The President’s (Martin Sheen) staff waits impatiently for an elderly but stubborn Senator (George Coe) to yield the floor as he stages a marathon filibuster hoping to stave off a vote on Bartlet’s Family Wellness Act bill while Toby (Richard Schiff) is leery of the Vice President’s (Tim Matheson) sudden interest in supporting another bill tightening fuel-emission standards. Elsewhere: C.J. (Allison Janney) anxiously paws through her memory as she seeks to locate a missing ceramic cat statue given to the President by a Mideastern potentate who expects to see it displayed during his upcoming visit; Josh (Bradley Whitford) strains to finish business in time to catch a flight for a weekend visit to the spring-training camp of the New York Mets in Florida.
THE WEST WING "THE STACKHOUSE FILIBUSTER" TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: PETE MCCABE DIRECTED BY: BRYAN GORDON TEASER FADE IN: EXT. WASHINGTON, D.C. - NIGHT C.J. (VO) Dear Dad. First of all, Happy Birthday. Second of all, let me explain why I'm not on my way there right now. You're not going to believe this, but it's because of a filibuster. A filibuster no one ever saw coming. Not the Senate leadership. Not the Party leadership. And not me. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT C.J. is sitting at her computer typing an email to her father. A television is on in the background. C.J. (VO) And if you're angry at me, well, you've got a lot of company. I'm going to explain all this. Right now, it's Friday night and everyone is trying to get out the door - only I won't let them. CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT A television is shown to be on C-SPAN2, broadcasting the U.S. Senate Live. A Democratic Senator from Minnesota, HOWARD STACKHOUSE, has the floor and is reading from a recipe book. HOWARD STACKHOUSE ...non absorbent paper. Yields approximately four servings. Sam is watching the television, looking quite dismayed. SAM (to himself) This isn't happening. Sam looks at his watch as STACKHOUSE continues to read. STACKHOUSE ...sauce, or chili sauce... Sam spots C.J. in the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. SAM C.J.! C.J. Yeah. SAM What the hell is he doing? Sam and C.J. walk through into the CORRIDOR. C.J. It's a recipe for deep fried fantail shrimp. SAM Yeah. But, what's he still doing up there? C.J. He's got a recipe book. SAM How long will it go? C.J. I don't know. SAM I'm saying how many recipes are there? C.J. All together? SAM Yeah. C.J. I can't cook, but I think there are probably like 20 or 30. SAM You're screwing around with me. C.J. Oh, yeah. SAM I'm about to miss the 7:30 shuttle. If I miss the 8:30, I miss the last train to Sag Harbor. C.J. is handed a piece of paper by a staffer. C.J. You can spend the night in New York. SAM I've only got two nights. And you've gotta see this house. C.J. It's cool? SAM It's Frank Lloyd Wright. C.J. Is it cold in Sag Harbor right now? SAM We wear sweaters. It's a Tommy Hilfiger ad. C.J. It can't last forever. SAM He's got twenty to thirty recipes he can read. Sam stops walking while C.J. continues through swinging doors into the JOSH'S BULLPEN, still talking to Sam. C.J. Sam, seriously, there are more recipes than that. SAM Who cares? He's blowing my weekend in the Hamptons. C.J. Maybe he doesn't know about the sweaters. C.J. (VO) The reason they needed to stick around was that the moment the filibuster's over, there will be a vote and once they vote, I need my spin boys. C.J. is walking through JOSH'S BULLPEN. JOSH C.J.... C.J. I know! Josh jumps up from his chair and walks with C.J. through the bullpen. JOSH Who gave him the recipe book? C.J. I really don't think we can blame this on the recipe book. Plus, I now know the secret to cold asparagus chantilly is a quarter cup whipped cream. JOSH I'm going to Port Saint Lucie, which may not mean anything to you, but happens to be the spring training home of the... C.J. New York Jets. Yes, you've told me. Josh, you can watch basketball on T.V. JOSH Yes, except the New York Knicks are a basketball team, the New York Jets are a football team, and Port Saint Lucie is the spring training home of the New York... C.J. (exasperated) Mets! Yes. Dammit, I'm inadequate. Josh stops at the bottom of a small staircase that leads to the Briefing Room, while C.J. continues. C.J. stops at the top to listen to Josh. JOSH A weekend at spring training. Mike Piazza is going to be standing in the batting cage. (strikes a batting pose) He's going to turn and see me. He's going to say, 'Dude.' C.J. Well, I wouldn't want you to miss a legitimate 'dude' sighting. JOSH (excited) So I can take off? C.J. No. C.J. walks into the PRESS BRIEFING ROOM which is full of reporters. C.J. (VO) Why do I need the spin? Because it's a bipartisan bill and I'm all for bipartisanship as long as we get the credit. So, I've taken the press corps hostage. The moment C.J. enters and heads for the podium, all of the reporters start calling her name. A television in the room is tuned to Stackhouse on C-SPAN2 as he continues to talk. C.J. Guys, I'm sorry, but you know what? Listen, seriously, you're looking at democracy at work, it's a beautiful thing. REPORTER 1 And how much more beauty can we be expecting tonight, C.J. C.J. Well, I wouldn't think it would be that much longer. REPORTER 2 He's got a recipe book. C.J. Yeah, but how many recipes can there be? 20? 30? Another reporter, Mark, rushes up to C.J. MARK (in a loud whisper) C.J., it's Friday night. I'm supposed to have dinner with my girlfriend. She's going to kill me. C.J. Yeah, but you know what, Mark? This is just the kind of thing that can cleanse the palate of a relationship that's gone stale. Like a fine sorbet. MARK We've been going out three weeks. C.J. And she's already bitching about dinner? MARK C.J.... C.J. Lose her. Mark goes back to his seat as C.J. walks behind the podium. The reporters start to call her name again. C.J. Listen up! Everybody, this was unforeseen. Obviously, he's got to finish sometime. When he does, there will be a vote immediately. When it's done, the President will make his calls, White House staff will be available for comment, and most important you will all write about it. In the mean time, I say, pizza for everybody! Who's with me? The room is silent. C.J. Excellent! C.J. gathers her papers and leaves. Carol meets her outside the door and follows C.J. through the CORRIDOR. C.J. We're going to need like a massive truckload of pizza. And, I don't know, maybe some Cuervo 1800 if we've got some lying around. CAROL How much? C.J. Just enough for me. Toby approaches. TOBY C.J. Just so you know, I need to be in Telluride first thing in the morning. C.J. That's a rough assignment you pulled there. TOBY No, I'm saying, I already missed the 6:50 to Denver, but I can catch an 8:40 from National if I change planes in Chicago. C.J. and Toby enter C.J.'S OFFICE. Toby is bouncing his pink rubber ball. C.J. And as you're travel agent, it's important that you update me on that information. TOBY C.J.... C.J. I'm supposed to be on my way to Napa right now for my Dad's 70th birthday. You hear me complaining? TOBY You just did. C.J. Get out. C.J. sits behind her desk with her computer. TOBY It's your dad's 70th birthday? C.J. Yeah. TOBY You doing anything? C.J. Yeah, we're all getting together in Napa. TOBY (quietly) I meant right now. C.J. No. I'm sitting and waiting. I'm ordering pizza. I'm catching up on e-mails. TOBY All right. I got a a basketball game on in my office if you want to come by? C.J. Is it the Jets and the Mets? TOBY It's the Nets and the Hawks. [with disdain] The Jets and the Mets? C.J. I know the teams. I'm joking when I do this. I'm joking when I do this. TOBY Okay. Toby turns to leave, then turns back around. TOBY You know there's a 9:00 to SFO. You could drive to Napa. C.J. Yeah. TOBY All right. I'm in my office. C.J. turns to look at the television, where Stackhouse is still speaking. C.J. It'll end. TOBY Do you have any idea how many recipes there are? C.J. I really don't. Toby leaves. STACKHOUSE (on T.V.) ...teaspoon of dry mustard... C.J. begins to type. C.J. (VO) So, the press is in the briefing room. The staff is in the West Wing. And I'm right here. I'm betting when you read this, you're going to be glad I stayed. I'm betting you're going to end up rooting for a Minnesota Senator named Howard Stackhouse. 'Cause I gotta tell ya, this doesn't seem like any old filibuster. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT C.J. continues typing her e-mail. C.J. [VO] It's our first filibuster, and I'm not a rules expert, but the rules of a filibuster are simple enough-you keep the floor as long as you hold the floor. What does that mean? It means you can't stop talking, ever. You can't eat, and you can't drink, which is fine, because you can't leave the chamber to use the bathroom, either. But all that's nothing compared to this: you're not allowed to sit down-you're not allowed to lean on anything or, for that matter, anyone. It started with the bill you'll read about tomorrow morning called the Family Wellness Act. Josh had been leading staffers from the Legislative Liaison Office in negotiations with the conference chairman for weeks and this last Monday morning he walked into the Roosevelt Room and said... CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Josh enters and seats himself at the table. JOSH We got the Family Wellness Act. LEO It's done? JOSH Yes, sir. LEO What'd we get, what'd we lose? JOSH We got most of what we wanted in Title VII. C.J. That's infant hearing loss? JOSH Yeah, we got a hearing test for every child born in the US. SAM What about...? JOSH We did not get mandatory tests for children not born in hospitals. SAM We can live with that. LEO The Special Needs Adoption Awareness program? JOSH Right, this is a national campaign to provide information to the public regarding the adoption of special needs children. LEO How'd we get it? JOSH By agreeing to a provision that would require health care staff to give pregnant women information about adoption on an equal basis with all other courses of action. C.J. National Organization for Women's gonna hate that. JOSH I know. C.J. Women seeking abortions should not be required by law to be lectured at. JOSH Yeah, but you're gonna help me out there, right? C.J. Yes, I will. I will once again and betray the sisterhood. Josh and the other men look down with small smiles. C.J. [pointing to each] Okay, I saw you, you, you, and you roll your eyes. LARRY You weren't even looking at me. C.J. I felt you. LEO [standing with others and clapping] We're done! Josh Lyman, everybody. They all exit. Sam leaves with Josh. SAM Nice job. JOSH I know, I'm thinking seriously about turning pro. SAM Yeah? JOSH Yeah, I got agents talking to me, telling me I could go high in the second round, maybe low in the first if I have a good postseason. SAM You don't want to stay in school, get your education? JOSH Nah, I'm white, nobody's gonna mind. They walk into LEO'S OFFICE. LEO Josh, this looks good. I mean, he stuck sunsets on a bunch of small-ticket items, but... JOSH But that's the way it's gonna happen. LEO You just spent six billion dollars on health care. How do you feel? JOSH I'd feel better if it meant just once I could go to a doctor without filling out something on a clipboard. LEO All right, what else? TOBY Philip Sluman, who's the chairman of the Petroleum Producers of America, testified yesterday to the FTC that "the Bartlet administration's" - blah, blah - "relentless pursuit of emissions standards in the form of additives like MTBE is a big reason we've seen price hikes in some of the country." LEO The Energy Secretary's gotta respond. TOBY The Energy Secretary's gonnaa respond and I'd like to mention that to the Vice President. LEO You want me to do it? TOBY I got it. LEO He's gonna be pretty unhappy. TOBY Yep. LEO Anything else? TOBY No... C.J. Nope. JOSH No sir, thank you. They all exit. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - PRESENT C.J. continues typing. C.J. [VO] So there it was, the Family Wellness Act, an omnibus health bill aimed at diseases that disproportionately affect children. This was a good day, cause something got done. The problem is, we only thought it was done. Dad, this would be a good time to mention that it's possible that an Egyptian cat goddess named Baste has put an ancient curse on me. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY C.J. walks through a hallway. Charlie catches up with her. They walk to C.J.'S OFFICE. CHARLIE C.J.! C.J. Charlie. CHARLIE Listen... C.J. May I call you Chip? CHARLIE No... C.J. Chipper? CHARLIE No... C.J. Gilligan? CHARLIE Listen... C.J. Yes? CHARLIE Hassan Ali's coming here at the end of the week. C.J. He's got 38 wives. CHARLIE Yeah. C.J. Imagine being the girl he dated who he didn't marry. CHARLIE C.J.? C.J. Hassan Ali is coming? CHARLIE Yeah, and on the President's trip to Cairo, Ali gave him a gift, a ceramic statue. C.J. Okay. CHARLIE The State Department told the Office of Protocol it is important the gift be displayed when Ali visits. C.J. Display it. CHARLIE Well, the Office of Protocol wasn't able to find it. C.J. They should talk to the gift officer. CHARLIE They did. C.J. And? CHARLIE They say you have it. C.J. I'm sorry? CHARLIE Sherry Halpurn, the gift officer on the trip, says she handed it to you in Cairo. C.J. Did you say a small, ceramic statue? CHARLIE Yeah, of a cat. C.J. Okay... [sighs] okay... okay. CHARLIE C.J.? C.J. Yeah? CHARLIE You know anything about it? C.J. Well, I have to think about it, Charlie. It was a year ago, and it's not like I have instant recall of every ceramic cat statue I've ever been handed in Cairo. CHARLIE Yeah, should I tell Protocol that...? C.J. Tell Protocol I'm searching my recollection. CHARLIE Protocol's recollection seemed pretty good. C.J. Leave me now. CHARLIE Sure. C.J. [spots Toby in the hallway] Toby. TOBY About to see Hoynes, talk to me later. C.J. Okay, Carol? CAROL What do you need? C.J. Some information, possibly a disguise, and a fast getaway car. Come inside. CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - DAY Hoynes is with several senior citizens standing with quilts. They are posing for pictures. HOYNES Tell me something, how did they not anticipate the flooding? REPORTER There was an unexpectedly high snowmelt. HOYNES The snow fell three months ago. Did they not think it was going to melt this year? Hoynes thanks the guests for coming as they exit. WOMAN The temperatures were unseasonably warms last month. MAN 1 We don't know why. HOYNES Well it could have been something due to the sun, though, right? MAN 2 Sir? HOYNES We're done. [to man] Yeah? MAN 2 Could you see Toby Ziegler? HOYNES 25 million acre-feet of water, Candy, that's eight trillion gallons. CANDY Yes, sir. [exits with men] HOYNES [as Toby enters] Hey, Toby. TOBY Good morning, Mr. Vice President. HOYNES The California Aqueduct is twice the length of Pennsylvania. Did you know that? TOBY I knew it was pretty big. HOYNES What do you need? TOBY [as both sit] Philip Sluman, testifying yesterday in front of the FTC, charged that it was the White House's pursuit of tighter emissions standards that has caused the rise in prices... HOYNES Phil Sluman had a good point. TOBY Mr. Vice President, I don't want to go round and round with you on Sluman. HOYNES Okay. TOBY He had no point. HOYNES Policy forces them to use expensive additives whose benefits are questionable. TOBY It's price gouging... Hoynes shrugs his shoulders. TOBY It costs marginally more to refine the fuel with the additives and the cost is being passed on to the consumer at an outrageous markup. HOYNES Toby, if a refinery shuts down, if there's a fire, which isn't, like, out of the question when you're dealing with petroleum, production comes to a halt, gas becomes scarce, prices go up, then they come back down. TOBY Well, it's good to know the companies can make it through the lean times. HOYNES Yeah. TOBY Anyway, sir, tomorrow night, Bill Trotter's gonna be delivering a speech to the Detroit Economic Counsel on Energy Efficiency in the 21st century, and we're gonna rewrite the draft to include a fairly strong rebuttal to Phillip Sluman's remarks. HOYNES [clears throat] Shouldn't have Bill Trotter do it. TOBY Why? HOYNES 'Cause his rants against the oil companies have become familiar and the press has stopped writing about them. TOBY Still... HOYNES It's also pretty dicey political terrain for the Energy Secretary. TOBY Who would you send? HOYNES [standing] To punch back? Me. TOBY Really? HOYNES I'm having a press conference tomorrow afternoon to announce an advisory group for the antitrust policy. I'll take questions at the end, I'll open it up for anything, and they will ask me about Sluman and oil. TOBY Mr. Vice President... HOYNES Toby, if you think I'll be too soft on him, stand in the back of the room... if you don't like what I say, call Bill Trotter and say, "You're on for tomorrow night." TOBY [standing] Would you mind if I prepared some notes for you? HOYNES [chuckling lightly] Oh, not at all... Would you mind if I shoved them up your ass? TOBY [laughing] No, sir, well, thank you, sir, we appreciate it. HOYNES I heard you got the Family Wellness Act. TOBY We scheduled the vote for Friday at noon. HOYNES Well, I'm sure you'll have the bill by 12:05. The filibuster continues in the background. TOBY: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. [exits] CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - PRESENT C.J. [VO] I'll get back to the cat story in a second, cause I have to interrupt to say this: if you ever have a free two hours and are so inclined, try standing up without leaning on anything and talking the whole time. You won't make it. I wouldn't make it. Stackhouse wasn't supposed to last 15 minutes. He's 78 years old. He has a head cold. This bill is going to pass. He has no hope, to say nothing of I can't imagine what the hell it is he's fighting for. Stackhouse wasn't supposed to last 15 minutes. STACKHOUSE [on T.V.] That is how you prepare Virginia Green apple pie. Let's turn now to David Copperfield... C.J. [still typing] Well, somebody forgot to tell Stackhouse, Dad, cause he just went into hour number eight. STACKHOUSE [on T.V.] ...1870, began this great work... FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY The camera tracks the halls of the West Wing. As it approaches LEO'S OFFICE, we hear Josh. JOSH [VO] The message was pretty cryptic... like something you'd slip a the bank teller. And it was unusual to get it directly from a Senator, who'd normally dispatch an aide. Leo agreed, but was in no way concerned. He told me to go ahead, take the meeting, and not to sweat it, and under no circumstances give anything away. During the voiceover, we see Leo and Josh talk. Josh takes the memo from Leo and exits. CUT TO: EXT. THE CAPITOL HILL - DAY JOSH [VO] So I headed up to the Hill... wearing, by the way, the new shoes you bought me, which I'd never worn before. CUT TO: INT. CAPITOL BUILDING HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Josh slides in from camera left and falls on his butt. JOSH [VO] Since Dad's not here to do it, I think it's my job to bore you with history now. The filibuster has been part of parliamentary strategy in this country for over a hundred and fifty years. Now, the reason we weren't sweating Stackshouse is that Stackhouse isn't someone you sweat. He's been around forever, but he has little influence, little power, and few friends. So, Dad would want me to tell you where the word 'filibuster' comes from. It's from the Dutch "ury geiter," which translated literally means "freebooter." But what they meant was, "buccaneer." During the voiceover, we see Josh walk to SENATOR STACKHOUSE'S OFFICE. He removes his coat as the Senator beckons him in. JOSH Afternoon, Senator. STACKHOUSE Good afternoon. [coughs] JOSH Sounds like a bad cold. STACKHOUSE It's fine. JOSH You taking anything? STACKHOUSE I don't want to talk about my cold. I want forty seven million dollars to fight autism. JOSH Sir... STACKHOUSE Five "Centers of Excellence" in universities around the country to help scientists coordinate their research, three special units for autism epidemeilogy at the CDC, and a centralized facility for gene and brain banking. That's 43 million. JOSH Senator... STACKHOUSE Uh, the other four million is for a federal program to educate doctors in order to reduce the staggeringly high percentage of cases in which autism is misdiagnosed. JOSH We can't do it. STACKHOUSE Of course you can. You simply pick up the phone, you call the Conference Chairman, and... JOSH The bill started out at two billion. It's six billion now. STACKHOUSE That's right. So another forty seven million hurts you how? JOSH Sir... STACKHOUSE It's eight tenths of one percent of a bill aimed at the health issues affecting children, which is roughly the same as the percentage of children affected by autism. JOSH I don't need to tell you that in these negotiations... STACKHOUSE In these negotiations about a bill aimed at health issues affecting children, we've allocated funds for Alzheimer's, glaucoma, and erectile dysfunction. JOSH Sir... STACKHOUSE You know a lot of two year olds afflicted with that horrific condition, hmm? JOSH [smiling] There's no doubt that that's a good point, but in order for us to ensure that more important things were in the bill... STACKHOUSE So there was a determination made. JOSH I'm sorry? STACKHOUSE A determination was made, in order of priorities. JOSH Senator, there's going to be a vote. The bill's closed. STACKHOUSE Open it back up again. JOSH To do that would mean to postpone the vote, and everyone's breaking for the recess, and... STACKHOUSE And you want the story before everyone goes home. JOSH Yeah. STACKHOUSE Okay. [gets up and walks to the door] JOSH Sir, the next time around, and there will be a next time around... STACKHOUSE That's all. I'm done with you now. He waves his hand dismissively at Josh and walks out. JOSH [VO] And that was that. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - NIGHT The camera focuses on the three T.V.s on the shelves. NEWSCASTER Also in the news at this hour, parliamentary procedure in all of its glory, as a Senate filibuster watches day turn to night, and possibly back into day again. Seventy eighty year old Minnesota Senator Howard Stackhouse stands alone tonight in the well of the Senate chamber as his colleagues somewhat impatiently wait for a vote that was scheduled to take place more than nine hours ago. Stackhouse, a five term senator who once... During the commentary, we PAN TO Donna watching the coverage. DONNA Hey, Zach. ZACH Yeah? DONNA You guys record the news feeds coming in, right? ZACH Yeah. DONNA Could I get a dub of the B-roll they're showing on the Stackhouse story? It's three or four seconds, it's a campaign stop, and his grandchildren were with him. The voiceover's talking about his seven grandchildren. ZACH Sure. What's the problem? DONNA It's nothing. ZACH I'll have it sent up in a few minutes. DONNA Thanks. Josh enters. He and Donna start a walk and talk to JOSH'S OFFICE. JOSH Donna. DONNA You're booked tomorrow morning, 8:55, United, direct to West Palm Beach. JOSH Which gets in at? DONNA 12:58. JOSH It's still a seventy mile drive to Port St. Lucie. I'll miss the game. DONNA I thought they weren't playing yet. JOSH It's an exhibition game. DONNA You're flying to Florida to see the Mets play another team in a game that doesn't count? JOSH Actually, it's an intrasquad game. DONNA So you're flying to Florida to see the Mets play each other in a game that doesn't count. JOSH Yeah. DONNA Okay. Uh... there's a Continental flight out of Dulles at seven A.M., you change planes in Newark. JOSH I gotta fly to New Jersey to get to Palm Beach? DONNA Look... JOSH Whatever. Just make sure that tomorrow morning... DONNA Mike Piazza calls you "dude." JOSH Yes. Josh starts typing. DONNA What are you doing? JOSH I'm writing an e-mail to my mother. DONNA Why? JOSH To thank her for a pair of shoes she sent me. DONNA Your mother sent you shoes? JOSH Donna, please try and keep it... DONNA That is the sweetest thing I... JOSH Donna? DONNA Okay. Donna exits. Josh turns back to the computer. JOSH [VO] Donna says hi, Mom. Anyway, I didn't think much about the meeting with Stackhouse afterward. There are always going to be people who don't get what they want. I was thinking of other things. CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT Hoynes is having a press conference. Toby is watching from the back of the room. JOSH [VO] Like Toby, I was puzzled as to why the Vice President, who made his money from the oil industry, who champions the oil industry, would volunteer to admonish the oil industry. STEVE Sir, I'm sure you're aware that Phillip Sluman testified before the FTC that the Bartlet administration's relentless pursuit of stricter emissions standards in the form of additives is why we're seeing price spikes. HOYNES Yeah. STEVE Would you comment on that? HOYNES Yeah. Our relentless pursuit of cleaner air standards has resulted in lower asthma rates and the cleanest air in California in 50 years. It costs marginally more to refine fuel with additives, but the costs are being passed on to consumers at an outrageous price. CHRIS Mr. Vice President. HOYNES Uh, yeah, Chris. CHRIS Are you accusing members of the PPA of price gouging? HOYNES Well, some of these CEOs are old friends of mine. But, uh, I can tell you they do know how to turn a profit. Now, they'll claim that prices will go back down after production increases... JOSH [VO] Hoynes just kept hammering away, and I was reminded for a minute how close he came to being elected President. HOYNES ...have created a new bottom line... JOSH [VO] Toby said it was an impressive display from Hoynes, but couldn't get past the question of why he volunteered to do it. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT JOSH [VO] And if you're wondering what the President does during a filibuster, I dunno 'cause this is our first. But at the moment, he's in his private dining room having dinner. There's a famous French chef visiting, and every time he comes he cooks for the President. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet walks in. BARTLET Leo. LEO Good evening, sir. BARTLET You busy? LEO What do you need? BARTLET Come have dinner with me. LEO Why? BARTLET Pierre Boileau is cooking tonight. You want to have dinner? LEO What's he serving? BARTLET That's your answer? LEO I'm just asking. BARTLET Well, I can tell you that the man specializes in a reinterpretation of classic Provancale cuisine. Cassoulet, duck with green olives... LEO Yeah... BARTLET ...saffron chicken... LEO I haven't had a good saffron chicken in quite some time. BARTLET Well, don't you think you deserve one? LEO Yes. BARTLET His specialty is his dessert: Tomate de Saltambique. LEO That's gonna be a big, seedless beefsteak tomato stweed for three hours in creme de caramel and stuffed with... BARTLET Passion fruit, kiwi and hazelnuts, and... LEO ...served on a pomegranate reduction, yes. BARTLET Let's go. Leave the cell phone. LEO I'm taking my phone. BARTLET We're not leaving the building. People can find you. LEO Let's go. Bartlet and Leo head outside. BARTLET What's he on to now? LEO He's reading the rules of cards. BARTLET Oh, brother. LEO Don't worry about it. BARTLET Could Howard Stackhouse possibly be a bigger horse's patoot? LEO I don't know what part of a horse that is, exactly, but I've always thought he was a decent guy. BARTLET He's a curmudgeon: a grouchy old crank. LEO So are we. BARTLET You are. I am full of mirth. LEO Okay. BARTLET He was all over me the first year. He called me, "Bartlet the Inert." LEO That was pretty funny. BARTLET I'm a reformer. I'm the most liberal President he's ever served under. His hero, Hubert Humphrey, once, you know... LEO Shook your hand. BARTLET That's right. [silence] I feel bad. LEO Why? BARTLET His wife died a few years ago. I didn't go to the funeral. LEO Why? BARTLET I was kind of busy running for President, Leo. LEO That's right. BARTLET Tomate de Saltambique, my friend. LEO Yes, indeed. They reach the DINING ROOM, which is lit by candlelight. BUTLER Good evening. BARTLET Hi. Hang on. [to Leo] They thought I was going to be eating with Abbey, so... LEO Hmm... BARTLET We'll just, you know, pretend there's no candlelight. LEO And that we're not paranoid homophobes in any way. BARTLET Yeah. Leo's cell phone rings. LEO Yeah. BARTLET Leo, you have a deputy who's, frankly, a lot smarter than you are. Whatever it is, let him handle it. Who are you talking to? LEO My deputy. [into phone] Yeah. BARTLET What did he say? LEO He says there's no end in sight. BARTLET Okay. Let's eat. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * ** ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - NIGHT STACKHOUSE [V.O.] To get cash for your chips you have to go to the cashier's cage of the casino... DONNA C.J.? C.J. Yeah. DONNA Listen, I was looking at the B-roll they're showing on the Stackhouse story and there's something that struck me as odd. C.J. What? DONNA They show two different events during his last campaign and his grandchildren are next to him on stage. He's got seven of them. C.J. What's the problem? DONNA There are only six in the shot. I don't think this is what we think it is. I don't think he's just being ornery. I think he's got a grandson who's autistic. C.J. Oh, holy hell. Tell Josh. Find out for sure. DONNA Yeah. CUT TO: INT. THE PRESIDENT'S DINING ROOM - NIGHT Bartlet and Leo are having dinner. The steward is with them, while Leo talks on the phone. STEWARD More brandy, sir? BARTLET Nah, I'm fine. STEWARD I hope the First Lady's not feeling ill this evening. BARTLET No, she's up at the Manchester house. STEWARD Very good, sir. BARTLET No, it really sucks, but thanks. STEWARD Yes sir. [walks off] BARTLET Did you hear that? He said, "Very good, sir". Where do they learn that? LEO Yeah. [to Bartlet] I'm sorry? BARTLET Nothing. LEO [into phone] I'm sure that was moved for a reason. We're prepping for a G-8 with Barney and we're going to Tel Aviv. BARTLET I just feel like we don't talk anymore. LEO [into phone] Tel Aviv's the week after. [to Bartlet] What? BARTLET See you're not even listing. LEO [into phone] Ben, let me call you back. What's your problem? BARTLET I'm just saying we work all day, and then the day's over, and we go out to dinner and you're still working, and you know, I'm sitting here. No time to talk. LEO You know, conversations like this, are the reason I got divorced. BARTLET No, it's not. (clears his throat) LEO (whispering) Sir... what's wrong? BARTLET I made... The steward enters. LEO Uh... I'm fine, Billy. The steward turns and exits. BARTLET I made a deal with Abbey... 'cause of my thing. LEO One term? BARTLET [nods] My thing, by the way, is the reason Hoynes stepped up on oil. LEO 'Cause he thinks maybe... BARTLET Yeah. LEO It was three years ago. She can't expect... His cell phone rings. LEO [into phone] Yeah. Yeah. [to Bartlet] It's C.J. Stackhouse has an autistic grandson. BARTLET (sighs) Let's go. LEO [into phone] C.J., we're coming up. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT C.J. and Donna enter. C.J. Charlie? CHARLIE He's just coming over. C.J. Thanks. Can we wait? CHARLIE Yeah. Look, C.J., one of us is going to have to tell the President the statue's broken. C.J. It's not broken. CHARLIE It is broken. DONNA She Crazy Glued it back together. CHARLIE You Crazy Glued it? C.J. I didn't know what it was. I needed a potpourri holder. I have the ancient curse of Bast on me so get off my back, Sparky. CHARLIE Okay, but when you tell him I'd leave out the Crazy Glue. C.J. And the potpourri, right? CHARLIE Yeah. Here we go. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE PORTICO - CONTINUOUS BARTLET How does he not just tell me? LEO Sir... Bartlet and Leo enter THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET How does he not come to me and say "Jed, this is my grandson and there are lots more like him and there are lots more to come. Can you help us out?" LEO Because he... BARTLET Damn it. He knows we would have gotten it done. Why doesn't he tell me? LEO Because he doesn't want to make political hay out of his grandson, which is commendable. BARTLET Nah, he's a crank. C.J. Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET Hey. Hey Donna, you need something? C.J. Donna's the one who started sniffing around it. BARTLET C.J., that phone message was for real. He's not going to stop till he drops. C.J. He might. BARTLET C.J., let me tell you something. Don't ever, ever underestimate the will of a grandfather. We're mad men. We don't give a damn. We got here before you and they'll be here after. We'll make enemies, we'll break laws, we'll break bones but you will not mess with the grandchildren. LEO There was quite a bit of sugar in the cr'me de caramel. C.J. Yeah. BARTLET C.J.... If I told you to screw the print deadline what would you want to do right now? C.J. I'd want to see if there's a way I could help him out. BARTLET Give him some dignity right? And give him a rest. The guy's going to collapse out there. C.J. Yes, sir. BARTLET Screw the print deadline. Leo? LEO Look... BARTLET We will talk about the other thing later. LEO I'm just asking how we're going to do this. DONNA Excuse me? LEO The Chairman's going to gavel him off if he stops talking or sits. Donna, holds up her hand, like in school. DONNA Excuse me? LEO (amazed) What are you doing? DONNA I didn't know if I'm supposed to... LEO We usually don't raise our hands. BARTLET Though it's not the worst idea in the world. DONNA The Senator's allowed to yield for a question without yielding the floor. LEO What do you mean? DONNA He's allowed to yield for a question without yielding the floor. C.J. and Leo turn to Bartlet. BARTLET I was in the House. I know nothing about Senate rules. DONNA Yes sir, but Josh does, and he likes to explain things, and, well, I let him. C.J. I'm pretty sure it's true, sir. BARTLET What time is it? Let's wake up a parliamentarian. LEO Yeah, but the problem is the only people who ask questions are Senators. BARTLET We're going to get one of them to walk in there. Charlie! LEO The Senate wants to go home. They want a vote. CHARLIE Yes, sir? BARTLET I want to call Senators. We'll start with our friends. When we're done with those two, we'll go on to the other 98. C.J. Charlie! CHARLIE Yes, ma'am. C.J. Start with the grandfathers. CHARLIE Yes, ma'am. BARTLET There's no damn holiday for us either. LEO We'll be in the dining room. BARTLET C.J., no kidding, make this happen. C.J. Yes, sir. (quietly) Oh and, I broke you're statue. DONNA I don't think he heard you. C.J. No. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT Hoynes and his staff walking through the hall. STAFFER The water peaked at 3 690 feet last month because of an uncontrolled release from Lake Powell. HOYNES You mean the uncontrolled release of Lake Powell. STAFFER I suppose. HOYNES I am going home. STAFFER Good night, sir. HOYNES Good night. TOBY [walks up] Mr. Vice President? HOYNES Didn't I do it right? TOBY No, sir, you did it very well. I appreciate it. HOYNES Yeah. TOBY I'm sure you know I was curious about why you'd volunteer for something like that. HOYNES Yeah. TOBY So I got a hold of some private polling you've had done. HOYNES Oh. Yeah? TOBY A significant number of people are concerned over your close ties to big oil. HOYNES Well, not anymore. TOBY Yeah, but what I was wondering was why did you put the poll in the field at all? Mr. Vice President, what do you know that I don't? HOYNES Toby, the total tonnage of what I know that you don't could stun a team of oxen in its tracks. Good night. Hoynes steps into his car, and leaves Toby standing. C.J. [V.O.] And then came the big moment, Dad. Everyone... CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT The staff throughout the building are frantically calling Senators. JOSH Everyone was enlisted. You called everyone you had a relationship with... SAM ...with and if you didn't get anywhere, they got a call from the President. C.J. Do I have your word on that, Sarah? JOSH We'd been at it 20 minutes and we were coming up with... SAM ...nothing, until... C.J. Got it! SAM Senator Tom Grissom of Washington State was headed from his office... C.J. ...to the Chamber and everybody started flooding into the Communications Bullpen to see what would happen, the problem being of course... SAM ...Stackhouse would have to know as much about rules and procedures as Donna had and not think we were trying to screw him. JOSH We stared at 14 different television sets while calculating in our heads the time it would take Grissom to walk from his office... C.J. ...to the floor and we were in frozen silence while we listened to the rules of blackjack. STACKHOUSE ...unless you are counting cards. C.J. And then it happened. TOM GRISSOM Point of order, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN Mr. Grissom? GRISSOM Will the Senator yield for a question? SAM Come on. CHAIRMAN Mr. Stackhouse? JOSH Come on. BARTLET Trust me just this once, you grouchy old son of a bitch. STACKHOUSE Mr. Chairman, I yield to the Senator from Washington for a question. GRISSOM My question is in 22 parts and might take quite a while. Perhaps you'd like to sit and have some water while I ask it. The COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE explodes with cheers. C.J. And that was it. Grissom gave him a rest and an opportunity to answer some real questions about autism, and when Grissom was done, McNamara took over, and after McNamara came Gianelli, grandfathers all. I'm going to have to finish this up now and go into the press room and explain what happened. There'll be no vote tonight and the Senate will go home... JOSH ...for the week. And since Stackhouse, with our help, blew the print deadline anyway, there's really no reason... SAM ...for Josh not to go back to the Conference Chairman and reopen the bill. C.J. There are so many days here where you can't imagine that anything good will ever happen. You're... JOSH You're buried under a black fog of partisanship and self promotion and... SAM ...stupidity and a brand of politics that's just plain mean... C.J. Yes, Hoynes had us nervous with his admonishment of big oil and yes, the President was making us nervous too, but that's for tomorrow 'cause tonight I've seen a man with no legs stay standing Dad, and a guy with no voice keep shouting and if politics brings out the worst in people then maybe people bring out the best 'cause I'm looking at the TV right now and damned if 28 US Senators haven't just walked onto the floor to help. I'll catch the first plane out in the morning and if you wouldn't mind not turning 70 until tomorrow that'd be great. In the meantime, I love you so much. Your daughter, Claudia. 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 2.17 -- "The Stackhouse Filibuster" Original Airdate: March 14, 2001, 9:00 P.M. EST