Vinick and Santos (Alan Alda, Jimmy Smits) learn the surprising results of the latest polls, and also meet with Bartlet about disturbing new developments in the dispute between Russia and China. Meanwhile, Josh and Donna share an awkward moment.
THE WEST WING 7x13 - "THE COLD" TELEPLAY BY DEBORA CAHN STORY BY DEBORA CAHN & LAUREN SCHMIDT DIRECTED BY ALEX GRAVES Transcribed by Soundman for www.twiztv.com. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. TEASER FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 5:00 AM 21 DAYS UNTIL THE ELECTION Several Santos staffers are on computers and phones getting new polling information. RONNA Arizona, up by four; Nevada, up by three; Virginia, up by four. ANNABETH California? RONNA Up by six. ANNABETH I have seven. DONNA Who's that? ANNABETH Gallup. DONNA Really? ANNABETH I'm reading it right off the paper. DONNA Oh, my God. RONNA Is it up? OTTO Nope. ANNABETH Check again. OTTO I'm hitting refresh once every 12 seconds. ANNABETH Sometimes when you keep pressing the button it won't load. RONNA She's right. DONNA You may have to go to another page and then come back to this one. BRAM How's it coming? OTTO I've got three women trying to tell me how to use the New York Time's website. BRAM It's pretty straight-forward. You need some help? OTTO I think I've got it under control. RONNA Up four in Louisiana, tied in Arkansas. ANNABETH Tied in North Carolina, South Carolina. DONNA South Carolina?! OTTO It's up, it's up, it's up. The New York Times tracking poll... first national sample since the accident at the San Andreo nuclear facility in Southern California, blah, blah, blah... in this three-day spread, polling 1400 likely voters, Senator Vinick dropped... He taps the mouse a few times. OTTO Damn it! The screen froze! RONNA Oh, for God's sake! ANNABETH I've got it over here, you guys. They all rush over to Annabeth's computer. They all begin to smile at what they see. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - HOTEL - NIGHT Donna and Bram run out into the hallway and start knocking on doors to wake people up to tell them the news. They run down the hall, knocking on every door along the way. Donna comes to a door and stops. She knocks but there is no answer. She knocks again. We hear Josh moving around on the other side. JOSH Yeah, yeah. He opens the door, looking very groggy. Donna walks past him into the room. DONNA State-by-states are out. We're tied in South Carolina, Arkansas, and California. JOSH California? DONNA We've pulled ahead in Arizona, Nevada, Virginia. We got the new national tracking polls... JOSH The Times? DONNA It's 44-44. We're tied JOSH We're tied? DONNA Nationally. JOSH Holy Mother of God, we caught him! DONNA Yes. He suddenly seems to snap out of the drowsiness. JOSH [cont.] We caught him! He grabs Donna and lands a kiss right on her. They pull away, still holding each other, contemplating. They come in again and this time for much longer. We pan around as they continue to kiss very passionately. We pan out to the hallway where we see the door close while Josh and Donna are still kissing. We then see Santos coming down the hall toward Josh's room, and he is very excited. SANTOS Josh?! Where's Josh? He knocks on Josh door and pushes it open. Josh and Donna are no longer kissing but they still look ecstatic. SANTOS Are they messing with me? Josh shakes his head and Santos hugs him in the tumult. We pan back to the hall where we see everybody hugging and exclaiming at the news. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER. * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY Bruno and Sheila are talking with Vinick. BRUNO Our lead narrowed Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia; we're neck-and-neck in the Carolinas and they pulled ahead of us in Arizona and Virginia. SHEILA The Times put it at 44-44. VINICK California? SHEILA Tied. VINICK Nine points ahead in California a week ago. Now we're tied. Now we're tied. BRUNO The good news is most of the votes we lost are showing up undecided. They are not going for Santos yet. VINICK 12% undecided this late in the campaign. SHEILA You have local press downstairs. BRUNO No comments on the nuclear accident in California. VINICK Yeah. BRUNO It was a national tragedy. You're not going to talk about it in a political context. SHEILA You are concentrated on meeting voters, talking about the issues. BRUNO Mainly tax cuts and more tax cuts. Vinick sneezes very loudly. SHEILA Are you okay? VINICK Yeah, I'm fine. SHEILA The Kazakhstan situation is heating up. You can always pivot to that if you need to... VINICK I need 30 seconds to myself, okay? He walks off. CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - DAY C.J. and Kate are in the room with Hutchinson, Barrow, and several generals. C.J. Tied, nationally. KATE Who'd have thunk it? BARROW Vinick must be weeping in his beer. Bartlet walks in. Everyone stands. BARTLET Have we talked to the Russians? C.J. They're sticking with their story: the election wasn't rigged; Tarimov is the legitimate President of Kazakhstan. Russian troops have crossed the border to provide stability to the new government. Bartlet sits, as does everyone else. KATE China says they've also gone in for stabilization purposes. BARTLET How about NATO? BARROW Everyone likes the idea of a peacekeeping force, but nobody wants to be in one. BARTLET I can't imagine why not. C.J. The UN's not going to get involved. China and Russia can both veto in the Security Council. HUTCHINSON So it's just us. BARTLET Which looks like what? HUTCHINSON Russia's moving in from the northwest, China from the east. We need to send enough troops to create a human buffer zone between the two advancing armies. BARTLET How far apart are they? KATE About 600 miles, but not for long. BARTLET I want to see invasion plans as soon as possible. HUTCHINSON We wouldn't think of it as an invasion, sir. We'd call it an intervention. BARTLET Show me a plan that doesn't look like an invasion, I'll call it whatever your want. He walks toward his desk as the meeting disbands. Kate and C.J. walk into C.J.'s office. C.J. Keep the NATO ball in the air. I don't want anyone getting the impression we're writing them off. KATE I'll stay on it with State. C.J. Have Ted Barrow put together a NATO briefing for next week. KATE We don't know where we're going quite yet. C.J. Hopefully we'll know next week. Kate walks off. She meets Will along the way. WILL Hi. KATE Hi. WILL I have a thing of yours. KATE My Pyongyang book, good. I tore up my whole office looking for it. WILL It's not that. KATE Really? WILL Really. KATE It's in a blue binder. It may not be... WILL Nothing in a blue binder. KATE Are you sure? I mean, picking it out... WILL It's a bra. KATE Oh, okay. WILL I put it in a padded envelope, which seemed appropriate. KATE Really? WILL You want it now? KATE No! No. Yes? [pause] It's in your office? WILL It is. KATE You keep it. WILL Permanently? KATE Mail it to me. Your home address is my home address. WILL You don't think that's a little complicated? KATE It is, isn't it? WILL I'll hang on to it until we... KATE Okay. WILL We'll get better at this. They separate. KATE One can only hope. CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL - DAY Santos and his staff are getting ready to head out. JOSH Cancel everything here after the morning rally. We've got to get on the ground in the battle states. Vinick's going to have to head south to get his lead back in Louisiana, Arkansas, and the Carolinas. They get into the elevator and the doors close. CUT TO: INT. - KITCHEN - HOTEL - DAY Santos, Leo, Josh and all the others are walking through the kitchen to get to the car. LEO Has he even been down South since the primaries? JOSH Nope. While he flails around down there, we'll have all the swing states to ourselves. ANNABETH Nuclear power plants in every one of those swing states. DONNA Local news crews will be all over us. RONNA Free media! SANTOS Straight from heaven. LEO San Andreo created a lot of undecideds. We've got to get them off the fence. JOSH Yeah, a lot of them were Dems who didn't know you and were satisfied voting for a moderate Republican. SANTOS Well, time for them to come home to the Party. LEO They want to hear about deficit reduction, they want to hear you're gonna put more cops on the streets. ANNABETH We need to focus on the fact that you were fighting nuclear power 15 years ago. You're the forward-thinking candidate with a nuance vision. LEO The kind of vision a President needs to handle complicated international situations like this mess in Kazakhstan. JOSH He had the vision to predict problems with nuclear power, he has the vision to find solutions for our future. ANNABETH Yeah. JOSH Who's writing? They get into yet another elevator and the doors again close. CUT TO: INT. - BASEMENT - DAY The Santos staff is still walking. LEO The Santos Education Plan is now the 21st Century Education Plan. JOSH The 21st Century Health Plan. SANTOS Let's not forget energy. JOSH The 21st Century Energy Plan. He's about the future, Vinick's about the past. RONNA Great. JOSH I'll have Joey test some language, but that's the direction. BRAM I'm coordinating with Advance. Which state should we hit first? JOSH Well, that's easy. SANTOS California. JOSH Yeah. They start getting into the cars to leave and Josh gets into one and sits next to Donna. There is a bit of awkwardness about the moment. JOSH Hi. DONNA Hi. CUT TO: INT. - VINICK PLANE - DAY Vinick, Sheila, and his staff are walking. SHEILA Drink this. VINICK I don't want it. SHEILA I didn't ask you if you wanted it. VINICK It looks like Hawaiian Punch, it smells disgusting, and I'm not getting sick. Bob? BOB We lost these people because of the nuclear accident. Give them time to realize you didn't meltdown the thing by yourself, they'll come back on their own. BRUNO A cycle like that takes a month, which we don't have. SULLIVAN The base. SHEILA Governor... SULLIVAN We have had a good time always running to the center, but the party's over. You're a Republican. You need to start talking to the Republican conservative base. BRUNO Nail him to a cross; he can stump for votes on the Via Dolorosa. SULLIVAN I am the only person talking to values voters. BRUNO And you are doing a fantastic job. SULLIVAN They're not voting for me, and they know it. He needs to spend more time in the southern states to make sure we don't lose them. BRUNO The undecideds are moderates. They're not bible thumpers. He's got to speak to their issues. SULLIVAN What's he going to do? Suddenly pull the Arnold Vinick Health Plan out of his tailpipe? VINICK Would that qualify as a miracle? They like the miracles. SULLIVAN It would look like desperation. BOB We need an ad blitz - negative. SULLIVAN That's not a bad idea. BRUNO It is, actually. SULLIVAN What we need to do is curb Santos' momentum - keep these folks undecided long enough for this nuclear mess to fade. SHEILA It's not going to fade. He's going to run thousands of spots on your long-standing love affair with nuclear power. BOB Which is why we need something to hit back with; I'm not talking a smear campaign, just some focus on the thousands of times Santos has voted to increase spending. BRUNO It'll drive up our negatives just as much as it does his. He'll look like a mudslinging desperate hatchet. BOB So what? BRUNO Is that an existential question? BOB Last week Vinick was the voice of experience. Now suddenly, Santos is a wise, pressing visionary and the Senator looks like... VINICK A foolish old man? BOB I'm sorry, sir. I just... VINICK No, go ahead. I love it. BRUNO We're assuming it can't get worse. Let me tell you something: it can. VINICK We go negative, they're going to trot out every bad call I ever made. They're going to plaster them all over the air waves. BRUNO Yeah. VINICK It's going to come back and bite us in the ass. BRUNO Yeah. I'm agreeing with you. VINICK You are? All right. SHEILA We need to stay the course. The Senator speaks to the center, we pep around a little more on health care and education; Sullivan speaks locally to the right flank. VINICK He's going to talk about health care too? SHEILA No. He's going to be doing what he's been doing - family values, apple pie. SULLIVAN So you're sticking with the 50-state strategy? SHEILA No. SULLIVAN We can't win 50 states anymore. SHEILA I'm aware of that. It's still the best strategy we have. We'll do a swing through the South, shore up our numbers there. But he's not appending his message this late in the campaign. Someone hands Sheila a note. SHEILA You've got Pensey and Carrolton. VINICK If I start going after the base now I'll look like an idiot. SHEILA The Governor's going after the base. You've just got to make nice with Pensey and Carrolton. Vinick gets up and leaves. SULLIVAN You want me to shape this? BRUNO We've got time before your 11:00. Let's get into it now. Sullivan sighs. BRUNO Unless you want to talk about it alone, in which case you could discuss it over lunch. Sullivan gets up and leaves. CUT TO: INT. - SIT ROOM - DAY Bartlet is talking with the National Security Team. General Wendell is speaking. WENDELL Our base in Ayaguf has 9,000 marines on the ground. We're proposing sending in an additional 90,000 ground troops for control and stabilization. BARTLET They'll require support units? WENDELL Certainly. BARTLET How many? KATE Another 40,000. WENDELL We'd come up from the south, creating a zone of neutrality separating the Russian-controlled northwest and the Chinese-controlled east. The mountains here on the edge of Lake Balkash create a natural barrier. Our hope is that the Chinese won't push past them. C.J. It'll take weeks to prep an intervention this size. HUTCHINSON Eight, probably. C.J. We don't have that kind of time. WENDELL We'll start an early deployment of 12,000 troops. The rest will follow as ready. BARTLET Coming from where? WENDELL We'd pull the first armored division from Vispaden. BARTLET And we get them there how? HUTCHINSON Send them through the Trans-low hub to gather munitions and equipment then deploy on C-17s. WENDELL Or we could airlift them straight from Vispaden on C-130s. HUTCHINSON If you want the armored division to bring their tanks we're going to have to go with the C-17s. BARTLET What will they wear? Several people turn at him as though this is a silly question to ask. HUTCHINSON I think green and brown are still the favorites. Bartlet answers as if he is a little mad at this sarcastic remark. BARTLET What kind of outerwear? Hutchinson again answers in a semi-sarcastic manner. HUTCHINSON I haven't seen any type of prototype recently... BARTLET We're talking about sending 150,000 Americans to the 50th Parallel in November. It starts snowing in Astana in August, and doesn't stop until June. As opposed to the Russians who do this a lot. Americans haven't fought a war in the cold in quite some time. I would like to know what kind of coats you plan to put on our troops. WENDELL We'll look into it, sir. BARTLET Do that and come back. They get up and leave, leaving Bartlet and C.J. sitting. C.J. SanCom's suggesting a no-fly in Kazakhstan - symbolic buffer between the two armies until we can get rapid deployment under way. BARTLET Yeah. [pause] 150,000 troops. C.J. We're not talking about a drive-by, either. If we go in, we could be there for years. BARTLET I need to talk to the candidates. He stands and leaves. C.J. stands when he does, and then sits again when he is gone. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE. * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: EXT. - CAMPAIGN SITE - DAY Josh, Donna, and Ronna are walking and talking. Santos can be heard in the background. RONNA Rally in San Diego as soon as we arrive, visits to two of the shelters housing evacuees from San Andreo. DONNA Is he talking about the accident? JOSH Nothing about the accident, nothing about nuclear power; he's just sharing some ideas about health care and education with a couple of cooling towers in the background. BRAM You've got a lot of new friends suddenly. JOSH Who? BRAM Governor Watley, Governor Stockwell, Secretary of Energy, Treasury Secretary, Senator Pallor... JOSH How many times did I call Stockwell and Pallor? BRAM A lot. DONNA That was before we were coattails. JOSH Well, better late than never. Put them on the schedule. Why are you looking at me like that? BRAM Bono called. RONNA Bono?! DONNA Really?! BRAM Yeah. He's in New York this weekend. He wants to have dinner with the Congressman. DONNA Do it! BRAM We're not in New York this week. RONNA Change the schedule! DONNA Bono wants to meet him? RONNA Does he want to perform at a rally? BRAM We didn't get into specifics. DONNA He doesn't have to sing. He could just talk about debt relief. RONNA Oh, my God! Did you talk to him? BRAM I talked to a guy named Phil. JOSH Okay, invite him to San Diego. BRAM Phil? JOSH Not Phil. He and Donna walk away. DONNA Press avail on the tarmac in San Diego. You need to be available all day for phone interviews. JOSH Yep. DONNA I'm getting a lot of questions on what Santos thinks of Kazakhstan. JOSH Tell them Congressman Santos applauds the President's efforts and is glad the U.S. can share its wisdom with emerging democracies. Then call the White House and find out what the hell's going on. DONNA If Bono comes...? JOSH You'll meet him. She smiles and turns to walk away. JOSH Uh, Donna? ... He seems speechless. JOSH I want to, um... I'm sorry. About this morning... it was... inappropriate. DONNA Don't worry about it. JOSH Totally inappropriate; I feel terrible. DONNA Don't. JOSH Seriously. DONNA Seriously, it's bound to happen sometime. I'm gonna call the White House, talk about Kazakhstan. She walks away. CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet is talking with Debbie. BARTLET I want an evacuation report from FEMA before the San Andreo budget call. He hands her a folder. BARTLET Get C.J.'s comments on this and get Hollings at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. DEBBIE He's coming in this afternoon. BARTLET I still want to talk to him now. DEBBIE Did you look at the sketches? BARTLET I'll get to them. DEBBIE How about now? BARTLET A nuclear disaster and a war abroad - I thought they could wait. DEBBIE They've been sitting there for days. It makes it look like I don't pick up after you. They go over to the desk and look at some sketches. BARTLET I don't know what to think of these. DEBBIE A simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down. BARTLET You think they look like me? DEBBIE More or less. BARTLET Then they'll do. [pause] What does "more or less" mean? DEBBIE Decent likeness, commanding, thoughtful; there's no cane, which is a choice. BARTLET You think it's a bad choice? DEBBIE I don't know, did you make it or did he make it? BARTLET He did. DEBBIE Then it doesn't matter. BARTLET I'm not going to be standing next to the thing with a running commentary. You think it's a problem? DEBBIE Do you? BARTLET Often as not, I don't even use it. DEBBIE But you exist in the Zeightgeist with a cane. BARTLET I have an idea. DEBBIE What? BARTLET Let's call Hollings at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. DEBBIE Yes, sir. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Margaret calls from her office. MARGARET [OS] Josh on two. C.J. picks up the phone and starts talking to Josh. C.J. Hey, sailor. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS Josh is talking to C.J. JOSH Am I calling you or are you calling me? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. I think I'm calling you. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS C.J. [VO] How's it feel? JOSH Oh, this must be what your first smack high feels like. C.J. [VO] Here's hoping it's not followed by a huge crash and years of rehabilitation. JOSH Nothing could kill my mood right now, but that was a good try. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Thanks. JOSH [VO] We need a briefer to give us a more detailed idea about what's up in Kazakhstan. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Can you send somebody? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Funny you should mention it - how about the President? CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Below his pay grade, but we'd love to see him. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. He'd like to meet with the Candidates at the White House tonight. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Are you kidding? For the first time in the history of this race we're not trailing; we're tied. We pull ahead if we play this thing right. Taking the guy of the campaign trail so he can have some drinks in the Oval Office is... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. I know and I'm sorry. And if I had a choice... CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH We're about to go to California. We may win Vinick's home state. He is not... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Would I be asking if it wasn't important? CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH Diplomatic foray into an entrenched conflict; yes, you have my word: should Santos win he will continue the President's efforts to negotiate a peaceable solution. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Okay, let's do it this way: Vinick's coming. I'm sure you don't want the entire White House Press Corps covering Vinick in the Oval with the President without Santos. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS JOSH I like you less and less. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. Will's going to coordinate the talking points with your press people, the President will brief the candidates. See you tonight. She hangs up. CUT TO: EXT. CAMPAIGN SITE - CONTINUOUS Josh hangs up. CUT TO: INT. - VINICK'S PLANE - DAY Sheila, Bob, and Bruno are talking. SHEILA The President wants to see both candidates at the White House. BOB About what? SHEILA Security briefing. BRUNO San Andreo? SHEILA Wouldn't say. BRUNO Why not? Buy some time to sort out the schedule. BOB Still stuck? BRUNO You're asking me to boost his public appearances while limiting press access, send him groveling for votes to states he's never had to campaign in before when all he wants to do is go to California. Yeah, I'm still stuck. SHEILA We're not going to California. BRUNO I keep telling him that. BOB What do you think about a media buy? BRUNO In California? You know how expensive that is? BOB We're hemorrhaging votes there. BRUNO I need the bulk of our money for a media blitz on November 5th; you could blow the entire budget buying ads in California. SHEILA Call Stan. See what he thinks it will cost. Bob walks off. BRUNO How much time does he have? SHEILA Two or three days... see how it goes. BRUNO That's great. A Republican stumping in Georgia - I'm so glad we've got Ray Sullivan planning the schedule. SHEILA It's not his plan; it's mine. BRUNO Oh? SHEILA Yes. BRUNO I am happy to change tact in light of current developments, but I would be more comfortable if strategy meetings took place with you, me and the Senator - not you and Ray Sullivan. SHEILA Sullivan's just blowing off steam. Nobody blames you for what's happening; not me, not the Senator. BRUNO I don't care if I'm being blamed; I care if I'm being shoved out. SHEILA You're not. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Will walks into C.J.'s office. Kate is already there. WILL Hi. C.J. Hi. WILL And you're here. KATE Yes. WILL Should I come back? C.J. No. This was the point. I've asked for guys from both campaigns to come in so we can get everyone on the same page with Kazakhstan. You two should work that out? KATE I'll put together a backgrounder and he can adapt that into whatever... WILL Talking points. KATE Yeah. WILL Something they can share with the press. C.J. Which won't be the whole story, but better than vamping. WILL Sure. KATE Great. C.J. What? KATE What? C.J. Is something weird happening? WILL Nope. C.J. I feel like I'm the heroine in the movie who doesn't know there's a guy behind the refrigerator with an axe. KATE Maybe it's the weather. People feel that way when it's... damp. C.J. Thank you, both. They walk out together. WILL We're really bad at this. KATE Really bad. CUT TO: EXT. - CAMPAIGN SITE - DAY Santos is speaking to a crowd. SANTOS You know, in a minute, Dave Matthews is going to come up on this stage... We pan over to where Josh and Ronna are watching the event. RONNA Lou's working with Joey Lucas on the whole, "Voice for a New Generation" thing. She's going to catch up with us in California. They start walking. JOSH She knows we've got to detour to the White House tonight, right? RONNA Yeah. Lou told Annabeth to send Leo tonight to pave the way. JOSH That's good. See if we can get Helen there too. Ronna stops and Josh meets Donna and they start walking. JOSH Hey, you've got to get on a plane. Liaise with White House Communications on the... DONNA Kazakhstan thing. Lou told me. I'm on my way. I just wanted to tell you a rumor I heard from a guy at the Sacramento B. JOSH You feel bad for the guys at the B, don't you? DONNA I don't. JOSH It lacks dignity. DONNA They're wondering. JOSH You heard a rumor? DONNA At first I thought it was allergies because apparently Vinick has a mold sensitivity and the carpet on the plane isn't all that... JOSH Now you're wondering. DONNA I'm sorry. They think he has a cold. JOSH Vinick? DONNA Yes. JOSH Oh, my Lord! A cold?! Bram walks up with a piece of paper. BRAM A fax from last... JOSH He has a cold?! Josh looks ecstatic. He looks as if he is going to hug Donna, but bear hugs Bram instead. JOSH Yes! Annabeth walks up. Josh turns loose of Bram and hugs Annabeth. JOSH The gods were listening to me, and they love me! ANNABETH Why is there hugging? DONNA Vinick has a cold. ANNABETH Oh, that's precious. JOSH I want to send him some Vick's vapo-rub and a German nurse. Josh sets Annabeth down. ANNABETH Look, I have White House schedulers on the phone, and they seem to think that Leo has to be at the White House tonight, too. JOSH No, seriously. Give me that. He takes her phone and talks to whoever is on the line. JOSH Hi, this is Josh Lyman. Who is this? ... Hi, Roberta. Mr. McGarry can't make it to the White House tonight. He's campaigning for high government office. ... Nah, I'm sure it was a mistake. ... Thank you. ANNABETH Thanks. Sorry. JOSH No worries. Bureaucratic snafu. Annabeth walks away. JOSH So, are they writing about this wonderful cold? DONNA They will be. JOSH Are they writing about the fact that the Senator's health can't stand up to the rigors of the campaign, never mind the challenges of the Oval Office. Josh's phone starts ringing. DONNA They won't be impressed; he hasn't been in a close race in thirty years. JOSH The beginning of the end, right here. Josh answers his phone. JOSH Josh Lyman. OPERATOR [VO] Mr. Lyman, please hold for the President. There is a pause, then we hear Bartlet's voice. BARTLET [VO] Hey, kid. How you doing? JOSH Fine, sir. How are you? BARTLET [VO] Good, good. Do me a favor: bring Leo with you to the White House tonight, would you? He turns away from Donna and Bram. JOSH Sir... BARTLET [VO] You should tag along and say hello. It'd be great to see you. Thanks, Josh. He seems distressed at the news. He slowly turns back to Donna and Bram. DONNA What? JOSH We're going to the White House tonight - Leo, the Congressman... everyone. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO. * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. - VINICK HQ - DAY Sheila, Bruno, Bob, and some others are walking and talking. Sheila is on the phone. SHEILA We're going to need little packs of Kleenex in all the Senator's pockets. BRUNO Cough drops, cough drops. SHEILA And cough drops - something industrial strength; none of that herbal business. She hangs up. BRUNO Pray to whoever you pray to that he doesn't lose his voice. SHEILA We should try to give him a day. BOB A day off? SHEILA He's running a 101 fever. He needs to rest. BRUNO Not 21 days out, he doesn't. SHEILA You want 21 days of the Walking Wound? BRUNO He takes a day off and we confirm every concern the voters have: he's a dinosaur... BOB Not up to the job. BRUNO Dead on his feet. SHEILA Gentlemen! ANNIE Is the Senator here? BOB He's doing a Q & A outside. He'll be right in. SHEILA Tell Jake I want the Senator's wake-up call pushed to 7 am tomorrow, not 6. ANNIE Okay. These are for you. BOB Which event are we killing so he can sleep in? SHEILA It's an hour. We're not talking about it anymore. Sheila has read one of the messages given to her. She looks displeased. SHEILA Hodder from the RNC would like a few minutes with the Senator without staff. BRUNO The only time they request meetings without the staff is when the meeting is about the staff. Should I pack my pencils and coffee mugs now? SHEILA Stop it. Annie, call Hodder's office. Tell them 4 o'clock. ANNIE Okay. CUT TO: INT. - WHITE HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY Will is walking. He meets Donna. DONNA Hey, Will. WILL Hey, look at you: back in the building. Congratulations on your forward surge. DONNA Can you believe it? We're all walking ten feet off the ground. WILL You gonna go visit your old desk? DONNA Oh, not a lot of nostalgia there, really. WILL I've got the talking points on the Kazakhstan negotiations, but Vinick's press guy is running a little late so we should give it a minute. DONNA Sure. WILL You want a soda? DONNA I'm fine. WILL I'm going to have a ginger ale. DONNA Good. Good. They walk into Will's office. DONNA Can I ask you a question? WILL Sure. DONNA It's going to sound a little wacky. WILL Go for it. DONNA If something had happened with us, when we were working, romantically, would that have been inappropriate? WILL Wow, uh... I'm flattered, but... DONNA Oh, no, no, no. WILL I'm actually seeing someone in a very nonpublic and poorly defined way. DONNA No, not you. I was talking about someone like you with your job in relation to me. WILL You're talking about Josh? DONNA You're seeing someone? WILL You're seeing Josh? DONNA No. WILL Then who? DONNA I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours. WILL Yours is Josh; you're not cryptic. DONNA And yours is... WILL Classified. DONNA Nothing happened with me and Josh, at all. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have brought this up. We should drop it. WILL Good idea. [pause] It's not inappropriate. Seeing someone, that is. It's a little weird, maybe. But you'll figure it out. CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - DAY Sullivan walks into the room where Bruno and Sheila are waiting on Hodder to show up. SULLIVAN Did they start? SHEILA Who? SULLIVAN Hodder. SHEILA They're not here yet but I really don't think you need to be here. SULLIVAN The Chairman asked me to sit in. Ah, here he is. Hodder walks in, accompanied by a woman whom Sheila recognizes. SHEILA What's she doing here? HODDER Good to see you, Sheila. SHEILA Mr. Chairman. HODDER You remember Jane Braun. SHEILA Sure. JANE BRAUN How are you? SHEILA Bruno Gianelli, Jane Braun from the RNC, and Chairman Hodder you know. BRUNO Mr. Chairman. HODDER How you doing? Ray, thanks for joining us. SHEILA The Senator's on a call. He'll be here any minute. HODDER World upside down, huh? SHEILA It'll right itself in a day or two. JANE How's he feeling? Rumor has it he has a little bit of a... SHEILA He's fine. JANE Oh, good. HODDER I hear you're going to spend a couple days below the Mason-Dixon Line. That'll help. SHEILA I think it will. HODDER Message-wise? SHEILA Message-wise, we're holding center. JANE Are you sure that's your strongest play? BRUNO We need to win back the undecideds, right now. Moderates. JANE I can see how you'd come to that conclusion, but I'm not sure it's about changing minds anymore. It's kind of late for that. BRUNO Three weeks is enough time. JANE You can't count on it. What you can count on is getting out the vote. And the foot soldiers of the Republican base will do that for you if the candidate starts speaking their language. BRUNO Here we go. JANE It's time to start talking about values, and family. BRUNO By which you mean what? Gay marriage? JANE I think the list of family values is longer than just "The One" but, since you mention it... HODDER We play the gay marriage card, Santos will have to respond. Conservatives will flock to Vinick. SHEILA The Senator doesn't think that marriage is a federal issue. JANE The Senator should rethink it. SHEILA Is that what you plan on telling him? JANE Guys, you're up against the wall. You had some maverick ideas early on and they played beautifully. But now it's time to run a safe, sober campaign that speaks to the concerns of the Republican base. BRUNO And what exactly do you think that looks like? SHEILA We don't need to get into it. BRUNO I'm interested. JANE You make it clear to the base that Vinick is their candidate. They can count on him. BRUNO You didn't pull these policies out of a hat. They're Senator Vinick's positions. JANE I wouldn't broadcast that. BRUNO Meaning what? JANE He's sending the message that he got bad advice early on. He was listening to strategists who steered him off course... SHEILA I think we've got the idea. HODDER It's something you should think about. SHEILA Sure. HODDER Don't be flip about this. There are down-ticket races to consider. We could lose the House and the Senate. Now Arnie's alienated a lot of our people... ANNIE Excuse me. The Senator's ready now. HODDER Great. ANNIE Right this way. JANE Excuse me. HODDER Good to see you. BRUNO Pleasure. Hodder and Jane walk off. BRUNO You still think they're not trying to replace me? SHEILA Oh, they're definitely trying to replace you - with her, apparently. CUT TO: INT. - LOBBY - WHITE HOUSE - EVENING Donna is seated in the lobby. C.J. walks in and over to where she's sitting. C.J. Hey, stranger. DONNA Hi. C.J. Did Will get you up to speed? DONNA Yes. I'm just hanging here until the Congressman and everyone gets in. C.J. It's so good to see you. DONNA You too. C.J. You must be having a good day. DONNA Amazing. C.J. How's Josh? DONNA What do you mean? C.J. Which part tripped you up? DONNA Oh, you're... you're just... C.J. Asking how he is. DONNA Oh, sorry. He's, um... he's fine. Happy we're doing so well. C.J. What's going on? DONNA Nothing. C.J. Is something... is a Josh thing going on? DONNA No. No, no, no, no. C.J. Something happened. DONNA Nothing. C.J. Oh, come on. You've got a useless poker face. I spend my whole day talking about election monitors in Central Asia. Throw me a bone. Donna sighs. DONNA It's nothing. We just... we had an odd moment today. Just another in a long series of odd moments meant to be ignored. You should focus on your election monitors. C.J. That was a complete and utter failure. DONNA That's too bad. C.J. It is. They look up to see Vinick, Sheila, Bruno, and Bob walk in. Debbie meets them to show them in. DEBBIE Would you come with me, please? Vinick nods toward C.J. VINICK Evening. C.J. Senator. They walk out of the lobby toward the Mural Room. DONNA Wow. I don't like how that looks. C.J. Yeah. CUT TO: INT. - MURAL ROOM - EVENING DEBBIE Make yourselves comfortable. The President will be right with you. VINICK Thank you. DEBBIE Not too comfortable. She moves to shut the door. VINICK Excuse me? DEBBIE Hmm? VINICK Did you...? DEBBIE What? VINICK Nothing. DEBBIE If there's anything I can get you, please let me know. She shuts the door. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - EVENING Carol is showing Santos and his entourage into the Roosevelt Room. DONNA Vinick just came through. I think they put him in the Mural Room. JOSH A little too close to the Oval for my taste. CAROL The President will be with you in just a few minutes. JOSH Thanks, Carol. They come in and set their stuff around the table. Debbie comes in. DEBBIE Can I get anybody anything to drink? SANTOS Oh, we're fine. Thank you. DEBBIE Good. Mr. McGarry, could you come with me, please? He leaves while everyone else, looking a little uncertain, finds a seat. JOSH I have no idea. CUT TO: INT. - MURAL ROOM - EVENING Vinick is getting comfortable when they hear a door close in the other room. They look over to see Debbie lead Leo into the outer office. He stops while she sees if the President is ready. He looks over to see Vinick and Co. in the Mural Room. Vinick also looks up, just in time to see Leo being led into the Oval. VINICK Why are we sitting out here while the Democratic VP candidate is being ushered into the Oval Office? FADE OUT. END ACT THREE. * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. - ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT The staffers are talking and having a good time. BRAM They wanted to show me. I thought it was my job to keep them away from the Congressman. SANTOS You are a brave soldier, Bram. I'm touched. I really am. BRAM Anytime, sir. We're at the Marriot tonight. Take-out phone lists are in the packet, but the restaurant in the hotel should be open when we get back. RONNA I want a room with a view. Last time we were here I was over the dumpster. BRAM You're on the second floor. DONNA No view, is what he's saying. BRAM You know, I was going to go over to the hotel and look out every window, but somehow I didn't get to it. ANNABETH You like "Dawn of a New America"? JOSH Not really. ANNABETH How about "A New Plan for a New America"? JOSH "New America" sounds a little colonial, doesn't it? ANNABETH How do you feel about stumping in a pilgrim hat? SANTOS I love it. ANNABETH "A Brave and Bold Visionary" ought to work. SANTOS This is me talking about myself? JOSH It's language Joey and Lou have poll-tested. We're trying to work it into the stump. SANTOS Let me see. ANNABETH We're just looking to capitalize on our country's new vision of you, sir - post-nuclear debacle. SANTOS "Brave and Bold"? JOSH As opposed to Vinick, who's... RONNA "Big and Bad." SANTOS I don't think we need it. ANNABETH It polled well. SANTOS You can't poll people three days after a crisis. They're speaking from a place of anxiety and confusion. They're answers are going to be all over the map. JOSH You want to just stay the course? SANTOS We have their attention now. They're finally listening. We stick with it, maybe they'll get the sense that we've been on the right track all along. ANNABETH "Santos: Right From the Start." JOSH We want that on every bumper sticker, every press release... everything. RONNA That was some impressive teamwork there. ANNABETH It was, wasn't it? I'm a little teary. They laugh. CUT TO: INT. - MURAL ROOM - NIGHT Vinick, Sheila, and the other staffers are still waiting. Vinick blows his nose. SHEILA I'm going to have a doctor come by in the morning and make sure it's not strep or something. VINICK It's nothing. I'm fine. It's allergies. BRUNO Until the "allergies" clear up, I think a cough suppressant might make the day go a little faster. SHEILA You want to talk about what happened in your meeting with Hodder? VINICK I don't. You want to talk about why we're admiring the China while McGarry's in there with the President? CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet is seated at the desk. Leo is sitting across from him. BARTLET We're setting up a no-fly zone over Kazakhstan. Step one of a two-month ramp up with probably a five-year commitment on the ground. NATO's waving us into the fray with absolutely no intention of following. LEO It figures. Did you evacuate the embassy? BARTLET Not yet. LEO So, it's rapid deployment of what, 10,000? BARTLET 12. The dream scenario is we put them in the middle of the buffer zone which scares everyone enough to drive the Russians and the Chinese back on their own soil. Otherwise, we follow with another 100,000. LEO Have you thought about air strikes? Hit a few military targets? BARTLET I'm willing to threaten air strikes, but I don't want to tear up the Kazakh countryside just to make a point. LEO So you send in 100,000 men, push the lines back. Then you're security guard until they get a new government up and running. It's a reasonable move. You put a massive force on the ground for deterrent purposes, you nip the conflict in the bud. I'd be surprised if either China or Russia actually wanted a real battle. BARTLET Maybe. That, or we're stuck between two 1,000,000-man armies spoiling for a fight. LEO You don't know until you're in it. BARTLET You think I should be sending another negotiating team? LEO Armies are already on the ground. Nobody's going to agree to a cease-fire until they know you're serious about getting involved. BARTLET Yeah. This is what they'll remember 50 years from now. LEO About your presidency? BARTLET Got us into a big mess, then left it to someone else to clean up. LEO Oh, come on. They'll remember eight years of strong leadership, growth... a Commander in Chief they could trust. BARTLET You know what'll probably happen? It goes badly, I get the blame. It goes well, the next guy gets the credit. LEO Sounds about right. CUT TO: INT. - ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT Carol comes in. CAROL The President's ready for you. Santos stands and leaves the room. CUT TO: INT. - OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Debbie opens the door to the Mural Room. DEBBIE Sorry for the wait. Vinick stands and follows Debbie. Santos has just come into the office when Vinick steps out of the Mural Room. They say nothing to each other. DEBBIE Gentlemen. They follow the generals into the Oval. CUT TO: INT. - ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT Leo walks in, hangs his coat on the chair and sits. JOSH Everything okay? LEO Yeah. CUT TO: INT. - OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT The generals, C.J., Bartlet and the candidates are talking about the Kazakhstan situation. WENDELL The initial incursion would be small: 2,000 troops there to defend the embassy. SANTOS Does the embassy require that much defense? HUTCHINSON Not really. C.J. Hopefully, Tarimov takes it as an indication of our commitment and resumes negotiations. SANTOS If he doesn't? WENDELL Two rapid deployment divisions are dropped in within 24 hours. The rest of the ground troops follow over the next eight weeks. VINICK Who are we dealing with at the Kremlin? KATE Chigorin's been unwilling to engage, as you might expect. The foreign minister is communicating, but we get the sense he's been pushed out of the decision-making process. BARTLET Thank you all. The generals get up and leave. The candidates, C.J. and Bartlet stay. BARTLET One of you will inherit this pinata. I just thought you should know what's on the table. VINICK I was under the impression that diplomatic options hadn't been exhausted. BARTLET That's what we've been saying. I wish it were true. SANTOS What about an international force. BARTLET We've asked, but NATO's participation would be nominal at best. VINICK So we're placing ourselves on an oil field between two nuclear powers, alone. BARTLET Yes. VINICK I don't see our presence as doing anything more than exacerbating the conflict. Once we're involved, India will have to diplomatically with the Russians. SANTOS Pakistan will support China. South Korea will feel pressured to engage on our side. VINICK I'm not sure what our side is. BARTLET Gentlemen, let's talk about what we're talking about. You're worried that I'm going to announce I'm deploying 150,000 American soldiers three weeks before the election and suddenly your race is about my war. Santos and Vinick glance at each other. BARTLET You can speak candidly. SANTOS It does change the nature of the election. But more importantly, a new President would have an easier time brokering a diplomatic solution. BARTLET If I thought we could wait until after election, we would wait. VINICK What's this going to cost? BARTLET It depends on how long we stay. SANTOS It doesn't matter. The first 100 days in office are the most productive of the whole term and there's no way we can extricate ourselves from from something like this in three months. It's not about the money. You're blowing any political capital we might have by forcing us to fight a war. VINICK Do we have an estimate? BARTLET First twelve months: 70 billion. VINICK I can say goodbye to my tax cut. Your education plan is certainly off the table. What's a victory in this? BARTLET The retreat of Russian and Chinese military forces across their own borders, and a stable, neutral, and democratic government in Kazakhstan. VINICK Wait, no. That's... here's where you lose me. Everyone back to their corner, I understand. A stable democratic regime in a former Soviet central Asian republic, that could take two, three generations. I mean, if that's your definition of success, I'm not sure I see a clear exit strategy. BARTLET It's a realistic concern. SANTOS Is there an exit strategy? BARTLET General Schultz will tell you there is. He'd tell you we stabilize Astana, hold new elections in ten months, and pull out in 18. But I'm not sure I'd buy that anymore than you do. SANTOS What's your exit strategy? BARTLET I don't have one. I suggest you both start giving it some thought. They stand. BARTLET I appreciate your concerns, but I am not in a position to hold off our involvement. These armies are marching toward each other and someone must stand in the middle. Unfortunately, it has to be us. He shakes their hands. BARTLET Thank you for coming in. Good luck to you both. Bartlet exits through the portico door, leaving Vinick and Santos alone. CUT TO: INT. - LIMO - NIGHT Vinick is riding back with Sheila. SHEILA What'd the President want? He says nothing. SHEILA Lozenge? [pause] We have to talk about the Chairman. VINICK Yeah. SHEILA He's a weasel and I don't like that woman, but they're right. A little campaign shake up might create enough of a diversion to get us past San Andreo. VINICK Bruno's worked hard for us. He's not the reason we're in the toilet. I think firing him will just get us a whole lot of nothing, but if you want to do it, do it. SHEILA I'm not talking about Bruno. He realizes who she's talking about. SHEILA Bruno doesn't have the visibility to be a viable scapegoat. I'm the public face of your campaign staff. You want this to work, it's got to be me. VINICK That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. No really, from a smart woman, that's an incredibly stupid idea. SHEILA You need someone to blame for the fact that we didn't campaign to the base. You need to apologize for that misstep and spend the next three weeks singing their song. VINICK I'm not doing it. SHEILA Don't interrupt me. I can still be on the phone with you 24/7. Hire Jane Braun. And once we get a 51% strategy in place, Bob and Bruno can execute it. VINICK We're not losing. We're just in a real horse race now. I'll hop myself up on Sudafed tomorrow. Santos will be back in the dust by Friday. SHEILA Jane is rainmaker at the RNC. She is the darling of the evangelical right. They will respond to her. She'll whip them up into a door-knocking, pavement-pounding frenzy. VINICK You're really talking about this? SHEILA I made a promise to put you in office, and that's what we're going to do. VINICK So, that's it? Tomorrow morning I get a letter of resignation? SHEILA It's already in your briefcase. The limo has stopped. SHEILA You just have about ten minutes of grip-and-grin here. When you get home, call Jane. Vinick gets out. The motorcade drives on. He stands, contemplating for a time until a staffer speaks to him. STAFFER Would you like your overcoat? VINICK What? STAFFER Would you like your overcoat, sir? It's pretty cold. VINICK No. CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL LOUNGE - NIGHT Bram, Donna, Ronna, and Edie are talking. BRAM We dealt with the relevant information. RONNA Oh, my God. You got her phone number, didn't you? BRAM I'm not at liberty to share that information. RONNA Oh, you're plummeting in my estimation right now. Josh walks up. EDIE How'd it go? JOSH Fine. BRAM What'd they talk about? JOSH You, actually. All three of them, in the Oval. DONNA Bram's dating some girl in the Santos' Undies. BRAM I'm not dating her. JOSH That's impressive, really. It brings honor to the family. EDIE If Bono comes, we are locking him in the Secret Service room. The conversation blurs and Josh and Donna glance at each other. Donna sets a small envelope with a key in it on the table and slides it toward Josh. DONNA Okay. Order me a Perrier. I'm turning in. Donna walks off. Ronna notices that Donna left her key on the table. RONNA Oh, she forgot her key. Donna! JOSH I'll take it to her. EDIE I've got it. I'm going up anyway. Ronna hands the key to Edie, who gets up and catches up with Donna to give it back. Donna looks back at Josh and gives him an, "Oh well," kind of look. Donna and Edie walk away toward their rooms. CUT TO: INT. - SIT ROOM - NIGHT Bartlet is standing at the end of the table, looking at the map. Wendell is on the phone. WENDELL Sir, we have Des Ops, on your order. Bartlet nods. WENDELL Des Ops, we have a go. We close with a close-up of Bartlet's face. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing episode 7.13 "The Cold", original air date 12 March 2006.