The West Wing (1999–2006): Season 6, Episode 11 - Opposition Research - full transcript

Josh and Santos visit New Hampshire to launch the presidential campaign. Josh has experience running national campaigns and has a clear idea about what candidates should and shouldn't do to get elected, but Santos's approach differs dramatically: he believes in talking about big ideas rather than saying whatever he needs to do in order to win votes. This difference in opinion combined with conventional wisdom that says Santos has no chance of winning threaten to sink the campaign before it has begun. Will and Donna are also in New Hampshire, running Vice President Bob Russell's campaign - which puts their interests at odds with those of the Santos campaign.

Previously on The West Wing:

I'm not running for Congress again.

-I'm sorry. But it's just--
-I'm not talking about Congress.

So I think I found my guy.

-That's good.
-Well, we can use you.

Not as an assistant.

The filing deadline's next Thursday.
I'm in, if you're in with me.

How's Donna?

She headed for New Hampshire
for a couple of weeks.

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

-Gotta think about the ninth year.
-You're gonna tell the president. . .

. . .you just found a better horse?

--in the southern half of the state,
today's morning mix of sleet...

...and rain will ease up by afternoon,
with temperatures....

-I want this to be a campaign of ideas.
-I think you missed a turn.

Entitlements are collapsing,
our school system's a joke. . .

. . .you could sneak tanks
across the Canadian border. . .

. . .and these campaigns
wind up being. . .

. . .about a candidate's
high school transcripts.

It was a left at Horseshoe Lake.

-I thought it was a bend.
-A left, a bend, you missed it.

If we just took the money
that campaigns spent. . .

. . .on personality contests
and partisan sideshows. . .

. . .we could solve this country's problems
and shut down talk radio.

First Amendment issues aside, that--

See, this looks more like a curve,
unless this is just bad cartography.

I almost wish that we could have
a campaign slogan. . .

-. . .without my name in it.
-Yeah, "For President. " It's catchy.

-It would probably cut both ways.
-I'm not seeing a curve here anyway.

Why is our headquarters
so out of the way?

It's New Hampshire. There's not
a lot that's in the way.

Can I look at that?

How about a kickoff speech
on education?

The problem with education
is it's stuck in the muck.

-Here, isn't that the. . .?
-Looks more like a slope than a curve.

You got teachers' unions
blocking any change in hiring structure. . .

. . .you got local school districts
ready to burn coloring books. . .

. . .if Washington dictates
what color crayon.

New Hampshire's about retail politics,
person to person.

People here won't vote for you till
you've had coffee. . .

-. . .in their house five times.
-I hope they're serving decaf.

-Welcome, Matt.
-Hi, Matt.

Josh, you know Ronna and Ned
from my congressional staff.

Yeah, we've been talking
on the phone.

-I've never picked out a headquarters.
-Got a ceiling and everything.

-Yeah, if you like that sort of thing.
-When our fundraising kicks in. . .

. . .we're gonna need phone lines,
desks. . .

. . .maybe some industrial
safety helmets. . .

. . .but for now, just make sure
we meet the fire code.

You were right.
Germany's at 240, Japan's at 243.

-Days in the school year.

And we're counting because. . .?

I was asking Ned to look into
lengthening the school year. . .

. . .from 180 days to 240.

There's a professor at Boston College
that's done work on this.

I thought we might have him come here
and get ideas for an education speech.

And we will, but let's not
put the cart before the carcass here.

This trip is about introducing yourself,
honing a narrative.

-That's it.
-I'm here to hone.

Didn't you say this had been
a sporting goods store?

A kind of specialty sporting goods.

Laraby's Life Savers?
"Lose your boat, we'll help you float"?

-First month's free.
-lf press finds out we're launching. . .

-. . .from the Titanic--
-We get cheap flood insurance.

Okay, lose the flotillas. Anyone asks,
we're working on a skylight.

We better get going to our first event.

-We got a full day ahead of us.
-Hang on a minute.

You know, they say democracy is how
we choose the guy who gets the blame.

Well, I will take the blame,
but I will never forget. . .

. . .those of you who deserve the credit.

Thank you for being with me here at
the start of this crazy roller-coaster ride.

Okay. Let's go make us some history.

Oh, this is just a bit too metaphorical
for me.

All the candidates do it.
It's an exercise in humility.

I could give a major address
on the importance of triple-ply.

How about shaking some hands,
helping the people with their recycling.

Anything particular I should say?

Just tell them who you are,
what you're doing.

Morning. Hi, I'm Matt Santos.
I'm running for president.

Morning, ma'am. Matt Santos.
I'm running for president.

May I help you with that?

Tell me about this education stuff
he wants to do.

Ned's working on that.

I'm working on
a national service program. . .

. . .and ideas for Medicare reform.

He's thinking about speeches
starting tomorrow.

-We're not gonna do that.
-We're not?

I'm just getting to know this guy.

I don't wanna come on too strong,
so you gotta help me out here.

-Okay. You want the memos?
-I wanna rein in the policy process.

You can't.

What part of "campaign manager"
do you not understand?

Do you want me to draw you
a flow chart?

-Where's Matt on this chart?
-Let's call him the congressman.

Well, he likes to be called Matt,
and he runs his own policy process.

Matt is a guy who hosts
home improvement shows.

The congressman is a guy
who runs for president.

You don't give policy speeches
in New Hampshire. . .

. . .the world's capital
of grip and grin. . .

. . .before people can pick you
out of a lineup.

In the House, when we were
dragging our feet on a policy he liked. . .

. . .he would announce it
without telling us.


I gotta meet
with some state legislators.

Keep him here till CNN arrives.

I pulled some strings
to get us some B-roll.

And don't let him change the official
language to Flemish while I'm gone.

Let's go.


Hey, aren't you that new candidate
from Texas?

Yes, sir. Matt Santos.
Great to meet you.

Do you know Phil Herlihy?
Lives right there in Sierra Vista.

Oh, no, that's Arizona.
Sierra Blanca, that's in Texas.

Oh, well.

He's a good guy.

No, he's great. He's got a million ideas,
he's really engaged.

Hoynes is up by eight
in the South Carolina poll.

That's all name ID.
Mile wide and an inch deep.

-How's your staff?
-I got political folks...

. . .but fundraising's just starting
so we're using volunteers.

Lot of money in the Latino community.

What would you think about
a big education speech?

-In New Hampshire, on his first trip?
-Yeah, it's an idea we're kicking around.

-Stop kicking.

Have you and Santos
had the conversation yet?

-Not yet.
-Have the conversation.

You think this whole campaign's
kind of goofy, don't you?


I'll call you later.


-This is a dry cleaner's.
-I'm sorry, l--

My mom asked me to pick up
the dry cleaning on our way.

I'll be honest, Josh. I was surprised to
see you split from Jed Bartlet like this.

It's no split, senator.

Jed Bartlet's not gonna be
for his own vice president?

He's the leader of his party. He'll remain
neutral till there's a nominee. Is that. . .

. . .a Bob Russell letter opener?

VP gave it to me at the lunch caucus.
I got the cup holders last month.

So, what's your boy Santez
have to offer?

It's Santos, and Russell may have
the letter opener. . .

-. . .but what's in the envelope?
-Might be some tie clips.

You looking for the next Bartlet,
I'm telling you, it's Santos.

Top in his class at Annapolis,
coalition-building mayor. . .

. . .he's written more legislation
than Russell's read.

I left the White House to run this.

-You give him credibility.
-Then meet with him.

Pull some folks together for a coffee.

John Hoynes gave a grand
to my campaign.

Russell gave 1500, Clarkson, 2.

Our fundraising's just getting going.
Don't make this about money.

Money equals viability.

And from what I can tell,
your boy has neither.

-How's it going?
-He's been inside for a while.

Good. The Jardins are top-tier activists
in Nashua.

You got a message at headquarters
from Will Bailey.

-He's Bob Russell's--
-Yeah, I've heard of him. Thanks.

-Wants to meet you.
-He's in New Hampshire?

Advancing Russell's trip.
How were the meetings?

Met with three state legislators.

They wanna know why I'm running
Santos against Bartlet's vice president.

Free country, isn't it?

Not if everyone thinks the president's
in Cowboy Bob's saddlebag.

The president's son-in-law, Doug Westin,
has a tough race in the first district.

Yeah, the environmentalists think
he's too pro-snowmobile.

It's like a bad Grizzly Adams spinoff.

You must know him pretty well.
Maybe if he endorsed Matt.

Put a call into his office.

See if Lizzie Bartlet has a minute
to sit down.

-Gonna talk to the New York Times guy?
-New York Times guy?

Yeah, just tell him to fax me
when he gets in. Okay, gotta go.

Didn't expect the paper of record
on our first trip.

All the news that fits.

-You covering Russell?
-I'm covering this.

Morgan from The Post too.


For once, you're writing the real story.

-How's it going?

He was practically autographing deposit
bottles at the Litchfield town dump.

Those ought to be worth
at least a nickel.

-Wanna sit with the congressman?
-Maybe later.

-How long is the New Hampshire swing?
-A couple days.

Well, I'm hearing some things
out of Houston.

-May wanna shorten your trip.
-What things?

Well, he's your candidate. I'm sure
it's nothing you don't already know.

Especially given what's happening
around the world today. . .

. . .but, yes, I think it would make
a huge difference.

Jamie, Janice, this is Josh Lyman,
my campaign manager.

Three more terms in Congress, and
my brow wouldn't be as furrowed as his.

We know Josh. We ran this precinct
for Bartlet both times.

-Mr. Jardin, Mrs. Jardin.
-We're talking about education.

Did you know the congressman
was first in his family to go to college. . .

. . .top of his class at Annapolis,
and can do more chin-ups. . .

. . .than the entire council
on foreign relations?

I don't know many people who'd
be excited by a longer school year.

-I'll be honest. Neither do I.
-We're talking about a longer--

I'm not trying to excite,
I'm telling them what we need.

America is 49th in the world
in literacy.

That's down 18 spots
in the last 50 years. Why?

For starters, the 180-day school year,
that's based on the agrarian calendar.

So the kids can tend crops
in the summer.

Right. But we're in
a global economy now.

Japan's at 243 days,
Germany's at 240.

Which is why we want a study.
One of those big, thick reports. . .

. . .you spend months just studying.

I got a pretty good education
in 180 days.

What's it have to do with
what happens in my son's class?

You know, not enough. Which is why
we need to end teacher tenure. . .

-. . .and get rid of failing teachers.
-Our cousin, Phyllis, is a schoolteacher.

I bet she's a good one.
Which is why she would keep her job.

I need the congressman
for one moment.

-Scheduling problem.

-Of course.
-I keep telling him to call me Matt.

Excuse me.

I'm road-testing ideas for the speech.

These are top-tier activists.
You just fired their cousin Phyllis.

Next week, we'll be training Phyllis
in computer programming.

You should introduce yourself,
talk about yourself.

They asked for my views on education.

-Well, they didn't like what they heard.
-You're right.

So let's not make Jamie Jardin
our secretary of education, okay?

Un-furrow your brow, Josh.
I've run for office six times.

In Texas. New Hampshire has
an education funding crisis.

They have no income tax. They can't pay
for 60 more days of school.

We need to nationalize the system.

That's a half-trillion-dollar joke
you just made.

India and China are all investing
in education like crazy.

-You wanna leave it up to Nashua?
-These are all great ideas.

You said this issue is stuck in the muck.
This is how we un-muck it.

The Jardins don't wanna
be un-mucked.

They want to know you,
and once they like you--

We can move onto
the swimsuit competition.

Can we talk to the professors?
Get a study, wait till we can afford. . .

-. . .some research on this?
-How long would that take?

We've exhausted the donors
in your district.

One idea is a big fundraising drive
in the Latino community.

I don't feel comfortable with that
right now.

It's a huge donor base
you alone can tap.

Josh, I don't wanna just be
the brown candidate.

-I wanna be the American candidate.
-How do you wanna go broke?

As the brown candidate,
or as the American candidate?

I looked at the daily spending reports.
We don't need to spend $4000 on signs.

-You're reviewing spending reports?
-Let's go back in with the Jardins.

-Call me Matt.

These are all parts
of a larger conversation.

The Times is already digging around.

-Maybe other campaigns too.

-We need to get proactive.
-No opposition research.

I know how to make this work,
but you have to let me.

-I don't want you two to catch cold.
-Oh, scheduling problem's solved.

Let's get back to that blackboard.

Folks love taking pictures with those.

-Almost like the real thing.

They talk a little less.

Don't say that too loud.
His wife is gonna want one.

-May I help you?
-I'm Josh Lyman.

-I'm here to see Will Bailey.
-He's expecting you. Follow me.

The vice president's not missing
the JJ Dinner either.

If he has to break a tie
on the ag bill. . .

. . .he'll do a quick round trip
on Air Force Two. Yeah.

-How's the Santos juggernaut?
-Great. Just opened our NH offices.

I understand if there's a tidal wave,
you can paddle to safety.

-Our money's going into the field.
-Mind if a deputy sits in?

-It's your meeting.
-Would you step in here, please?

-Why'd you wanna see me?
-I've got that list of free media events. . .

. . .for New Hampshire
broken up by media market. . .

. . .though some of the targets
spill over the border to. . .

. . .Vermont.


Why do people cling
to this antiquated notion of states?

For the purposes of campaigning. . .

. . .we live in
the United Media Markets of America.

-I'm not gonna waste your time.

I'm sure you have boats to sink. We're
all friends, we're all good Democrats.

No one wants a bloodied nominee.
You don't wanna attack. . .

. . .the president's record,
also known as your record.

Also known as the VP's record.

He did clap at some bill signings,
didn't he?

Live on national television. Yes, he did.

I'm proposing a clean campaign.
No attacks. A preemptive truce.

I love what you've done
with the place.

It's the Mao Zedong
school of decorating.

If you're not willing to rule out attacks
on the Bartlet-Russell administration--

I'll take it to the congressman.
He decides what we rule in or out.


Can we not make this a thing?

It's not a thing.

Okay, so who's next?

I'm setting up dinner with the Jardins,
coffee with Keefe. Push a buyout.

I understand
this is retail politics, Josh. . .

. . .but how much time do we spend
trying to get votes one by one?

As much time as it takes to get some.

Well, what about giving
some bigger speeches too?

-Talking to people, a thousand at a time.
-A thousand sounds better than one.

We'll get to the speeches.
These are top-flight activists.

They'll devote every hour, get dozens
of their friends to do the same.


I'm just wondering if
Jefferson and Madison spent time. . .

-. . .having coffee in Litchfield.
-Liz Bartlet's here to see Josh.

-We still have to have that conversation.

Thanks for coming here.
We could've done this at the house.

This is for an event we're doing
on aquamarine, well, more maritime--

Lose your boat, they'll help you float.


Your husband's got a tough challenge
with Bledsoe on his left.

Doug's been supporting
the snowmobiling clubs for years. . .

. . .but to say he's anti-environment. . . .
We're giving an environmental speech.

We can win back the Greens.

You still mad at me for having concerns
about Doug's campaign?

-Not at all.
-I'm glad.

I'm mad at you for sharing
those concerns with the DCCC. . .

. . .and the White House
Office of Political Affairs.

And if you think you're getting Doug's
endorsement for Matthew Santos--

We don't want his endorsement.

-You don't?


You've been involved
in New Hampshire primaries.

You know why they matter.
Because anyone has a shot here.

Because the voters decide.

You only care because
you wanna win it.

You're right. Maybe that's crazy because
Russell's got the money, the support.

But I don't think he should have it
locked up before it starts.

And the only reason he does is everyone
assumes that your dad is for him.

-My dad's gonna stay neutral.
-lf Doug did a photo op with Santos. . .

. . .no endorsement,
just one Kodak moment. . .

. . .it would be a wink
to your dad's supporters. . .

. . .that this primary is wide open. . .

. . .that the establishment hacks have
to earn it. Isn't that how it should be?

Isn't that how your dad got
the nomination eight years ago?

I wouldn't be doing this for you.

The Fickle Pickle Diner
in an hour and a half.


He's shaking hands out front
while we wait for Doug Westin.

The press corps seems to be growing.

-They're covering Doug Westin.

We gotta put out a statement
when we get back to headquarters.

-On what?

-I told the town selectmen we would.

There's some bar over on Route 3,
they put dwarves in harnesses. . .

. . .and toss them into hoops.
He's trying to ban it.

We'll spend more ink on dwarf-tossing
than on Medicare.

Ask a dwarf in a harness
which matters more.

-Hey, Greg.
-Hey, Josh.

I wanna make a deal
on this Houston thing.

It's a bit late for that.
Everyone's got it.

Guess you guys are 0 for 2
this afternoon.

-0 for 2?
-This UNH professor-- Stoller? Strober?

What about him?

He leaked the details of
your education plan to the AP wire.

If you reconsider your support
for the vice president. . .

. . .remember this conversation.
Have a great day, folks. Thank you.

-Why did we put out an education plan?
-We didn't.

-This UNH guy, Strobelight. . . .

He leaked it to the AP.
You can't be spreading this stuff around.

I faxed a few ideas
to a couple of people.

This shouldn't be on paper.

We talked about getting input
for my speech.

Look, we're not--

We can't do a speech. It hasn't
been scored, hasn't been tested.

You mean, killed by a bunch
of consultants.

Someone is shopping
an 8-year-old quote out of Houston.

You said the New Hampshire primary
shouldn't come first. . .

. . .because, quote, "The state's
as diverse as a Mayflower reunion. "

-That's a funny line.

We got a state full of Mayflower
descendants laughing.

-I don't remember saying it.
-Can I deny it?

Yeah, it sounds like me, though.

-How fast can you take it back?
-It's true, isn't it?

People here feel this primary
is their birthright.

l-- I think I gotta stand by that.


Take the photo.

Don't take any questions.
We'll figure it out later. Go.


-Congressman, how are you?
-Pleasure to meet you.

I'm an admirer of your family.
I appreciate your doing this.

I can't say I agree with
your assessment of our primary.

-Excuse me?
-Your quote.

You think the state's diverse?

No one writes it, but New Hampshire
is 30 percent Franco-American.

It's funny that no one writes it.

Josh, how's it feel
to be out of Washington, nice?


Hi. Doug Westin.
I'm running for Congress.

That's nice.

Bledsoe says you'd shut down the parks
if the snowmobilers wanted it.

I care deeply about our parks.

Enough to restrict snowmobiles
as your opponent's challenged?

We have a lot to say about parks.

Congressman, you've had tough words
about this state's primary.

-We're here to meet the voters.
-But you don't value our votes, do you?

I value everyone's vote.

Why don't you apologize
for what you said about this primary.

Why don't you acknowledge our role. . .

. . .as the presidential wine tasters
of America?

I could never support a candidate
who doesn't.

Well, you know, I'm not much
of a wine drinker. . .

. . .and I'm sorry if I won't have
your support.

Hi. I'm Matt Santos.
I'm running for president.

--every substitute teacher in Peoria
deciding our long-term competitiveness. . .

. . .unless we wanna completely
Balkanize the education system.

From Maine to Michigan to Montana,
a high school diploma. . .

. . .has to mean something,
the same thing. . .

. . .or we're walking away
from our biggest responsibility.

The congressman and I
need to talk about the schedule.

We gotta get a little better
code language than that.

See you.

I gotta call my kids
before they go to bed.

Yeah, this won't take long.

I know this isn't
what you thought it would be.


I understood that running for president
had to do with public policy.

Every first-time candidate
makes mistakes.

The good ones fix them,
don't make the same ones twice.

Well, we're stuck with this one.

I gotta give that speech
at Hawk's house tomorrow night.

Shelve the education plan.

You have to swallow
the Mayflower quote.

You want me to introduce myself
to the electorate as a flip-flopper?

As opposed to a piece
of political toast? Yes, I do.

Do you think this state
represents the country?

I think it's 30 percent

I think it decides our future.

If I wanted coffee klatches and recycled
cans, I would run for Congress again.

-We need to sell you then the big issues.
-Meaning not in New Hampshire.

Meaning once people get to know
who you are.

Let me finish doing what I'm doing.

-We're having--
-Call me Matt.

I don't wanna call you Matt!
You think this is any other campaign?

You think you've been scrutinized
and poked and prodded. . .

. . .like a prize-winning pig?
You haven't.

You just walked into a great,
big x-ray machine.

Everything shows up.

People with 30 years in public life get
blown out of these things in two weeks.

This is an 8-year-old quote.
I've given thousands--

Which is why we have
to go over everything.

What you've said,
what you've done. . .

. . .who your enemies are,
were you late on your taxes. . .

. . .whether you've had problems
in your marriage.

-lf I did, it's between me and my wife.
-Nothing is disqualifying if I know it now.

If I had known about that quote,
we would've skipped New Hampshire.

Tell me if you agree with it.

Whoever fed it to the press has more.
That's our priority right now.

-Whose campaign is this?
-I don't know.

Who flew down to Houston
and talked you into it?

Instead of tinkering with
pie-in-the-sky education programs. . .

. . .you better figure out why
you're running and if you are sure. . .

. . .that you are really up to this.

The education plan is why I'm running.

I'm gonna go call my kids instead of
standing here and being treated like one.

-Thanks for flying up on short notice.
-Of course.

-We can't afford any polling just yet.
-I know.

I don't suppose you've seen
any with Santos in the mix.

Two private polls.
He's within the margin of error.

Of who?

Of having any support at all.

-Quite a press day you're having.

The union leader says he'd create an
income tax to pay for his education plan.

The Monitor's saying he should take
the Mayflower back to Houston.

Worst of all, none of it
made the front page.

When he reads the papers,
he'll be more pliable.

I don't want him to be pliable.
l-- I want him to. . . .

-Agree with you in the first place?
-I know how to run these.

If he'd just let me.

-It's your job, Josh, but it's his life.
-And this guy is nothing but potential.

Why else would Brock and Morgan
be covering our trip?

But it's like he doesn't get this.

He doesn't get what this is.

Give him time.

He's a long way from Houston.

The first of the opposition research
you wanted.

-Everyone does it now.

You can pay me in installments.

-Small ones.
-Thank you.

Josh. . .

. . .you should have done this weeks ago.

I can't believe this.

-We don't get any points for substance?
-It's right there. Next to penmanship.

-What about teachers' unions?
-They ignored it.

They didn't wanna make it
a national story.

I added this event yesterday so you
could take back the Mayflower crack.

It's a senior center.
It's a large and a captive audience.

We're gonna pay a visit
to the state's oldest voter.

-Dell Tollerson.
-He's, like, 197.

Granddaddy of the primaries
since it was Old Hampshire.

Take back what you said,
he forgives you, crisis over.

Oh, there he is.


Shouldn't there be a crowd?
Don't tell me they're out playing jai alai.

One of our residents died.
Everyone's at the funeral.

I suppose Dell Tollerson's there too.

Oh, I'd say so. He's in the coffin.


I don't think I should defuse this
with a joke.

Matt Santos.

-Good staff work.
-We're a scrappy insurgency, okay?

We're taking our licks early.

That's a lot of licks for a non-factor.

If Santos was a non-factor,
I doubt you and the Post. . .

. . .would be sipping strained beets
at the Nashua senior center.

-You're serious.

We're not writing about Santos.
We're writing about you.

Why you're running this quixotic
campaign, splitting up the field.

-We're running to win.
-By thumbing your nose at the primary?

Proposing the expansion of education
in a state that can't afford notebooks?

We're talking about big issues.

You're siphoning off votes
to help Hoynes.

Why else would Russell's folks
be worried about you?

I want guns off the list.
I want choice off the list.

Eastern Pennsylvania's overwhelmingly
anti-gun and pro-choice.

The people who aren't
vote on those issues alone.

Take them off the list.

I'll give you a hand.

Know what's hard about a presidential?
Delegating to people you barely know.

You fed that quote to Brock.
You're trying to force me out.

-Last I checked, you're not in the race.
-You talked to Brock.

He said you were worried about us.

You turn down Russell, you recruit
a nobody to run against us.

It doesn't make any sense.

-So you dig up damaging quotes?
-I didn't have to.

It was Texas Republicans trying to
kill him off so he can't run for treasurer.

If Santos isn't serious, why'd you
trot Donna out to guilt me?

I'm not guilting anybody.
You should be guilting yourself.

After Leo, you're the best mind
in the party. . .

. . .and you're gonna work for us.
It's inevitable. When that day comes. . .

. . .do you wanna be on the record
trashing us so we can't hire you?

Tell Roger and Ellen
to come back in here.

Look, I'm not saying it's gonna come
without a cost.

Education is at the heart of everything
that we care about.

Competitiveness, opportunity, equality.

Shouldn't we figure out what we
need first, and then get into the details?

So you're saying no tax increase.

Ma'am, what I'm saying is. . . .



-Actually, it's Donna.

-No, it's Ronna.
-No, really, it's Donna.

-I'm quite certain it's--
-Ronna, it's Donna. Donna, it's Ronna.

-Can you give us a minute?

She should stick around. Your whole
campaign's like a Dr. Seuss nightmare.

One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish,
We-Fought-the-Good-Fight Fish.

As opposed to The Cat in the
Imitation Cowboy Hat fell flat?

Go ahead. Hop on Bob.

You should be with me.
You're on the wrong campaign.

I let Russell seduce me with perks like
a salary and actual political support.

What make-work job do they
even have you doing over there?

Media targeting for the Northeast
and Pacific Northwest.

Fine. We're still the ones
with the gutsy education plan.

The ones speaking the truth
about the New Hampshire primary.

-Know what Russell's speaking about?
-I didn't know chipboard could talk.

White Mountains preservation, MTBE,
textile conversion, local issues.

-You mean pandering.
-I mean what voters want.

"Campaigns are about them, not us. "
You taught me that.

-You came to deliver my old truisms?

Letters from Russell supporters
to the DNC. . .

. . .urging them to protect
the New Hampshire primary.

You ought to deliver
some of those truisms yourself.

Least you could do is send me
the one with the noose.

Yeah, maybe Will's right.

Maybe you are the man of destiny.

I just wish you'd filled out
a little sooner, is all.

-Mr. Lyman.

A call for you.
A Mr. Potus on the line.

-This is Josh Lyman.
-Please hold for the president.

Liz tells me you look like hell.

Yeah, well, hell's just another word for
"far from home without your mittens on. "

Sorry about what happened
with Doug.

If you ever have daughters, Josh, don't
let them run off and marry pinheads.

He's in a tough race. I deserved it.

No, you took a bullet for me.
I didn't want Doug to run.

-I was doing my job.
-It looks like I'm for Russell. . .

-. . .but I want a vigorous primary.
-I know.

If I speak out, it sends
all kinds of wrong signals.

-I know.
-Take down these numbers.

-Numbers on. . .?
-Just take them down.

Six to 24 over six.

-And this is... ?
-New Hampshire's dropout rate.

It fell from sixth-lowest in the nation
to 24th in the last six years.

They're highest in the region now.

I haven't done enough.
Santos should say that.

People have to know why
he's talking about education. . .

. . .what he's running against.
I haven't done enough.

Might as well be me. See you
when you visit Washington sometime?

Yes, sir. Sometime.

The Democratic leader says your
education plan's poison for this state.

We respect his views, and we look
forward to discussing them in person.

He says after Mayflower-gate,
he won't meet with Santos.

That's a "gate" already?
No way does that qualify as a "gate. "

So you're not consulting the teachers'
unions, you're not identifying revenue--

We're trying to solve maybe
the most serious long-term problem. . .

. . .in this country, and of course
it's gonna be controversial.

Of course the status quo
is gonna go bananas. . .

. . .but where are the other candidates'
education plans?

Tell me who's got an alternative.
Tell me that.

You wanted to talk
about the schedule?

I wanted to talk about
today's spending report.

You hired Joey Lucas to do opposition
research after I told you not to.

-After I told you. . .

. . .that we weren't gonna smear
other Democrats.

Research isn't on them. It's on you.

I don't know you. I don't know what
you've said or done. I have to know.

If a teacher smacked me
in the third grade. . .

. . .that'll help sell my education plan?

If I changed positions
on the Lindbergh baby. . .

. . .that's worth
having me investigated?

Your brother hasn't worked in five years.
You're supporting him.

I need to know if you've tried
to put him on a government payroll.

-I need to know if you've made calls.
-Leave him out of this.

-How did she get that?
-Same as everyone else.

We better stop doing this like
everyone else. We better stop it now.

You don't get to run this
as a test case on family privacy. . .

. . .any more than you get to pick
which states are ready for big speeches.

I'm not trying to make this
a test case.

Come on.

We're lucky if we have two months.
I don't wanna waste it shaking hands.

Two months?

I gave up everything for this.
You're not even in it to win?

Maybe we have a different definition
of winning, Josh.

Maybe that's what we should've
talked about in Houston.

-What's that?
-It's called a clean campaign.

-I'm not hip to this campaign jargon.
-These are. . .?

Statements from the other campaigns,
promising education plans by next week.

No one was talking about it, now they
all are. Hoynes challenged the field. . .

. . .to debate education.
We're moving the debate, Josh.

Don't take that
to the Litchfield town dump.

It'll still win more votes than your guy.

I deserved what you did to us
at the Fickle Pickle.

I didn't do anything.

That was Doug.

I practically poured a bucket of paint
on his head when we got home.

We said all along
we wouldn't endorse anyone.


Tons of our supporters lean toward
Russell or lean toward Hoynes.

A few have to be leaning toward us.

Not really. But your guy has
one hell of an education plan.

My dad thinks so too. Only campaign
that's saying much of anything.

-Does this mean you and I are--?
-No. I still think you're a jerk.

-What's this?
-A personal check.

You're donat--?
You're giving Matt Santos $2000?

Yeah. Sorry. That's the federal limit.

Liz, this goes on
a publicly disclosed donor list.

This is a Bartlet family contribution
to Santos for President.

Funny thing about the FEC. . .

. . .they really like it
when you report this stuff.

Don't give the environmental speech.

-What do you mean?
-Don't give it. Doug's for snowmobiles.

Maybe it's bad politics,
but it's where he is.

That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.

-What do we do with this?
-Cash it fast as we can.

See how many Matt Santos
letter openers it'll buy.

The speech insert on teachers?

More training, higher salaries,
greater accountability.


-Where is Hawk's house?
-This is it. This is Phil Hawk's house.

I thought it was a venue, a speech,
not another three-person grip and grin.

Phil's one of the premier activists in. . . .

What I said about putting your brother
on the government payroll. . .

-. . .was out of line.
-You're just doing your job.

I don't know what you want
my job to be.

I mean, days now, I've been trying
to get my head around this rationale.

I used to tell candidates, "Make it
about the voters, not about you. "

But the difference is,
you are them.

Working-poor background,
kids in public school. . .

. . .brother with a high school diploma,
he can barely read.

-What is that besides a stereotype?
-It's why you're in this.

It's why you're talking about education.
What's wrong with that?

Especially in New Hampshire,
where people think their vote. . .

. . .is the most personal thing
they can give?

Have you taken one moment to think
about whether you even like. . .

. . .my education plan? Pop psychology
aside, whether it's right for the country?

I didn't have to hear it
to know it'd be right.

I do wanna win, you know?

But I can't do it by being
just another cardboard cutout. . .

. . .even if it is smart tactics.

You can't run a national campaign
on your own. No one can.

-New Hampshire's over with, isn't it?
-You're not making it easy.

Well, you know. . .

. . .if we're gonna do this,
I'm not gonna make it easy.

I'm gonna give the big speeches,
and I'm gonna push every limit.

And that's the campaign
you get to run.

-But what if I can't make that work?
-Well, then no one can.

When you get the rest
of that research. . .

. . .we'll go over it together.

Good evening.
Hi. How are you?

Hello, sir. Thank you for inviting us.
Good evening.

-Nice to meet you.

-This is more people than we expected.
-Some of the neighbors came.

-Mostly because they think he's nuts.

-But they're curious. That ain't nothing.
-No, it ain't nothing.

Well, as you all know, I'm Matt Santos,
that kamikaze candidate from Texas.

Well, I didn't leave my home
and my family. . .

. . .so that I could stand around dumps
telling you all what you wanna hear.

I've faced some things in my life,
my own family, that make me believe. . .

. . .that we need to rethink
our whole education system.

And if that's something that's going to
make it harder for me as a candidate. . .

. . .well, then, I'll just have to take it.