Season 2 – Episode 13 – “Bartlet’s Third State of the Union”

Episode Summary:

There’s electricity in the air as the President (Martin Sheen) addresses the Congress for his third State of the Union address — which was intricately composed by Toby (Richard Schiff) — and while Josh (Bradley Whitford) anxiously tracks public response via a phone poll, a crisis looms when five American drug agents are taken hostage by Colombian rebels. As Josh spearheads the sampling efforts, he crosses paths with sassy pollster Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) and they renew their sexual chemistry. Elsewhere, Bartlet earns Abbey’s (Stockard Channing) ire when his speech omits mention of her passionate issues, including violence against women while an important cable TV political show host (Ted McGinley) sets up in the White House for a live post-speech analysis.

Script:

THE WEST WING
"BARTLET'S THIRD STATE OF THE UNION"
TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN
STORY BY: ALLISON ABNER & DEE DEE MYERS
DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER MISIANO

TEASER

FADE IN: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
8:54 P.M.

Staffers, including Mrs. Landingham, quickly move through the office. Sam
paces
nervously, waiting on the phone.

REPORTER [on T.V.]
We are, by my watch, six minutes away from President Bartlet's entrance onto
the floor
of the House of Representatives. This is his third State of the Union
Address. The
familiar introduction by the Doorkeeper of the House, Edgar Finney. Perhaps
some people
don't know that in order for the President to address Congress, he must
first receive
permission from the Speaker...

SAM
[into phone] I'm still here. [glances at his watch] All right. [pause]
Is that a yes?
Is it a yes?

Toby and Ginger rush by.

TOBY
Sam...

SAM
[to Toby] Be half a minute.

Toby and Ginger exit to THE OVAL OFFICE. Leo and a crowd of staffers are
standing inside.

TOBY
Mr. Pettit?

MR. PETTIT
Yeah.

TOBY
Delete 'vigorously' from the first sentence.

LEO
Which paragraph?

TOBY
367.

SPEECHWRITER 2
We're not going to vigorously pursue campaign finance reform?

TOBY
No, we're just gonna pursue it regularly.

SPEECHWRITER 2
Not vigorously.

TOBY
Not tonight. [to Leo] McGowan says we're fine. He feels the word
'vigorously''s
inflammatory. [to staffers] Change chokehold to tight grip.

SPEECHWRITER 3
Is that it?

SPEECHWRITER 1
Yeah.

TOBY
No, Sam's still on it.

SPEECHWRITER 2
We got like four minutes, Toby.

Bartlet enters, rolling down his sleeves. Charlie follows.

BARTLET
Where are we?

LEO
Sam's still on.

BARTLET
Bob Novak just said this was the speech of my political life. You know how
many times
I've heard that?

TOBY
Sir, Senator McGowan say's we're fine if we cut 'vigorously.'

BARTLET
Do it.

LEO
How you feeling?

BARTLET
Good.

Bartlet looks nervous as Charlie helps him on with his suit jacket.

BARTLET
Abbey's already in her seat?

CHARLIE
Yes sir.

BARTLET
[to Charlie] I said, my wife's in her seat?

CHARLIE
Yes sir.

SPEECHWRITER 2
We got four minutes.

LEO
We'll get him in the car. Let's go.

Bartlet looks up and follows Leo out.

SPEECHWRITER 2
Here we go.

The crowd follows Bartlet out to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

SAM
[into phone] I'm gonna tell him it's a yes. [pumps fist in air] Thank you.
[hangs up as they walk by]

LEO
What did they say?

SAM
[joins the crowd] We put our weight behind Sp 380. It's a highway improvement
bill.

They all walk out to the HALLWAY.

LEO
What else?

SAM
Set aside some U.S. park land...

LEO
What else?

SAM
That's it.

LEO
I want to be clear. This is the understanding that we build him a highway
and name a
park after him and we have the support for the Blue Ribbon?

SAM
Yep.

LEO
Mr. President...

BARTLET
Do it.

TOBY
Ginger!

GINGER
Yeah?

TOBY
Tell C.J. the green light on the Blue Ribbon. She'll know what it means.

GINGER
Yes sir. [takes off]

SAM
[to Toby] We'll write in the car!

The crowd exits to the NORTH ENTRANCE. Several limousines are parked in a
motorcade.
Sam and Toby walk to the front limo.

LEO
Sir...

BARTLET
Yeah.

LEO
It's a good thing.

BARTLET
The Blue Ribbon...

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
Yeah.

Leo, Bartlet and Charlie enter the middle car. The rest of the them enter
the rear car.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
8:57 P.M.
Josh paces nervously in a room full of computers and phones. He spies a
phone pollster.

JOSH
Excuse me... What are you doing?

FEMALE CALLER
I'm just...

JOSH
You were putting gum in your mouth?

FEMALE CALLER
Yeah, cause that's what I...

JOSH
'Cause that's a good idea to be chewing gum when you're taking a poll for
the President
of the United States. That's the sound people like to hear over the phone.

MALE CALLER
The poling hasn't started yet.

JOSH
Well, thank you... Mr. Helper.

Donna walks by, rescuing the callers.

DONNA
Josh.

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
[smiling] These people have done this before.

JOSH
They're not our people.

DONNA
They're Joey Lucas' people.

JOSH
None of them have accents?

DONNA
They're all out of the Midwest.

JOSH
I'm saying Joey Lucas is deaf. She would have NO way of knowing...
[suddenly turns, yelling] Do any of you people have accents?

DONNA
Oh my God...

Donna turns away embarrassed. The crowd stares at Josh.

JOSH
Do any of you people have the power of speech?

DONNA
They're fine.

Josh turns away and nervously looks at his watch.

JOSH
I should be there right now.

He walks off with Donna in tow.

DONNA
He's fine!

CUT TO: EXT. WASHINGTON DC STREET- NIGHT
The motorcade rushes down the street flanked by Police escort.

LEO [VO]
Therefore I am asking the leaders of Congress...

CUT TO INT. PRESIDENTIAL LIMO - NIGHT
Leo is on the phone...

LEO
[into phone] "...the members of both parties to join me in establishing a
Blue Ribbon
National Commission to fashion..."

BARTLET
[nodding] Yeah

LEO
[into phone] I want it for him when he walks in the door.

MARK [VO]
Gail Schumer, should we expect the White House to be doing...

CUT TO INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT
Several reporters mill around the Press Room. Through the partition we see
C.J.
conducting a briefing to a room full of reporters.

MARK [VO]
...it's own polling?

SCHUMER [VO]
You'd better believe it. This may well be the speech of the President's
political life.

C.J.
Excuse Me. I've got a heads up! There'll be a last minute addition.

CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT
8:59 P.M.

C.J.
The President will be announcing a bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission to
study the
long-term future Entitlements Programs. Obviously there will be more details
in the
address.

REPORTER 1
Why last minute?

C.J.
You know when I say 'last minute' I'm wrong. We're just under three minutes.

REPORTER 2
C.J... why last minute?

C.J.
It's something he's been going back and forth on. He wanted to make sure he
had the
support of the Democratic leadership.

REPORTER 2
And he does?

C.J.
Yes. I also wanted to remind you that "Capital Beat" will be broadcasting
live from the
West Wing for the two or three hours following the address so that area is
off limits
for carousing.

REPORTER 1
Capital Beat is doing live post game from the White House?

C.J.
Yes.

REPORTER 2
So why do they get special treatment?

C.J.
Because they're special. Enjoy the show everybody. [exits]

CUT TO: EXT. CAPITOL BUILDING - NIGHT
9:00 PM

TOBY
Those of us in the future will demand boldly putting aside our partisan...

CUT TO: INT. CAPITOL HALLWAY - NIGHT
Toby and Sam are hunched over a counter in the hallway.

TOBY
...blunders and abandoning our ideological... what?

SAM
Entrenchment.

TOBY
Those of us in the future will demand boldly putting aside our partisan
blinders and
abandoning our ideological... entrenchment.

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
[sighs] That's it.

SAM
Okay.

TOBY
This is it.

SAM
Yeah.

Sam hands the copy to a staffer.

TOBY
[sighs] Phone it to the Prompter.

The staffer walks down the hall and pauses to speak into his cell phone. As
he does,
the Presidential Entourage passes.

CHARLIE
Mr. President.

Bartlet stoops to tie his shoelace. Sam, Toby and Leo glance at each other
nervously.

TOBY
Mr. President.

Toby hands Bartlet the speech in a leather portfolio.

BARTLET
Thanks.

Bartlet shakes Toby and Sam's hands. Staffers applaud as the group walks
down the
HALLWAY to the chambers. Bartlet tries to hide his nervousness. At the
ENTRANCE to the
chambers stands an elderly gentleman. They nod to each other.

FINNEY
Sir.

Bartlet pauses, bows his head and prays.

BARTLET
[crossing himself] Amen.

CHARLIE
Amen.

BARTLET
Mr. Finney, would you tell the Speaker I'd like to see him please?

Mr. Finney nods then turns and enters the chamber. We hear the murmur of
the crowd and
the sound of the gavel...

FINNEY [VO]
Mr. Speaker... The President of the United States.

Bartlet enters the chamber leaving Sam, Toby, and Leo standing proudly.

SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES.
END TEASER
* * *

ACT ONE

FADE IN: EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - NIGHT

BARTLET [VO]
...continue to rise through every age...

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Josh and Donna sit on a stairway watching the address on a monitor. They
are surrounded
by callers.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...against every challenge, of people of great works and greater possibilities
who have
always, always found the wisdom and strength to come together as one nation;
to widen
the circle of opportunity, to deepen the meaning of our freedom, to form a
more perfect
union. Our best days lie ahead. God bless you and God bless the United State
of America!

The crowd erupts into applause. Josh stands, hollering and clapping. Donna
stands smiling.

JOSH
[to Donna] Tell me about it.

DONNA
He was brilliant up there.

JOSH
Up there is where this President eats! That is his place of business. Yes,
he did well.

Josh and Donna walk down the STAIRS to the main floor.

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
Let's find out how well.

DONNA
This is exciting.

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
So, what do I do?

DONNA
What do you mean?

JOSH
What do I tell them?

DONNA
Tell them to start

JOSH
Didn't you talk to Joey?

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
What did she say?

DONNA
She said her plane was late.

JOSH
[confused] What did she say I should tell the callers?

DONNA
She didn't say anything.

JOSH
Donna!

DONNA
Tell them to start, Josh.

JOSH
They're not supposed to receive special instructions based on...

DONNA
What?

JOSH
Time zones!? I don't know. I'm... I'm not a pollster. I thought Joey called.

DONNA
She called from the plane and said she was late.

JOSH
When is she gonna be here?

JOEY [KENNY]
Joshua Lyman, you have the cutest little butt in professional politics.

Josh turns to find Joey standing with a big grin on her face. Next to her
is her
interpreter, Kenny.

JOSH
Kenny, really, that better been her talking.

JOEY [KENNY]
I'm here.

JOSH
Where the hell you been?

JOEY [KENNY]
My plane had mechanical difficulties.

JOSH
This is the State of the Union. There was nothing you could do about it?

JOEY [KENNY]
No. Because as a child I never paid attention during airplane mechanics class.

JOSH
Is this the kind of Noel Cowardesque wit I can expect all night long?

JOEY [KENNY]
Yes.

JOSH
I want to start the phone banks. They need instructions.

Joey and Kenny walk towards the crowd.

JOEY [KENNY]
Is anyone chewing gum?

CALLERS
No!

Josh glares at Donna, who ignores him.

JOEY
Okay... start!

Joey looks smugly at Josh.

JOSH
I had already taken care of the gum thing...

CUT TO: INT. WEST WING LOBBY - NIGHT
The lobby is transformed into a set for "Capital Beat". Staffers stand by
behind the
scenes watching.

STAGE MANAGER
In five... four... three...

ANNOUNCER [VO]
Live... from the White House... it's Capital Beat with Mark Gottfried. Tonight
on
Capital Beat a special expanded edition... The State of the Union.

MARK [on T.V.]
Good evening. I'm Mark Gottfried and tonight our show is live from the White
House.
We'll be joined all night long by Republicans and Democrats, lawmakers and
pundants,
and we'll be talking...

Sitting behind a table on stage is host, Mark Gottfried, C.J., and
Congressman
Henry Shallick.

MARK
...to focus groups around the country. On the panel with me right now is
Deputy House
Majority Whip, Henry Shallick and the very lovely, very talented Miss Claudia
Jean
Cregg, White House Press Secretary. C.J., on a scale of 1 to 10, how did
the President
do tonight?

C.J.
[beaming with happiness] 14. You know, Mark, the President is a commanding
public speaker
and the bar is usually set quite a bit higher when it's a major address but
tonight he
cleared it with room to spare.

MARK
My official tally has him interrupted for applause 73 times.

C.J.
I have 72 times but I'll take your count.

MARK
Henry Shallick, how did the President do tonight?

SHALLICK
Well, C.J.'s right. The President is a gifted public speaker. We've always
known that,
and it's an admirable quality... not unlike juggling. Now if he had only
said something.

C.J. and Mark smile at each other.

SHALLICK
By my count, 23 of the interruptions for applause were for co-opted Republican
ideas.

MARK
Let's take a quick break. We're just getting started with our post game
analysis of
President Bartlet's Third State of the Union address. We've got guests
standing by
around the country. We'll be back with more Capital Beat right after this.

STAGE MANAGER
We're out.

MARK
[into the camera] C.J.'s not wearing any pants.

C.J.
Yes...

MARK
No pants whatsoever.

C.J.
It's cable! Carol...

STAGE MANAGER
90 seconds back.

SAM
[walks up to C.J.] Can I see you a moment?

C.J.
Yeah.

SAM
Can I see you over there?

C.J.
Can we do it here?

SAM
Why?

C.J.
I'm not wearing any pants. Can we do it here?

SAM
Sure, we're fine here as long as there aren't any microphones or cameras
around.

C.J.
Carol!

CAROL
Yeah. [runs up and hands her a robe]

C.J.
Thank you.

SAM
You look like a Rockette.

C.J.
Yeah.

SAM
Yeah.

C.J.
[ties the robe around her waist] You know why I'm not wearing any pants?

SAM
I just assumed it was the usual reason.

They walk off stage.

C.J.
I sat in paint.

STAGE MANAGER
60 seconds back.

C.J.
After the speech I went to the sculpture garden to get some air and take it
in and sat
on a bench.

SAM
And it didn't say wet paint?

C.J.
It did it turns out, but...

CAROL
[runs up] How's it coming?

SAM
Where'd you get the bathrobe?

CAROL
The Gym.

SAM
They have bathrobes at the gym?

C.J.
In the women's locker room.

SAM
But not the men's.

C.J.
Yeah.

SAM
Now, that's outrageous. There's a thousand men working here and 50 women...

C.J.
Yeah, and it's the bathrobe's that's outrageous.

STAGE MANAGER
30 seconds.

C.J.
What's going on?

SAM
Jack Sloane has an official reprimand in his jacket.

C.J.
For what?

SAM
Excessive force.

C.J.
[looks angry] How long ago?

SAM
17 years ago. There was a criminal charge... it was dismissed. There was a
civil suit...
it was dismissed. There was enormous community and political pressure from
local Black
Democrats.

C.J.
Our people?

SAM
17 years ago...

STAGE MANAGER
15 seconds.

C.J.
Okay, so they gave him an official condemnation.

SAM
Yeah.

C.J.
Does anyone have the story yet?

SAM
They will.

C.J.
I... [looks at the stage nervously]

STAGE MANAGER
10 seconds.

C.J. runs back to the stage. Sam and Carol follow her.

C.J.
I need to see the Police Officer. What was his name?

SAM
Sloane!

C.J. tears off the robe and tosses it to Carol.

C.J.
Right! [sits down and puts on her mike]

MARK
Take the desk away and I'd pick up three share points.

STAGE MANAGER
In five... four... three...

CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
Mrs. Landingham stands watching the T.V. Charlie walks in.

MARK
[on T.V.] We're back with out panel including Deputy House Majority Whip
Henry Shallick
and White House Pres Secretary C.J. Cregg.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Welcome back.

CHARLIE
How'd it look on TV?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
It looked good. Charlie, is it possible that C.J. isn't wearing any pants
right now?

CHARLIE
Yeah. She sat in wet paint.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
And she's not wearing any pants?

CHARLIE
Well, she's wearing underwear Mrs. Landingham. She hasn't gone smokeless.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Okay.

Mrs. Landingham turns off the T.V. and sits behind her desk. Charlie takes
out a slip
of paper.

CHARLIE
I didn't understand this note.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
The President was balancing his checkbook and came across an outstanding
check for
$500 that was never cashed. A check was written by the First Lady to a woman
the
President has never heard of and he would like you to ask her about it.

CHARLIE
The President was balancing his checkbook?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Why?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
He does it to relax.

CHARLIE
Okay.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Yeah.

CHARLIE
And why doesn't he ask the First lady about the $500 check himself in the
normal
course of, you know, being married to her.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
When the President inquires into the First lady's personal bookkeeping,
the First Lady
gets angry at him... and yells.

CHARLIE
Well, she's gonna get angry and yell when I inquire too.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Well, the President doesn't care so much about that. [smiles]

CHARLIE
Yeah, okay. This is a good job. [walks out]

MRS. LANDINGHAM
I saw you on T.V.!

CHARLIE
Cool.

CUT TO: INT. THE PRESIDENT'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Abbey stands in the room watching the speech on tape. She rewinds...

BARTLET [on T.V.]
To build this new future will demand boldly setting aside our partisan
blinders and
abandoning our ideological entrenchment. [applause] Therefore, I am asking
the leaders
of Congress and members of both parties to join me in establishing a Blue
Ribbon National
Commission to [applause] fashion...

She rewinds.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...boldly setting aside our partisan blinders and abandoning our ideological
entrenchment.
[applause]

There is a knock at the door.

ABBEY
Come in!

BARTLET [on T.V.]
Therefore, I am asking the leaders of Congress and members of both parties
to join me in
establishing a Blue Ribbon National Commission to [applause] fashion...

CHARLIE
[enters] Mrs. Bartlet?

She turns off the TV.

ABBEY
Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Am I disturbing you?

ABBEY
I just came up to change my clothes.

CHARLIE
Did you sit in paint?

ABBEY
I'm sorry?

CHARLIE
C.J. sat in wet paint.

ABBEY
In the Sculpture Garden?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

ABBEY
No. I'm not supposed to go to the reception in the same clothes in which I
went to the
speech.

CHARLIE
Yeah.

ABBEY
I could just tell people that I have two outfits exactly alike.

CHARLIE
That's what I do.

ABBEY
[smiles] What do you need?

CHARLIE
Ma'am, I'd like you to bear in mind that I'm not wearing pads, or a helmet
or contact
gear of any kind. A $500 check that hasn't been cashed. It's written to
named...

ABBEY
Oh, how long has that been up his ass?!

CHARLIE
Well I wouldn't know ma'am, but...

ABBEY
[angry] Her name is Jane Robinson. I read an article about her a few months
ago.

CHARLIE
Her husband threw her out...

ABBEY
He set fire to the bed.

CHARLIE
And she bought the kids Christmas presents early and they were ruined.

ABBEY
So I sent her $500.

CHARLIE
Well, she hasn't cashed it. I'll make sure it got to her.

ABBEY
Thank you.

CHARLIE
Thank you, Ma'am

Charlie leaves quickly. Abbey sits in the bed, turning the TV back on.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...me in establishing a Blue Ribbon National Commission...

CUT TO: EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
Sound of party music.

CUT TO: INT. RECEPTION HALL - CONTINUOUS
A reception room is brightly lit and filled with party guests. Music is
playing while
waiters circulate with drinks and noshes.

PARTY GUEST
Hey! Sam Seaborn, everybody!

Sam enters the party to applause.

SAM
See? You guys said I couldn't write comedy.

Sam spots Leo in the middle of the room.

LEO
You talk to C.J.?

SAM
Yeah.

LEO
The Dial-up groups are huge... middle class tax cuts, Social Security.

SAM
What about polling?

LEO
Josh and Joey will have early numbers in an hour. My point is this police
officer...
The President pointed to him and asked him to stand.

Margaret
[walks up] Leo.

SAM
Let C.J. talk to him.

LEO
Is he here?

SAM
Yeah.

LEO
No pictures anywhere near the President.

SAM
Yeah. [walks off]

MARGARET
They need you in the Situation Room. [walks away with Leo]

CUT TO INT. SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
A group of people in suits and uniforms are assembled around the table as
Leo enters.

LEO
What's going on?

STAFFER
Leo, we believe 5 DEA Agents have been abducted in Columbia.

LEO
Where?

STAFFER
On a road between Bogot. and a training base in Puente Mayo.

LEO
Was it the C.R.F?

STAFFER
We don't know.

LEO
Do we think it was the C.R.F?

STAFFER
Yeah.

LEO
Can the Agents be identified as U.S. Drug Enforcement?

STAFFER
They're carrying badges.

LEO
From Bogot. to Puente Mayo? They're gonna shoot these guys.

STAFFER
Leo, I have...

LEO
All I know is the Press Corps's upstairs and there's a live TV show being
broadcasting
next door. [to Marine Officer] I need to meet with State, Justice, and the
Pentagon...
and it needs to happen softly.

MARINE OFFICER
Yes sir.

Leo sits down at the table and shuffles through the folders.

LEO
This was almost a good night.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
Sounds of people talking on the phone.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Joey and Kenny circulate through the Calling Bank. Donna is standing nearby.

JOEY [KENNY]
Donna!

DONNA
Yeah?

JOEY [KENNY]
It's going well. It's a 17% response rate.

DONNA
Great.

JOSH
[walks up] Jack Sloane was reprimanded for excessive violence by the Detroit
Police
Department.

DONNA
How long ago?

JOSH
17 years.

DONNA
What happened?

JOSH
I don't know. He made a bust. He broke the guys leg. The DA couldn't make
a case.
The civil suit was dismissed but it's there.

JOEY [KENNY]
Who's Jack Sloane?

JOSH
From tonight.

Joey looks confused.

JOSH
The police officer.

JOEY [KENNY]
I wasn't there. I was on a plane with mechanical difficulties...

JOSH
Officer Jack Sloane of the Detroit Police Department was added at the last
minute to
the invited guests that are recognized by the President at the speech.

DONNA
He was the off-duty cop who...

JOEY [KENNY]
At the Elementary School?

DONNA
Yeah.

JOEY [KENNY]
He wasn't vetted?

JOSH
[starts pacing] It was last minute. When do I see numbers?

DONNA
Joey says it's going good.

JOSH
Great! When do I see numbers?

JOEY [KENNY]
There's a 17% response rate.

JOSH
Fantastic. When do I see numbers?

JOEY
You need patience, Joshua!

JOSH
I need numbers, Tonto!

JOEY [KENNY]
The poll's an hour old!

JOSH
You get early numbers....

JOEY [KENNY]
When I get them, you'll have them.

JOSH
So, what do you do in the meantime?

JOEY
I'm getting a doughnut. [walks off]

JOSH
Okay.

Josh watches them walk off. He sighs and wanders over to a desk. Donna
follows.

JOSH
I'm plagued by this nonsense Donna. I swear, it's just reaching epidemic
proportions.
Those numbers are gonna show we had a big night and the balance is gonna be
dragged down
by a news cycle that won't shake the cops. [sits]

DONNA
You should ask her out.

JOSH
I'm sorry?

DONNA
You should ask Joey out. Tonight could be the night.

JOSH
The night to do what?

DONNA
To ask her out.

JOSH
Get a doughnut!

DONNA
Okay.

Donna wanders off. Josh grabs his phone.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
Margaret wanders past a monitor on the way to the Lobby.

MARK [on T.V.]
Before we go to commercial again just let me ask for predictions. How big
a bump does
the President get on this speech?

She approaches a small group of people laughing. One is MICKEY TROOP, the
Secretary
of State.

MARGARET
Excuse me, Mr. Secretary?

MICKEY TROOP
Yes?

MARGARET
I'm sorry for interrupting but LEO McGarry was wondering if you could come
say hello
to an old friend of his.

MICKEY
Certainly. Would you excuse me please?

They wander off.

MARGARET
Sit Room.

MICKEY
Thank you. [puts his drink down]

CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
The group is sitting around the table.

LEO
Are we verifying exactly who was at the Lab?

DEA REP
We verified Agents McGraff and Nunn, but we still can't verify the other
three.

LEO
I don't want to misnotify the families.

MICKEY
[comes in and sits] Leo.

LEO
Mickey, 2:00 P.M. local time in Bogot., 5 DEA Agents assisting police in
evidence
gathering at a cocaine lab were taken by the CRF.

MICKEY
Are they alive?

LEO
We think so.

MICKEY
Okay. Puente Mayo is an Affronte stronghold. The C lab the Agents grabbed
was one of their
top producing cocaine labs. I'm gonna open a dialog... we're gonna do it
with one of their
own commanders.

LEO
Who are they talking too?

MICKEY
They'll tell us but I think it's gonna be Nelson Guerra. He's a friend of
Jeffe.

LEO
Get me everything on him.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir.

LEO
Is there anybody close by on the ground?

ROBBIE
The closest we've got is Tres Encinas.

LEO
Who's there?

COLONEL
6 Commanders and 13 support.

LEO
Really.

ROBBIE
Yeah.

LEO
How many people are gonna be guarding wherever these guys are being taken too?

MICKEY
Five, six hundred.

LEO
Not the numbers you're hoping for if you're contemplating a massive attack
and rescue mission.

MICKEY
No.

LEO
Tell Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg to submit three plans for a
unilateral op. They
have an hour.

ROBBIE
Yes, sir.

LEO
[stands] We should let these 19 guys at Tres Encinas know they're in it now
too.

CAPTAIN
Yes, sir.

Leo walks out.

CUT TO: INT. WEST WING LOBBY - NIGHT
This time on the Capitol Beat dais are Ainsley Hayes and GRETCHEN TYLER of
the ACLU.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
I challenge all our schools to teach character education. To teach values. To
teach
citizenship. If it means our kids will pay more attention to mathematics,
and English
literature, and history, and science, and the arts, and less attention to
designer
labels, [applause] Then our public schools should be able to require students
to wear
school uniforms.

MARK
School uniforms from a liberal democrat. What was the sound we just
heard? [laughs]
Joining us now on our panel is Associate White House Counsel Ainsley Hayes. To
my left,
Gretchen Tyler, Director of Public Education for the ACLU. Gretchen let's
start with you.
Were you surprised?

GRETCHEN TYLER
I was surprised, Mark. I was disappointed. This President has always had
strong 1st Amendment
credentials.

MARK
What's the position of the ACLU?

TYLER
The position of the ACLU is that every child in the country has the legal
right to public
education. And that can't be conditioned on compliance with a uniform policy.

MARK
Ainsley?

AINSLEY
I think Gretchen's point is well taken and...

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS
Staffers stand around in the Communications Bullpen watching a TV. Sam is
among them.

AINSLEY [on T.V.]
...in that I'm' not 100% sure what the President suggested tonight is
Constitutional.
What I can tell you is that he is concerned about the kids left out...

Sam looks unhappy and sighs.

AINSLEY
...because they can't afford the clothes some of their friends wear.

Sam walks out to the HALLWAY into the LOBBY.

AINSLEY
He's also taken serious note of any number of studies done by educational
experts that show
by and large kids will do better wearing uniforms.

A guard opens the door to the LOBBY. Sam enters and stands off stage.

TYLER
It should be noted that there already are dress restrictions on public school
kids. They're
not allowed to wear inappropriate clothing or wear something obscene on
their t-shirts.

AINSLEY
It should also be noted that those restrictions were over the strong objection
of the ACLU.

MARK
Ainsley, gauge for us how strongly the President feels about this.

AINSLEY
Well, he included it in his State of the Union Address.

MARK
But, from your conversations with him personally.

AINSLEY
Oh, I haven't' had any conversations with him personally.

MARK
On this.

AINSLEY
On anything. I've never met him. I'm an Associate Counsel. The Chinese food
guy's got more
access than I do.

MARK
[surprised] And yet they have you out here speaking for the White House.

AINSLEY
Yeah! [smiles] It's a really big night for me. [laughs]

MARK
All right. We'll be back with Gretchen Tyler and Ainsley Hayes and more
guests as the night
goes on. We're going to send you to New York for some other news. Stay with
us. Here's Frank
and Judy.

STAGE MANAGER
We're out.

MARK
[to Ainsley] You crack me up.

AINSLEY
[laughs] Thank you.

SAM
Hey, Gracie...

AINSLEY
Hey, Sam! [takes off her mike]

SAM
Mark, she have time?

MARK
It's a five-minute newsbreak.

Ainsley leaves the stage and follows Sam.

AINSLEY
[smiles] Have you been watching?

SAM
Yes.

AINSLEY
Aren't I delightful?

SAM
Yes.

They exit to the HALLWAY.

SAM
You know what I'd like? I'd like if you didn't say you weren't 100% sure
the President's
proposal isn't Constitutional.

AINSLEY
The ACLU has a reasonable case to make against the President.

SAM
They did a fine job of making it's without the help of the President's lawyer.

They both walk into SAM'S OFFICE.

AINSLEY
That's a fair point!

SAM
How have you never met the President?

AINSLEY
I haven't.

SAM
You've been working here 3 months.

AINSLEY
He works in the Oval Office and I work in the Steam pipe Trunk Distribution
Venue. I can't
believe we've haven't run into each other.

SAM
I'll set up an introduction.

AINSLEY
No.

SAM
You can meet him tonight.

AINSLEY
No way.

SAM
It's no problem.

AINSLEY
Yes, it is.

SAM
[looks smug] Are you scared to meet the President?

AINSLEY
I'm not scared to meet the President.

SAM
Yeah, you are.

AINSLEY
I am not scared to meet the President cause I'm not gonna meet the President.

SAM
Ainsley...

AINSLEY
[whining] I'm having a good night. I just want to keep having a good night. I
don't want to
live in fear of the inevitable bumbling of the English language that will
occur and the
mortification that will ensue.

SAM
That sounds pretty bad.

AINSLEY
[stammers] I am... yes... I am indeed... Yes, I am scared to meet the
President.

SAM
And that sounds really bad.

AINSLEY
Yes.

SAM
Okay, well when you meet him, you meet him.

AINSLEY
No need to rush that day. [walks out]

SAM
Right. [runs after her] Okay, can I talk to you about adrenaline for a second?

AINSLEY
Adrenaline?

SAM
Yeah. You're feeling it right now and it's gonna get even more cause it's
a big night,
and you were a hit and you've never experienced anything like this.

They stand outside the LOBBY.

AINSLEY
And you think I'm going to have a nutty.

SAM
I'm saying don't drink until you're off television.

AINSLEY
God! Thanks Sam for that debating tip. You have a feel for nuances. You say
I shouldn't
be drunk when I'm representing the White House.

SAM
Yeah. And remember you're a blond, republican girl and that nobody likes you.

AINSLEY
I'm going back on television now.

SAM
Try to remember you're on our side.

Ainsley reenters the lobby and Sam walks off.

CUT TO: INT. RECEPTION HALL - NIGHT
Abbey stands on a stage in front of the guests. The crowd is laughing.

ABBEY
Thank you. Thank you. Sam Seaborn wrote that line for me. You know, there's
a lot of polling
going on right now. The Instant Dial-Up Focus groups predict tonight's speech
was a success.
[applause] And I'm sure where Josh is over at the phone banks they'll be
confirming that.
But, when the numbers are crunched and the polls are taken I think everyone
here realizes
that the truly important thing is that I changed my hair. [laughter] Seriously,
um, this is
not my official toast. My official toast is later. I just wanted to say
informally before
the President got here. Thank you so much for your hard work and enjoy
tonight's success.

Abbey toasts the crowd and steps off the stage. Leo walks up.

LEO
[quietly] Your hair looks great by the way.

ABBEY
That's great. So, what's going on with Jack Sloane?

LEO
C.J.'s on it. So, we were able to get the language in about the Blue Ribbon
Commission.

ABBEY
Yeah.

They stop walking.

LEO
We were able to get it in at the last minute. We got our guys who changed
the language to
broaden the...

ABBEY
[angry] I was there, Leo.

LEO
We changed the language at the last minute, Abbey. If you want to be pissed
at someone, the
architect of...

ABBEY
I don't want to be pissed at anyone but thanks for asking. And I don't need
to be told who
the architect of tonight's speech was.

Toby enters to applause and handshakes.

PARTY GUEST
Toby Ziegler!

Abbey leaves Leo and approaches Toby with a forced smile of her face. He
leans in close as
they shake hands.

ABBEY
I want to see you in your office in half an hour. Got it?

TOBY
Yes, Ma'am. [looks around uncomfortably]

ABBEY
Keep shaking hands.

Photographers snap their pictures as Toby and Abbey shake hands.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

CONGRESSMAN [VO]
Hang on...

AINSLEY [VO]
Congressman, he didn't say that. You weren't listening.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Josh sits on a couch rapidly thumbing through "Vogue." A T.V. is playing
Capitol Beat.
On the dais are Ainsley and a congressman.

CONGRESSMAN [on T.V.]
He said...

AINSLEY [on T.V.]
What he said what that standardized testing would be more acceptable if
these vast limitations
were understood.

MARK [on T.V.]
What about the New York City testing scores that Hal Jaffe just cited a
while ago?

Josh glances at the T.V. and tosses away a magazine insert.

JOSH
Six out of ten were black or Hispanic.

AINSLEY [on T.V.]
...forgot to mention was that six out of 10 of those New York City students
were either black
or Hispanic.

Donna leans over the back of the couch.

JOSH [to the T.V.]
Right on the button.

DONNA
So Josh...

JOSH
No.

DONNA
Are you still thinking?

JOSH
We're still doing this?

DONNA
Have you asked her out yet?

JOSH [sighs]
Donna...

DONNA
Cause the last time I asked you you hadn't asked her out yet.

JOSH
What is taking so long? [gets up and paces]

DONNA
'Joey, would you like to go out Friday night.' You know, you have to say
it. You have to
ask a girl out on a date. You can't just randomly tumble into a girl sideways
and hopes she
breaks up with you soon like you always do. [sits down at a desk]

JOSH
Why not?

DONNA
Cause you can't!

JOSH
You just said I always do.

DONNA
Josh, I can help you or not help you. It's up to you.

JOSH
Then I absolutely choose NOT helping me.

DONNA
You want me to ask her out for you?

Joey and Kenny walk by.

JOSH [sarcastic]
Yeah. That's exactly what I want you to do.

DONNA
Joey... [gets up]

JOSH
Sit down. [Both sit.] Where are the first numbers?

JOEY [KENNY]
Soon.

JOSH
How soon?

JOEY [KENNY]
Five minutes.

JOSH
You said five minutes 15 minutes ago!

JOEY [KENNY]
The response rate slowed down.

JOSH
Why?

JOEY [KENNY]
People are going to bed.

JOSH
Yeah, but the response rate didn't stop, right? Not everyone went to bed. If
they did that
would be phenomenal. It would be a phenomenon!

JOEY [KENNY]
The response rate slowed down and you need to have some juice and crackers.

JOSH
America is talking and I'm trying to hear what they're saying.

JOEY [KENNY]
They're saying that you're an egomaniac who needs to know the public loves
you and that
you'll have the numbers in five minutes.

JOSH
Well, I don't think that is what they're saying but absent any other
information...

JOEY
[frustrated] Josh...

JOSH
Joey, it's the State of the Union. We worked on this speech for three months!

JOEY [KENNY]
You will hear America speak...

JOSH
In five minutes.

JOEY [KENNY]
In five minutes.

As Josh sighs, there is a loud bang and the entire block is plunged into
darkness. People
complain and they look around.

JOEY [KENNY]
May take a little longer now.

They're left sitting in the dark.

CUT TO: INT. WEST WING LOBBY - NIGHT
Toby and Congressman Shallick are on the dais of Capitol Beat. Ginger is in
the crowd.

SHALLICK
Excuse me...

TOBY
I don't...

SHALLICK
Excuse me. But this White House uses the first amendment to protect flag
burning, to protect
pornography, to ban school prayer. Why when the second amendment clearly
says that the federal
government will not infringe upon a citizens...

TOBY
Because it doesn't...

SHALLICK
...right to keep and bear arms...

TOBY
It doesn't barely say that.

SHALLICK
Toby!

TOBY
In fact it doesn't say that at all. The only way it says that at all is if
you remove some
words from it.

SHALLICK
Oh, look. Will you...?

TOBY
It says a well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of the
free state...
the government shall not infringe. The words regulated and militia are in
the first sentence.
I don't think the Framer's were thinking of three guys in a Dodge Durango.

SHALLICK
Well, you don't really know what the Framers were thinking, do you?

TOBY
No. But I do know that if you combine the populations of Great Britain,
France, Germany,
Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia you've got a population
roughly the size
of the United States. We had 32,000 gun deaths last year and they had 112. Do
you think it's
because Americans are more homicidal by nature? Or do you think it's because
those guys have
gun control laws.

MARK
We're going to talk to some people and hear answers to that question. You're
watching a special
expanded edition of Capital Beat coming live from the West Wing of the White
House. We'll have
more after this.

STAGE MANAGER
We're out.

GINGER
Toby...

Ginger gestures and Toby removes his mic.

TOBY
Mark, I'm gonna sit out the next segment.

MARK
Yeah?

TOBY
Yeah, I've got to see someone. I'll get you a body. [follows Ginger] Has
she been waiting long?

Ginger
No.

CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Abbey is pacing in the office as Toby enters.

TOBY
I'm sorry I'm late.

ABBEY
It's fine.

TOBY
I was on the air.

ABBEY
I wanted to ask you...

TOBY
Mrs. Bartlet...

ABBEY
Toby.

TOBY
Excuse me for interrupting. I just wanted to remind you that there's press
coming in and
out of this area. [looks around]

ABBEY
Are you under the impression I'm going to have a fit of some kind?

TOBY
No, ma'am.

ABBEY
So, what's the deal? He gets a highway and you name a park after him?

TOBY
Mrs. Bartlet, the Blue Ribbon Commission...

ABBEY
The Blue Ribbon Commission is swell. I am not talking about the Blue Ribbon
Commission,
and you know it. And don't talk to me like I'm 'other people'. You've never
done that.

Toby stares at her.

ABBEY
It was the language.

TOBY
Mrs. Bartlet?

ABBEY
The draft I read said, "The first fiscal priority of the government must be,
will be ensuring
social security and Medicare." Now how did that turn into "boldly setting
aside our partisan
blinders"? Is the White House considering new options?

TOBY
Look...

ABBEY
Raising retirement age?

TOBY
Abbey...

ABBEY
And how did school uniforms get in such a prominent spot?

TOBY
It was in a section on education reform, Abbey and considering other options
doesn't mean
we're caving on retirement age and you know it. So, what was your concern
with the language?

ABBEY
The draft said, "Our commitment to the full benefits promised to Americas
greatest generation
is absolute." I was there when you wrote that.

TOBY
And our commitment is still absolute. We're open to new ideas and that's
what it said.

ABBEY
Oh, please...

TOBY
Believe me, we gave Republicans plenty to be pissed about... the surplus,
missile defense,
capital gains. And I was just on TV for the 900th time and alienated gun
owners... to say
nothing of people who own Dodge Durango's. So, what exactly was your problem
with the language?

ABBEY
It seemed...

TOBY
Abbey...

ABBEY
I was just thrown by the last minute changes. [looks uncomfortable] You
should get back on T.V.
[walks out]

CUT TO: INT. CAROL'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Carol stands in her office as C.J. walks by.

C.J.
He's here?

CAROL
Yeah.

Waiting inside C.J.'S OFFICE is Officer JACK SLOANE.

C.J.
Officer Sloane.

SLOANE
Yes, ma'am.

C.J.
I'm C.J. Cregg. [They shake hands.] I'm the White House Press Secretary and
I'm sorry to get
you out of the party.

SLOANE
Aw, it's all right.

C.J.
I'm sorry to be abrupt but I'm racing the clock a little bit. [They sit.]
Could you tell me what happen 17 years ago with a suspect named Walter Tapus?

Sloane looks uncomfortable.

C.J.
I can access the information through the FBI and call the Wayne county DA...

SLOANE
Do I need to have my lawyer here?

C.J.
I don't think you do but if you'd like to call...

SLOANE
No. There was an armed robbery in progress. I was pursuing Walter Tapus on
foot through a
series of fence in storage areas behind a warehouse. I apprehended him and
tried to cuff him
during which he broke my hand and nose.

C.J.
So you fractured his leg.

SLOANE
I didn't fracture his leg.

C.J.
He said you kicked him repeatedly while he was handcuffed.

SLOANE
He was suing the city for $5 million. What possible motivation would he have
had to lie?

C.J.
Officer...

SLOANE
He was 19 years old. 6'2"...190 pounds. And he won 2 bronze medals at the
State High School
Track and Field Championships. Miss Cregg, look at me. Do you think there's
any way I catch
up to this guy if his leg isn't fractured already? [firmly] It didn't happen.

C.J.
Why didn't you tell anybody this was on your record when you were invited
here?

SLOANE
I just assumed... I mean... 'cause of what happened over the weekend at the
elementary school...

C.J.
Yeah. [looks down]

SLOANE
I assumed it was okay now... That... I was okay. I didn't think it was all
gonna come up
again. Does the press know?

C.J.
No, but I have to tell them.

SLOANE
Why?

C.J.
Cause they'll find out and I have to stay ahead of the pitch. If I issue it
in a brief
statement then it looks like we're not trying to hide anything and I get to
control the
story for a while.

SLOANE
[looks stricken] There is no story.

C.J.
Officer...

SLOANE
The DA couldn't bring a case. The civil suit was dismissed.

C.J.
The President pointed to you as an example.

SLOANE
[plaintively] I AM an example.

C.J.
It's a story.

SLOANE
Cause you're giving it to them.

C.J.
Cause they'll find out about it anyway.

SLOANE
You don't know that.

C.J.
Yes, I do.

SLOANE
My... My, um... My wife and kids are back at the party.

C.J.
You should go back there.

They stand.

SLOANE
Yeah. [turns away]

C.J.
Don't talk to anybody about this.

SLOANE
Yeah.

C.J.
I wish you had said something to us before.

Sloane stands in the doorway.

SLOANE
Yeah. I just assumed. Thought it was okay now.

Sloane leaves with C.J. standing.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Donna sits in the dark talking into the phone. She scribbles into her pad
by flashlight.
Josh sits nearby with his head in his hands.

DONNA
Okay. [hangs up] Good news. [reads from her pad] The Potomac Electric Power
Company says the
outage was caused by a 13,000-volt cable that caught fire in a building on
M Street and Wisconsin.

JOSH
How is that good news?

DONNA
[shines the flashlight in his face] Well, we have hard information now.

JOSH
When's the power going back on?

DONNA
That information isn't available at this time.

JOSH
Donna...

DONNA
I can tell you that [reads from pad] the outage is affecting some 2,000
customers and it was
likely started when a repairman mis-sliced... [shakes head] something...

JOSH
Call Sam. [yells] I want the numbers!

DONNA
You know Josh, everyone else is having fun with this.

Donna dials the phone. Joey and Kenny sneak up.

JOSH
You're the only one who's having fun with this. Nobody else is having fun
with this.

Joey bumps into Josh.

JOEY
Boo! [laughing]

JOSH
Are those numbers safe?

JOEY
Yes.

JOSH
Are we gonna be able to make the West Coast calls?

JOEY [KENNY]
It depends on when the power goes on.

JOSH
When's that gonna be?

JOEY
Hey!

JOEY [KENNY]
Do I look like Electricity Girl?

JOSH
No.

DONNA
[into phone] I'm thinking of leading everyone in song.

JOSH
Is that Sam?

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
Give it to me. [grabs the phone and stalks away]

CUT TO: INT. NORTH ENTRANCE - NIGHT
Sam stands in the hallway.

JOSH
Sam.

SAM
What's going on?

JOSH
The power's down.

SAM
I know.

JOSH
We're five minutes away from an East Coast sample. We got nothing west of
Indiana, Illinois...

SAM
You need anything?

JOSH
A lightning bolt, a key, and a kite.

SAM
Donna told me to tell you you should ask out Joey Lucas.

JOSH
Hey, can I tell ya Donna's been acting kind of...

SAM
I gotta go.

Sam abruptly hangs up. Bartlet, staffers and Secret Service Agents enter
THE WHITE HOUSE.

AGENT
[into hand mic] We're in.

SAM
[walks up] Sir.

BARTLET
How's it going? [They shake hands.]

SAM
They lost power at National Strategies.

BARTLET
I heard.

STAFFER 1
Well done, Mr. President.

BARTLET
[to staffer] Thank you. [to Sam] Listen you scored big on some of the stuff
I fought you on.
[acknowledges staffers as they walk by]

SAM
Yes, and I know a way you can repay me.

BARTLET
Repay you for what?

SAM
For you being wrong in the face of me being right.

BARTLET
[waves] I owe you money for that?

SAM
Oh, not money, Sir.

BARTLET
I owe you anything for that?

STAFFER 2
Great job, Mr. President!

BARTLET
[waving] Thank you.

SAM
Ainsley Hayes has been working here for 3 months and she's still a little
frightened of meeting
you. If you should happen you run into her in the halls perhaps you could
make a point...
[They stop walking] ...of introducing yourself and welcoming her personally.

BARTLET
Don't you already get paid?

Charlie walks up.

SAM
Randomly in the hallways in the next few days you two are bound to be in
the same place at the
same time. Would just...

CHARLIE
Mr. President...

BARTLET
[to Charlie] Hang on. [to Sam] Is there anything in particular you'd like
me to say?

SAM
[dives right in] I think if you said something along the lines of "You know,
a lot of people
assumed you were hired because you're a blonde, republican sex kitten and
they were obviously
wrong". [nodding] And to keep up the good work.

BARTLET
[smiling] That's really good.

SAM
[realizes what he said] Yeah.

CHARLIE
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Yeah.

Bartlet nods and walks away with Charlie. Sam looks embarrassed and walks
off. Bartlet looks
back over his shoulder at Sam. He walks in the OUTER OVAL OFFICE to find
Leo stnading there.

LEO
Mr. President.

BARTLET
What's going on with the police officer?

LEO
C.J.'s looking into it.

BARTLET
We're going to get knocked off the story by a...

LEO
The cop isn't what's going to knock us off the story.

Leo opens the door for Bartlet.

BARTLET
What is?

They enter THE OVAL OFFICE. Assembled inside are the players from the
Situation Room.

LEO
We have a situation in Colombia.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
Bartlet stands behind the couch reading a brief.

BARTLET
They can be identified as drug agents?

DEA Rep
They were dressed as civilians but they've got DEA badges.

BARTLET
Yeah, they may have blown their cover.

DEA REP
Sir.

BARTLET
Mickey, how do we know they're still alive?

MICKEY
Human sources paid by the Colombian National Police confirm they're in a
Sierre AF outpost.

BARTLET
And they kill our guys unless Santos releases Juan Aguilar from a prison in
Bogot..

MICKEY
Which the Columbian government isn't going to do.

LEO
It doesn't matter.

BARTLET
Why not?

LEO
Affronte doesn't care about Juan Aguilar and how long he stays in jail. They
want to kill
these guys.

MICKEY
I don't think...

LEO
They want to drag their bodies through the streets. These people provide 70%
of the world's
cocaine. They have 122,000 hectares of coca. The Puente Maya region alone
produced 400 million
dollars in cocaine for them last year. The government has no control over
the region. There is
no law and they're gonna shoot these guys in the head and then have a parade.

MICKEY
If they wanted to kill them they'd already be dead.

BARTLET
Robbie...

ROBBIE
Ok. Mr. President, this plan is called Cassiopeia. [hands Bartlet a brief]
Three M-860 Blackhawks, two MM-6 Littlebirds and an AC-130 Gunship.

Bartlet sits.

GENERAL
Each Blackhawk has 10 Delta commandos from Special Forces.

BARTLET
How long?

ROBBIE
Five to seven minutes.

BARTLET
How many Affronte casualties?

LEO
Do you care?

Bartlet looks at Leo for a long time.

BARTLET
[shaking head] No.

MICKEY
Mr. President, I want to strongly urge that we continue negotiating.

BARTLET
You think we're headed for Vietnam?

MICKEY
I think if we make an armed attack, Affronte will hit back.

BARTLET
How?

MICKEY
I think they will bomb our embassy. I think they will kill Diplomats. I
think they will kill
citizens in captivity. All of which will require is a military response. It
could unify the
drug lords. It could destabilize the region. Yes, I think it could lead to
a war.

LEO
Lead to a war? We're in a war. We're sending people down there to fight a
war on drugs.
These guys aren't hostages, they're prisoners.

BARTLET
How long is it going to take Special Forces to mobilize?

ROBBIE
There are 141's right now on the way to Tres Encinas. We can give them a go
order in three hours.

BARTLET
[looks at his watch] Well then, I want our people to keep talking to Nelson
Guerra. But in
three hours in want to be ready to kick in the back door.

ROBBIE
Yes sir.

BARTLET
Leo, I'd like the Senior Staff. Would you round them up?

LEO
Yes, sir.

Bartlet rises to leave. Everyone stands.

BARTLET
[to Leo] I'll be wandering the halls.

LEO
Thank you, Mr. President.

ALL
Thank you, Sir.

Bartlet leaves.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
Donna and Josh sit in the darkness. Joey and Kenny sit on the couch. Outside,
a Power Truck
can be seen driving slowly down the street.

DONNA
You know what I'm surprised about?

JOSH
[long pause] What?

DONNA
We haven't seen a lot of looting.

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Usually in these cases you see a lot more looting...

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
...general civil unrest...

JOSH
Yeah. [looks at his watch]

DONNA
...people get on each other's nerves.

JOSH
[looks at her] Okay.

Frustrated, Josh rises and walks over to the couch.

JOSH
Joey... can I ask you what may be a silly question?

JOEY [KENNY]
Sure.

JOSH
It's not possible is it for us to just open one of these computers with a
screwdriver and
get the numbers that are in there, right?

The phone rings.

JOEY [KENNY]
Why would you think that would be a silly question?

JOSH [yells]
I WANT THESE NUMBERS!

DONNA
[walks up with the cell phone] Josh?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
It's Sam. [hands him the phone]

JOSH
Yeah.

CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Sam stands in the office.

SAM
You gotta come back.

JOSH [VO]
What's going on?

SAM
I don't know. Leo wants everybody back. Leave Joey and Donna for a while.

CUT TO: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT

JOSH
I'll be right there.

Josh hangs up and walks back to DONNA. Sam looks momentarily confused and
steps out of his
office.

CUT TO INT. COMMUNICATION'S BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS
Ginger sits at her desk.

SAM
Ginger?

GINGER
Yeah.

SAM
Isn't Ainsley Hayes supposed to be meeting me now?

GINGER
She's in her office.

SAM
Isn't she supposed to be meeting me here?

GINGER
She needs to meet you in her office.

SAM
Why?

GINGER
She can't wear her pants.

Sam looks confused and walks off.

CUT TO: INT. AINSLEY'S OFFICE- NIGHT
Ainsley is dancing and singing to "Blame It on the Bossa Nova". She dressed
in a White House
robe. She doesn't see Sam slowly walk up the hall.

AINSLEY
[singing and dancing] Blame it on the bossa nova with its magic spell...

Sam stands outside the door as she continues to sing and dance.

AINSLEY
Blame it on the bossa nova that he did so well...

SAM
[slowly enters] Ainsley!

Ainsley turns, laughs, and continues singing and dancing.

AINSLEY
Oh, it all began with just a little dance [tightens the robe] but soon it
ended up a big romance.

SAM
Well, I hardly know where to start.

AINSLEY
I was feeling so good after my segment that I went into the sculpture
garden. [smiles]

SAM
You guys... really, there's a wet paint sign on the bench.

AINSLEY
My assistant went to get me clothes. [dances]

SAM
Why are you moving like that?

AINSLEY
I'm Blaming it on the Bossa Nova!

SAM
[laughing] Okay.

AINSLEY
I know what you mean about the adrenaline high. [picks up a drink] I think
I've definitely got it.
Plus, the bartender made me a Pink Squirrel Suzy. I'm not the teetotaler
you think I am.
[takes a drink]

SAM
Is there any alcohol in that at all?

AINSLEY
There's a dash of cr'me d'cacao, my friend.

She offers him a drink as she dances. Sam laughs and blushes.

SAM
I came down here to tell you...

AINSLEY
Oh, dance with me, Sam!

Ainsley dances up to him. He looks bashful. She dances away and starts
singing.

AINSLEY
...a family,

Bartlet slowly walks up the hall.

AINSLEY
And when our kids ask...

Ainsley turns and screams as she sees Bartlet standing in the doorway. Her
drink goes flying.
Sam turns towards the doorway. He turns back to Ainsley with an embarrassed
expression.

BARTLET
[casually] What's up?

Ainsley stands horrified.

AINSLEY
Mr. President!

BARTLET
I never even knew we HAD a nightclub down here.

Sam looks embarrassed.

AINSLEY
Oh, my gosh!

AINSLEY quickly turns off the radio.

SAM
Mr. President, I don't believe you've met Ainsley Hayes.

Ainsley gathers her dignity and tightens the robe.

BARTLET
Yeah. Ainsley, I wanted to say hello and to you know... mention "a lot of
people assumed you
were hired because you're a blonde, republican sex kitten" and well, they're
obviously wrong.
Keep up the good work.

AINSLEY
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
[to Sam] You know we're meeting?

SAM
Yes sir.

Bartlet nods and leaves.

SAM
That could have been worse.

Ainsley looks nauseous.

SAM
No, probably not. [leaves]

CUT TO: INT. WEST WING LOBBY - NIGHT
C.J. is back on the Capital Beat dais, fully clothed.

MARK
And take us behind the scenes. What are the President and the First Lady
doing right now?

C.J.
Well, the receptions still going on. I don't know if you can hear the
music. The President and
Mrs. Bartlet are likely to stay up late with friends.

MARK
All right. We're staying up late too. Maybe we'll be invited to the party.

C.J. laughs.

MARK
We're going to take a break and come right back.

STAGE MANAGER
We're out.

C.J.
How you holding out?

MARK
You got a second?

C.J.
Yeah.

They remove their mics and step behind stage.

MARK
I've laid off it all night because we've done some things together and I
didn't want to
ambush you, but...

C.J.
You know about Sloane.

MARK
Yeah.

C.J.
Mark...

MARK
C.J....

C.J.
Mark, I talked to the guy. And before the stampede begins...

Toby stands in the doorway.

C.J.
...please give me a chance...

TOBY
C.J...

C.J. looks at Toby them back at Mark.

C.J.
Let me talk to you before...

TOBY
C.J.

C.J. looks back at Toby.

TOBY
Leo Mc Garry would like you to meet an old friend of his.

C.J.
Mark, give me 20 minutes before you break the story.

MARK
Why?

C.J.
We've done things together.

MARK
I'm looking at my watch.

C.J. runs out. She and Toby walk off.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN - NIGHT
Party music and conversation can be heard as Bartlet enters the kitchen. Chefs
and stewards
work preparing food. Seated at a counter is Abbey, eating a sandwich. Bartlet
approaches her.

BARTLET
Hey.

ABBEY
Hey.

BARTLET
They said you were in here.

ABBEY
Yeah, just for a minute.

BARTLET
[looks over at the kitchen staff] Fellas...

As they exit, Bartlet nods to them. Abbey avoids his gaze.

BARTLET
You're mad at me.

ABBEY
Jed, you know what? I'm not your mommy.

BARTLET
Abbey, so I indicated we were open to new ideas. How did I fail you this time?

ABBEY
You didn't fail anyone, Jed. They've been giving you some pretty decent
style points.

Bartlet looks sharply at her. Abbey avoids his glare.

BARTLET
I have a meeting. [turns and starts to walk out]

ABBEY
At what point in the process did you decide not to mention the Violence
Against Women Act
in tonight's address?

BARTLET
[turns back] Things had to be cut.

ABBEY
Jane Robinson, by the way, is the name of the woman I made the check out
to. It wasn't cashed
because she framed it. Charlie tracked her down in a Battered Women's Shelter
and that's what
made me think of the Violence Against Women Act.

BARTLET
To make a 90 minutes speech into an 80 minutes speech things had to go.

ABBEY
[angry] Good thing it didn't have to be any shorter or school uniforms
wouldn't have made the cut.

BARTLET
Abbey.

ABBEY
We had a deal!

BARTLET
Right now...

ABBEY
You made a promise. We made a deal!

BARTLET
Abbey.

ABBEY
When did you decide you were going to run for a second term?

BARTLET
[looks at her with surprise] That's not what tonight's...

ABBEY
That's ALL that tonight's speech was about. [long pause] You kicked off your
reelection
campaign and I'm sitting here eating a sandwich cause we had a deal! [holds
back tears]

BARTLET
That was three years ago.

ABBEY
[nods] Yeah.

BARTLET
I have Special Forces headed to Columbia on ready alert. They're waiting
for an order in a
little less than hours.

ABBEY
What happened?

Charlie enters.

BARTLET
Affronte took five DEA Agents hostage in Puente Mayo...

CHARLIE
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Yeah?

CHARLIE
The Senior Staff's together.

BARTLET
I'll be right there.

CHARLIE
Yes, sir. [leaves]

BARTLET
Abbey...

ABBEY
[stands] No, you've got to focus right now.

BARTLET
All right. [sighs] I've got to go.

ABBEY
I stay up with you.

Bartlet looks at her as he walks away. Abbey stands for a moment then
exits. In the entry
way she pauses, straightens her hair, and composes herself before she exits
to the crowded
RECEPTION HALL, and mingles with the guests.

MARK [on T.V.]
Welcome back. If you're just joining us we're here live tonight from the
West Wing of the
White House with an all star panel. We're talking about the State of the
Union and it appears
it's a blockbuster. Claire Wilburn joins us now from the Chicago Sun-Times...

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 2.13 -- 'Bartlet's Third State of the Union'
Original Airdate: February 7, 2001, 9:00 PM EST
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