The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 6, Episode 10 - Faith-Based Initiative - full transcript

On the same day that an anti-gay-marriage amendment is attached to the federal budget, an Internet rumor surfaces that C.J. is a lesbian. Josh and Toby attempt to kill the amendment without forcing the President to publicly take a position on this unwinnable issue. Congressman Santos considers Josh's proposition that he run for President despite having told his wife that he's done with politics. Donna begins her new job while Josh struggles to cope with her difficult replacement. Abby and C.J. meet with the President's doctors to decide how to adapt his schedule to the increasingly debilitating effect of multiple sclerosis.

Previously on The West Wing...

Jed!

I can't do the job, Abbey.

Do you understand?
I can't do it!

Where's Donna?

She got a new job, I think.

I've got her cell,
if you want to give her a call.

You pick your dream
candidate yet?

I don't know how
all of this works.

You pick the smartest,
most capable,

most honorable individual
you can think of,



and you have a conversation.

I'm not running for
Congress again, Josh.

I'm not talking about Congress.

Josh should've called.

I could've saved him a trip.

They don't have anyone else?

It's a Latino district, and they
cannot come up with a decent Democrat?

You'd think.

Did you leave it open with him?

No.

I'll break you in half.

He knows I'm not going
back to the House.

Give me a hand.
These guys are out.

Look at how big this kid is.



I mean, he's down to my knees.

When did this happen?

He's shooting up.
It's that time.

He's got his own smell.

So, what did he want?

Well, he's not worried
about the House anymore.

You supposed to walk Russell
through a Cinco de Mayo Parade,

establish his
Chicano street cred?

Not quite.

I hate politicians
who wear cowboy boots.

Well, that's the
least of his problems.

Women spend their entire lives
trying to get out of heels.

What possible use is there?

The guy is a lawmaker.

It's like going through life
wearing a welder's helmet.

He's not a bad guy.

Well, his footwear's moronic.

He's just trying
to get elected.

Exactly.

Oh, my God, this is good.
You want some?

What is it?

It's ice cream,
melted It's good like that.

I'm fine.

Josh wants me to
run for president.

Of the United States?

I'm pretty sure.

Wow, they are hard up.

I mean,
you know what I mean, it's...

Are you thinking about this?

No.

You're not?

- Told him no.
- You told him no.

- I told him no.
- And what did he say?

He said that I was right,
that it was a

stupid idea and that I
made the right decision.

Man of conviction right there.

He's got it all figured out.
He's got this nine point plan.

It's pretty
interesting, actually.

Nine point?

Uh-huh.

Why not seven or three or...?

I don't know.

And this plan is
supposed to make you...

Win.

Oh, my God,
you're thinking about this.

I told him no.

Well, I'm going to bed.

Those kids are going to
be up in a couple hours.

Don't forget the trash.

Transcript: Raceman - Adaptation: Sixe
FOROM.COM - westwingsub@gmail.com

Oh, my God.

Are you kidding me?!

Well, good morning.

Right.

I love it when it's cold
enough to make the mud crusty.

- It's a better walk.
- You don't have to do this.

Sorry.

You have the full text of this
blog thing from the Rohmer Report?

Go.

"What team does she play on?

"Washington abuzz with
fresh allegations

"that a certain former
Bartlet Administration

"press secretary may have
more than a passing interest

"in pursuing what many have described
as a radical homosexual agenda."

And it goes on...

To say what?

That you played sports at
Berkeley and that you were

the first girl in Ohio Prep
history ever to dunk a basketball.

Oh, Lord God.

And that's pretty much it.

- Did Tommy call?
- Tommy?

Burly Tommy Keller
with the mop on top?

Two dinners at the
Oval Room last week

and the reason I'm wearing
this necklace today

who's picking you up
at 7:00 tonight Tommy?

- He called?
- No.

Everybody in there?

All here... five minutes early.

Well, great.

- Mornin'.
- Good morning, C.J.

O kay...

I've never been more
attracted to you in my life.

Restrain yourself.

Last night's House vote means

we have a budget headed
for conference committee.

House and Senate versions are close,
but we don't want

to get hung up for
weeks on a bunch

of silly HHS riders like
we did two ars ago.

- We're close, but it's not a...
- Slam dunk?

Hey, now, Charlie made a funny.

Guys, our whole agenda
is riding on this.

We can't afford
another shutdown.

We've got the
President's legacy.

This is our last chance to maybe
do some good for folks, and

it all lives or dies
with this budget.

We have to track the
conference committee closely.

Are we going to get the college
loan and Pell Grant expansion?

Yeah, both versions.

We just got the list of
Republican conferees.

Wilkinson?

I thought it was
a seniority thing.

No, they can do
whatever they want.

That's why they do it
behind closed doors.

Wilkinson? Isn't
this it for him?

Yeah, I thought he was going back
to Kansas to sell flat globes.

Was he even in on the
budget negotiations?

I didn't see him.

Okay, we keep an eye out. Everybody
hits the phones. Will, what do you got?

Uh, the VP's speaking to the
NAACP in Memphis next week.

I'm coordinating with
the policy shops.

You want help?

You talking to me?

Yeah, I may be able to
help you out there.

You're offering to help
the Vice President?

Yeah. I can help you cut to
the chase with those guys.

Those guys?

You're, like,
the whitest guy on the planet.

Yeah.

Got any particular insights
you want to share?

Is it weird?
Did it just get weird in here?

- A little.
- What else?

Kate, where's Uzbekistan?

Something big blew up.

Doesn't appear to be nuclear.
We're going over the pictures now.

We really have no idea.

Let's never open these
meetings to the public.

Okay, keep me posted.

The President's going to be
working from the residence today.

If you need him,
bring it to me.

- He okay?
- Yeah, he's fine.

Some temporary
balance problems.

Just precautionary.
We don't want to risk another fall.

Skip the flowers and chocolate.
If you want to send a message of love,

bring this budget home.

Now, if you'll excuse me,

I have to try and craft a
personal statement in support

of the reproductive arts.

- Hang in there.
- Yeah, yeah.

There's a basketball
in the trash.

Nothing but that.

Don't put out a statement.

It'll be perfectly respectful.
We don't need this distraction now.

It feels funny.

You're going to have to be
more articulate than that.

This can't be a coincidence.

Rumors about your
sexuality on the same day

the Republicans are
shoving Wilkinson

onto the budget
conference committee?

You're acting like a
dog in Pompeii again.

Do me a favor. Hold off on the
statement. Let me make some calls.

Fine, but I think you're
drastically overestimating

the political potency
of my sex life.

Not possible.

- This is great.
- Sir?

I have a devastating
neurological disorder,

and you've got me
doing calisthenics.

Can I put this whining in
a book I'm going to write?

If I wanted to exercise,
I never would've become an economist.

Curtis, my friend,
how you doing today?

Just fine, sir.

Well, a mighty blessing
upon your mighty frame son.

Appreciate that, Mr. President.
What can I do for you, sir?

Is my wife about?

- I believe she is, sir.
- Thank you.

Okay, now you got me trying to do
stuff I couldn't do before I got sick.

When you're feeling wobbly,

that's a good opportunity for you to
take some time with range of motion.

Terrific. I'll just
pretend I'm a crustacean.

Use it or lose it,
Mr. President.

That could be said for the
power of the Presidency as well.

Good Lord, Jed,
are you all right?

No, I'm fine, I just...

Thank you, Curtis.
I may need you. I'll holler.

Right outside the door, sir.

You bet.

Great kid.

I'd like to watch
him eat a pie.

You on your way?

Yeah, I've got a quick meet with your
doctor and C.J. later this morning,

five interviews and three
receptions this afternoon.

Oh, geez...

Hell is a place where
you got to keep smiling

and you're not allowed to
take off your panty hose.

You want me in
the C.J. meeting?

Not unless you want to
hear yourself referred to

in the third person and
keep your mouth shut.

I didn't think my schedule was
going to be so light on the protein.

Well, that's all right, Jed.

You can afford to
lose a few pounds.

Shh...

- See you this evening.
- I'll be here.

- He in there?
- Yeah. Don't go in.

He alone?

How do you mean?

Not with others.

That is correct.

- Know what? He'll be fine.
- Step away from the door.

Hey, one second.

You all right?

How's this?

I'll tell you after I read it.

Come on in.

She likes it closed.

Interesting girl.

Yeah. I think I lost
the temp lottery.

She's making me finish,
like, one thing at a time.

It's insane.

- Tell her to back off.
- You tell her.

Call Donna.

I can't.

You know, eventually,
you may have to resort to manhood.

I'm the victim here.
How am I supposed to be a man?

This Wilkinson thing
seem strange to you?

Yeah. I got calls out
to the Minority Leader

and all the
Democratic conferees.

I'm going toall the Republican Whip,
then go see Wilkinson.

We'll get this budgelocked up.

Why'd you go to Houston?

Hmm?

- Why'd you go to Houston? Santos?
- Yeah.

- What'd he say?
- He's not running.

- Yeah. Could've used him in the House.
- Yeah, it's a shame.

- You went all the way down there?
- I like him a lot.

Russell and Hoynes
both still after you?

Yeah.

Make up your mind?

I'm here with you to the
bitter end with bells on.

If this budget falls apart and Vinick
makes his way through the primaries,

there's not going to be a
Democratic Party anymore.

No, I know. I'm on it.

You're done. Leave.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

I think this girl's fantastic.

Minority Leader on one.

Yes, Senator, we understand.

Sure. And we appreciate
the restraint you've shown

through this entire
budget process...

Yeah, yeah.

And you know this White House
is going to back you 100%.

Sit, sit.

Yeah, Baker's my next call.

Thanks for the heads-up.

Oh, I'm fine.

I only use the
Internet to shop.

Thanks for asking.

Cripes.

What's up?

- So, I have some interview requests...
- Go ahead.

The Advocate, Out,

The Village Voice,

- The San Francisco Chronicle...
- Make my stinking day.

Washington Times,
Goddess Monthly,

Nantucket Republican and the
NCAA Field Hockey Quarterly.

Field hockey?

No, I just made that
one up as a joke.

Well, aren't you just as
perky as all get out?

So for now,
it seems to be isolated to just the...

- Sports fans.
- Right.

And the statement--

I just want to be sure this doesn't
distract from the business of,

say, the government.

Yeah, I've been struggling
with this a bit.

You want to emphatically deny
something you have no problem with

and make it publicly clear
that this is a private matter?

That'd be great.

Okeydokey.

Hey.

Is the President still
in the residence?

Yeah.

We found out what Wilkinson's
doing in the budget conference.

- Federal ban on gay marriage.
- Sanctity of Marriage Act.

They're attaching
it to the budget?

So if we want to avoid spending the
rest of our days in partisan gridlock,

we have to ban gay marriage.

If we oppose it,

we paint the whole Democratic
party as out of touch

with traditional American
values for the election.

And the budget goes
down in flames.

Margaret!

Call the residence;
we need to see the President now.

I looked over your resume.

I think we both know
it's an undersell.

What I take to the Vice
President is the knowledge

you've gleaned over six
years on the front lines.

I think we can safely say
you've picked up a lot.

I try to pay attention.

I just want to make sure
I'm not starting a turf war.

I'd hate to find the
Deputy Chief-of-Staff

at my door with a switchblade.

You're not poaching me.

I need to move on,
and Josh is...

Well, he'll find someone
else to answer his phone.

Well, we can use you.
No question.

And not as anybody's assistant.

- "Sanctity of marriage"?
- That's right, Mr. President.

- On the budget?
- Yes, sir.

Didn't they attach a fami planning
rider to the highway bill last year?

They did.

What's with these people?
They can't stop talking about sex.

If they can't be having it...

Am I having a flashback,
or is this my brain going?

No, sir, last time they called
it Marriage Recognition Act.

First term, pocket veto.

Who is it?

Wilkinson.

What's Wilkinson doing on
the conference committee?

That's what we said.

It's a guts move by the leadership.
We've just got to slap it down.

We threaten the veto,

make it clear this kind of
ambush is unacceptable.

We should get going
on a statement now.

They'll think twice before
they force another shutdown.

I disagree.

It's a bad pitch; don't swing at it.
That's why they're throwing it.

Is there any doubt it would get
overturned by the courts, Josh?

It's not likely.

So far,
anything short of full recognition

for same-sex partners is
a constitutional no-go.

This amendment is pure symbolism.
It's an empty gesture.

Is that worth holding
up our entire agenda?

Get it off the bill, guys.

And if we can't?

Just get it off the bill.

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

Wilkinson's more of a
Federalist than an ideologue.

What's he doing suggesting
we override the state?

The courts will
take care of that.

We need this budget, sir. At the end
of the day, you may have to sign it.

What was that about?

He didn't say he
wouldn't veto it.

He didn't say he would.

We can get this done.

You want to enlighten us?

He wants it off the bill.

Yeah, we got that.

We're not going to
play a game of chicken

in the middle of a two
trillion-dollar budget round.

We're always in the middle of a
two trillion-dollar budget round.

With a president who can't
make it down the stairs?

But he's not running again.

Why can't we help him
stand up for himself?

The President made the call.
Let's get it off the bill.

Josh, try and dole out

some budgetary pork to members
of the conference committee,

see if we can get this
amendment killed.

Okay. Maybe Sioux City
needs a monorail.

I'm late for the First Lady.

Toby, why don't you share
your feelings with Wilkinson,

see if you can talk him down.

With what,
a threat that if he doesn't back off,

the President might
actually sign it?

You'll figure it out.

Statistically, there's a
50% chance of develloping

a secondary-progressive MS--
progressive because the lesions

have obviously accelerated here.
That's pretty common.

And you don't know
how to stop that?

Give me ten years
and some stem cells.

Sorry.

What we need to focus on is the
best way to manage his symptoms

in this unique environment.

- That's what this is.
- What about stress?

- Can't be good for you.
- Tell me about it.

The before and after pictures
around this place are intense.

No more back-to-back
marathon meetings?

No, an hour, max.

His legs are going to start
cramping and spasming.

You don't want him kicking
out the Resolute Desk.

Or one of the Joint Chiefs.

How many hours a
day can we schedule?

Depends.

Six or seven, tops.

And he's going to
need a nap midday.

A nap? He's going to love that.

It's the public time that's going to
be tough--standing behind podiums,

shaking hands,
cabinet meetings.

So, more on the phone, more memos.
Things he can read and sign.

Too much reading may lead
to optical problems.

You're probably going to have to
severely limit his reading materials.

- Oh, Lord.
- Anything else?

High temperatures can trigger attacks.
Got to keep the Oval below 70.

Okay.

So, we'll do a daily report on the
President's condition in morning staff.

The bottom line is we have to be
prepared for anything, every day.

Got a minute?

You should call first,
so I can gather my wits.

Sorry.

You seen
TheFederalGovernment AreABunchOfDinks.com?

- And what if I reject the premise?
- They're all over this C.J. thing.

Anything new?

They got her high school
basketball stats.

Apparently, she was all-Dayton.

You heard about this Sanctity
of Marriage Amendment?

Just now.

The President wants it
stripped off the budget.

Good.

Be nice if the Vice President made
some kind of statement against it.

Maybe called Wilkinson.

The Vice President
is pro-marriage.

As are we all.
I've been married almost twice.

To the same woman.

That's... unique.

- We're fine with it.
- Okay, then.

So, the VP'll make a statement?

What's the
President's position?

He wants it off the bill.

But what's his position?

- That he wants it off the bill.
- And if it stays on the bill?

We need your help on this.

Right. This is a
lose-lose for us Toby.

We come out for it,
we hurt ourselves in the primaries,

we come out against it,
we hurt ourselves in the general.

I'd have to advise
the VP to wait and see

where the President's
going to land.

No, I want to kill it before
it learns how to walk.

Then I don't know what
you're doing here.

You should be talking to
the President about a veto.

Good idea.

It's getting bigger.

Oh, hi.

Oh. I'm sorry. You wanted an
update on this Internet rumor?

It's getting bigger?

The blogs are saturated with it,
and now there's a query from the Post.

They're doing a piece
on strategic bloggery.

- What are you, like four ten?
- Me? I'm four eleven.

I can't believe we're
the same species.

So, there's your update.

I know we shouldn't
be saying anything,

but are you sure we
shouldn't be saying anything?

I mean,
it'd be great to get it off the net,

but it'd seem like a comment on
the Sanctity of Marriage Act.

Plus, any statement on
the White House letterhead

brings this from
the blogosphere

to just about every news
outlet in the country.

- I was going to say...
- So, not a peep.

Thanks for your advice on this.

- Democratic conferees are waiting.
- Tommy didn't call, did he?

Crickets. Guy's starting
to tick me off.

"Crickets"?

Senator Wilkinson.

I've been waiting
for an emissary.

Figured it'd be
the Vice President.

Senator, you're one of this
country's great Federalists.

You believe in state and
local control of education.

I do.

You believe in state and local
control of law enforcement.

Yup.

Senator, I'm not sure you think there
should be a Federal government at all.

Well, we lost that fight some time ago,
didn't we?

So, why would you want an unprecedented,
top- down Federal mandate

to govern every
state's marital laws?

Well, now that we have
a Federal government,

one thing it can do is
protect our national values.

Such as individual freedoms?

Actually, I was thinking of
the institution of marriage.

When the budget's done,

let's get a bipartisan group
together to talk about it.

I don't need another thoughtful study
to tell me what I know to be right.

Senator, I'm not criticizing
the sincerity of your beliefs.

Well, that's refreshing.

Toby, do you believe the
Bible to be literally true?

Yes, sir, but I don't think either of
us is smart enough to understand it.

The President wants this
amendment off his budget.

Well, if you're here to threaten a veto,
now's the time to do it.

Yeah, I'm a busy man.

I don't appreciate your coming
down here with hollow threats.

And I don't appreciate
people spreading politically

motivated rumors about C.J.
Cregg on the Internet.

I don't know how to use a typewriter,
much less a computer.

I think the President is
going to sign it, Toby.

And I think that you're here because
you think he might sign it, too.

Marla, I need the
numbers for the meeting!

The earmarks,
for the conferees?

Can you get that?
I'm late here.

- Hello.
- I don't like to be yelled at.

I would like to have the earmarks
so that I can go and do my job.

"Earmarks."

Is that frat boy for pork?

Wow.

- Here you go.
- Thank you.

$300,000 for potato
storage research?

Starches are vital.

How vital is $50 million for
an indoor rain forest in Iowa?

It attracts tourism.

And mosquitoes, I'm guessing.

I'm trying to get some distinguished
members of Congress to remove a hateful,

gay-bashing piece-of-trash
amendment from the Federal budget.

By bribing them with
taxpayers'hard-earned money?

I don't know if you read the memo,
but I set Federal budget policy.

You alphabetize and sort.

Josh. You, uh, got a second?

Yeah. Come in.

You're going to be late.

So, what are you working on?

Actually, right now,
trying to build an indoor rain forest.

Ah.

Well, good luck with that.

Listen, I'm sorry about landing
on you in Houston like that.

- My wife wants to kill you.
- Yeah, I got a lot of women mad at me.

Yeah? Well,
you ought to work on that.

I do have to go to this
meeting in a second.

We got a budget glitch
we're trying to sort out.

- So, would this be a package deal?
- The budget?

No. I've been thinking
about your nine-point plan.

- Really?
- Yeah.

But I would like
to add a tenth.

- What's that?
- You.

The filing deadline's
next Thursday.

I'm in if you're in with me.

So no one else here is troubled

that the Paperwork Reduction
Act is more than 500 pages long?

Okay, let's just see if we
can squeeze it down a little,

save a couple of trees.

You can always tell a bureaucrat,
but you can't tell him much.

Unless you tell
him in triplicate.

What you need, Toby?

Sanctity of Marriage?

Yeah. Yeah,
Will gave me a heads-up.

- He helpful?
- Not as obedient as he used to be.

That's good to hear.

That's rough about C.J.

Yeah, it's a rough town.
Mr. Vice President,

I know you don't want to get
ahead of the President on this,

but we need you to come out against
the Sanctity of Marriage Act.

Why would I want to do that?

'Cause one clear signal
from this White House,

and I believe
Wilkinson will fold.

I think Will is right. I'm, uh,
gonna have to take a pass on this.

Mr. Vice President, this amendment
isn't about protecting marriage.

It's about institutionalizing

the last acceptable
form of discrimination.

- Toby...
- You can't just sit back

and allow the religious right to hijack
the social agenda in this country.

I know, look...

Presidential campaigning has to be
about more than duck and cover.

This is an opportunity for you
to stand up and lead, make...

I've got a nephew who's gay.

I love this kid.

Name's Todd.

I want him to have the same rights
and opportunities as everybody else.

He wants to go to West Point,

and it makes me sick to think

that we would send him into
battle to defend a union

but he can't enter into one.

Then come out against
this amendment.

We're not there yet.

5,000 years of socialization
didn't go out the window

with the first
Village People album.

You do this wrong,

then there'll be a backlash
that sets us bac50 years.

You do it right,
we'll be there in ten.

And in the meantime,
what message are we sending?

We're making progress.

We've got, uh, domestic partnerships,
non-discrimination laws.

Besides, demographics are destiny.
The kids don't give a damn about this.

You would tell the President
to sign this thing?

I'd tell him to get his budget.

And so would my nephew.

Tommy?

- Any Tommy?
- No Tommy to give.

- Boston Globe wants...
- Oh, my God!

...to know if we're going to
comment on the Wilkinson amendment.

That voice out of nowhere...

MSNBC, too.

MuckrakersManifesto.com has a story that
you were gonna coach in the WNBA...

That's completely ridiculous.
I went to, like, three Mystics games.

Fox news--both mean Irish guys.

Whole bunch of websites,
11 more newspapers,

and be quick about it,
blah, blah, blah...

So, they're all
writing about me now?

Not you, exactly,
but the amendment gives them license

to at least mention
these Internet rumors.

Well, the President
wants a clean budget bill

with no extraneous amendment,
that's the line.

And start working
up a statement.

I thought we decided not to.

Just in case.

You know, respectful,
non-defensive, live and let live,

not that there's
anything wrong with it.

I tried that.

And?

And I gave up
'cause it's stupid?

Is that an option around here?

Toby suggested it might be.

And what else did Toby suggest?

That the White House Chief of Staff
doesn't get to issue personal statements

that read like letters to the
editor of Soap Opera Digest.

Not that I'm a
subscriber or anything.

I'd like a draft statement
on my desk in an hour.

What are you doing?

I got a bad temp.

This is where you
become just sad.

Call Donna.

What happened with Wilkinson?

He won't budge.

When God starts talking to people,
it kind of limits the debate.

How's the pork?

Not having much luck with
the other conferees.

Carson wants 600 grand for
alternative salmon products.

I think we should just ditch the
whole budget and open a grocery store.

So this amendment's gonna pass?

People don't want to
vote against marriage.

We're gonna run out
of salmon products

before they're ready to vote
against church and family.

Oh, I hate this issue.

It's like walking around
town holding a sick chicken.

If the President isn't
willing to veto this,

I don't know how we're gonna
nickel and dime our way out of it.

So, we shouldn't even try?

C.J.'s caving,

the Vice President thinks the country's
not ready to fight discrimination,

and for all I know, the President's
in the middle of nap time.

No one wants to get
near this issue.

Even Hoynes is hedging--

three-paragraph statement.

I can't even tell if he thinks
there should be a Congress.

Hoynes just put
out a statement?

Yeah, said it deserves
"thoughtful study."

"Thoughtful study?"
He said that?

Straddling the political
divide like an Adonis.

He was on Judiciary
with Wilkinson, right?

Yeah, for a long time.

So, uh, Santos stopped by.

Filing deadline's in two days.

Wants me to go with him.

To Texas? What for?

New Hampshire.

Why does he want to
go to New Hampshire?

To run for President.

I kind of talked him into it.
I think I got to go with him.

I laid out a nine-point plan.

Is one of the points
a military junta?

Okay.

I'm gonna go back
to my office now.

You can't leave.
We're not done here.

You can't skip out with the
President lying flat on his back.

Seven years,

you're gonna leave us with a
Candy Gram and a get well card?

Someone's got to think
about the ninth year.

You're gonna walk
into the Oval Office

and tell the President you
just found a better horse?

Here you are.

Hi.

Secretary of Agriculture is calling.
Something about a fruit laboratory.

Thank you.

So maybe we'll get
Carson after all.

If I make any progress,
I'll get you a new whip count.

You getting through
all the files?

Yeah, I'm almost up to
the Hoover Administration.

Did Margaret give you the call
sheets for the Democratic conferees?

Yup, I spoke to McKenna.

He's fine on the
education offsets.

I figure you just had a heart attack
they'd have to take your call.

Hey, whatever it takes.

Drives me crazy when these
guys use the federal budget

as a right-wing
social soap box.

It's a popular issue.

No one wants to be the first
one to line up against it.

If you live your life
underneath a magnifying glass,

you tend to stay
away from the heat.

How you holding up?

I'm feeling a
little over-interpreted.

The Internet thing.

Am I wrong to want to set the
record straight, no pun intended?

When I was Labor Secretary,

the National
Enquirer ran a story

that I'd married Elizabeth Taylor
while skydiving over New Mexico.

I'm a heterosexual,

and I-I don't know why I just said that,
except that as of this morning,

I'm the most famous...

not famous, but apparently,

the most powerful
lesbian on the planet,

when the fact of the matter is
I'm crazy, absolutely crazy

about this particular
man I just met

and had two fabulous dinners
with in the space of one week.

A man who hasn't had the
courtesy to call me today,

probably because he is simply
of the undependable gender,

or, come to think of it,

maybe he has even less of
an idea about how to deal

with my alleged and fictitious
lesbianism than I do.

So, he'll just remain silent,

like a submarine under the
ice cap and drift away,

just drift away like the
legion of other cowards

for whom I spent my young
life staring at the phone,

panting like an exquisite
collie hoping for table scraps.

Until I became successful,

and suddenly started
to scare them,

scare them with the very independence
they required me to have

so that now,
I'm looking at some bad numbers,

really rough stuff,

if you know what
I'm talking about.

But what was I supposed to do?

Turn down an opportunity
to serve the President

of the United States whom
I believe in and adore?

You just want to share it
all with someone, you know?

So, if you want to, uh,
send down anymore call sheets...

Sure. No,
that'd be a great idea.

I need you to stay, Leo.
So does the President.

C.J.? Toby needs you.

Wilkinson won't move.

The Vice President has chosen this
moment to find his noble core,

and I think Hoynes may be
behind this whole thing.

Hoynes?

We have to put the President
in a room with Wilkinson.

Oh, that's not gonna happen.
How's Hoynes involved?

That doesn't matter.

The President has to threaten
a veto to Wilkinson's face.

It's the only way to get
the amendment off this bill.

The President's not
ready to threaten a veto.

Because you told him not to.

I'm not willing to sink
the budget over this.

Over your Internet dating life.

No, over a symbol,

an empty gesture that's gonna
be struck down by the courts.

So that's what we're gonna do.

We're gonna pass the buck and
pray for judicial restraint?

The President is resting today.

We can't haul him down here every time
we can't do what he's asked us to do.

You're afraid to address
it because it'll call

more attention to this garbage
they're running in cyberspace.

No, Toby, I'm too busy composing
my letter to the editor

of Soap Opera Digest.

Josh is thinking of leaving.

What?

To help Matt Santos
run for President.

The Congressman from Texas?

Leo's gone,
Josh has one foot out the door.

It's you and I.
We're gonna have to run this thing.

Are we going to stand for something,
or just hang around,

change the sheets for the
President's hospital bed?

So we should do, what, fight an
amendment with no practical impact

and massive popular support?

Yes, we should fight it.
Fight the symbol, yes.

Symbols matter.

And if they didn't,

why would you care what they
say about you on the Internet?

I have to go downstairs
for a quick meeting.

C.J. called me.

Yeah, God forbid anyone should see
me bumming around the West Wing.

Might think I'm actually
running the country.

This gonna be your
idea of resting?

It's only gonna take
a couple of minutes.

We're have a
situation here, Jed.

I'm starting to
feel like a guest

at the most secure bed and
breakfast on the planet.

What's so important that
you'd risk your health?

The Sanctity of Marriage Act.

Oh, that old chestnut?

I was hoping for at least
an international crisis.

Hold the fish loosely, Jed,

or it's gonna flop
right out of your hands.

I want to put my pants on.

What?

My pants.

I can't put them on.

Oh, okay.

"How body from spirit
does slowly unwind

until we are pure
spirit at the end."

You gonna quote poetry now?

So, this is why they
make you take vows.

Yup, this is why.

Would you overnight this up
to David in Concord, please?

New Hampshire office
is up and running?

11 of them, actually.
Cheaper to buy in bulk.

Little different operation than
Orange County three years ago, huh?

Well, this guy's got
a pulse for starters.

Technically speaking, sure.

You don't miss the romance
of the upstart campaign?

Sorry to make you waste a
walk across the parking lot.

Toby already tried to go over my
head on the Sanctity of Marriage.

You want to remind him
the Vice President and I

actually do talk
every once in a while.

You know, he really appreciates your
offer to help on this NAACP stuff.

Sure, great.

You good?

How's Donna working out?

Great.

She have an office yet?
I didn't see her out in the bullpen.

She just headed up for New Hampshire.
She's gonna be there a couple of weeks.

Excellent.

Well, next time you see her,
you tell her I say hi.

Of course.

Okay, see you guys on
the plane tomorrow.

Where are you off to?

South Carolina in the morning.
Georgia in the afternoon.

Working on your
southern strategy?

That and my winter tan.

You could use a couple
of rays yourself.

Well, I'm not so
much in for tanning,

but I'll give it some
"thoughtful study".

The luxury of being
out of public office.

Toby, I don't have
to take a position

on every issue that comes
before the Congress.

You served with Wilkinson on
the Judiciary Committee, right?

I did. He's a good man.

I mean, he is out there,
but it's for real.

Won't take a cent of PAC money,
it's unbelievable.

So you encouraged him to visit
his righteous indignation

down on the budget process.

Make Russell swing to the
right on gay marriage,

slay him with the Democratic
faithful in the primaries--

it makes sense.

I'm just confused about
who the viable candidate

is supposed to be
when Russell's gone.

You underestimate
the American public.

Generally a good policy
in my experience.

I don't trust their judgment.

Oh, I almost forgot. You're
working for the President of Cuba.

I trust their aspirations.

Just like all those
guys in the white wigs.

Some of them were slave-owners,
I hear.

Exactly.

C.J., too, that your handiwork?

No.

No, I fell terrible about that.

I'm gonna win this thing, Toby.

Hey.

So, are the queers going to destroy
marriage as we know it or what?

I have no idea.

I'm handing out pork
like Popsicles.

Wilkinson's coming over to
meet with the President.

Thought he was staying
in the residence today.

Yeah, so did the First Lady.

I'd steer clear.

Oh, I'm not getting
anywhere near that one.

So I think I found my guy.

Yeah?

That's good.

Matt Santos

said yes. He's gonna do it.

Santos?

Really?

I know.
I got this nine-point plan...

No, I don't need to hear it.
You smell a moment, you gotta go.

I don't want to leave
you guys with just a...

Candy Gram and a get well card.

We'll be fine.

Come with me--
I think this guy may be the real deal.

I already found my guy.

I don't know how
to tell him, Leo.

Hey.

Hey.

Agriculture's still
dragging their feet

on this Ap tian fruit thing.

It was Hoynes.

He wanted to force Russell to
support the Sanctity of Marriage Act.

Heartwarming.

So, Santos, huh?

What are you gonna do
when this is done?

Whatever I can to stave
off the chaos, mayhem

and self-interest that lies just
beneath our civil disguise.

So not the private sector.

The money would have
to be unbelievable.

- See ya.
- Yeah.

You all set, sir?

I'm fine, Nancy.
Bring him on in.

Mr. President,
Senator Wilkinson.

Sam.

Well, you look terrific,
Mr. President.

Thank you. Sorry I can't get up,
but I can't get up.

You're in our prayers,
Mr. President.

I appreciate that,
Sam, I really do.

Now, tell me what I can do to
get your amendment off my budget?

"Against nature.

"Men leaving the natural
use of the woman,

"burned in their lust
toward one another;

men with men,
working that which is unseemly."

Romans.

Would it offend you,
Sam, if I said

this amendment represents a selective
interpretation of the scriptures,

a complete inversion of
the values of Jesus Christ?

No, sir, it wouldn't offend me.
I'm secure in my faith.

Isn't there something in
that book about forgiveness?

Aren't we all God's children?

Of course we are.

Which is why the government
shouldn't institutionalize

behavior in opposition
to our faith.

What gives us the right to visit
our faith upon the country?

One nation under God.

What gives us the right not to?

You talked to John
Hoynes about this?

John's a friend of mine.

But I introduced this amendment

because I believe you want to sign it,
Mr. President.

You told me as much six weeks
ago at the Prayer Breakfast.

That civil unions
are one thing,

but that marriage is
between a man and a woman.

I can't stand up anymore.

Sir?

I've lost my balance.

Should come back,
but it's gone right now.

Are you dizzy, sir?

No, I just can't find my balance.
It went away.

I try thinking it back,
but it's difficult,

because it's not
a static thing.

Once it's gone, it's hard to
imagine having it back again,

and it's disheartening to realize that
thinking just isn't gonna get it done.

You've just gotta trust that
you'll happen on to it again.

You only have one more year,
Mr. President.

Yeah, I've got a great
future behind me.

Attaching this to the budget
gives you all the cover you need.

How is this our job, Sam?

I raised my right hand
and swore an oath

to uphold the Constitution of
the United States of America.

Where was your left hand,
Mr. President?

This was sent over from
the Northwest Gate.

It says, "Oval room at 9:00."

Yeah.

- Are the press still in there?
- Yeah.

This is your statement.

Hey,

I just wanted to
tell you guys that

the Sanctity of Marriage Act's
been removed from the budget

at the President's urging.

The conferees are moving
towards a clean budget bill.

With any luck, it should be on
the President's desk by tomorrow.

Are we on the record here?

Sure, what the hell.

Are you a homosexual?

You know what?

I've spent the last 14 hours being
snickered at by United States Senators,

being ostracized on
the World Wide Web,

having my own colleagues question
my ability to do my job...

and I let it get to me.

So I don't think it really matters
whether I'm gay or straight

or just the best damn women's basketball
player in Ohio Valley history,

no one should be
treated this way.

You didn't answer the question.

That's right,
because it's none of your business.

Josh, he can see you now.

Josh.

How you feeling?

Not too bad.

Sir, I've never imagined,

I will be having
this conversation...

Russell for President.

I wanted to start this journey in the
place where it all started for me.

Soon, we will be inundated by
the polls and the punditry

and the prognostications--

all the nonsense that goes with
our national political campaigns.

Well, none of that matters.

This is the place that matters.

Because every day,

children walk into this schoolhouse
to glimpse their futures,

to ask for hope.

They may not know they need it yet,
but they do.

And I'm here to tell
you that hope is real.

In a life of trials,
in a world of challenges--

hope is real.

In a country where families
go without health care,

where some go without food,

some don't even have a home
to speak of-- hope is real.

In a time of global
chaos and instability,

where our faiths collide
as often as our weapons--

hope is real.

Hope is what gives
us the courage

to take on our
greatest challenges,

to move forward together.

We live in cynical times,
I know that.

But hope is not up for debate.

There is such a thing
as false science,

there's such a thing
as false promises.

I am sure that I'll have my share
of false starts in this campaign.

But there is no such
thing as false hope.

There is only hope.

And with your help
and your hard work

and the hopes of good people
all across this land,

I hereby announce my candidacy for
President of these United States.

Transcript: Raceman - Adaptation: Sixe
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