The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 4, Episode 4 - The Red Mass - full transcript
A possible third-party candidate threatens to upset the President's lead in the polls. As Qumar threatens to blame Israel for Shareef's death, Leo must convince the Israeli ambassador not to respond. Charlie teaches his new ward a lesson in basic government. When the committee in charge of presidential debates rules that there will only be two, Sam and CJ propose a risky strategy.
You understand you're looking at
possible injury to separation of powers.
They're balloon animals. My nephews
like them, so I got someone to teach me.
- Are they abstract?
- I'm a beginner.
He's killed innocent people.
He'll kill more, we have to end him.
- Says who?
- Says me, Mr. President.
You wanna go ask some more people,
they'll say so too.
This is a little humiliating.
It wasn't a discussion to have
in front of the group.
You're right about that,
and I apologize.
Do you accept?
I think she was apologizing
to you, senator.
- I was.
- I'd accept.
I believe in this case, on this point,
you're the servant of two masters.
As sexy as that possibility sounds,
it's just not true, Susan.
The relationships with Josh Lyman, C.J.
Cregg, the first lady, with the president.
Can we return to the issue at hand?
I'm going out of my mind with you two.
You should call for funding
of needle exchange...
...in the cities with
the highest incidence of AIDS.
- Ritchie has given you a perfect opening.
Right now. At the AMA.
We've got an advance copy of the text.
That's what we were arguing about.
- What does he say?
-"We ought to begin and end...
...with abstinence. We ought to begin
and end with personal responsibility.
I am appalled by inner-city programs
that hand out clean needles to junkies...
in the name of AIDS prevention...
...and I will fight for a national law
to end them."
It's baiting the hook.
That's why they sent an advance copy.
Yeah. But didn't I get in it to talk about
things like this? Why not take the bait?
The bait's for the president.
Ritchie wants you to respond
so the president has to.
I thought the aim was to discuss
issues that aren't discussed...
...not run pass blocking
for the president.
I feel like Susan has a point. It's an
opportunity to get into debate about it.
If it was just me nobody'd listen.
Why do you think the Committee to
Re-elect needs us to protect them?
And if Ritchie's strategy
is what you say...
...won't Josh Lyman figure it out
in five minutes?
It'll take his assistant five minutes.
- It'll take Josh half that.
You have a three run lead,
just throw strikes.
- I mean, my God.
- You wanna see the wires?
I'll tell you something else.
With a scoring threat on first...
...and a batter
who'll be intentionally passed...
...why not just pitch out four times?
- It makes me nutsy.
- What are the wires?
- The standoff in lowa...
...the final recommendation
from the Debate Commission...
...and Ritchie to the AMA.
- Give me the AMA.
- And you have senior staff.
You know, there comes a day
in every man's life, and it's a hard day...
...but there comes a day when he realizes
he'll never play professional baseball.
- You're just having that day today?
- Yes, I am.
You understand you're gonna
walk the guy anyway...
...you'll throw four balls, why not just...?
- Pitch out?
Yeah, why not just...?
You know, to...
...catch the runner.
What is it?
I know how Ritchie's gonna win
Red Mass, Red Mass, Red Mass,
you say. Red Mass is at...
Right, 10:00 at the Shrine
of the lmmaculate Conception.
Also what they called my college dorm.
But seriously. Katie?
When do you think the debate issue
will be settled? Then I have a follow-up.
The president believes in debates.
The more the better.
He asked for five, Ritchie asked for two.
The president said,"How about four?"
Ritchie said,"Two." We're
waiting to hear from the commission.
The follow up is,"What would be
considered a debate win?"
At this point, participating in one
would be a victory.
I want to ask the same question.
- Which was?
- What would be a victory?
- 270 electoral votes.
Seriously. We'll be heading to
Rock Creek Park at 2:30. Thank you.
I know how Ritchie's gonna win
So do I. What's your way?
Overcoming perversely low expectations.
What's your way?
Making the president run
- What happened?
- We're going to the meeting.
- Treasury scored it?
- OMB says it's revenue neutral?
- NEC, DPC, the advisors?
- Yes, sir.
- Joint Tax on the Hill?
All right. All right.
Let's line up validators.
- Toby, Josh, Merry Christmas.
- He says let's line up the validators.
- And update our r?sum?s.
- Sam, that'll be you, okay?
- I can do it.
- Stay on debate prep.
What? You're doing the face.
in a speech to the AMA.
"We ought to begin and end
We ought to begin and end
with personal responsibility."
I'd like someone to ask him if he's aware
that needle exchange costs $9000...
...for every infection stopped.
Treating someone with HIV costs
200,000. I'd like someone to ask that.
I'd like someone to ask him
where the responsibility was...
...in paraphernalia laws that made
it illegal to buy or carry a syringe...
...which is why addicts share
infected needles in the first place.
I'd like someone to ask him that too.
- All done?
- For the moment.
It's really only an issue
if Stackhouse responds.
- But if he does...
- Will he?
- I don't know.
- Will he?
I don't know. If he does,
we can't come out for it.
Bruno thinks we'll put
three states in play.
- Ohio, Michigan...?
- And Maine.
They're iffy about me in Maine.
I don't know why.
It's a mystery, sir. You can't come out
against either, you'll alienate...
- Heroin addicts?
Whatever. Let's worry about
if Stackhouse does something.
Okay, but then I'll be very worried.
- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Thank you.
I'd like someone to ask him about
responsibility in cutting drug treatment...
...that would eliminate
Half of all people who get infected
by HIV get infected by the needle.
I'd like someone to ask how he thinks
the personal responsibility plan's going.
Sure, but let's talk
about the debates.
When you say we want five debates,
say what they are.
Economy, foreign policy, global threats
and national security, the environment...
...and one on family life, including
health care, education and retirement.
There should be one on
parts of speech and sentence structure.
- And one on fractions.
- Is there any chance I'll get to speak...
...in this conversation,
or are you just writing out loud?
I didn't even know you were here.
Toby, I'm absolutely terrified
we're gonna lose the expectations game.
You can't believe how often they ask:
"What would be a debate win?"
At this point I feel like if...
And only if Ritchie accidentally...
...lights his podium on fire, does
the president have a fighting chance.
- I disagree.
- Disagree, but I'm right.
These two men on stage answering
questions, that's the ball game.
If the thing is he can't tie his shoes
and it turns out he can, that's the game.
- I believe he needs to do more than that.
- Not much more.
- What are you doing tomorrow?
- I'm going bike riding, as a matter of fact.
Then I'm meeting friends for lunch,
then I'm having my nails done.
That sounds great, if only you were
actually doing those things.
- Yeah, yeah. What?
- Teddy Tomba.
- What about him?
...he has millions of followers worldwide,
has a $20-billion empire...
...of self-help seminars...
- I know who he is.
...workbooks, board games.
Capital Sheraton, tomorrow morning,
10 a.m. Your registration's prepaid.
- We're efficient.
Why am I going?
He's consulted for Ritchie
in the last few weeks...
...and I'd like that to be
embarrassing for Ritchie.
That lacks a certain nobility of purpose,
I don't believe it does.
Write down any key slogans
or philosophies or instructions.
They'll be on a T-shirt, won't they?
- Probably. You know what I want.
- Should I go in disguise?
- As what?
- Somebody who'd go to these things.
Meet me here at the office
when you're done.
And in addition to being a good friend
to Israel, Leo McGarry, of course...
...is the most Jewish man
most of us have ever met.
For that he gets this yarmulke,
which has been crumpled up...
...in my coat pocket
since a wedding in 1962.
For everything else...
...the Medal of David.
Thank you very much,
Mr. Foreign Minister.
A thousand dead relatives in Scotland
just started crying.
Thanks very much.
We're a little late for lunch.
What the hell is going on, Leo?
I'm reading Shareef is alive in Libya.
That's you people, right?
We're thinking about starting
our own tabloid.
at that house in Idaho?
- Which one's the potatoes?
Idaho. We've had the house surrounded
for 11 days.
- We're trying to negotiate a surrender.
- How long can their supplies last?
These people live to be well-supplied,
it's their first love.
- You got kids in there?
- I've gotta talk to you about something.
- Good afternoon.
That person's very young
to be working here.
That was probably an intern.
Qumar is ready to announce
it was Israel.
- We've known this was coming.
- Well, it's come.
And I need to put it off,
at least another week.
Israel has to immediately deny
I don't want there to be an accusation.
I want it to wait another week.
And what are you asking Israel
to give up...
...in order to get them to delay
accusing us of something we didn't do?
- I'm just saying. Tell me.
You're planning to attack two Qumari
training bases in retaliation...
- Yes, sir.
That's out of the question.
If you hold off, Fitzwallace can get
the Qumari defense minister...
...to have the sultan hold off a week.
Leo, look at what's happening.
They're getting you to pull us back
by continuing this preposterous lie.
We're not the ones playing skeet shoot
with their cabinet.
No, no, Ben.
I think we're in this one together.
Yes, I apologize for that remark.
When are you flying back?
Right after lunch.
- You can fly on the Sabbath?
- If I have to.
You'll take it to the prime minister?
Leo, you know what you're doing?
You're advising the president well?
A number of people
are advising the president.
I'm only asking because right now...
Will you take it to him?
Yeah, a friend of mine, his son just got
his pilot's license and he lives in Phoenix.
And his big fear isn't crashing...
...it's getting lost in the desert.
So he bought five gallons of water...
...a superpowered flashlight and...
I don't know,
a thing that makes pancakes...
And now he's on
every survivalist mailing list?
- That's right.
- Anyway, yes, they're well-supplied...
...not endlessly supplied.
We can wait them out.
A guy told me I should take flying
lessons because it would relax me.
- I don't think it would, do you?
- No, I think you of all people...
...shouldn't fly things.
- You brought the big guns.
Not having any guns of my own.
Obviously you know John Baxley.
Senators Jackson and White...
...Secretaries Weaver and Keaton.
And you all probably know
Susan Thomas and Amelia Gardner.
Howard, it's becoming hard for BFA staff
to plan strategy without knowing...
...at exactly what hour you'll drop out
and endorse the president.
What hour would be best for you,
one of my opponents?
I was very happy that you did not
respond on needle exchange.
I haven't responded
on needle exchange.
And I'm saying I'm happy about that.
No, I'm mean it's not that I didn't.
It's that I haven't.
- Are you going to?
- I don't know.
- Well, what's your thinking?
- Regarding what, Jason?
- This doesn't need to be tedious.
- It was our understanding...
...that the senator was going to drop out
and campaign for the president...
...sometime before the first debate.
- Have we had the first debate?
And since the Sullivan ruling,
things have gotten murkier.
You didn't get into this
to hurt the president, Howard.
- I got in it to raise issues.
- And I'm all for that.
As long as I don't in any way speak.
Now that I have you all sitting down...
...I'll be right outside the door.
- Do you need me?
Can you run to the staff
Ellen's not there.
Someone should be.
Just take what needs
to be signed today.
They'll try to give you a stack.
There's where you become a man.
- Should I use sex as a tactic?
- If you need to.
Hell, even if you just want to.
There are executive orders
I need to make sure are there.
- Can you copy these down?
- Wanna know what I'm doing?
- How long'll this take?
I don't know.
- I'm leaving.
- Okay, see you.
Emily, can you get me Mrs. Toscano
at Social Services?
I'll be back in a few minutes.
That makes you feel
like something, huh?
That you got power over me?
In two minutes
the deputy communications director...
...will come in and say the speech he's
writing for Red Mass isn't going well...
...and could I read it for him.
And you think you're
what makes me feel like something?
- What's Red Mass?
- I didn't hear you.
I said, what's Red Mass?
The Supreme Court convenes
on the first Monday in October.
On the Sunday before that, a mass
is held for the members of the court...
...that's attended by the cabinet...
...Congress and the president.
- What about church and state?
I swear, I can't hear you
when you speak. Can you help me?
- I said, it's church and state.
- What about it?
- You're not supposed to do it.
- Who said that?
- I'm talking about law.
- What law?
You like to slap me because that's your
power thing, so I'll sit and say nothing.
Separation of church and state.
- Who told you that?
- You know what I'm talking about.
The government and church
- They shouldn't be the same.
- You think there's a law?
- There is.
- What kind of law?
- What the hell?
- City, state, federal?
I don't know about those things,
but I know there's a law.
Charlie, I'm eating it on Red Mass
and I don't wanna show it to Toby yet.
Would you mind reading it and then
hitting me with a fairway wood?
as I sometimes like to call you.
Sometimes I call you"cupcake,"
is that okay?
- Deductibility for tuition.
- You had a briefing?
- Yes, and I'm so happy...
...I could dance in a musical.
- That'd be a tough ticket to get.
I can only assume it was your idea.
It was Josh and Toby, but I can see
where you'd make the mistake.
It does have the flavor of me.
- The insouciance.
- Guess what I've been asked to do.
- Line up validators.
- And you're asking me?
You're the third-ranking non-male
of the minority on Ways and Means.
- When you say it like that...
- Economists will say it's good policy.
Colleges will talk about
shrinking aid budgets.
- Where do you want me?
- Sunday mornings.
I'll make you a book.
- I'll do my best.
- Your best is good.
Oh, I was just called. Horton Wilde is
in the hospital. He's had a heart attack.
Horton Wilde isn't the same
as Thornton Wilder, is it?
- I'm talking about California.
- If Thornton Wilder had a heart attack...
...that'd be news.
- You don't know who Horton Wilde is.
- He wrote Skin of Our Teeth.
- He's running in the 47th.
How can you not know who he is?
Has a Democrat won the 47th
in the last 100 years?
- That's how.
Maybe if when Democrats had the
White House, more attention was paid...
- To Orange County? What kind?
- Knowing the candidate's name, say.
This was his fourth one, by the way.
- Fourth what?
- Heart attack.
The Democrats have nominated someone
...three heart attacks?
And you think I don't care
What kind of signal does this send to...?
I have to talk...
No, this won't be a part of my life.
Wow, you just did a whole thing
all by yourself.
- Yeah, I do that.
- Thanks again for the opportunity.
I'll pass it on to Leo.
- Why do we think the boy is sick?
Our thermal scanner shows no
movement in the last eight hours.
With congestive heart failure,
you have to take the medication or die.
Going by the last time the prescription
was filled, he's been out for six days.
Mr. President, we feel the only way
to save this boy is to abandon our plan...
...and take the house now.
We think we'll be successful.
- How do you do it?
- We put a hole in the wall with C-4.
Twelve men storm the house wearing
specially made goggles and earplugs.
- Because they'll throw flashbangs.
It's the size of a grenade
but instead of spraying shrapnel...
...it makes a deafening sound
and releases a flash...
...seven times brighter than the sun.
- You hear that?
- I've seen them.
Where's the table?
...all agreed, sir.
All right, we should do it.
Let's get the kid. Good luck, everybody.
Good luck, Mr. Casper.
- Thank you, Mr. President.
- Thank you, sir.
What's going on?
Nothing. I was...
Nothing. I was thinking about
something Yosef said yesterday.
- Is Susan Thomas...?
A pain in the ass?
- What do you think of him?
- I've always liked Stackhouse.
I'd vote for him, but he's not on the
ballot in Connecticut. Or 22 other states.
Perhaps I should vote in New York
...where he's polling at four percent.
- Of likely voters.
- I'm sorry?
- Those polls sample likely voters.
When a third candidate gets elected,
it's gonna be by unlikely voters.
And why is that good?
Why are we eager...?
Why are we encouraging
a group of people...
...who are so howl-at-the-moon
...they can't bring themselves
to raise their hands?
Why is it important that they
be brought into the process?
You should stop being mad at me.
- I'm not.
- You are.
You know, I lost my job
because of a strategy you organized.
You lost your job in a fashion
that insured you 93 better offers.
That's sweet of you to look out for me,
but I liked the job I had.
And when I lost it,
I didn't pitch anything.
I didn't stage a nutty.
I fought you. I lost.
I had a drink. I took a shower.
Because that's how it is in the NBA.
You know what I do when I win?
I didn't start consulting
with Stackhouse to piss you off.
There are things here I believe in.
I didn't come here to piss you off. I
wanted to say if the senator responds...
...on needle exchange,
don't take the bait.
All right, I'm going back in.
He's taking the president's votes.
It's as simple...
He is taking the president's votes.
I'm not indifferent to the situation, but
that's the crazy part of your argument.
- They're not his votes.
How was it?
- I'm sorry?
- How was it?
I don't know, it was...
Maybe I'm not ready
to talk about it yet.
It was a transforming...
No, that's the wrong word.
We are not"transformed."
We locate the light switch.
I own myself, Josh.
You don't mind if I say that
out loud frequently...
...with no provocation, do you?
- I live my life out loud.
- You're reading the book?
- The owner's manual.
- Are you serious?
No, you idiot, I need a shower!
- All right.
- I've got, like, radioactive stuff on me.
And you call me a snob?
Please. It was like the"there but
for the grace of God" society.
- Anybody ask you out?
- Shut up.
- So report to me. What did he say?
- Why is this important?
- What did he say?
- This is cheap.
- I'll say.
- I'm talking about this.
So the guy's consulted for Ritchie.
He's a buffoon, but he's harmless.
- Why should it be part of the campaign?
- Because it's not harmless in a president.
Nothing he said was wrong
As opposed to the man sitting next
to me, whose name was Fern.
Open this book to any page.
...this is an order form
to buy Owning Yourself...
...follow-up to the worldwide bestseller...
- Leasing Yourself.
"It's good to be trapped in a corner.
- That's when you act."
- That's true.
It is. In my case
it's the only time that I do.
- It's lmmanuel Kant.
"Duty. Sublime and mighty name...
...that embraces nothing charming
or insinuating but requires submission."
Every year a million freshmen
philosophy students read that sentence...
And change their major?
You've got a mouthful of wiseass
today, don't you?
- I located the light switch.
- Could you locate it again?
So he cribbed Kant,
isn't that what you should do?
It comes from a 193-page book
called a Critique of Practical Reason.
It's about metaphysics
Tomba's impressively boiled it down
to two-thirds of one page.
- Give me another one.
-"Look outside the cave."
That's from an old paperback
called The Republic, by Plato.
Lucky Tomba was able to fit it
on a fortune cookie...
...so it suits the attention span
of the Republican nominee.
Here he quotes Robert Frost.
"Good fences make good neighbors."
- Did he talk about that?
- What'd he say?
- That if you stay...
...within your personal space you'll end
up getting along fine with everyone.
- You had to study modern poetry.
Is that what Frost meant?
No. He meant that boundaries
are what alienate us from each other.
Why'd he say
"good fences make good neighbors"?
He was being ironic,
but I don't...
What does it remind you of?
"I believe in hope, not fear."
"I'm a leader, not a politician."
"It's time for an American leader."
"America's earned a change."
"I before E except after C."
It's the fortune-cookie candidacy.
These are important thinkers and
understanding them can be very useful...
...and it's not ever gonna happen
at a four-hour seminar.
When the president's got
an embassy surrounded...
...or a keyhole photograph
of a heavy water reactor...
...or any of the 50 life-and-death matters
that walk across his desk every day...
...I don't know if he thinks
about lmmanuel Kant.
I doubt it, but if he does,
I am comforted, at least...
...in my certainty that he's doing
his best to reach for all of it...
...and not just the McNuggets.
Is it possible we would be willing
to require any less...
...of the person sitting in that chair?
The low road?
I don't think it is.
I'll go through the book
...highlight some things,
and I'll trace it back.
- Yeah, make sure you...
- I said I'd do it, Buckminster.
- A guy named Fern?
- Don't talk to me about Fern.
- You're sure it wasn't Vern?
- I thought so, but it's Fern.
Let me know when the report gets in.
- Hey, Sam.
- What's wrong with the other door?
I don't know. You close it,
and it's locking by itself. What's up?
Do you know who Horton Wilde is?
That name sounds familiar.
- He's running in Orange County.
He's in the hospital.
He's had a heart attack.
- I'm sorry to hear that.
- It's his fourth.
In Idaho we're running a guy
who lost a race for City Council.
In the Texas 22nd,
our candidate's an electrical engineer...
...who paid his filing fee
by dumping the cash out of a cigar box.
Arizona 6th features a Democrat who
nine weeks ago registered as a Democrat.
You just named three districts
that are impossible for Democrats.
Finding qualified sacrificial lambs
When the DCCC tries to raise money
by saying we're taking back the House...
...it doesn't look like
we're giving it our all.
This is it.
We're putting our resources
where they'll do the most good.
This is Leo McGarry.
Yeah, can someone fax that over?
We didn't get the five.
Would you let Josh, Toby and C.J.
know that the report came out.
It's two debates.
- And I'm here.
- They give you a reason?
- They're faxing it over.
Don't we want a debate
on new global threats?
- Doesn't everybody want one debate...?
- I don't know.
Do you read much international news?
The Herald Tribune. Whatever C.J. puts
in front of me. Agence France.
So you read that Qumar reopened
...into Abdul Shareef's plane
Yeah. They'll say Israel
had something to do with it.
- You think they did?
- What do I know?
Shareef was a bad guy.
Feels like he had money
in the Bahji cell.
He did. He was also behind a plot
to blow up the Golden Gate Bridge.
Bridges and tunnels.
That's my nightmare.
Well, now it's bridges and tunnels,
- Then my work here is done.
- It's that I don't know...
...what winning looks like.
What does it look like? Is it...?
I mean, is it honestly the U.S. flag
flying over Mecca?
Is that what'll straighten this out?
And if that's the case,
why are we postponing that?
What are we hoping is gonna
happen in the meantime?
That somebody'll think of something...
...before we have to do
You're one of the big minds of your
generation. Thought of anything yet?
- Neither have I.
Neither has the president of the
United States, also a pretty good mind.
- The Golden Gate Bridge?
Leo, we didn't have anything to do with
Shareef's plane going down, did we?
Sorry. Two debates?
Yeah. The president and Bruno
aren't gonna take it well.
There's one person
who'll take it worse.
Could somebody open
the damn door?
I'll get it.
It's locked or something.
- Don't force it. I'll try...
- Two debates?!
- Did they say why?
They're faxing their statement and
having a press conference Monday.
Here's the fax.
- And the president's asking for you.
-"Given the inability of..."
- Do you mind me reading this?
- Would it matter?
"The two major parties to agree
upon earlier commission proposals...
...uncertainty caused by recent court
rulings and the shortened time period...
...in which to schedule debates
for maximum viewing...
...the commission amends..." He got
what he wanted for dragging his feet.
That's why he did it. Can't fault
him for having a winning strategy.
- I'm not faulting him, I'm faulting them.
- Be back in a minute.
That should be marked
Central Daylight Time, 2:05 p.m.
- Leo, they did it.
- Casper's boys.
- Hey, really?
- One suspect... You should tell him.
- One suspect was killed...
- Wounded, that's it.
- Our guys...
- Our guys are fine.
They are fine. We seized high explosive
gunpowder, galvanized steel pipes...
...time fuses, blasting caps...
- And, come on. And...
Blueprints to the pool at KSU.
- And the kid?
- Go ahead, sir.
- University hospital, stable condition.
Mike, pick out a daughter. My oldest
is married, but I can have it annulled.
- The pope said he'd do it.
- That's very friendly, thank you.
- Was that note anything I need?
- I don't know.
Israeli search and rescue is looking for
a transport that fell off radar 12 hours...
Twelve hours and 22 minutes
into the flight.
About 25 minutes before it was
scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport.
- Where did it originate?
- It originated...
I think Ben Yosef is on that plane.
- He is.
- Did they give coordinates?
33?51 ' North, 34 ? 47' East.
- 34 ? 47'.
- It's Lebanon, right?
Yeah, southern Lebanon.
At any rate, Mr. President, the...
The S&Rs just got under way.
Okay. Somebody'll keep me posted.
- Yes, sir.
- Thank you, sir.
Thank you, Mr. President.
- No kidding, thank you.
- Thank you, sir.
Ben Yosef's plane is missing.
Now, how did I not see that coming?
Eric steps up in the pocket
looking for Newman at the 20.
Yeah, call that play again, coach...
...because I'm sure
they're not ready for it this time.
If you ask a professional athlete what
the hardest thing is to do in sports...
...they'll all say hit a baseball.
But a coach once told me
that the hardest thing...
...is to walk into your Super Bowl
locker room at halftime...
...and change the plan that got you
there because it's not working.
It's okay that after almost every play
somebody requires medical attention?
It's not even the number
as much as the format.
then a one-minute reply.
That's not a debate, that's not a debate.
That's a joint press conference.
- Good evening, Mr. President.
- Nice job on Red Mass, first-rate.
- You don't mind if I change everything?
- No, sir.
Here. And I added a section here.
Cute. Let's take a look.
It's a joint press conference.
It's not necessary that the candidates
be in the same room. That's just theater.
We're talking about ways
to possibly lower expectations.
I like what you did.
I like the 80-20.
Be nice to be able to respond to what
the other person said and ask a question.
And the moderator should be empowered
to press for an answer...
...as a judge can of a witness...
...or a member of Congress
in a confirmation hearing.
Sam, what do you think about me
writing you an urgent memo?
"I think Ritchie's a more skilled debater
than we're anticipating.
He has debated three gubernatorial
candidates and won each time."
- And leak the memo?
- I think you'll look silly.
- I'm used to that.
- I don't think it'll do much.
- Me neither.
Cicero wanted to restore
the overthrown king of Egypt.
The Roman senate debated all day
and into the night...
and diplomatic consequence...
...until they collapsed on the floor.
Lentulus is trying to overthrow
Caesar goes against Cato...
...by the way, the first public debate
on the death penalty.
They were against each other.
It was a debate.
They explored the meaning
of spirituality and suffering.
- Then they put Lentulus to death.
- Right, but my point...
- Why not?
- Why not what?
Ask for a different format?
We didn't get the number of debates
we wanted, why not ask?
- We'd never get it.
- We might.
Ritchie's people would put up a fight.
They might consider it if we give them
something else they wanted.
Other than this house,
we don't have anything else they want.
Sure, we do.
Sure, we do. We wanted five debates,
they wanted none.
We have exactly one thing left
that they want.
Isn't this exactly why casinos
don't play with a one-deck shoe?
Mr. President, the car's ready.
He's still running that screen pass.
Get Toby to sign off, and I'm in.
This is gonna be interesting.
Do we need my speech?
I've got it.
You mind if I ask something
about Red Mass I'm curious about?
And so how isn't it
a constitutional issue?
It is, but sometimes you say,
It was the intention
not to have a national religion...
...not to have anyone's religious views
imposed on anyone else...
...and not to have government
encourage a national display of piety...
...as a substitute for action.
But sometimes you say"Big deal."
- I'll be in the office a minute.
- Thank you.
Hey. This was dropped at
the northwest gate for you just now.
- Who's it from?
- I don't know.
It's from Anthony.
He's the one
who was here yesterday.
- Nice note?
At several points he suggests...
...that I might have
an improper relationship with my mother.
- Why are you smiling?
- He wrote it on the First Amendment.
Why can't the Mets throw strikes
when they have a three-run lead?
Yeah, let me ask you another.
With a runner on first, who's a
threat to steal, why not just...?
- See you.
Oh, hey. I didn't...
Hi. My mind was wandering.
- What are you doing here?
- I'm sorry?
What are you doing here?
Danya Zucker had an extra ticket
for the mass, and she asked me.
- Are you going?
Can you give me any indication
what the senator's thinking?
I really can't.
He spoke to me for a while yesterday...
...and again today,
and I don't know what he's thinking.
- But I can tell you what I told him.
I told him I thought he'd been
an extraordinary public servant.
Thoughtful and energetic
and compassionate and courageous.
And I told him I'd be voting
for the president.
First of all,
I'm crazy about the president.
I've been crazy about him for longer
than you've known who he was.
And I'll keep poking him with a stick.
It's how I show my love.
But as a women's issue
it's a no-brainer.
The next justice can overturn Roe...
...and you don't screw around
Wanna see what I learned to do
since you got me fired?
Right away that's impressive, right?
That's just the preparation.
This is the thing.
What is it?
What do you want it to be?
- Out here.
I thought about what you asked before
about my being able to think of anything.
And I said no.
And you said,"Neither have I,
and neither has the president."
What about it?
I wouldn't speak for anybody else,
but you know I'm not done yet, right?
- No, stay there.
I'm looking for something
to beat you with.
- I'll use my hands.
- Let me say...
- One debate?!
What's the difference between
one debate and two?
What's the difference be...
It's a whole other debate.
It's a second debate.
It's 100 percent more debates.
"Somebody should ask him if he's aware
taxpayers pay 9000 this...
...instead of 200,000 that.
And somebody should ask...
...what he means by
and ask how he plans on."
You said that and you were right.
What if he has a bad night?
What if he gets himself into trouble?
What if Ritchie comes after Abbey or
the kids, and the president goes postal?
It's what I'd try to do.
Stress, hot lights,
what if he has an episode?
When you can't lower expectations,
you only have one thing you can do.
You have to meet them.
Clear 24 hours from the president's
schedule. We're going away.
There she is.
The senator would like a quick word
with the president. Is that possible?
- Well, I don't know, Susan...
- He should.
That was a wonderful talk,
- Thanks. I didn't write much of it.
- The 80-20 section.
That part I wrote. I added it.
When you first started...
...when you talked about how politicians
hunger after the 80-20 issue...
...I thought,"My God,
I'm about to watch a train wreck.
He'll make a political speech
to the Supreme Court...
in the middle of a church."
But of course you didn't.
I should've known better.
"Who among the 80
will stand up for the 20?"
You did, Howard. You did all the time.
I was telling Josh Lyman about a friend
who just got his pilot's license.
He told me the most remarkable thing.
He said a new pilot will fly
into cloud cover...
...there'll be no visibility.
They'll check their gauges,
they'll look at the artificial horizon.
It'll show them level...
...but they won't trust it.
So they'll make an adjustment,
and then another and another.
He said the number of new pilots
who fly out of clouds...
...completely upside down...
...would knock you out.
My office will make arrangements
for me to endorse you in the morning.
You keep your eyes
on the horizon, Mr. President.
Mr. President. Mr. President.
Are you ready to go, sir?
- Yes, sir.
- Would it be possible...
...to move the press
off the church grounds?
I'm gonna take questions
for a little while.
- On what?
- Needle exchange.