Rumors percolate about a scathing memo that outlines the weaknesses of President Bartlet’s (Martin Sheen) administration for his political rival and grip the White House, until C.J. (Allison Janney) learns it came from one of the trusted staff, Mandy (Moira Kelly). Now in someone else’s possession, C.J. finally tracks it down to Danny (Timothy Busfield) and tries to dissuade him from publishing it. Meanwhile, Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) meet with opposing military officers and congressmen to discuss amending the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy towards gays in the armed forces. When two members of the Federal Election Commission resign, Josh (Bradley Whitford) sees opportunity and moves fast to meet with contentious senator’s staffers to suggest that the President appoint two campaign finance reformers as replacements instead of those wanted by the Senate leadship. Leo (John Spencer) not only has trouble with the White House’s faulty e-mail system, he confronts the President and issues a challenge that could define or destroy his administration.
THE WEST WING 'LET BARTLET BE BARTLET' TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: PETER PARNELL & PATRICK CADDELL DIRECTED BY: LAURA INNES TEASER FADE IN: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY MONDAY MORNING We are shown the open doors to the two offices. Toby is in the left, and Sam is in the right. They yell so they can hear each other. TOBY Is it gonna rain? SAM No. TOBY It looks like it's gonna rain. SAM It's overcast. TOBY Isn't that usually what it is before it rains? SAM Yes. TOBY But in this case? SAM It's not gonna rain till later today. TOBY If it rains, please remember to change the opening line. SAM It's not gonna rain till one, maybe two o'clock. TOBY Yeah, but if you're wrong, you gotta change the opening line! Sam goes into TOBY'S OFFICE. SAM I'm not getting this from morning drive-time radio, Toby. I'm getting this from First Lieutenant Emily Lowenbrau of the U.S. Coast Guard, who would not let me down 'cause she has a very really...a very comforting voice. TOBY Okay, here's my thing. If you're wrong, if the coast guard is wrong, the remarks open with 'As I look out over this magnificent vista.' If the event gets moved indoors, he will no longer be looking out over a vista of any kind. SAM Do you honestly think he can't change that on his feet? Do you honestly think the President doesn't know where he is when he's giving a speech? TOBY This isn't a major policy address, Sam. This is five minutes in front of the United Organization of Trout Fishermen. I'm saying if it gets moved inside. SAM I got this from the U.S. Coast Guard. I got this from the National Weather Service. They use satellites. They use technology. Behind Toby, outside the window, lightning flashes. Thunder claps. It started to rain. TOBY This is the same satellite technology we use to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles, right? SAM Yeah. TOBY All right then. Toby and Sam head out the office. They meet C.J. outside. C.J. We should move the thing inside. TOBY Sam says it's probably not gonna rain till later. C.J. Have either of you heard anything about a piece of paper that's going around? SAM What piece of paper? They all walk out into the HALLWAY. C.J. I don't know. At the Gaggle, Dave Trillin asked what I knew about a piece of paper that's going around. Maybe you used from the campaign. SAM I haven't heard anything. C.J. Me either. TOBY Let's find out. C.J. That's good advice, Toby. Cutting into a CORRIDOR. They meet Leo. LEO We're in the second floor auditorium in the O.E.O.B. C.J. And they're moving people inside? LEO People are there. They moved them twenty minutes ago. SAM Why? LEO The weather report said it was gonna rain. SAM It did? LEO Yeah. SAM Is it possible First Lieutenant Emily Lowenbrau is yanking me around? TOBY Where's the President? LEO He's already over there. They walk out to the LOBBY. C.J. How's his mood today? LEO We had breakfast. He seemed very upbeat, very energetic, very optimistic about the day. C.J. How long do you think do you suppose that's gonna last? Leo, Sam, Toby and C.J. head out of the White House into the rain. CUT TO: INT. OLD EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY President Bartlet, Mrs. Landingham, Charlie, Nancy are riding the escalator to the second floor of the O.E.O.B. Secret Service Agents surround them. BARTLET Can we get this Godforsaken event over with so I can get back to presiding over a civilization gone to hell in a handcart? MRS. LANDINGHAM Nice talk for a President. BARTLET Leave me alone. They reach the second floor. MRS. LANDINGHAM You know what this is, don't you sir? BARTLET What what is? MRS. LANDINGHAM Your mood, sir. BARTLET There's nothing wrong with my mood. MRS. LANDINGHAM It's your diet. BARTLET Would you get off me with that? MRS. LANDINGHAM You're not getting enough roughage in your diet. You know I'm right about that. BARTLET I know I'd like to beat you senseless with a head of cabbage. I know that for damn sure. MRS. LANDINGHAM Once again, you display an immaturity about vegetables and I think is not at all Presidential. BARTLET Charlie, does anyone have my remarks? CHARLIE Sam's bringing them, Mr. President. BARTLET Is Toby on his way? CHARLIE Yes sir. BARTLET C.J.? CHARLIE Yes sir. BARTLET Why aren't they here right now? CHARLIE They didn't know that it was raining, sir. BARTLET Nothing like surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest, Charlie. Cutting through the hallway, they pass an entrance. The President meets with the rest of his staff: Toby, C.J., Sam and Leo. They just came from the pouring rain. Everyone continues to walk. TOBY Good morning, sir. C.J. Good morning, Mr. President. SAM Good morning, sir. BARTLET Hello. TOBY How are you, sir? BARTLET You didn't know it was raining? TOBY To our credit sir, we knew it was raining once it started to rain. BARTLET Okay. SAM Here are your remarks, sir. BARTLET A couple of things, uh, who am I gonna be talking to now? SAM The United Organization of Trout Fishermen. BARTLET No, seriously now. SAM Sir? BARTLET Give me the damn speech. SAM There's some very nice anecdotes there about trout fishing. BARTLET Have I ever been trout fishing? SAM Probably not. BARTLET Okay. JOSH [comes from behind] Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET What's going on Josh? JOSH The C.V.O.'s gonna revise its outyear projections, two commissioners resigned from the F.E.C. this morning, and the N.G.A. endorsed trigger locks. TOBY How much? JOSH The projections? TOBY Yeah. JOSH Uh, maybe 200 billion? BARTLET Hang on. Everyone stops walking near the entrance to the auditorium. BARTLET Two F.E.C. commissioners resigned? JOSH Yes sir. BARTLET There are two seats open in the F.E.C.? JOSH Yeah. LEO Sir? BARTLET This is interesting. LEO Sir, this is not the world's best time to go off on a flight of idealistic- BARTLET Leo, two seats just opened up in the Federal Election Commission. LEO And the Senate Leadership will fill them. BARTLET I'm saying, what if this time we say we want our guys? LEO We won't win. BARTLET Yeah, but we can dangle our feet in the water. LEO It's not a good idea, sir. BARTLET Josh- LEO Mr. President, you're thinking about changing the nature of democracy. BARTLET I'm talking about dangling our feet in the water. Josh, get Leo two candidates who back aggressive campaign finance reform. JOSH Sir, I-I got to stand with Leo on this. I think that- BARTLET I'm not saying jump off the boat, Josh. I'm saying dangle our feet. JOSH Yes, sir. Nancy is waiting in front of the entrance to the auditorium. NANCY Mr. President? BARTLET Yes. Somebody? SAM The United Organization of Trout Fishermen. BARTLET Thank you. Bartlet and his staff head for the auditorium. LEO You gonna concentrate on this now, or is your head gonna be in changing the nature of democracy? BARTLET No, I'm definitely gonna be thinking about the trout fishermen, Leo, 'cause that's where my focus should be. LEO You were in a better mood an hour ago, Mr. President. BARTLET I was in a better mood a year ago, Leo. C.J. [to Leo and Josh] Does anybody know anything about a piece of paper that's been going around? LEO What piece of paper? C.J. I don't know. BARTLET C.J., are you taller than you usually are? C.J. Yes sir. I'm my usual height. LEO Okay. NANCY Here we go. BARTLET Couldn't pick a trout out of a police lineup, by the way. LEO Focus. Bartlet goes inside the auditorium with Nancy, Charlie and C.J. The rest of the staff stays outside. HERALD [OS] Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States! JOSH Two Federal Election seats open on the same day? LEO You can dream all you want Josh, but you're dead in the water, it's never gonna happen. JOSH That's what I thought too, but after your little pep talk just now... We hear Bartlet inside the auditorium. The staff stands watch by the door. BARTLET [OS] Thank you. Thank you very much. It's good to see you. Thank you. Toby and Sam just realized something. TOBY Sam? SAM Damn it! LEO What? SAM I forgot to do something. BARTLET [OS] As I look out over this magnificent vista... Toby looks away in frustration as Sam slams his notebook. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Josh and Donna are walking. DONNA How does the F.E.C. work? JOSH Six commissioners are appointed for a six-year term. DONNA Overlaps. JOSH Two seats come up every two years. DONNA And two commissioners just resigned? JOSH At the same time. DONNA How many times has that happened? JOSH Including this time? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Once. DONNA So the President has the opportunity to back the F.E.C. without people and make immeasurable impact on campaign finance reform? JOSH Yes. DONNA Well, do it baby! JOSH There's a couple of roadblocks. DONNA What? JOSH Whenever a vacancy comes up, the party leadership of both sides... [pause] Did you just call me 'baby' back there? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Okay. Uh, when a vacancy comes up, it's up to the President to fill it, but the party leadership on both sides always, always, always dictates to the President who he's gonna appoint. One Republican. One Democrat. Whoever the leadership says. That's how you keep the peace. DONNA But you're gonna change all that, right? JOSH No, but I'm gonna spend the rest of the week trying. DONNA That's not the right spirit, Josh. You're trying to change the nature of democracy. JOSH You're right. I'm gonna need a bagel. [goes into his office] CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is giving a briefing. C.J. The Easter egg hunt and the Easter egg roll are two different things. The theme of this year's event is 'Learning is delightful and delicious,' as, by the way, am I. The reporters laugh. C.J. The collection, which is gonna be on display on the east colonnade to the White House, features real chicken eggs decorated by artists from each of the 50 states and the district. And the activities are coordinated by the American Egg Board. And I've hung with some of the cats from the American Egg Board, and they are party people. Thank you. That's it for this afternoon. As the reporters get ready to leave, C.J. leaves the podium and goes to Steve. C.J. Steve? STEVE Yeah? C.J. You got a second? STEVE Sure. C.J. What have you heard about a piece of paper that's out there? STEVE Same thing you've heard. C.J. What's that? STEVE There's a piece of paper out there. C.J. That's it? STEVE Yeah. C.J. If you hear anything more, you'll tell me first? STEVE If I find anything more, I'll tell my editor first. C.J. I keep forgetting you don't work for me. STEVE Yes, you do. MANDY C.J.? C.J. See ya. STEVE Bye. Steve leaves. C.J. faces Mandy. C.J. Mandy, there's a buzz in the room. Something about a piece- MANDY Yeah. C.J. Do you know anything about it? MANDY I know everything about it. C.J. What do you mean? MANDY I wrote it. C.J. What is it we're uh... MANDY I wrote a memo when I was working for Russell outlining strategies- Mandy quickly looks away as Katie comes from behind C.J. KATIE Excuse me, C.J.? C.J. Katie, they're in the blue room. KATIE Thanks. [leaves] MANDY When I was working for Russell, I wrote a memo outlining the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the Bartlet administration and mapping out a strategy to defeat him for renomination. [pause] C.J. this is embarrassing and a little mortifying, but you got to remember how pissed off I was at you guys. C.J. You worked for us for a year and a half, and you work for us again now... MANDY C.J.... C.J. ...And in between, you wrote a playbook on how to beat us? MANDY I was working for Russell, and the whole idea is to- C.J. I need to see a copy of it right now! MANDY C.J.? C.J. storms out of the briefing room and slams the door. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Leo is in front of his computer. LEO [calls] Margaret! MARGARET [comes in] Yes? LEO I can't e-mail. MARGARET They're working on the problem. LEO What's the problem? MARGARET My friend, Lynette, from the President's Council on Physical Fitness, you remember her? LEO [irritated] No. MARGARET She's the one where you say, 'Who's that?' And I say, 'That's my friend, Lynette, from the President's Council on Physical Fitness.' JOSH Hey. LEO Oh, hey Josh. MARGARET Anyway, she sent me an e-mail about the actual calorie count in the raisin muffin they're serving in the mess. I forwarded the e-mail to several hundred assistants and secretaries in O.E.O.B. and in the West Wing, and that was fine. But Jolene Millman, who works in political liaison, then hit reply, which apparently- LEO Oh Margaret! Margaret! I'm sorry. I'm gonna have to...I hung in there as long as I could, but you long since passed the point when I stopped caring. If you're curious, it was right around raisin muffin. MARGARET I'll leave you two alone. LEO And fix the e-mail. MARGARET Yes. [leaves] LEO So, who'd you come up with? JOSH John Bacon and Patricia Calhoun. LEO Oh, I know John Bacon. Who's the other? JOSH Patty Calhoun's the director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. She worked in the White House O.M.B. under two Republican Presidents. LEO And she favors campaign finance overhaul? JOSH Aggressive overhaul. LEO Then the leadership's gonna hate them both. JOSH What do you want me to do? LEO Meet with the top guys in the leadership offices. JOSH You want me to meet with the leadership? LEO Absolutely not. I want you to meet their guys, and I want you to do it outside the building. Do it over a meal. JOSH Leo, the President can't think we're gonna get anywhere with this, can he? LEO Hmmm? JOSH The President doesn't think we're gonna get anywhere with this, can he? LEO No. JOSH Okay. JOSH What happened with e-mail? LEO Oh, I don't know. It has something to do with the President's Council on Physical Fitness. JOSH Okay. Josh leaves. Leo looks swiftly. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Josh comes out of Leo's office. Sam and Toby see him. SAM Hey. TOBY Who'd you come up with? JOSH John Bacon and Patty Calhoun. SAM Not in a million years. JOSH Tell me something else I should know. What are you doing? TOBY It's our turn with the boys. JOSH Knock 'em dead. SAM Hey, listen. TOBY Yeah? SAM You want me to do the talking when we get in there? TOBY Why? SAM Just asking. Toby opens the door to THE ROOSEVELT ROOM. Toby and Sam meet with several majors and congressmen in the room. MAJOR TATE, MAJOR THOMPSON, and two Congressmen, KEN and MIKE, are seated around the table. TOBY Good morning. Good morning. We all know each other. Why don't we sit down? We've been conducting meetings with various senior staff on the D.O.D., N.S.C. and House and Senate Armed Services. We feel a little hamstrung because of the policy inherited regarding gays and lesbians in the military. And we'd like as much reform input as possible before making a recommendation to the President. MAJOR THOMPSON Toby, can I interrupt you for a moment? TOBY Sure. MAJOR THOMPSON What do you imagine'd be the consequence of your recommendation to the President? TOBY Well, actually, it'll be Sam's recommendation to the President. It's on his desk, and I'm just helping out. MAJOR THOMPSON Sam, what do you imagine'd be the consequence? SAM Major, bearing in mind that the President seldom, if ever, listens to my recommendation, I'd imagine the consequence to be little. KEN I would imagine it to be very little, Sam. SAM Congressman, the commander-in-chief orders that gays can serve openly in the military. That's the way it's gonna be, and anybody who chooses to disobey that order can stand court marshal under the uniform code and military justice. MAJOR TATE The President can order the joint chiefs and the chiefs can give all the orders they want. It takes an act of Congress to amend the uniform code. And the uniform code makes sodomy a crime. That's the end of the story. TOBY I guess it's gonna be a pretty short meeting. MAJOR TATE Yeah. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY C.J. comes out of the briefing room. Donna follows. DONNA C.J.? C.J. Yeah? DONNA There will be 25,000 wooden eggs in addition to the 7,500 other eggs. C.J. What are the other eggs made out of? DONNA Ah... the other eggs are... C.J. They're actually eggs. DONNA Yeah. Mandy's in your office. C.J. What is Josh doing? DONNA F.E.C. commissioners. C.J. Would you tell him when he has a free moment I'd like to see him? DONNA Yeah. Donna goes the other way. C.J. meets Carol in her desk. C.J. Carol, 25,000 wooden eggs. CAROL In addition to the 7,500 eggs that are... C.J. They're just regular eggs. CAROL Okay. C.J.'S OFFICE. C.J. sees Mandy, carrying an envelope. C.J. Is that it? MANDY Yeah. C.J. Who has it? MANDY I don't know. C.J. But somebody does. MANDY Yeah. C.J. Okay. I'm gonna read it now. MANDY Should I...? C.J. Go back to your office, and don't answer any questions. MANDY You'll...call me when you're done reading? C.J. I'd count on it. Mandy leaves. C.J. starts reading. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. CAPITOL HILL ROOM - DAY Josh is meeting with the STEVE ONORATO, and other aides from the Leadership office. They are in the middle of a meal. JOSH Soft money contributions render the 1974 Campaign Reform Act toothless. Soft money contributions, which were ostensibly designed for party-building, whatever that might mean, do nothing but eviscerate any meaningful election controls. We are, by definition, corrupt. STEVE I wouldn't say that. JOSH I know you wouldn't, Steve. This money isn't coming in in 5's and 10's and 20's. It's coming in in denominations of 100, 200, 500 thousand dollars. It's coming from special interests. It's coming from special interests whose interests aren't the same as those who don't have a half a million bucks lying around, and it's not going to party-building. It's going to issue ads. It's going to candidates. MAN Yeah. It's called free speech, Josh. JOSH If the insurance company wants to buy ad time from 64 major markets, they are free to do so. If the airplane manufacturing industry wants to back a candidate, they are free to shout from the rooftops. If big tobacco wants to wave a sign or put a bumper sticker on their cars, they are free to do so. That's free speech. Money isn't speech. JERRY I like it when Josh comes here once in a while to teach us a lesson we so richly deserve. JOSH I came here as a courtesy, Jerry. I came at the request of Leo McGarry. The President is strong considering... John Branford Bacon and Patty Calhoun to fill in the two seats. STEVE I'm pretty sure we've already got our two guys, don't we? MAN Yes. JERRY It's Grant Kalen. STEVE Grant Kalen and Joe Barkley. JOSH Two people who oppose any campaign finance reform. Well... JERRY I thought you like Kalen, Josh. He got a lot of democrats elected in Indiana. JOSH He raised a lot of money in Indiana. And Joe Barkley says that people are allowed to spend whatever they want in politics. STEVE Yeah. So does the Supreme Court, by the way. Uh, Josh, look, we can't have this meeting every time the President wakes up in the morning and decides to make the world better. The party leadership's gonna choose a Republican. The party leadership's gonna choose a Democrat. That's the way it's always been. That's the way it's gonna be. That's the way it is. JOSH Really? STEVE Yes. JOSH The President makes appointments to the Federal Election Commission. STEVE And the Senate confirms them. And I'm speaking from the majority leader. Embarrass us like this, and we will give the same back to you tenfold. Every piece of legislation the White House wants off the table will make a sudden appearance. MAN Yeah. Steve's talking our greatest hits, Josh. 5-4-1, school prayer, Family Support Act, Entertainment Decency Act. JERRY English as the national language. STEVE English as the national language will be first up. That's gonna be our leadoff hitter. JOSH Wouldn't it be easier to just not confirm our nominees? STEVE Oh, we're gonna do that too. JOSH Are you saying that in addition to voting down our nominees, there's gonna be political retribution for having nominated them in the first place? STEVE Yes. You know why? Because you know if you do this, you're gonna lose, and we're gonna look bad winning. I also got to say that I reject the suggestion that the best way to maintain free speech is by having government regulate it. JOSH [quietly] Reject whatever you want. STEVE I-I didn't hear that. JOSH I said reject whatever you want! You know, four hours ago, this was a fool's errand for me, and the President knew it. This was a test balloon. This was a 'just out of curiosity let's see what would happen if' meeting, but you've managed to get me on board. MAN Steve, we got a caucus. STEVE We got to go. They all leave the room. Josh sits still. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Mrs. Landingham comes out of her office. Charlie follows. CHARLIE Mrs. Landingham. MRS. LANDINGHAM I'm going to lunch, Charlie. CHARLIE Speaking of lunch. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah? CHARLIE The President's not too wild about his. MRS. LANDINGHAM What's the nature of his dissatisfaction? CHARLIE He said it's made almost entirely of vegetables. MRS. LANDINGHAM It's a salad, Charlie. CHARLIE The President'd prefer a sandwich. He says roast beef would be fine. Pastrami, sliced steak... MRS. LANDINGHAM Charlie, tell the President he will eat his salad. If he doesn't like it, he knows where to put his salad. CHARLIE Well, I don't think I will tell the President that, Mrs. Landingham, but I appreciate your help. MRS. LANDINGHAM You bet. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY The meeting continues. MIKE It ain't broke, don' fix it, Sam. SAM Officer... MIKE 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' works. SAM No, it doesn't. MIKE Yes, it does. SAM Do you like to know how much it doesn't? Eleven hundred and forty-five were discharged from being gay in 1998. TOBY That's a record. SAM It's a 92% increase since 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was implemented. 414 Air Force discharges--the highest in two decades. 271 of them during basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. 271 during basic training. TOBY Major, what the hell is going on at Lackland Air Force Base? MAJOR TATE I don't like your sense of humor. TOBY I get that a lot. C.J. [comes in] Excuse me. I'm sorry. I need Toby. TOBY Yeah. [to Sam] Come here a sec. Toby and Sam go to the door. Toby whispers to Sam. TOBY You're doing good. [to C.J.] What? Toby goes out into the CORRIDOR. C.J. I know what the piece of paper is. TOBY What is it? C.J. It's a recon-and-strategy memo that Mandy wrote when she was working for Russell. TOBY Strategy to do what? C.J. Beat us in three years. TOBY Did you read it? C.J. Yeah. TOBY Is it bad? C.J. Yeah. TOBY Let's go to my office. C.J. and Toby walk away. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY Josh comes in the White House. Donna is standing in the middle waiting for him. DONNA How'd it go? JOSH [surprised] How do you know to be standing here? DONNA I see you at the window. JOSH You don't have a window. DONNA You have a window. JOSH What are you doing in my office when I'm not there? DONNA Looking for you at the window. JOSH Okay. They walk off. DONNA How'd it go? JOSH It went fine. DONNA Just fine? JOSH Yeah. DONNA You don't want to say anything more than that? JOSH I don't, Donna, and the way that you know that I don't, is that I'm not. DONNA But this is our special time together. JOSH I'm really not in the mood to mess around. DONNA Okay. JOSH I need you to get me prepped on something. DONNA What? JOSH English as the national language. DONNA Why? JOSH Might come up. DONNA Why? JOSH Because...it doesn't matter. Because if we do a thing with the F.E.C., opponents will put English as the national language on the table. DONNA Are we for it or against it? JOSH Donna... DONNA I mean we're not in favor of making another language the official language, are we? JOSH Donna! DONNA Like Dutch of something. JOSH Donna, didn't I just say that I can't mess around? DONNA Okay. JOSH Yes. DONNA Bullet points? JOSH Yeah. DONNA Give me thirty minutes? JOSH Thank you. [goes into his office] DONNA Oh, and Toby said to come by as soon as you got back. JOSH Toby? DONNA Yeah. Josh hurries out. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. watches as Toby reads. Ginger knocks and pokes her head in. GINGER Toby. TOBY I'm not taking any calls right now, Ginger. GINGER It's- TOBY I'll call him back. Ginger closes the door and walks back to her desk. TOBY [reads] 'The reality of the Bartlet White House is a flood of mistakes. An agenda hopelessly stalled and lacking a coherent strategy. An administration plagued by indecision...' Someone knocks. TOBY Ginger! JOSH [comes in and closes the door] What's going on? C.J. Mandy wrote an instruction manual for Russell, and it's out there somewhere. JOSH Where? C.J. I don't know yet. JOSH How bad is it? C.J. Well, she takes the three of us to town. We don't look like rocket scientists. But, then again, we're not rocket scientists. JOSH Who is it bad for? TOBY The President... Leo. The President and Leo. JOSH We don't know who has this? C.J. I'm talking to everybody in the room. JOSH Do it quietly. TOBY And quickly. Whose paper will it be in tomorrow? We have to know right away. C.J. Yeah. C.J. leaves. Josh sits beside Toby. JOSH Our second year doesn't seem to be going a whole lot better than our first, does it? TOBY No. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. MARGARET'S OFFICE - NIGHT Toby comes in. Leo's office door is closed. He approaches Margaret, who's in front of her computer. TOBY Margaret, does he have a minute? MARGARET He's finishing up with the chairman. TOBY They almost done? MARGARET Yeah. TOBY I'll wait. MARGARET You having problems with your e-mail? TOBY Yeah. MARGARET Technical support says the pipeline's been flooded. Apparently it happened when I forwarded an e-mail to several people, and one of them tried to reply. Everyone's e-mail box is clogged with replies, which are now, automatically and constantly bounding back and forth at subatomic speed... [pause] I passed the where you're interested, haven't I? TOBY Yeah. Leo's door opens. Out comes Admiral Fitzwallace and another officer. LEO Thank you, Fitz. FITZWALLACE Thank you. Hey Toby. TOBY Good afternoon admiral. LEO Toby, you here to see me? TOBY Yeah. LEO Fitz, the President's gonna want to know is the Philippines redundant, that's all. FITZWALLACE It is redundant. That's the beauty of it. LEO Well, you're gonna have to convince the President of its beauty. FITZWALLACE Yeah. I will. LEO If you say so. FITZWALLACE [to Toby] Say, who are those guys across the hall? TOBY They're meeting with Sam on gays in the military. FITZWALLACE Why? TOBY Sam's trying to put together a coherent position. FITZWALLACE When he comes up with one, let me know, will ya? TOBY Yes, sir. By the way, there may be a major security breach with the White House computers. FITZWALLACE White House computers aren't secure. TOBY Well... that explains that. Margaret looks as Fitzwallace leaves. Toby goes into LEO'S OFFICE. Leo walks behind his desk. LEO He wants to put A1/M1s in Manila. TOBY The President's gonna say it's redundant. LEO Yeah. TOBY How much does it cost? LEO Not much. Twenty billion. TOBY So...there's gonna be a thing. LEO About what? TOBY Mandy wrote an opposition research memo for Russell, and somebody's got it. LEO Who? TOBY C.J.'s finding out. LEO Well, it's politics, Toby. She was playing for the other guys. TOBY Yeah... There's some observations the President's not gonna be wild about. LEO I move him to the middle? TOBY The sense is that his instinct is to be aggressive, and you take him to safe ground. LEO Okay. TOBY Leo... LEO Don't worry about it. TOBY Hey, look... LEO Don't worry about it. TOBY Want to see a copy? LEO No. TOBY Okay... Okay. [looks earnestly at Leo] CUT TO: INT. CORRIDOR - NIGHT Josh is walking. Donna comes from behind. She gives him a piece of paper. DONNA Josh? JOSH Yeah? DONNA Six pages on English as the national language. JOSH Is it good? DONNA I gave you some good stuff on James Madison and the- JOSH James Madison? DONNA And the Teriman resort- JOSH I didn't ask for a damn social studies paper. I-I- DONNA [stops walking] Don't snap at me Josh. JOSH Donna? DONNA Look at the memo. I gave you what you asked for. Don't snap at me. [starts walking] What's wrong with everyone today? It's been all day. Is it Mandy's memo? JOSH No. DONNA Why is everyone walking around like they know they already lost? JOSH I wasn't snapping at you. I just, I-I didn't realize that you also gave me the stuff I asked for. I thought it was just...you know, I thought you just gave me James Madison. DONNA Well, look at the James Madison. It's gonna help you. JOSH Thanks. JOSH'S OFFICE. Josh walks inside. Mandy is waiting for him. MANDY Hi. JOSH Hi. MANDY How is James Madison gonna help you? JOSH I really don't know. MANDY I meant that- JOSH The President wants to put two reformers on the F.E.C. Onorato says they'll retaliate by opening up English as the national language. MANDY The President's not gonna look good fighting against that one. JOSH I've been working here 14 months, Mandy. Tell me what else I should know. MANDY You should know that the President is not gonna look good fighting against that one. JOSH Mandy... MANDY You take an opposition to flag-burning amendment, school prayer, and gays in the military. You pile on no to English as the national language, and they will paint a picture. JOSH I understand, Mandy. MANDY Fine. I'm just saying that it's my job to tell you that. JOSH You know, today, isn't really the best day for you to tell me what your job is. MANDY I wrote an op memo, Josh. You and I have written 20 of them. JOSH You never heard of a burn bag? MANDY They got it off my hard disk. JOSH You know who has it? MANDY No. JOSH Then there's not much you can do for us today. MANDY You shouldn't let the President get into a debate on English as the national- JOSH Mandy, it's not gonna happen. Don't worry about it. It's not gonna happen. The President's not gonna nominate who he wants in the F.E.C. MANDY Why not? JOSH 'Cause it's not what we do. MANDY All right. I'll leave you alone. JOSH Thanks. Mandy leaves. Donna comes in. JOSH It's everyone that's feeling this way today? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Oh, okay. Thanks. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT The meeting continues without Toby. MAJOR THOMPSON Hang on! SAM I'm saying- MAJOR THOMPSON Hang on. A lot of those cases- SAM This report, by the way- MAJOR TATE We know the report. SAM I'm saying- MAJOR TATE We can read. We know the report. MAJOR THOMPSON We know the report. A lot of the cases you're talking about is the gays being discharged, came from voluntary statements- SAM And a lot of these are not voluntary statements, not by any definition given by any civilian court in this country. It is not a voluntary statement when it's given to a psychotherapist, as in the case of former Marine corporal David Blessing. It is not a voluntary statement when it's made into a personal diary, as in the case of former West Point cadet Nicole Garrison. It is not when it's made after being asked, as in the case of master chief officer Diane Kelli. And it is not when it is coerced out of a service member through fear...through intimidation, through death threats, in terms of criminal prosecution, as in the case of former Air Force Major Bob Kiddis, former Marine gunnery sergeant Kevin Keys, and four sailors aboard the U.S.S. Essex. MAJOR Sam, you take care of your guys; we'll take care of ours. SAM You're not taking care of your guys. Your guys are out looking for jobs. MAJOR THOMPSON Those weren't our guys. Admiral Fitzwallace enters. MAJOR TATE Oh my God. MAJOR THOMPSON Attention! The officers in the room swiftly stand straight. FITZWALLACE Good afternoon, Sam. SAM Mr. Chairman. FITZWALLACE Congressman. KEN How do you do admiral? FITZWALLACE Good to meet you again, Ken. [to Mike] We haven't met. MIKE Mike Satchel. FITZWALLACE From Oregon? MIKE Yes, sir. FITZWALLACE Percy Fitzwallace. MIKE It's an honor to meet you, admiral. FITZWALLACE I imagine it would be. Yes. SAM Uh, Major Tate, Major Thompson, this is Chairman Fitzwallace. FITZWALLACE They're not gonna speak to me until I speak to them, Sam. They're pretty well-trained. [to Tate and Thompson] Stand easy, fellas. [sees the snack on the table] Is this Danish for everybody? SAM Oh. Yes sir. FITZWALLACE [to Tate and Thompson] We're discussing gays in the military, huh? MAJOR THOMPSON Yes sir. FITZWALLACE What do you think? No response. FITZWALLACE I said what do you think? MAJOR THOMPSON Sir, we're here to help the White House form a possible- FITZWALLACE I know. I'm asking you what you think. MAJOR TATE Sir, we're not prejudiced toward homosexuals. FITZWALLACE You just don't want to see them serving in the Armed Forces? MAJOR TATE No sir, I don't. FITZWALLACE 'Cause they oppose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion. MAJOR TATE Yes sir. FITZWALLACE That's what I think too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change. MAJOR TATE Yes sir. FITZWALLACE The problem with that is that what they were saying to me 50 years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve with Whites. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...Beat that with a stick. [to Ken] We'll see you, Ken. [leaves] SAM Excuse me. Sam leaves and goes into the HALLWAY. He tries to catch up with Fitzwallace. SAM Mr. Chairman... Just, thanks for stopping in. FITZWALLACE You're not gonna get anywhere. SAM The President just wanted some exploratory meetings. FITZWALLACE Yeah. Fitzwallace walks away. Sam goes back to the room. CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT C.J. walks in. She sees Danny typing. C.J. Danny. DANNY Hey. C.J. I was hoping to find you here. I wanted to ask you- DANNY Hang on. C.J. I wanted to ask you- DANNY Hang on. C.J. waits impatiently behind Danny. C.J. Danny, is it the Magna Carta or-? DANNY I'm trying to finish a thought here. C.J. Go ahead. DANNY [pretends to think] I'm finished. C.J. Okay. You've heard there's a piece of paper out there, right? DANNY Yeah. C.J. You know what it is? DANNY It's a strategy memo for Russell? C.J. That's right. [pause] You got to know, I don't want exploiting our friendship in any way, and I certainly don't like taking advantage of any feelings beyond friendship you might have for me. DANNY Right. You have them for me too. C.J. I don't. DANNY Okay. C.J. I need to be ready for this...Do you know who has it? DANNY Yes. C.J. Who has it? DANNY I do. C.J. You have it? DANNY Yeah. C.J. And you're gonna write about it? DANNY Sure. C.J. Why? DANNY Look- C.J. Why? DANNY 'Cause it's news, C.J. C.J. It's not news. DANNY It is. C.J. It's not news just because it's entertaining, Danny. DANNY It's news 'cause a media director of a successful Presidential campaign wrote a memo to a leader of a President's party describing his weaknesses. Well, there are other people in the President's party. A lot of them buy my newspaper, and I think they'd like to know what Mandy thinks, and I don't think that's at all out of line. C.J. Mandy wasn't working for the President at the time she wrote this memo- DANNY I don't care if she's working for Bask'n Robbins when she wrote this memo. She's a key player in the Democratic Party, and she says the President is staggeringly vulnerable. And that may not be good news for you, C.J., but it's news. [pause] At this morning's briefing, you asked us to write about Easter eggs so I wouldn't be- C.J. Fine. DANNY C.J.? C.J. We'll have a comment for you at the end of the day. C.J. walks off. Danny follows. DANNY [yells] None of this is our fault, C.J.! C.J. None of what is your fault? DANNY Mandy thought it was a pretty accurate analysis, and you know it. You knew she was working for Russell, and you knew why. You knew she had to have written the memo. Why wasn't it the first thing you asked for when you hired her? 'Mandy, tell us everything you think we're doing wrong.' 'Cause you knew what she was gonna say. You knew she was right. You knew there was nothing you could do about it. [pause] You guys are stuck in the mud, around here, and none of it is the fault of the press. I know you're frustrated. But it ain't nothing compared to the frustration of the people who voted for you, so don't come in here and question my...'We'll have a comment for you by the end of the day'? When I want the White House to comment on a story of mine, I'll ask for it, C.J. [calms down] I got to do this. I have to do this work. C.J. Okay. C.J. walks out the door. Danny goes back to his computer. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT KEN I'd like to go on record by saying- SAM Congressman. KEN No. I'd like to go on record- SAM There is no record. KEN I'd like to go on record saying that I have no objection to what somebody does in the privacy of their own home. But when we're talking about schools, when we're talking about the boy scouts, when we're talking about an army barracks- SAM You know, Ken. There's something I'd always wanted to ask you. What does being gay mean you can't keep your hands to yourself? Over what kind of gentlemanly pride of the Armed Forces willing to lay claim the restraint in that area? You want me to get the file on sexual harassment on the D.O.D.? Do you want me to ask these guys about Tailok? KEN I've had enough of this. SAM And I've had more than enough of this! KEN Sam, don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue is the law. It's federal law, and it takes an act of Congress to change it. If the President were serious about changing it, he'd be serious about changing it. He would not send you in here with me. He would not send you in here with two relatively junior D.O.D. staffers. He'd call his staff together, he'd say, 'I want a resolution in the House. I want 50 high-profile co-sponsors. I want a deal, and I want it now.' Has the President done that? SAM The President's veracity on this- KEN Has the President done that, Sam? SAM No. KEN Okay then... Is this meeting anything more than a waste of time? SAM No. KEN Okay then. Everyone leaves. Sam sits still. CUT TO: INT. MARGARET'S OFFICE - NIGHT Toby, while waiting for Leo, is talking to Margaret. MARGARET I.T. support is now accusing me of being a hacker. They're accusing me of spamming or smurfing. They asked me if I was running a Trojan horse. I said no, I...I was simply informing the others that the calorie count in the raisin muffin was wrong. And it is, Toby. You don't believe me...You should take one of those muffins and you know, take it down to the lab. TOBY I'll do that. MARGARET Will you? TOBY Get me a muffin. Be careful not to handle it yourself. You want to use gloves. Slip it to me in a plastic bag. I'll send it off to the lab. MARGARET You're mocking me now, aren't you? TOBY Yes. Leo's office door opens. LEO Come in. Toby comes in LEO'S OFFICE. Leo walks to sit. LEO Margaret thinks the F.B.I.'s gonna bust in here any minute. TOBY Yeah. TOBY I got my second bit of bad news for you today, Leo. LEO You got new numbers? TOBY Yeah. LEO How bad is it? TOBY CNN/USA Today puts our job approval at 42%. LEO We dropped five points? TOBY Yeah. LEO In a week? TOBY His unfavorables are higher than his favorables for the first time. Fifty-four percent of the country is likely to vote for a Republican Congressional candidate in November. LEO We dropped five points in a week? TOBY Yeah. LEO We didn't do anything last week. TOBY I'll say. LEO Toby, when you start thinking about jumping ship, you'll let me know, right? TOBY One victory in a year, Leo. LEO Toby- TOBY Mendoza. We got Mendoza on the Court. LEO This President was elected with 48% of the vote, Toby. TOBY Yeah, but he was elected. LEO Without a mandate. The majority of people in the country voted for somebody else. TOBY I don't care, Leo. He was elected. He was sworn in. I was standing ten feet from the chief justice. LEO I'm saying it's not the easiest circumstance on... TOBY Who the hell said it would be easy? LEO ... One victory in a year isn't so bad! TOBY One victory in a year stinks in a life of an administration. But it's not the ones we lose that bother me, Leo. It's the ones we don't suit up for! [pause] And I'm not too crazy about you questioning my loyalty just then. Someone knocks. LEO Yeah? C.J. [comes in] Hey. LEO Oh. Hey C.J. C.J. The President's reading Mandy's memo. I just gave it to him. LEO I wish you hadn't done that, C.J. C.J. Why? LEO It's just gonna piss him off. C.J. It's gonna be in the newspapers tomorrow. LEO Did you find out who has it? C.J. Danny. LEO And he's writing it? C.J. Yeah. It should run right next to the new polling numbers. Josh and Sam come in from the other door. JOSH How did we drop five points in a week? LEO It happened. Let's move on. JOSH What I think is, the Senate will confirm Bacon and Calhoun. They'll have to 'cause their credentials are too good, and the voters want campaign reform. As a punishment, they'll roll out a legislative agenda designed to force the President to come down on the unpopular side of everything. For instance, they'll bring out English as the national language. I believe- LEO We're not gonna let it on the table. JOSH I think we shouldn't be afraid- LEO Josh! JOSH Leo, I think we shouldn't be afraid to get into it on English as the- LEO He's not gonna let it on the table. JOSH Then we'll live with their candidates for the F.E.C. LEO As we always have. JOSH Yes. LEO [to Sam] What about you? SAM My meeting? LEO Yeah. SAM It was the same meeting we've been having for... [beat] It was fine. Everyone's faces are covered with sadness. Charlie knocks and walks in from the Oval Office. LEO Yeah? CHARLIE I'm sorry to interrupt. [points to the Oval Office] LEO Yeah. Leo stands and goes into THE OVAL OFFICE. Bartlet is seated in a chair, with memo in his hand. Leo comes in. Charlie closes the door and stays there. BARTLET Who's got this? LEO Danny Concannon. BARTLET Why am I just finding out about this now? LEO We spent most of the day learning about it ourselves. BARTLET I really did wake up energized this morning. LEO I know. BARTLET I never go to bed that way. LEO I know. BARTLET Just once, in this job, I'd like to end a day feeling as good as I did when the day started. [pause] Are you bothered by this? LEO The memo? BARTLET Yeah. LEO Yes. BARTLET We've heard it all before, Leo. You drive me to political safe ground. It's not true. LEO I know it's not true. BARTLET Good. [heads for his desk] LEO You drive me there. BARTLET [turns] What the hell did you say? LEO And you know it too. BARTLET Leo? LEO We're stuck in neutral because that's where you tell me to stay. BARTLET You're wrong. LEO No. I'm not, sir. BARTLET You want to do this now? LEO Sir? BARTLET You came to my house, Leo. LEO Mr. President? BARTLET You came to my house, and you said, 'Jed, let's run for President.' I said, 'Why?' And you said, 'So that you can open your mouth and say what you think!' Where'd that part go, Leo? LEO You tell me, Mr. President. I don't see a shortage of cameras or microphones around here. What the hell were you waiting for? BARTLET Look... LEO Everything you do... BARTLET This morning- LEO Everything you do says: 'For God's sakes, Leo. I don't want to be a one-term President.' BARTLET Did I not say put our guys on the F.E.C.? LEO No sir. You did not do that. BARTLET Leo! LEO You said -- No! You said, let's dangle our feet in the water of whatever the hell it is we dangle our feet in, when we want to make it look like we're trying without pissing too many people off! BARTLET You're writing a fascinating version of history, my friend. LEO Oh, take a look at Mandy's memo, Mr. President, and you'll read a fascinating version of it. BARTLET You brought me in on teachers. You brought me in on capital gains. You brought me in on China. And you brought me in on guns. LEO Brought you in from where? You've never been out there on guns. You've never been out there on teachers. You dangle your feet, and I'm the hall monitor around here. It's my job to make sure nobody runs too fast or goes off too far. I tell Josh to go to the Hill on campaign finance, he knows nothing's gonna come out of it. BARTLET That's crap. LEO Sam can't get real on Don't Ask, Don't Tell because you're not gonna be there, and every guy sitting across the room from him knows that. BARTLET Leo, if I ever told you to get aggressive about campaign finance or gays in the military, you would tell me, 'Don't run too fast or go to far.' LEO If you ever told me to get aggressive about anything, I'd say I serve at the pleasure of the President. [pause] But we'll never know, sir, because I don't think you're ever gonna say it. BARTLET I have said it, and nothing's every happened! LEO You want to see me orchestrate this right now? You want to see me mobilize these people? These people who would walk into fire if you told them to. These people who showed up to lead. These people who showed up to fight. [points at Charlie] That guy gets death threats because he's black and he dates your daughter. He was warned: 'Do not show up to this place. You're life will be in danger.' He said, 'To hell with that, I'm going anyway.' You said, 'No.' Prudent, or not prudent, this 21 year old for 600 dollars a week says, 'I'm going where I want to because a man stands up.' [pause] Everyone's waiting for you. I don't know how much longer. BARTLET I don't want to feel like this anymore. LEO You don't have to. BARTLET I don't want to go to sleep like this. LEO You don't have to. BARTLET I want to speak. LEO Say it out loud. Say it to me. BARTLET This is more important than reelection. I want to speak now. LEO Say it again. BARTLET This is more important than reelection. I want to speak now. LEO Now we're in business! Leo goes to the table and picks up a pen and writes on a pad. BARTLET What's happening? LEO We got our asses kicked in the first quarter, and it's time we move up the mat. BARTLET Yes! LEO Say it. BARTLET This is more important than reelection. I want to speak now. LEO [while writing] I'm gonna talk to the staff. I'm gonna take them off the leash. BARTLET You have a strategy for all this? LEO I have the beginnings of one. BARTLET What is it? LEO I'm gonna try that out for a little while. Leo puts the pad on the desk in front of the President. It reads, 'LET BARTLET BE BARTLET.' The President looks at it and back to Leo as his chief of staff goes back into-- LEO'S OFFICE. The staff are still inside. Leo takes off his jacket and leans on his desk. LEO Listen up. Our ground game isn't working. If we want to walk into walls, I'd want us running into them full speed. JOSH What are you saying? LEO Well, you can start by telling the Hill the President has named his nominees for the F.E.C. Josh looks surprised. LEO And we're gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White House, but we're not gonna be threatened by issues. We're gonna put them front and center. We're gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy. [turns to Josh] That sound all right to you, Josh? JOSH I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States. LEO [to C.J.] Yeah? C.J. I serve at the pleasure of the President. Leo turns to Sam. SAM I serve at the pleasure of President Bartlet. LEO Toby? TOBY I serve at the pleasure of the President. Everyone turns their frowns into big smiles. LEO Good. Leo turns to his desk and gets a clipboard. He turns back to his staff. LEO Then let's get in the game! Toby, Sam, Josh and C.J. exit. Leo walks to a table to get a pen. He looks at the open door to the Oval Office. He sees Bartlet, who has been standing there watching. Bartlet nods at him. Leo smiles back before Bartlet walks back to his desk. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 1.19 -- 'Let Bartlet Be Bartlet' Original Airdate: April 26, 1999, 9:00 PM EST Transcript By: Giorgio August 1, 2000