The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 4, Episode 5 - Debate Camp - full transcript

Sequestered in North Carolina to prepare for the one and only debate between Bartlet and opponent Robert Richie, the staff and several consultants (incl. Andrea Wyatt and Joey Lucas) flash back to the days just before and after the president's first inauguration, which were marked by an ill-advised choice for attorney general and ongoing concerns about fertility for then-married Toby and Andrea. In the present, Sam plays Richie in mock debates and raises Bartlet's ire, while Leo and the joint chiefs try to convince the president not to treat increasingly aggressive Qu'mar, whose defense minister Bartlet ordered assassinated late last season, with kid gloves, and the staff keeps pestering Toby about his on-again, off-again relationship with Andrea, until he makes a startling revelation.

Previously on The West Wing:

I always get asked,"What would
be a win in the debates?"

If we don't get elected,
I promise you, President Ritchie... gonna have a lot less
sympathy for your agenda.

You're what my friends call
a superior son of a bitch.

- And you can't be trusted.
- Wait till the debates.

- Election's in six weeks, Mr. President.
- Where are we in the vote?

- We're slipping a little bit, sir.
- Are you taking this personally?

We should have a great debate, Rob.
We owe it to everyone.

I know how Ritchie
will win the election.

Affirmative action and quotas
are about two different things.

Affirmative action provides opportunities
people might not otherwise get.

You talk about providing opportunity,
but support racial profiling.

- I don't support racial profiling.
- Your nominee for attorney general did.

- Can you tell us why you nominated him?
- Why?

- Yes.
- Because bite me, that's why.

- It's a legitimate question.
- It's been almost four years, Sam.

- How long you wanna say"Told you so"?
- He wasn't saying"I told you so," sir.

- We need an answer on Rooker.
- What's wrong with"bite me"?

- I think we'd lose.
- Not in New Jersey.

"It's never been shown
profiling works. I'm against it."

- That answer's simple.
- We can make it complicated.

A lot of people in...

- Do you mind if I...?
- No.

She was talking to me, Dexter.

Lots of people in law enforcement
believe it helps them do a better job.

- Not everyone's against it.
- I'm against it.

So are the voters, but I think what...

- How you doing there, Joey? Kippy?
- Kenny.

I think, Mr. President, that what
Congresswoman Wyatt was saying is...

...if we can figure out a way to make
this answer about the drug war...

...we can talk about successes.
- That what you were saying?

- Yes.
- Ritchie will bring back the fact... don't know your position on it.
- I do know.

We're losing the question.
It's,"What was the story with Rooker?"

We gave him support until it was clear
an increasingly divided Congress...

...would shoot down our nominee.
- We withdrew the nomination.

Why not blow past the nomination fight
and give an unambiguous statement... support of law enforcement.
No one's for fairer law enforcement.

- That won't be the question.
- Why not just say we screwed up?

"Mr. Rooker is a devoted crime-fighter.
We had our differences.

- But on this, all Americans can agree..."
- Excuse me.

- Were you doing me just then?
- I was offering an answer...

- You were doing me.
- I may have slipped into it.

Anybody else do a pretty good Bartlet?
It's talent night here at debate camp.

- Anybody wanna do a little skit?
- No, sir.

Apparently eight
Israeli Thunder fighters...

...also known as American-made
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles...

...have hit two terrorist bases
in the north and south of Qumar.

While no Qumari government personnel
or institutions were destroyed...

...Qumar, of course, considers an attack
on its soil to be an act of war.

So we are, as always,
one bad bottle of tequila...

...away from all-out war in West Asia.

Would you like to take this one
or shall I?

Why don't you get this one,
I'll get the next one.

- Okay.
- We've got a secure room.

I agreed to be locked up with you for
48 hours. How much time do I have left?

Forty-seven hours, 41 minutes.

Hutchinson and Berryhill are hooked in,
along with Nancy and Fitzwallace...

...and we're still getting Peter.
- Defense Condition 3...

...for the bases in Qumar is what?
- Mike.

It deploys the Independence to the Gulf.
They've got 75 aircraft.

- What's happening on the ground?
- AC Striker recon says 30,000 troops...

...are massing at the Syrian border.
- That was fast.

- We're not there.
- We're getting MILSAT confirmation.


You have Secretaries Hutchinson
and Berryhill, Director Kato...

...Chairman Fitzwallace and Dr. McNally.
- All right.

Well, we've got ourselves
a Marx Brothers' movie.

Sir, it's Ken. On your order
we'll put CTU on high alert.

You have the order.
Oh, Fitz? How you doing?

Fine, thank you, sir, and you?

Well, we've made camp
in North Carolina for prep... I've been thinking about
killing myself. Let me ask you.

Besides Qumar, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah...

...they've all got
short- And medium-range missiles.

If Israel feels threatened by them,
what happens?

-They launch a pre-emptive strike.
- But before that...

...Qumar shows its teeth, right?
Yeah, so what happens then?

They'll want something in exchange
for standing down.

For the moment they haven't stood up.
But in the meantime...

...let's think of something to give them.
- We should do that in the meantime?

We should think of something
to give them?

Can we not fight
in front of the Joint Chiefs?

It just scares the hell out of them.

- Yes.
- Would you put our bases in Qumar... Defense Condition 3
and put the U.S. military at DEFCON-4.

-Yes, sir.
- Thank you.

Andy? Couple of things.

I need you to look at a couple
of answers on defense readiness.

I need concrete examples of waste
in Pentagon procurement.

We need two more members
of the IRC for post-spin.

Fill out this marriage license and
paperwork for a joint checking account.

And review the 60-second answer
on Rwanda.

Okay. Okay. Okay.

Under no circumstances.
And, sure.

By my count, you said"Under no
circumstances" to the IRC post-spin...

I said"under no circumstances"
to marrying you again.

- May I ask why?
- I have the experience of having done it.

- Well...
- I have to get to the things you gave me.

A person's running for president.

- Hey.
- Hey. That was good, Sam.

- Stay up in his face, don't back off.
- You wanna shoot for two minutes?

- Yeah.
- He's right, don't back off.

- What's up with Andy?
- Nothing.

I think you're wrong
and you're getting back together.

- We're not.
- But you want to.

- Yes.
- I think... Wait, what?

See, sometimes if I slam on the brakes
you just run right past.

Fill us in on everything so far
between the two of you.

Yeah. That's what's
gonna happen right now.

- If you do...
- You gonna stay up in his face?

- Did you hear me say I would?
- No.

Well, I will.

Listen, let me tell you something.
What I said wasn't personal.

- Who said it was?
- He did.

He said it's been years, when will I
stop saying"I told you so"...

...and that wasn't... I was...

Let's say we were new, we made
mistakes. We'd just gotten to the...

We weren't even in the White House
when we heard Rooker...

- It was, like, January 5th.
- It was the 15th.

It was January 15th.

-How do you remember?
-I just do.

Cornell Rooker's gonna be
the attorney general.

He's on the phone
with the governor right now.

- We're settled on that?
- Yes. It's Cornell Rooker...

...if he's on the phone saying yes.
If he's saying no, it'll be somebody else.

- Well analyzed.
- I thought there'd be...

...more conversations about
the conservative tendencies.

- Like privacy?
- Yeah.

He's a Democrat with a record
the right wing can't complain about.

- Josh, I'm looking for Donna.
- Donna's at the White House.

- She's at the White House?
- Yes.

- The old tenants are there.
- Her predecessor's taking her out.

The assistant to Mack McConnell,
assistant to the Deputy C.O.S.

Nobody did that with me.

- Anybody do that with you?
- He's who Judiciary calls...

...when they wanna put a stamp on,
and has a record conservatives like.

Our opponent had a record conservatives
can't complain about, but he lost.

- Excuse me, Mr. Ziegler?
- Yeah?

Congresswoman Wyatt is here in person
and she's asking to see you.


Congresswoman Wyatt
is also Mrs. Ziegler. Just...

- I'll be right out.
- Yes, sir.

- You think we'll get hit from the left?
- I do. Look...

- He gets a honeymoon.
- You're missing my point.

- What?
- I think he'll be confirmed.

We might even get
the honeymoon from the left.

- But?
- I'm not sure he's the right guy.

We got Rooker.

- Donna?
- Yeah.

Jeff Johnson. Come on back.

This was incredibly nice of you.

The guy before did it for me. Maybe you
will do it for someone else in four years.

- Eight years.
- Whatever.

- Is this where I'll be working?
- Who knows.

The White House re-invents itself every
administration. It's never the same.

There are things that won't be
in your briefing. Wanna hear them?

- Sure.
- Never wear your badge off-campus.

It's like wearing a bull's-eye. Don't let
your kids get mail out of the mailbox.

You don't know what separatist
sent you mail.

- I don't have kids.
- Good.

There are days you'll need
to be here at 8...

...and not go home till 6 or 7.

What else?

The iodine tablets, some people
take them, some don't.

I did, but you can ask your doctor.

What's the iodine for?

It protects your thyroid
from the radiation.

- Why is there radiation?
- There's an XW-9 warhead... a silo 93 feet below
the Eisenhower Putting Green.

They say it's not enough radiation to
hurt you, but you wanna take chances...

...with something like that?
- Really. Wow. God, no.

Listen, before I forget,
I've gotta hit you up for a favor.

My girlfriend's a stringer for a
teen magazine, it's called Twenty-one.

With all the young people coming in,
they wanna do a story, and...

...with the way you look... Any chance
she could get a 10-minute phoner?

No problem, you can
give her the number.

You ready for lunch?
Where to?

- You tell me. I don't know anything.
- Okay.

- Everything okay?
- I couldn't get you on your phone...

...and I was on the tenth floor.
They need another sample.

- Why?
- There was a blackout in Alexandria...

...and the incubator
was without power for 45 minutes.

We maybe talk about this over here?

- A blackout in Alexandria?
- It's a cab ride.

- You're in, you're out, no sweat.
- No, it's not no sweat.

In fact, it's a little bit gruesome.

- It's gruesome?
- It's something.

You get off on the fourth floor,
which is clearly marked...

...for all the other elevator passengers
to read that it's the fertility clinic.

You try to show with body language
that it's not you, and that's impossible.

An 84-year-old Welsh nurse hands you
a paper bag with a cup and a video...

...and points the way toward a room.
I won't even tell you the name.

- What's the name?
- It's not a good out-loud word.

You take the longest walk of your life
back to the Welsh nurse...

...who takes the cup out of the bag
and says,"Very nice."

I need you to do this now.
There is a timing thing.

Can it wait until next week because...?

It's January 15th, Andy.
I can't have a baby today.

He's getting sworn in in five days.
I'm not saying never. Can we...

...wait five days?
- Sure.

How's it going?

Rooker's gonna be the AG.

Mr. Ziegler!

- Yeah?
- Sorry for shouting. Joey's ready.

- I'm sorry?
- Electoral math.

When do you suppose Georgia
got so far out of reach?

- Was it because we burned it down?
- I was gonna say.

Okay, let's start.

I'm taking Ohio out of the red
and putting it back in play.

- How much money to win there?
- A lot more than we have there.

We're on the air in 18 of the top 25.
There's no new money to spend on this...

I'm gonna stop you there.
Joey, I can't go to him with it.

- Let me go to him with it. Let Bruno.
- No, I'm with Toby.

You don't know how the president
feels about his home state.

He's a New Hampshire Bartlet.
It's been home for centuries.

He's a Democrat elected
to the statehouse with close to 60%.

The fact the state's in play
is embarrassing for him.

He doesn't wanna campaign there,
because that's embarrassing too, but...

I'm trying to tell you
it's not in play anymore.

If you asked the president...

...which he'd rather win,
New Hampshire or the election...

...he'd have to think before answering.
Put a pin in it. We'll come back.

President Bartlet,
the next question 's to you.

Ritchie contends there's a crisis
in the American family.

That parents aren't
spending time with kids.

- We're trying this again, sorry.
- Yeah.

And that your solution is essentially
to have government raise children.

Well, that's an extraordinary and
unsurprisingly dumb interpretation...

...of what my administration
is trying to accomplish.

It's hard enough to raise kids
with help from Family Leave...

...subsidized daycare, preschool.
We need more, not less.

The government can't raise kids,
Mr. President, parents have to.

I have three grown daughters. You
wanna tell me how to raise my family?

You comfortable with that? You wanna
tell other fathers and mothers...

...what they're doing wrong?
I didn't think so.

Let's stick to what government can do,
which is collect money...

...and stop wasting time
by sentimentalizing families.

That's not good, sir.

We lost every stay-at-home-mom vote
and their husbands who are henpecked.

- Who are you now?
- I like the aggressive answer, it's right.

We're letting Ritchie put him
on the opposite side of values.

The question was,
"What do I have against families?"

And the answer is
"I have nothing against them at all."

We have to put him
on the right side of this.

He is on the right side of this.
We need help with the answer.

You're asking me to do that
which I don't wanna do.

- Yes.
- Okay.

I have a press briefing.

Good afternoon.

Today is January 22nd.

Let me brief you on the president's
morning schedule. He started with...

- How's that?
- Good.

- You don't care.
- No.

- I've got boxes to unload.
- I'm gonna stay here and practice.

"No, David, the president
was very clear about that."

"Mark, then Katie."

Mark, Katie, Jessie, Phil, Steve,
Betsy, Julie, Julie, Julia...

...Kevin, Paul, Tom, Sondra, Suzanne...

...Mike, Danny...


Eighteenth seat. Eighteen you can vote.

Vote sounds like moat,
which is a trench. Trent.

- Excuse me, C.J.?
- Yeah.

Bill Stark, I'm with Kingspeak.

We're a magazine that reaches over
600,000 Christian evangelicals.

- I heard your first briefing went well.
- I can do better.

I wanted to tell you
that on December 10th...

...all 600,000 will be praying for you.

- Really?
- That's right.

- I don't understand.
- Well, once a year...

...we identify the 365
most influential people in media...

...and we assign each of them
a calendar day and we pray for them.

I really don't know what to say
in response to that sort of kindness.

Well, maybe the administration will
reconsider their position on some issues.

Like what?

School prayer?

- The president's made up his mind.
- Millions of Americans want it.

- There are a lot of votes there.
- We got as many as we needed for now.

- Just wanted to say hi.
- I'll see you around.

By the way, just so you don't think
we disagree on everything...

...I think Cornell Rooker is terrific.
- Really?

We served on the city council together.

First African-American man I've ever
heard make sense on racial profiling.

Look at this.

Leonardo da Vinci.
Madonna and Child With a Pomegranate.

It's nice.

- Here's Botticelli. Adoration of the Magi.
- What are we doing right now?

Choosing pictures
from the National Gallery.

- They'll loan stuff?
- Anything in the Gallery or Smithsonian.

Really? I want Apollo 11.

- You can't have that.
- Then don't bother me.

I'm meeting with the leadership.
I'm signing six executive orders I don't...

- Mr. President.
- God, I thought that was a closet.

- That's my office.
- The room's got four doors, it's huge.

- I wanna run through these orders.
- Do you understand them?

- Not quite yet.
- C.J., what are you doing?

I'm sorry, sir. I just wanted to see Leo.

- He's standing right there.
- Yeah.

Would you get your ass in here?
Could everyone stop acting strange?

What's up?

A reporter for a conservative
Christian magazine...

...mentioned that he served
on a city council with Rooker...

...which is true, it was in Miami.
- Yeah.

The reporter said he liked
Rooker's position on racial profiling.

- That's strange.
- No, it's not. We found the transcript.

"I'm not saying it should be active policy
but there is no question that... certain situations,
racial profiling can be helpful to law..."

- Law enforcement?
- Yeah.

- How do you think it's going so far?
- We'll get into it.


And down the stretch, here she comes.
Here comes Gardner.

She's gonna take the yellow jersey...

...past the picturesque farms
and hillsides of the Champs d' Leamps...

...from the white cliffs of Dover.
Where do the Americans find this spirit?

Her cell phone's ringing now.
Probably be a sponsor.

- Hello.
- It's Josh.


- You're breathing very hard.
-I'm riding.

- Then what are you doing?

I'm having dinner with Peter Harlow.

How's Peter's wife?

- They're separated.
-Yes, I know.

- What do you need?
- How do we stand strong...

...for the modern family
with all its quirks...

...and not seem like we're
dissing everyone born before 1962?

- By doing it.
-Can I call you back?

-You'll think about it?
- Yeah.

Thank you.

- You're going to this meeting?
- Yes.

- WW-160. You been able to find it?
- I don't know where I am right now.

- I'm looking on this side again.
- You mind if I talk to you while we walk?

Well, we may as well get used to having
meetings in corridors from now on.

I now know why they made
the Oval Office a special shape.

Six new editorials.
NAACP, the Urban League, La Raza...

NAACP doesn't wanna see
a black attorney general?

I think they do, but they also stand
for the ones...

...who get pulled over
for having too nice a car.

- Intergovernmental's also...
- I'm talking to Intergovernmental.

Does anybody know where WW-160 is?

Hi, I'm Josh Lyman, you all work for me.
Does anybody know where WW-160 is?

I haven't seen it.

That one hasn't seen it.
She's keeping an eye out, though.

I don't think he's gonna be confirmed.

I think the first thing is we're gonna
lose a confirmation battle...

...spend the next four years
with two outs and a full count.

If we pull him out now, it's a story for a
day until we announce the next guy.

- If we wait a week...
- This is the guy. This is the story.


Because you know why?
Hubris always wins in the end.

The Greeks taught us that.

- We were looking for West Wing 160.
- I think it's in the Kremlin.

- Let's just meet here.
- Leo, this is a strong, deserving nominee.

Sam, it's not hubris.
He should be attorney general.

But he won't be,
so let's take it from there.

- The president doesn't wanna give it up.
- Let's line up people for I.P.

"Rooker has an exceptional record
as a U.S. attorney.

A leader in fighting
employment discrimination.

Was college chair of..."
"He's tough on crime, fair on justice."

That's the line, say that.
Do not say that. What the hell is that?

"He's tough on crime, fair on justice,"
sings a song, has a mustache?

- What's that supposed to...?
- Toby's gone to the zoo.

We may have killed these two guys
with the inauguration.

I beseech you. Let me take a pass at
some remarks the president can make...

...withdrawing the nomination. We're
gonna do it anyway, let's do it now.

"Take a thorough look at
Cornell Rooker's record, you'll see...

...he's fought for justice
his entire career."

"If you look at his record, he's fought
for justice his entire career."

I wanna read that quote tomorrow.

- Anything else?
- No.

Thank you.

Hey. I don't think there is a WW-160.

Yeah, hey. How do you do?

- What?
- Guess what I have here.

It's a copy of Twenty-one magazine.
It's for Generation Now.

Is my thing in there?


"In sleek Selia Yang slacks
and DKNY button-down...

...she's not afraid to bring a note of:

'Let's drink after work' to the office."

That's untrue,
but I do like the sound of it.

"But much as we love her style,
we worry about her inexperience...

...and Bambi-esque naďveté.
'There's so much to learn, ' says Moss.

'I didn't even know there was
a nuclear missile silo under this place. '"

- Who told you that?
- Jeff, when I met him for lunch.

Let me take a guess at something.
Jeff set you up with the reporter, right?

- His girlfriend.
- You didn't bring this up?

The girlfriend led you there?

- Bambi-esque?
- As does pertain to Bambi.

There's a reason why we keep these
missile silos in the middle of nowhere.

It's because they're working
with some nasty materials.

Also, there's not much point in
keeping nuclear secrets from China...

...when all they have to do
is take the free tour.

Did it sound right when he said it?
What'd you think, we go to war...

...and Hercules rockets
come flying out of the Rose Garden?

- The Eisenhower Putting Green.
- Oh, my God!

I'm too stupid to live!

This is like when I was
in Li'I Abner in 8th grade...

...and rehearsals are going fine, and
suddenly there's sets and costumes...

...and everyone's tripping
over themselves.

You walked into the building
and got freaked by the lights.

I walked in and, you know,
something else happened.

- We can't all be you.
- You can all try a little harder to be.

For sure I'm not taking
the iodine tablets.

I should be sitting at my desk.
Do I have a desk yet?

- No.
- Okay.

Then I'll just walk around some more.

See if I can get into a pickup meeting.

- Toby?
- Yeah?

- You going to dinner?
- Yeah.

I'm a bad friend.
I should've been there for you.

- I don't know what you're talking about.
- Josh and Sam talked to me.

I'm onboard with Team Toby.

See, I lent voice to thought
and that was my mistake.

If you wanna marry Andy,
then damn it, so do I.

- Want that to happen for you.
- I get it.

- Do you? Because this is about love.
- I think you have a different motivation.

- Laughs?
- Yes.

Sure, but also as much love really
as either one of us are comfortable with.

Well, let me start here:
Have you asked her?

- Yes.
- And she said no?

This is excruciating.

You'll give me your white blood cells.
Not all of them, but as many as I want.

- Why?
- Because you love me.

No, what's the matter
with your white blood cells?

Nothing. It's my immune system.

It's not recognizing that a pregnancy
isn't something it's supposed to attack.

So they draw blood from you
like a rabid dog...

...clean it, thank goodness...

...and give me injections of your
blood cells to build up tolerance.

You know how you're always saying
you wish people were more like you?

- The guy's had a lot of success.
- It sounds like something we should try.

But let me ask you something...
And bear in mind that I'm happy.

I'm eager to go to as many doctors
as there are...

...but should we talk about
a stop date?

- You mean, talk about adoption?
- Yeah, we can talk about adopting.

- You meant a"stop date" stop date.
- I meant adopting.

I meant surrogacy.
And, yes, I love kids.

And I want them
and I don't have to have them.

I want them.

And I'm there.


- You're getting killed on Rooker.
- No kidding.

- Hey, C.J.
- Is he in there?

- Yeah. Is anything wrong?
- No.

- There's a problem.
- I just said a stupid thing.

What's the problem?

I did a one-on-one with Danny
Concanon a few days ago on Rooker.

Did you say,"If you take a
look at Cornell Rooker's record"...

Yes, as a matter of fact. He did.

- Oh, man.
- A DUI got fixed in law school.

He doesn't want to write about that
so much... about us being the
Capital Clampetts.

- What was the stupid thing you said?
- It doesn't matter. Let's fix this.

- What was that?
- It's an old camp song.

- What's it mean?
-"Let us be merry, therefore...

...while we are young men.
After the joys of youth...

...after the pains of old age...

...the ground will have us."


How can I get you onboard with me?

- New Hampshire?
- Yeah.

- By coming out with me.
- On what?

The president must spend more time in
congressional districts. We won't win.

- Why would he spend time in districts...?
- To build Democratic momentum... the very places
we traditionally tank.

We're running weak candidates
in these districts.

The Tennessee 7th.
Horton Wilde in Orange County... in the hospital with a heart attack.
Who knows when he'll campaign again?

I can't make a pitch about
putting resources in the right places...

...and then advocate sending
the president to districts...

...where the last Democrat won
by railing against Abraham Lincoln.

That's a reasonable point.

- Will you help me?
- Yeah.

I have to say, you look good.

Thank you.

I don't remember you looking
this good. Is something different?

I don't know, the autumnal equinox
is usually good to me.

I think that's your cell phone
that's been ringing.

Yes, excuse me.

- Hello?

- Hello.
-You on your date?

Well, I wouldn't call it that.

You don't wanna let him know it's me
on the phone, it's too intimidating.

It's like going out with Cher
and Sonny calls.

- How can I help you?
- Any thoughts?

Yes. Ritchie's right.
There's a family crisis in America.

So a radical feminist is saying
women should stay home with the kids?

First of all, I don 't think
I'm a radical anything.

Second of all, who said women
should stay home? And third is...

...the capitalist treadmill encourages
scheduling quality time on a Palm Pilot.

That's not how they do it in Scandinavia.

But everybody kills themselves
in Scandinavia.

That's hard to deny.

We must defend our accomplishments
on work and family...

... many of which you pushed for,
and show that we get...

...what working parents are
going through. Can you help us?

- Yes.
- I'll call back.

What would be a really bad time?

Oh, really, anytime.



- Yeah?
- Mr. Michael Gordon is here to see you.

- Does he have an appointment?
- No, he's with the NSA.

- NSA?
- Yeah.

Send him in.

Mr. Lyman. Michael Gordon.

Donna says you're with the NSA.

I'm not here to bug your office.

Yeah, but you wouldn't tell me
if you were.

- It's about Miss Moss.
- What's the trouble?

Probably nothing, but a few days ago
a teen magazine...

...published an interview with her.
- The old guys were playing a joke.

It's not a good idea for a staffer to say
there's a missile in the capital.

She hit a little close to home
for our comfort.

- What do you mean?
- Obviously I can't elaborate.

- She hit a little close to home?
- Yeah.

- You saying...?
- You don't have code-word clearance.

- We need to stay professional.
- Yeah.

How long has she been working for you?

Listen, this...

This is silly, she was just duped.
It was a joke.

- How long has she worked for you?
- This is a misunderstanding.

I would vouch for Donna with my life.

She doesn't know about missiles.
She's from Wisconsin.

I'm simply asking
how long she's been working for you.

No. Look, I'm sorry.

I'm sure your intentions are good...

...and this is just routine...

...but I'd like to have her
talk to somebody.

- A lawyer?
- Yeah.

Until this is straightened out,
I'll need to revoke her credentials.

She's my assistant. For how long?

As long as it takes.

- All right.
- Thank you.


- What was that?
- You gotta go home.

- Why?
- That idiot interview you did...

...popped a red flag.
They're revoking your credentials...

...till it's straightened out.

I don't believe it.

I'm talking to someone
in Cochran's office.

What am I supposed to do?

Take a few days off.
Go home. Go to the beach.

- It's February 2nd.
- I wouldn't go to the beach.

- You've got a meeting in Leo's office.
- Don't worry about this.

I'm gonna fix this.

The president's not gonna be available
for a little bit. Fitzwallace just got here.

Any idea what's going on?

All right, listen up.

We still have an open question on family.
We have an open question on Rooker...

...missile defense and vouchers. We start
dress rehearsals tomorrow at 3.

Let's split up in our groups.
I really want vouchers by 10...

...missile defense by 11.

Anyone not doing anything
at midnight...

...Team Toby, my cabin.

- Good.
- Break's over.


- Thanks for coming down.
- Yes, sir.

- What's going on?
- The Mastico...

...a 200-foot Qumari cargo ship
is heading east... the Mediterranean toward Lebanon.
- Is it carrying Qumari arts and crafts?

No, it's carrying 72 tons
of weapons and explosives...

...including the
Multiple Launch Rocket System.

This fires 12 warheads
with 644 M77 munitions.

It does it in 60 seconds.

The Global Positioning Device
on the MLRS is how we found the ship.

This is the message
we've been waiting for.

They turn around the ship
in exchange for what?

Access to the High Altitude Area
Defense Program.

That's just the most sophisticated
anti-ballistic missile system in history...

...short of Star Wars.

- What else?
- They're arming the Bahji, Leo.

Two training camps
of which the Israelis just attacked.

I've gotta turn around the boat. Tonight.
Tomorrow we'll worry about tomorrow.

Or we can invite the sultan over
for a nice mixer.

Punch, sack races, whatnot.

Why are we playing games
with these people?

They refuse to prosecute the Bahji.
They support them in a variety of ways.

Why isn't that
the end of the conversation?

"We'll worry about tomorrow
tomorrow." We said that yesterday.

- Fitz?
- I couldn't agree with Leo more.

- What about Nancy?
- Yeah.

What's available from the Sixth Fleet?

One forward unit east of the Mastico.
The 26th Marine Expeditionary.

Stop the boat.

- Don't shoot it unless I tell you to.
- Yes, sir.

This doesn't feel good, does it?

It's quiet, you know? It's too quiet.

- C.J.
- Yeah?

The president has withdrawn
Rooker's name from nomination.

- Well, at least it's behind us.
- Not quite.

Our report card
for our first two weeks in office.

The president's approval has gone from
61 ş% ş during the transition...

...when I suppose there's nothing
to approve, to 49ş% ş once there was.

Forty-seven percent see him
as a strong leader...

...a result of bungling
the Rooker nomination.

And African-American support...

...which basically elected him,
has gone from 92 to 78.

Finally, if the election were held today,
the president would be chairman...

...of the economics department
at Phillips Andover Academy.

Can anyone report anything good?

Six hundred thousand evangelicals
are praying for me.

- So we have that going for us.
- What the hell are you talking about?

It's true. A guy gave me this card,
365 people in media.

- Who are the others?
- I don't know, let's see.

Hugh Hefner, Don lmus, Howard Stern.
All the late-night guys.

This is...
One, two, three.

This is the editorial board of
The New York Times.

This isn't a good list. It's a list
of people who are going to hell.

They aren't praying
because they like me.

It's because I'm doomed
to eternal damnation.

- If you weren't it'd be a waste of praying.
- You're on it too.

- Can I see that?
- You can all leave.

We're gonna do better for you, boss.

- Do better for him.
- We will.

We will.

- Sam?
- Yeah?

- Can you walk with me a second?
- Yeah.

Well, you were right, I was wrong.

More often than not it's gonna be
the other way around, so...

- Thanks. I've got a weird problem.
- What?

Remember Donna had lunch
with Mack's assistant a few weeks ago?

He told her there's a missile silo
on the grounds.

She repeated it to a magazine
and an NSA guy...

...came to see me just now and he
said she struck a little close to home...

...and they want to investigate. In the
meantime, they revoked her credentials.

-"Struck too close to home"?
- It means somehow, she...

There's actually some kind of weapons
system right here on the White House...

...or intelligence gathering...

Wait a minute.

- This doesn't sound right.
- No.


Just hanging with my friend Michael.

He works in the staff secretary's office.
Plus, he's got his own band.

By the way, you know what
your name is for the next month?

- It's gonna be Bambi, isn't it?
- Yeah, it's gonna be Bambi-ass.

I'll call you Abner because you came
into the White House and didn't flinch.

I'm making phone calls.

- How you doing?

- I'm freezing.
-Where are you?

- I'm at my front door.
- Well, go inside.

- I can't, I'll lose you.
- You'll never lose me, Amy.

- Please don't say that.
- What do you have?

- I don't have anything.
- I don't believe you.

I don't know what
you want me to say.

I want women to have help
from the government.

I want women to earn what men earn
and everyone to earn enough... everyone can choose right
for their family.

And after that it's none of your business
who stays home and who goes to work.

You don't know more about
raising a family than I do.

That was it. We got it. We'll give it
a test and I'll call back around 1.

- A.M.?


Let's get that in the form of an answer.

- We got something from Amy.
- Good.

He was wondering:
The Team Toby meeting...

...Toby doesn't need to be there, right?
- I wasn't wondering.

Do your job as a man
and get that nice girl pregnant.

I did.

- Wait, what?
- What?

Andy's pregnant.

Toby, Andy's pregnant?

With twins.

This is incredible.

And they're yours?

- Yeah.
- Both of them?

I'm going downstairs.

Well, we're gonna have to
step this up now.

Yeah. I'm gonna get hats.

Let's go.

- Mr. President.
- Did you have a good day?

Yes, sir. We haven't found the answer
we like on the Rooker question yet.

You know what I remember
he said to me. He said:

"Mr. President, when I hear black
footsteps behind me, I'm scared.

When I hear white footsteps, I'm not."

Well, I think we both know
people who'd say different.

But you have to respect him for voicing
an unpopular opinion amongst his people.

You pay for these things
for such a long time, don't you think?

I do. And I don't know why
we struggle with it.

I made a mistake, I corrected it.

- I'll make more.
- Yes.

Humans can't rebut that, it's prevent
defense and has the merit of being true.

Am I gonna lose New Hampshire?

Yes, sir.

I don't mind blowing
the knucklehead stuff like Rooker.

Rooker's not knucklehead.
But if I'm making mistakes there... do I know I'm not doing it
when it comes to matters... death and destruction?

Well, probably you don't,
because there's no manual.

Sir, we expect the president
to face the world in his own way... his own time.

Luckily for all of us you have
better advisers in that area...

...than you do in domestic
and political policy.

When we're done we should
talk about moving money to Ohio.

Yes, and maybe making a stop
in Orange County.

You know, our candidate
in the 47th is such a dynamo...

...that he's in the hospital...
- Not anymore. He's dead.

- Okay.
- Let's go.

- And stay up in my face, okay?
- Yes, sir.

I swear to God, the winner of this
debate's gonna be the next president.

- Anybody wanna be on the losing team?
- No, sir.

Then let's pump it up.

Let's go, Claudia Jean.

Good evening and welcome
to the presidential debate...

...between President Bartlet and
Gov. Ritchie, being brought to you...

...from the
University of California, San Diego.

The format, agreed to by
both candidates, is as follows:

A candidate will have
90 seconds to respond...

...followed with a 60-second
questioning by his opponent...

...followed by a 60-second summation.

By virtue of a coin toss, Mr. President...

...the first question goes to you.