Season 7 – Episode 12 – “Duck and Cover”

Episode Summary:

Bartlet (Martin Sheen) must face the possibility of an exploding nuclear reactor in California. In the midst of this emergency exists the presidential campaign and the candidates find themselves struggling to find a good strategy to deal with the situation. Meanwhile, Kate (Mary McCormack) keeps an eye on the impending battle between Russia and China over Kazakhstan.

Script:

THE WEST WING
7x12 - "DUCK AND COVER"
WRITTEN BY ELI ATTIE
DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER MISIANO

Transcribed by Soundman for www.twiztv.com. Send feedback to
sparticus1611@hotmail.com.

TEASER

FADE IN: EXT. - PORTICO - NIGHT
      9:19 PM

C.J. and Kate are waiting for Bartlet to walk out. He does and they start
talking.

BARTLET
What do we know?

C.J.
17 minutes ago, at 6:02 Pacific Time, emergency sirens went off at the
nuclear generating station in San Andreo, California. The main feed-water
pump failed. Everything proceeded as expected: a relief valve opened to let
the water escape, the reactor scrammed...

BARTLET
It shut itself down.

C.J.
But now a valve is malfunctioning and coolant has stopped flowing into the
reactor's core.

BARTLET
If they can't get coolant into the core...

C.J.
The uranium fuel rods become exposed, which makes them highly combustible. We
could be looking at a full-scale nuclear meltdown.

BARTLET
Full-scale as in...?

They have walked into the Oval Office.

C.J.
FEMA thinks the plume could cover all of San Andreo - population:
42,000. Federal response teams are on their way.

BARTLET
Any word on the cause?

C.J.
Could be human error, a design flaw...

KATE
It's not likely a terrorist would sneak in there and jam a valve. We're
rechecking all the relevant intel.

BARTLET
Has the public been notified?

C.J.
No. But when they shut down the reactor there was a steam release that
sounded something like a Concorde landing and CNN's already running rumors
of an explosion.

BARTLET
I want the FEMA director and the Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
in here right away. Get CNN to stop running rumors. I'll make a statement
in 15 minutes.

KATE
Sir, you really don't want to notify the public until there's a plan in
place. There could be widespread panic.

BARTLET
Then we'd better get moving on a plan, because I'm making a statement in
15 minutes.

C.J.
Yes, sir.

KATE
Thank you, Mr. President.

CUT TO: EXT. - CAMPAIGN EVENT - NIGHT
      WEDNESDAY NIGHT, 9:21 PM
      TAMPA, FLORIDA

Santos and Helen are speaking at a "Rock the Vote" event.

SANTOS
Yes, we worry about what's happening in the culture: we have two young
children. But censorship is like saying I can't have a steak because a baby
can't chew it. Let's be careful. Yeah?

We pan to where Josh and Donna are watching the event.

DONNA
He's good tonight.

JOSH
As long as he keeps pivoting to the issues, I'm fine.

AUDIENCE MAN #1
You told Rolling Stone you like Bob Dylan. I was just wondering: what's your
favorite album?

SANTOS
My favorite Bob Dylan album? I guess I should say Highway 61 Revisited and
then we could just ease into transportation policy, but  really, it's Blonde
on Blonde.

Helen looks at him funny as the audience laughs.

SANTOS
Believe me, there's no policy implications to that.

DONNA
Did he just imply...

JOSH
Jay Leno's going to have field day.

DONNA
No big issues captivated the voters. You're surprised it came down to geyser
rock trivia?

Bram walks up and hands Josh a piece of paper.

JOSH
Wrap it up.

Bram walks away.

DONNA
What?

JOSH
There was a nuclear accident in California. Get to a television, laptop. Get
any details you can.

She walks away.

CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - MOTORCADE - NIGHT
      9:23 PM
      FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA

BRUNO
Santos is doing that "Rock the Vote" event in Tampa. Probably pandering like
mad to a bunch of preteens.

VINICK
There better be some post-teens. You're sending me there tomorrow.

BRUNO
I'm sending you because you talk like a President, not some latter day,
Mick Jagger-in-Chief.

Bruno's phone rings and he answers it.

BRUNO [into phone]
Yeah, Bruno.

VINICK
I could tell them about my psychedelic phase when I wore brown socks on the
Senate floor.

BRUNO [into phone]
Call me the second you get confirmation.

He hangs up.

VINICK
Confirmation on what?

BRUNO
A problem with a nuclear plant in California. San Andreo. There might be
an explosion.

VINICK
San Andreo?

BRUNO
Yeah, it's near San Diego.

VINICK
Yeah, I know where it is.

BRUNO
What?

VINICK
I pushed the licensing commission to get San Andreo up and running 25
years ago.

BRUNO
Pushed?

VINICK
I helped get that plant online.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. - OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
      9:26 PM

C.J. is on the phone at Debbie's desk. A news report is going about the
incident. Kate is also on the phone, she at Charlie's desk. Both conversations
are indecipherable. They hang up simultaneously and turn to see a news report.

ANCHOR
We've received numerous reports of a loud explosion as well as Arab tourists
seen near the facility in the last two days.

KATE
How can they run these crazy rumors?

C.J.
The only thing certain in cases like this: first reports are always wrong.

They go into the Oval Office where Bartlet is meeting with several people.

BARTLET
How we handle this in the next 90 minutes will determine whether there's
panic within 100 miles of every nuclear plant in this country. We don't get
a second chance to make a first impression. Harry?

NRC CHAIR HARRY
The coolant in the reactor has dropped at least a foot, exposing an eighth
of the fuel rods.

BARTLET
How can we get cool water in there.

HARRY
They're running a temporary feed line to bypass the broken valve while they
try to figure out what's wrong.

BARTLET
In the meantime?

HARRY
They're activating an emergency heat removal pump. The hope is that it will
lower temperatures enough to prevent a meltdown.

FEMA DIRECTOR
There's a second problem.

HARRY
Yes. Another valve is stuck open. With the temperatures rising in the reactor,
an awful lot of radioactive steam is being generated and it's pouring into
the containment building.

C.J.
Are we worried about a radiation leak?

HARRY
We're worried they may have to pump radioactive gases into an auxiliary
building which is not built to hold them. One poorly welded seam...

BARTLET
How much radiation are we talking about?

HARRY
It's unclear. But administrators at CalVista Gas & Electric...

KATE
They run the San Andreo plant.

HARRY
Yes. They believe any leak would pose little or no threat to the public health.

BARTLET
Without knowing how big it might be.

C.J.
It's chaos over there. I couldn't even get them on the phone.

BARTLET
I want the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to take command of that plant and
I want to evacuate the area.

C.J.
It's a state and local matter.

BARTLET
Get the governor of California right away.

NANCY
Yes, sir.

FEMA DIRECTOR
Governor Tillman wants to wait until we're absolutely sure it's necessary.

KATE
He'll argue that rash, messy, night-time evacuation could be worse...

NANCY
The Governor's on the line.

BARTLET
Thank you.

He picks up the phone.

BARTLET
Gabe, you have to evacuate San Andreo. ... We're all working off
sketchy information. ... 'Cause, trust me on this, we would rather have
a few fender-benders on the I-5 than a generation of babies with thyroid
cancer. ... My FEMA Director is right here. He'll coordinate with your state
emergency services and I'm going to declare a major federal disaster. You're
going to have every federal resource you need. ... We're going to get
through this.

He hangs up.

C.J.
Mr. President, with all the levels of government involved in this, maybe now
is a good time to designate a czar - a single, point person to oversee all...

BARTLET
You're looking at him.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK-SULLIVAN HQ - NIGHT

Vinick is in his office. He is on the phone, trying to get through. He gets
a busy signal. Bob and Bruno come in.

BOB
We talked to the Senate office.

BRUNO
They're reaching out to the Governor's office. Regional officials...

BOB
Hundreds of press requests...

VINICK
I want to issue a statement supporting the Governor's evacuation plan.

BOB
We should couple it with a call for an investigation. This has to have been
a regulatory failure.

BRUNO
We want to be careful, though. Everyone knows the Senator is pro-nuclear. He
said it in the first debate.

BOB
That's why we have to act defensively. The DNC's got to know he lobbied to
get that plant open.

Vinick picks up the phone again and dials. He again gets a busy signal.

BRUNO
Defensive, but not destructive. What do you want?

Vinick hangs up.

BRUNO
Jamie and your grandkids are in San Diego?

VINICK
Phone lines are jammed, cell phones, everything.

BOB
We'll put out a statement supporting the governor.

He and Bruno leave. Vinick tries again on the phone with still no luck.

CUT TO: INT. - LOBBY - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

Will is walking in. His phone is going off. He drops it as he meets C.J. She
picks it up for him.

C.J.
The President wants to make a statement in the next few minutes.

WILL
Saying what?

C.J.
Whatever we can figure out in the next few minutes.

WILL
You wouldn't believe the rumors that are bouncing around here: that there's
a fire near the reactor and it's about to blow.

C.J.
Not exactly.

WILL
That we're shutting down every nuclear plant with the same design.

C.J.
Not the dumbest of ideas, but no. Look, the press are going to talk to
everybody, they're going to speculate about everything. I need you to grab
hold of the information flow.

WILL
I have no information.

C.J.
Welcome to the club. Let's start with that statement.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Bartlet is talking with FEMA Director and Harry. They are walking out of
the office.

BARTLET
What are the odds this leads to a meltdown?

HARRY
A meltdown isn't when one thing goes wrong, it's when 12 things go wrong.

BARTLET
There must be 6 million people living within a hundred miles of that plant.

FEMA DIRECTOR
Based on prevailing winds, FEMA recommends we evacuate 15 down, 6 and 9
around. It'll cover all of San Andreo.

WILL
15 down?

C.J.
15 miles between 6 and 9 like a clock.

FEMA DIRECTOR
But state emergency services want to do just 10 down, 6 and 9 around: the
legal minimum.

BARTLET
Tell them if they're fine with 10 miles, the Governor and I will be setting
up a command post at 10.1 miles from the plant. We'd like them to join us
there. [to Will] Is the press ready for my statement?

WILL
Readier than we are.

C.J.
It's not like we have much to tell them.

FEMA DIRECTOR
It sounds like they're more comfortable with 15 miles.

CUT TO: INT. - BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT
      9:34 PM

Bartlet walks into the room and to the podium. The press stands as he does.

BARTLET
Good evening.

He indicates for them to sit.

BARTLET
32 minutes ago, there was a mechanical problem at the nuclear generating
plant in San Andreo, California which is causing the reactor's core to
overheat. There's been no explosion. There's no indication of terrorism or
foul play. Engineers are working to address the problem right now. Governor
Tillman has begun an evacuation and I'm declaring a major federal disaster
and dispatching every possible resource. We don't have all the facts. You
will have them as soon as we do but every level of government is working on
this. No matter what happens, we're going to handle it.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
      WILLIAM D. MOSELEY HOTEL
      TAMPA, FLORIDA

Helen and Santos are sitting on the couch watching the news reports about
the accident. Also in the room are Josh, Donna, and Bram.

ANCHOR
So what they're doing is bypassing the broken valve and running a new pipeline
to get cool water into that reactor so it doesn't meltdown. Federal officials
believe they can avoid the worst, but I can tell you...

DONNA
I don't understand why they put a nuclear plant so close to a population
center.

SANTOS
They're all near population centers. Otherwise, they'd lose too much power
in transmission.

DONNA
So the whole idea is kind of crazy.

SANTOS
Kind of.

HELEN
You should give a big speech on that. Put out a whole new energy plan.

BRAM
Or point out that Vinick's plan glows in the dark.

HELEN
It's true. Vinick's for nuclear power. You fought against him for years.

DONNA
We can get every environmental group for a press conference.

BRAM
Skip Oregon, campaign along the evacuation route, give out bottled water.

JOSH
Can I talk to you?

SANTOS
Let me know when they get the pipeline to the core.

He and Josh stand and walk out into the hallway.

SANTOS
Where's Leo?

JOSH
He's on a charter to Ohio. He's going to call in when he lands.

SANTOS
Get them to cool it on the political chatter. I don't want us holding rallies
on the Hindenburg.

JOSH
Yeah. I'm going to cancel our events tomorrow. We can't be exploiting this.

SANTOS
Yeah.

JOSH
And I don't think we're going to have to. You're anti-nuclear. Vinick's got
a long history on the other side. This is all upside for us. I say we go
completely dark. Let the press go after Vinick on their own so they can't
accuse us of playing politics.

SANTOS
I'm fine doing nothing on this issue.

JOSH
I mean nothing on any issue: no speeches, no press releases. We stay right
here.

SANTOS
See which way the wind blows.

JOSH
And what's blowing in it.

CUT TO: INT. - SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
      10:28PM

Bartlet walks into the room. Several people are already there.

BARTLET
Have we cooled down the reactor's core?

C.J.
The heat removal pump hasn't had much impact: a 20-degree drop but we're
talking 700 degrees in there.

HARRY
Hang on. We've got a temporary coolant line to the core.

There is a pause. Nobody says or does anything.

BARTLET
I don't see anyone popping champagne corks. I thought if we got a line in
there we'd avoid a meltdown.

FEMA DIRECTOR
Radioactive steam is still gushing into the containment building. They had
to start pumping it into the auxiliary building.

BARTLET
It wasn't designed to hold it.

C.J.
No. IT can accommodate up to 50 pounds of pressure per square inch. It's
now at 34psi and rising. The coolant won't be enough to stop it. The fuel
rods give off hydrogen gas.

FEMA DIRECTOR
Which is extremely explosive; if we get near maximum pressure levels...

HARRY
The containment building might be able to withstand that kind of a blast. The
auxiliary building cannot.

BARTLET
So?

HARRY
Unless we fix the valve soon, we have to vent radioactive gas into the
atmosphere to relieve the pressure.

BARTLET
How many people are still in San Andreo?

FEMA DIRECTOR
About 30,000.

BARTLET
I don't want to release any radiation until everyone's been evacuated. What's
the alternative?
HARRY
An explosion that spreads radiation all over Southern California; maybe
parts of Arizona and Nevada, sir.

BARTLET
How much would we have to vent?

HARRY
We think it will be within EPA's standard parameters for an acceptable dosage.

FEMA DIRECTOR
It's Santa Ana season in Southern California.

C.J.
Which could be good if the winds stay consistent; the radiation could drift
out over the ocean.

BARTLET
How do we speed up the evacuation?

C.J.
Tell people we're about to spill radiation into the air, good chance it will
speed it up.

BARTLET
How much time before we reach 50psi?

HARRY
Maybe an hour.

BARTLET
Who would give the order?

HARRY
We've taken charge of the plant, sir. That would be you.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE.
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. - COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT
      10:41 PM

Will is speaking with the spokespeople from several different agencies.

WILL
DOE, EPA, NOA... okay, let's get started. I wanted all the agency spokespeople
in one place so we could... yes, Blyden?

SPOKESPERSON BLYDEN
Do you have an update for us?

WILL
Radioactive steam has been spilling into the containment building, so much
that they've had to pump it into another building. The other building can
only hold 50 pounds of pressure per inch. It's now at 38. We may have to
vent radiation into the atmosphere to avoid a big bang.

Those in the room start calling for Will's attention.

WILL
Guys, I don't have time to do this by Socratic Method. I called you all here
because each of your agencies is going to be involved in this but no one,
not a single one of you, is going to talk to the press. All right? No one.

SPOKESPERSON #1
I've got a call list ten pages long.

WILL
I can assure you, they've all called my office too. There will be one
briefer: me.

BLYDEN
What if this turns out to be the administration's fault? We can't withhold
information from the public.

WILL
We won't be withholding anything. We're trying to maintain calm; make it
look like we know what we're doing, so there will be one voice: the dulcet
tones of Will Bailey. Get your souvenir programs in the lobby.

SPOKESPERSON #2
What about political questions? Vinick's the pro-nuke guy. In the first
debate...

WILL
There will be one briefer, and I won't be answering political questions.

They again raise their hands for his attention.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

Bartlet and Kate are walking and talking as Bartlet heads toward the Sit Room.

KATE
It's almost morning in Kazakhstan, sir. The polls open in two hours.

BARTLET
Busy night for you.

KATE
It's always morning somewhere.

BARTLET
We have election monitors on the ground?

KATE
Through the OSCE. China needs to see this as a genuine democracy, not some
Russian puppet government out to screw them out of their oil interests. China's
got troops along the border. If they think it's a phony election rigged to
protect the Russian-installed incumbent...

BARTLET
They cross the borders, so does Russia, and we have a war on our hands.

KATE
I'll have regular updates for you.

Bartlet walks into the Sit Room and Kate walks away.

BARTLET
So, we're at 46psi?

C.J.
We don't have much time to relieve the pressure in that auxiliary building.

BARTLET
Where are we on the evacuation?

C.J.
Maybe a third of the people in the evacuation zone are out. At least 700,000
in the region are pouring onto the freeway.

BARTLET
700,000?

FEMA DIRECTOR
That's a conservative estimate.

C.J.
Plus there aren't enough buses and vans to take care of at-risk populations:
seniors, people with disabilities. The governor wants you to activate military
support from Camp Pendleton.

BARTLET
So ordered. Do we have a direct line to the control room in San Andreo?

HARRY
The Superintendent for Operations is on now.

C.J.
We've got helicopters overhead to get an immediate reading to make sure
we're within the acceptable dosage.

BARTLET
Which is?

FEMA DIRECTOR
500 milligrams.

BARTLET
Is there any way to wait for support from Camp Pendleton? I don't like the
idea of the elderly and the disabled taking the brunt of this.

HARRY
The longer we wait, the more chance of an explosion and God knows how much
radiation shooting into the atmosphere.

BARTLET
[pause] Vent it now.

HARRY
Open the stack.

MAN [on phone]
Opening auxiliary stack.

BARTLET
What do we mean by "acceptable dosage" anyway?

HARRY
It's the amount the body can safely absorb through direct exposure. But
radiation also enters the surface layers of the soil where it's
absorbed by plants and insects and enters the food supply. It seeps into
water sources. When it does enter the body, sometimes it kills cells
instantly. Sometimes it forms damaged cells.

BARTLET
Cancer?

HARRY
Yes, sir.

MAN [on phone]
Stack open; steady at 1200 reps.

BARTLET
1200?

C.J.
Inside the stack. Once it's in the air it'll disperse. Anything below 500
and we're fine.

FEMA DIRECTOR
569 milligrams above the stack.

BARTLET
We have to announce the number.

HARRY
It'll make the evacuation 50 times harder.

BARTLET
Can we take another reading?

FEMA DIRECTOR
Steady at 561.

BARTLET
It's more than we consider safe. We have to let the people know.

HARRY
Anyone who's not on the freeway will be looking for an on-ramp.

C.J.
Make the freeway one-way.

FEMA DIRECTOR
No one feels comfortable making that choice. Santa Ana winds could shift at
any time.

BARTLET
We're spilling radiation into the sky, people are jamming the freeways, and we
don't know what direction they should drive? Tell Will to announce the number.

C.J.
Yes, sir.

CUT TO: INT. - BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT
      11:47 PM

Will is briefing the press.

FEMALE REPORTER
So, you're saying the radiation release was at an unsafe level?

WILL
No, I'm saying it was slightly above EPA's standards for an acceptable dosage.

MALE REPORTER
The government believes it's safe?

WILL
I didn't say that. I'm just trying to state the facts.

REPORTER WALTER
An estimated 1 million people are fleeing Southern California. Isn't the
President worried about public panic?

WILL
He's worried about public safety. He's urging those outside the evacuation
zone to stay home so those in the zone can get out.

FEMALE REPORTER
Will, is the EPA going to brief on the levels of radiation?

WILL
I'm briefing, on that and everything else.

FEMALE REPORTER
What if we need more information?

WILL
Ask me and I'll get it.

TIMES REPORTER
Assistant Secretary Blyden at HHS says the weather agencies are worried the
winds will shift, that people could be evacuating the wrong way.

WILL
Blyden said that?

TIMES REPORTER
Yes, that NOA and NERIC...

WILL
I'll get into it.

He closes his folder and walks away from the podium.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL HALLWAY - NIGHT

Josh is walking through the hallway. He sees a TV which is showing footage
from the debate, in which Vinick is defending nuclear power. Bram walks up.

BRAM
They're playing Vinick's debate clip a lot.

JOSH
Yeah, starting to. Yeah.

BRAM
Site Advance wants to know if we're scrubbing the whole Oregon trip.

JOSH
The Congressman doesn't want to politicize a tragedy.

BRAM
We don't want to do a press statement in the morning; a few interviews?

JOSH
No interviews, no statements; not from us, not from the DNC, not from anyone
we control.

BRAM
We could make a lot of hay out of this. Vinick's the pro-nuke poster child.

Donna walks up.

JOSH
No hay, no posters; the Oregon trip is off.

DONNA
You may want to hang on to your pitchfork.

She shows him a folder.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Santos is on the phone.

SANTOS
I'm behind you on all this. ... All right, bye.

He hangs up.

HELEN
How's the governor?

SANTOS
Nervous.

HELEN
I don't see why. Any angry constituents will just be vaporized anyway, right?

He says nothing.

HELEN
Oh, am I the only one left in the family with a sense of humor?

Josh walks in.

SANTOS
Anything new?

JOSH
How about something old?

HELEN
What is it?

JOSH
Vinick lobbied for federal approval for San Andreo 25 years ago.

SANTOS
When is this going to break?

JOSH
I don't know. The press is kind of preoccupied.

HELEN
We don't want to nudge them along?

JOSH
We could put it out, yeah. But then he could hit us back for playing
politics with a mushroom cloud. If the press finds it on its own, it'll be
900 times bigger.

HELEN
And what if they don't find it?

JOSH
They will.

HELEN
This isn't politics, this is policy. Those places are unsafe. It's a
legitimate point.

Santos hears something on the TV and walks toward it to hear it better.

ANCHOR
In New Mexico, in Arizona, in Colorado, people are getting in their cars and
driving east. And while higher than acceptable levels of radiation drift
into the air, the White House won't say if we're past risk of a meltdown
or explosion.

SANTOS
Hide these under your mattress. For now.

Josh gets up and leaves, taking the papers with him.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
      12:21 AM

Bartlet and C.J. are walking and talking.

BARTLET
I don't like hearing the word "meltdown" on cable news. 12 things have not
gone wrong yet. By my count, we're barely at 6 or 7.

C.J.
They're still trying everything to fix the valves.

BARTLET
Who's they?

C.J.
Our engineers plus their engineers; lots of engineers.

BARTLET
Radioactive steam is going to build up in that damned auxiliary building again.

They have walked into the Oval Office where Harry, the FEMA Director and
others are waiting.

HARRY
11psi and climbing.

WILL
The more immediate concern is panic. The freeways are like parking lots. FOX
is running a story about a family in Michigan that's leaving the country.

BARTLET
How soon can I visit San Andreo without diverting resources from the
evacuation?

FEMA DIRECTOR
I could get FEMA's okay for you to travel tomorrow, assuming that the valves
are fixed, but there's substantial risk...

BARTLET
Tell the press now I'm flying out tomorrow.

HARRY
Sir, steam is still building up. If we have to vent...

BARTLET
If people know I'm going, maybe they'll stop buying one-way tickets to Norway.

C.J.
What about Senator Vinick? It's his home state. We always invite the senators
to join you for disaster trips.

WILL
Have we ever had a situation where one's a major-Party nominee?

C.J.
And if we take Vinick, do we take Santos? Maybe we're better off...

BARTLET
Vinick's senator from California; He's on the plane if he wants to be. Set
up a call with Matt Santos.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - NIGHT
      1:02 AM

Bruno and Bob are watching a news clip from the debate.

BOB
Fifth time this hour.

They start walking.

BOB
You know how many press requests we've got?

BRUNO
A bunch.

BOB
Every network, every major newspaper, plus Japanese TV, Internet radio; there's
probably requests from homing pigeons in here. We have to say something.

BRUNO
We support the governor's evacuation. We'll say it in Japanese.

BOB
The Senator, on camera; we have to give them fresh video or they keep running
that debate clip. He should whack federal regulators.

BRUNO
Bob.

BOB
No, the regulations are too lax. It's practically scout's honor.

BRUNO
We're in a great big, glass house. We do not throw the first stone.

BOB
Okay, a moratorium on all new nuclear plant construction.

BRUNO
He cannot retreat from what he said in the debate.

BOB
They're killing us out there. And they still don't know our guy helped get
that plant approved in the first place.

BRUNO
Bob. Bob, I know Josh Lyman. There is a reason he's camped out in Florida,
the swinging-est of swing states. Santos is gonna whack us. Then we hit him
back for politicizing a national disaster.

BOB
That's a big roll of the dice on one weak pair of knees.

BRUNO
Trust me. Josh has the political equivalent of Turret's Syndrome. He can't
help himself.

Bruno's phone starts ringing.

BRUNO [cont.]
We wait for his next spasm and then we strike back.

He answers his phone.

BRUNO [into phone]
Yeah, Bruno. ... Yeah. [to Bob] C.J. [into phone] Yeah, I'll tell him.

He hangs up.

BRUNO
The President wants the Senator to fly with him on Air Force One tomorrow
to San Andreo.

He walks away.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Bartlet is on the phone. Nancy is there.

BARTLET
Yes, Mr. Mayor, there's coolant running into the reactor now. ... Fingers
crossed.

He hangs up.

BARTLET
I thought a degree in economics was plenty for this job. My kingdom for a
plumbing license.

NANCY
I have Matt Santos on the line.

BARTLET
Thanks.

She leaves and Bartlet picks up the phone and starts talking to Santos.

BARTLET
Matt, you look great out there... when you're actually, you know, out there.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Santos is on the phone with Bartlet. Helen is sitting, listening to Santos's
end of the conversation.

SANTOS
Just holding tight, Mr. President. Praying for the people of San Andreo.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

BARTLET
Matt, I'm taking Arnie Vinick to San Andreo.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

BARTLET [VO]
I know this could help him politically.

Santos sits, obviously taken aback by the news.

SANTOS
Yes, sir.

BARTLET [VO]
Senior Senator from California; if I do anything else, I'll be playing games
with a national emergency.

SANTOS
Well, you have to do what you think is best.

Helen looks over at this, looking concerned.

BARTLET [VO]
Keep me in your prayers too.

SANTOS
Yes, Mr. President, I will.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

BARTLET
Thanks.

He hangs up.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Santos hangs up and looks at Helen as if he is upset.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO.
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. - VINICK'S OFFICE - VINICK HQ - NIGHT

Vinick, Bruno, and Bob are talking.

BRUNO
It's an enormous gift. Jed Bartlet is our radiation shied.

BOB
Now we're banking on a Democrat helping us.

VINICK
Is Santos coming?

BRUNO
No. Your state, not his.

BOB
What if news of your lobbying for San Andreo breaks while you're standing
next to the President?

BRUNO
This is how we survive it.

BOB
Not if the story breaks while we're right there.

BRUNO
You don't get it; Santos is shut out of this trip. Josh has to attack us now.

BOB
Flying down there links us to the disaster and just hoping Josh's blood
sugar spikes isn't any kind of...

VINICK
I represent the state. I'm taking that seat on Air Force One.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Bartlet is at his desk writing on some papers when C.J. knocks and comes in
from her office.

BARTLET
What is it?

C.J.
The temporary pipeline that runs cool water to the core: it usually carries
hot water, not cold.

BARTLET
Okay?

C.J.
Imagine heating a glass to 700 degrees and then pouring ice water in it.

BARTLET
The pipe's cracking.

C.J.
And the water level around the fuel rods is dropping again. They've tried
everything to fix the valves from the control room. We have to send men into
the containment building to fix them by hand.

BARTLET
I'm guessing the radiation in there is above the acceptable dosage.

C.J.
Five times more, even with anti-contamination gear.

BARTLET
Who would we be sending in?

C.J.
Two mechanical engineers from the Nuclear Regulatory Mission.

BARTLET
Civilian engineers? There isn't some military team, some Pentagon specialist
we could deploy?

C.J.
This is their job, sir.

BARTLET
You think when they started engineering school, they imagined the President
would ask them to risk their lives by prying open a piece of pipe? Send
them in.

She leaves and Bartlet sits back in his chair.

CUT TO: INT. - BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT
      1:15 AM

Will walks into the room and up to the podium.

WILL
I have a couple announcements to make. The emergency secondary pipeline, the
temporary line that is bringing cool water to the reactor's core, is cracking
and degrading. Technicians are working to run new pipe, and NRC engineers
will be entering the containment building to try to fix the valves manually.

FEMALE REPORTER
They must be taking an enormous risk just by walking in there.

WILL
It's a very dangerous work environment, but they're trained for it.

WALTER
Is more radioactive gas building up in the auxiliary structure?

WILL
We're hoping we can fix the underlying problem before that's an issue.

WALTER
You'd tell us if we were on the verge of an explosion?

WILL
I promised you the facts and you're going to get them.

TIMES REPORTER
The AP is saying these kind of mechanical problems show clear Regulatory
failures on the part of the Bartlet administration.

WILL
There are lots of people who think they know what's going on. Let me tell
you who does: he briefs from this podium.

MALE REPORTER
This isn't the Kremlin, Will. How do we know you're not covering something?

WILL
Second announcement: tomorrow morning, the President will travel to a command
center outside the evacuation zone. He'll be accompanied by the California
Congressional Delegation.

FEMALE REPORTER
He believes it's safe?

WILL
The immediate danger is inside the zone.

WALTER
Does this mean Senator Vinick's going?

WILL
He's a member of the California delegation.

FEMALE REPORTER
What about Congressman Santos?

WILL
No other delegations are going.

The reporters start shouting for his attention. He closes his folder and
walks off the stage.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - OUTSIDE BRIEFING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Will has walked out of the briefing room. Blyden is waiting for him.

BLYDEN
Tough crowd in there.

WILL
You told Time we were worried about wind shifts?

BLYDEN
I got that from your office.

WILL
Which is why my office has taken you off the talking points distribution list.

BLYDEN
I need those to do my job.

WILL
Not anymore. You're being transferred. You no longer speak for this government.

BLYDEN
For telling people the truth?

WILL
For telling people something which can only cause further panic. It doesn't
matter if it's true. It doesn't matter if I've already said it. We're
trying to prevent mass hysteria in a climate in which even the truth can be
misinterpreted, so we speak with one voice. You're lucky you still have a job.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - HOTEL - NIGHT

Donna is walking and walks past a group of reporters who try to get her
attention.

DONNA
No comment.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

We see Josh take a basketball and throw it at one of the dry-erase boards
in the room. Donna walks in.

DONNA
I guess you've heard the President is taking Vinick to California.

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
It's his home state. There's a protocol to these things, right?

JOSH
Well, let's hope everyone uses the correct fork.

DONNA
It could hurt Vinick. He's flying into the fog.

JOSH
He gets to be statesmen, healer. And when is the press going to figure out
he got the plant open.

DONNA
Cable news is still running the debate clip.

Bram walks in.

BRAM
More press requests, plus...

Josh takes some papers out of his hand.

JOSH
Denver, Colorado, DNC... these are all for me?

BRAM
Yeah. They're wondering why we're holed up in Florida instead of mobilizing
the whole party to slam Vinick.

JOSH
Prevailing winds.

BRAM
Even the Advance guys are begging us to get off the dime.

JOSH
Tell Advance to stick to losing my luggage.

BRAM
Vinick's coasting toward his bipartisan buddy weekend with the President. The
Advance guys are right: if we don't take him on...

Josh is obviously upset and storms out of the room.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - SANTOS'S ROOM - NIGHT

Josh walks in. Helen and Santos are watching the news.

HELEN
They just sent two engineers into the containment building. It's like putting
them in a microwave set on high.

JOSH
We're getting a few press requests.

SANTOS
By a few, you mean...

JOSH
A million gajillion.

SANTOS
Okay, that's not a real number.

JOSH
I'm not talking radio for yonkers. Every morning show wants you for their
lead segment. Every cable...

SANTOS
Are you changing your mind on this?

JOSH
I don't know. It's just, the second Vinick gets on Air Force One, the second
he has Jed Bartlet's arm around him, it's like a mega dose of political
penicillin.

SANTOS
One day with the President does not erase three decades of pushing plutonium.

HELEN
Josh is right: it gives Vinick a chance to absolve himself.

JOSH
If the press finds out he lobbied for San Andreo before he gets on that plane,
there goes his get out of jail free card.

SANTOS
If we do anything, if our fingerprints are anywhere on that...

JOSH
Maybe we get a third party to do it.

HELEN
Why hasn't anyone linked Vinick to that plant?

SANTOS
Because they just sent two engineers into the containment building; the
press are clogging the freeways to.

JOSH
If it comes out after that trip, after they become the Martin & Lewis of
disaster management...

Bram walks in.

BRAM
A couple of network presidents called; direct appeals to do their morning
shows.

SANTOS
You were right four hours ago, you're still right now.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - VINICK HQ - NIGHT

Bruno and Bob are looking at some weblogs for some sign of the report.

BRUNO
Nothing on Drudge, nothing on The Note, nothing on the wires; I don't know
what Josh is waiting for.

BOB
The Senator has to say something on camera before he gets on that plane.

BRUNO
No he doesn't.

BOB
Sympathy for the region, sympathy for the Red Skins; I don't care what he
says. You want that debate clip to air another 6,000 times?

BRUNO
Josh hits us, we call it bare-knuckled exploitation of a tragedy and we let
the President do the heavy lifting.

BOB
The President?

BRUNO
Yeah. We get him to say it right there, in California, that accidents happen.

BOB
You think the President will defend us on nuclear power?

BRUNO
A nuclear disaster on his watch? He'll jump at the chance. He'll be defending
himself too.

CUT TO: INT. - SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT
      1:28 AM

Bartlet, C.J., Harry, and FEMA Director are waiting around the phone as the
engineers try to fix the problem.

BARTLET
Did you talk to the head of the Red Cross?

C.J.
20 minutes ago.

BARTLET
They need more potassium iodide in the shelters. FEMA can work it through HHS.

C.J.
We took care of it.

MAN [on phone]
Handcock's working. The valve is turning.

BARTLET
What happened?

HARRY
The engineers opened the coolant valve. Once they make sure there's no
overflow, we can pull them out.

FEMA DIRECTOR
What about the relief valve? Radioactive steam is still pouring into the
containment building.

HARRY
It's already been 17 minutes. I didn't want them in there any longer than
15 minutes.

FEMA DIRECTOR
They shut the other valve, we're out of the woods.

HARRY
It'll take too long. This is an extremely toxic environment.

C.J.
If more gas spills out of that structure, so is most of Southern California.

FEMA DIRECTOR
Plus, they're already in there. You want to expose another team?

BARTLET
How much longer will it take?

HARRY
Five, maybe ten minutes.

BARTLET
Ask them to try and shut down the other valve.

HARRY [into phone]
Ask them to move onto the relief valve.

Kate comes into the Sit Room.

KATE
Excuse me, Mr. President.

Kate, C.J., and Bartlet go into the outer room.

KATE
Polls just closed in Kazakhstan. The Russian-installed incumbent...

BARTLET
Tarimov.

KATE
...he's been declared the winner.

BARTLET
Please tell me they counted the votes first.

KATE
Our election monitors are reporting wide-spread harassment: beatings, mass
arrests of civic activists.

BARTLET
We barely got China to hold their troops by scheduling this election.

Someone hands C.J. a note.

BARTLET [cont.]
This could lead to open hostilities.

C.J.
We've already got them: a pro-democracy riot's broken out in the Kazakh
capitol.

ENGINEER [on phone]
There's a corrosion build-up on the valve stem. We're not getting enough
torque.

Bartlet looks between the two rooms, contemplating.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK'S OFFICE - VINNICK'S HQ - NIGHT

Bruno walks into the office.

VINICK
They finally pulled out the engineers. 32 minutes and they couldn't stop
the steam leak.

BRUNO
Did you see my memo about your press availability with the President tomorrow?

VINICK
Bob wants me to make a statement from the Capitol in the morning before we
get on Air Force One.

BRUNO
Yeah. Senator...

VINICK
You want me to get the President accidents happen, that's fine. But Bob is
right: I can't wait another seven hours to show my face in public.

BRUNO
You want to show your face and say what? You've been wrong your whole
career? Nuclear is peachy keen while a million are on the run?

VINICK
This wasn't a failure of nuclear technology. This was a regulatory screw up.

BRUNO
You point fingers now and it will look like you are trying to avoid taking
any responsibility for this.

VINICK
You know why Europe's greenhouse emissions are so much lower than ours? Nuclear
power: it's totally emissions-free.

BRUNO
Sure, but...

VINICK
You know how many from oil refinery explosions? From coal soot in the air? Tens
of thousands. And not one from a nuclear power anything in thirty years.

BRUNO
Okay, you're right. But that is still not the...

VINICK
Every time they show that debate clip it looks like I ran into that plant
myself and spilt uranium on the floor.

BRUNO
Santos is going to hit us. You have to wait. That is how we change the story.

VINICK
I'm going to give the press some footage besides that debate clip.

BRUNO
I need you to keep your political hat on.

VINICK
31 states with nuclear plants; we don't know how many voters will be living
in California on Election Day. My lobbying for San Andreo is out there
like a ticking time bomb. We can't control the politics of this, not even
close. I'll talk to the President about his speech, but I'm the senator from
California and I'm going to make a statement before I get on that plane.

CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
      4:25 AM

C.J. knocks and comes in from her office.

C.J.
Both the engineers who were in the containment building, they've been
hospitalized for radiation sickness. One has slipped into a coma. Sir,
they knew the danger better than us. You weren't wrong to...

BARTLET
No one ever told me their names.

C.J.
James Cook is the one in the... James Cook and Mark LaRoche. We'll get call
sheets for the families. The pressure in the auxiliary building is up to
28psi. You may need to authorize a second team to try to shut the valve
manually. If you like, you can deputize the NRC Chair to make the call.

BARTLET
15 minutes and out.

C.J.
If they don't solve the problem...

BARTLET
15 minutes and out.

C.J.
Of course, but if they can't solve the problem, we may be looking at another
venting of radiation and the Santa Anas don't stay consistent for long. If
the sea winds push them north...

BARTLET
Call the governor. Make a contingency plan to widen the evacuation. And I
want updated weather models every half hour.

C.J.
You weren't wrong to keep them in there, Mr. President.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE.
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. - SENATE PRESS ROOM - DAY
      6:49 AM

Vinick is walking in to make his statement before he leaves for California. Bob
walks in behind him to meet Bruno along the way. He stops and they start
talking.

BRUNO
Still nothing from Santos?

BOB
No press advisories, they haven't reserved any rooms for press conferences.

BRUNO
Josh must be strapped to a gurney with a gag in his mouth. This is a mistake.

Vinick has stepped to the podium and begins the statement.

VINICK
Good morning. We're all struck by the difficult events in San Andreo. I've
been in constant touch with the governor's office and I hope, as we all do,
that the evacuation is only a precaution.

SENATE REPORTER
Do you still support nuclear power?

Bruno, on the side, whispers to himself.

BRUNO
Finish the statement.

VINICK
And I hope that the situation will be resolved quickly and safely.

MARK
Your family is in the region. Don't you question what you said in the debate?

VINICK
My family is not the issue.

SENATE REPORTER
You didn't answer the question. Are you still pro-nuclear?

VINICK
Nuclear power didn't break those valves. To blame nuclear technology itself
for whatever mess happened... Federal Regulators are the ones who fell down
on the job. You can start a fire with a match, too, you know.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Santos, Helen, Josh, Donna, and Bram are watching the press release.

REPORTER [on TV]
You're suggesting this is the Bartlet Administration's fault?

JOSH
He just did.

HELEN
And he strapped himself to that reactor.

VINICK [on TV]
This isn't the time to point fingers. This is a time for national unity
which is why the President and I are traveling to that region later this
morning. Thank you.

Santos leans back, terse about what's happening.

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Vinick grabs his things and walks away from the podium.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL - WAR ROOM - DAY

Josh walks in and talks to Donna.

JOSH
The President is wheels-up in an hour.

DONNA
Tray tables and all.

JOSH
I want you to lead a couple of reporters to those documents about Vinick
and San Andreo.

DONNA
I thought you didn't want our fingerprints on it.

JOSH
Just drop hints. Ask leading questions. Do it off the record.

DONNA
That's going to get out. You're the one who didn't want...

JOSH
Once the President bear hugs Vinick, the game is over.

DONNA
Does the Congressman know about this?

JOSH
Just go.

DONNA
Leading questions?

JOSH
Yeah, or we'll blow the biggest chance we have at winning this thing we're
ever going to get.

She nods and walks out of the room.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - DAY

Will is walking out and reporters are there to question him as he walks.

WALTER
Isn't Vinick right? How can this not be a failure of Bartlet's regulators?

WILL
We don't even know the cause of the accident. I'm not going to speculate.

FEMALE REPORTER
You can't deny that the NRC leaves tons of inspection procedures up to the
plants themselves.

WILL
Five minutes until the motorcade leaves. I'll see you on the plane.

Will walks out to meet C.J., who is on the phone.

C.J. [into phone]
I can't talk about the Armenian genocide. I know it's important, but it's
non-binding. Right now I only have time for things that could spontaneously
combust.

She hangs up.

C.J.
You ready?

WILL
To fly into a massive cloud of radiation while the rest of the country's
making hats out of tin foil?

C.J.
Yeah, that was more of a rhetorical question. You think we're flying into
a massive cloud of radiation?

WILL
I was dramatizing a point. Maybe.

CUT TO: INT. - LOBBY - HOTEL - DAY

Donna steps out of the elevator and into the lobby where a few people are
seated including a reporter who is typing on a computer. She walks over and
sits next to the reporter.

REPORTER
I thought you weren't talking to the press today.

DONNA
I was wondering if I could interest you in a little mumbling and whispering.

REPORTER
Biggest political story in six months - I don't care if you start humming
off-key.

DONNA
You think this is the biggest...

REPORTER
Vinick's lobbying for that San Andreo plant? Make your quote good, it'll be
front page, column six.

DONNA
Yeah, sorry. Not talking to the press today.

She gets up and leaves.

CUT TO: INT. - BARTLET'S OFFICE - AIR FORCE ONE - DAY
      8:15 AM

Bartlet is seated, looking over some papers. C.J. knocks and comes in.

C.J.
Excuse me, Mr. President. Senator Vinick has asked for a moment.

BARTLET
Sure.

C.J. walks out and shows Vinick in.

VINICK
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Arnie.

VINICK
Thanks for bringing me along.

BARTLET
Standard protocol.

VINICK
Well, I appreciate it. I thought we might want to coordinate our statements
for the press availability.

BARTLET
You're expecting me to bash myself, too?

VINICK
That wasn't aimed at you.

BARTLET
Federal regulators? I think a few of them work for me.

VINICK
Due respect, two broken valves and a radiation leak say some of them should
look for other work.

BARTLET
Where's your bill to improve federal oversight? Senate leader on the issue,
let's have your bill. I'll sign it now.

VINICK
You've had eight years to do something about it.

BARTLET
You've had 25.

VINICK
I'm not the one who manages it. Nuclear power itself is safe.

BARTLET
Take a nuclear reaction 20 times more powerful than Hiroshima, run it through
a power plant every day near families; what management would negate the risk?

VINICK
Risk is everywhere. People get into car accidents.

BARTLET
And when they do, they don't tell you to stop eating produce three states away.

VINICK
What's your answer? Solar? One-fifth of one percent of all our energy at
five times the cost. Wind? Another spike in OPEC prices. Nuclear is the
only alternative.

BARTLET
It is not and alternative. I know the Regulation's a mess. No regulation
could make it safe. We could barely evacuate a town...

C.J. knocks and comes in.

C.J.
Forgive me, Mr. President. The second team has closed the relief valve. The
crisis is over for now. But the engineer who had fallen into the coma, he
died 20 minutes ago from acute radiation poisoning. We'll get you another
call sheet.

BARTLET
Two copies of that call sheet.

She leaves.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - DAY

Bruno and Bob are watching as a news story tells of Vinick's involvement in
the plant's opening.

ANCHOR
The Vinick campaign can't be happy with the Post's online scoop. Documents
showing that Vinick was a strong and early supporter of the San Andreo plant...

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL WAR ROOM - DAY

Donna walks into the room where Santos staffers are watching a similar report.

MALE ANCHOR
... that now symbolizes more than anything since Three Mile Island or
Chernobyl, the cost and perils of nuclear power in the United States.

CUT TO: INT. - BARTLET'S OFFICE - AF1 - DAY

Bartlet and C.J. are talking.

C.J.
You might get some questions as you deplane. Apparently, Senator Vinick was
involved in the original Federal approval of the San Andreo plant.

BARTLET
Are you sure it's safe to take everyone out there?

C.J.
According to the EPA, the remaining radiation is within the acceptable dosage.

BARTLET
You're too young to remember Duck and Cover.

They begin walking.

C.J.
Sir?

BARTLET
We'd hide under our little wooden desks at school. At some point they
stopped the drills. The threat was still there - they just stopped having
the drills. I guess the realized a piece of plywood wasn't going to protect
us against an atomic blast.

They meet Kate and start talking of Kazakhstan.

BARTLET
Kazakhstan?

KATE
Newly elected governments killed 114 protestors. China is crossing the border
into ethnic Chinese enclaves. Russian troops are ready to enter as well.

BARTLET
We can't have China and Russia blowing each other to bits over election fraud.

C.J.
No, oil, really. Fraud's just the kicker.

Will walks up.

WILL
The governor's waiting in the motorcade.

KATE
We've canvassed the other nations to see if there's an appetite for and
international police force. They've made clear it'd have to be predominately
U.S. troops operating from our bases.

BARTLET
How many would I have to send?

KATE
Seems the estimate is 90,000, for starters.

CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Santos, Helen, Josh, and Bram are watching Bartlet on the news.

BARTLET
Based on federal safety standards, evacuated residents will be allowed to
return. But we don't know the full effects of radiation releases. We may not
know for months, maybe even years. And we have to be candid about that. And so,
while we continue monitoring and testing, we will also help with the relocation
of those residents who may not wish to return to San Andreo. Thank you.

As Bartlet finishes, someone shuts off the set.

CUT TO: INT. - PRESS ROOM - HOTEL - DAY

Donna walks Santos into the press room and to the podium.

SANTOS
We're all relieved the worst is over. My thoughts and prayers are with the
family of James Cook, the federal engineer who gave his life to save others.

REPORTER
Should this make Senator Vinick question his energy plans for the country?

SANTOS
I can't speak for anyone else. It makes me question a lot about our energy
plans. Thank you.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - VINICK HQ - NIGHT
      8:24 PM

Bob is at one of the electoral boards. He is moving red magnets out of states,
until a large portion of the board is white. They are listening to a news
story in the background.

ANCHOR
More than a dozen states that had been squarely in the Vinick column,
including Florida, Ohio, South Carolina, his own state California - all the
states with nuclear power plants are now within the margin of error. It's
a political meltdown, for sure. The Santos campaign is declining comment,
but they've been flooded with volunteers and donations since the news that
Senator Vinick lobbied for the San Andreo nuclear generating station.

CUT TO: INT. - WAR ROOM - NIGHT

Santos, Helen, Josh, and Donna are standing around a similar electoral
board. This one shows as much white as Vinick's did. Bram walks in.

BRAM
Advance wants to know if we're...

JOSH
We're taking tomorrow off too. It's going to be wall-to-wall press on this.

HELEN
All that campaigning didn't do a thing.

DONNA
At this rate, maybe we should take the whole month off.

Josh walks to the board and picks up a dry erase marker. He writes above
the map: "TOO CLOSE TO CALL." He underlines it.

DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES.
FADE TO BLACK.
THE END.
* * *

The West Wing episode 7.12 "Duck and Cover", original air date 22 January,
2006.

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