As the staff anxiously prepares Leo for the vice-presidential debate, word gets out to the press and Internet bloggers that his debating skills are weak and that he’s unfocused. Meanwhile, Santos and Helen learn to cope with new security barriers around their house.
THE WEST WING 7x10 - "RUNNING MATES" WRITTEN BY PETER NOAH DIRECTED BY PAUL McCRANE Transcribed by Soundman for www.twiztv.com. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. TEASER MARTIN SHEEN Good evening. On December 16th, we lost our dear friend and colleague, John Spencer. Through our shock and grief, we can think of no more fitting memorial to this wonderful man, this extraordinary actor, than to share with you, beginning tonight, the last few months of his work here on The West Wing. Johnny, it seems we hardly knew you. We love you and we miss you. FADE TO: INT. - DEBATE PREP ROOM - DAY 48 HOURS BEFORE THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE Leo is prepping for the Vice Presidential debate. He and Otto stand opposite each other at the head of a table. Seated at the table are several people, including Annabeth. There is camera equipment set up to record the prep so that it can be reviewed later. LEO Health care in this country is a mess. Wait, it's "health care is broken." I think "mess" is better. I know "broken" is what we have a line for but we should work the word "mess" in. Let's start again. Health care is a mess. The system is broken. "Broke"? ANNABETH "Broken." It's what they agreed on. LEO I'm sorry. ANNABETH No, no. LEO Sorry. What'd you say, "broke" or "broken"? ANNABETH "Broken." It sets up the bite better. LEO Health care in this country is broken, and the Republican Congress's attitude is... "seems to be"? "Is," "is" is stronger. The Republican Congress... Congressional Republicans?... The Republican Congress's attitude is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Ah! "Is broke." I can't believe I screwed it up. Idiot! I screwed the line up. ANNABETH Leo, it's all right. LEO The Republican Congress's attitude seems to be... is. The Republican Congress's attitude is "If it is broke, don't fix it." No, wait. ANNABETH That's it. LEO That didn't sound right. ANNABETH That's the line. LEO Yeah? OTTO That was it. LEO Really? ANNABETH Uh-huh. LEO Hallelujah. Anybody got a cigarette? ANNABETH We just started. LEO I know. I'd like to smoke it and then have someone shoot me. Annabeth laughs. LEO I'm sorry. OTTO No, it's fine. That's what this is for. LEO Keep going. ANNABETH Governor Sullivan, your response. OTTO [as Sullivan] Mr. McGarry keeps falling back on the same trick. If it's something good that's happened in the last eight years, he touts his service in the Bartlet White House. When it's something he disapproves of, he lays the blame on the Republican Congress. Now, I submit that if the health care system is "broken," it happened on his watch. If your repairman can't fix something after trying, I think the American people realize it's time to try someone else. ANNABETH Mr. McGarry? [pause] Mr. McGarry? LEO I need a... boy, that's a good answer. I'm going to need a... this "broke" thing is a trap. I'm just leading with... I'm leading with my chin here. These canned... pre-canned... Can we take a break? He exhales, seeming to be upset with himself. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - OUTSIDE PREP ROOM - DAY Annabeth is on the phone. ANNABETH Yeah, Josh? ... About the VP debate Sunday, we may have a problem. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER. * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. SANTOS HQ - NIGHT Josh is on the phone with Donna. JOSH He understands this is his last trip home until the election, doesn't he? DONNA [VO] No idea; does he? JOSH Let me put it another way: tell him this is his last trip home until the election. CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - CONTINUOUS Donna and Santos are seated. Donna is talking with Josh. DONNA You didn't tell him? JOSH [VO] Not in so many words. DONNA In any words? SANTOS Tell me what? DONNA [to Santos] Josh says this is your last trip home until the election. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS JOSH Donna! CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - CONTINUOUS DONNA What? JOSH [VO] Some deftness, a little finesse. SANTOS I know. DONNA He knows. JOSH [VO] That's not the point. SANTOS Tell Josh to chill. DONNA Josh, chill. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS JOSH Did you just tell me to chill? CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - CONTINUOUS DONNA It would appear so. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS JOSH Is it somehow not clear that I'm your boss? DONNA [VO] Congressman's recommendation. JOSH Oh. CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - CONTINUOUS DONNA To which I heartily concur. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS Josh has walked into his office and sits at his desk. JOSH Yeah, I don't think you tell me to chill. CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - CONTINUOUS DONNA I wanted to scream it everyday for eight years. JOSH [VO] Whatever inhibition prevented you, summon it. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS Ronna comes to the door. RONNA It's here. JOSH I've got to go. He hangs up. JOSH How does Lou look? RONNA Like she always does. It'd be kind of butch on me, but Lou makes it work. He gets up and they start walking. JOSH Does she look happy, worried? RONNA Uh, stricken might be the word. JOSH Hyperbole, right? Your well-known predilection for panic and exaggeration. RONNA I don't have a predilection for panic and exaggeration. JOSH For the purposes of this moment, let's stipulate that you do. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY Lou and Otto are already seated at the table. Josh and Ronna walk in. Lou looks unhappy, to say the least. JOSH Is it really that bad? LOU No. It's worse. She gets up and puts a tape into the TV in the corner of the room. It starts playing. It is the tape of Leo and Otto during prep. OTTO [on TV] Why won't you and Congressman Santos commit to a pledge not to raise taxes? LEO [on TV] Because it's a lie. OTTO [on TV] Is my opponent calling Senator Vinick and myself liars? LEO [on TV] The American people want the services government provides. They cost money and have to be paid for. We're running on acceptable deficits as it is. JOSH He gets better, yes? LOU This is the high-water mark. JOSH Switch it off. She gets up and turns it off. Josh sits and looks accusingly at Otto. OTTO What? LOU Sullivan's a killer. The kid did what he had to do. JOSH The rest of it's really that bad? LOU Watch it. JOSH Can you fix it? LOU We have to. The debate's in two days. JOSH Anybody breaths a word of this to the outside, I will devise a punishment that would make blanch. RONNA Why not leak it? OTTO Play the expectations game. LOU That doesn't work when you lower expectations and your guy meets them. The phone rings and Otto answers it. OTTO Yeah? ... Yeah. He puts it on hold. OTTO It's Leo, line two. Josh gets up and goes to the phone. JOSH Hey. LEO [VO] Hey. So? JOSH I never got to see it. Josh pops open the front of the tape which they were just watching. JOSH The machine ate the tape. He starts pulling out the actual tape from inside the cartridge. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Leo is on the phone with Josh. LEO You didn't see any of it? JOSH [VO] No, the damned thing just fried. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH Smoke and everything; I was worried it was going to set off the sprinklers. He pulls more of the tape out. LEO [VO] Was that the only copy? CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO I'd love to review it. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH Yeah, it's the only copy. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO That's too bad. So... what was the report? JOSH Uh, it was good. Some bumps... in spots. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] Some things to work on; that's what debate prep is for. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS JOSH [VO][cont.] We'll fine tune tomorrow. LEO Yeah. JOSH [VO] Get some rest. I need you to look pretty for 20 million TV viewers. LEO If that's what we're counting on, the campaign's doomed. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH See you tomorrow. He hangs up. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS Leo hangs up. CUT TO: EXT. - SANTOS HOME - STREET - DAY HOUSTON, TEXAS We see the motorcade turning onto the street in front of Santos' house. There are a ton of reporters and photographers waiting on his lawn for him to exit the car. We see the cars stop and Secret Service agents get out. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS Santos, Donna, and Bram are seated. DONNA We should let them set up. We want pictures. BRAM The candidate's return. Bram gets out. DONNA Reconnecting to his loving, photogenic family. SANTOS Because God forbid any normal human behaviour should go unpoliticized. DONNA Vinick's kids are approaching menopause. We want to get some heartwarming footage of your adorable children hugging their hale and vital dad. Santos laughs. SANTOS Vital. DONNA A subliminal reminder that actuarially, you're far less likely to keel over in the Rose Garden than your esteemed opponent. Bram opens the door to speak to them. BRAM They're set. DONNA Out on the lawn? It makes a pretty picture. They get out. Santos walks onto the lawn and whistles as he sees his son, Peter, running toward him. He runs into Santos' arms and Santos picks him up and hugs him. SANTOS Hey, how you doing, how you doing! Buddy, what's happening?! How are you? Helen and their daughter, Miranda, walk out to meet him. HELEN Take it easy. He's not feeling well. SANTOS Oh, really? What's wrong buddy? PETER I've got a cold. He wipes his nose on Santos' shoulder. SANTOS Thank you for that gift. HELEN Sweetheart! SANTOS Hey, sweetie. He picks up Miranda and hugs her. Helen bends down in front of Peter to blow his nose. MIRANDA Welcome home, Daddy. SANTOS Oh, thank you, angel. It's good to be home. MIRANDA My throat's scratchy. SANTOS Okay. HELEN Hi. SANTOS How are you? They kiss. HELEN I had a little touch of ebola, but I think I'm over the worst of it. SANTOS OK. Hi guys. How's it going? He nods to the reporters and photographers as they go inside. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - DAY Leo is getting ready for the day of prep. He is on the phone trying to solicit some campaign money. We hear a knock at the door. LEO We're looking over their shoulder. ... Hey, we've got movement in Illinois, solidifying nicely in New Jersey, trending well in Florida. He opens the door and Annabeth comes in carrying flowers. ANNABETH [whispering] Mention Illinois. LEO I think it's definitely tightening up. ... Yeah. Well, fortunately, there's nothing less impactful than the VP debate. I shouldn't hurt us too bad. ... Okay, Bob, talk to you soon. He hangs up. LEO When I was in business, all I talked was politics. Now that I'm a candidate, all I talk is money. ANNABETH Shake some loose? LEO We'll see. [pause] So, how did I do? ANNABETH The mock debate? I don't think I have the standing to critique the substance. LEO Artful dodge. Uncharacteristic, your usual conversation mode tending more toward blunt instrument. On style, then. ANNABETH Oh, that was horrible. LEO There's the cudgel. ANNABETH But we can relax your posture, relocate your voice, corral that fidgeting, and knock some years off. LEO Not again with the Botox. ANNABETH Hair and makeup room: man's best friend. Plan to spend some time there. LEO It's a hair and makeup room. It's not a time machine. ANNABETH None of this is your problem. LEO You're going to tell me what is. ANNABETH Your smirk. LEO My what? ANNABETH Yeah, you're doing it now. LEO No, I'm not. ANNABETH It's your default expression, Leo. LEO What are you talk...? He goes to the mirror to prove her wrong. It looks as if he is, indeed, smirking. LEO That's a scowl. I'm scowling, which is, in itself, probably not great. She turns him back and he is, again, smirking. LEO That's the way my mouth forms. ANNABETH From decades of smirking. In the right context, extremely effective; commanding, reassuring, even devastatingly sexy. LEO Sexy? ANNABETH In the right context. In a debate, under the best of circumstances it reads as smug and condescending. In the context where you're getting waxed by your opponent it comes off as clueless, defensive, and not a little pathetic. LEO You seem to have graduated from cudgel to bludgeon. ANNABETH But we're going to fix it. LEO [sarcastic] Are we? ANNABETH There... you're scowling again. LEO I wonder why. ANNABETH Mr. McGarry, can you explain why, after eight years of the Bartlet presidency, health care costs have exploded? LEO [smirking] Three little words: the Republican Congress. ANNABETH Ehhhh. LEO Now that calls for a little smirk as underlining punctuation. ANNABETH It depends: you want to come off as wise or wise-ass? LEO I wasn't done. ANNABETH Finish. LEO Give the Santos-McGarry Administration... ANNABETH No, the whole thing. Why has the cost of health care exploded under Bartlet? Go. LEO Three little words: the Republican Congress. Give the Santos-McGarry Administration a Democratic Congressional majority, we'll bring health costs under control our first year in office. After finishing, he begins to smirk, again. ANNABETH You're doing it again. LEO I am not! ANNABETH Leo. What's this? She uses her fingers to position his mouth into a smile. LEO You want to lose those, clear to the knuckle? ANNABETH I want to see this, not this. She positions his mouth into a frown/scowl. LEO What my life has come to. ANNABETH And it wouldn't kill you to throw in a few specifics. LEO I thought you didn't do content. ANNABETH Ah-ah-ah. CUT TO: INT. - BASEMENT - WHITE HOUSE - DAY Will is walking from the basement. Kate meets him and they walk and talk together. KATE Hey. Looking for me? WILL I've got a minute. Can you brief me on this Kazakhstan situation? The press is starting to ask me more questions than I have answers. KATE Sure. What do you want to know? WILL Has a deal been structured to keep Chinese troops on their side of the border? KATE That's classified. WILL So if there was a deal, the details would be...? KATE Also classified, if there were details. WILL If there was a deal, which is... KATE Classified. They walk into the Communications office and into Will's office. WILL As you said. Have elections been rescheduled? KATE In Kazakhstan? WILL That's our subject. KATE Also classified, although for the life of me I can't imagine why. WILL You're enjoying this, aren't you? KATE Not really, no. WILL Have the parties agreed to U.N. monitors in this election that may or may not be rescheduled? KATE Classified. WILL You're just playing with me now. KATE Honestly, I'm not. WILL Is the subject of monitors being discussed? He looks at her and she says nothing. WILL It's in the papers it is. KATE They didn't hear it from us. WILL So, it's being considered... debated, negotiated... anywhere, by anyone? KATE I'm so sorry. WILL It makes you feel powerful. "I am woman, hear me withhold." KATE It's not like that. WILL A little. KATE At moments. WILL This moment? KATE A bit. WILL It's disturbingly compelling. KATE What's that say about you? WILL Nothing good. Well, I want to thank you for all the illuminating help. KATE Anytime. She walks out. CUT TO: INT. - KITCHEN - SANTOS HOME - DAY Helen is at the sink. Santos walks in. SANTOS It's nice to be home; a little semblance of normalcy. Helen looks around at the number of people inside the house alone. HELEN Normalcy ain't what it used to be. SANTOS Well, I'm sorry about this. HELEN Small price to pay to have you home. SANTOS So, the Secret Service guys, they're okay? They stay outside? HELEN It's fine. SANTOS All the neighbors, they're alright with guys with dark glasses posted around the house? HELEN Are you kidding? They now live on the safest block in America. They have walked into the foyer. Helen goes into the living room. Santos opens the door as if he were going outside. A Secret Service agent stops him. AGENT Sir, did you want to go somewhere? SANTOS I was just going to get the mail. AGENT Of course, sir. We'll just need a few minutes to shut down the street. SANTOS To walk to the mailbox? AGENT Anytime you go into the front yard. SANTOS Do you really need to get into all that? AGENT I'm afraid so, sir. He signals some agents to shut down the street. SANTOS That's okay. Never mind. Santos signals for them to never mind. AGENT We'll get someone to retrieve the mail for you. SANTOS Fine. AGENT Then it'll need to be screened. SANTOS Do whatever you have to do. He moves to go back inside, but hears something and stops. SANTOS What's that noise? AGENT Those are our vehicles. We keep their engines running. SANTOS The neighbors must love that. AGENT Yes, sir. He steps in and closes the door behind him. Helen is there, looking at him in a matter-of-fact kind of way. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HQ - DAY Josh, Lou, Ronna, Annabeth, and Otto are walking. Josh has a piece of paper in his hand and is reading from it. It is a print-off from a web blog. JOSH "McGarry Debate Debacle"? Where did he get this? ANNABETH Who knows how these bloggers get their information. JOSH Considering he has all the gory details, I'd have to say it was from one of us. LOU Don't say us, when you mean you. RONNA I didn't leak anything. OTTO Me neither. JOSH I'm this far from ordering polygraph tests. Nobody mention this to Leo. His confidence is shaky as it is. They walk into a conference room where Leo is waiting. Leo is looking at the blog page on a laptop. JOSH Hey. LEO You see this? JOSH I heard... something about it, yeah. LEO Let's get started. We evidently have some work to do. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE. * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY REPUBLICAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE PREP SITE Bob Mayer is on the phone with someone. BOB Well, for the record, we discount this blog report as the transparent ploy it so obviously is: old as politics. We fully expect Leo McGarry to be a fierce and formidable debate opponent. ... Off the record? ... I think you can sum up the mood here at Vinick-Sullivan headquarters as "yippee." ... Yeah, thanks, Harv. He hangs up and goes to the table. Sheila and Bruno are there. BOB Everyone's got it. SHEILA God bless the Internet. SULLIVAN It giveth and it taketh away. BOB Well, it's giving with both hands on this baby. SHEILA Let's not be overconfident. BOB You know, the thing about being warned about overconfidence is you have a hell of a reason to feel pretty damn confidant. SULLIVAN I'm not going to be lulled by this. McGarry is verbal and tough. BOB It's one thing to argue behind the scenes. It's a whole other ball game doing it in a debate setting. SHEILA Concerned about presentation, tone... BOB Clarity. SHEILA Concision. BOB It's hard enough for veteran politicians, let alone a neophyte like McGarry. SULLIVAN Leo's no neophyte. SHEILA At being a candidate, he is. BOB You can go balls to the wall all you want in private with the President. Try doing that on TV. SHEILA It scares the horses. SULLIVAN We go in just as hard, just as strong, just as focused. BOB You'll wipe the floor with him. SULLIVAN That was my plan regardless. SHEILA If he's really that bad, you might want to dial it back a notch. SULLIVAN You don't want me to look like a bully? BOB The trick is to beat his brains in without making people feel sorry for the guy. SULLIVAN Well, let's get to work. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY Santos and his campaign people are gathered around the table. SANTOS So, what speech am I giving? DONNA Plus the fundraising appeal? BRAM Mm. Modified stump. SANTOS Modified? DONNA Shorter. SANTOS Less filling, tastes great. DONNA Hopefully. BRAM It's Houston. These people know you. SANTOS They're sick of hearing me talk. DONNA Conceivably. SANTOS Thank you for your support. DONNA De nada. SANTOS Anybody speak Spanish here? They people around the table laugh. BRAM You want to spend less time telling your friends what they already know and more time looking them in the eye and asking for cash. DONNA There's a squirm factor we're counting on. SANTOS I could just hold 'em up-side down by the ankles and give them a good shake. DONNA We may be after more thank what they've got in their pockets. SANTOS Hey, this is Houston. You never know. BRAM It's all about the dinero. SANTOS That's money, right? The people laugh again. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - DEBATE PREP - DAY Leo is standing at the podium. Otto walks in and Josh talks to him as he walks toward his podium. JOSH Hey, remember: we're trying to build confidence, so hold back a little. Lou comes to him after Josh walks away. LOU This is only useful if it's real. Don't hold back. JOSH Ready? LEO Where's the camera? JOSH Uh, no taping. The only people who need to see it are right here. LEO No, for my own edification; review. LOU We don't need you too self-conscious. JOSH No split focus: we want you to concentrate on your performance, not whether your forehead is shining. ANNABETH For the record, your forehead is gorgeous. It's actually making me hot. LEO Let's get started. JOSH Mr. McGarry, the United States refuses to recognize the U.N. International Criminal Court's jurisdiction as it applies to itself, yet implicitly seems to expect the rest of the world to submit to that body's legal authority. Isn't this arrogant and hypocritical? LEO Yes. Everyone looks stunned at this answer. Leo continues after a pause. LEO Congressional withholding of recognition of the ICC has been one of the factors contributing to growing international resentment toward the United States. And I know the argument on the other side: because the U.S. regularly takes the leading role in military interventions overseas, it leaves itself especially vulnerable to potentially illegitimate legal claims motivated solely by ideological or political animas with no countervailing checks and balances. Ronna holds up a card with "15" written on it. LEO But, to get back to our original position... She takes it away and puts up one with "10" on it. LEO The ICC requires the participation to have true legitimacy of the world's remaining superpower's sole remaining... She pulls it away for one with "0" on it. ANNABETH Time. There is an awkward silence. JOSH Lou? LOU Okay. That was good. You spent, perhaps, a little more time laying out the other side's position rather than your own. LEO I felt that. LOU Yeah? Good. And the language was a bit dense. LEO Dense? LOU Uh, help me out here. JOSH Dense is good. ANNABETH It could be more plainspoken. RONNA That's it. LOU Plainspoken, exactly. JOSH Plainspoken. CUT TO: INT. - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY Will is briefing the press. They are clamoring for his attention. WILL Yes, Steve? STEVE Do you have an update on the situation in Kazakhstan? WILL Things seem to be in a holding pattern. STEVE Seem to be? WILL I have no information to the contrary. STEVE Has a deal been reached to keep the Chinese and Russian troops from crossing their respective borders? WILL Not that I'm aware of at this time. FEMALE REPORTER Is one currently being negotiated? WILL I couldn't say. STEVE But you could say? WILL I'm sorry. I should have said, "I have no knowledge of whether an agreement is being discussed or not." FEMALE REPORTER Are you just obfuscating here? WILL Luckily for all of you if, perhaps not for the administration, should it ever come to that I couldn't possibly pull it off this convincingly. STEVE If it turns out we're on the brink of World War III, this won't seem quite so amusing. WILL In that horrible event, one might assume we'd all have more pressing concerns. Mark? CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - BEDROOM - DAY Helen is getting ready for the stump event that night. Santos walks in. HELEN There you are. SANTOS We finally finished revising those stimulus numbers based upon that latest CBO package. HELEN Is that what you guys have been doing? Every time I walked by there all I heard was people laughing. SANTOS Well, we enjoy each other's company. HELEN Evidently. SANTOS Is there a problem? HELEN It's just that when you said you were going to come home and spend time with the kids, I thought you were going to spend some time with the kids. SANTOS I played with them this morning. HELEN Practically handling them with tongs. SANTOS I don't want to get in their faces. They're sick. HELEN They have head colds. It's unlikely you'll start bleeding from the eyes. SANTOS I'm in the middle of a Presidential campaign. HELEN That's where you've been nights. SANTOS I know it's been rough. HELEN The kids being issued panic buttons and the house transformed into an armed camp? SANTOS A bit of an exaggeration. HELEN Do the windows in here look any different? SANTOS No, not really. HELEN It's amazing the natural look they can achieve now with bulletproof glass. Labor Day, the barbeque: I had to provide the Secret Service with everyone's names, Social Security numbers, birthdates. To come by and have a hot dog, everybody had to be issued ID pins. My mother walking around tagged like she was some threatening wacko. If you're considering this an opportunity to crack a mother-in-law joke, you are seriously misjudging the mood of your audience. There is a silence, during which Helen continues to get ready. SANTOS I had a real good one, too. HELEN Yeah, what? SANTOS Too late. [pause] I'm sorry. Tomorrow will be better. Helen laughs. SANTOS Hey, think about the neat place we get to live in once we win this thing. Miranda walks in. MIRANDA My throat's really hurting. HELEN Oh, sweetie. Come here, honey. SANTOS I'll handle it. He walks over to her and bends down. SANTOS What's wrong, angel? MIRANDA I want mommy. SANTOS Okay. Helen comes over and kisses her forehead. HELEN I'm here, baby. You're really warm. Let's go take your temperature, okay? MIRANDA Okay. HELEN Okay, honey. Come here. She picks her up and they go into the bathroom. Santos goes back to getting ready. As he does, he taps on the glass. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO. * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Josh, Lou, Ronna, and Annabeth are watching a tape of the earlier debate prep which they told Leo wasn't being taped. JOSH [on tape] Mr. McGarry, given the Vice President's role as one who could be called upon to assume the Presidency, what's your response to voters concerned about your medical history? LEO [on tape] I'd say the House Speaker shouldn't skip any check-ups. Lou pauses the tape. LOU He can't be flippant about this. JOSH I thought it was funny. ANNABETH Defusing. RONNA Sullivan will jump all over it. LOU And do an aria about the awesome, sacred responsibility of succession. JOSH And he'll look like an idiot. LOU And Leo will sound like he could care less. ANNABETH How can we help him if we can't even agree? JOSH He never figured out we were taping him? ANNABETH Nope. LOU Nice job. JOSH Lipstick cameras. You use these at home for your personal pleasure? RONNA Wouldn't you like to know. JOSH Not really. No. LOU Should we cancel? JOSH The debate? RONNA It's the right question. ANNABETH It'd just nakedly be saying we're worried about him looking bad. LOU Better than moving forward and him, in fact, looking bad. JOSH We don't cancel. We keep working; do another practice session tomorrow. RONNA Tomorrow's the debate. JOSH [sarcastically] Is it? Really? Gee, it slipped my mind. LOU Okay, guys. Thank you. You can go. Ronna and Annabeth leave. JOSH He'll be fine. [pause] Acceptable. LOU I'll take anything over train wreck. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Leo's phone is ringing. He gets up from his desk and answers it. LEO Yeah. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS Santos is on his way back from the stump event. SANTOS Hey. LEO [VO] Congressman. How'd the event go? SANTOS Asking people who've already given money to give more money? CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO You've got to be shameless. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS It's shameful how shameless you get. What are you up to? LEO [VO] Cramming. SANTOS I know the feeling. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO Comic retribution for every candidate I ever told, "Just work harder." You saw the blog report. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Don't let that worry you, Leo. Every time you and I argue policy, you kick my ass. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO Hardly. SANTOS [VO] A piece of advice? LEO Please. SANTOS [VO] Don't let all those advisors mess you up. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS [cont.] All of that well-intentioned council can get you so self-conscious you can't remember your shoe size. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS SANTOS [cont.][VO] Trust your instincts. You have a practice session tomorrow? LEO Yeah. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Blow it off. Go to a movie. Get everybody out of your hair. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO How's the homecoming? CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Great. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO Having a little reentry problem? CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS A little bit. LEO [VO] Is she right there? SANTOS Home with the kids. Miranda's got a fever. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO You two will be all right. My best advice: don't get on a plane angry. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS LEO [cont.][VO] Says the divorced guy. SANTOS Does that make your advice better or worse? CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO I have no idea. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - HOUSTON STREET - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Get some rest. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS LEO Thanks for calling. SANTOS [VO] Good luck. Leo hangs up. CUT TO: INT. - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY Will is starting up one of the computers in the Communications office when Kate walks in. KATE What are you doing here on a Sunday? WILL No life. You? Wait, let me guess: you can't tell me. KATE You're getting good at this. WILL Coffee? KATE Hmm-mm. WILL You know it occurs to me that if you ever used, and the fact that you haven't earns you major cliche avoidance points, the old, "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you" trope, that given your background you probably actually could. KATE With my bare hands. WILL Again, alarmingly alluring. KATE You do have issues to work on, which I tend to find compelling to my continual misery. WILL Really? KATE Dismayingly so. Anyway, I just came by to say that I thought, given all, you acquitted yourself well at yesterday's briefing. WILL Apocalypse Maybe. KATE Nimbly done. WILL Don't change the subject. KATE From? WILL The end of the world as we know it. KATE I can assure you: Armageddon not necessarily imminent. WILL May I communicate same to the White House press? KATE I can't think why not. WILL You have the thanks of a thankful Communications director. Though the thought of the world ending did have one upside: I figured it gave license to ask whether you might want to have dinner with me before we and the planet went up in cinders. KATE Well, that is an opportunity lost. Though I said it wasn't imminent, not out of the range of possibility. WILL So, then...? KATE How's tonight? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Ronna, Annabeth, and Lou walk into Josh's office looking very somber. Josh shuts the door behind them. JOSH It's all over the press that Leo had another bad debate practice. Somebody's leaking. LOU You can't seriously think it's one of us. JOSH You told a friend, they told a friend, the friend told the Washington Post. LOU I haven't spoken to a friend in two months. ANNABETH I don't think I have any friends left. RONNA All my friends are in this room. LOU Okay, you win most pathetic. Leo knocks and comes in. LEO Am I interrupting? JOSH Hey! No, not at all. LEO I'm canceling today's debate prep. JOSH I'm not sure that's the best plan. LEO Too many voices; I need to clear my head a little bit. LOU We could make it just Josh and me. JOSH Or just Lou. Or me. LEO I think I'll do better on my own. JOSH Short session? LEO I don't want to leave it in the locker room. JOSH Right. LEO See you all tonight. ANNABETH All right. Leo leaves. As he shuts the door, Josh goes back to his desk, looking very worried. JOSH Okay, forget what I was saying. I want you to get out there and lower expectations now. LOU Beyond what they are? JOSH Lower than low. Go for low. Hades low. Spinning iron core in the planet low. Low. CUT TO: EXT. - SANTOS' HOME - DAY Santos, Helen, and the kids are coming back from mass. Santos is carrying Miranda. SANTOS You know, between the security sweep, the metal detectors and the perimeter detail, that was the safest mass performed in America today. Helen laughs. SON What's so funny? MIRANDA Yeah, what's so funny? HELEN Kind of everything. SON Did Teddy's father get his gun back? Helen and Santos both laugh at this. SANTOS I don't know, Pete. You're going to have to ask him. MIRANDA What? They have come to the front door and an agent opens the door for them. Donna and Bram are waiting for them. SANTOS All right, kids. Get changed. HELEN Sorry. You guys had him all day yesterday. Today's the Sabbath, day of rest. DONNA There's something both of you are going to want to see. HELEN What is it? DONNA Photos hit the papers you're probably not going to like. SANTOS I've probably looked worse. DONNA It's not of you. Donna hands him a tabloid newspaper. The headline reads "HOTTIE HELEN." It shows a picture of her when Santos first arrived home. She is bent down, wiping Peter's nose. The picture is a close-up of the strap of her thong underwear. Helen looks embarrassed as she takes it for a closer look. CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY Bob is looking at a webblog featuring the picture which Donna just showed to Santos and Helen. BOB You think they planted it to distract from the debate tonight? Sheila and Sullivan come to look at it. SHEILA Only a man would ask that. SULLIVAN I beg your pardon. SHEILA Sorry. You're right. Only you. Sheila and Sullivan sit down on the couches. BOB It's all over the Internet. SULLIVAN What are we doing about Illinois? SHEILA Not panicking. BOB Four points up is still up. SHEILA Senator of Chicago to the suburbs... SULLIVAN I go downstate. BOB Santos ain't playing in Peoria. He sees something on one of the blogs he is looking at. BOB They're talking about canceling. SULLIVAN Who? BOB Santos-McGarry. SHEILA I hear they're in panic mode over there. BOB That's why he leaked the Helen photo. SHEILA Will you stop? SULLIVAN He set the bar so low, the only way McGarry can look bad is if he trips over it. BOB Go out, do your thing; just watch out it doesn't look like you're kicking a cripple. SHEILA And we let this man talk to reporters? BOB What? CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - DAY Santos, Helen, Donna, and Bram are 'discussing' the photo. Santos is outraged. Helen looks mortified. SANTOS This is out of bounds. I want you to contact every media outlet and let them know that anyone using this will no longer receive cooperation from this campaign. There is an awkward pause and silence. SANTOS Honey, I'm sorry about this. HELEN I... I guess this is speechless. BRAM It's trash journalism - the lowest kind of tabloid stuff. This will backfire. HELEN They'll only sell out every copy. DONNA I'm so sorry, Mrs. Santos. I can understand how you must feel. HELEN Can you? What kind of underwear are you wearing right now, Donna? She gets up and leaves. SANTOS Put me on the phone with this publisher. DONNA I'm not sure that's the best... SANTOS Put me on the phone with him, right now. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is on the phone with Toby. JOSH Hey. Is this a bad time? CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Toby is seated in the hallway. He is on the phone with Josh. TOBY No. You caught me between arraignments. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I'm surprised you haven't changed your cell number. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Disappointed to actually get me? JOSH [VO] No, I... TOBY Is somebody dead? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I've talked to you. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Once every six weeks; you could set an extremely slow clock by it. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I didn't think you wanted to hear from me. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Because I don't feel cut off enough? JOSH [VO] All right. I wasn't sure I wanted to talk to you. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] Last time you were more than usually assholic. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Is that the reason you're calling? Because I'm not sure I'm in the ideal headspace for a character critique. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Have you seen the stuff about Leo? TOBY [VO] Lowering expectations. JOSH It's not us. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Really? You mean he actually...? JOSH [VO] Yeah. TOBY News for a day. Not even, with this tattoo thing. That was you, right? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH No. TOBY [VO] Huh? CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY [cont.] Really on top of the information flow, huh? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I think we can do without your usual disparagement about my job performance. I just feel like I really screwed up. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY It's the VP debate - the very definition of "low impact." JOSH [VO] Well, the campaign will survive - it's Leo. TOBY He'll survive too. JOSH [VO] I put him in this position. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] If he goes out and embarrasses himself, it's my fault. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY He's a big boy, Josh. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH He did this for me. And now I've put him in this position where he can fail on national TV. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY I'm sorry? He did this for you? JOSH [VO] You know what I mean. TOBY Leo McGarry didn't accept his party's nomination to the Vice Presidency of the United States because he thought it might make your socks roll up and down. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I just hate to see him struggle like this. It's not what he deserves. I can't help it if it sounds self-aggrandizing, I feel responsible. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY He's really that bad? JOSH [VO] Watch tonight. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] Actually, don't watch. [pause] This must all sound pretty trivial. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY You mean to someone under indictment? It does concentrate the mind, just a little. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH How's that going? TOBY [VO] I can't talk about it. JOSH Too tough? CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Legally prescribed. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Right. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Give yourself a pass on this, Josh. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Yeah. I'll talk to you in six weeks. CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Election Day. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I forget: in D.C., do they let felons vote? CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Toby says nothing. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Too soon? CUT TO: INT. - COURTHOUSE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS TOBY Just a little bit. See ya. He hangs up. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Josh hangs up FADE OUT. END ACT THREE. * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. - SANTOS HOME - BEDROOM - DAY Helen is in the room, still looking embarrassed. Santos walks in. SANTOS I just tore that publisher a new one. Are you okay? HELEN Okay may be a bit much to hope for. SANTOS I'm sorry about all this. HELEN It's not your fault. SANTOS In a way. HELEN What are you going to do? SANTOS That shouldn't be a part of all of this. HELEN Everything is a part of this. If you don't see that, you're not paying attention. No pizza delivery on the block is a part of all this, mass starting an hour late so they could mag-wand the choir, the kids getting sick... SANTOS The kids? How are they...? HELEN Dragging them across the country. SANTOS Kids whose fathers aren't running for President get colds. HELEN Well, I'm not going to do it anymore. SANTOS They enjoy it, Helen. HELEN Sitting in hotel rooms waiting for Daddy? SANTOS Can we talk about this when you're not so upset? HELEN You should change. You promised Peter you'd throw the football around. She gets up and leaves. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - DAY Leo is lying on his couch. He is watching a movie. There is a knock at the door. Leo pauses the movie and gets up to answer it. Josh is there. LEO Hey. JOSH You all set for tonight? LEO I'd better be. JOSH You got a suit picked out? A tie? LEO Are you here to approve my wardrobe? JOSH No, no. I'm not worried about that. I'm not worried at all. LEO Thanks for saying it at least. Listen, we should move "Rock the Vote" up. JOSH It's going to give Santos his "boxers or briefs" moment. LEO Helen should do it with him. JOSH She won't do it. He's pretty pissed. LEO We make lemonade, put them both on: youthful, attractive. JOSH Camelot for the 21st Century. LEO We turn that vote out, we win. JOSH They never come out. LEO They haven't had anyone like him to vote for since Kennedy. JOSH I'll get on it. [pause] There's still time to go over stuff for tonight. LEO I'm good. JOSH Last minute review? LEO I'd rather take it easy, rest up. JOSH [pause] It's gonna be good. LEO It's gonna be what it is. JOSH Okay, well... LEO Thanks for coming by. JOSH Yeah, I'll see you there. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HOME - DAY Peter is playing an Xbox game. Santos and Miranda are playing go-fish. Santos is on the phone. SANTOS Leo's going to be better than people think, but you know, it's the message, not the messenger. MIRANDA Do you have any twos? He takes the phone away from his mouth and mouths for her to "Go Fish." SANTOS No, we're going to score tonight because what we've got to say about this country is forward-looking and inclusive. Helen has walked up and she watches Santos as he talks on the phone. MIRANDA Dad! SANTOS I have every confidence that when Leo McGarry challenges Ray Sullivan on the issues, he's gonna show that the Vinick campaign's so-called "Sensible Solutions" are neither sensible, nor are they solutions. Miranda gets up and walks over to where Peter is playing his game. We pan to the living room where Bram is showing in Jorge Santos, Matt Santos' brother. BRAM Sorry for the mix-up, Mr. Santos. JORGE SANTOS Produce ID, pass through a metal detector to enter my own brother's house. BRAM We were told you were out of town. That's why you weren't on the pre-clearance list. JORGE Plus they got my name wrong. It's Jorge, not George. BRAM They just went with what's on your driver's license. JORGE I'm getting it changed. Santos walks into the room. He and Jorge hug. SANTOS Hey, you made it after all. JORGE Hey. I thought I was going to get cavity searched. BRAM He wasn't on the list. SANTOS Standard operating procedure now. JORGE You can make it up to me. Listen, I invited over a couple of business associates for drinks and a photo. You think we can get it past your storm troopers? He looks at Bram who seems to indicate that it's not a good idea. SANTOS Sure. BRAM I'll see what I can do. SANTOS Helen's back here. CUT TO: EXT. - SANTOS' HOME - BACKYARD - DAY Helen is cleaning some things off of the picnic table in the back. Donna walks out to talk to her. DONNA I haven't had a chance to say, you have a lovely home. HELEN It's even nicer when you don't have shouting protestors holding pictures of fetuses just up the street. She gets up and walks to the other side of the table. HELEN I'm sorry about snapping at you before. DONNA It's completely understandable. Personal embarrassment aside... HELEN Embarrassment is when you nod off at the PTA meeting. When entire cable news segments are devoted to whether you seem kind of whore-y, I think we've upgraded to outright humiliation. DONNA I was gonna say, it actually probably helps more than it hurts. It makes you and the Congressman seem sexy and hip. HELEN Well, glad to be of service. DONNA You know, one of the reasons these stories may get so much play might be because it's all the public knows about you. You haven't really defined yourself. HELEN Well, I'm not running for President. DONNA With all due respect, we both know you're not that naive. The option to be left alone took a hit when the Congressman signed on to run and pretty much got obliterated when he won the nomination. It'll be a distant memory when he wins this thing. It might be time for you to start talking about the kind of First Lady you want to be. I'd like to help out with that if you'll let me. HELEN I can't tell you what kind of First Lady I'd like to be. I'm too busy deciding if I want him to win. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - DEBATE HALL - NIGHT Leo, Josh, and Lou are walking and talking as Leo prepares for the debate. LOU Eye contact. Start on the monitor. JOSH Once you punch, straight to camera. LOU When Sullivan talks, you look at him. JOSH But don't stare. LOU Don't look bored. JOSH Even when he's boring. LOU He'll be boring. Annabeth walks up. ANNABETH Hey, look at me. Leo turns for her to see him. ANNABETH Gorgeous. LEO Oh get her away from me. ANNABETH The man can not take a compliment. Ronna walks up. RONNA They're ready for you. JOSH Go get 'em. ANNABETH Good luck. Hey, McGarry. [whispering] You're smirking. LEO [sarcastically] Yeah? CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OFFICE - NIGHT Will and Kate are seated at what appears to be Will's desk, although it is covered with a tablecloth. There are candles lit on the table/desk. Will pours some wine into two glasses. He and Kate clink glasses and take a drink. He motions for her to tell him what she thinks of it. KATE Good. He grabs the takeout orders and gives Kate hers. He opens his and scoops it out onto his plate. WILL You. KATE Thank you. WILL Me. KATE A Carciofi salad, shaved parmesan. Little order envy. WILL Take it. KATE No. WILL One-time, first-date offer. I'd seize it. KATE First? WILL I'm an optimist. KATE Take out dinner in your office; you must be. He looks at his watch as he pours his new salad onto his new plate. WILL Uh, hey, it started. He switches the TV on to the debate. MODERATOR [on TV] Mr. McGarry, your response. LEO [on TV] Senator Vinick and Governor Sullivan oppose the Kyoto treaty because they don't want foreign governments dictating our emissions standards. They oppose the International Criminal Court because they don't want a foreign body to have legal jurisdiction over U.S. citizens. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - DEM. WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS Josh, Lou, Annabeth and others are watching the debate. LEO [cont.][on TV] But they apparently have no problem seating enormous, unprecedented leverage over our economy to bankers in China. Our opponents evidently favor sending even more, billions of U.S. dollars, China's way. Matt Santos and I would bring that money back to our shores for our citizens and return control of our back home where it belongs. CUT TO: INT. - WILL'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS MODERATOR [on TV] Mr. McGarry, the next question's for you. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - REP. WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS Sheila and Bob are watching the debate. MODERATOR [on TV] Many Americans consider the Vice President's role in Presidential succession to be the most important responsibility... Sheila looks at Bob, obviously because of Leo's so-far performance. BOB I never said he was going to giber like a gibbon. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Santos, Helen, and the kids are watching the debate. MODERATOR [on TV] Given your medical history, why shouldn't voters feel concern about you? LEO [on TV] By an overwhelming percentage, the first symptom of a heart attack is death. I am fortunate to be here. But it wasn't all luck. I was the beneficiary of the finest medical care in the world - medical care available to me, to Governor Sullivan; but not to the millions of Americans with no or inadequate health insurance. They have their noses pressed against the windows of the world's greatest hospitals, best trained doctors and nursing professionals. And when they most need, most desperately need their services, they can't get in. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - DEM. WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS LEO [cont.][on TV] Matt Santos and I don't want to leave anyone out in the cold if they get sick like I did. JOSH I could kiss somebody. He looks over at Lou, who is sitting beside him. JOSH Or, you know, not. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS LEO [on TV] ... access to the first-class treatment that I firmly believe saved my life. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - DEM. WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS RONNA He didn't really answer the question. JOSH It doesn't matter. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - REP. WATCHROOM - CONTINUOUS SHEILA It doesn't matter. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Damn straight. MIRANDA You said a swear. Helen laughs. CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - OFFSTAGE - CONTINUOUS Leo is walking off stage amid whistles and applause. LEO Thank you. Thanks. Thank you. Hopefully I didn't embarrass us to bad. RONNA Are you kidding? LEO Josh and Lou are in the spin room? ANNABETH You gave them a lot to work with. LEO Thanks for the help, everyone. He and Annabeth start walking down the hallway. RONNA Are you coming next door for a drink? LEO As soon as I scrape the makeup off. ANNABETH Son of a bitch. LEO Very nice. ANNABETH You sandbagged. LEO Headstart on that drink? ANNABETH Didn't you? You're not smirking. What was all this about? LEO The truth? ANNABETH Yeah. LEO I was really that lost. ANNABETH Oh, come on. LEO Couching answers in tame, time-pressured sound bites. And then when Josh wouldn't even show me that tape, it scared me to death. So I leaked it. ANNABETH You did? LEO I was worried he was so worried he wouldn't. ANNABETH So you just called up a bunch of reporters and said "Hey, Leo McGarry here, just letting you know I'm one scary debater. LEO I covered my tracks. I've been at this awhile. I had a couple think it was you. ANNABETH Wasn't the voice a big tip-off? LEO There's not enough helium in the cosmos. So, I borrowed your e-mail account. ANNABETH Excuse me? LEO Never use your cat's name as your password. Josh walks out and talks to Leo. JOSH Hey, I've got to get back in there. I just want to say good going. LEO I got through it. JOSH Oh, you did better than that. LEO Just never make me do this again. JOSH In four years, book it. I'll see you at the thing. He walks away. ANNABETH If you'll excuse me, too, I have a password to change. She walks away. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' HOME - STAIRCASE - NIGHT Santos is getting ready to leave out. Helen is walking with him. SANTOS So, I'll see you in Phoenix on Thursday. HELEN I'll be there. SANTOS I hear that the hotel's got this water slide. HELEN I will pack a Victorian bathing dress. SANTOS I meant for the... HELEN I know what you meant. SANTOS Anyway, it's probably not a good idea that they go swimming with their colds and all. HELEN Yeah, probably not. SANTOS I miss them like crazy. HELEN I know you do. SANTOS I miss you, too. HELEN I'll be there in Phoenix. SANTOS Yeah. They kiss. He turns and walks out the door where some agents are ready to escort him to the car. He goes and Helen shuts the door behind him. We watch Helen walk away from the door and back upstairs. CUT TO: INT. - LEO'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Leo is watching some of the spin from the debate. On the TV are Mike Diacovo and Elizabeth Willis. WILLIS [on TV] McGarry did all he needed to do: exceed expectations. DIACOVO [on TV] How couldn't he, the way the Democrats spun the run-out. WILLIS [on TV] And we fall for it every time: viewing the spin instead of the substance. DIACOVO [on TV] Substance in a debate? I'd be surprised if this debate changed anyone's mind. WILLIS [on TV] Well, arguably, the best outcome for the Vice Presidential debate: at least don't send the voters running into the arms of the other guys. CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - NIGHT Santos is in the car, driving to the airport. After a few minutes of thinking, he sneezes. DRIVER Bless you, sir. SANTOS Thank you. After some thought, he remembers that both of the kids had colds while he was there. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END. * * * The West Wing episode 7.10 "Running Mates", original air date 8 January, 2005.