Election Day arrives as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff begin counting exit poll votes across the country — especially in a conservative California congressional district where the result has important implications for Sam (Rob Lowe) and its maverick campaign manager (Joshua Malina).
THE WEST WING "ELECTION NIGHT" TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: DAVID GERKEN & DAVID HANDELMAN DIRECTED BY: LESLI LINKA GLATTER TEASER FADE IN: INT. POLLING PLACE - DAY PRECINCT FOUR POLLING PLACE WEST END PUBLIC LIBRARY 24TH & L 7:17 A.M. Josh walks out of the polling booth after placing his votes. A lady puts a sticker on his jacket. JOSH Thank you. MAN You're Josh Lyman, aren't you? JOSH Yeah. MAN Yeah. I've seen you're picture a lot. Can I ask you something? JOSH Sure. MAN Bartlet's on the ballot for the Democratic Party and for the Statehood Party. It's okay that I voted for him in both columns, right? JOSH No, you can't vote for him in two columns. MAN I already did. JOSH You're ballots going to be invalidated. MAN What the hell for? JOSH You're only allowed to vote once. MAN He's on the ballot twice. JOSH He's on the ballot more than that. He's on the ballot as the Liberal Party nominee... MAN I'm saying I'm for statehood. JOSH Me, too, and I'm saying yours is a vote we didn't get. BLACK MAN I'm so sorry to interrupt. Did I hear you say that you're supposed to vote for the President in both columns? JOSH No. No, uh, you can vote for the President in whatever column you want, but you can only vote once. BEGGERLY WOMAN He's right. JOSH Yes, I'm... Yes. BEGGERLY WOMAN And I'll tell you a secret for a shortcut: If you just, say, vote for one Democrat and leave all the rest of the boxes blank, then you voted for the Democrats. JOSH Yes. No. It doesn't... You can't vote for a party. You have to vote for a person. BEGGERLY WOMAN No, I think you're wrong. JOSH I'm not. BEGGERLY WOMAN I left all but one box blank. JOSH Well, then you voted for none but one candidate. BEGGERLY WOMAN Nuts. JOSH Did you vote for the President? Was the Presidnet the one box? BEGGERLY WOMAN Ah, who remembers? JOSH It was a minute and a half ago. BEGGERLY WOMAN Don't be rude. JOSH I'm sorry. Thank you for voting. Josh walks away. WOMAN IN RED COAT Excuse me. JOSH [frustrated] Yes. What? He turns around to see a pretty brunette, and he mellows out. JOSH Yes, hello. WOMAN IN RED COAT You're who I think you are, right? JOSH I can be who you want. WOMAN IN RED COAT That's funny. JOSH Thank you. WOMAN IN RED COAT Um, I saw you getting run over by those people. JOSH Just part of the job ma'am. They get on an escalator. WOMAN IN RED COAT Mm. I guess you hear some pretty silly questions. JOSH Well, I'm just worried 'cause they all tried to vote for Bartlet, and if this keeps up, we're headed towards biggest electoral upset in history and nobody's going to be able to figure out why. WOMAN IN RED COAT Right, well, it's the same thing with my parents. I tell them to just rank the candidates in order of preference. JOSH Right. No! ASIAN LADY Mr. Lyman, I voted for your boy in all three boxes. JOSH No. Listen to me. Your ballot is invalid. [to woman in red coat] So is yours. Punch the box next to the candidate you prefer once-- nothing else. WOMAN IN RED COAT I'm sorry, one more thing. JOSH Yes. WOMAN IN RED COAT I have a message from Toby Ziegler. JOSH What? WOMAN IN RED COAT I have a message from Toby Ziegler. JOSH You know Toby? WOMAN IN RED COAT He says... ten dollars. Josh looks up to see every one he was talking to standing in the background laughing. JOSH I see. You guys are a little troupe. A little acting troupe with a "U". MAN Yes sir, we are. Can I give you a card? JOSH No. MAN Mr. Ziegler said you were a little edgy on election days, so, just to show there are no hard feelings, how about if I go down there and vote for the President? Right now. JOSH As a matter of fact, that would be nice. MAN No problem. Do you happen to know if I need to be... I don't know, pre-registered or something? Josh bursts out the doors and yells. JOSH Yes! SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY 10:00 A.M. LARRY The teachers have 500 red and blue Bartlet-Hoynes banners. That, plus 600 from building trades. SAM No. LARRY I'm sorry? SAM No. LARRY Why? SAM The partisanship's over. We elected a President. This is for everybody. No banners tonight; the American flag. C.J. Okay, but we're using the seal and I'll put Senate and House leadership up there. SAM No balloons, no confetti. C.J. Why? SAM It's not a party. C.J. It is a party. SAM Yeah, but we won. We don't have to pander. TOBY Please don't say that. C.J. On your birthday, don't we pander to you? SAM Not as much as I'd like. TOBY I'm not kidding. C.J. What are you babbling about? TOBY We haven't won anything yet. C.J. The speech is done. TOBY Two speeches are done. C.J. What's the second? TOBY I've got a speech if he wins, I've got a speech if he doesn't. SAM You wrote a concession? TOBY Of course I wrote a concession. You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing? SAM No. TOBY Then go outside, turn around three times and spit. What the hell's the matter with you? SAM It's like 25 degrees outside. TOBY Go. JOSH Hello. C.J. [in foreign accent] Oh, Mr. Lyman. I see your picture in the magazine. Tell me, if I swallow my ballot, does it still...? JOSH A little election day humor-- that's great. SAM He wrote a concession speech. JOSH Of course he wrote a concession speech. Why wouldn't he? What possible reason would he have for not writing a concession speech? SAM The wrath from high atop the thing. TOBY He upped and said we were gonna... JOSH No, you got to go outside, turn around three times and curse. TOBY Spit. JOSH Spit and curse. TOBY Do everything. Go! JOSH Go! TOBY Go! JOSH Go! TOBY Go! Sam gets up and leaves the room. JOSH These things have a half-life. You just can't... TOBY All right, we're meeting again, when? ED First round of exits at 11:00. TOBY 11:00 unless there's a reason earlier. C.J. [to Toby] Can I have you two seconds? TOBY Yeah. What do you need? They go out the HALLWAY. C.J. Hang on. TOBY There's trouble? C.J. A little bit. TOBY For the President? C.J. For you. They end up in TOBY'S OFFICE. C.J. Listen, I know better then to stick my face in your personal life except, you know, for sport. TOBY What happened? C.J. Roll Call's got it from the Office of Congress's Attending Physician that Andy's pregnant. TOBY When did they start doing more than flu vaccinations? C.J. They need updated medical records. TOBY Roll Call doesn't need updated medical records though, do they? C.J. They're going to connect the dots. It's going to be bad for her and bad for you. TOBY You mean bad for us. C.J. I can handle the "us." What's her plan? TOBY I don't know. C.J. Toby... TOBY I dont know. We haven't talked about it. C.J. She's got to be proactive. TOBY Yeah. C.J. It would be nice if we could announce a wedding. TOBY I'm working on that. Thanks. C.J. You'll talk to her, hmm? TOBY Yeah. C.J. Thanks. C.J. exits into the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE, where she sees Sam. C.J. Did you...? SAM Yes, I turned, I cursed, I spat, it froze. C.J. Can't be too careful. SAM I think you can. BONNIE Sam, you got Will Bailey calling from California. SAM [singing] "Won't you come home, Will Bailey...? Won't you come home...?" [into phone] Sancho, how you doing? WILL BAILEY I'm Sancho? SAM Yeah. WILL Okay. Can I ask you something? SAM Yes, grasshopper. WILL How much do you know about exit polls? SAM What's there to know? You stand 100 yards away and say "Who'd you vote for?" You can't afford exit polls. WILL Yeah, I've got volunteers out there with clipboards. SAM And? WILL Something weird's going on. SAM What? WILL We're winning. SAM What do you mean? WILL We're down one in Spyglass Hill even in Emerald Bay and up three in El Toro Station. SAM Okay, can I give you a nickels worth of free advice? WILL Yeah. SAM It's not advice so much as I'm saying this: Democrats vote early, okay? And diehards vote early. WILL Okay, you want me to call in every couple of hours? SAM Every hour. WILL Okay. Sam hangs up the phone and goes out into the COMMUNICATION BULLPEN. SAM Bonnie, Democrats vote early, right? BONNIE Yeah. SAM Ginger, Democrats and diehards vote eary, right? GINGER Yeah. SAM Okay. CUT TO: INT. POLLING CHURCH - DAY FIRST EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH MANCHESTER, N.H. Abbey Bartlet steps out of the voting booth and the crowd applauds. REPORTER Mrs. Bartlet, can you tell us who you voted for. ABBEY Nobody. I was just fixing my makeup. REPORTER How are you spending the rest of the day? ABBEY Filling out Chicago ballots; just pitching in. He's going to be flying around thanking supporters. REPORTER Is there any suspense at all today? ABBEY Well, there are about 14 competitive Senate races, about 46 House races and right here in New Hampshire there's a 600 million dollar bond issue, plus no one's elected my husband President yet. Bartlet steps out of the voting booth and the crowd applauds. REPORTER Mr. President, polls show a dog fight here in New Hampshire. How would you feel if you won the election but lost your home state? BARTLET Better than if I won my home state but lost my home country. The only poll that matters closes in 17 hours. REPORTER Did you vote for the bond issue? BARTLET Title 63, Chapter 659, Section 43 of New Hampshire election code says electioneering is prohibited within a corridor ten feet wide and extending a distance from the entrance door of the building as determined by the moderator where the election is being held. If anyone knows what that means... BARTLET Yeah, I voted for the bond issue. It's going to improve public education without a tax abatement. CUT TO: EXT. FRONT STEPS OF CHURCH - CONTINUOUS The reporters all call out Bartlet's name. KATIE Mr. President, do you have anything to say to Governor Ritchie today? BARTLET Well, one way or another I imagine we'll be talking tonight. I got to get back. You can hockle Abbey for awhile. She's taking the next plane. He kisses Abbey. KATIE Thank you, Mr. President. Bartlet begins to walk toward the motorcade. CHARLIE These are for your signature. BARTLET Yeah. Listen, you think you could score me a couple of aspirin? CHARLIE Yes, sir. You got a headache? BARTLET I'm fine. CHARLIE Should I ask the doctor...? BARTLET No, it's just a headache. Just me and you today, okay. I'm fine. CHARLIE Yes, sir. BARTLET I'll sign these in the car. CHARLIE Yes, sir. Bartlet gets into the limousine and closes the door. He opens the folder Charlie handed him and pulls out a pen to sign the papers, but his hand is trembling. BARTLET Come on. He closes the folder without signing the papers. BARTLET Okay, this can wait. Let's go. The motorcade pulls off and Bartlet's hand is still trembling. He places his other hand on top to stop it from shaking. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY 1:30 P.M. BARTLET [D]: 597,343 RITCHIE [R]: 551,794 WILDE [D]: 16,916 WEBB [R]: 16,864 JOSH Nothing's happening right bow. By the end of the night, 100 million votes will be cast. Polls have been open in the East for six and a half hours. You know how many votes have been cast? One percent. Everybody votes after work. Not me, I vote first thing. The VNS exit polls are down in Michigan for a little while. And it's raining Oregon. This is like the ionization blackout period. DONNA Pumpkin Patch, is there anything I can do to get you to go to the movies for eight hours? JOSH Senior staff. DONNA Yeah. But can you do me a favor? JOSH What do you need? DONNA This is a photocopy of my absentee ballot. I was hoping the President could sign it and I'd have it framed. JOSH Yeah. DONNA You know the President's the first winner I've voted for. JOSH Is this a joke? DONNA It's not hard to believe that... JOSH No, I mean this. DONNA What are you talking about? JOSH Toby already did the thing this morning with the invalid ballots. DONNA My ballot's invalid? JOSH This isn't a joke? DONNA It's invalid? JOSH You voted for Ritchie. DONNA Where? JOSH Here. DONNA Oh, my God. JOSH Yeah, your "picking the winner" streak is probably over. DONNA No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It's, it's an optical scan ballot. I drew a line through the Democratic ticket. JOSH Almost. That's almost what you did. What you did was draw a line through the Republican ticket. You didn't ticket split, you voted for every Republican in Wisconsin. I would check, you may have voted for McCarthy. DONNA Okay, I'm going to rectify this. JOSH How? DONNA I don't know, but my vote's going to be counted. JOSH It will be counted. DONNA I don't want it counted. JOSH I'm going in. You still want me to have him...? DONNA Give me that. She snatches the ballot from his hands and walks off. Josh walks into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. JOSH Hey, I'm going in, okay? DEBBIE Hey, Josh. No. JOSH I'm sorry? DEBBIE It's a Senior Staff meeting. JOSH I'm Senior Staff. DEBBIE You don't have your briefing memo. JOSH How do you know I don't have it? DEBBIE I'm sorry. Do you have it? JOSH No. I memorized it. DEBBIE Did you happen to get my email on the three new rules for the week? JOSH I got it. I read it. It was good stuff. It's possible the salient details escape me. DEBBIE Rule Number Two- you don't attend daily Senior Staff without the briefing memo. The agenda's outlined and there are up-to-the-minute details on priority items and still half the meeting is spent regurgitating the memo for those staff members who have difficulty holding on to salient details. JOSH That's a fair point and next time I'm going to remember the memo. DEBBIE I'm confident you will 'cause you're going to remember it this time, too. JOSH You want me to go back to my office and get it? DEBBIE I do. JOSH Okay. All right. I'm going to humor the new girl. DEBBIE Apprecite it. Josh walks into the HALLWAY where he meets up with Charlie who is walking to his desk. CHARLIE Going to get your briefing memo? JOSH Yes. DEBBIE Charlie, security just called for you. They'd like to see you out front. CHARLIE Security? DEBBIE Yeah. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - CONTINUOUS Charlie walks in to the lobby where he sees Anthony and his friend, a huge kid, being held by security. CHARLIE What the hell? Anthony. Michelle, he's with me. MICHELLE Which one? CHARLIE The regular-size one. Who are you? ORLANDO KETTLES Orlando Kettles, boss. How you doing? CHARLIE Fine thanks. Anthony. Charlie pulls Anthony aside. ANTHONY Yeah, yeah, you know; I brought him today. CHARLIE Yeah. First of all, they're a little prickly about security around here. You're not down as Anthony-plus-one. You see the guns standing around now? ANTHONY Boy's going to Columbus. Starting right tackle for the Buckeyes- true freshman. I hand you the ball, you can run behind him, have a cup of coffee. He's going to play on Sunday's. CHARLIE What are you, his agent? ANTHONY We don't have nothing in writing. CHARLIE What is he doing here, Anthony? ANTHONY Yeah. He got pulled over with an open can of Pabst in his hand. CHARLIE He was dri... [to Orlando] You were driving drunk? ORLANDO [earnestly] No way, boss. ANTHONY He passed the breathalyzer. It was the open can of Pabst. Saturday, St. Erasmus Academy that's a big game for a senior. You want to to put a hurt on some blue blazers... CHARLIE Anthony. ANTHONY Coach is going to sit him down because of the Pabst Blue Ribbon unless... CHARLIE Unless what? ANTHONY You know, you do your thing. CHARLIE My thing? ANTHONY Write him a note. CHARLIE Saying what? ANTHONY He's a good guy, Charlie. He does his business. CHARLIE I'm not Officer Krupke. I have a job. ANTHONY Hey, could you try to think back to the days before you were Secretary of State or something? There are good guys and there are bad guys, and when good guys stop letting you play with them, the bad guys have a recruiting field day. CHARLIE When did you start talking like Mickey Spillane? ANTHONY I don't know. Who's Officer Cupcake? CHARLIE Okay, you're seeing a musical. ANTHONY Man, look at the size of him, Charlie. And he's not done growing yet, either. Who do you want him playing for? CHARLIE What else has he got? ANTHONY What else? CHARLIE Priors. ANTHONY Nothing man. I swear. He stole a goat. CHARLIE A goat? ANTHONY Yeah. CHARLIE Why did he...? No. I don't care. You got a social security number? ANTHONY Yeah. CHARLIE Orlando, you got practice this afternoon? ORLANDO Oh, yeah. CHARLIE You're not going. It's Election Day. You're going to spend it with me. ORLANDO Yo, man, I done wind sprints, I'll take the swap. CHARLIE Follow me. They walk to the HALLWAY. CHARLIE [cont] This is the White House. Frederick Douglass came here. Monday's through Friday's we wear coats and ties. That goes for you too, Mugsy. ANTHONY Hey Charlie, not for nothing, but just so you know, some of your higher end places provide a jacket for you. CHARLIE Right, and again you're confusing the White House with the Friar's Club. Now, these people I work for are serious people so you're not going to embarass me. ORLANDO You got it, boss. CHARLIE All right, we're going to have to wait until the Secret Service... Josh, reading the briefing memo, walks straight into Orlando and falls down. ORLANDO Whoa, sorry, man. That wasn't cool. He helps bewildered Josh up off the ground. JOSH How you doing? CHARLIE You all right? JOSH Uh... He, should, uh... [clears throut] You should play football. ORLANDO Hey, man. I'm trying, you know? But I had an open Pabst, and that's the way that goes. JOSH Yeah. CHARLIE Let's go. Charlie and crew walk off as we follow Josh into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. JOSH Rule Number Two- Daily Senior Staff will... something the briefing memo. I have the briefing memo, I'm going in. DEBBIE Yeah, no. JOSH No? DEBBIE No, 'cause have you read rule number one? JOSH The salients details... DEBBIE The meeting starts on time and if you're not there when it starts, you don't go in. JOSH That's insanity. DEBBIE Well, I'm quite mad. JOSH There has to be a natural fluidity to these things. It's how we work best. You can't say that every meeting has to... DEBBIE I didn't. The email, which is exactly this long, by the way-- in case as a boy you had some sort of frightening experience with Balzac and that's why you didn't read it-- says, at the top, "This applies only to the daily Senior Staff meeting." One meeting it's going to be important to be one time. JOSH Well, I think that's a random cracking of the whip. DEBBIE According to the last 300 daily dairies, the President is typically 70 to 90 minutes over-scheduled by the end of the day. The median time a day ends, the over/under 10:20 p.m. As many days have ended after that time as have ended before it. The result being the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces hasn't had a night's sleep in four years. That's both bad and easy to fix. JOSH Okay. Well, yes that's hard to argue against and I'll remember this talk the next time. DEBBIE I have all the confidence in the world that you will. JOSH Okay, well, I'm going in now, all right? DEBBIE Sweet of you to tell me a joke, Josh. You're the funny one, I can tell. JOSH All right. This is your little part of the store and I respect that. See what I did there? Respect. No one's bigger than the game. DEBBIE You're an exmaple for the kids. JOSH Yeah. Josh walks to the door, looking both ways before he steps out to the HALLWAY. DONNA I'm going out for about 20 minutes. JOSH Where you going? DONNA There's a polling place three blocks from here. I'm going to find someone who will swap votes. JOSH I'm sorry? DONNA I'm going to find a Ritchie supporter who'll vote for the President to offset my absentee ballot. JOSH Really? DONNA It's Election Day. There's nothing to do. I'm doing this. JOSH And you think it's going to take about 20 minutes? DONNA Yeah, I'll be right back. [walks off] JOSH You bet. Toby... Andy walks up to them. ANDY He can't talk. JOSH Okay. ANDY We're late for the first sonogram. JOSH Ooh, big needle. 18 inches. Right in the stomach, Toby. Don't look directly at it. ANDY Yeah, that's amniocentesis. JOSH Hurts like heartbreak. ANDY You've had that procedure? JOSH Not me personally. Toby, when you get there, it's a good idea to slip the nurse something. Tell her you're hoping for a smooth second trimester. ANDY You grease the nurse? TOBY He's kidding. Give me one second, would you? I'll catch right up. ANDY Hey, sports fans, this is getting exciting. Andy exits the building. TOBY [to Josh] Yes. So what do you think, like 50 bucks? JOSH I don't know. It's your first, it's twins... I don't know. I think I'd give her $100. TOBY Yeah, okay. Toby walks off and Josh spots Sam exiting the Oval Office. JOSH In your life you have never been on time to this meeting. SAM Yeah, I wasn't, actually. I was just incredibly late to the meeting right before it. JOSH Well, that's the trick, then. SAM Yeah. BONNIE Sam, you've got Will Bailey on the phone again if you want him. JOSH That name sounds familiar. SAM He's a guy in California. He's on the phone and I'm going to talk to him now. JOSH Yeah? SAM Yeah. JOSH Everything all right? SAM Yeah. JOSH California 47th. He was the guy running Horton Wilde? SAM Yeah. JOSH Yeah, they're going to lose that by 20 points. SAM Really? JOSH Yeah. SAM You're getting that from the exit? JOSH Yeah. SAM Great. JOSH Great? SAM No, I mean, it's a tough beat, what with dying and all. JOSH Yeah. SAM I'm going to talk to him now, okay? JOSH Okay. Sam walks into the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. SAM Hey. WILL I think we're still up. SAM Josh says the exits have you down 20. WILL No, he means the tracking. The last one was a week ago and then the DNC left town. SAM He said the exits. Josh walks inside. JOSH Hey, when I said "exits" before, I meant "tracking". And I'm pretty sure they did the last one about a week ago and then left town. SAM Yeah, yeah, they may have called that putt a little early. WILL Anyway, Sam, it would be helpul if we could get added to the President's afternoon satellite. We could really use some radio at drive time. SAM Yeah, but listen, Will, no kidding, drive times also when the plants get out and the real Orange County votes and that's when you turn into a pumpkin. I'm just saying, don't get your hopes up. WILL No, just a good showing. Cover the spread. SAM All right. Sam hangs up phone. CUT TO: INT. HORTON WILDE'S CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - DAY ELSIE SNUFFIN What'd he say? WILL Don't get you hopes up. ELSIE Are they? WILL No. Everybody on the street! But we're going to make history. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY Andy is sitting on the examination bed whistling, while a nurse prepares for the sonogram. TOBY Roll Call has the pregnancy. ANDY What? TOBY Roll Call has the pregnancy. C.J. just told me. ANDY When? TOBY A little while ago. ANDY Why are you telling me now? TOBY I didn't want to ruin the day for you. ANDY Well, okay, but then why are you telling me now? TOBY I couldn't help it. ANDY Roll Call has it from where? ANDY and TOBY The Office of the Congressional... ANDY Thanks. TOBY What are you saying that to me for? ANDY I was... saying it to them. I was asking it... TOBY Just out of curiosity, how long did you think this was going to be covert? These are twins, Andy. You think you're going to go on Meet the Press and Russerts not going to notice you're the size of a school? Why not just come out and say "I'm expecting twins. I couldn't be happier. The father's my ex-husband, Toby Ziegler, to whom I'll be remarried on a date to be decided upon. I'm thinking Christmas." ANDY I'm not marrying you again. TOBY Then say the first part at least. ANDY I hadn't annouced it because you don't in the first 12 weeks because... that's when most of the things go wrong. TOBY These bodies of yours, I don't know how you live with them. ANDY You don't seem to mind. TOBY I like the outsides. Andy's doctor knocks on the door and comes inside the room. DOCTOR Hello Andrea. Toby. ANDY Hi. Honey, if you're going to get grossed-out and faint, you should sit. TOBY She's kidding. DOCTOR How have you been feeling? ANDY I feel great. DOCTOR Mm-hmm. You feel like you're getting ebough calcium? ANDY I don't know, what does that feel like? DOCTOR I don't know either. It's just something we ask. We don't even care about the answer. TOBY You should draft a release. In fact, let that be my first act of fatherhood-- drafting your release. Go back to my roots as we all must go. And now you're on offense and not defense. ANDY I'm not going to be on offense or defense. TOBY The things we do in our lives, many of them are not voluntary. ANDY You don't say. I think you performed your first act of fatherhood already. TOBY Yes, indeed. So let my second act be throwing you a little press conference. ANDY That sounds fine. I, myself, can't make it, but you have a nice time honey. TOBY Do I need to tell you the first rule of damage control? ANDY No, you don't, but the next time you refer to this pregnancy as damage control... TOBY Get the information out early, get it out yourself, do it on your own terms. ANDY That's three rules. TOBY Andy, look. I'm not kidding. You've got... Toby stops talking when hears the sound of a heartbeat coming from the monitor. TOBY What was it? ANDY It was... TOBY Did you hear that? ANDY Yeah, that was... TOBY Shh. They both listen to the heartbeats and look at the picture on the monitor. TOBY Andy, you-you can see their... heads. My kids have heads. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE POLLING PLACE - DAY 4:00 P.M. BARTLET [D]: 9,438,042 RITCHIE [R]: 7,992,713 WILDE [D]: 31,465 WEBB [R] 31,117 DONNA Let me make this arguement to you. My vote in Wisconsin is more valuable then your vote in the District. You're getting big value. ELDERLY MAN How do you figure? DONNA The President's going to win the District, it's a forgone conclusion. But Wisconsin's actually in play and I voted for your guy. ELDERLY MAN How do I know that? DONNA I've shown you the ballot-- look. ELDERLY MAN Well, that's a photocopy. DONNA Of course it's a photocopy. The real one's in Wisconsin. ELDERLY MAN Well, how do I know that? DONNA You don't. This is an honor thing. It's about honor and democracy. ELDERLY MAN Well, I'm going to go vote now, so please stop talking to me. DONNA Fine. You think I'm going to scam you? I've been out here two and a half hours trying to get one vote. You think this is how I make money? Sam walks up. SAM Hey, you know what? No problem shouting in public, but I think... DONNA Take off the Bartlet button? SAM Yeah. Josh told me you were still out here. I was over at the place. He hands Donna a cup of coffee. DONNA Thanks. SAM You want to get a muffin? SAM Yeah, I'll walk you. DONNA So, what's going on? SAM It's raining in Oregon. JOSH Yeah, yeah, Josh was talking about that before. Apparently all his other problems are solved. SAM If you guys are going to win big, you don't want it to rain. There's less motivation anyway 'cause of the blowout and... you have no idea how fast these things can become a race. VENDOR What do you need? DONNA A banana muffin, please. SAM I did something last week. I went to see a guy named Will Bailey. He ran Horton Wilde's campaign in Orange County and Wilde died a couple of weeks ago and his widow wanted to know what Democrat was going to stand in for her husband should he win and I said... DONNA You're kidding. SAM You have to understand. This wasn't something that cost me anything. They weren't going to annouve unless Wilde won and that was never going to happen in Orange County. It's like the Secretary of Agriculture saying, "Sure, I'm ready to assume the Presidency should the 18 who come before me die. Why not?" DONNA So, why not? SAM Becase it's a two-point race right now. DONNA This is very exciting. SAM No. It's not. The prospect of going back on my word to a recent widow... DONNA So, why go back on it? SAM Because the alternative is taking 90 days off to go home, lose by 20 points to a Republican committee chair I hate and never be able to run for public office for real, which is something I maybe wouldn't mind doing one day. DONNA Once 5:00 and 6:00 roll around... SAM That's exactly what I'm thinking. DONNA Except... SAM What? DONNA There's an el nino thing going on in Southern California today... SAM No. DONNA It's supposed to start raining in a few hours. SAM Okay. Okay, I'm going to go back to the office. DONNA Okay. SAM Why don't you give me the button. DONNA Yeah. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE MESS - DAY Anthony and Orlando are sitting down at the table when Charlie walks in. CHARLIE You're cleared. You can come upstairs. They go out and walk to the HALLWAY in the basement. CHARLIE [to Orlando] There are chairs up there that are over 200 years old. Before you sit in one, I want to see written confirmation from the Army Corp of Engineers that it can support your girth. You stole a goat? I'm assuming this was a mascot? ORLANDO Yeah, that was sweet. I was just the leg man. You know, Anthony's the brains. CHARLIE Yeah, it had that international jewel thief feel to it. ANTHONY Hey, so what do you think we're doing for the rest of the day? CHARLIE You know. Video games, hanging out. ANTHONY Really? CHARLIE I'm voting at 8:30, you guys will come with me, watch me vote, and then go home. ANTHONY Oh, man, what good is...? I mean they're not going to let me vote. It's like my face is pressed up against the window. CHARLIE That's right. And yet somehow I don't care. ORLANDO I'm old enough to vote. CHARLIE You're 18? ORLANDO I'm 19. They came to the school to sign up people. CHARLIE You're registered to vote? ORLANDO I think I might be, yeah. CHARLIE Where? ANTHONY He doesn't know where. ORLANDO I don't know where. CHARLIE Well, let's find out. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Debbie is at Bartlet'S desk with a phone technician, when Bartlet comes in from the portico. DEBBIE Good afternoon, Mr. President. TECHNICIAN Good afternoon, sir. BARTLET Hello. Hi. What's going on? DEBBIE Uh, line one now is a DSS line. It means Direct Station Select. Pick it up, you get me. BARTLET What was wrong with the old way? DEBBIE [to technician] You done? TECHNICIAN Yes, ma'am. DEBBIE Thanks a lot. The technician exits the room. DEBBIE I'm sorry, sir. BARTLET What was wrong with the old way? DEBBIE Oh, this is better. BARTLET How? DEBBIE You don't care, sir, it just is. BARTLET I hear you've got rules for meetings. DEBBIE Yes, some. Yes, I do, sir. BARTLET You don't think that's apt to create a resentment among the people who were here before with...? It's not like the thing wasn't working with... Whatever you may assume, that wasn't a rube sitting out there, Debbie. She ran the Oval Office for two years and a state house before that. DEBBIE Yes, sir. At any rate, line one gets you me. BARTLET What if, instead of you, I want a dial tone? DEBBIE Well, that's line two, but you're not going to want one. BARTLET Why? DEBBIE I'm going to place your outgoing calls. BARTLET You're going to place a lot of my outgoing calls... DEBBIE No, sir, I need to place them all. BARTLET I can make my own phone call. Don't be... DEBBIE Sir... BARTLET I can make my own phone calls. DEBBIE Yes, but soon you might not neccesarily remember that you did. When I place the call, there's a record and that's how you'll know and then you won't be worried about it. BARTLET That's good. That's a good idea. DEBBIE Is there anything else? BARTLET No. DEBBIE Thank you, Mr. President. She begins to walk out of the room, but turns around. DEBBIE You and I haven't met. In my life, I never would have thought she was a rube. BARTLET I'm sorry about that. She turns to go once more. BARTLET Debbie... I have to ask you. Are we talking about...? Did you bring it up 'cause you... noticed...? Is there some particular thing today you noticed? DEBBIE No, sir. Do you feel all right? Should I call...? BARTLET No, please. I was talking about something else. Line one is you? DEBBIE Yes, sir. BARTLET Thanks. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. HORTON WILDE'S CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - DAY 4:00 P.M. [PST] BARTLET [D]: 39,063,986 RITCHIE [R]: 32,365,173 WILDE [D]: 41,364 WEBB [R]: 41,374 SHARON Will, you have Sheryl Cryman. That's the county clerks legal cousel. It's blinking. WILL Sheryl, it's Will Bailey. How you doing? Fine, thank you. There are scattered power outages in the Casa Verde precinct in Santa Ana and the street lights are going on and off in the only legitimatley Democratic precinct I've got, so if I lose by a hundred 'cause people couldn't cross the street, who in your office would I talk to about election tampering? Thanks a lot Sheryl. I appreciate it. [hangs up] Pull the sound trucks from Laguna Hills. There isn't enough foot traffic. ELSIE Will. WILL Put 'em in Anaheim. ELSIE Will. WILL When the hell's it going to rain?! ELSIE Willy! WILL Don't call me that. ELSIE The die has been cast, big brother. You're making everyone crazy. WILL There's a moment after you cast the die but before it hits the table. Breathe wrong and you'll change the way it lands. Can I get a new weather report?! CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE POLLING PLACE - NIGHT 7:15 P.M. BARTLET [D]: 41,182,004 RITCHIE [R]: 34,091,976 WILDE [D]: 41,382 WEBB [R]: 41,484 DONNA There's value here. There's value. You got to appreciate the value. A Ritchie vote in Wisconsin. BOW TIE BOY Well, let me ask you this. Bartlet's suppose to be smart, right? He's the smart one, we're the dumb one. He knows best. So what does it say to you when his people don't know how to fill out a ballot? Maybe, he's a little out of touch. Is that what it says? [walks off] DONNA Or maybe it says that even with the President's supporters accidentally voting for the wrong candidate you're still going to get creamed, you little fascist! This is an honor thing! LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JACK REESE steps out of the taxi. JACK REESE Excuse me. DONNA Yes. Hi. JACK Did somebody steal your purse? DONNA Me? No. JACK Okay. DONNA I'm on a mission and I said I'd be 20 minutes and it's been six hours and it's starting to get kind of cold. JACK Okay. You were shouting at no one. DONNA Little guy. Bow tie. JACK Long as you're okay. DONNA Wait. Hang on. Do you mind if I ask you who you're voting for? JACK I guess I kind of do, yeah. DONNA That's fair. that's perfectly fair. So let me ask you this instead. Are you voting for Ritchie or the President? JACK I'm going to go inside now, okay? DONNA Lieutenant, I'm not a crazy person and I'm not asking you for the bomb sequence on the USS Essex. Now, be a man and tell me who you're voting for. JACK Ritchie, and you demoted me a rank. DONNA I'm so sorry. I'm seeing your shoulders now. Lieutenant Commander. JACK Reese. DONNA Reese is a nice name. Reese what? JACK Lieutenant Commander Reese-- Jack Reese. DONNA Can I talk to you about something? JACK You know, this is the first election in my life where I haven't had to vote, be absentee ballot and I was really looking forward to pulling that lever. DONNA Absentee ballot. I know how you feel. I'm from Wisconsin. It's my home, but here I am in Washington on Election Day. JACK I've usually been on a Los Angeles lass submarine in the South China Sea. DONNA Don't try to trump me here. It's not a battle. We're in this together. JACK No, we're not. DONNA I voted absentee in Wisconsin, and I voted for Ritchie and I meant to vote for the President. Now, I think you should go in there and vote the other way to make it a wash. JACK Yeah, okay. DONNA Look... Really? JACK Yeah, sounds about right. DONNA I'm Donna. DONNA Jack. DONNA Commander... JACK Jack's fine. DONNA So... why aren't you on a sub right now? JACK I haven't been for a little while. DONNA What's your billet? JACK Well, it used to be Regional Director for the Office of the Joint Chiefs for Southeast Asia, but I got transferred. DONNA Where? JACK Nancy McNally's office. She's the National Security Advisor. DONNA You're working at the White House? JACK Yeah. Listen, I got to vote, okay? DONNA Yeah, sure. Oh, listen, I've got a photocopy of my absentee ballot if you want to verify that I really... JACK No, no. It's an honor thing, right? DONNA Yeah. JACK Okay. CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT 8:35 P.M. BARTLET [D]: 43,994,784 RITCHIE [R]: 35,475,855 WILDE [D]: 43,007 WEBB [R]: 43,210 JOSH See, now there are late exits showing even with white male suburbans in New York and Chicago and Philadelphia. There's huge labor turnout. We're only losing Florida by seven-- seven. Toby, I think this is going to be bigger than we thought. TOBY I stare at this and I stare at this and I don't know which is the boy and which is the girl. I suppose that problem will take care of itself. You know, if you stare at them for awhile, well, it's pretty gross, but still... JOSH Okay, I'm concerned that you've turned completely into another person. Ed comes walking by the Communications Office carring a bundle of ballons. TOBY Hey. I see one victory ballon before this thing is called and...! Ed begins to run out of sight. TOBY Yeah, you better run! [to Josh] Huh? JOSH Nothing. CUT TO: INT. POLLING PLACE - NIGHT Charlie, Anthony, and Orlando are in line to vote. CHARLIE You read the stuff? ORLANDO Yeah. CHARLIE It wasn't long. ORLANDO Yeah. CHARLIE And I was impartial, right? I gave you the best of each and the worst of each. ORLANDO Hey, Mr. Young-- I'm not being disrespectful or nothing but I'm just trying to concentrate. CHARLIE Listen, this is easy. You can do it, no problem, but if you need to, you can ask for help. You're allowed. ORLANDO Okay. CHARLIE Hey, listen-- Why does a guy who's heading off to the Big Ten care about playing St. Erasmus Academy on Saturday? You're going to be playing Michigan and Penn State. ORLANDO I don't know. It's what I do on Saturdays. Hey, you know what? I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the box or nothing but try rushing the quarterback. Know what I'm saying? You're not going to get there. You're not going to touch him. CHARLIE You're up. Orlando walks in to the voting booth. ANTHONY He's a good guy, you know. He knows his business. He just doesn't like looking like a fool. CHARLIE How long did you hang on to the goat? ANTHONY Three days. CHARLIE Three days? ANTHONY Yeah. CHARLIE What did you feed him? ANTHONY Cheetos. CHARLIE Okay. Orlando walks out of the voting booth. ANTHONY Hey. ORLANDO Hey, Anthony. I voted. CHARLIE All right. ORLANDO I'm going again. CHARLIE No, no, no, no. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE WILDE'S CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT It's dark and Will is outside standing in the parking lot when Elsie comes outside. ELSIE Will! WILL [looks at the sky] Come on. ELSIE Come inside and have something to eat with us. Will. WILL Now! Will throws up his hands, and rain begins to pour down. WILL Jesus! ELSIE Wow! What else can you do? WILL I didn't know I could do that! CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT 8:59 P.M. JOSH It's on. You can see it. TOBY I'm not spitting. I'm not turning around. Union households are beating non-unions in some of these districts.. CAROL C.J.? C.J. Yeah. CAROL Can you pick up three? C.J. [into phone] This is C.J. Thanks. [hangs up phone] JOSH What was that? C.J. You'll see in a minute. [leaves] CAROL 9:00! Everyone in the Communications Office cheers. We follow C.J. into the HALLWAY where she meets up with Leo and they walk into THE OVAL OFFICE. C.J. Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET I feel like I should be self-deprecating. I mean, it's not inauguration. I could be funny, right? I don't thibk so. I think it's the wrong note. If I'm thanking campaign staff, maybe. He notices C.J. fixing a drink. BARTLET What are you doing? C.J. We've got some news. BARTLET What? C.J. hands Bartlet the drink. BARTLET What? LEO You're going to win New Hampshire. C.J., Leo, and Bartlet walk out of the Oval Office into THE MURAL ROOM. The room applauds for Bartlet. REPORTER ON TV #1 With seven percent of the precincts reporting, CBS is ready to declare Delaware with it's three electoral votes... REPORTER 2 ...closing only an hour ago, NBC is putting Maryland in the President's column. REPORTER 3 No surprises there. REPORTER 4 And with 22% of the vote tallied in Maine... REPORTER 5 Polls are closed in west Virginia. REPORTER 6 ...with the polls closing in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. CUT TO: INT. BALLROOM - NIGHT 11:01 P.M. BARTLET [D]: 53,766,221 RITCHIE [R]: 42,992,342 WILDE [D]: 53,622 WEBB [R]: 53,710 Bartlet is standing at a podium and the crowd is cheering wildly. BARTLET Halfway aroung the world in Bosnia and Chechnya and Rwanda, they dream of the promise we fulfilled today of a future we chose, for ourelves, together. CUT TO: INT. BACKSTAGE - CONTINUOUS Sam is backstage watching reports of the election being held in California on a TV. DONNA Sam, what's going on? SAM They're not calling it. REPORTER ON TV ...and with eight percent of the precincts reporting remains too close to call. My goodness, If you lived to be a hundred did you think you'd ever see anything like this? REPORTER 2 I did not. BARTLET Four years ago, we were joined by our highest ideals, by our best hopes, and tonight we're joined by the same commitment to open new doors of oppurtunity and justice. The crowd cheers. Bartlet looks at the teleprompter again, but cannot seem to read it, and begins to improvise. BARTLET To ensure that the promise of the country is the birthright of all the people. We've achieved so much together always believing, always knowing that America could be made new again and so it was, and so it will be again. God bless you all. God bless the United States of America. The crowd cheers wildly. The song "The Times They Are A'changing" begins to play. Come gather round people wherever you roam And admit that the waters around you have grown And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone... Sam is standing by the TV still when Josh and Toby walk up to him. JOSH We're going to skip the parties for a while and head back to the office. There are nine House races too close to call. Tell him about California. TOBY In the California 47th... JOSH In the 47th-- You don't tell it well. In the 47th, Horton Wilde, who's dead, is losing by 88 votes. It was a perfect storm. TOBY It was. JOSH Low Republican turnout, 'cause the President won he Midwest. Low supporter turnout 'cause Webb didn't have an opponent and the DNC gave up on it a week ago so the RNC left town and they never saw the exits your guy Will Bailey was seeing. TOBY Plus there was an actual storm. I tell it fine. JOSH Anyway, we're going to be up all night with these. It's going to be fun. SAM We should go. CUT TO: INT. BALLROOM - CONTINUOUS Bartlet is shaking the crowds hands. He and Abbey walk offstage. ABBEY That was wonderful. BARTLET That was fun. ABBEY How you feeling? BARTLET I feel great. ABBEY You want a glass of water? BARTLET No, I'm fine. ABBEY You seem a little dry. Sure you don't want a glass of water? BARTLET Yeah. ABBEY Maybe I should get you a glass of water, just in case. You could hold it in your hand. BARTLET [beat] How'd you know? ABBEY You were off the prompter. BARTLET Just for a minute at the end. I couldn't see it. ABBEY It's all right. There are going to be more days like this. It starts now. It's going to be harder this time. BARTLET Yeah, I know. We can still have tonight, though, right? ABBEY You got lots of nights. Smart people who love you are going to have your back. BARTLET All right. Bartlet and Abbey kiss. C.J. Excuse me. You want to take another curtain call? ABBEY Sure. Bartlet kisses C.J. on the cheek, then he and Abbey walk back out onstage to wave. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 4.07 -- "Election Night" Original Airdate: November 6, 2002, 9:00 PM EST Transcript by: ck1czar November 22, 2002