The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 5, Episode 9 - Abu el Banat - full transcript

The entire Bartlet family tries to gather for an early Christmas dinner at the w.h., but inevitable delays occur, as the president must deal with an overseas crisis, Ellie is held up at her lab, and five-year-old grandson Gus is having tantrums. In addition, Doug Westin, Jed and Abby's son-in-law, approaches Josh about running for an open congressional seat in his home district; Josh, Leo and the New Hampshire Democratic Party have already chosen a viable local candidate, but Doug persists, while Jed, who likes and respects Doug, still thinks it's Liz who should be running for Congress.

Previously on The West Wing:

Desperate times call
for desperate measures.

-I made a call.
-To whom?

What have you been doing
while I was gone?

Staying through the holidays?

Depends how long it takes your
government to get up and running.

-Will's gonna work for the VP.
-I'm asking the president not to let him.

He told Russell he could have him.
It's done.

Bartlet's not gonna finish
the job he started.

Someone must be ready
to take over.

This isn't a line on the r?sum?.
You don't walk away.

-What are you doing?
-I'm holding up my tree. Isn't it nice?

What are you doing to it?

-Holding it up. The stand isn't--
-Have anything smaller?

Smaller than me is a shrub.
I wanted a real tree this year.

This is fine.
I just cut some of the naked gloating.

We restarted the government.

There was a showdown at
the O.K. Corral and we won.

-We're heroes.
-And yet self-effacing.

-Excuse me.
-Can we get a bigger stand?

Yeah. Waterville Crier
wants a comment.

No comments for The Crier,
The Intelligencer or The Breeze.

The DEA suspended a
Waterville doctor's drug license...

...for giving a patient enough
narcotics to kill her.

It's against the law.
It's what the DEA does.

C.J., Waterville's in Oregon.

All three of our daughters
in one place for Christmas.

-You've never seen that, have you?
-No, I haven't.

-She's never seen it.
-Maybe next year.

What if she quits before then?
She's flighty.

-They'll all be here tonight. Be grateful.
-I'm grateful.

Debbie thinks one night
isn't a visit so much as a pit stop.

-Mr. President, Liz is pulling up.
-Thank you.

-Let's not dwell on it with the kids.
-I'm not dwelling. I think it's fine.

I think we should all spend
Christmas at Liz's in-laws.

-We're invited.
-Never again. I still have flashbacks.

You didn't sit up all night with Jean
sewing ducklings on the stockings.

-Good morning, sir. Mrs. Bartlet.
-Hello, Jim.

-We're not doing photos now, are we?
-A couple candids.

-Nothing serious till the tree lighting.
-Get a few before dinner of the family.

-I'll be there.
-I know you will.

I don't think you should crucify Ellie
for telling you she might be late.

How hard could it be?

When there's a fair to middling chance
you may not make it.

-I'm just asking her to stay for one meal.
-British Embassy on the 15th.

DNC Chair on the 22nd.
The Uphoffs on Christmas Eve.

DNC's a maybe.
Uphoffs are a maybe.

We shouldn't go with maybes
on Christmas parties this year...

...because maybe means I R.S.V.P. "yes,"
you cancel 10 minutes before it starts...

...and I have to call and say
the guest isn't coming.

You remain lovable Leo McGarry.

I'm the dope who couldn't accurately
assess the constraints of your schedule.

Hostages? Did he just say "hostage"?

And by New Year's, I'm a pariah. I got
people hexing my muffins in the mess.

Leo McGarry for the Sudan desk, please.
Get Josh on this call now.

I don't wanna sit next to Doug tonight.
I don't wanna hear about his kayak.

Show up on time,
you can sit wherever you like.

Tell Ellie if she's late,
she has to sit next to Doug.

-Oh, there's my guy.

-How are you, kid?
-Hi, Doug.

-Hey, Jed.

Was there a stowaway in the car?
A monster? I got him.

-I got him. Come with me.
-Come inside.

-Leo, we have a--
-I saw it. Hostages.

-No. The DEA.
-What's their problem?

-We have a hostage situation?
-We have a serious job to do tonight.

-Mr. President.
-You want to see something?


Twelve relief workers
in Sudan got thrown in jail.

Congressman's on CNN
calling them hostages.

I have a quarter
with New Hampshire on it.

-You sure do. You talk to State?
-I just heard myself. I was--

-There's a problem at the DEA.
-Hang on.

Five minutes ago, we were
having a quiet morning.

I'll catch up with you
in a few minutes.

We've got all sorts of
good stuff planned.

It's okay.
We'll see him later.

Sudanese authorities say some were
trying to convert locals to Christianity.

-It's Islamic law in northern Sudan--
-So they threw the lot of them in jail.

Sudan desk got a call from Congressman
Richter. Two are his constituents.

-Sir, did you talk to the DEA yesterday?

Did State tell you about
this Richter thing?

This blew up good and fast,
didn't it?

State's treating this like a foreign arrest.
A consular visit and a trial.

Richter isn't satisfied.

Sudanese jail, you hope
someone's making noise.

-Were they proselytizing?
-Don't know.

Richter says no. He spoke to
an officer at the Sudan desk...

...thinks they don't care,
so he's bumping it up.

Hostage is a big word.
Particularly at Christmas.

Let's get him in here.
What about the DEA?

DEA's coming down on a doctor
in Oregon for assisting a suicide.

No federal jurisdiction.
I don't know what they're doing.

They call it a violation of
the Controlled Substances Act.

-The drug he used is federally controlled.
-So's a handgun.

Doesn't turn a shooting
into a federal case.

-He makes a point.
-We sure this wasn't an accident?

-Pain management gone awry?
-The doctor admits it.

Oregon says it's legal.
He was assisting a terminal patient... hasten the end of suffering.
-It's a living.

-Well, yes, in Oregon, it is.
-When's your next briefing?

-An hour. I was gonna go--
-I don't think we comment. DOJ's mess.

-We don't want it.
-We don't want a lot.

For four years, "The president doesn't
support physician-assisted suicide...

...but it's not a federal issue,
it's up to voters. "

State by state. And not by the
Drug Enforcement Administration.

We don't jump into a bar fight
and declare our intention not to act.

Let the attorney general handle it.

-I'll sit down with the A.G. .
-Thanks, everybody.

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

-Debbie, where are they?
-Blue Room, sir.

-Oh, good.
-Talk to Debbie.

We need a sit-down for
Congressman Donald Richter today.

-And get him on the phone.
-Doug Westin's in your office.

He's not with his in-laws?

President's introducing Gus to
the Three Tenors. "Hallelujah Chorus. "

Why does a 5-year-old
wanna meet the Three Tenors?

-He doesn't.
-Doug's your friend.

-He's a perfectly nice guy.
-Speak slow. You don't wanna lose him.

Check it out.
They're decking the halls.

Five minutes, then I'll spring you.


-Good to see you.
-I swiped your paper.

It's government property.
I'll have to call the feds.

I'd better dash. See you.

Come on in.

-You guys here for a couple days?
-No, just tonight and tomorrow.

Going to my folks' for
Christmas this year.

-Tree lighting's the least we could do.
-No Annie?

Swim meet.
That and she pierced her eyebrow.

Thought we'd keep her
off camera till it healed.

-On purpose?
-Every day is a new set of challenges.

Hey, you tracking Congressional
recruitment? That still your area?

-I mean, yeah. What's--?
-New Hampshire. First District.

-Ken Campbell.
-He's stepping out, end of this term.

Got a valve thing. He doesn't
slow down, his heart's gonna... a balloon.
-That's great.

I mean, not the-- But we'll
have a good shot at the seat.

I think so.
And I think I'm the man to do it.

-To what?
-With a little help from you fine people...

...I'll be elected to the United States
House of Representatives.

The attorney general.


How come I don't hear
your daughter's...

...performing at the Kennedy Center
till two days after?

Between us, she was under a wig,
behind Aida's second elephant.

This cowboy over at the DEA.
You fire him yet?

-Sooner is better.

I think I've got to back up
the DEA on this one.

The CSA is--

The Controlled Substances Act
is about drug trafficking.

It was never intended to supplant the
states as regulators of medical practice.

He had a license to dispense narcotics
for legitimate medical purposes only.

The voters of Oregon have declared
the termination of a life...

...of pain and suffering to be
a legitimate medical purpose...

...and whether they're right is none
of the DEA's business.

-Assisted suicide should be--
-It's not assisted anything.

It's murder.


We're done.

You'll be hearing from the president.

The White House interfering
with a federal prosecution?

-You really wanna walk that road?
-You're not a legislative body, Alan.

There's only so many times you can
pull this before the president--

What? Fires me?

I don't wanna have this fight.

But if we do, I win.

Jed Bartlet's not gonna fire me
for standing on principle.


-Have a good day, Margaret.
-Thank you, Mr. Fisk. You too.

-Fire him.
-The attorney general?

Fire him. We hired him.

We fire him over assisted suicide...'s 16 verses of "Grandma Got Run
Over by the Bartlets," now till Easter.

"No comment's" not gonna play.

-How about we let the VP be front man?

We're staring a State of the Union
in the face.

This is what hijacks the agenda for
weeks at a time, what we talked about.

-Do you need me to leave the room?
-Toby's taking first chair on...

-...State of the Union, not just writing it.
-The agenda.

-lf I'm doing it, I'm doing it.

-This is not on the agenda.
-Talk to Will.

Thank you.

-Lizzie B.

Hey, listen. You're gonna get a call from
an organization called the Hunger Plan.

They should be fundraising
for the World Food Program...

...and instead they're developing
freeze-dried peanut butter.

I got lassoed on the board for two years.
I just retired, and I recommended you.

-You didn't.
-They get a small C-22 grant.

It'd be a conflict. Tell them
you wish, you wish, but you can't.

-It'll make them feel good.
-Thanks for the heads-up.

-We're gonna talk about UNESCO.
-You going?

We're gonna talk about a guy,
Chris Beck, I want you to meet.

-He from UNESCO?

Did she tell you about
the walk-through at 11 ?

-Can you maybe handle that?
-She asked for you.

I've got a meeting.
Could you tell her?

-You can't say no to her, can you?
-Not really.

I'll see you at 11.

Any word from Ellie?

She's running an experiment
on viral reproduction.

She hopes it'll wrap up in time.

It's a special dinner. It isn't optional.

She's a Bartlet. It's been
special every day since '62.

I spoke to a gal in Khartoum, then I got
a call from a flunky at the Sudan desk.

Didn't inspire a great deal
of confidence.

You start saying "hostages,"
things get a little out of hand.

-Mr. President.
-Sit. Hi, Ted.

-Mr. President.
-Proselytizing's punishable by death.

-They're not gonna do that.
-Ted spoke with the families.

We're waiting on a report
from the consular officer.

-Let it go through channels.
-We barely have an embassy in Sudan.

A consular officer from Cairo flies in
whenever we have a problem.

-He's on a plane.
-Should call the prime minister.

State deals with thousands
of these every year.

Like it or not, Americans are subject to
the laws of the country they are in.

-These aren't crack dealers.
-We don't arbitrate. Can't.

Not in 193 countries,
with as many legal systems.

They didn't break a law.
They were stocking a food warehouse.

It was looted as soon
as they were arrested.

These are young people who've
taken years out of their lives... bring food to a drought-stricken,
civil-war-riddled nation.

Of course they're religious.

Someone asks them what it means to
be Christian, they'll give an answer.

That is not proselytizing.

The secretary of state
needs to pick up the phone.

As soon as they know it's a priority,
they'll hold us up for millions.

I've got 22 days of Christmas
events ahead of me.

I'm not sure how I explain that
Christians doing charitable works...

...are in a Sudanese jail because
we're too cheap to bail them out.

We're expecting
about 6000 people.

Switch on the lights,
then performances... the United States Marine Band
and the Louisiana Bayou Gospel Choir.

And there's gonna be a
troupe of dancing snowmen.

Men, really, dressed as snowmen.

Not as scary as it sounds.

Though, probably deeply
humiliating for the men.

No? Snowmen?

Your mom's gonna be right back.

And your grandpa will be rolling
in here any second now.

So, what did you think
of the Three Tenors?

-Is Dr. McNally in her office?
-I believe so.

How about I send her in right
after the tree rehearsal?

Liz is concerned Gus'll be overwhelmed
with the cameras and the crowd and all.

-We're gonna practice.
-Flipping a switch?

We're gonna show him the platform,
the tree and switch.

He'll be fine. Ellie can show him.
She did it one year in New Hampshire.

-Ellie's not here yet?
-Topic for another time.

All right, push the rehearsal.
I need to stop at Nancy McNally's.

-Is Ellie even coming?
-She's working on it.

One would never know that the
leaders of powerful nations...

...respond to my call on
a moment's notice.

Not at first glance, sir, no.

Russell speaking to the American
Nursing Association this week?

We'd like him to do a speech insert.

In his first big healthcare speech?

It's gonna come up in q & a anyway.
Might as well nip it in the bud.

By making his first speech to the medical
community about assisted suicide?

Are you kidding?
Are you people trying to kill me?

Trying to make sure you can
move to Oregon, kill yourself.

He needs to be talking about the
insurance gap, prescription drugs--

We need to place
some distance--

You know how this thing polls?
Forty-eight percent consider it a right.

Forty-six percent of Americans consider
it morally reprehensible.

It is the definition of a lose-lose issue.

The A.G.'s back-dooring this
on a technicality.

We'll wait till the courts
knock it down.

Meanwhile, he's usurping the policy
prerogative of the president.

Remind the public it
wasn't our decision.

You guys are asking me to groom
a backwater congressman.

We didn't ask you to groom Russell...

...for a presidential run.
He asked you.

-He was chosen by the president.
-By Republicans!

-I've got a budget to finalize.

I'm sure you'll pull a
great Eliza Doolittle here.

-Your confidence is touching.
-lf the vice president would... so kind, in between campaign stops,
could he do the president this favor?

I'll run it by him.

It's important that you look at the
catalogs before the end of the day.

-It's three weeks away.
-Hanukkah's two.

-That's plenty of time.
-Who's in charge of shopping?

-You are.
-There are pages with Post-its... tell you which relative they're for.

If you're happy with it, initial at the X.

If you're not happy, remember
this when you try it yourself.

-I like the polar fleece stuff.
-Who's in charge of shopping?

-You are. Hey.

Zoey. Wow, you look fantastic.

-Gosh, it's great to see you back.

-It's good to be back.
-She looks great.


-You got a second?

Am I still on Congressional recruitment,
or is Angela gonna take that over?

How about you two sit like grown-ups,
figure it out.

I don't care.
It's just starting, so--

-Getting calls already?
-A nice young guy from...

...New Hampshire wants to run.
Married to the boss's daughter.

From New Hampshire? The U.S.
Congress. Not the state legislature.

And he wants an endorsement?

I spoke to the county chair in the
DCCC. They have doubts.

Did you know about the thing
with Lanthorp Biotech?

They were in a nosedive,
he tried to pull them out.

-He didn't.
-DNC wants to run Mitch Clark.

He's been in the legislature
three terms.

He's got ideas. He's a dealmaker.

This has been a Republican
seat for a few terms.

The party doesn't wanna risk it.

Even with endorsement,
he may not make it to primary.

Then everybody looks like an idiot.

-I'll talk to him.
-I can talk--

-No, I'll do it.
-Mr. President.

He went to Josh.
Asked his opinion.

You gotta respect that.

Let Josh take care of it.

I spoke to the vice president
about the assisted suicide thing.

He's not comfortable getting into it.

I asked you, what, 10 minutes ago?

I'm a bigwig over there.
I don't need an appointment.

You found him, brought it up, carefully
considered, decided I can go stuff it?

He agreed with my analysis that
death plays poorly at Christmas.

Did you take it to him?
Or walk around the block...

-...and come back with your "no"?
-I made your case.

-I should've sent a card.
-I'm not your man in the VP's office.

-It can't work like that.
-I know who you are, the guy...

...we pulled out of Botox Babylon,
and brought to work for the president.

I work for somebody else now.

I don't want this to be acrimonious.

No, you certainly don't.

The president will take it
to the vice president.

Did you see the clips
Carol dropped off?

Jackson Clarion-Ledger says...

... "Attorney General Cracks Down
on Doc Peddling Death. "

Only the Oregon locals have picked it
up, except Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

-Jackson, Mississippi?
-Home of the mud pie...

...and Attorney General Alan Fisk.
He's talked about running for governor.

The A.G.?

-Is the vice president gonna--?
-I'm working on it.

I've been thinking maybe it's time
to get back into this.

-We thought it through.
-Five years ago.

And Oregon hasn't
worked out all the kinks.

Number of suicides among the terminally
ill has gone down since they passed it.

-A policy of non-intervention.
-Is lame when there's...

...a 14th-Amendment violation.

We have no constitutional
right to die.

Refuse treatment, yeah--

Framers never considered degenerative
death, an event which is...

...the creation of modern medicine.
We have a right not to reach...

-...the end of life in agony.
-We're not stopping anyone...

...from squirreling away 50 Seconal
in the nightstand...

...and washing it down with vodka.

To down Seconal, you must have muscle
control in the hand and esophagus.

This is an opportunity,
and we're dodging it.

C.J., how's your dad?

He's in the hospital.

I don't know.

I don't know...

...if he knows the difference.

Gus has a glove in here somewhere.
I know I packed it.

-He's hitting already?
-Oh, like a pro.

He can't catch to save his life,
but he can swing, boy.

That's great.

So, New Hampshire, First District.

Yeah. What you got?

You know a guy named Mitchell Clark?

Sure. Voted for him a couple,
three times.

The DNC seems to think he's got
a chance for Campbell's seat.

Anyone's got a chance.
It's a moderate district.

-It's poachable.
-No question.

We have a shot, but the party,
they're reticent.

-It's the nepotism.
-That could be part of it.

Look, it's gonna come up,
and it's gonna pass.

If the worst they can say about
me is I'm Jed Bartlet's son-in-law--

Once the public gets to know me as an
individual, it's an entirely different race.

What about the state legislature?
It's a place to learn.

The president started there.

I run while Jed's in office,
I've got a leg up like no two terms...

...six terms as a state legislator's
ever gonna give me.

What fool is gonna let
a moment like that sail by?

-I don't know.
-Here we go.

Is that the greatest thing
you ever saw?

Can't even get my thumb in there.
Look, I really appreciate your concern.

I do. But it's gonna be fine.

I'm a winner, buddy.
I'm gonna win this.

-Hi, Toby.
-Hi. You back to stay?

-No. I'm liking New Hampshire.
-You can go in.

-You look great.

Good to see you, Toby.

-People making a fuss?

You don't look that good.

I was hoping you could speak
to the vice president.

Ask him to do some talking
on the right-to-die--

Yeah, he said Will brought it up.

-You already discussed it?
-That's not gonna work.

Leo hopes the attorney general
will back down.

If not, C.J. puts it in a briefing, restates
our position, it's gone by Boxing Day.

We just had a huge victory...

...we're looking at a month
of Christmas carols...

...and the official ornament from
the state of South Dakota.

Press is itching for a story
with blood--

The court'll stop him.
There's no way.

One in five patients requesting
aid in dying has MS.

One in five.

Do you know what the questions
sound like?

I've got a pretty good idea.

"How long does the president think he
has before his MS becomes debilitating?"

"Do his doctors anticipate
a speedy decline?"

"Does he have a plan?"

"Does the first lady have four glass
vials and a syringe in a locked box... the nightstand?"

She may chicken out.
Maybe I'll call you.

That's the conversation, sir.

It won't be Controlled Substances Act,
or federal overreaching...

...or anything else.

I don't think we're ready to have that
conversation with the American public.

Hey. Did you get a chance
to talk to Doug?

-He take it okay?

He did, you know. He really did.


-You wanna carry my books?
-I'm not sure he got it.

-Got what?
-The rejection.

If he didn't take it personal--

He thinks he's still running.

-You didn't tell him?
-He took it more like a cautionary tale--

Oh, for the love of God.

He's resilient, not such
a bad thing in a candidate.

He's gonna show up at dinner
popping champagne corks...

...and the president will
deliver the news... front of Doug's wife
and mother-in-law.

You have to go back and tell him no.

In no uncertain terms.
Draw a picture if you need.

A ballot in a circle
with a line through it.

Liz and Gus are running behind schedule.
Can we push this to 4?

Do you wanna belly-dance for
the Joint Chiefs, or shall I?

Go on in.

Everything okay?

I'm waiting for my daughter and her
son to arrive, so we can practice...

-...the ceremonial flipping of a switch.

He had a Fisher-Price gizmo hooked
to the side of his crib...

...with more cranks and
levers than a DC-10...

...but we're gonna practice
with the switch.

C.J. says the assisted-suicide story is
showing up in some Mississippi papers.

You think Fisk is feeding it to them?

I want him in here
first thing tomorrow.

Consular report from Sudan.

Holly Gilweit and Katherine Melo,
ages 20 and 23, respectively...

...had a grand total
of 18 Bibles and a video...

-...on the lives of the apostles.
-The NGO know about this?

They never identified themselves as
evangelists, never mentioned religion.

So they're undercover agents?

Spies for Christ. Yeah.

Eighteen. They couldn't have just
talked about loving kindness...

...and goodwill towards men?
I just had Berryhill... the prime minister of Sudan
and issue a stern reprimand...

...for behavior that I likened
to street gangs and petty thieves.

-We need to issue an apology.
-We can't.

Ten other relief workers who weren't
distributing anything...

...other than wheat and sorghum
are in jail.

-But they know what was going on.
-And we know.

That's where the money comes in.
Nancy's waiting downstairs.

-Debbie. Twenty and 23.

Toby asked me today if I have
a plan for my death.

Liz has never asked. Zoey.

I understand Ellie asked
her mother once...

...but I'm not supposed to
know about it. I get Toby.

-Aren't we expecting Liz and Gus?
-They're running late.

There's a disagreement about a bath.

Nancy McNally is waiting,
and she's already had her bath.

I'll tell Liz.

Josh talk to Doug yet?

They spoke.
He didn't seem to follow.

-Josh is gonna try again.
-He didn't follow?

-Josh wasn't clear.
-What's not to follow?

It's hard to say.
Thank you, Mr. President.

Three point two billion men in the world.
She picks him.

I hear he had a great pitching arm.

When he was 19, sure.

She dumped a Rhodes scholar for
this guy. Zoey left Charlie for the frog.

Ellie and the guitar player
with the purple van.

My children choose morons,
every one.

They say daughters look
for their fathers.

You know, 15 years ago,
we took a trip to Egypt.

All five of us.

We saw the pyramids, Luxor,
then headed up into the Sinai.

We had a guide, a Bedouin man,
who called me "Abu el Banat. "

Whenever we'd meet another Bedouin,
he'd introduce me as Abu el Banat.

The Bedouin would laugh,
and offer me a cup of tea.

I'd go to pay for the tea,
they wouldn't let me.

Abu el Banat means
"father of daughters. "

They thought the tea was
the least they could do. Thanks.

Does he know we've heard
"The 12 Days of Christmas" twice?

-What'd Liz say?
-We should have rehearsed.

-I should go up.
-7000 people standing in the cold.

-You have to go.
-Any movement?

A lot of noise.
Somebody's in timeout.

-Gus or Doug?
-I'll go.

-You and me.
-Len, this gonna be okay?

-It's cold out there. You got a coat?


You're a prince.

Here we go.

Moving Eagle, Bookbag.
Replacing Eagle and Tonka...

...with Eagle and Bookbag.
Units six and nine, assist exit.

-Uniforms to front for a possible surge.
-She's good.

As President Bartlet and daughter Zoey
begin to make their way to the podium...

... the White House and nation prepare
to officially celebrate the holiday season.

With the lighting of the Christmas tree
on the grounds of the White House...

...a tradition is carried on that is--

Boxes for all this. And that.

-A dolly for the desk.
-Hi. What are you doing?

We're moving you to your new
place across the street.

-I don't have a new place.
-Will Bailey. OEOB.

-Donna said you were looking for me.

-How'd it go with the tree?
-The lights are on.

Let's leave it at that.


The conversation we had earlier.

I think I wasn't clear.

This is awkward for you,
I know that.

-But, I don't want you to feel like you--
-We're asking you not to run.

-Who's we?
-The DNC.

-The White House.
-The president?

If you wanna go forward on your own,
the White House can't endorse you.

The New Hampshire House
is a great place... get some experience,
build a network.

I have a network.
Been working R & D... the New England tech
corridor for 15 years.

I got the CEO of Diginet and
the CFO of Gansey-McGrath ready... join my finance committee. I got
the guy who ran your boss's primary...

...finding me a campaign manager.
I just spent five hours...

...last Sunday in a duck blind with the
editor of the Manchester Union Leader.

I'm running for Congress.

Hal Collins is--?
You met with Hal?

The "nobody's good enough for the
president's daughter" stuff is fun...

-...but I'm not actually an idiot.

I'm gonna have to dash.

I'll be late for dinner. But I appreciate
your time, Josh. I really do.

He shouldn't be upset.
He'll light the tree next year.

-He's just wound up.
-He's not eating?

It's 8:00.
He goes to sleep at 8. He eats at 5.

Why didn't we eat earlier?

-That's a stupid question.
-Where's Doug?

I think he's making sure
Gus is down.

-Isn't there some person--?
-A nanny is not a substitute for a parent.

I thought that's exactly
what a nanny was.

-She has a strange chin.
-No, she doesn't.

-Well, she kind of has no chin.
-She's Swedish.

-Most Swedes have chins.
-Would you call up?

Tell him we're waiting,
leave the child... the competent care
of the chinless Swede?

-We can give it 10 minutes.
-Is Ellie--?

-Apparently not.
-Can we give it 10 more minutes?

-There he is.
-I'm sorry. We eating already?

-We're waiting.
-Is he...?

He's fine, watching a video.

-Well, I should--
-He's fine.

-So, what's on the menu?
-The menu is absolutely--

-Where's Ellie?
-We've yet to determine if...

...medical science can spare
Ellie Bartlet for an evening.

We're giving her a few more minutes.

Did you...?

I think I'm gonna grab a drink,
if that works.

-Let me call the steward.
-No, I'll get it.

They put ice in the Scotch, and I don't
really want ice in my Scotch today.

Which one is the sitting room?


What was that?

Good evening, everybody.

I apologize. They said
they hadn't started serving.

-It's all right.
-Did you wanna sit? We have room.

Thank you, no. We... .

Excuse me.

Two more physicians' licenses
were just suspended.

The A.G.'s downstairs. I asked him
to come in tomorrow...

...but he's getting on a plane.

-When's his flight?
-Two hours.

Five minutes. Ellie's still not here.
I'll beat her back.


-Yes, ma'am.
-We seem to have lost our quorum.

Two more doctors? You couldn't
wait a year to start campaigning?

You don't run for governor
from my cabinet.

You think a run to the right
on a couple pro-life standards...

-...will win Mississippi?
-"Powers not delegated to the...

...United States by the Constitution
are reserved to the states. "

How long before there's a lawyer arguing
we can't limit this to terminal patients...

...include the chronically ill?
When is it allowing children... make the decision for the parents?

When is it allowing the state to decide,
not families?

We'll knock off the weak and indigent
along with the sick and dying.

When does my administration completely
deteriorate into the Third Reich?

-I'm not suggesting--
-Federal government has no place here.

The question is moral and individual.

A grappling with the nature of life
and purview of God...

...which the federal govern--
Forget it. Do what you want.

The courts are gonna nail you. You were
counting on my silence, you just lost it.

-Sir, a public debate.
-I didn't wanna get on TV with Oprah...

...and talk about who's gonna cut my
meat when the coordination goes.

The lid's off. You pull this crap
one more time, you're fired.

Tell Janet merry Christmas.

-Good evening, Ellie.
-Good evening, John.

-Is my...?
-They'll be right back.


Can I get you something to drink?

No. I'm fine. Thank you.

There's a guy named Mitch Clark
DNC's been touting--

Mitchell Clark single-handedly
disemboweled managed-care reform.

Put together the committee,
took credit for rate stabilization...

...then sold the whole thing
down the river.

How do you think he's financing?
He's got board members...

...from Barnstead Mutual
writing checks.

The district's splitting right.
Much more than in my day.

Josh mentioned something about that.

-Apparently, he was very helpful.

You couldn't give him
the courtesy of five minutes?

It's one thing to delegate my car loan, or
Ellie's MCATs to staff, but my husband?

He went to Josh.
He didn't come to me.

If he wanted my advice,
or if you did, for that matter... .

Doug didn't call Hal Collins.
You did.

You recruited the finance committee.

Mom made a useful suggestion
or two in the early years.

"The speaker can convince
most people of most things...

...and himself of almost anything. "

Doug came up with that?

We're a good team.

We have different strengths, skills.

-He has skills you never even bothered--
-He's a great guy, and a fantastic father.

You're the politician.
Why the hell don't you run?

Because Annie pierced her face.
And this one can't catch.

-Or bathe.
-You can handle it.

You can't. Forgive me,
Ms. Steinem and Ms. Friedan.

You cannot do it all.

-Your mother did.
-No, Daddy, she didn't.

There's no question we missed things.
We all made sacrifices.

But, Elizabeth...

...when Annie and Gus watch
you walk onto the floor...

-...of the House of Representatives... .
-I don't want my son to be my entourage.

A photo op is not his idea of--

I don't want it.

Then why would you let Doug?

Because he's my husband,
and he asked me to.

You gonna come watch?
There's people singing in the lobby.

-The choir from the tree lighting.

Who's that for?

-You picked your own gift?
-I'm in charge of shopping.

-I got your gift.
-No, you didn't.

-Three weeks in advance?
-I saw it at Thanksgiving. I got it.

-No, you didn't. What is it?
-I'm not telling you.

-I wanna know.

It's a gift certificate.

Tower Records.

You're a fan of the music.
You go on a spree.

That'll be fun.

Sometime tomorrow,
I need to sit with Approps.

And find some foreign-aid
money we can reprogram.

-What should I tell them it's for?
-Bribing a dictator... get illegal missionaries
out of Sudan.

Something I can put on a memo.

Reassigning funds from
extant authorizations...

...based on new priorities in East Africa.

Do you mind if I go
watch the carolers?


It's not a gift certificate.

-What is it?
-I'm not telling.

-I wanna know.

-I'm not telling you. Live with the pain.

-You didn't wanna wait for dinner?
-I'm waiting.

There's a fruit bowl.
Turns out the fruit's real.

Ellie and Zoey went down
to watch the carolers.

-We didn't know how long you'd be.
-Ellie's here?

That's nice.
She enjoying her stay?

-Talk to Liz?
-I'm not sure...

...we're gonna see her for dinner.

That's okay. Got a picture
in my wallet of the girls...

-...together from Acadia in '96.
-It's Doug's fight.

-Why does she get in the middle?
-It's bigger than Doug.

Is it about those ice skates
we never bought her?

-And the cauliflower incident.
-We didn't beat them.

There's still time.

-Shame about Gus and the tree.
-You didn't think he was gonna march--

I did. He would've had fun.

He thought he'd be with you.
He didn't know...

-...what those people were doing there.
-Oh, yeah.

Last Christmas, Ellie wasn't around.
The year before was Tennessee.

And the calls to Belarus.

I can't remember when it
was just the five of us...

...and weather and everybody
in their slippers.

-We don't do that.
-We did.

I was on call three straight
Christmas Eves...

...when Ellie was little.
We've never been Currier & lves.

I'm putting together a panel
on assisted suicide.

Have you got any names?
Medical ethicists.

Your position has changed?

No syringe in the nightstand.
It'll get ugly, and that's that.

You gonna be there?



Gus is still up.
Go say good night.

He's not a fan of turkey.

I was told he didn't eat any of it.

Yes, Talmidge Cregg.

The other night nurse.

Right, we spoke the day
after Thanksgiving.

It's fine. I just thought
maybe I could send a ham.

No, I'm not asking the kitchen to do it.

I'm saying it's three weeks away.
They vacuum-pack it.

If I could just send it to you...

...and you could see that they give
it to him instead of the--


No, this is-- I'm--

This is C.J. I'm his daughter.


Go ahead.