Thorny issues encircle the White House as the President (Martin Sheen) and his staff grapple with breaking the news of his illness in an exclusive national broadcast while the newly elected president of Haiti flees for his life and asks for sanctuary in the U.S. embassy — which would place the compound under army attack. C.J. (Allison Janney) and Leo (John Spencer) weigh the dicey arrangements of keeping the blistering news a secret until the telecast while White House counsel Babish (Oliver Platt) finds a disturbing detail in the First Lady’s (Stockard Channing) medical treatment of Bartlet. Elsewhere, a frustrated Josh (Bradley Whitford) needs $30 million more from a Senate committee to continue the Justice Department’s case against Big Tobacco companies but hits a roadblock when he soliticts the crucial votes of two Democratic Senators, and virtuous Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) pays sticker price for a new car because she fears anything less will violate federal stipulations about receiving gifts.
THE WEST WING "18TH AND POTOMAC" TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN STORY BY: LAWRENCE O'DONNELL JR. DIRECTED BY: ROBERT BERLINGER TEASER FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE, PORTICO - NIGHT THE WHITE HOUSE 1:20 A.M. An agent opens the door and speaks into his mic. AGENT Eagle's moving. Bartlet and Leo come outside and walk. BARTLET He talked to her on the phone? LEO He talked to her at the airport. BARTLET But he called her on the phone? LEO To get her to the airport. BARTLET Yeah, but I'm saying, did she hang up the phone, turn to her friends and say, 'You're never gonna believe why I'm getting on a plane?' LEO He told her she was coming out to do some polling on subsurface agriculture. BARTLET What the hell is that? They walk into THE OVAL OFFICE. Bartlet puts down some papers. LEO It's vegetables that grow underground. He told her she was coming out here to find out if Americans were eating more beats. BARTLET [searching his front pockets for a pen] Is this a joke? LEO It was Josh, Mr. President. It was a job done well. You want to start not trusting Josh? [beat] Let's go. BARTLET Where are we going? LEO The basement. BARTLET Why? LEO 'Cause I don't like the way it looks the seven of us meeting in the middle of the night. BARTLET You like the way it looks if we're meeting in the basement? LEO Let's go. They walk out. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE, BASEMENT - NIGHT Sam and Toby walk out of the elevator. SAM These numbers are going to be meaningless. TOBY Yeah. SAM The governor of an industrial state. It's posed as a hypothetical before people have any education on... TOBY [puts on his jacket] Yeah. SAM Plus there is no way to factor in existing approval numbers, particularly when it comes to matters of trust. TOBY [to the agent at the door] Saggitarius. The agent opens the door, Sam and Toby walk inside and down the stairs. C.J., Josh, Joey Lucas and Kenny are inside. TOBY Are they on their way? JOSH Yeah. TOBY They're on their way? JOSH Yeah. Toby sighs heavily as everyone sits down. TOBY Joey, your flight was all right? She doesn't look at him, and he taps her on the shoulder. TOBY Your flight was okay? SAM [to Joey, as Kenny translates] These numbers aren't going to mean anything, right? With the hypothetical and the lack of context? Plus the preexisting level of trust. C.J. Yeah. SAM I'm saying he's got numbers like Walter Cronkite. JOEY Yeah. JOSH Is there anything in there that we're gonna like? JOEY [KENNY] We are, in fact, eating more beats. JOSH Okay. Bartlet and Leo come inside. Everyone rises. BARTLET Good evening. JOSH Mr. President, you remember Joey Lucas? BARTLET Yeah. JOSH And her interpreter Kenny? LEO Joey, did you make photocopies of that? JOEY No, sir. LEO Good. Let's get started. Everyone sits. JOEY [KENNY] Mr. President, I polled 1,170 registered voters in Michigan, giving their governor a hypothetical concealed... BARTLET Excuse me. How many people in this room know Kenny's last name? Everyone looks puzzled. LEO It's fine. BARTLET I believe this operation is no longer covert. JOEY [KENNY] Mr. President, Kenny's been with me for 11 years. To trust me is to trust him. BARTLET Josh? JOSH Yeah. BARTLET [to Joey] Go ahead. JOEY [KENNY] 1,170 registered votes in Michigan were polled, giving their governor a hypothetical concealed degenerative illness. These are the results. [reads] "Do you agree that it's okay for the governor to lie about his health?" 17% agree, 83% disagree. "Would you be as likely or less likely to vote for the governor now that you know he has a degenerative illness?" 71% say less likely. The largest block of likely voters are women over 55. 78% of those women say they wouldn't vote for a candidate with MS. C.J. You just lost Florida. JOEY [KENNY] This may be the worst stat, sir. 74% believe MS to be fatal. BARTLET They may be right. JOEY [KENNY] 62% of Democrats aren't gonna vote for you. 65% of those describing themselves as liberal aren't gonna vote for you because you lied. BARTLET Joey, is there any good news there at all? JOEY No, sir. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet is standing near his desk, Leo is sitting on one of the couches next to Robbie Mosley, Jake, and across from a civilian advisor. More people are standing near the walls. LEO Who's in Port-au-Prince right now? ROBBIE [VO] The UN Observer group. LEO Which consists of... ROBBIE 400 technical advisors and observers and 65 unarmed security specialists. LEO And the OAS? ROBBIE They've got about 200 observers. BARTLET [sits in the nearby chair] What happened last night? CIVILIAN ADVISOR Citing improper permits, Colonel Bazan's soldiers surrounded Carrefour and Liberte. ROBBIE Liberty Square. BARTLET Yeah. CIVILIAN ADVISOR ...to prevent a victory rally by supporters of Dessaline. Some of the crowd refused to disperse when the first shots were fired. LEO Anybody killed? ROBBIE Two people. CIVILIAN ADVISOR Additionally, Rene Ducasse, the newly designated Minister of Justice, was arrested, and soldiers have surrounded the house of the Chief Justice. They're saying to protect him from death threats. Our intelligence says he's under house arrest. ROBBIE Most troubling are personnel carriers with Haitian troops parked in front of virtually every police station in Port-au-Prince. This is a sign that the army plans to take power from the Gendarme Nationale. BARTLET Where is the president-elect? JAKE [VO] Sir, we can't find him. BARTLET Sorry? ROBBIE At this moment, we can't find Dessaline. BARTLET And that's not the most troubling... LEO Jake, what the hell do you mean you can't find... JAKE He never showed up for the 4 pm courtesy conference with Gilbert Tass and calls made to the party headquarters and both of his houses went unanswered. CIVILIAN ADVISOR Armed forces radio says he's fled the country, but the Dominicans say no. LEO What about intelligence? ROBBIE It's not like we can just call around, it's chaos down there, nobody knows anything. BARTLET Leo. LEO Let's evacuate the non-essential personnel from the embassy. Bartlet nods and glances around. JAKE Mr. President, any move to evacuate the embassy, even the non-essentials, will be a highly visible signal that the US has no confidence in the Dessaline government. BARTLET At the moment, there is no Dessaline government; there is no Dessaline! And I just got done pulling nine dead bodies out of Colombia. Evacuate the non-essentials. Get some Marines at the Embassy. And somebody brief Fitzwallace! He stands, everyone else rises. MEN Thank you, Mr. President. Everyone begins to leave. CUT TO: INT. BASEMENT - DAY Josh walks up to the agent guarding the room. JOSH Saggitarius. The agent opens the door. Josh walks inside and sits at the table, where Toby and C.J. are sitting. Sam is pacing around them.. SAM Why not a Presidential address? Ten - fifteen minutes. 'I have this illness, I concealed it, I apologize. Let me tell you about it. Let me reduce your fear.' C.J. It's too cold. SAM It's not too cold! C.J. He needs to be with the First Lady. SAM In some decorative room? Sitting with his wife weakens him. Let's put him behind the Kennedy desk. Let's put him in the East Room. Let's put him in the Briefing Room. C.J. Sam, he's gonna go on TV and say he lied, I don't want him doing it behind the Seal of the President. SAM You think without the Seal, people are gonna forget he's the President? C.J. We'll do a 30-minute live special from one of the news magazines. JOSH Live, live to tape or tape? C.J. Live, I don't want a producer editing what he says. JOSH What if we want to edit what he says? C.J. That's our tough luck. JOSH When? SAM How about Thursday night? C.J. Wednesday night. SAM Why? C.J. [irritated] 'Cause Thursday night is when they pay their bills, and it's going to be tough enough getting 30 minutes and not telling them why we're not cutting into their bread and butter during May sweeps. SAM Oh, who gives a damn about May sweeps? C.J. They do, Sam! Sam glares at C.J. with unease, but says nothing. TOBY All right. 30 minutes, Dateline special Wednesday night, night after tomorrow, the President and the First Lady in the Mural Room. C.J. And we follow that with a press conference. JOSH Why? C.J. To control the story as long as possible. Once he gets started with Russert or Diane or Stone Phillips or whoever the hell does this, I'm gonna need every reporter in the Western Hemisphere in the room where I can see him. TOBY We put a team of medical experts up there. C.J. We have 48 hours to find them. SAM Hang on. If we take him from the Mural Room to the press conference, isn't a smart reporter going to ask, 'Mr. President, are you planning on seeking reelection?' C.J. [very irritated] A smart reporter... Sam, Ted Baxter is gonna ask, 'Mr President, are you planning on seeking reelection?" SAM So, we're gonna need an answer to that too. CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE, LOBBY - DAY Charlie and Mrs. Landingham are walking through the doors. CHARLIE Are you getting an eight-speaker stereo? MRS. LANDINGHAM No. CHARLIE Six speakers? MRS. LANDINGHAM No. CHARLIE How many speakers? MRS. LANDINGHAM I have two ears, how many speakers do I need? CHARLIE At least six and a subwoofer. MRS. LANDINGHAM I'm not getting a subwoofer. CHARLIE How about the tow package? MRS. LANDINGHAM The tow package? CHARLIE To tow your boat. MRS. LANDINGHAM I don't have a boat. CHARLIE What about a camper? MRS. LANDINGHAM No. CHARLIE What do you tow? MRS. LANDINGHAM Groceries. CHARLIE You can probably put those in the trunk. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yeah. They reach the OUTER OVAL OFFICE as Josh walks by. CHARLIE Tainted windows? JOSH Hey. MRS. LANDINGHAM Hello, Josh. CHARLIE Mrs. Landingham's picking up her new car today. JOSH Really? MRS. LANDINGHAM Yes, and I wish I haven't told anyone. Why do men think women can't buy a car without a man? JOSH It's an old stereotype, Mrs.. L. Did you get the extended service warranty? MRS. LANDINGHAM No. JOSH Women. MRS. LANDINGHAM What do you want? JOSH I got a message Leo wanted to see me. MRS. LANDINGHAM He's in his office. JOSH Did you get the tow package? CHARLIE [to Mrs. Landingham] See? MRS. LANDINGHAM [to Josh] He's in his office. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY LEO Margaret! Margaret comes in. LEO Where's Josh? MARGARET He's on his way. Josh shows up at the door. LEO He remembers where my office is, right? JOSH Leo, calm down. I'm right here. MARGARET He's right here. LEO Get out. Margaret leaves. LEO [to Josh] This report is staggering. JOSH I know. LEO Justice has 31 lawyers and staff. Tobacco has 1,893 lawyers and 2,783 paralegals. This is no typo, right? JOSH No. LEO We spent 8.7 million on our side counsel, they spent 192. The 61.3 million they spent on travel expenses is twice as much as we spent on our entire case. JOSH Yes. LEO Who oversees the Justice department Budget? JOSH The Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary. LEO Who's the ranking minority member? JOSH Ritter. LEO Talk to him. Find out what the problem is. JOSH Yeah. [turns to leave] LEO [gets up] Josh? How's it going downstairs? JOSH [comes back and hunches over the desk] We'll have an answer on it by the end of the day. It's looking like 30 minutes on Dateline and a press conference, but Leo, it's also looking like any scenario is going to require a firm position from the President on reelection. LEO Well, we'll have that answer by the end of the day, too. JOSH Will we? LEO Yes. JOSH Leo... LEO He just had Joey's numbers in the middle of the night. Give him the day! JOSH Don't you think it would help if we had a discussion among the...Knock on the door. Both Leo and Josh turn, startled. Margaret comes in with a note. JOSH A discussion among the rest of us... Leo reads and crumples the note. LEO Excuse me. [walks out] FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Leo is standing in the Oval Office, looking out window at Bartlet, who enters from outside with Charlie. BARTLET What? LEO Two of Dessalines' bodyguards were shot. We think he's headed to our embassy. BARTLET How do we know? LEO Jake Bratt got a message through. BARTLET What is Jake Bratt doing down there? LEO He went down for the inauguration, and he may well have Dessalines in the trunk of his car. BARTLET The trunk of his car? LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET Did we evacuate the non-essentials? LEO They're on their way. A C-9's waiting for them on the runway. Mr. President, if we don't take Dessaline, he'll be convicted in a 20-minute trial, imprisoned for life, or probably executed by the Junta. ROBBIE I'm sorry sir, but this is an internal affair in Haiti, and the US has no place choosing sides. LEO Of course we're choosing sides, there was a free election! We saw to it there was a free election, and Dessalines won! ROBBIE If we grant asylum to we'd officially be in a standoff with Bazan. JAKE The best way for Bazan to elevate his stature in Haiti is to stage a standoff with the U.S. ROBBIE Plus Bazan can surround the embassy, saying he's searching for a wanted criminal, and obviously he can take everyone in the embassy hostage. In the background, Charlie walks to a man and whispers in his ear, motioning to a phone. LEO Mr. President, there will never be real elections in Haiti if the military thinks it can simply kill the winner. Also I'd like to point out, sir, that we encouraged Dessaline to run-in fact we strongly encouraged it-and now he's in the trunk of a car. MAN [holding up the phone] The car's at the gate, I got the gate right here. BARTLET Let him in. ROBBIE Sir... BARTLET Let him in! MAN [into phone] Tell them to let him in. [long pause as everyone waits] He's in. CUT TO: INT. BASEMENT - DAY C.J., Toby, and Sam all sit around the table. TOBY Do we put Hoynes up there? SAM At the press conference? TOBY Do we put Hoynes up there? SAM There's never been a more important time to emphasize the Vice Presidency. C.J. The Vice President's presence underlines the health risks to the president. SAM And it's good to underscore that the president anticipated this problem with the selection of the vice president. C.J. But it'll also serve to underscore that he anticipated the problem and didn't tell anybody about it. SAM Hoynes was one of the first people to know. If he's there it's a breathing demonstration that he signed off on the president's health and joined the ticket. C.J. And he'll get bombarded with questions about what he did or didn't know, the press corps will impanel themselves as a grand jury. SAM Then let them, C.J.! We did something wrong or we didn't. C.J. Well fantastic, Sam, I didn't realize it was that simple! Knocking. A man enters and hands C.J. a note. Toby hands her her glasses and she reads the paper. C.J. There's a situation developing in Port-Au-Prince, I have to get ready to brief. [exits] TOBY Sam, can Josiah Bartlet function as president? SAM I'm not a medical expert. TOBY [standing and moving around] Right. SAM Toby, there is a responsibility and the future and an obligation to the party, and if he is not gonna run, then he's gotta point to Hoynes and say, 'This is our guy.' TOBY And what if they ask Hoynes, 'In the meantime, can Bartlet function as president?' SAM He'll say yes. TOBY What if he says, 'I'm not a medical expert'? CUT TO: EXT. WASHINGTON, D.C. BUILDING - DAY Josh comes out with Senator ANDY RITTER. ANDY RITTER The President of Haiti was taken to the embassy in the trunk of a car? JOSH Yes. RITTER I've lived too long. JOSH Well don't go anywhere, cause I need you. RITTER I mean it, Lyman, this is gonna get worse before it's gonna get better. JOSH You may be right, but Haiti's actually not what I wanted to talk to you about. RITTER Tobacco? JOSH Yeah, Andy. The president wants to get behind a 30 million dollar appropriations bill the Justice Department's had in your committee for a few months now. They need the money to continue the case. RITTER I know. JOSH Has the chairman scheduled a vote? RITTER He's not gonna. JOSH He's not gonna schedule a vote? RITTER Kalmbach's gonna dance with the girl that brung him. JOSH How much tobacco money has he taken? RITTER From the last campaign? JOSH Yeah RITTER $460,000 in PACs JOSH Is there a nose count? RITTER Yeah, it's eight to seven against JOSH Along party lines? RITTER No, believe it or not. We've got two Republicans, they've got two Democrats JOSH They've got two Democrats? RITTER Warren and Rossitter JOSH Warren and Rossitter aren't even from the South. RITTER They have ideological problems with the case. JOSH This is a phenomenally important case: it's historic; it has to be won. And we're fighting with paper clips and a slingshot. RITTER We were wondering when you guys were going to notice. Ritter pats Josh on the shoulder and walks off, as Josh looks after him. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Donna sits, waiting for Toby. He walks in, shutting the door. Donna stands. TOBY Hi. DONNA Hi. TOBY Have a seat. DONNA I was told you wanted to see me. TOBY Yeah, Donna. Uh, I'm going to tell you something shocking except we don't have time to be shocked. So I need you to just hear it and go back to work. DONNA Yeah. TOBY Eight years ago, the president was diagnosed with MS. He concealed it during the election, but we're going public Wednesday night with a live network interview and a press conference. This is what Josh is gonna be working on 24 hours and he's gonna need your help and he's gonna need you to know, and so I'm telling you... DONNA Yeah. TOBY You're the first person on the assistant level to find out. Margaret doesn't know, Bonnie and Ginger don't know. Donna, Mrs. Landingham doesn't know. DONNA Is the president in a lot of pain or discomfort right now? TOBY No. He's in remission. DONNA Okay. [standing] Is there anything else? TOBY I want to press upon you how important it is that this not be discussed beyond- DONNA Yeah. Donna exits the room, shutting the door behind her. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY Charlie is seated behind a computer at his desk. CHARLIE You want to know where you made your mistake? MRS. LANDINGHAM I didn't make a mistake. CHARLIE You probably did, and here's where you went wrong. MRS. LANDINGHAM Where? CHARLIE You went to the dealership alone. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yes. CHARLIE That was a mistake. MRS. LANDINGHAM 'Cause a dealer would load me up with a lot of extras I don't need? CHARLIE That's right. MRS. LANDINGHAM Like a tow package? They walk and talk into THE OVAL OFFICE. CHARLIE How are you gonna tow your camper without a tow package? MRS. LANDINGHAM I have never been camping. CHARLIE Neither have I, and I was hoping you'd take me. I'd be sitting there fishing and listening to the Orioles on a transistor radio. MRS. LANDINGHAM What would I be doing? CHARLIE Warding off bears, that kind of thing. How much did you pay? MRS. LANDINGHAM We don't talk about money, dear. CHARLIE Can you tell me how much you paid below sticker? MRS. LANDINGHAM I didn't pay anything below sticker. CHARLIE What do you mean? MRS. LANDINGHAM In my defense, I didn't pay anything above sticker, either. CHARLIE Mrs. Landingham, seriously. MRS. LANDINGHAM Charlie- CHARLIE No, seriously, you paid sticker price? MRS. LANDINGHAM Yes CHARLIE Why? MRS. LANDINGHAM That was the price CHARLIE Mrs. Landingham- MRS. LANDINGHAM It says so, right on the sticker CHARLIE Who pays sticker price? MRS. LANDINGHAM I do! CHARLIE You gotta let me go back there with you MRS. LANDINGHAM I wasn't duped, Charlie. CHARLIE You paid sticker price! MRS. LANDINGHAM I'm a government employee. CHARLIE That doesn't necessarily mean you're a fool. MRS. LANDINGHAM No, but it means I'm not allowed to accept gifts of a certain value. CHARLIE It's not a gift. MRS. LANDINGHAM Of course it is. The price tag says one thing, and the dealer is giving it to me for something less. CHARLIE That's what happens when you buy a car. MRS. LANDINGHAM Not me. C.J. [entering] I was looking for Leo. CHARLIE He's in the Situation Room. C.J. That's usually a good sign. CUT TO: INT. THE SITUATION ROOM - DAY In a very busy Situation Room, the officers are seated around the table. LEO How many are they saying? MAN They can't say. LEO Well how many are they estimating? MAN It changes every minute. NANCY [entering from the side] Well how many this minute? MAN Nancy, the cavalry. NANCY You guys need some adult supervision? LEO No, we need the cavalry. NANCY Nah. Jeff, what's the latest estimate? JEFF It's about 500 soldiers, maybe 300 of them with AR-15s LEO We sold those to them, right? NANCY Well until a few hours ago they were on our side. LEO Still... NANCY Yeah. The AR-15s aren't the only things they've got. They've got two Bradleys with 120-millimeter cannons and a couple of artillery tubes. LEO What do we have? NANCY Thirty-seven marines with M-14s and Beretta side-arms. LEO What happens when the first shot is fired? NANCY Sally, get me hooked up to Operations. SALLY Yes, ma'am. NANCY [to Leo] Embassy marines aren't lawn jockeys. They're not decorative. They're trained, in restraint, and they're trained well. SALLY [VO] Operations, ma'am. NANCY Thank you. LEO Nancy, if they take the embassy, how are we gonna know? Are they going to send some kind of note? NANCY [to staffer] Sidney, I need com-con status. This is a few minutes old. SIDNEY Yes, ma'am. NANCY [to Leo] There's no note, Leo. They're taking the embassy. [into phone] Fitz, this is Nancy. I think we should mobilize the 8-80th Hostage Task Force out of Parris Island. The camera zooms into Leo's face, as we FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. THE BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is on the podium. C.J. The USS Enterprise as well as the amphibious carriers out of Mayport, Florida, are being dispatched to the region and are expected to be there in 36 hours and aircraft will be in the combat radius of 300 to 400 miles within 12 hours and you'll get more details on that when the Pentagon briefs at three. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! C.J. Katie. KATIE Should we be reading anything into the fact that the Pentagon's briefing and not State? C.J. State will brief later in the day. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J.! MARK Is one option recognizing the Bazan government? C.J. There is no Bazan government. Mark Yeah, but is one option being... C.J. You're not taking me there, Mark. STEVE C.J., is the US prepared to invade Haiti? C.J. It should be clear that we're talking about two separate issues: one is a democratically- elected president whose people are being denied their leader by an armed militia, the other is the lives of the Americans in the embassy and the American marines who are guarding them. STEVE You didn't answer my question. C.J. How about that? I'll be back in a few hours. C.J. walks off the podium and out the room as the reporters clamor. Out in the HALLWAY, Carol hands C.J. a note. C.J. Is he here? CAROL He's in the Mural room. C.J. Do I look all right? CAROL You look pretty tired. C.J. That's what you're saying to me? CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - DAY PAUL HACKETT, head of a television network, is standing along with Bonnie. BONNIE You sure there's nothing I can get for you, Mr. Hackett? HACKETT No, Bonnie, thanks, I'm fine. C.J. walks in, and shakes his hand. C.J. Paul. HACKET Good afternoon, Claudia. C.J. Bonnie, thank you. Would you step outside the door and knock if anybody wants to come in? BONNIE Sure. [exits] HACKETT [as they both sit down] She took me in through the basement. C.J. Yeah. HACKETT I've been in this building two or 300 times, never came in through the basement. What have you got in front? C.J. The White House press corps. HACKETT Yeah? C.J. I need thirty minutes night after tomorrow. HACKETT C.J., what the hell are you guys planning for Haiti? C.J. It's not Haiti. HACKETT What is it? C.J. I'm not gonna tell you. HACKETT What am I supposed to tell my news director? C.J. Tell him it's your network. HACKETT It's not my network, it belongs to the company, it belongs to stockholders. So what am I supposed to tell my news director? C.J. That we need thirty minutes Wednesday night. On Wednesday morning, I'll tell you why. You pick the interviewer, they'll have 10 hours to prepare. HACKETT Just the President? C.J. The President and the First Lady. HACKETT On our set? C.J. In this room. HACKETT So we just get the interviewer and the network logo? C.J. No network logo. HACKETT C.J.... C.J. Paul, I've got to get two other networks and CNN to pick this up live; bad enough it's gonna be your guy and not theirs, but they'll run and old Petticoat Junction before they put your network brand on their air. HACKETT C.J.... C.J. Yeah. HACKETT Between friends... C.J. Yeah. HACKETT Is the water over your head? C.J. No. The water is exactly at my head. HACKETT I'll talk to Jeremy. They stand and shake hands. C.J. Paul, we'll start to leak Wednesday morning to soften up the ground a little bit. Anything leaks before then and I'll take my business across the street. HACKETT Yeah. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY Josh is in his meeting about tobacco. JOSH Well, I was surprised when Andy gave me the nose count, because I wasn't aware of any tobacco ties you have. WARREN We don't. JOSH Yeah. WARREN I don't. [to Rossiter] Do you? ROSSITTER No, no, we grow no tobacco in my state and I'd have to check but I don't think I've taken contributions. MAN However, we are both former US Attorneys and it's the suit itself we find troublesome. JOSH The suit? WARREN The suit alleges that the tobacco companies have been engaged in a broad conspiracy of lies since the 1950s. JOSH Yes. WARREN How exactly are the Justice Department litigators going to demonstrate that? JOSH Well... Uh... I'm not a litigator and I don't work at the Justice Department, and there's a reason why both those things are true...but I wouldn't think it'd be that hard to prove that the tobacco companies have lied since we already know they did! ROSSITTER Every Surgeon General since 1964 has warned the public about smoking and since 1966 through a Congressional mandate a pack of cigarettes has to carry a warning label. Turning around now and saying 'we've been had' is frankly ridiculous. JOSH Are you saying that people who start smoking and get addicted to nicotine are too stupid to live? ROSSITTER No, I'm saying they're too stupid to be protected by the courts. JOSH Too stupid to be... Every day, the Justice Department uncovers the evidence that cigarette companies knew far better than the rest of us, that smoking causes death and disease. To say nothing of the CEOs being the last seven people on earth to discover that nicotine was addictive. WARREN Josh. Your administration wants to prosecute a suit they know is hopeless, so they can score points at the expense of an industry that funds your opponent. It's politically correct extortion. And that's why it's unlikely the Appropriations bill will make it out of the subcommittee. JOSH It's almost 3 o'clock. By seven, 3000 new people will have taken up smoking; 2800 of them will be under 18. Thanks. [gets up and leaves] CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE, BASEMENT - DAY Abbey and her Secret Service detail are walking to a room outside which a guard stands. GUARD Good afternoon, ma'am. AGENT Sagittarius. Abbey walks in, her agent remains outside. Sam jumps as he sees her. SAM Good afternoon, Mrs. Bartlet. ABBEY What do we use this place for, when we're not using it for this? SAM I think.... I know we used it to plan some of the Millenium things. ABBEY Didn't it used to be the photo office? SAM I don't know, ma'am; I could check it out. ABBEY Would you like to sit down? [sits] SAM Yeah. Sam sits across from her. He shifts his papers, plays with his pen, while she looks at him intently. SAM What we're talking about is thirty minutes with an interviewer. The questions will be entirely about the medical history, there'll be no questions about the law. ABBEY C.J. got them to agree to that? SAM She will Wednesday morning, when she tell them what it's about. ABBEY Why will they agree? SAM 'Cause if they don't, they'll lose the story. ABBEY It's all right with me. SAM So I'd like to go through the story, get a sense of what you're going to say, run it by Oliver Babish and spend the next couple of days going over it with you. ABBEY That sounds fine, Sam, but you know, I'm kinda seeing someone right now... SAM Yeah. ABBEY It's not serious, but it could be, you know what I'm saying? SAM Ma'am. ABBEY [sighs] Ten years ago, he began experiencing fatigue, and signs of paraparesis of the anterior femoral muscles. SAM In laymen's terms? ABBEY He had a tingling pain in his thigh. SAM And those symptoms subsided. ABBEY Yes. SAM And two years later? ABBEY My husband experienced neuropathy and presented symptoms of optic neuritis with partial unilateral nerve paresis. SAM Mrs. Bartlet... ABBEY Doctor Bartlet. SAM Yes, ma'am. The language you use... ABBEY Why aren't the President and I doing this together? SAM I'm sorry? ABBEY Somebody's doing this with the President, and I was asking, why we're not doing it at the same time. Is it so you can compare our stories? SAM Yes. The language you use... ABBEY Two years later, he felt numbing and dizziness. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY Charlie and Mrs. Landingham are sitting across from each other, reading papers. Suddenly... CHARLIE Look... MRS LANDINGHAM Section 2635 of the guidelines laid out in the Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch - Final regulations issued by the US office of Government Ethics... CHARLIE Mrs. Landingham... MRS. LANDINGHAM Section 2635 wherein White House employees are specifically enjoined from receiving or soliciting gifts over $20 in value. They wanna give me a $19 discount on my car - I'll take it! Leo walks in, Charlie stands to usher him inside. CHARLIE He's waiting for you. LEO Thank you. Leo walks in THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET What happened? LEO We shot three Haitian soldiers on the runway. BARTLET They boarded the plane? LEO Ground traffic control stopped the plane. Bartlet throws off his glasses. LEO When the soldiers boarded, they were told they'd illegally boarded a US Air Force C9. They were told to drop their weapons; they were told again. Two staff sergeants in the bulkhead had a clear shot and took 'em. They dumped the bodies on the tarmac and made an emergency takeoff. BARTLET Leo... LEO Sir... BARTLET That wasn't supposed to happen! LEO Look, if... BARTLET I evacuated the non-essentials specifically so that wouldn't happen! LEO And they came two minutes... BARTLET I gave the order six hours ago! LEO They had to... BARTLET [shouting] Six hours ago I gave the order! What the hell were they still doing on the runway?! LEO They had to be collected, sir, they weren't all in one place. BARTLET They shot three men... LEO That's what you do! BARTLET We what? LEO A foreign hostile puts his foot on an American military plane- that's an attack! And rules of engagement give us every right to repel. BARTLET And I'm sure these guys had their handbooks with them! LEO These guys were there to keep the plane on the ground. BARTLET The plane is up in the air? LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET What's happening on the ground? LEO We're communicating through diplomatic back channels. BARTLET Who are we using? LEO The Canadian Ambassador, Dominican intelligence. BARTLET And what does Bazan want? LEO Dessaline. BARTLET On what charge? LEO That, as Treasury Minister, he embezzled 18 million dollars earmarked for humanitarian aid. BARTLET I'm sold. Leo picks up the phone. LEO Margaret, get me the Secretary of State. BARTLET You're right, you know, I should be bringing them in on reelection. I should be talking to them. LEO Yeah. BARTLET I don't want to make the same mistakes over again. LEO Not when there are so many new mistakes we can make. BARTLET Yeah. Let's start tonight. Around 9 o'clock we'll meet in the residence. LEO [into phone] Scott! I'm with the President, we're going to invoke 1070 at OAS. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT CNN's coverage of the unrest in Haiti is playing at low volume on the television set next to the desk. Mrs. Landingham walks briskly behind her desk and starts tidying a few things. She looks up as the door to the hallway opens and Bartlet strides in. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET Bob Cratchit. MRS. LANDINGHAM Oh, sir, surely you have better things to do than annoy me. BARTLET Never...You bought a new car? MRS. LANDINGHAM Yes, sir. BARTLET And you paid sticker price. Bartlet reaches into his jacket pocket and retrieves a sheet of paper. MRS. LANDINGHAM Section 2635... BARTLET You need to look at the next page - subsection B, paragraph four, Mamie Yokum. Bartlet puts on his glasses. MRS. LANDINGHAM [leaning toward him] You know, I could beat you up anytime I want, sir. BARTLET Secret Service'd have you down like a calf at a rodeo. Mrs. Landingham chuckles softly as she turns her back to him to look at something on the table next to her desk. BARTLET [reading] "The definition of 'gift' excludes opportunities and benefits including favorable rates and commercial discounts available to the public at large." As Bartlet reads, Mrs. Landingham rolls her eyes and sighs in mild annoyance. Then she turns around as he holds up the sheet of paper as proof. MRS. LANDINGHAM I did look at the next page. BARTLET And? MRS. LANDINGHAM [wagging her finger] I work next door to the Oval Office, sir. Mrs. Landingham walks back behind her desk. MRS. LANDINGHAM Caesar's wife must be above reproach. BARTLET [removes glasses] Is the reason you didn't tell me you were getting a new car... you...? Did you think I was gonna think it was an extravagance? Mrs. Landingham looks a bit sheepish. BARTLET You don't think I think you should have a new car? [pause] Delores, have you ever had a new car? MRS. LANDINGHAM [smiling at the memory] No... No, Henry would go to Calvin Hilly in Concord and Calvin would give him a good deal on something reliable. BARTLET How about you let me find out what you were supposed to pay and write you a check for the difference? MRS. LANDINGHAM Oh, no. Thank you, but I'm buying this car myself. This car is gonna feel good. BARTLET [smiling] Is it a nice one? MRS. LANDINGHAM It's a beauty. It's blue. It has air conditioning. I told 'em I could just roll down the windows, but it comes with it anyway. Bartlet chuckles quietly and affectionately to himself, amused. MRS. LANDINGHAM Consumer Reports rates it very high. It's very safe. And when you get inside, there's this... Mrs. Landingham gestures, trying to find the right word. BARTLET Smell? MRS. LANDINGHAM How did you know? BARTLET It's the smell of freedom...and the chemicals they treat the dashboard with. Mrs. Landingham smiles as she buttons up her coat. BARTLET When are you picking it up? MRS. LANDINGHAM Right now. BARTLET Do me a favor, would you? Come back here after you pick it up. I'd like to talk to you about something. MRS. LANDINGHAM Yes, sir. Bartlet wanders into THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET And put the car in the driveway. I'd like to kick the tires. MRS. LANDINGHAM Why? BARTLET [jovially] It's an expression, Fannie Mae! Go get your car! Mrs. Landingham smiles, picks up her purse, and leaves. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE, BASEMENT CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT Abbey and Sam are seated across from each other at the table. ABBEY [gesturing professorially] What happens is, basically, that small stones in the inner ear which respond to gravity become dislodged and that'll cause benign positional vertigo. Sam wearily removes his glasses and rests his forehead on his hand. ABBEY You all right? SAM [tries to shake off his weariness] Yes, ma'am. ABBEY [with a twinkle in her eye] Sure you don't want some acetylsalicylic acid? Sam stares at her blankly. ABBEY Aspirin, my brother. SAM [smiling slightly] What a dumb major you had. Abbey chuckles as the door opens and Oliver appears holding a thick volume. OLIVER Good evening. ABBEY [lightly] Ah, Oliver...Do you know what peripheral neuropathy indicates? OLIVER [walking down stairs] No, but I don't really care that much. Sam, would you mind for a minute? SAM No. ABBEY [self satisfied] B-12 deficiency. OLIVER [to Sam] Thank you. SAM Sure. Sam walks up the stairs and leaves. Abbey sighs. OLIVER Mrs. Bartlet, I want to talk to you about... ABBEY [firmly] Dr. Bartlet. Oliver stares at her, but doesn't respond. ABBEY When did I stop being "Dr." Bartlet? When in the campaign did I decide that women were gonna like me more if I called myself "Mrs."? When did I decide that women were that stupid? OLIVER [firmly] Ma'am, I want you to get your own lawyer. ABBEY I have my own lawyer. OLIVER Pat's a family lawyer. I want you to get someone for this. I'll give you eight names. You, Pat, and the President whittle it down to three. I'll pick the one. ABBEY Can we do this after the broadcast Wednesday night? OLIVER No. I want you to do it right away - because I don't think you should do the broadcast Wednesday night. ABBEY Why? OLIVER Because I don't think you should answer questions without a lawyer. ABBEY Sam said they're not gonna get into issues of legality. OLIVER I don't know how they're gonna avoid it. ABBEY [leans forward] Oliver... Oliver sets the book on the table, turns his back to her and walks to one end of the room to pour himself a cup of coffee. OLIVER Herman Vikram was the original specialist, right? ABBEY Yeah. OLIVER It was Vikram who put him on prednisone? ABBEY Yeah. OLIVER Then almost four years ago, you put him on Interferon Beta 1-b. ABBEY Yeah. OLIVER Betaseron. ABBEY Yeah. OLIVER turns around and walks back toward ABBEY. OLIVER You did it, not Vikram. ABBEY It was in consultation with Vikram. OLIVER But Vikram didn't write the prescription. ABBEY I thought, under the circumstances, it would be wrong to involve another doctor. Oliver sits down and flips through several books on the table. OLIVER So you wrote the prescriptions to yourself and then had them filled where? ABBEY The Dunwich Women's Health Clinic. OLIVER And then had them shipped to various locations? ABBEY [a bit defensively] It was the campaign. OLIVER One location was... Phoenix. ABBEY Probably. OLIVER Another was St. Louis? ABBEY Yeah. OLIVER You violated the medical ethics rules of three State Boards - New Hampshire, Arizona, and Missouri. Abbey stares blankly at him. She looks a bit disconcerted, but reveals little else. OLIVER [reading from a volume in front of him] "The board may take disciplinary action against any person who is engaged in dishonest or unprofessional conduct." ABBEY [sternly] They were extraordinary circumstances, Oliver. I gave my husband excellent medical care and I'll line up tenured professors who will say so. OLIVER Did you keep medical records? ABBEY No. OLIVER [reading] "...or any person who has failed to maintain adequate medical records or documentation on diagnostic and therapeutic treatment." [looks up and meets her gaze] The AMA's code of ethics pretty well spells out the egregiousness of treating your own family members. ABBEY We do it anyway. We write prescriptions for migraines, antibiotics... OLIVER Can I ask you, as the President's physician, have you ever asked him if he's ever had extramarital affairs? Abbey fixes him with an especially steely gaze. ABBEY No. OLIVER Isn't that a crucial question in the diagnosing of autoimmune diseases? Abbey stares silently at him for several moments, trying to control her emotions. ABBEY [slowly, tersely, with a hint of sadness] I'd like to be next to my husband when he does this. OLIVER [firmly] I'd like you to get your own lawyer. ABBEY [after a long pause] Is there anything else? OLIVER No. [closes book] Thank you, Dr. Bartlet. Oliver stands up and leaves. Abbey doesn't move at all as he departs. After the door closes behind him, she bows her head slightly. CUT TO: EXT. SHOT OF THE WHITE HOUSE AND WASHINGTON MONUMENT - NIGHT CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS The office is dark except for the light from a single desk lamp. Josh is sitting at his desk with his head in his hands, staring blankly at the papers in front of him. Donna walks in through the open door, sets a folder on the desk, and removes a document from the folder. DONNA You need this? JOSH [fatigued, a bit dazed] I didn't even see you there. DONNA I haven't seen you all day. JOSH I've been with... [clears throat] ...you know, tobacco. Donna jots a note on the document and shows it to him again. DONNA You need this? JOSH Yeah. Josh distractedly takes to document from her. DONNA Josh, the President wants you at a meeting tonight in the Residence around 9:00. JOSH [trying to seem nonchalant] I'll...tell you what that is. That's the Blue Ribbon Commission on Reform. Let me tell you, I'm gonna be collecting benefits or, you know, not by the time we get this Blue Ribbon thing up. DONNA Josh. JOSH Yeah? DONNA [after a long pause, smiles awkwardly] Um...I'm trying to...See, this is why I'll never have a career as a... JOSH Donna, what? DONNA Sagittarius. Josh looks startled and sad. They stare at each other for several moments. JOSH [whispering] Are you all right? DONNA [nodding, still meeting his gaze] Yeah... There's an empty office next to the conference room downstairs. I moved two couches in and there's some pillows and blankets. JOSH C.J. putting the lid on? DONNA Right now... Josh bites his lip. DONNA ...and Leo's ready for you now. Donna turns and leaves. Josh stares sadly after her. CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - NIGHT C.J. is behind the podium briefing reporters. C.J. The OAS has agreed to meet in an emergency session tomorrow morning, but we're still waiting for confirmation. STEVE Can you tell us exactly what you're gonna say to them? C.J. Yes, but first we're gonna say it to them. MARK C.J., one more question on the Haitian casualties. C.J. Sorry, Mark. We've run out of time, but we'll pick it up with our lightning round tomorrow. I'm calling a full lid. Any developments throughout the night and you'll be paged. Thank you for your patience, everybody. As C.J. walks toward the door, a few reporters call her name and toss out questions. STEVE Thank you, C.J. KATIE Thank you, C.J. CAROL [standing by door] Leo's ready for you. C.J. [opening door] Thanks. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT The desk is covered in layers of paperwork. Toby is pacing near the sofa when Leo comes in and walks briskly to his desk. His back is turned. Toby closes the door. TOBY Leo. This is insane, plain and simple. LEO What's insane? Oh, never mind. What isn't? Leo turns around. TOBY You don't think it's crazy? LEO I don't even know what we're talking about. TOBY We're firming up strategy on what will define the future of this presidency and we don't know if this President is interested in the future. We have to have a discussion and we have to have it tonight. LEO We're having a discussion. Leo turns back toward his desk. TOBY When? LEO Tonight. TOBY Okay then. The door opens and Josh walks in. JOSH Good evening. Leo turns around to look at Josh, then walks behind his desk. LEO Good evening, Josh. JOSH Leo, would you excuse us for a second? Toby, can I talk to you outside? Toby silently follows Josh into the hall and closes the door behind himself. Neither of them raises their voice above a low whisper. JOSH You told Donna. TOBY Yeah. JOSH Why didn't you let me? TOBY You hadn't yet. JOSH [bows head] How'd she take it? TOBY If everybody out there takes it the way she did, we may be okay. If a few more people in here took it the way she did, that'd be all right, too. Toby starts walking back toward the door. JOSH [blinks] Was that for me? TOBY That was for me. Josh follows Toby back inside the office. LEO Tobacco. Josh closes the door. Leo and Toby sit down in chairs. JOSH Kalmbach's not gonna let it come to a vote in the subcommittee, which at the moment is fine, 'cause if he did, it'd be 8-7 against. LEO Party lines? JOSH [sits down on sofa] No...We have Stacy and Miner but Warren and Rossitter are voting against. They have ideological problems with the case...What do you wanna do now? LEO Stick some dynamite up Warren and Rossitter's ass. JOSH Yeah, the problem is, Rossitter sits on the Judiciary Committee and I don't know how many enemies on Judiciary we wanna make right now. Toby listens with his head in one hand. LEO [firmly] Both of you listen. We're not gonna stop, soften, detour, postpone, circumvent, obfuscate, or trade a single one of our goals to allow for whatever extracurricular nonsense is coming our way in the next few days, weeks, and months. C.J. comes in and sits down while Leo is talking. TOBY [mildly annoyed] When did we decide this? LEO [pauses] Just now. [to Josh] Light 'em up. [to C.J.] You got a recommendation for me? C.J. Thirty minutes Wednesday night. Live. LEO Live to tape? C.J. Live. JOSH The Mural Room? C.J. Yeah. They pick the interviewer, it's carried on all the networks and CNN. I give it to them ten hours before. TOBY And that's followed by a press conference. C.J. There isn't another step we can take until we know what the President's intentions are. We need a discussion, and I hate to sound shrill, but it can't wait another night. TOBY We're having a discussion. C.J. When? JOSH Tonight. C.J. Really? LEO Yeah. C.J. That's great. The door opens and Sam walks in. He doesn't sit down. SAM Good evening. LEO Sam, what do you know? SAM I know that fluid accumulating in the semicircular canals of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve is usually what'll account for dizziness. Leo, Toby, and Josh all roll their eyes with mild exasperation and empathy. SAM Leo, I want to state right here, right now, in terms so plain and clear as to command their assent... LEO [wearily] We're having a meeting tonight. SAM The whole country's gonna assume he's not running when he announces the thing. LEO [wearily, but a bit louder] We're having a meeting. SAM The press is gonna assume... LEO [emphatically] We're having a meeting! SAM Really? LEO Yeah. SAM That's great. LEO Yeah. C.J. stares blankly at Josh and Toby, who both glance at Leo. LEO [glances at his watch] Why doesn't everybody grab something to eat, be back at 9:00, and you'll get called to come over to the Residence. C.J. and Toby stand up and leave, along with Sam. LEO Josh, walk out with me. Josh stands up. Leo walks behind his desk to gather up a few things. LEO I mean it - set one off under these guys. JOSH How about I have C.J. make a statement at her briefing? LEO [looks up] A strong statement. As they walk out of the office into the hallway, they toss out possible language for the statement. JOSH "The President calls on Congress to fund the Justice Department's tobacco lawsuit at the levels necessary to continue this litigation." LEO "The American people deserve their day in court." JOSH [more animated] "And this Administration won't sit on the bench while well-fed members of the Appropriations Committee choke off funding for a lawsuit aimed at the perpetrators of hundreds of thousands of negligent homicides while filling their campaign war chests." LEO Light 'em up! Leo walks off in one direction. Josh pounds the door frame, then walks off in the opposite direction. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Charlie is standing behind his desk staring silently at the phone receiver in his hand. Leo walks in. LEO Charlie? CHARLIE [evenly, calmly] Leo, there was an accident at 18th and Potomac. Mrs. Landingham was driving her car back here. LEO What happened? CHARLIE There was a drunk driver and they ran the light at 18th and Potomac. They ran it at a high speed. LEO Charlie, is she all right? CHARLIE No...She's dead. Leo stares at Charlie for several moments, completely stunned. Leo wavers back and forth just a bit, trying to absorb Charlie's words. He looks lost, overwhelmed, totally shaken, but he finally musters his ability to speak. LEO [a bit hoarse] Is he alone? CHARLIE Yeah. Leo turns, walks past Mrs. Landingham's desk, and walks out onto the veranda. Charlie watches Leo leave, then quickly hangs up the phone. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE VERANDA - CONTINUOUS A few Secret Service agents and Marine guards are standing at attention at several designated points on the veranda. Pools of light illuminate the darkness as Leo slowly and reluctantly makes his way toward THE OVAL OFFICE. He appears dazed and he moves with the stiffness of a much older man. His clothes seem to hang on him. As he reaches the French doors, the light from the office reveals the apprehension and dread on his face. Bartlet is standing, with his back turned, reading a document and talking on the phone. Leo does not move for a several seconds; he appears even older and more frail through the wavy glass in the French doors. When he finally reaches for the door knob, Bartlet notices him and gestures for him to come in, which he does. Leo closes the door. Bartlet hangs up the phone, removes his glasses, and turns toward Leo. Through the wavy glass, Bartlet's features are distorted somewhat as he listens to Leo speak. Bartlet cocks his head slightly to one side as Leo breaks the sad news. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 2.21 -- '18th and Potomac' Original Airdate: May 9, 2001, 9:00 PM EST Transcript By: The Vault July 19, 2002