President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) prepares for a town hall meeting with college students while the U.S. military races to find a downed American pilot in the Iraqi desert before the Iraqi military captures him. C.J. (Allison Janney) doesn’t relish the notion of misleading the press over rescue preparations. Likewise, Toby (Richard Schiff) tries to ignore updates from the distressed orbiting space shuttle which includes his brother David, a payload specialist aboard the craft which cannot close its cargo doors. Meanwhile, a huffing Josh (Bradley Whitford) is dispatched to run down and convince the wayward Vice President (Tim Matheson) to re-think his position on campaign finance reform.
THE WEST WING "WHAT KIND OF DAY HAS IT BEEN" WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN DIRECTED BY: THOMAS SCHLAMME TEASER FADE IN: EXT. THE NEWSEUM - NIGHT LIVE TOWN HALL MEETING THE NEWSEUM ROSSLYN, VIRGINIA In the alley behind the Newseum, there are waiting crowds and limos. BARTLET [VO] Here's another one. Two politicians are having an argument. One of them stands up and says, "You're lying!" The other one answers, "Yes, I am, but hear me out." The audience laughs. CUT TO: INT. CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS A monitor shot of Bartlet on stage. MODERATOR [VO] Mr. President, do you have time for one more question? CUT TO: INT. STAGE - CONTINUOUS BARTLET I don't think I answered the last one. Suzanne's got me telling jokes. Here's an answer to your question that I don't think you're going to like the current crop of 18-25 year olds is the most politically apathetic generation in American history. In 1972, half of that age group voted. In the last election, 32%. Your generation is considerably less likely than any previous one to write or call public officials, attend rallies, or work on political campaigns. A man once said this, "decisions are made by those who show up." So are we failing you, or are you failing us? It's a little of both. Gina is on a catwalk above the audience, talking to another Secret Service Agent. GINA We're moments away. I'm going to get the door. BARTLET . . .there's a guy on my staff who showed me a report from the Center of Policy Alternatives that said 61% of your age group agree with the statement "Politicians and political officials - In the lobby of the Newseum. Josh, C.J. and Carol stand in the room. Reporters mill-about. BARTLET [VO] - have failed my generation. When asked how older generations see you, your answers were "lazy", "confused," and "unfocused". REPORTER [OS] What's that source? JOSH The Center of Policy Alternatives. C.J. will have copies for the bus ride back. BARTLET [OS] When asked how you see yourselves, your answers were "ambitious", "determined", and "independent". [CUT TO: Bartlet onstage] Uh, I want to continue with this, [Bartlet glances offstage to Charlie, who looks very happy] but there was some debate amongst my staff earlier today as to whether or not I should take off my jacket. Some thought that it would fit in nicely with the folksy atmosphere of a town meeting, others thought that it wouldn't be presidential. Can I trust you all to read nothing more into it than I've been talking for two hours and it's a little hot under these lights? The audience applauds as Bartlet takes off his jacket. Sam stands at the end of the control room, reading some notes. BARTLET [VO] See all that ambition and determination doesn't translate into political action, Suzanne. Bonnie walks up to Sam. BONNIE Where's Toby? SAM Why? BONNIE He's got a phone call. SAM From who? BONNIE Peter Jobson. SAM Give it to me. BARTLET [VO] - that tax burden has crept further and further down the income and age ladder. And benefits are going more and more to the elderly and well-to-do. Totaling all payments to individuals... Toby is watching Bartlet on a monitor in the lobby. SAM Toby? BARTLET [VO] We spend nine times as much on the elderly as we do on a single child. Toby turns around. Sam shoots his arm up in the air in a wavy motion. Toby sighs with relief and turns to look over the railing to Josh standing below. BARTLET [VO] No wonder this upcoming generation has turned its back on a government that's forgotten them. TOBY Josh. [makes the wavy sign to Josh] Josh is at the bottom of the stairs. He gets Leo's attention. JOSH Leo. Leo turns around, Josh makes the wavy sign. LEO What's that? JOSH It's the signal. LEO I thought that was the signal for the other thing? JOSH It's the signal for this thing, now. LEO When did that happen? JOSH It happened just... who cares, Leo? It's the signal for this thing, now. LEO So, we're totally out of the woods? JOSH Go tell the President. C.J. is in the Newseum Press Room, walking behind the rows of reporters. BARTLET [VO] Overall entitlement payments have crowded out public investment in infrastructure and they will have crowded out public investment in education., to say nothing of the general quality of life. So college kids are facing a future of having to pay higher taxes... C.J. hits Danny on the back of the head on her way past him. C.J. Follow me. DANNY Why? BARTLET [VO] Today's young people aren't exactly living for tomorrow. C.J. I have a tip. DANNY You do? C.J. Yes. DANNY Okay. C.J. I have a tip and I'm going to give it to you before the others. DANNY Are we being watched? C.J. No. DANNY Then why are we talking like this? C.J. I have news. DANNY What's the news? C.J. I want you to acknowledge that I'm doing something nice for you. DANNY What's the news? C.J. A peace pipe of sorts. DANNY Yes. C.J. An offering, in one sense. DANNY What's the damn news? C.J. Call your science editor. DANNY Why? C.J. It's about the Space Shuttle Columbia. Leo walks behind the audience. As Bartlet speaks, Leo walks up in front of a monitor and makes "the signal" so Bartlet can see it. BARTLET Generation x advocacy group third millennium, 53 of 18 to 25 year olds believe the soap opera General Hospital will outlast Medicare. This from a generation convinced that the generation before them has ransomed their generation's future. That's why my youngest daughter Zoey is always mad at me. The audience laughs. Zoey looks down at her father affectionately. BARTLET This is the part where Zoey tries to crawl under a seat to hide. Don't worry about it, sweetie, I'll bring out the baby pictures any second now. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE NEWSEUM - NIGHT Crowds cheer on the side. Ron walks up to Gina. RON Straight to the car. GINA He's not going to work the rope line? RON There's a softball game the President wants to watch. GINA They show softball on TV? RON Well, yeah. GINA And the president watches it? RON He likes to unwind by watching sports on TV. GINA Softball. RON Whatever's on. GINA Okay. [surveys the crowd] CUT TO: INT. NEWSEUM AUDITORIUM - CONTINUOUS Charlie walks up to Josh in the back of the auditorium. BARTLET [VO] Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had bothered to write that down. CHARLIE Did you hear that? JOSH Yeah. CHARLIE He used it. JOSH Yeah. CHARLIE He used the material I told him about. JOSH Yeah. CHARLIE You were right. JOSH About what? CHARLIE It doesn't go away. BARTLET [VO] Thank you, everyone. God bless you, and God bless America. JOSH Here we go. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS Gina speaks into her wrist mike. GINA He's not working the rope line. Straight to the car. I've got Bookbag. Bartlet, the staff, and Zoey walk out to the limos. Gina escorts Zoey to one of the limos. ZOEY [to Gina] Baby pictures, he's heckling me with it. And visa card bills [on her father walking to the crowd] And look, now he's working the rope line. If there's ever a chance he's going to walk past a crowd of people. Charlie! Charlie walks up, while Gina apprehensively looks over the crowd. GINA [muttering] I saw something. ZOEY By the way, Charlie apologized to me. He made a full apology. GINA I saw something! In the crowd, a troublesome-looking young man looks up at something behind Gina's head. Gina turns around in slow-motion to see what he is looking at. Her eyes widen, and she's just about to scream... SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE SITUATION ROOM - DAY 12 HOURS EARLIER Various military personnel are running to and fro. Leo enters and approaches Admiral Fitzwallace. LEO What's going on? FITZWALLACE One second, Leo. [into phone] That was an SA-6? Surface to air? Thank you. That was Jabar Air Force base in Kuwait, says a Nighthawk didn't come back. LEO Didn't come back from where? FITZWALLACE A three-hour patrol in the No-fly with the Five and Dime. LEO Iraq. FITZWALLACE Yeah. LEO We have an F-117 down in Iraq. FITZWALLACE Along with the pilot LEO How much of this is confirmed? FITZWALLACE None of it. LEO How much time? FITZWALLACE I'll need ten more minutes. LEO Ten minutes, and then I'm bringing in the President. FITZWALLACE Confirmation in ten minutes. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE COLONNADE - DAY Bartlet and Charlie are walking from the Residence to the Oval Office. BARTLET It seems to me that if this event is over by 10:00, then I can be back here by 11, and you know what that means. CHARLIE Yes, sir. It means that you can watch the girls' softball game. BARTLET Did you just snicker when you said that? CHARLIE No, sir. BARTLET Yes, you did. As they enter THE OVAL OFFICE, an aide hands him a memo. AIDE 1 Mr. President. BARTLET Thanks, Lou. [to Charlie] When you said Girls Softball Game, you snickered. CHARLIE No, sir. BARTLET Yes, you snickered. As if to indicate there was something wrong with my wanting to see a girls' softball game live via satellite. CHARLIE Well, you seem pretty excited by it, sir. A knock on the door, and another aide sticks his head in. AIDE 2 They're ready for you, Sir. BARTLET Thanks, Phil. [to Charlie, whom he leads down the hall] I am excited about it! You come to the end of a long day, you sit back, you open a beer, you watch a sporting event. That's what men do. CHARLIE Girls' softball. BARTLET If that's what's on, then that's what they watch. It's either that, or a cricket match between Scotland and Bermuda. Now, I am an educated man, Charlie, but when someone tries to explain cricket to me, all I want to do is hit him in the head with a teapot. AIDE 3 [OS] Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Good morning, Patty. [to Charlie] So, it's softball. Sacramento State versus the University of the Pacific. CHARLIE Well, that's a clash of the Titans, sir. BARTLET Now, you're not going to spoil my fun. CHARLIE I wouldn't want to, Sir. BARTLET I'm going to get back at the end of the day, sit back, open a beer... CHARLIE And watch girls softball. BARTLET That's right! They walk into the West Wing offices. Greeted by more aides. AIDES Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, sir. BARTLET Hey, Steve. Hey, Mikey. [to Charlie] Listen, have I got any of the names right so far? CHARLIE No, sir, but you came pretty damn close to a couple of them. BARTLET Okay. Charlie and Bartlet enter THE PRESS ROOM, which is filled with aides. C.J. is inside. BARTLET Good morning, everybody! C.J. [pointing out the stage setup to Bartlet] I hope you don't mind if we get right to it. BARTLET Sure. C.J. It's a town hall meeting broadcast live on MSNBC. For the purposes of this rehearsal, Carol will be the moderator, she'll be seated at your right, which is camera left. You'll have a pitcher and a drinking glass. BARTLET And when I speak, I should stand facing the audience, right? C.J. Sir BARTLET Do you know how I know this, C.J.? Because I've done it 2,000 to 300,000 times before. [to Sam, who just walked in] Hey, Sam. SAM Yes, sir? BARTLET Why didn't the Columbia land last night? SAM I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET The Space Shuttle was supposed to land last night, someone told me that it didn't. SAM I don't know, sir. BARTLET Why don't you go ask Toby? SAM Why would Toby know? BARTLET His brother's on that flight. SAM Really? BARTLET He's a payload specialist. SAM I didn't know that BARTLET He's up there with four red-bellied Japanese newts. He wants to see how a newt's inner ears, which are remarkably similar to humans, are influenced by the absence of gravity. [to C.J.] Do you know what he calls them, C.J.? C.J. Astro-newts? BARTLET 100% right. [to Sam] Go ask him why it didn't land. SAM Yes, sir. Bartlet walks up to Stage and sits on stool. C.J follows him. C.J. Okay, Mr. President. CAROL Mr. President, the first question is... BARTLET C.J., you say I have a pitcher of water and a drinking glass. Now the water gets into the glass how? CUT TO: INT. THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY Toby is pacing in front of Bonnie's desk. TOBY And the question will go something like this, Mr. President, your administration has pursued a policy of, what? Constructive engagement... BONNIE Yes. TOBY ...towards China, even though it's a communist country that has systemically, what, imprisoned dissidents... BONNIE Yes. TOBY Okay, oppressed blah, blah, blah. At the same time, your administration has refused to engage Cuba. Why the double standard? GINGER [walking by] Interesting question. TOBY Thanks. SAM Toby? TOBY We need an answer on Cuba. We need an answer on Cuba, and we need an answer on farm loans. SAM Toby, college students aren't going to ask questions on Cuba. TOBY There will be faculty there. SAM You know, not only did I not know that you had a brother on the Space Shuttle right now, I didn't know you had a brother. TOBY Yeah. SAM I didn't know you had a brother! TOBY I do. SAM Do you know why the Space Shuttle didn't land last night? TOBY Why? SAM Were you aware that the Space Shuttle was supposed to land last night and didn't? TOBY What do you want from me, Sam? Is there something going on on the shuttle? SAM I'll find out. TOBY Thank you. And write me the answer on Cuba. SAM Okay. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY Josh is just getting in, and is all over the muffins and coffee. JOSH Donna? DONNA Yeah. JOSH Did you get me the meeting with the Vice President? DONNA I did, but you're not going to be happy. JOSH Jogging! DONNA Yeah. JOSH We couldn't really, this time, just sit in chairs? DONNA He's jogging at 2; it's the only time he could fit you in. JOSH Okay, order me boiled chicken and some pasta. Nothing like a meeting you have to carb-up for. DONNA You're supposed to be at the town hall prep right now. JOSH [walking into his office] Yeah, I'm headed to the Press Room. DONNA [VO] It started 10 minutes ago. JOSH [stopping behind his desk] Donna? DONNA [walking inside] Yeah? JOSH Where's my chair? DONNA We have to go. Donna walks out of office. Josh follows her as she goes by her desk. JOSH Where's my chair? DONNA What chair? JOSH The chair I sit in at my desk. DONNA It's at the shop. JOSH At the shop? DONNA You said one of the wheels was wobbly. JOSH Yeah, you call up a guy in maintenance, he uses a screwdriver. DONNA Well, I sent it to the shop. JOSH I didn't even know there was a shop. DONNA It's not so much a shop as it is JOSH What? DONNA My friend Curtis. JOSH Your friend Curtis. DONNA Yeah. JOSH Is fixing my chair? DONNA I'm throwing him some work. JOSH And how much is Curtis charging the Federal Government to fix the wobbly wheel on my chair? DONNA He said he'd have to take a look at the job. JOSH At his shop. DONNA Yeah. JOSH Okay. CUT TO: INT. THE PRESS ROOM - DAY MANDY Mr. President, there are more than 40 million Americans without health insurance, and a majority of them are children. In the first year of your presidency, you proposed no new... BARTLET I proposed MANDY ...comprehensive solution to the crisis. Can we expect real action in the future, or will your administration continue to nibble around the edges? BARTLET I wouldn't say my administration is nibbling around the edges. JOSH Don't repeat the phrase, sir, that will be the soundbite. If we don't have a solution, the least we can do is acknowledge that there is a problem. BARTLET I agree with you that far too many Americans don't have adequate access to health insurance, and that far too many of them are children. Yes, we can and we must do more. LEO Mr. President? BARTLET Hang on. [to Josh] Now can I blame Congress? JOSH Knock yourself out. LEO Mr. President, I need you in the situation room. Bartlet nods to everyone and follows Leo out. CUT TO: INT. THE SITUATION ROOM - DAY Fitzwallace and the Joint Chiefs of Staff rise as Bartlet comes in. FITZWALLACE Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Is the pilot still alive? FITZWALLACE He had an ACES II 0/0 ejector seat abroad. ARMY OFFICER NATO command in Brussels says the AEGIS system on the North Dakota picked up a tracking signal on the south peninsula on the Fao Peninsula, south of Basra. BARTLET He's in the middle of nowhere. LEO Who else is out there? ARMY OFFICER The fourth corps of the Iraqi RG were patrolling the area. AIR FORCE OFFICER Someone is within ten miles of the pilot. BARTLET Our guy is ten miles from the Fourth Corps of the Iraqi Republican Guard? FITZWALLACE It's a matter of who gets there first. LEO Fitz, you got a rescue scenario? FITZWALLACE Yeah, the 16th special operations group out of Hubert Field. LEO They use the PAVE Hawks? FITZWALLACE And the MH-53J. LEO [handing Bartlet photos] These are the special equipped helicopters. They fly treetop altitude at about 180 knots. PHIL Mr. President, can I suggest that rather than jumping into a military rescue mission - LEO Oh, please. PHIL That a phone call to the Iraqi ambassador LEO Bill, you wanna check with the embassy? PHIL I'm saying that three hours spent on diplomatic solutions LEO I'll tell you what, Phil. How about I drop you and your 47 million-dollar warplane that's already been picked up by Iraqi radar in the middle of the desert. Then you tell me if we've got three hours to find a diplomatic solution before we come and get you! BARTLET What's his name? FITZWALLACE I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET The pilot. What's his name? FITZWALLACE Captain Scott Hutchins. BARTLET Where's he from? FITZWALLACE Rhode Island. BARTLET How old is he? FITZWALLACE 26. BARTLET Rob told me in my intelligence briefing last week that the Iraqi government has put out a bounty the equivalent of 14,000 dollars U.S on any American plane shot down, or any American soldier captured. Now, he was just patrolling the No Fly zone, right? FITZWALLACE Yes, sir. BARTLET He had not engaged. FITZWALLACE No, sir. BARTLET Bill, if it ends up that Fitzwallace has to call this kid's parents, I swear to God I'm invading Baghdad. [to Fitzwallace] Get him back. FITZWALLACE Yes, sir. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. walks into Leo's office. C.J. Yeah. LEO Oh C.J., The Iraqis shot down an F-117 Nighthawk in the Southern No-Fly Zone. C.J. Is the pilot still alive? LEO Yeah, but he's caught between a couple of divisions of the Republican Guard. C.J. Is there a Pentagon...? LEO Pentagon team is coming over to brief you. C.J. Is there a rescue mission? LEO President gave the order about an hour ago. C.J. If the Iraqis shot down an F-117, they're going to want to tell the world about it. LEO Yeah. C.J. There's going to be film of a burning airplane on CNN within two hours, and the press will have the news before you get done with whatever it is you've got going on in the situation room. LEO Which is the problem of conducting a covert rescue mission in this age of instant news. You understand what I'm telling you? C.J. Yes, I do. LEO 'Cause there was a problem. C.J. Leo, I'm saying... LEO There was a problem a few months ago with India/Pakistan, you were uncomfortable - C.J. Leo. LEO You were uncomfortable lying to the press... C.J. I wasn't lying to the press about India/Pakistan, I was lied to by you, which made me look like an idiot. LEO Well, I'm not lying to you now. Four Mh-53 J Pay-lows carrying 80 guys from the 16th special ops are out flying under radar. C.J. We're going to pay a price for misleading the press. LEO I don't care. C.J. I understand. JOSH [enters] Leo, an F-117? LEO [to C.J.] You should go to your briefing. C.J. exits. LEO [to Josh] Yeah. JOSH An F-117 is a stealth fighter, right? LEO Yeah. JOSH At some point, we're going to be talking about how they shot down a stealth fighter. LEO You can take that to the bank. JOSH Anyway, I arranged a meeting with Hoynes. LEO When? JOSH In an hour. LEO Where? JOSH We're jogging. LEO Listen to me. Don't tell him why it's bad for us. Tell him why it's bad for him. JOSH I'm not worried about the meeting. LEO Come see me after. Josh exits into the HALLWAY and runs into Toby. They continue walking. TOBY An F-117? JOSH Yes. TOBY How did it get seen? JOSH I'm sure that someone is looking into that. TOBY I would think so. JOSH In it's defense, the stealth fighter is a generation of technology behind the B-2 Spirit Bomber. TOBY It's a stealth fighter, it should have stealth capability, right? JOSH Yeah. TOBY Because if it doesn't, we should call it something else. Josh snorts in agreement and veers left to his own office. Toby walks into his OFFICE, where Sam is sitting on the front of Toby's desk, waiting for him. SAM Hello. TOBY Hi. SAM One of the payload bay doors would not close. TOBY I'm sorry. SAM Specifically the starboard payload bay door. TOBY Sam, if your ass isn't off my desk, and I mean stat... SAM [getting up] This is not his first shuttle mission. It is his fourth shuttle mission, Dr. David Ziegler, holding postgraduate degrees in both physiology and biology. Now I know more about your brother than I do about you, since I didn't know you had a brother. TOBY A payload bay door wouldn't close? SAM I talked to the mission commander, guy name of Peter Jobson, he said the power drive unit on the starboard pay load door is jammed, they were going to need an EVA to fix it, and they didn't want to land till the morning. TOBY It's morning every 45 minutes on the shuttle. SAM Morning at Edwards. TOBY It's morning right now. SAM The EVA's taking them a little time. TOBY Well, it's a red-letter day for U.S. Aviation, isn't it? SAM Toby. Peter Jobson was very calm. He said it was a minor problem. TOBY All right, then go back to work. C.J.'s going to need the briefing room, so let's move prep to the Roosevelt Room as soon as the President is free. SAM I don't believe he's going to get anything on Cuba, but we're working out an answer. Also on teachers. TOBY Okay. [as Sam is walking out] Sam? Keep in touch with Peter Jobson and let me know as soon as it lands, would you? SAM Yeah. Bonnie enters. BONNIE Toby? TOBY Yeah. BONNIE CNN's got the Nighthawk. TOBY Thank you. CUT TO: EXT. ROCK CREEK PARKWAY - DAY Josh and Hoynes are jogging towards the Lincoln Memorial. JOSH There was a reckless deregulation of the S&L industry by a Democratic Congress, it was flooded with S&L donations. A disaster which nearly collapsed the banking industry and cost the taxpayers 500 billion dollars. HOYNES What's your point? JOSH We're no better with the money than they are. HOYNES Tell me about it. JOSH Three-quarters of all soft money coming to the Democratic party isn't coming from labor unions, it's coming from corporations. HOYNES Yes, I know. JOSH Over a hundred businesses gave both parties in excess of $125,000 in the last election. HOYNES I know. JOSH They gave it to both parties! This isn't free speech or political values, Mr. Vice President. I don't know how we've done it, but we've legalized bribery. HOYNES Yup. JOSH So, now what we've got is two corporate parties - one pro-life, one pro-choice. HOYNES Josh, like I said, what's your point? I mean, what's your point? JOSH We've noticed the sudden increase in racquetball and late-night poker games with democratic opponents of campaign finance reform. HOYNES Come on, Josh, this is Washington, DC, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a democratic opponent of campaign finance reform. JOSH Can we stop running for a second? [They stop running] You're backing the wrong horse. You read the same polls I do. President's gone up nine points in three weeks. 51% job approval - big deal. But he's going on national television tonight, that's going to be another 5 that's 56%, a 14-point bump in a month. HOYNES Look, Josh... JOSH Hang on. If we bring this pilot back home alive, that's another 10 points. And then we're off to the races with a job approval rating in the high 60s. Now every Democratic congressman in a tight race is looking to get his picture taken with the president, and you're looking around the racquetball court, saying, "Where did everybody go?" You've had some experience battling Jed Bartlet when he's right, and you've had some experience battling him when he's popular. Why in the world would you want to try it when he's both at the same time? HOYNES You know something, Josh, sometimes I wonder if I'd listened to you two years ago, would I be President right now? Do you ever wonder that? JOSH No sir, I know it for sure. [on Hoynes' nod] I'm done. Thank you for your time, sir. Josh walks off, Hoynes gestures to SS agents, and they continue jogging in the opposite direction. CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. enters with military officers to multiple camera flashes. C.J. Good Afternoon. A U.S. Air Force F-117-A Nighthawk Stealth fighter attack aircraft flying a routine patrol out of Al Jabar Air Force Base in Kuwait was shot down over the southern no-fly zone in Iraq. At this point, we don't know the condition of the pilot. We do know that the plane does carry an ACES II 0/0 ejector seat, and that is was activated. General Richmond and General Clancy will talk more about that in a moment. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! C.J. Danny. DANNY Is there a rescue mission underway? C.J. Obviously there are a number of scenarios being contemplated, but I wouldn't want to speculate. Leo is watching C.J. through the glass window in the back of the room. C.J. We have been in touch with the Iraqi government, and the President is looking for a diplomatic solution. DANNY [VO] There have been no military moves? C.J. No. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! C.J. Chris. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Bartlet and his staff are preparing for the Town Hall meeting. MANDY You could tag Congress as being obstructionist, but you have to first list your own accomplishments, or else you won't have any credibility. Sam enters. BARTLET Expanding healthcare coverage for 5 million more poor children. MANDY Yes. BARTLET Making healthcare portable for people who change jobs. MANDY You can also list the agenda for the coming year. BARTLET You know what's hard about all this, C.J.? C.J. Sir? BARTLET I'm rehearsing here without the pitcher and glass, it's totally weird for me. C.J. Yeah. MANDY How do you feel about him taking off his jacket? SAM No. MANDY I like it. SAM It'll look staged. MANDY Not if he does it at the right moment. SAM What's he going to do, throw it over his shoulder? MANDY Maybe. SAM I'm also not wild about the hand-held mike. Can we get him wired? BARTLET No, because with the mike and the stool, and the jacket thrown over my shoulder, and I can do the town hall meeting, and then do a couple of sets at the Copa. Zoey knocks on the door, and then enters with Charlie. ZOEY Hey. BARTLET My musical director, Zoey Bartlet. ZOEY Are you working? BARTLET We're down to do I or do I not take my jacket off. He goes out into the HALLWAY to talk to Zoey. ZOEY Do you want to know what I think? BARTLET I honestly couldn't care less. Listen, I want you to come with us tonight. ZOEY Dad, I was... are you sweating? BARTLET I'm fine. ZOEY Are you sure? BARTLET Yeah. ZOEY Did you take your pills? BARTLET Zoey! ZOEY Fine, then, go ahead and collapse. BARTLET Are you channeling Mom, now? ZOEY Dad BARTLET Come to Virginia tonight. ZOEY I can watch on TV. BARTLET It's not like being there in person. ZOEY You're going to talk about me, and the camera's going to go on me, and my face is going to turn red, and it's just going to be awful for me. BARTLET Bonus. Then it's settled. ZOEY Listen. Charlie wanted to say something during prep. BARTLET Okay. ZOEY I'm going to go see Mom. BARTLET And you're coming tonight. ZOEY Yeah. BARTLET Thanks. [to Gina, who's waiting near the door] Gina. He goes back into THE ROOSEVELT ROOM. BARTLET All right, everyone, we're done. Thanks very much. STAFF Thanks, Mr. President. Thank you, sir. BARTLET Charlie, Zoey said you had something you wanted to mention? CHARLIE I'm sorry, sir? BARTLET Zoey said you had something you wanted to mention. CHARLIE No, sir. BARTLET Are you sure? CHARLIE Yes, sir, there was justI'm sorry, sir, there was just a misunderstanding. BARTLET Okay. SAM Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah? SAM I was thinking that it might not be a bad idea to have a signal worked out. BARTLET A signal for what? SAM Good news regarding the pilot, if it comes while you're on television. BARTLET What kind of signal did you have in mind? SAM Something like this. He makes a slow, upward wavy motion. SAM Very subtle, very simple. BARTLET What is that? SAM It's departure. It's a safe departure. Would you like a different signal? BARTLET No, that one's good. SAM Should I spread it around? BARTLET Well, I think it's going to get around all by itself, but if you want to help it along a little, there's nothing wrong with that. SAM Thank you, Mr. President. Bartlet makes the signal to Sam, who makes it back at him. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Josh enters. LEO Hey, Josh. JOSH What's going on? LEO I just talked to Hoynes. JOSH Is he in? LEO Yeah. He's on board. You did a good job. JOSH Good. LEO Josh? JOSH Yeah. LEO Did you happen to say to him that if Scott Hutchins comes back alive, there'll be a ten point bump? JOSH I did. LEO I gotta tell you, if the President ever heard about that, he'd be out of his skin. JOSH Leo. LEO Even in private! JOSH I was just... LEO The guy's been blown out of the sky! He might be seriously injured. For sure he's in an Iraqi desert with no water. He's got to keep radio silence because we're for sure not the only ones looking for him, and if they get to him first, all he gives them is his name, rank, and serial number, they're going to beat him. JOSH They're going to torture him. This is to say nothing of the 80 guys in a helicopter who are going to get shot at if they're picked up underneath the radar. JOSH You're right. LEO I know the President's been joking around all day. But he's been living and dying with this every hour, and I know he'd be really offended if he knew that you were discussing a political upside. And I gotta tell you, Josh, as a guy who flew planes in the war, I was really offended, too. JOSH Yes, sir. LEO Okay. JOSH Okay. LEO Now, you did good today. I'm just saying that there's a way to be a person. JOSH I apologize. LEO Your apology's accepted. Leo semi-reaches out, Josh moves in for a hug. LEO [stopping him] What are you doing? JOSH It looked like you wanted to hug me. LEO Oh, man, did you read that wrong. JOSH Okay. LEO [stops him as he's leaving] Hey, Sam was here before. We've got some kind of signal? JOSH Yeah, for if we know something during the town hall. LEO Could be days. JOSH Maybe not. LEO What is the signal? JOSH It's this. [demonstrates the signal] LEO What is that? JOSH It's the signal. LEO It looks like a hip-hop gesture. JOSH It's, uh, a plane taking off. LEO Doesn't look like a plane taking off. JOSH [repeats it again] It means something good has happened. [does the signal going down instead of up] This means something bad has happened. [does the signal going up] This means something good has happened. LEO I've got it. JOSH You don't have to be a cryptographer. LEO I said I've got it. JOSH Leo. I really do apologize. LEO Thank you. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Charlie catches up with Zoey and Gina. CHARLIE Zoey, can I talk to you for a minute? ZOEY Yeah. CHARLIE I can't believe you did that. ZOEY You needed prompting. I can't believe you chickened out. CHARLIE I didn't chicken out. And I didn't need prompting. It just wasn't appropriate. He leads her into JOSH'S OFFICE. CHARLIE I don't have the same relationship with your father that you have, I don't have the same relationship that the staff has. ZOEY I don't think it's out of line for you to put your two cents in. Josh walks in. JOSH Hi. CHARLIE I'm sorry, we were just using your office for a minute. JOSH You can keep fighting in just a second, I just need to find something. ZOEY I also don't think it was out of line for me to stick up for you, since you were clearly chicken. CHARLIE Zoey, I work in a building with the smartest people in the world... Josh goes to sit down on his non-existent chair and Zoey and Charlie watch him fall to the floor. Gina pops her head in, concerned. JOSH [sitting up] Donna! Donna enters. DONNA Hi. JOSH How you doing? DONNA We should get something temporary so that doesn't happen. JOSH Yeah. Charlie and Zoey walk out. CHARLIE Anyway, I wish you wouldn't do that anymore. ZOEY Okay. But you're wrong. I'll see you later. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Sam approaches and knocks on door. TOBY Come in. What do you know? SAM Listen... TOBY Sam. SAM No, it's not... Cathy's getting Peter Jobson on the phone for you, he's going to tell you about this. TOBY Sam. SAM There was a screw-up when they closed the door. They were doing something, which is called a manual winch op, which means they disconnect the motor from the door, and somehow either as a result of that, or of something completely unrelated, the two OMS engines are failing. OMS are the orbital maneuvering systems. TOBY Do you know if they have primary RCS? SAM That's what they're trying now. Toby nods tersely. SAM Toby. If this were at a certain level, they would call the President. TOBY Yeah. SAM Seriously. TOBY Yeah. SAM Anyway, Cathy's getting Peter Jobson. TOBY Before, when you first asked me, the reason I reacted the way I didI was just embarrassed. Cause honestly, I forgot he was up there. They had switched his mission order around a couple of times and I just lost track of it. Cathy enters. Cathy Toby, Peter Jobson's on line 5. Toby picks up the phone. TOBY [to Sam and Cathy] Thank you. Sam and Cathy leave. Toby starts to talk on the phone. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet is lying on the couch. Charlie enters. CHARLIE Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah? CHARLIE Admiral Fitzwallace told me that he's on his way over. BARTLET Thanks. CHARLIE Would you like anything? BARTLET No. Hey, what was it that Zoey was talking about before? Bartlet gets up, pulls pills out of his pocket, and drinks them with a glass of water on his desk. CHARLIE It was nothing, sir. BARTLET What was it? CHARLIE It was uh, it was a report that's been sitting on your desk for a few weeks. BARTLET It has? CHARLIE Well, my desk, really. And so, I was reading it, and so I was reading it, and during prep this week, you've been having discussions with the senior staff about youth participation in the political process. You were saying... BARTLET What's the report? CHARLIE It's from a group called the Center for Policy Alternatives. And there's some things that hit home with me, and I mentioned it to Zoeyy, and that's why... Mrs. Landingham enters, interrupting. MRS. LANDINGHAM Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah? MRS. LANDINGHAM Chairman Fitzwallace. BARTLET Thank you. Mrs. Landingham exits. BARTLET Charlie, whatever it is, stick it in my briefcase, would you? CHARLIE Yes, sir. BARTLET Thank you. Fitzwallace enters as Charlie is leaving. FITZWALLACE Charlie. CHARLIE Sir. FITZWALLACE Mr. President. BARTLET Fitz, do you have any news at all? FITZWALLACE Actually, I think I might have something in a minute. They'll put the call through here. BARTLET Okay. FITZWALLACE Mind if I wait with you, sir? BARTLET No. Fitzwallace sits on the couch and Bartlet in the armchair. FITZWALLACE How you feeling? BARTLET I feel fine. FITZWALLACE Yeah? BARTLET Yeah, I feel fine. Fitzwallace looks down at the carpet. FITZWALLACE The eagle on the seal in the carpet. In one talon he's holding arrows, and in the other an olive branch. Most of the time, the eagle's facing the olive branch, but when Congress declares war, the eagle faces the talons. How do they do that? You think they've got a second carpet sitting around in the basement someplace? BARTLET I don't know. FITZWALLACE Maybe this piece in the middle cuts out and they do it like a basketball court. BARTLET I honestly don't know, Fitz. Mrs. Landingham comes in. MRS. LANDINGHAM Excuse me, Chairman, that's your call, the blinking light. FITZWALLACE Thank you. I'll stop bugging you in just a minute Mr. President. [into phone] Yeah? Thanks. [to Bartlet] Mr. President, I have Captain Scott Hutchins on the phone, he's cleared Iraqi airspace, and he's on his way to Tel Aviv. BARTLET Fitz... FITZWALLACE Congratulations, Sir. BARTLET The kid's all right? FITZWALLACE Sprained ankle. BARTLET Well, that's, that's a job awfully well done, Mr. Chairman. FITZWALLACE Thank you, Mr. President. BARTLET I owe you one. FITZWALLACE No, that's not how it works. BARTLET All the same, I'm going to check out that thing with the carpet. FITZWALLACE Talk to the pilot. [goes to leave] BARTLET Seriously, I'm going to get an answer for you on that. Fitzwallace leaves, Bartlet picks up the phone. BARTLET Captain Hutchins, this is President Bartlet. How's your ankle? Good. Now before you say another word, give me your parents' phone number. I never get to make this call. CUT TO: INT. THE BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT C.J. Radar officers aboard the Minneapolis monitored Captain Hutchins as his plane went what is called "Feet Dry" south of the 33rd parallel. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J. Katie. KATIE Did we use Saudi Arabian airspace, and if so, was it with the Saudis' permission? C.J. We did use Saudi airspace, we flew secretly on the way in, they were informed of the mission on the way out. REPORTER Is that when the British were told? C.J. That's when the British were told. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J. Folks, it's a few minutes after seven. Most of us have to pile into buses to get over to Arlington. All this material will be covered in much greater detail at the Pentagon briefing, which will take place 30 minutes after our return. That's all for now. C.J. exits as the reporters call her name. Danny gets up to go after her. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS CAROL Nice! C.J. I have to congratulate you, Carol. I was afraid I was going to see Saudi Arabia spelled with a 'y'. CAROL C.J., I'm a much better speller than you give me credit for. C.J. Yes. One "l" in Tel Aviv. CAROL Okay. Danny catches up to them. DANNY C.J.! C.J. In my office. They go into C.J.'S OFFICE. C.J. Danny, I don't even want to hear it. I did exactly the right thing. Your nose is bent out of joint, and I don't give a damn. DANNY You looked at me point-blank and told me you were looking at a diplomatic... C.J. Danny... DANNY You looked at me and told me... C.J. What did you think I was going to do, Danny? Give you longitude and latitude? Did you think I was going to fork over the radio frequency that we're transmitting on? DANNY You didn't have to answer the question. C.J. I did! DANNY You could have said, "Danny, we're not ruling anything in or out, and I'm not going to let you take me down that path" and we would have been done with it. C.J. Danny, if by standing up and lying, I misdirected Iraqi intelligence for even half a beat, then it was absolutely worth it. That's a no-brainer. And if I didn't, it was certainly worth trying. There were only 50 people in the world who can't understand why I lied this morning, and they all work in the White House pressroom. I'm sleeping fine tonight. DANNY You didn't have to call on me. Every hand shot up, everybody's hand shot up, everybody was going to ask the same question, you knew what your answer was going to be, and you called on me. C.J. Well, yes, I did. DANNY And you wouldn't have rather done that to a journalist that's been less supportive of this administration than I have? C.J. No, I chose you. DANNY C.J., I'm not staying in the penalty box forever. I've covered the White House for eight years, and I've done it for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the Dallas Morning News! And I'm telling you, you can't mess me around like this. C.J. Danny, I got to tell you, that was, seriously, that was a turn-on when you said that, though I don't know why you decided to be the most haughty on the Dallas Morning News. DANNY C.J.. Carol enters. CAROL The buses are leaving. C.J. [to Danny, who's still fuming] The buses are leaving. C.J. exits. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet and Leo are exiting. LEO Girls' softball? BARTLET Womens' softball. It's going to be great. Mrs. Landingham? I'm watching a live sporting event from beginning to end tonight. MRS. LANDINGHAM And when Sacramento State and the University of the Pacific get together, it's usually a barnburner, sir. BARTLET You're not going to spoil my good time for me, Mrs. Landingham. MRS. LANDINGHAM Oh, sir, I think we both know from experience that's not true. BARTLET Yeah. MRS. LANDINGHAM You needed to be in the car ten minutes ago, Mr. President. BARTLET Do you see me walking out the door? MRS. LANDINGHAM No, I see you standing and arguing with a senior citizen. BARTLET I'm leaving. He leaves, with Leo behind. LEO Sam's got some notes for you on Cuba, and some notes on farm loans that I'd like you to look over in the car. BARTLET [handing Leo his briefcase] You know what, I'll be at the car in just a second. LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET Thank you. He heads off in the opposite direction. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet enters. Toby's looking out the window. BARTLET Toby? No reaction. BARTLET Toby. TOBY Excuse me, Mr. President. I'm sorry. BARTLET You can't see them, they're over Australia now. I just spoke with the mission commander. They're trying firing something called an RCS? TOBY Yeah, it's the reaction control system. It's actually 40 separate engines around the shuttle. BARTLET If that doesn't work, they've got about 39 other things they can try. There's redundancy after redundancy after redundancy built in. And for good measure, they have Atlantis warming up on the launch pad. It can dock with the Columbia in about two hours. We can do that now, Toby. TOBY First thing the shuttle does after it leaves the atmosphere is open the cargo bay doors. That's what lets the heat out. Once those doors close, they have a pretty short window to get back before it overheats. BARTLET Then they'll open those doors again. TOBY How? BARTLET Same way they closed them - with a five-dollar wrench. TOBY Mr. President. BARTLET When we're done tonight, you should take the next flight out to Edwards' Air Force Base, meet the thing when it lands, stop being a horse's ass, and talk to your brother. TOBY Mr. President. I appreciate you trying to be a comfort, and I appreciate that you have some understanding of the situation with my brother. But the thing was supposed to land 19 hours ago. Obviously, there's a problem. It's space travel, and I don't believe any problem is minor. BARTLET Shuttle flies itself, Toby. TOBY No, it doesn't, Mr. President. BARTLET No, it doesn't. Bartlet exits. Toby slowly puts on his jacket and follows him out. FADE TO: INT. THE NEWSEUM - NIGHT Bartlet is already on the STAGE. BARTLET Thank you, thank you very much. That was a joke about politicians. [audience laughter] Two politicians are having an argument. The first one yells, 'but you're lying!' and the other one answers, 'yes, I know, but hear me out!" Gina walks on the CATWALK. GINA [to the other agent] We're moments away. I'm going to get the door. BARTLET I don't think I answered the last one. Suzanne's got me telling jokes. Here's an answer to your question that I don't think you're going to like. A man once said this, "decisions are made by those who show up." So are we failing you, or are you failing us? [hand shake] A little of both. There's a guy on my staff named Charlie Young, he showed me a report from the Center of Policy Alternatives that says that 61% of you agree with the statement "The older generation has failed my generation". When asked how the older generation sees you, your top answers are "lazy", "confused," and "unfocused". Josh watches in the LOBBY. Reporter What was that source again? JOSH Center for Policy Alternatives. C.J. will have copies for you on the bus ride back. BARTLET If I take my jacket off, can I trust you all to read nothing more into it than I've been talking for two hours and it's a little hot under these lights? The audience applauds, and Bartlet takes off his jacket. In the PRESS AREA, C.J. walks behind the reporters. She hits Danny in the back of the head. C.J. Follow me. DANNY Why? [follows her] Bonnie approaches Sam in the CONTROL ROOM. BONNIE Where's Toby? SAM Why? BONNIE He's got a phone call. SAM From who? BONNIE Peter Jobson. SAM Give it to me. Toby in the HALLWAY watches the President talk. SAM Toby? Sam makes "the signal" when Toby turns around. Toby nods in relief. Toby makes the signal down in the lobby to Josh, and then turns around and sighs in relief. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS Gina walks out to Ron. RON Gina! Straight to the car. GINA He's not going to work the rope line? RON There's a softball game the President wants to watch. GINA They show softball on TV? RON Well, yeah. GINA And the president watches it? Gina and Ron walk past a menacing looking young man wearing a cap, gray shirt, and the biggest "Bartlet" button in the world. He watches them pass, and then turns his attention to an office building window on the other side of the alley. CUT TO: INT. NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS Bartlet is still on the stage. BARTLET They're telling me that we're out of time. I just want to mention that at several points during the evening, I was referred to as both a liberal and a populist, and a fellow fourth from the back called me a socialist, which is nice, I haven't heard that for a while. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS Gina looks over the crowd apprehensively. BARTLET [VO] Actually, I'm an economics professor. My great-grandfather's great-grandfather was Dr. Josiah Bartlet, who was the New Hampshire delegate to the second Continental Congress, the one that sat in session in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776... CUT TO: INT. THE NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS BARTLET ...and announced to the world that we were no longer subjects of King George III, but rather a self-governing people. We hold these truths to be self-evident, they said, that all men are created equal. Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up. Class dismissed. Thank you, everyone. God bless you. And God bless America. The audience applauds. JOSH Way to go. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE NEWSEUM - CONTINUOUS Gina looks very apprehensively at the crowd. She looks right past creepy looking young guy, who's looking right at her. GINA He's not working the rope line. [into wrist mike] Straight to the car. I've got Bookbag. Bartlet and his staff are walking down to the limos. ZOEY He used it, you're feeling good about it, and you're looking for a way to thank me. CHARLIE It had nothing to do with you, and you were still unbelievably wrong. ZOEY I accept your apology. BARTLET Toby! Walk with me. TOBY Yes, sir? BARTLET What have you got to say for yourself? TOBY About what? Bartlet makes "the signal". TOBY [chuckling] Yes, sir! In the office building, bad men are loading ammunition. The creepy boy looks up at the office window. Gina meets Zoey at the end of gate before the limos. ZOEY [to Gina] ...baby pictures he keeps heckling me with, visa card bills. And look, now he's walking the ropeline. If ever there is a chance that he'll pass a crowd of people... Bartlet happy as a clam, works the ropeline. ZOEY Charlie! GINA I saw something. ZOEY Charlie apologized to me. A full apology. GINA I saw something! The skinheads in the office building are looking down at the scene. Gina looks around frantically, spotting the creepy boy looking up at the office building past her head. ZOEY [VO] Gina? The creepy boy turns to walk away and his cap is knocked off, revealing a "skinned" head. Gina turns around to see what he's looking at. Charlie turns with her. The skinheads in the office building raises their guns. Just as the first shot is about to go off, Gina yells. GINA GUN! Gina turns, knocks Charlie to the ground by the limo. The skinheads shoots into the crowd. Secret Service Agents and passersby are scurrying. Gina pulls Zoey down and shields her from the gunfire, yelling, "get down, get down!" The agents fire up at the shooters. Some of them pull Bartlet back and down. Gina shoves Zoey into the limo. Josh looks behind the gates in horror. Agents fire, the crowd screaming and scurrying. Secret Service snipers fire at the gunmen. The gunmen fire at the crowd. Agents shove Bartlet into a limo. An agent knocks into C.J., who's standing next to Sam. A police car's top. Its light shatters. Sam tackles [or falls into] C.J., bringing them both to the ground as a limo window shatters right in front of them. Firing guns. Scurrying crowds. Toby caught on the ground at the bottom of the gate. Leo being held down onto the ground by SS agents, saying, "stay down!" Overhead shot of scurrying crowds, one limo towards the background, one, possibly two, people lying prone, face-down on the ground in front of it. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. AGENTS [VO] Oh, god, we've got people down. People down, people down! Who's been hit? Who's been hit? 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 1.12 -- 'What Kind Of Day Has It Been' Original Airdate: May 17, 2000, 9:00 PM EST Transcript By: Nomad