When a confident Sam (Rob Lowe) is outmatched by a novice Republican adviser, Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter) on a political point-counterpoint television program, an impressed President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) offers to hire her as assistant White House counsel despite her party affiliation– a bold move that sends shock waves through the resentful staff. Elsewhere, Toby (Richard Schiff) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) attend a deadlocked White House summit between representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the leaders of AIDS-ravaged African nations to discuss the high price and availability of much-needed drugs. However, the President is concerned for the safety of President Nimbala (Zakes Mokae), the eloquent leader of one of the nations, after news spreads about a bloody coup back home in his country.
THE WEST WING "IN THIS WHITE HOUSE" TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: PETER PARNELL & ALLISON ABNER DIRECTED BY: KEN OLIN TEASER AIDE [VO] Ten minutes to air. MARK GOTTFRIED [VO] Hey, Sam! SAM [VO] Hey, Mark. MARK [VO] You done? SAM [VO] Yeah. FADE IN: INT. BACKSTAGE, CAPITAL BEAT STUDIO - DAY Sam gets up from the make-up chair and walks along with MARK GOTTFRIED, host of Capital Beat. MARK It's not gonna be Wengland. SAM What happened? MARK He's stuck in Denver. SAM I wanted Wengland. MARK Yeah. SAM Did you get Stackhouse? MARK Couldn't get Stackhouse, couldn't get Santana, couldn't get Munroe... SAM Who'd you get? MARK A woman - named Ainsley Hayes... SAM Aimsley? MARK Ainsley, with an 'n'. SAM I don't know her. MARK Me neither, but I've got a producer, he brought her in... SAM Mark, tell me she's not one of these... MARK She is. SAM I thought that was over? MARK No, no, it's not. She's got blonde hair, long legs and she's a Republican, so she's... SAM She's in show business. MARK Yeah. SAM A young, blonde, leggy Republican. MARK Yeah. SAM I thought it turned out they didn't know anything? MARK They don't. An aide with a headset comes up, holding a clipboard. AIDE Sam. SAM Yeah. Mark pats him on the shoulder and moves away. CUT TO: INT. CAPITAL BEAT STUDIO - CONTINUOUS AINSLEY HAYES is seated. She stands as Mark approaches. MARK Ainsley? AINSLEY HAYES [brightly] Yes. MARK Mark Gottfried. AINSLEY Ainsley Hayes. MARK [looking at his watch] So, we'll be starting here in about a minute. I understand you've never done T.V. before? AINSLEY No, no, not as such, no. MARK Not as such? What does that mean? AINSLEY It means no, I haven't done T.V. before. MARK Okay. Well, can I give you a little friendly advice? AINSLEY Yes, I would appreciate it. MARK Don't overreach. AINSLEY Don't overreach? MARK Don't try to do too much. Don't try to know more than you do. My show is not the place for you to become a star. AINSLEY Okay. MARK You'll be opposite Sam Seaborn. He's done the show a couple dozen times; the White House wouldn't keep sending him if he didn't keep wiping the floor with whoever's in your chair. AINSLEY I've seen him. MARK [pointing at her] Don't be scared. AINSLEY [smiling] I'll try. Mark comes around the desk to sit down, and Ainsley sits too. MARK I'll step in, and I'll take some of the punches for you if it gets out of hand, but if you don't get too far from the talking points I'm sure that somebody will give you. Okay? AINSLEY [speaking over him] Yeah. MARK You'll be fine. DIRECTOR [OS] Thirty seconds. MARK Are we starting with the education package? MAN Yeah. Sam comes in and points to somebody off-screen. SAM George! You owe me twenty bucks on the Skins. GEORGE [OS] In the Green Room, man. Sam shakes hands with Ainsley. SAM I'm Sam Seaborn. AINSLEY Ainsley Hayes. DIRECTOR [OS] Twenty seconds. MARK You bet with George on the Skins? SAM [moving across to take his seat] Over under. MARK How's Josh? SAM He's good. DIRECTOR [OS] Ten seconds. MARK Here we go. [to Ainsley] Remember what I said. AINSLEY Yeah. DIRECTOR [OS] In five, four, three... Lights dim, and the director continues the count silently on his fingers. A T.V. screen lights up with the Capital Beat logo. ANNOUNCER [VO] Capital Beat with Mark Gottfried. Tonight from the right, Republican political analyst Ainsley Hayes, and from the left, White House Senior Advisor Sam Seaborn. With Chris Eisen at the Pentagon, and Marjorie Clarke in New York. [Lights go on.] MARK Good evening. Before we get to Chris and Marjorie tonight on the Capital Beat, the House is expected to vote next week on President Bartlet's one point five billion dollar education package. Sam Seaborn: Why is this bill better than its Republican counterpart that the President vetoed last year? Ainsley takes up a pen ready to take notes. SAM Because it buys things the teachers need. Like textbooks. In a fairly comprehensive study that was done, an alarmingly high number of teachers - forty percent of teachers in Kirkwood, Oregon, for instance, and Kirkwood, Oregon being a fair model for public school districts across the country - forty percent of the teachers in Kirkwood, Oregon report not having sufficient textbooks for their students. [Ainsley is taking notes.] The package offered by the Republican controlled Congress offered a grand total of zero dollars for new textbooks. MARK Ainsley Hayes? Is that true? AINSLEY [still writing] No, it's not. MARK Is Sam Seaborn lying? AINSLEY Lying's an awfully strong word... MARK Do you...? AINSLEY [finally looking up] Yes, he's lying. SAM I don't... AINSLEY [talking over him] And we should tell the truth about education. SAM Well, if you're gonna call... AINSLEY The bill contained plenty of money for new textbooks. Also computer literacy, school safety, physical plants. The difference is we wanted to give the money directly to communities, and let them decide how best to spend it, on the off-chance that the needs of Lincoln High in Dayton are different from the needs of Crenshaw High in South Central L.A. MARK Sam, why did the President veto the bill? SAM There are... AINSLEY [talking over him] Because it guaranteed by law that ninety-five percent of the money go directly into the classroom and bypassed the pork-barrel buffet, which is troubling to this President because he doesn't work for the students... SAM [quietly] Well that's just... AINSLEY ...and he doesn't work for the parents of the students. He works for the teacher's union. SAM The difference with the old... He and Mark exchange wry smiles as Ainsley interrupts again. AINSLEY The bill contains plenty of money for textbooks, Mark, and anyone who says otherwise is flat-out lying. And we should tell the truth about textbooks. Textbooks are important, if for no other reason than they'd accurately place the town of Kirkwood in California and not in Oregon. MARK [to the camera] And we're in business. We'll be back with more Capital Beat after this. DIRECTOR [VO] Out. The T.V. screen goes black and displays the words PLACE COMMERCIAL HERE. AINSLEY I'm sorry, did I overreach? Mark chuckles and gets up, leaning over Sam. MARK Hey, Sam. SAM Yeah. MARK This one might know something. SAM [quietly] Yeah. [to himself] Please, oh, please, let them not be watching. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY JOSH [in the doorway] Toby. Come quick! Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl! He scurries away and Toby leaps to his feet. TOBY Ginger, get the popcorn! He dashes after Josh. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY TUESDAY C.J. [VO] There'll be a photo op in the Mural Room... CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS C.J. ...in a half hour with President Bartlet and President Nimbala of the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu who's representing the African nations. REPORTER [standing] Um, C.J., is it the goal of the summit to get the drug companies to lower their prices, or is the goal to get the African countries to honour U.S. patents? C.J. The goal of the summit is to get a step closer to solving twenty-six million African AIDS victims. [Toby watches in the background.] We're counting on the drug companies, we're counting on the African nations, we're counting on the global health community and they're counting on the White House to help broker a solution. REPORTER Is the White House prepared to declare war on the drug companies? C.J. Well, it sounds like you already have, so if we need a button man, we'll call you. Thank you, everybody, half hour in the Mural Room. Carol approaches from the side. C.J. [to Carol] Tell them they need to be in three groups. CAROL Yeah. They both exit the Press Room, and Toby joins C.J. as they walk in the HALLWAYS. TOBY You know what you might have mentioned? C.J. It was a 14 minute briefing, I'm really gonna get reviews? TOBY You might have mentioned that the same drug that costs ten dollars and eighty cents in Norway, where nobody needs it, costs ninety dollars in Burundi, where everybody needs it. C.J. There is nothing keeping these people here but good will, Toby! They can charge what they want for their products. TOBY It sounds to me like we intend to be soft on the drug companies. C.J. Toby, I don't think anybody expects this White House to be anything but tough on American companies showing a profit. TOBY Damn right. Toby comes to a stop in the doorway of C.J.'S OFFICE. Sam comes up behind Toby. SAM Where was the 1992 World Copyright Conference? TOBY Geneva. SAM Thank you. [turns to go] C.J. [calling after him] Sam! I've really gotta admire the way you came into work this morning, head held high. SAM And I appreciate your being the one person who's managed to abstain from heckling me. C.J. No problem. [as he turns to go] There's a whole bunch of women over there. Why don't you ask them whether Geneva's in Switzerland or Oregon? SAM [angry] Okay! TOBY [to Sam] Go to my office. SAM Me and you, twenty questions, short answer, general knowledge test, right now! TOBY Go to my office. SAM I'll spot you two questions. C.J. How much money? TOBY Go to my office. SAM I'm going to his office. C.J. starts making chicken noises. Sam pauses in the doorway and turns to look at Toby. SAM She's making the chicken sound now. TOBY Go to my office. Sam looks back at C.J. and then departs. TOBY [to C.J.] That drug they've gotta buy from us for four dollars a unit, they can get generic from Pakistan for forty cents. C.J. [walking past him] That's not the only bargain in Pakistan, Toby. My girlfriends and I go for the spring fashions. TOBY It shows. C.J. turns to give him a look and he goes off down a side corridor. A young reporter, Bill, comes up behind her. BILL C.J.. C.J. [pointing in the direction Toby went] He just made a little dig about my clothes, and that's what's gonna be with me the rest of the day. BILL C.J., I wanted to introduce myself, I'm Bill Kelley from the Cleveland Courier? C.J. [shaking his hand] Hi. BILL They're breaking me in to cover for Tom Johnson, I've been sitting in the back. C.J. Welcome. BILL Can I ask you something? C.J. That's what I'm here for. BILL Do you know anything about Bonamo Energy selling drilling equipment to Iraq? C.J. I'm not gonna wave you off the story, but I can't tell you anything about it. BILL [stopping her] If they were selling the Iraqis drilling equipment, that would be in violation of sanctions, wouldn't it? C.J. Grand jury investigations are secret, Bill. I can't tell you any more about it. BILL I understand. Nice meeting you. C.J. Nice meeting you. She walks on and then freezes in sudden realization. She turns. C.J. Bill! BILL Yeah? C.J. Nothing. Just... nothing. BILL Okay. C.J. looks concerned for a minute, then walks off. BARTLET [VO] Then you've got guys like Mbeki who turn around and say... CUT TO: INT. PORTICO - DAY Bartlet and Leo are walking along. BARTLET [cont'd] ...that AIDS isn't linked to HIV, it's linked to poverty. LEO It is linked to poverty. BARTLET Would you like me to show you the list of dead millionaires? LEO He was saying that prostitutes, migrant laborers, the ill-educated, and victims of sexual abuse are more likely... BARTLET Leo, AIDS is caused by HIV. You just named a group of people that have a higher mortality rate across the board. Morning, Charlie. CHARLIE Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Where are we? CHARLIE We're all set, sir, whenever you're ready. BARTLET Thank you. Bartlet and Leo walk inside THE OVAL OFFICE. LEO It was the Health Minister trying to clear up his comments. BARTLET They have a Health Minister who doesn't think AIDS is connected to HIV! LEO He was clearing up the comments. BARTLET [stopping at his desk] Hey, did you see Sam get purEed last night on Capital Beat? [puts on his glasses] LEO [amused] I didn't see it, but I have heard tell. BARTLET He got diced and sliced by a woman named Ainsley Hayes. LEO She's been writing some columns. BARTLET I know, I had Charlie pull 'em for me. Where's she been? LEO She was clerking for Dreifort. BARTLET We should hire her. LEO That'd be funny! BARTLET No, I mean it. LEO Mean what? BARTLET We should hire her. LEO What, you mean as a joke on Sam? BARTLET No, not as a joke, I mean we should hire her as a reality. We should hire her. LEO She's a Republican. BARTLET So are half the people in this country. LEO Well, that half lost, so... BARTLET She's smart, she's not just carping. She feels a sense of something. LEO Of what? CHARLIE [entering the room] Mr. President. BARTLET Yeah. [to Leo] Of duty. Of civic duty. LEO [as they leave the room] How many pieces by her did you read? BARTLET Three. LEO And you're certain of her sense of civic duty? BARTLET I can sense civic duty a mile away. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Morning. The press are gathered in THE MURAL ROOM. Bartlet enters. BARTLET Good morning. CROWD Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Morning everybody. CROWD Good morning, Mr. President. Bartlet approaches PRESIDENT NIMBALA. BARTLET Good morning, Mr. President. NIMBALA Good morning, sir. They shake hands. BARTLET [to the press] You can tell your caption editors that Bartlet's the third guy from the right. C.J. Thank you, sir. [to the press] Presidents Bartlet and Nimbala will take just a few questions. KATIE President Bartlet. BARTLET Katie. KATIE This is a summit among leaders of American pharmaceutical companies and the AIDS-ravaged African nations that President Nimbala is representing here. The translator whispers to Nimbala. KATIE [cont.] Is there a political upside to only having President Nimbala at this photo op and not the pharmaceutical companies? BARTLET [sarcastic] Yes, Katie, I'm trying to shore up the sub-Saharan vote. REPORTER Um, Mr. President, are you considering asking Congress to forgive existing debts? BARTLET It's an international health crisis; there's nothing I'm not considering. C.J. [pointing] Arthur? ARTHUR President Nimbala, what's the best you can hope to come away with from this summit? The translator whispers. ARTHUR [cont.] What's a home run? NIMBALA A miracle. TRANSLATOR [as Nimbala speaks] There are people who make miracles in the world. One of them lives right here in the U.S. He realized that vital elements could be harvested from the stalk of the wheat. In his hands, India, which at the time had been ravaged by drought and overpopulation - in his hands, the wheat crop increased from 11 million tons to 60 million tons annually. BARTLET [nodding] That's right. His name is Norman Borlaug, by the way, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. C.J. Thank you, Mr. President, President Nimbala. Thank you everyone. The press start to disperse. BARTLET [to Nimbala] I think you're absolutely right about the kind of miracle we need. I think we're gonna make a lot of progress in the next few days. NIMBALA I hope so, Mr. President. My country's dying. Bartlet looks down for a moment, then nods in acknowlegement and turns to leave. Leo catches up with him as he walks back to THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET It was called dwarf wheat, which produces heavy yields without its stalk falling over from the weight of the rain. LEO Was it a hybrid? BARTLET What am I, Farmer Bob? It was wheat, and there was more than there used to be. LEO Okay! BARTLET And hire that girl. LEO What girl? BARTLET Ainsley Hayes. LEO No. BARTLET Why? LEO 'Cause this is one of those things you're excited about after breakfast that you forget you told me to do by lunch. BARTLET [waggling a finger at him] Not one of those. LEO It's one of those. BARTLET Leo, as hard as you might try, the Republican Party isn't going anywhere. LEO You don't know that for sure, sir, they could all end up moving to Vancouver. BARTLET I don't think so. LEO Me neither, but being in power means everybody else can take a seat for four years. Charlie comes in and hands Bartlet a mug as he sits at his desk. BARTLET Charlie, I want to hire a woman whose voice I think would fit in nicely around here, she's a conservative Republican. Do you think I should do it? CHARLIE Absolutely, Mr. President. 'Cause I'm told that theirs is the party of inclusion. Bartlet gives him a look as he moves away. LEO [gesturing over his shoulder at him] See? Charlie just made a joke to you in the Oval Office. That's how bad an idea it is. BARTLET Leo. LEO Seriously, Mr. President, if you want to do this, it's not an uninteresting notion, let's just do it in a more high-profile place. Put a Republican in the cabinet. BARTLET We might do that, Leo. A hundred million Republicans; we might hire as many as two of them. But for now, hire this girl. LEO To do what? BARTLET [shrugging] I don't know. She's a lawyer. Put her in the counsel's office. LEO You really want me to do this? BARTLET Yes. LEO What if she doesn't want to work here? BARTLET Appeal to her sense of duty. And smooth it over with the staff. Really, I don't want to hear from them. LEO She can always have my job, you know. BARTLET Yes, she can. LEO Thank you, Mr. President. BARTLET Thank you. Leo leaves. BARTLET Charlie. CHARLIE Yes, sir. BARTLET When they close the book on me and you, it will say that at this moment you were not there for me, and for that, obviously, there'll be some kind of punishment. CHARLIE Well, you could sing Puccini for me again, Mr. President. We'll call it even. CUT TO: EXT. CITYSCAPE - NIGHT AINSLEY [VO] And anyone who says otherwise is flat-out lying. BRUCE [VO] Here it comes. CUT TO: INT. AINSLEY'S FRONT ROOM Ainsley's friends BRUCE and HARRIET are watching her on the T.V. Ainsley is in the back fiddling with her telephone. AINSLEY Listen, does anybody here know how to...? BRUCE Shh! AINSLEY [on T.V.] Textbooks are important, if for no other reason than they'd accurately place the town of Kirkwood in California and not in Oregon. BRUCE [stops the video, grinning] Oh! I could watch that a hundred times. AINSLEY Does anybody know how to work caller-ID? HARRIET Oh, how can you not know how to use a telephone? AINSLEY I've been paying attention to other things. HARRIET Well, pay attention to that because Bruce's friend is gonna call you. AINSLEY The agent? BRUCE Yep. AINSLEY I don't need an agent, I need a caller-ID tutorial. HARRIET You need an agent, Ainsley, you're gonna be a star. AINSLEY Used to be, you had to sing and dance. BRUCE You're gonna get a lot of work ripping these people to shreds, and lookin' good doing it. AINSLEY That's an actual job now? The phone begins to ring. BRUCE That's him. AINSLEY [consulting leaflet] Let's see, I push... this button... And the number appears. HARRIET Ainsley? AINSLEY [softly] 202-456-1414. HARRIET Is that the agent? AINSLEY It's the White House. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY WEDNESDAY Donna emerges from the office carrying a file and walks past Sam in the corridor. DONNA Hey, Sam. SAM [stops and turns] Excuse me? DONNA What? SAM Did you say something to me? DONNA I, I said 'hey, Sam'...? SAM Really. DONNA Yeah. SAM 'Cause it sounded like maybe you might have made a wisecrack about Oregon... California. DONNA Sorry, out of luck. [turns to walk off and passes C.J.] Hey, C.J.. C.J. [seeming harrassed] Hi, Donna. [marches past Sam, looking distracted] SAM [following] This is late for you. C.J. I got lost. SAM Where? C.J. On the way to work. SAM When? C.J. Now, this morning. SAM You got lost on your way to work? C.J. sighs. They pass Carol on the way into C.J.'s office. C.J. Good morning, Carol. SAM Morning, Carol. CAROL Good morning, Sam. [frowning at C.J.] It's eight fifteen. C.J. We'll do messages in a minute. SAM You got lost on your way to work. C.J. [warningly] Don't make fun of me. SAM I wouldn't worry about that. C.J. [rubbing her face] I didn't sleep much last night. SAM How much did you sleep? C.J. None, not at all. SAM You slept none, not at all. C.J. Sam! SAM I am, today, particularly excited about you being the spokesperson for the President. C.J. [calling after him as he turns to go] Let me ask you something. I was talking, yesterday, to a reporter who's new in the room, and he asked me a question, and in my answer... [long pause] Let me ask you something. She is silent for another long moment. SAM C.J.? C.J. Yeah. SAM You know you haven't asked me anything yet, right? C.J. Yeah. [collecting herself after a moment] Yeah. Listen, never mind. SAM C.J.? C.J. Seriously, forget about it. SAM What was your question? LEO [arriving in the doorway] The two of you, come take a walk with me. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - CONTINUOUS SAM What's going on? LEO [turning to face them] I wanted to tell you this out where there were people so you wouldn't scream about it. C.J. Scream about what? LEO The woman who was on Capital Beat with Sam Sunday night. SAM What about her? LEO I'm offering her a job. SAM [sharply] Where? LEO Here. C.J. Are you kidding? LEO No. C.J. Are you kidding? LEO [more firmly] No. C.J. [getting louder] Are you kidding? LEO No. C.J. [shrieking] Well, what the hell made you think I wouldn't scream where there are people?! Everyone turns to stare. LEO I took a shot. SAM and C.J. [shrieking in unison] Leo! LEO [quietly] Come this way. He motions for them both to follow him and moves off. CUT TO: INT - JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY Donna enters and approaches Josh. DONNA I don't feel that I've homed in on this. JOSH There are a lot of people in Africa with HIV. DONNA Right. JOSH American companies hold the patents on the medicines they need. DONNA Yes. JOSH Most people in most African countries can't afford to buy the drugs at these prices, so they buy them on the black market. DONNA In violation of the U.S. patents and international treaties. JOSH Yes. DONNA How prohibitively priced are the drugs? JOSH They cost about a hundred and fifty bucks a week. DONNA Well, that's not totally off the charts. JOSH A police officer in Kenya makes forty-three dollars a month. He straightens his jacket outside the meeting room and Donna hands him a folder. DONNA Do good in there. Josh sighs and pushes open the door to THE ROOSEVELT ROOM. ALAN This isn't about profit... NIMBALA [pointedly] Sir! ALAN [after a moment] This isn't about profit... NIMBALA Sir, you have interrupted me again. ALAN My apologies, Mr. President. Nimbala begins to talk, as Josh quietly rounds the table and takes a seat. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] How can you tell us this isn't about profit maximisation? Why do you sell Amprex for half the price in Norway than you do in my country? SPOKESMAN 2 I don't think that's the issue. TOBY [abruptly] Let's make it the issue. ALAN Toby! TOBY Let's make it the issue for the moment, please. ALAN You can't compare prices worldwide, Toby. NIMBALA Sir, excuse me, sir. ALAN [exasperated] Yes? TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] I am the one who asked you the question. I'd appreciate it if you directed your answer to me. ALAN President Nimbala. When you sell to small pharmacies, as we do in Norway, a different price is set. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] Norway, ten dollars per unit U.S.; my country, twenty-three dollars per unit U.S. ALAN Retail mark-up, taxes, pharmacy discounts... these things vary widely. SPOKESMAN 2 Not to mention the fact that we don't even know if the drugs are getting to your citizens. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] You're implying corruption and incompetence. SPOKESMAN 2 [leaning forward] We do have reports of that, Mr. President. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] You talk to me about corruption. What are your annual sales of Fluconazole alone? NIMBALA A billion dollars. ALAN I don't understand your point, sir. TOBY I think President Nimbala's saying that there's more money in giving a white guy an erection than curing a black guy of AIDS. ALAN Sir, my company has given away over a hundred and twenty million dollars worth of free drugs a year. Including free doses of Zyclocint, which is one of two drugs in your country curing eye infection right now. TOBY They're not dying from eye infections, Alan. ALAN Well, they're not dying 'cause of me either, Toby. And I'd like not to be talked to this way. TOBY Alan, if it was 26 million Europeans dying, we'd have had a solution yesterday. Josh leans back in his chair and rubs his face. JOSH How much would it cost for you to provide free drugs to the Sahelise Republic, Kenya, and the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu? ALAN [shrugging] I have no idea. JOSH Why not? We're talking about a hundred and thirty thousand patients, two hundred milligram pills, three times a day every day. What's the X-factor? ALAN We don't know how long they'll live. TOBY [after a moment] We're nowhere. Let's take a break. He gets up and leaves the room, and the others start to follow. FADE OUT. FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY THURSDAY MARGARET [entering] Leo. LEO Yeah. MARGARET She's here. LEO Good. MARGARET Should I send her in? LEO Yeah. MARGARET Want me to stay here? LEO Why? MARGARET In case something should happen. LEO What would that be, exactly? MARGARET [leaving] I'll bring her in. LEO Thank you. He gets up and walks to the door, shaking hands with Ainsley as she arrives. LEO Ainsley. AINSLEY Mr. McGarry. LEO Leo's fine. AINSLEY Yeah. LEO [closes the door] Were you offered coffee or something to drink? AINSLEY Yes, the woman who works out there, who I imagine is your secretary, offered me coffee or something. LEO Okay. AINSLEY She was also kind enough to ask for my coat. LEO Excellent, and... AINSLEY She seems to be a very good secretary. LEO She'll be happy to hear that, she's standing right outside the door. He thumps his hand on the door. MARGARET [VO] Ow. LEO [returning to his desk] So, I have to tell you, I've never seen Sam Seaborn get beat the way you beat him on Monday. AINSLEY [sitting] Yes, well, Mr. McGarry... LEO Leo. AINSLEY Yes, sir. I've been thinking about that ever since your office called me on Tuesday, and I have something to say on my own behalf, if you'll permit me a moment to say it, and I understand if you won't, but I would really appreciate it if you did. LEO I... didn't really follow that, but whatever. AINSLEY I think that it is wrong for a man in your position to summon someone to the White House to reprimand them for voicing opposition. I think that that is wrong, and it is inappropriate. It's inappropriate, and I'll tell you what else. LEO [nodding slightly] It's wrong? AINSLEY Yes. LEO That's fine, except you weren't summoned here to be reprimanded. AINSLEY Well, then, if you'll permit me, why was I summoned? LEO You have an interesting conversational style, do you know that? AINSLEY It's a nervous condition. LEO I used to have a nervous condition. AINSLEY How did yours manifest itself? LEO I drank a lot of scotch. AINSLEY I get sick when I drink too much. LEO I get drunk when I drink too much. AINSLEY Well, Mr. McGarry... LEO Leo. AINSLEY Yes, sir. I'll ask again: for what purpose was I brought here today? LEO So I could offer you a job. AINSLEY I'm asking because I do not think that it is fair that I be expected to play the role of the mouse to the White House's cat in the game of, well, you know the game. LEO Cat and mouse? AINSLEY Yes. And it's not like I'm not, you know... the fact that I may not look like some of the other Republicans who have crossed your path does not mean I am any less inclined towards... [comes to a sudden stop] LEO Here it comes. AINSLEY Did you say offer me a job? LEO Yes. Associate White House counsel. You'd report to the Deputy White House Counsel, who reports to the White House Counsel, who reports to me. AINSLEY I'm sorry... A job in this White House? LEO You want a glass of scotch? AINSLEY Yes, please. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Sam looks through the window and sees C.J. lying on her couch with a cloth over her eyes. SAM C.J.? C.J. Yeah? Sam comes in and stops in the doorway. SAM C.J., see a sleep doctor. Take a pill. Do something. C.J. I rode the Lifecycle this morning for an hour and a half. If it was a real cycle, I'd be in Belgium by now. SAM [sitting down] C.J., what did you want to ask me the other day? C.J. Sam, if I talked to you about it, you could be subpoenaed. SAM Don't worry about it. C.J. It could cost you... SAM [more firmly] Don't worry about it. C.J. [sitting up] I do worry about it! [brushes back her hair] There's no problem. I just need some sleep. What can I bring into the room about the conference? SAM The sessions are productive. Progress is being made. These kinds of things take time. All the parties are optimistic. C.J. Are any of the parties optimistic? SAM No. C.J. [quietly] Okay. CAROL C.J.? C.J. looks up, and Carol makes a 'get moving' gesture. C.J. Yeah. [leaves] Sam looks up at Carol and frowns. SAM Did you say something to me? CAROL No. SAM 'Cause I thought you might have said something. Carol gives him an odd look, and leaves. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY AINSLEY I have always been a Republican. My father is a Republican. His father was State Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. LEO Yes. AINSLEY When I was young, I was a Young Republican. LEO [sitting up] Yeah, Ainsley, even if you hadn't already told me all of this, you know, many, many times, I would know it anyway, 'cause I have this FBI file. AINSLEY You have my FBI file? LEO Yes. AINSLEY I can't believe that! You have my FBI file? LEO Yes. AINSLEY I have an FBI file? LEO Ainsley... AINSLEY Mr. McGarry, I loathe almost everything you believe in. [stands up] LEO Where are you going? AINSLEY I'm not going anywhere, I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. LEO Well, you go, girl. AINSLEY I find this administration smug and patronizing, and under the impression that those who disagree with them are less than they are, and with colder hearts. LEO I don't think that's true. AINSLEY How many people on your staff assumed that I was ambitious, mean, and stupid? LEO [firmly] None. [after a moment] C.J. Cregg thinks you kill your pets. You don't do that, do you? AINSLEY No, I don't kill my pets. I don't have any pets. I was thinking about getting a pet, but-- that doesn't matter. The point is... LEO Ainsley. AINSLEY Yes, sir. LEO Don't you want to work in the White House? AINSLEY Oh, only since I was two. LEO [shrugging] Okay. AINSLEY It has to be this White House? LEO Ainsley... AINSLEY Mr. McGarry. LEO The President likes smart people who disagree with him. He wants to hear from you. The President's asking you to serve. And everything else is crap. He gets up and goes to open the door for her. LEO Think about it overnight. Come back here at six tomorrow and give me your answer. [shouting] Margaret! Margaret jumps, standing right in the doorway as he yanks it open. LEO How you doin'? [gives her a wry smile] Show Ms. Hayes out, would you, please? MARGARET This way. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Toby pushes through a door, carrying a drink with a wrapped-up danish on top of it. Josh follows behind him, eating a banana. JOSH You're listening to me, but you're not understanding me. TOBY No, I'm disagreeing with you. That doesn't mean I'm not listening to you, or understanding what you're saying. I'm doing all three at the same time. JOSH You gotta get out of their face, Toby, they can get up any time they want. We don't have anything they need. [tosses his banana skin in a trash can as they walk past] TOBY They need patent treaties to be enforced. JOSH And they are gonna be enforced. The pharmaceutical companies got half the House of Representatives elected. Congress is gonna get serious about this. TOBY The pills cost 'em four cents a unit to make. JOSH You know that's not true. The second pill cost 'em four cents; the first pill cost 'em four hundred million dollars. TOBY They also enjoy unprecedented tax breaks, foreign tax credits, research and experimentation exemptions, and expensing of research expenditures. To say nothing of the fact that business is pretty good, so they're gonna cover their butt. Toby pushes through the door of the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE and hands the wrapped danish to Ginger. JOSH Tell me about Nimbala. He walks on past as Toby stops to talk to Ginger. TOBY They didn't have cheese. GINGER What is it? TOBY It's boysenberry. GINGER A boysenberry danish? TOBY [walking away] It's new. Josh is sitting waiting for him in TOBY'S OFFICE. JOSH Tell me about Nimbala. TOBY He's a good President, Josh. He was a great soldier, a brilliant commander, he led his people for 28 years, he can't get ahead of the curve. He's cursed by geography. You know what, if the ground won't grow anything, you don't have an economy. Still, he stands in a room and he talks about Norman Borlaug. He came here himself, Josh, he didn't send delegates. I think it's 'cause he doesn't have any. I think he's holding his country together with both hands. JOSH Then let's make sure we send him back with something, is my point. Ginger appears in the doorway. GINGER Fellas? TOBY Yeah. GINGER They're ready. Josh gets up to leave. TOBY [quietly] Yeah. CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY CAROL [OS] Folks, please take your seats. C.J. Good afternoon. Guess what? The aduit figures released yesterday by the Senate Finance comfirmed earlier reports released by the Congressional Budget Office regarding the increased budget projections. CUT TO: INT. BACK OF PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS Ainsley wanders in. C.J. [OS] The CBO's projection actually increased the surplus amount from two trillion over the next ten years to 2.2 trillion We see C.J. on a monitor as Ainsley comes up beside Bill. C.J. This exceeds even the most optimistic estimates published last year by the White House budget office of 300 billion and the CBO's projection last quarter of 900 billion. BILL Are you new too? AINSLEY [leaning closer] Excuse me? BILL Are you new too? It's my fourth day. AINSLEY Uh no, no. BILL Maybe you can help me, then. I'm trying to get somewhere with drilling equipment that might have been sold by Bonamo Energy to the Iraqis, in violation of sanctions. I asked C.J. about it, and she said there's a grand jury investigation, and she's not allowed to talk. If you ask he she was acting a little bit-- [shrugs] Ah, I don't know. But I hear she hasn't been able to sleep, and maybe that's because... AINSLEY She told you there was a grand jury investigation? BILL Yeah. Margaret comes up behind them. MARGARET Miss Hayes. AINSLEY Yeah. MARGARET This way. They leave and Bill watches them go. C.J. [OS] ...a large portion of the surplus to debt reduction. REPORTER [OS] Is there an updated assumption-? REPORTERS [OS] C.J.! C.J.! C.J. [OS] With regard to the progress made here at the White House summit for African AIDS relief, all parties are optimistic that an agreement will be reached. We PAN across to view C.J. on a monitor. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY FRIDAY CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - CONTINUOUS ALAN I think there's a more fundamental problem than marginal costs. We've been at this for four days and I still think we haven't talked about the fundamental misunderstanding in Africa over the basic facts of AIDS. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] I don't think there's a misunderstanding. ALAN A week ago you people stood up and said that AIDS has only a casual relationship to HIV. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] I'm not sure to whom you are referring when you say, 'you people', but it was President Mbeki of South Africa who said that, and not anyone in this room. SPOKESMAN 2 I think Mr. Damson has brought up a hard truth that should faced. JOSH What's that? ALAN If tomorrow we made AIDS medication free to every patient in your country, as much as they needed for as long as they needed it, it would likely make very little difference in the spread of the epidemic. JOSH Why? SPOKESMAN 2 Anti-HIV drugs are a triple cocktail. It's a complicated regimen that requires ten pills to be taken every day at precise times. Two protease inhibitors every eight hours, two combination RTI pills every twelve hours. JOSH What's the problem? There is a brief silence. Toby sighs. TOBY They don't own wristwatches. They can't tell time. Josh rubs his temples, looking tired. There is another brief silence. ALAN We agree that something must be done. But we don't think we're culprits, and we don't think there is an easy or obvious solution. And we think you should be aware of the dangers involved in some of the proposals made here today. Toby sighs again. TOBY Mr. President, may we speak with you alone, please? CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Margaret and Ainsley are walking along together. Ainsley stops, spotting C.J. exercising on the Lifecycle in her office. MARGARET Ainsley? AINSLEY Could-could you give me just a moment? Margaret checks her watch. MARGARET Sure. AINSLEY Thank you. Ainsley walks and enters C.J.'S OFFICE. AINSLEY Excuse me. I was going to see Leo McGarry. He asked me to come back and see him again at the end of the day. I'm Ainsley Hayes. C.J. It's good to meet you. AINSLEY I'm not taking the job, C.J. C.J. Well... [shrugging] okay. AINSLEY I just wanted to... okay. Ainsley turns to go as C.J. takes a swig of water, then she turns back. AINSLEY C.J., rule 6[e] of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure says you can be prosecuted for even confirming that a grand jury's been impaneled. C.J. How'd you know? AINSLEY A reporter in your press room, who hasn't read the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. C.J. Well, someone's gonna tell him eventually. AINSLEY Who told you? C.J. One of the witnesses who was called. What could happen? AINSLEY Eighteen months, medium security. [C.J. abruptly stops pedalling.] C.J., I'm kidding. You didn't break the law. Attorneys and jurors are under a gag order. Witnesses are free to say whatever they want, and anyone is free to repeat what they've said. You know, I'm not sure that laying low and hoping nobody noticed was the best strategy here. Next time, you should really run it by someone in the Counsel's Office. Anyway, I should go see Leo. C.J. Yeah. CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - DAY Nimbala is watching the rain against the window. Josh and Toby enter the room behind him. TOBY President Nimbala? Nimbala walks over to the seats and sits down. TOBY I'm gonna put a deal together, and I want you to agree to it. NIMBALA What am I agreeing to? TOBY I can get them to lower their prices - but you have to commit your military, your customs bureau, and your Ministry of Health. You have to commit them to stopping the influx of black market HIV drugs from Korea and Pakistan, and from wherever else they're coming. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] 35.8 percent of our adult population is infected. 60 percent of our hospital beds are occupied by people who are HIV-positive. Our Institute of Policy Analysis says in the coming decade, 50 percent of all households in our country will have at least one member infected with HIV. To think I would care about International Patent Law at a time like this is unrealistic. JOSH Mr. President. The U.S. Department of Commerce will put your country on a watch list. That's the first step towards trade sanctions. Our Congress could end all aid to your country. TOBY Or you can agree to what we're saying. In exchange for which we believe we can get Congress to forgive the debt, and all your past development loans, and we believe the Export-Import Bank will offer a billion dollars in loans to finance the purchase of American AIDS medication. NIMBALA [disbelieving] Congress won't approve the loan! JOSH Congress won't have to, sir. The Treasury and the State Department will review it, but if we spread the loans out over several countries in your region on a case-by-case basis, and if none of the loans exceed a hundred million dollars, we don't need Congressional approval. That law might change soon. The translator finishes relaying and Nimbala is silent for a moment. NIMBALA It's a terrible thing to beg for your life. Terrible. My father- [slips back into his own language] TRANSLATOR [to Nimbala] A proud man. NIMBALA Proud? Ah. My father was a proud man. He built homes. He wouldn't like what I came here to do. TOBY Yes he would, Mr. President. I swear to God, he would. NIMBALA [after a long silence] Thank you, sir. TOBY [to Josh] Go tell Leo. Josh gets up and leaves. CUT TO: INT. OUTSIDE LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Ainsley is studying a picture on the wall. Sam walks past carrying a folder. He pokes his head through Leo's door, sees he's not there, and then turns back and notices her. SAM Hi. AINSLEY [turning] Hi. Sam looks at his watch and fiddles awkwardly with his tie. He opens his folder to look at it. After a moment, Ainsley turns back to the picture. SAM [abruptly] You know, something you forgot to mention about the 95 percent of the money going straight into the classroom and past the pork-barrel buffet is that the school only got the money if they agreed not to distribute condoms. AINSLEY Well that's a reason to veto it, because the thing our public schools need more than anything else right now are free condoms. I'd... definitely make that priority one. JOSH [walking past into Leo's office] Hey, Sam. SAM Hey. JOSH [emerging] Where's Leo? AINSLEY He's not here. Josh pauses for a moment in the doorway. JOSH You look familiar to me. [realizing] You're Ainsley Hayes! AINSLEY Ainsley, uh, with an 'n'. SAM She works here now. JOSH What? SAM Leo hired her. JOSH What're you talking about? SAM Leo hired her. He told me and C.J., he was waiting to tell you and Toby. JOSH What was he waiting for? SAM [exasperated] How the hell do I know, Josh? AINSLEY Waiting until he hired me, which he hasn't done, 'cause I'm not taking the job. JOSH You're not taking the job? AINSLEY No. But thank you for talking to me, instead of about me. JOSH Hey, I'm still back on he offered you the job... but you're not taking the job? SAM No, man, why participate in the process when you can get a job commenting on it? AINSLEY You think because I don't want to work here it's because I can get a better gig on Geraldo? Gosh, let's see if there could possibly be any other reason why I wouldn't want to work in this White House? This White House that feels that government is better for children than parents are. That looks at forty years of degrading and humiliating free lunches handed out in a spectacularly failed effort to level the playing field and says, 'Let's try forty more.' This White House that says of anyone that points that out to them, that they are cold and mean and racist, and then accuses Republicans of using the politics of fear. This White House that loves the Bill of Rights, all of them - except the second one. SAM [looks at Josh nervously] This is the wrong place to talk about guns right now. I thought your column was idiotic. AINSLEY Imagine my surprise. SAM [getting steadily more emotional] But for a brilliant surgical team and two centimeters of a miracle, this guy's dead right now. From bullets fired from a gun bought legally. They bought guns, they loaded them, they drove from Wheeling to Rosslyn, and until they pulled the trigger they had yet to commit a crime. I am so off-the-charts tired of the gun lobby tossing around words like 'personal freedom' and no one calling 'em on it. [Josh moves away uncomfortably.] It's not about personal freedom, and it certainly has nothing to do with public safety. It's just that some people like guns. AINSLEY Yes, they do. But you know what's more insidious than that? Your gun control position doesn't have anything to do with public safety, and it's certainly not about personal freedom. It's about you don't like people who do like guns. You don't like the people. Think about that, the next time you make a joke about the South. TOBY [coming in] Where's Leo? SAM [still focused on Ainsley] What? TOBY Where's Leo? JOSH We don't know. Charlie appears briefly in the doorway to hand a piece of paper to Toby. JOSH Charlie, you seen Leo? Toby hands the paper to Josh and leaves. Josh reads it and then hands it to Sam, and they both go off in different directions. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Josh opens the door from Leo's office and goes in. Bartlet and Leo are at the desk while various other people bustle about. A military man hands Bartlet some papers. BARTLET 600? MILITARY GUY 1 Yes, sir. BARTLET Television and radio? MILITARY GUY 2 They've got 'em. BARTLET When do I see pictures, and who's gonna tell me what I'm looking for? AIDE Ten minutes in the Situation Room. BARTLET [looking at his watch] I want Fitzwallace and Nancy. The aide nods and leaves. MILITARY GUY 1 We're getting in the early CIC reports. Toby enters. TOBY [approaching Donna] Donna, tell C.J. it's an open lid? DONNA She knows. They're coming back. Another aide opens the door for Nimbala. BARTLET [nodding towards him] Leo. LEO [to the military advisors] Excuse us. [louder] Excuse me, everybody, could we have the room a moment please? The various aides and advisors clear out. Sam enters behind Nimbala. LEO Sam. Sam closes the door behind him. Bartlet slips on his suit jacket and looks grave as he turns to face Nimbala. BARTLET Mr. President, three hours ago there was a coup in your country. The AFRC has taken the capital. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] Where are my children? BARTLET We're finding out. The information's coming very quickly now from our people in Angola and Sudan. Mr. President, I think you should sit. NIMBALA No, thank you. I'll go now. BARTLET No, no, sir! My State Department is offering you asylum in the U.S. NIMBALA Thank you, Mr. President, but I have to go home! BARTLET You can't go home. You can't go home! NIMBALA I'm their leader. BARTLET They have the capital, they have the radio station, they have the television station. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] Are there Americans on the ground? BARTLET I'm evacuating the embassy. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] Have they closed the airports? BARTLET Yes. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] They'll want to arrest me. They will want to put me on trial. You should trade my return for the safe departure of the Americans. BARTLET I don't need to trade you! If they won't give me the Americans, we'll go and get 'em ourselves, and they know that, and they'll let 'em go. Ainsley approaches from Leo's office and sees them talking through the door. NIMBALA [firmly] I'd like to call my embassy. TOBY Your embassy is in exile, Mr. President. BARTLET They will shoot you the moment you step off the plane. Another aide comes in and hands Bartlet a message. TRANSLATOR [NIMBALA] Please tell me what is in that message. Bartlet puts on his glasses and reads for a moment, then looks up. BARTLET We think your brother and your two sons are already dead. We think your wife is being hidden in Kenya. You understand, don't you, why I can't offer military assistance? NIMBALA Yes. Margaret comes up to where Ainsley is standing and leads her away. BARTLET Sit down, sir. Margaret closes the door. CUT TO: EXT. CITYSCAPE - NIGHT CUT TO: INT. RESTAURANT - CONTINUOUS Bruce and Harriet are sitting together. HARRIET And you know they just wanted to hire her so they could say they did. BRUCE Yes. Look at us! We hired a Republican! Look at how bipartisan we are! We didn't even notice that she looks like a Gap dancer! Ainsley approaches and joins them. HARRIET Ainsley! BRUCE Hey. HARRIET Bruce was just telling me. BRUCE I couldn't resist. HARRIET He said they tried to hire you. BRUCE [eagerly] Tell me about the look on McGarry's face. AINSLEY What? BRUCE When you said no. AINSLEY I, um, couldn't see him. He had to- he was called in to- HARRIET What's wrong? AINSLEY [shaking her head] Nothing. He had to- Something happened. BRUCE Uh, damn. I wanted you to say it to his face. I wanted to see... HARRIET I hate these people. BRUCE Did you meet anyone there who isn't worthless? AINSLEY [quietly] Don't say that. BRUCE Did you meet anyone there who has any-? AINSLEY [more firmly] I said don't say that. Say they're smug and superior, say their approach to public policy makes you want to tear your hair out. Say they like high taxes and spending your money. Say they want to take your guns and open your borders, but don't call them worthless. At least don't do it in front of me. Bruce and Harriet exchange a look. AINSLEY The people that I have met have been extraordinarily qualified, their intent is good. Their commitment is true, they are righteous, and they are patriots. [after a moment, with tears in her eyes] And I'm their lawyer. She gets up and walks out. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY SATURDAY BARTLET [VO] You ever read Paul Erlich's book? TOBY [VO] "The Population Bomb"? BARTLET [VO] Yeah. He wrote it in 1968. Erlich said it was a fantasy that India would ever feed itself. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Josh, Toby and Bartlet are gathered together, all in casual clothes. BARTLET [cont.] Then Norman Borlaug comes along. See the problem was wheat is top-heavy. It was falling over on itself and it took up too much space. The dwarf wheat... guys, it was an agricultural revolution that was credited with saving one billion lives. Charlie approaches and hands Bartlet a small slip of paper. He looks up at him for a moment, then puts on his glasses and takes the message. He unfolds it and looks grave. TOBY It happened. BARTLET They executed him in the airport parking lot. There is a solemn silence, and Bartlet takes off his glasses and sighs. BARTLET Okay. I'll see you Monday. He gets up and leaves the office. A staffer stands as he walks past and then sits down. Josh leaves the office and goes in the opposite direction, while Toby just stands in silence. 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 2.04 -- 'In This White House' Original Airdate: October 25, 2000, 9:00 PM EST Transcript by: Nomad