashua, New Hampshire Thursday...

...and hear Jed Bartlet speak.
- I work for Senator Hoynes.

I'd like you to be the vice president.

- Josh Lyman.
- Joseph Quincy.

A guy this qualified, I'd know him.
Something's wrong.

- You're a Republican.
- Yes.

Joe, it's fine.
Ainsley Hayes was a Republican.

- It's not fine.
- Why not?

If you're a Republican, you damn well
better look like Ainsley Hayes.

He does!

I'm Charlie Young.

- What is your name?
- It's Claire.

It's Claire Huddle.

Claire Huddle, Mr. President.

It turns out it has to go
to the secretary of state.

There's a law. It's 3 U.S.C. 20.

It goes to the secretary of state,
but we'll take care of it.

Why did you take a cab?

- My car wouldn't start.
- I'm sorry?

My car wouldn't start.

You know what's in here?

It's okay.

- Good morning.
- We have a question...

Hang on. Happy Birthday, Mark.
And don't ever say I don't pay attention.

- My birthday's in December.
- Say it. What do I care.

Does the president have an opinion
on the Trustees Report?

Medicare? I don't think he's seen it.
I'll check.

H.R. 235, increasing fuel efficiency
standards, is he gonna twist arms?

- He gonna do what he gotta do.
- Does that...?

He gonna do what he gotta do.

Will he go to the
Children's Defense Fund Dinner?

He wants to,
but it's still early in the week.

- I'm gonna go in.
- No, C. J... .

Katie, I'm sorry.
You were asking something...

...and I cut you off to wish
Mark a happy birthday, just in case.

Come in with me.

- This is Ralph Gish, our science editor.
- It's my pleasure.

- Same, yes.
- Why is science coming here?

- It's about the vice president.
- Come on in.

You familiar with the NASA Commission
on Space Science and Research?

I'm aware it exists. I can take your
question to our science adviser.

No. This is not a science question.

Is the White House concealing a report
from the commission...

...containing two different pieces
of evidence of water molecules on Mars?

Is there a report not being released...

...from the NASA Commission on Space
Science and Research, saying:

"Fossilized water molecules
were found on a meteorite"?

I won't say when it blew off
the surface of Mars...

Come here.

I called you back for a single
in front of everybody, that costs me.

Your question is,"Is there life on Mars,
and is the White House hiding it?"

How does this involve
the vice president?

He heads the commission.
A source says he told them personally.

- That's absurd!
- I know, but Gish...

Ask Gish what credible source
goes to the science editor...

He doesn't know who the source is.
The source went to another reporter...

...and that reporter went to Gish.

I can't imagine that it's true.

Is there an existing report
that says anything at all?

If so, what? Will it be made public?
If not, why? And if not, isn't that illegal?

I don't know. But I'll find out
to the first bunch of questions...

...and as for"legal" and"not legal,"
that's a matter for the counsel's office.

Oh! Hey, yeah, that's a matter
for the counsel's office.

I know the right guy to speak to
down there. He's gonna fix you right up.

- Mr. Quincy?
- Yeah.

I'm Blair Spoonhour.
I'm with the counsel's office.

- You're with the counsel's office?
- Yeah.

- What are you, 14?
- Thank you. No, I'm 22.

I'm a law student at GW.

- What year?
- I just finished my first.

Anyway, they share assistants in the
counsel's office, but they asked me... stick around to break you in.

Break me in? You're 22 years old and...
Where am I right now?

This is the office traditionally given
to new lawyers who are hired.

And what is it when it's not occupied?

The Steam Pipe Trunk
Distribution Venue.

This White House doesn't
like lawyers, do they?

Really, they just hold them one rung
above being a Republican.

Then we've won the jackpot,
haven't we?

Don't tell me that you're one
of those people who group up...

You know what, law school?
Let's settle down.

Do I have memos I have to read?

What did you think that these were?

I thought that was Xerox paper.

You're associate White House counsel,
Mr. Quincy...

...we're not gonna store Xerox
paper in here.

Sure, we'd never want to compromise
the aesthetic integrity...

...of the Steam Pipe Trunk
Distribution Venue.

Triage those. What I should read
first, second, third.

Excuse me.

- That's a great outfit, Blair.
- Thank you.

- This is Press Secretary C.J. Cregg.
- Yeah. Thanks.

And don't feel like you should
help me with these.

There are only nine
and it's an easy flight of stairs.

- Go to work.
- He's a Republican too.

- Thank you.
- Yes, he's a Republican. Mr. Quincy is.


This is a cool office, Joe.

You got a little window up there near
the ceiling that looks out onto the... .

The... . What do you call it? The... .

- Alley?
- Yeah.

If you hang them on that pipe
late afternoon... get your suits pressed.
- You're the welcoming committee?

No, but that's a good idea.
Let me show you around.

I should probably stay and get started...

Joe, I outrank you by, like, 17 rungs,
so follow me, would you?

- Sure.
- Come on, it's gonna be fun.

If it's not, pretend that it is.
You know why?

Because you outrank me by,
like, 17 rungs.

Hey, no, but again,
I like how you're thinking.

You know what I'll get asked about
probably at my briefing today?

The Department of Agriculture
report that'll come out...

...saying commodity prices
are down six percent...

...and will the White House
respond to broke farmers?

I thought since the Republicans
tore up the farm safety net... might know
what I should say.

"Food is cheaper and that's good"?

You're saying it's good farmers
can't sell what they grow?

No, I wasn't.
I was saying that it's good... can buy food for
less than an entire wage.

It's good, except, whoa,
those pesky farmers again.

Don't worry about it.
There aren't that many.

No, wait, I misspoke. Agriculture
is this country's biggest industry.

Aren't you showing me around?

That was a staircase. What do you want?
The Dolley Madison staircase.

- Roosevelt Room. I've been in there.
- Nobody cares.

- Okay.
- Well, this may sound silly...

...but the science editor from the Post
has a source, a blind source...

...who says the vice president personally
told him, the blind source...

...the vice president interfered
to classify a report...

...that a NASA commission, which he
heads, has, saying there's life on Mars.

God, why would you think
you'd sound silly?

- Would you find out if we broke the law?
- Sure.

The farmers are victims
of this Republican Congress.

I don't get a vote in the
House of Representatives...

...but I go to the store.
I know food is cheaper.

I know when life expectancy goes up,
that's not victimizing undertakers.

Well argued, though I hate you
and everything you stand for.

Claudia Jean, usually it takes an hour
to hate me and everything I stand for.

I'm the press secretary, Boo-boo.
I don't have that time.

- Can I ask you something?
- Yeah.

What do I do if I need to
speak to the vice president?

You speak to the vice president, Joe.
You're his lawyer.

The kids, the camping gear, and yeah,
even Rex, are all loaded up...

... for that vacation
you've worked hard for.

- Rex is the dog?
- Yeah.

Is that what you want to happen
on the way to your favorite campsite?

Tell your congressman
that America 's about freedom.

Tell your congressman to vote
"no" on 235.

That family isn't gonna drive up that hill
if we increase fuel efficiency standards.

That family isn't gonna get up the hill
because dad's trying to pull the kids...

...the camping gear, Rex the dog,
and what would appear to be his den...

...up K2 in a Ford Falcon.

- Actually, it's the power of the ad.
- Say that again.

Actually, it's the power of the ad.

- You thought that ad was powerful?
- Yeah. You think it sucks?

Yeah. If I'm watching that ad...

It wasn't for you. It wasn't about dad.
It was about mom looking worried.

- That was for soccer mom? That?
- Yes.

Soccer moms recognize
a Big Three hosing...

...when it walks up and introduces
itself good as anyone...

...and they know it begins with"Tell your
congressman America's about freedom."

And that mom was worried because
Dad's hauling a yard sale up Kilimanjaro.

And she's thinking,
"Wow, I married an idiot!"

She's worried because
the kids are in back.

You think it'll be effective?

It says the president
and some Hollywood types...

...wanna put your kids in a small car
so that they can save the sky.

- How did Hollywood types get into it?
- How do they ever?

- You think we should run a counter ad?
- We have to.

- Saying what?
- Oh, I don't know.

- What do you mean?
- What do you mean?

We've been here 20 minutes.

I came in to show you the spots
and tell you we should counter.

I don't have an idea for one.

Well, get one. Have an idea.
Don't come in here with half a thing...

...and not be able to...
After you walk me to the brink...

...and say,"We've gotta do this, it's
important, though I have no idea how"!

Like one of those guys
who buys a new thing...

...but doesn't know how to
get the most out of it!

Toby, either get Andy to marry you,
or kill yourself.


- I'll start putting together a counter ad.
- Thanks.

Want me to turn the lights down,
draw the blinds?

- No.
- Okay.

Stop it.

Stop it.

Stop it.

You have to stop it.

Stop it!

Stop it.
You are gonna hurt your beak.

- Stop it.
- What the hell are you doing?

I'm sorry, but this bird has been tapping
on the window for...

...I don't know how long,
but a long time.

I've lost track because I'm moving
into certain phases of dementia.

- Let me get rid of it.
- No, no!

- What are you gonna do?
- Scare him away.

No, it's not nice.

- I'm not gonna hurt him.
- He's not bothering anybody.

- He's gonna be bothering me, right?
- No.

Stop it.

- No. You're gonna wanna go see Leo.
- Why?

Carol got a call:"Did the White House
press the Justice Department... call off their investigation
of Casseon?"

- No.
- No what?

- No, we didn't.
- You don't wanna take the call to Leo?

Justice didn't call it off.
They reached a settlement with Casseon.

It was from the Post.
They have a source.

You can work with C.J. 's office
to run down the source, I guess.

You're saying I can do this?

- Excuse me.
- Hey.

- Hang on. How's it going so far?
- Good, thanks.

If I had a few questions
for Leo McGarry... I go straight to his office
or do I run it by you?

At the beginning,
give me a quick hit...

...just so you can learn how to keep
the crazy stuff out of his office.

- Stop it.
- Stop it.

- What do you got?
- Reporter looking into the White House...

...suppressing a NASA commission.

This is two in one day. I just got:

"Did the White House interfere
with Casseon antitrust?"

Yeah... can go ahead and work
with C.J. 's office. And, sure.

- Thanks.
- Wait.

What did we get for calling
off the DOJ?

A hundred thousand computers
in classrooms.

- They said that? You weren't joking?
- No.

They said that to... .

- Carol said the reporter said that?
- Yeah.

Well, now we go see Leo.

- So you're our new sawbones.
- A sawbones is a doctor.

- Is it?
- Yeah. A lawyer's a shyster.

I got him to say it.

I don't... Josh is a lawyer.

Well, yeah.
I mean, he went to law school, but... .

You don't practice law
is all I was saying.

I don't practice law? I write the laws.
I make the laws. I am the law!

We're having a problem with a bird
outside our office. Are you?

Better than that, I think I may
have a family of bats.

- Margaret, this is Joe Quincy.
- Yes, Joe.

The girls in Political Affairs asked me
to tell you they wouldn't have covered...

...your parking spot with mayonnaise
if they'd known you were a biscuit.

Okay. Well, tell them,
you know, no problem.

- Leo?
- What do you need? Quickly.

Set a record right now.
Make the news.

You mind if I go first?

Okay, Donna just got a question
from the Post, did we...?

- I'm sorry, have you met?
- I met him. What?

- All right, you go first.
- Yeah.

Mr. McGarry, the press secretary
came to me...

...with a question from the Post...

...who has a source claiming a NASA
study was classified by the White House.

- What do they think it said?
- That... .

Sir, I'm, you know... .

They claim it said that
a meteorite from Mars...

...from Mars was discovered
in Antarctica...

...about 30 years ago and that we found
fossilized carbonate molecules.

That we know there's life on Mars.
That's what they're saying.

The Defense Department classified
the NASA commission report.

- I'm sorry?
- That report was classified by Defense.

- The report exists?
- I can't tell you that. It was classified.

I can tell you it was classified
by the Defense Department.

What about you?

Did we get the Justice Department to
call off its investigation with Casseon?

- They didn't call it off. They settled.
- Ask Donna what they bribed us with.

Tell him what the Post said we got.

A hundred thousand computers
in classrooms.

- What?
- That was part of the settlement.

There's a leak.
This, the Mars people.

Don't get me started. The stuff
I think you still won't tell me...

Who knew about the terms with
Casseon, outside us? And now them.

The president, me and you. Counsel.
Counsel at Treasury and Commerce.

Two, three guys at NEC.
Hackley, Little, May.

- The vice president?
- Yeah.

The assistant attorney general
for Antitrust. Did we...?

Excuse me. The vice president knew
the terms of the Casseon settlement?

- Sure.
- Fix this, would you?

There's a story we're obstructing justice,
in another, we're in a Ray Bradbury yarn.

- These make me crazy.
- Yes, sir.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

- Thank you.
- Thank you.

All right, it's gotta be
something like this.

It's gonna be something... .

All it needs to be...
It's gotta be something pointing to...

- I'm sorry. Cassie, you had the turkey?
- Yeah.

A soccer mom. No.

Fade in on an SUV stuck in the mud.

The soccer mom behind the wheel
is switching from reverse to drive...

...her wheels spinning in place.

And behind her we see she's pulling...
Wait for it... .

- A Saudi oil rig!
- A Saudi oil rig! That's exactly right!

She's trying to pull a Saudi oil rig.

We're in mind meld,
Lauren Number Two and I.

- I'm number three.
- I moved you up. You see?

How are people gonna know
it's a Saudi oil rig?

- How are people gonna know it's Saudi?
- Well, that's a good point.

You had the number-two ranking
among Laurens, but you lost it.

She's number one. Then I expect
you two to compete for the two spot.

- Will.
- What you got, Lauren Shelby?

What if instead of hauling
a Saudi oil rig...

...she's hauling actual Saudis.
- Hauling Saudis?

Like a U-Haul full of Saudis?

Maybe the oil rig could have
Arabic writing on it.

Is this coming awfully close to a spot
the Klan might produce?

I was about to say.

- You had the chicken?
- Thank you.

You know what we should do?
We should use the same family.

Yes! We get the same actors,
driving an SUV this time.

- But they stop every three miles for gas.
- I like it. Who else?

- How is that gonna play in 15 seconds?
- How's it gonna play in 15 seconds?

- Give your food back.
- Will.

We're not hauling Saudis!

I'm not saying the soccer mom's
dragging them up the hill...

...they'd be super comfortable.

- Stop talking.
- Okay.

Helen Baldwin is gonna write a book.

She's retained an agent who's sent
around an outline. There's a bidding war.

Random House bought it for low seven
figures, according to Stu Winkle.

Could that possibly be his real name?

"Baldwin, long a fixture
in D.C. and Manhattan society...

...whether for work on charity
or her position on the arm...

...of some of Wall Street, Washington
and Hollywood's most eligible men... well as hosting the Beltway's..."
What the hell kind of sentence is this?

There's a 73-year-old lady who works
cleaning and winding all the clocks.

She won't retire.

She inherited it from her mother,
who inherited it from her mother.

She earns $22,000 a year.

She walks in rooms where
there's personal correspondence.

Where she can hear if the president
and first lady are fighting.

Where she can see people
come for secret meetings.

She's been doing this
for five decades of presidents.

Her name is Mrs. Wheely.

And I said,"Mrs. Wheely,
you should really write a book."

She said,"No, no, no.
We don't do that."

Twenty-two thousand a year.

You said I wouldn't even know
you were here.

Just so you know,
I can tell that you are.

Are you eating a salad?

- Yeah.
- Why?

Because I am.

I don't think I've ever seen you
eat a salad.

What kind of salad is it?

- I don't know.
- Is it mixed greens?

I don't know what kind of salad.
I'm eating a salad, okay?

I'm doing it.
Do I have to know the names?

There's no difference between them.
It's a bowl of weeds.

Some have cheese. This isn't the kind.
Does that answer your question?

Now, how many years have you guys
been,"Toby, you eat like a teenager.

Toby, that's red meat.
That's your second cigar."

Here I am eating a salad, which you
could cover in barbecue sauce...

...and it would still taste like the ground,
and I'm getting heckled!

Who wanted to eat his roast beef
sandwich with ketchup on a Kaiser roll...

...and watch the damn tennis
on my TV!

That's all I'm saying.

Are you really doing everything you can
to get her to marry you?

Yes, I'm doing everything I can. What?

Excuse me, I'm Joe Quincy.

- They told you I was coming by?
- Yeah. You're the new sawbones.

Donna Moss already got me to say it.

Damn it. This is Charlie Young.

- Sure.
- How you doing?

Your office had requested comments
on your draft statement...

...about a decision from
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

If counsel's fine, just have
C.J. Cregg's office put it out.

Yeah, I saw it was headed there.
The language is incendiary.

I wasn't sure if you knew
you couldn't beat up on Appeals...

...and then expect the Supreme Court
to hear the case.

Did I beat up on them in the notes
for the press comments?

- Yes.
- What'd I say?

You said, in this case:

"The Fourth Circuit lacked the judicial
imagination God gave pistachio nuts."

- They did.
- Perhaps.

Did you think I was gonna have the press
secretary on behalf of the president... a federal judge
to a pistachio nut?

The language gets cleaned up
on C.J. 's desk.

- That makes sense.
- Toby's distracted by a woman.

And salads.

When you do 10 minutes on Helen
Baldwin's book deal, it's righteous.

But I speak my mind after getting poked
with a stick, and it's Andy!

- Helen Baldwin has a book deal?
- Yep.

- Where did you find that out?
- I'm glad you asked...

...because it gives me the opportunity
to say"Stu Winkle."

I got it from Stu Winkle.
Post's man-in-the-thick-of-it.

- He's their gossip guy?
- Yeah.

- Is he new there?
- Yeah.

Okay. The northwest lobby is... that way?
- Yeah.

You just go that way and then,
you know, ask somebody else.

Thanks. Sorry for jumping
the gun on the Fourth Circuit.


- What's going on?
- I'm sure it's nothing.

This is just my first day.

Two press inquiries that came
to my attention that sounded...

...alike, is all.

Can I get back to you?

Make sure you do.

Josh thinks you should advance sales
numbers of first homes to the Journal.

The Times got existing home sales.

Know what happens
with negotiated press leaks?

Two-thirds give us lousy coverage
because they're mad they didn't get it.

And the other third...

...doesn't give us
better coverage because...

- What was that?
- I don't believe it.

Josh has this guy at his window too.

They see their reflection in the window
and they think it's another bird.

What's the learning curve on a bird?

Stop it.

- Excuse me.
- Sorry.

We thought you were a huge bird
knocking on the door.

- Something up with birds?
- One's obsessed with Donna.

It's true, I'm like Tippi Hedren
around here.

I'm sorry, would you mind if...?


- Can I close the door?
- Donna just did.

You said the science editor,
when he came to you with a question...

I wouldn't worry about Mars.
I just gave you a hard time.

No kidding. By the way,
there was a report.

It was classified
by the Defense Department.

- We'll leave that for another time.
- What's the problem?

You said the editor had a blind source,
that it came from someone else... the paper, and I think I know who.
- Who?

A guy named Stu Winkle,
who has a new gossip column.

How would he get a story
about the Pentagon?

- I'd rather not say yet.
- Why?

If I'm wrong, it'll be inappropriate that I
suggested it and I'll be held in contempt.

- You are wrong.
- No, I'm not.

Stu Winkles don't get tips about
the White House suppressing reports.

The NASA report's over.
I'm not concerned with that.

Would you mind calling him to confirm
that he's the other reporter?

You want me to call Stu Winkle?

- He has a new column. Wish him luck.
- I don't make calls to gossip columnists.

- He's gonna be flattered.
- You won't tell me why?

- No.
- Even if I give you assurances...

...that I already hold you in contempt?
- Yes.


Would you get me Stu Winkle
at the Washington Post?

- I'm sorry?
- Stu Winkle at the Post.

- Winkle?
- Yes.

- When you get him, here's what you say.
- I know what to say.

"Judicial imagination of pistachio nuts."

- Can't say that to the Fourth Circuit.
- No.

C.J., you have Stu Winkle on one.

Stu, this is C.J. Cregg
at the White House.

- Stu?
-Oh, my God, it's really you, isn 't it?

It is, and I saw you have a new column
and I think it's terrific...

...and everyone here at the White House
wishes you a lot of luck.

You are the classiest thing
for calling me.

- Well... .
-You are the classiest thing!

You're my hero, C.J. Your brilliance and
your sense of humor and your clothes.

- Thank you.
-The evening gowns. Who makes them?

Do not tell me you buy off the rack,
I'll kill you.

- Well, I'm a girl on a budget.
-Don 't try that on me.

No, really.

Like the party at the Japanese Embassy,
you were wearing a dress from Saks.

Stu, I wanted to get you a direct answer
to that NASA commission question...

...that Ralph Gish and Katie
brought me.

It was the Defense Department, not the
White House who classified the report.


Well, that makes perfect sense.

I hope you don 't mind, it sounded
crazy enough, but what do I know?

So you've gotta
run these things down.

I know you have all the free time
in the world...

... but it would be great if we could
go for coffee, and I'll tell you why:

You may find it hard to believe,
but before I got into this stuff...

... I was a serious journalist. I don 't mean
"boring" serious, but the more...

More than the celebrity fluff.

The embarrassing thing is,
I was so green...

... I spent thousands of dollars on a
J- School sheepskin from Columbia.

Of course, that and a metro card will get
you a ride on the subway, right?

After that, I spent two years getting
people's coffee at Town & Country...

... before I realized I was better off
getting experiences in the trenches.

I freelanced my butt off. I wrote about
AIDS orphans, Mississippi flood victims...

... a series on homeless teenagers, race
riots and rural problems in the Midwest.

And I felt good about myself.

But that stuff pays the same as if I sat
with Angela Moviestar for an hour...

... and let the tape recorder transcribe her
blathering about her boyfriend...

... and what a risk her new role is.
Let somebody else get a Pulitzer Prize.

I need to maximize the amount
I can make per hour.

Now that I've been doing this for like...

... 10 years, I wanna use this position at
the Post to get my toes back into...

Stu, thank you very much.
I'm sorry. I have to go.

Well, I cannot tell you how class...


- Yeah.
- I need to see Josh and Toby.

And Joe needs to see
the vice president.


I want Cairo to focus on legal
and regulatory reforms.

We've got the whole regulatory agenda
left over from last time.

- We do.
- Seriously, the whole agenda is left over.

And Vice President Abou El-Azm wants
the trade and investment framework.

Yeah, my point is we can get to that
in a closed-door session.

You understand, it can't appear as if I'm
saying the Syrian question is less urgent.

Yes, sir.

Well, it's been a long day.

- We're done.
- Thank you, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Guys, do me a favor.
Don't go home yet.

Wait for me a minute, okay?

- Yes, sir.
- Yes, sir.

Good evening, Mr. Vice President.

Good evening.

- You brought friendly faces.
- Sir?

You brought friendly faces.
That was considerate.

- You're Joe Quincy?
- Yes, sir.

- This is your first day?
- Yes, sir.

They're gonna put your picture
up someplace.

You're gonna get honored
at a luncheon.

We were just meeting in here.

I have a bilateral commission...

...with the vice president of Egypt.
It's in Cairo this year.

We see how legal and financial systems
can attract foreign investments.

So look out for ShopEgypt. Org,
I suppose.

- You're going to tell me I'm not going.
- Mr. Vice President...

...have you been having an affair
with Helen Baldwin while here?

- He's asking because...
- I should hit you in the face.

- He's asking because...
- I know why he's asking.

I know why he's asking.
I understand why you're here.

I've spoken with C.J.


And I like to show off.

I said things.

I said I'd seen proof of life on Mars.

I said I'd intervened
at the Justice Department...

...put 100,000 computers
in the classrooms...

...which I thought made me sound
like a good guy.

- What, did you hear a rumor once?
- Yes, sir.

You saw Helen had a book deal,
you knew she must've teased them.

It's a tell-all.

A couple items in gossip columns, maybe
the guy was the science editor's contact?

Yes, sir.

Well, you earned your money today.

This could've been bad...

...but you found it early.

- What do I do now?
- Sir, I'm an associate counsel.

This is my first day. I've spoken to
Oliver Babish, who's gotten on a plane...

What do I do now?

I think you've gotta talk
to your family now, sir.


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

Thank you, sir.

- I hope I didn't see you smile in there.
- You didn't.

Josh, you didn't.

- Gas masks.
- Yes.

- Something with gas masks.
- Sing to me, Lauren Romano.

I'm Lauren Romano.

- Keep going with the gas masks.
- Mothers barely able to even see...

...their children through the haze
of gas masks.

You rode it right off the rails,
didn't you?

I did.

Anyone else think it's weird
that Toby had a salad?

Anyone else think it's weird that
Lauren Romano's still talking about it?

I'm Lauren Romano.

Clear blue sky. The camera tilts down
into a slowly thickening... Listen to this:

Clear blue sky. The camera tilts down
into a slowly thickening haze...

...until it levels on a suburban street.

An SUV filled with Mom, Dad, the kids,
same actors from the other ad, and Rex.

They get out and they're wearing
gas masks.

We've also got one where the family's
towing Saudis in a U-Haul.

Doesn't have the feel
of high-minded debate, does it?

- No, but actually you don't want it to.
- Why not?

We're countering an attack ad.
And when you're in the trenches...

But we're not in the trenches.

Two bodies of government are debating
fuel efficiency at the highest level.

We're not in the trenches.

I don't know.
I know it's a 15-second spot.

You gotta scare them.
I just don't feel like doing that tonight.

Will, you need to come with me. I need
to tell you what's about to happen.

- You've talked to Suzanne?
- I'm sorry, sir?

- You've talked to Suzanne?
- Yeah.

- What happened?
- You know what happened.

Tell me again. How many times?
When did it start?

- I don't think it matters.
- Mr. Vice President...

...for this moment tonight, I'm gonna be
in charge of deciding what matters.

Forty-seven phone calls.

Did you not know that the White House
keeps records of phone calls?

Did you not know that?

- How many times? When did it start?
- It is none of your business.

- I'm about to read about it in a book.
- Then read about it.

Didn't it ever occur to you
that she might do this?

No. I didn't think she would.

You were wrong.

Do you think there's anyone else
behind this?

- I don't know.
- You think she was...

...coached by Republican leadership?
- I don't know.

- If we're gonna weather this, then...
- We're not gonna weather this.

- We will.
- We won't. I'm resigning.

If we're gonna do this
we've gotta start tonight, now.

- I need you thinking now and not...
- Sir, I'm resigning the vice presidency.

- What about"None of your business."
- I leaked classified information.

It is their business. It's also a felony.

- Are you in a position to deny it?
- No.

She's made a seven-figure book deal.

- Not gonna have credibility.
- Since when does she need credibility?

Apologize and move on.
Accept responsibility.

You don't need to disclose details.
She's gonna take care of that for you.

You'll be the special for two months,
then you can get the nomination.

I'm not getting the nomination.

In the middle of MS, it looked like
we couldn't recover. We did!

Which is why it's never gonna happen
again. That was the one you get.

I'm sorry, Mr. Vice President,
if my multiple sclerosis...

...was a bummer for your sex life.
How the hell did you do this to us?

You can't resign, John.
It's a terrible signal to send.


...if I stay, it sabotages an entire agenda
and you know I'm right.

The party's gonna need a candidate
who can win.

And I think the least I can do for
Suzanne is not to drag her through it.

Is there more? Is there another shoe?
If it's a series...

I'd imagine she's gonna...

You'll still get dragged through it.
It won't change anything.

Only now, you're gonna be there alone
with no apparatus for a comeback...

...which I'm telling you you can do.

You can make it. I can help you.

I don't wanna take
my family through it.

You're a giant, John.

You're a U.S. senator, the vice
president of the United States...

...and presumptive nominee
of your party.

You cannot be taken down by this... person and her customers,
huddled around Macy's waiting...

...for someone to turn
themselves inside out.

It's cause for divorce...

...not resignation.

You can't be taken down
by this cheap person.

The president knows I'm right.

So do you.

The truth is, I took an oath too.

So... .

Didn't you have any sense that this was
the kind of person who would do this?

Hasn't it been your experience that they
look much like the people who wouldn't?

Well, I want you to sleep on it.

I want all of us to sleep on it.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Why did you take a cab?

- My car wouldn't start.
- I'm sorry?

My car wouldn't start.

You know what's in here?

It's okay.


Yeah, we're gonna need
a new vice president.