Season 2 – Episode 6 – “The Lame Duck Congress”

Episode Summary:

A wily President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) considers the extraordinary option of recalling the Senate from a winter holiday to push through a ratification of a new nuclear test-ban treaty — despite the lame-duck status of many Senators who will not return in the next session — while the drunken Ukrainian leader, Vasily Konanov (Eugene Lazarev) thunders through the White House demanding to see the President. Elsewhere, Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to hear that even if the Senate returns, the White House might still lack the necessary votes; Sam (Rob Lowe) learns something when he grudgingly works with new Republican assistant counsel Ainsley Hayes (Emily Procter); a stubborn C.J. (Allison Janney) argues against allowing reporter Danny (Timothy Busfield) private access to the President for a series of exclusive stories; and Donna (Janel Moloney) is on a mission to get the President to back legislation on repetitive stress injuries.

Script:

THE WEST WING
"THE LAME DUCK CONGRESS"
TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN
STORY BY: LAWRENCE O'DONNELL JR.
DIRECTED BY: JEREMY KAGAN

TEASER

FADE IN: INT. PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

REPORTER
Is he meeting with Nancy McNally?

C.J.
No, I want to make it very clear that Mr. Konanov, while he's here in
Washington is not
meeting with the Secretary of State or any Cabinet level official for that
matter.
He's not meeting with the UN ambassador or any senior aides representing
NATO allies.
And he's certainly not meeting with the President. He will be coming to the
White House
to meet with some of the President's advisors on the Balkans. Who's next?

REPORTERS
C.J.? C.J.!

REPORTER 1
C.J., Senator elect Morgan Mitchell's going to announce on Hardball later
today that
he'll seek a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee. Then he'll block a
vote on the
Test Ban Treaty to prevent it coming to the floor.

C.J.
Yeah.

REPORTER 1
Any thoughts?

C.J.
We'll have a fully ratified, comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

REPORTER 2
Mitchell says over his dead body.

C.J.
I think like all freshmen, Senator elect Mitchell will discover that he is
one of
a hundred and that his power is considerably less than he would like it to
be.
That having been said, the new Senate will ratify the Treaty and we really
don't
care what condition his body is in when we do.

Clamoring for C.J.

C.J.
Danny.

DANNY
Has the President considered ordering a lame duck session so the current
Senate can
vote on the Treaty?

C.J.
Okay, anyone but Danny?

DANNY
C.J.?!

C.J.
No.

DANNY
He hasn't considered it?

C.J.
Danny, I don't know every thought that passes through the President's head,
but there
have been no discussions.

DANNY
That you're aware of?

C.J.
That I'm aware of.

DANNY
Well, I'd like to know if the President's considered it. Is that something
you could
check out and get back to us on?

C.J.
You bet. Who's next?

More clamoring.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY
Josh is watching in his office with Donna.

JOSH
[collecting files] She walked into it. She knows it too.

DONNA
Walked into what?

JOSH
She can't confirm that the President hasn't considered it less she asks the
President
if he's considered it, at which point, he'll have considered it.

DONNA
That sounds pretty stupid.

JOSH
It was a better organized thought in my head. Is she done?

DONNA
She's wrapping up.

JOSH
Let's go.

They leave Josh's office and start walking down the HALLWAY.

DONNA
Has he considered it?

JOSH
No.

DONNA
Why not?

JOSH
Why should he?

DONNA
If he thinks he has a better chance of ratifying the Test Ban Treaty with
this Congress
than the new one.

JOSH
He doesn't.

DONNA
But if Morgan Mitchell says...

JOSH
Mitchell's not a factor.

DONNA
Josh, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

JOSH
No.

DONNA
OSHA.

JOSH
How do you change subjects so fast?

DONNA
Josh, I...

JOSH
No, I mean it. How do you go from a Test Ban Treaty and a Lame Duck Congress
to OSHA?

DONNA
Because I'm me. Do you know how many people acquire Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

JOSH
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that I do not.

DONNA
600,000 Americans a year. Do you have any idea how painful it is?

JOSH
Donna, in the scheme of things, who really cares?

Donna grabs Josh's ear and pulls it back, hard.

DONNA
Do you have any idea how painful it is?

JOSH
Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Donna lets him go.

DONNA
Pain in the forearm, no grip, you lose the ability to pinch.

JOSH
People who lose the ability to pinch, I got to tell you, I don't know from
where
they summon the will to go on.

DONNA
You guys are on the wrong side of this.

JOSH
Aren't you one of 'you guys'?

DONNA
Not on this.

Donna goes off. Josh meets up with C.J. They keep walking.

JOSH
C.J.!

C.J.
I know!

JOSH
You walked right into it.

C.J.
There was no other direction to walk. Now, please, just answer know to this
question:
Has the President considered it?

They reach the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE.

JOSH
No.

C.J.
Good.

JOSH
Listen, not that I know of.

C.J.
Josh!

Sam arrives behind them.

SAM
Listen.

JOSH
What?

SAM
He should consider it, he should consider it right now.

C.J.
Mitchell isn't going to get a seat on Foreign Relations.

SAM
There's a seat open on Appropriations.

JOSH
Casey'll move?

SAM
What do you think?

Toby comes out of his office.

TOBY
What's going on?

JOSH
Casey wants appropriations. And he has the seniority.

SAM
So he'll have to give up budget.

JOSH
Which Taglio will jump at in a second. Which clears the way for Newberry in
Senate
Armed Services.

C.J.
Newberry leaving opens up Judiciary.

SAM
Now, who wants to be Attorney-General under the next Republican President?

JOSH
Howard Weston.

SAM
That's right. So he takes the seat on Judiciary.

JOSH
Vacating his seat on Foreign Relations.

C.J.
So? There's a seat open on Foreign Relations, that doesn't mean Mitchell's
going to get it.

SAM
Yes it does.

C.J.
Why?

SAM
Nobody else's going to want it.

C.J.
Why?

TOBY
Because there's no money in it. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has no
control over
budget so there are no lobbyists, which means there are no fundraisers.

C.J.
The Constitution says 'under extraordinary circumstances'.

JOSH
It's a Treaty that's vital to national and global security. What kind of
extraordinary
circumstances do you have in mind?

C.J.
These people-

JOSH
Sam, you've been studying this, do you think we have any chance with the
new Congress?

SAM
I think we have no chance with the new Congress.

C.J. isn't happy about this.

SAM
While I've never lived through a massive nuclear explosion, decimating all
forms of life
in a two hundred mile radius, I've seen pictures. And I couldn't agree with
Josh more
in his interpretation of the 'extraordinary circumstances' clause of the
constitution.

TOBY
Is Leo free now?

JOSH
[looking at clock] Five minutes.

C.J.
These people are gone. The 106th Congress is adjourned, twelve of them were
voted out
of office. This is bad pool. You go in there now and tell the President to
call a lame
duck session and he does, it's going to look like politics.

TOBY
It is politics.

He turns back to his office.

C.J.
Toby.

TOBY
Let's see Leo.

C.J.
What are you going to tell the 12 people who are out there looking for new
jobs?

TOBY
They may not be done with their old ones yet.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY

	10:15 A.M.

Sam, Josh and C.J. are on the couches explaining their plan to Leo and the
President.

SAM
Casey's gonna want Appropriations.

JOSH
He wants budget.

SAM
He's on Budget.

JOSH
That's right.

SAM
He's gonna want Appropriations.

JOSH
Casey's gonna want Appropriations.

SAM
And he has the seniority.

JOSH
That means he's going to have to give up the Budget place.

C.J.
Taglio'll take that.

SAM
Which clears the way for Newberry in armed services.

JOSH
Newberry'll take his seat on Judiciary.

C.J.
Which means Weston leaves foreign relations.

SAM
Which is where Mitchell comes in.

Toby joins the meeting in the Oval Office.

LEO
Guys!

BARTLET
It's like trying to run the country with Barnum Bailey and his sister Sue.

Sam, C.J. and Josh all start talking at once.

BARTLET
Leo, will it be possible for just two of them to speak at once?

LEO
Toby.

TOBY
There was an hour and ten minute meeting with Dick Rush, Ed, Marty Beech
and Henry
Rodriguez. I've never seen both political and legislative liaisons so
unanimous in
a diagnosis.

LEO
They think you should call it.

JOSH
Yeah.

TOBY
Mr. President, we have better chance of winning now than a month from now.

SAM
Not only that but...

LEO
Sam!

SAM
Sorry.

LEO
Toby.

TOBY
Not only that but here's what C.J. can tell the press. The world is looking
to the U.S.
to ratify the Treaty first. The longer we wait, the longer it takes other
countries to
ratify. The closer we get to unstable countries like Pakistan developing a
nuclear threat.

LEO
Arguments against?

SAM
We might lose the vote. That'll hang around our necks for two years.

JOSH
The Senate'll be pissed off, they might stall confirmations.

C.J.
And I can just add that a Senator Elect announcing what committee assignment
he'd like
it not...

TOBY
C.J.

C.J.
It's not what the founders would have considered an extraordinary occasion.

SAM
Ha. An extraordinary occasion is whatever the President says it is.

JOSH
An extraordinary occasion...

C.J., Sam and Josh argue.

BARTLET
[calling] Charlie!

CHARLIE
[opening the door] Yes sir?

BARTLET
Could I have a couple of aspirin and a weapon of some kind to kill people
with?

CHARLIE
Yes sir.

BARTLET
Leo?

LEO
Look, even when they're here in session, trying to get a hundred Senators
in line is
still like getting cats to march in parade.

BARTLET
What do you want to do?

LEO
Let's get the leaderships temperature on a lame duck session. And let's also
get some
kind of nose count and see where we are.

TOBY
C.J., leak that the President's considering calling the Senate back.

C.J.
That actually, is not going to be a problem.

LEO
The source is big enough that they go with it, small enough that we're not
tied to it.
Toby, get me a nose count.

TOBY
Yeah.

Bartlet stands up, everyone else does too.

LEO
What else?

JOSH
The State Department wants permission to change the terminology from Rogue
Nations to
State of Concern.

LEO
Not now. What else?

TOBY
Medicare coverage of clinical trials.

LEO
Not now. What else?

SAM
Fraud awareness for small business owners.

LEO
Not now. Anything else?

No response.

LEO
The four of you wait in my office.

They file out with various, 'Thank you sir's.

BARTLET
Thank you all.

Bartlet stands behind his desk. Leo leans on the front of it.

BARTLET
When does Konanov get here?

LEO
In a few minutes.

BARTLET
No high level meetings, right?

LEO
No.

BARTLET
Okay.

LEO
You don't want to call this vote, then lose.

BARTLET
Yeah, but this could be window.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
We've got see if it's doable.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
It could be doable.

LEO
Yeah.

BARTLET
You got anything more to say?

LEO
Not this minute.

BARTLET
Okay.

LEO
Thank you, Mr. President.

BARTLET
Thank you.

Leo walks into his office and stands behind his desk looking at the Senior
Staff.

LEO
There'll be an editorial in The Post tomorrow.

C.J.
You're kidding me?

LEO
'The President's time isn't being used efficiently.'

C.J.
It couldn't wait?

LEO
'Schedules are abandoned before lunchtime.'

C.J.
That's four in two weeks.

LEO
'The West Wing resembles a high school year-book office.' And I believe I
am compared
to a substitute teacher.

SAM
That's ridiculous.

LEO
No, it's not.

C.J.
Leo...

LEO
Certainly not based on the display I just saw in there. So, new rules. You
need an answer
from the President, you need to brief him on something, you want him the
way in; I want
to see a summary on my desk. Absolutely no longer than two pages. And I want
my initials
on it before you go into the Oval Office.

SAM
Leo.

JOSH
A two page summary's gonna kind of cramp our style.

LEO
Your style could use a little cramping. Are we understood?

ALL
Yes.

LEO
Toby, Sam, take some meetings on the Hill tonight. Toby, concentrate on
votes that can be
lost with Stensen gone. Sam, dangle reservations in front of them. C.J. start
the leak.

Sam, C.J. and Toby start to leave.

LEO
Oh, anybody happens to see Vasily Konanov in the hallways, walk in the other
direction.

C.J. stays, the others leave.

SAM
I can't unleash my full potential in a two page summary.

TOBY
Listen to me.

Sam, Toby and Josh leave Leo's office and walk in the HALLWAY. They will
end up in
SAM'S OFFICE.

TOBY
Listen to me. I'm going to meet with Fox and Fowler. Sam, you're gonna go
to the Hill.

SAM
Do you think with Stensen gone...?

TOBY
I think with Stensen gone I can get Fox and Fowler to loosen up some votes,
That is if
I can ever get them to order lunch off of the damn menu.

JOSH
They don't order?

TOBY
You've never seen grown men order lunch like this. Fox and Fowler'll loosen
votes.
Sam, you're up on the Hill dropping we'll consider reservations. It is not
out of
the realm of possibility that that meeting gets us eight votes.

JOSH
Their bosses want to talk to the President? He's right by the phone.

TOBY
So this is not an unimportant meeting.

SAM
Just so you know, I also have to take a 22 page position paper and summarize
it in
two pages. It's gotta be done some time today.

JOSH
You can staff that, give it to Ainsley Hayes.

SAM
I can't give it to Ainsley. She's...

TOBY
Get over it.

SAM
Okay, but there are going to be nine different jokes because I asked her
for help.

TOBY
'Reservations' that's the word you're dropping when you're on the Hill. You're
not to
leave the meeting in the wind. Just say the word.

SAM
Yeah.

They all start to leave for their offices.

TOBY
Oh.

They turn back.

TOBY
Let's be able to end this day by telling the President that he's in striking
distance
and he should seriously consider the session. Let's be able to do
that. [looking around]
Where's C.J.?

JOSH
Looking for a reporter to leak the story to.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY
C.J. meets Danny in the yellow hallway. They walk.

DANNY
Stock do.

C.J.
I don't believe.

DANNY
What?

C.J.
You guys launched another editorial.

DANNY
Hey, C.J.

C.J.
Four in two weeks.

DANNY
I don't work for the editorial staff.

C.J.
Well, that's convenient.

DANNY
Yeah.

C.J.
You expect me to do nothing about it?

DANNY
What are you going to do, cancel your subscription?

C.J.
Look...

DANNY
Slap me around?

C.J.
Any reason I can't do both?

DANNY
Hey, Carol.

CAROL
Hey.

C.J.
[before entering her office] Carol, would you get me the spokesperson of
the majority
leader's office?

CAROL
House or Senate?

C.J.
Senate.

Danny follows C.J. into her OFFICE.

DANNY
You guys are considering a lame duck session?

C.J.
Who says?

DANNY
You just put a call through to the majority leader's office.

C.J.
[walking to face him] We do a great deal of business with the majority
leader's office.
He leads the majority.

DANNY
He's not in session.

C.J.
I believe they'll track him down.

DANNY
Can I say White House senior aides?

C.J.
[turning away] No.

DANNY
High level sources inside the White House?

C.J.
Certain sources inside the White House office of legislative liaisons who
decline to be named.

DANNY
It sounds like I got from somebody's paper boy.

C.J.
Take it or leave it.

DANNY
I'll take it.

C.J.
Anything else?

DANNY
[beat] No.

C.J.
Thank you.

Danny leaves.

CAROL
[calling] Ken Richardson on line three.

C.J.
Who's he?

CAROL
He's the spokesperson for the majority leader.

C.J.
I didn't need him.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY
Donna latches onto Josh as walks past her into the yellow hallway. They walk
through
the Lobby and back to JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA.

DONNA
See, what I think you don't understand is that Carpal Tunnel is only one of
many afflictions
that fall into the category of repetitive stress injuries or RSI and which
are covered by
the science of ergonomics.

JOSH
I'm not in charge of the science of ergonomics. You're going to have to find
somebody
else who, you know, cares.

DONNA
You don't have to be in charge of it, OSHA is. They're come up with a new
series of
industry standards. And I want to know why the White House isn't implementing
them.

JOSH
[pouring himself coffee] Because the SPA says the cost to small business
could exceed 18
billion dollars in the first year. They'll be a huge increase in workmen's
compensation
premiums. And republicans find the word ergonomics to be silly.

DONNA
If we backed off everything because of words Republicans find silly we'd
have a lot of
pregnant teenagers and no health care.

JOSH
We do have a lot of pregnant teenagers and no health care.

DONNA
So, how's your plan going so far?

They are back at JOSH'S OFFICE.

JOSH
Look...

Charlie appears at the door.

CHARLIE
Josh?

JOSH
Hang on Charlie.

CHARLIE
No, I don't think it's going to wait.

JOSH
What?

CHARLIE
Vasily Konanov is here.

JOSH
I can't see him. Charlie, make sure he's not in the building.

CHARLIE
He's not.

JOSH
Good.

CHARLIE
He's in the driveway.

JOSH
What do you mean?

CHARLIE
He's sitting in the car in the driveway. He's refusing to get out unless he
can speak
to the President.

JOSH
This is a joke?

CHARLIE
No.

JOSH
He's sitting in the driveway.

CHARLIE
Josh, they're saying, you know...

JOSH
What?

CHARLIE
They're saying he's drunk.

JOSH
Really?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

JOSH
Okay.

Josh gets up and walks out of his office. Charlie follows him down the hall.

JOSH
Okay.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - DAY

	12:35 P.M.

Ainsley knocks on Sam's doorframe.

AINSLEY
Excuse me?

SAM
[looks up] Yes.

AINSLEY
This is your office?

She walks in and looks around.

SAM
Yes.

AINSLEY
It's very nice, Sam.

SAM
Thank you.

AINSLEY
You can see sunlight and you have a window that can be opened for ventilation.

SAM
You want to work or do you want to decorate my office.

AINSLEY
You called me?

SAM
Yes, I need your help.

AINSLEY
Really?

SAM
Let's not a big deal out of it.

Ainsley takes her mobile phone out and dials a phone number.

AINSLEY
No, it's sweet that you need my help.

SAM
I don't need your help. I'm asking for your help so let's not make a
federal...

AINSLEY
[into her phone] Dad, it's me. Sam's asking for my help.

SAM
Put the phone down.

AINSLEY
[into her phone] Gotta go, dad, I need to help Sam.

SAM
That must have rolled them in the aisles back in Georgia.

AINSLEY
I'm from North Carolina.

SAM
Wherever it was you studied baton twirling.

AINSLEY
That'll be Harvard Law School.

SAM
Yes, so here's the thing...

Ainsley follows Sam out into the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE.

AINSLEY
You need my help.

SAM
A favor.

AINSLEY
Okay.

SAM
I have a position recommendation for the President regarding an amendment
to a Congress
bill. [shows her] This memo's 22 pages long and Leo's on a streamlining kick.

AINSLEY
You want me to summarize your recommendation and give it to the President.

They begin walking down the HALLWAY.

SAM
Yes. And then I want you to skip to Toulon in a turn doll skirt.

AINSLEY
Sam.

SAM
Summarize it and you give it to me.

AINSLEY
Fine.

SAM
[handing over the memo] Thank you.

AINSLEY
In exchange for what?

SAM
No.

Ainsley hands him back the memo and turns to leave.

AINSLEY
Then my schedule's pretty tight.

SAM
In exchange for what?

AINSLEY
You're going to the Hill?

SAM
Yes.

AINSLEY
State meetings on the Test Ban Treaty?

SAM
Yeah.

AINSLEY
I want to go.

They start walking to the LOBBY.

SAM
No.

AINSLEY
Why?

SAM
'Cause.

AINSLEY
Oh!

SAM
Ainsley?

AINSLEY
I'm not going to say anything. I'm not going to spill anything. I'm not
going to get
Republican juice on you. I'm just going to sit there and learn.

SAM
Look...

AINSLEY
From the master, Sam, I want to learn from the master.

SAM
[stopping] See, women think that kind of thing works, but it doesn't.

AINSLEY
It really does, Sam.

Sam looks at her. They start walking again.

SAM
I let you come to the Hill, you'll summarize my memo?

AINSLEY
I'll use punctuation and everything. You might even get extra credit.

SAM
Ainsley...

AINSLEY
Have you eaten lunch?

SAM
No.

AINSLEY
I brought my lunch from home.

SAM
That's fine.

AINSLEY
I ate it already.

SAM
That's fine, too.

AINSLEY
Did you bring your lunch from home?

SAM
Ainsley, what the hell...?

AINSLEY
Do you think you'll be eating it?

SAM
You can't have my lunch.

AINSLEY
Okay.

SAM
Meet me in the lobby in an hour.

AINSLEY
Okay.

Sam hands her the memo. Ainsley takes it and leaves. Josh catches up with
Sam.

SAM
I'm helping her out.

JOSH
Good.

SAM
You know...

JOSH
We've got a problem.

SAM
What?

JOSH
Konanov.

SAM
He's here?

JOSH
In a manner of speaking.

They reach LEO'S OFFICE. Josh knocks on Leo's door.

JOSH
Leo?

LEO
Yeah.

JOSH
[entering] How you doing?

LEO
Good.

JOSH
Vasily Konanov is in the driveway, he's drunk, and he won't get out of the
car until
he speaks to the President.

Leo's face falls.

SAM
And we have a winner.

LEO
Are you kidding me?

JOSH
He's sitting in the car with a woman who I imagine is either a security
attache or a hooker.

SAM
Please, tell me it's not...

JOSH
[quickly] It's no one you know, Sam.

LEO
Have you spoken to him?

JOSH
I'm not allowed to speak to him. I've walked by the car a couple of times,
to see what
was what.

Leo looks out his window, through the blinds, at the car in front of the
White House.
It is surrounded by men in dark suits and sunglasses.

JOSH
Leo, we've got to move him. Tourists are going to start to ask questions
and Boris and
Natasha are going to answer them.

LEO
You now have permission to talk to him. Put him in an office, dry him out,
and explain
why he can't see the President.

JOSH
[as he leaves] Good.

LEO
[calling after him] Avoid the situation room.

JOSH
Good safety tip. [exits]

LEO
[to Sam] What?

SAM
I'm going to take Ainsley to the Hill with me for the meetings.

LEO
Good.

SAM
She wants me to teach her a couple of things.

LEO
Good.

SAM
She called me the master.

LEO
Get out.

SAM
Okay. [leaves]

CUT TO: INT. A RESTAURANT - DAY
Toby is meeting with JOE FOX and BOB FOWLER in a restaurant. The waitress
is trying
to take their orders.

BOB FOWLER
I'll take the risotto, but I'd like it cooked with chicken broth instead of
oil,
is that possible?

WAITRESS
Sure.

FOWLER
And I'll like to substitute snow peas for the asparagus.

JOE FOX
I'll have the same, but I don't want the squash pureed with either cream or
butter.
In fact it doesn't even have to be pureed.

TOBY
Fellas!

FOX
I'm just asking.

TOBY
It's pureed squash. If it's not pureed then it's just squash.

FOX
[to the waitress] Butter's fine.

He gives up his menu. The waitress turns to Toby.

TOBY
I'll have a New York steak and a ginger ale.

WAITRESS
Would you like that...?

TOBY
Just cook it.

FOX
The rumor's been getting around like a virus.

FOWLER
Is it more than a rumor.

TOBY
We don't know yet.

FOX
Toby, our boss is fishing off the quay.

FOWLER
Yeah, everybody's boss is fishing off the quay.

FOX
Now they're skiing in Jackson Hall or watching football on TV.

TOBY
And it would really tear the President up in side to bring them back. But
I want to
talk about if he should.

FOWLER
Well, out guy's not going to vote to ratify.

TOBY
Why not?

FOX
The same reason why he wouldn't before.

TOBY
We didn't have a vote before.

FOX
Because you knew you'd lose.

TOBY
That's right.

FOWLER
What, what... what are you saying?

TOBY
I'm saying what if there was a vote now without Stensen breathing down his
neck.

FOX
Stensen wasn't what...?

TOBY
Fox.

FOX
Stensen wasn't what was keeping us from voting for it.

TOBY
What was?

FOX
The voters, what the hell did you...?

TOBY
82% of voters want the Test Ban Treaty!

FOX
Not in our state.

TOBY
You were guttered by the 18%?

FOX
Not in our state, Toby!

TOBY
82% of voters, Joe. 82% of voters, to say nothing of 150 nations including
Russia,
China, Great Britain, France. Four countries you don't often see on the same
size
of the ball.

FOWLER
Fine, now get North Korea, India and Pakistan on board and we'll have a ball
game.

TOBY
Fowler?

FOX
Have you checked your backyard?

TOBY
What?

FOX
Have you checked your backyard?

TOBY
What do you...?

FOX
In the nose count, Toby. I don't think you have the votes you think you have.

There is a very long pause. Heartbeats, with few breaths.

TOBY
Who did we lose?

FOX
Make your calls.

TOBY
I don't have to make... [beat] Who'd we lose?

FOWLER
Make your calls, Toby.

The waitress comes back.

WAITRESS
I'm sorry, did you say that you...?

FOX
[pointing to Fowler] Chicken broth instead of oil, snow peas instead of
asparagus.

WAITRESS
[writing] Asparagus.

TOBY
Excuse me.

Toby throws his napkin down and leaves.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY
Charlie and Leo are walking through the lobby.

CHARLIE
I don't understand.

LEO
It happens.

CHARLIE
A member of the Ukrainian government...

LEO
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Can just show up?

LEO
Well, he had an appointment, just not to meet with the President.

CHARLIE
The guy's a little crazy, Leo.

LEO
No, he's just... yeah, he's crazy, but he's our kind of crazy so....

CHARLIE
You got it.

LEO
Good.

CHARLIE
The girl's not bad looking.

LEO
Go to work.

Charlie stops at a door. Leo starts to keep going.

CHARLIE
Do you think she knows how to kill me?

LEO
Yes.

Leo walks past the Roosevelt room. Donna catches up with him.

DONNA
Leo?

LEO
Hey, Donna.

DONNA
Leo, could I possibly talk to you for a moment?

LEO
Sure.

DONNA
That's a very nice suit.

LEO
Thank you.

DONNA
Is that new?

LEO
No, what's on your mind?

DONNA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration would like to do something
about
Repetitive Stress Injuries and or muscular skeletal disorder like
Tendonitis...

LEO
Or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

DONNA
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is, yes, one interesting example out of several...

LEO
We can't afford it.

DONNA
But what I...

LEO
It costs $6 billion, Donna! Type slower!

Donna goes off. Leo continues and meets up with C.J. in the COMMUNICATIONS
OFFICE.

LEO
C.J.?

C.J.
Yeah.

LEO
What have we got?

C.J.
The State Department and our new vocabulary.

LEO
Is this the ten minute pitch or the two minute pitch?

C.J.
[indignant] The two minute pitch!

LEO
Go.

C.J.
Okay, now you threw me off my game.

LEO
C.J.!

C.J.
No, I'm nervous now.

LEO
Come on.

C.J.
I feel like if I run over you're going to have the orchestra throw me off.

LEO
I'm getting older over here, C.J.

C.J.
State wants us to change 'rogue nations' to 'states of concern.' I say fine,
it's a
symbolic gesture with no real consequence. It gains us points with allies
who feel
we've been too harsh and it signals to the seven countries we're talking
about that
we are open to taking positive steps in the future if they initiate reforms.

LEO
Any down side?

C.J.
I'll feel stupid.

LEO
I can live with that.

C.J.
You certainly have so far.

LEO
Well. Hey, make sure you talk to the President by the end of the day.

C.J.
Sure, about what?

LEO
Danny Concannon wants access for a three part feature about...

C.J.
No!

LEO
No what?

C.J.
No he can't have access.

LEO
C.J.!

C.J.
He can't have access. Leo, his editorial staff just jumped up and down on
your head
yesterday, and last Thursday and the President twice before that. Four times
in two
weeks! That's why everybody's walking around with a stopwatch. He gets no
milk and
cookies.

LEO
Talk to the President at the end of the day.

C.J.
Le-

LEO
You'll get another two minutes.

Leo walks off. C.J. has to answer her phone.

C.J.
Hello?

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY
Leo walks on to his office. Toby comes up behind him.

TOBY
We may be dead already.

LEO
What happened?

TOBY
We lost one of our people.

LEO
Who?

TOBY
I don't know. [beat] I need some help on the inside. Is Tony Merino in
Philadelphia?

LEO
I don't know.

TOBY
I'd like to call him and see if he'll get on a train.

LEO
Toby?! I...

TOBY
I want out who we lost and can we get them back.

LEO
Back, Pip!

TOBY
We lost one of our people.

LEO
Who?

TOBY
They wouldn't tell me, Leo, I need you to...

LEO
Fox and Fowler?!

TOBY
Fox and Fowler wouldn't tell me who we lost they just said to check our back
yard.

LEO
Who the hell...?

TOBY
I don't know. Which is why I need to talk to Marino.

LEO
It's not hard enough getting new votes we need to cover...

TOBY
Leo, I need you to talk to Marino.

LEO
Toby?

TOBY
I need you to call him and set up a meeting with me. He needs to tell me
who jumped
the fence. He needs to help us bring them back.

LEO
Toby, the guy lost a bad race, bloody.

TOBY
He's going to want to come back for this.

LEO
I think he's going to want to sit down.

TOBY
Not on the Test Ban Treaty. He spent four years of his life on it.

LEO
He spent a lot longer than that, and it burned him in the end. He lost his
seat.

TOBY
Leo?

LEO
The man's done it.

TOBY
Obviously he hasn't.

A beat.

LEO
I set up this meeting. And what's your pitch?

TOBY
That this treaty want's bad. It can happen. Not only that but he can stick
it to
every Pennsylvanian voters who put him out of a job and take Mitchell's
knees out
before he has a chance to put his pencils in a jar. Plus, who'd we lose?

LEO
I don't know who we lost?

TOBY
He'll know.

LEO
Toby.

TOBY
Leo.

LEO
He's been out of town for a month and a half.

TOBY
He'll know! [beat] Leo, if it was anything less than pooling on the Test
Ban Treaty
I wouldn't, but...

LEO
[calling] Margaret!

Toby picks up his briefcase from at his feet.

TOBY
Thank you.

Toby leaves Leo's office and walks back to his own.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY

BONNIE
Toby!

TOBY
Messages!

BONNIE
Yeah, but...

TOBY
Why are my blinds closed?

BONNIE
Yeah, listen...

Bonnie gets up. She is just behind Toby when he opens the door. Toby stops
in his
doorway. VASILY KONANOV and the WOMAN are in Toby's office. Konanov confronts
Toby
in Ukrainian. Josh run across from the other side of the bullpen.

JOSH
Yeah! Yeah, that deserves an explanation.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY

	4:35 P.M.

Josh is leading Mr Konanov to his office through the Lobby.

JOSH
Mr Konanov, Mr Konanov, yes, right in here, sir, right in here. Mr Konanov...

They all enter JOSH'S OFFICE.

KONANOV
Errand boys... is what they sent me. I'm a reformer. And I will lead the
Ukraine,
and you know this. And they sent me errand boys!

JOSH
As a matter of fact I'm the Deputy Chief of Staff.

WOMAN
Ha!

JOSH
It's actually, it's a very... it's a big.... Never mind. Mr Konanov, there's
protocol,
your government has a leader we deal with.

KONANOV
You wish to deal with me!

JOSH
We do wish to deal with you but right now President Shevschuck...

KONANOV
You called my embassy?

JOSH
We're in touch with the embassy as well as the Capital. We are seeking
permission
to have you speak with secretary...

KONANOV
I wish to speak to the President!

JOSH
Now that's not going to happen and you damn well know it!

WOMAN
You speak to him in this tone?

JOSH
He's drunk, in my office and I will speak to him in what ever tone pleases
me.
[almost screaming] Donna!

Konanov sits down.

JOSH
[to Donna] Put two uniformed agents outside my door. Tell Leo I'm coming over.

DONNA
Yeah.

JOSH
[striding to Leo's office] Oh, how I miss the Cold War.

CUT TO: INT. CAPITOL HILL - DAY
Sam and Ainsley are on the Hill with three guys.

SAM
This is my fifth...

BRATT
Sam...

SAM
This is my fifth meeting in a row, it's my last meeting on the Hill and I
want to know
what it's going to take for your boss to loosen his grip.

BRATT
Sam...

SAM
If the Senator moves he frees up eight maybe ten votes. He gives political
cover to
those who...

KEENE
Why should he move?

SAM
We'll go past it's the right thing to do and...

THOMAS
You know, Sam, this is not a holy thing.

SAM
Let's just say...

KEENE
No. You guys act like if your against the Test Ban Treaty then you're blood
thirsty?
Senate Republicans aren't the only ones against this.

THOMAS
Six past Secretaries of Defense, five former CIA directors...

BRATT
Former Secretary of State and a former national security advisor.

SAM
31 Nobel Laureates, the chairman of the joint chiefs, 150 countries on this
planet, and
82% of people living in this one say the treaty makes the world a safer place.

KEENE
It's not a safer place if North Korea and Iran are making significant
technological
improvements while the President's handing out commemorative pens.

SAM
You can't tell me that the chance we take with our ability to verify is not
weighed by
the chance we take doing nothing at all.

KEENE
I've heard all this.

SAM
Right, then I'm here to ask you this...

KEENE
Sam.

SAM
I'm here to ask you this: Is there no room for movement?

There is a long pause.

SAM
We consider attaching reservation.

The other guys look at each other.

KEENE
If you can't trust a man's word, what good is it to put it on paper?

SAM
Is there room for movement?

BRATT
You wasted a trip.

SAM
I'll waste more of them.

They all start packing up their stuff.

KEENE
We're done.

SAM
Yeah.

KEENE
Ainsley, I'm surprised to see you here.

AINSLEY
Why?

KEENE
Well, before you were on Bartlet's payroll you were a fairly vocal opponent
of the treaty.

AINSLEY
Well, it President Bartlet, I'm on the government payroll. And I believe
that politics
should stop at the water's edge.

KEENE
Okay.

AINSLEY
To be honest with you, I think it should stop well before that but it turns
out there's
no Santa Claus and Elvis isn't cutting breakfast anymore.

THOMAS
What did she say?

AINSLEY
See, I don't think you think the treaty's bad, I don't think you think it's
good, I think
you want to beat the White House.

KEENE
Yeah.

AINSLEY
You're a schmuck, Peter. Today, tomorrow, next year, next term, these guys'll
have the
treaty ratified and they'll do it without the reservations he just offered
to discuss
with you.

They all get up to leave.

AINSLEY
[beat] Can I take this muffin?

KEENE
Yeah?!

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY
Margaret is typing something for Leo. She is typing two-fingered and very
slowly.

LEO
[from his office] Margaret!

MARGARET
Yeah.

LEO
You got that memo?

MARGARET
Any minute now.

LEO
[coming out] Margaret?

MARGARET
Yeah.

LEO
What the hell are you doing?

MARGARET
Why, I'm typing, Leo.

LEO
Margaret?!

MARGARET
Apparently your response to Donna's perfectly legitimate concern about the
White House
not supporting OSHA's recommendation regarding Repetitive Stress injuries
was to type
slower. Donna has organized most of the assistants in the West Wing to do
just that.

LEO
[beat] Margaret?

MARGARET
Yeah.

LEO
Look at my face, right now.

Margaret looks at Leo's scowl and begins typing properly, quickly.

MARGARET
Okay.

Josh comes in from the hallway.

JOSH
Leo?

LEO
Can you keep your people in line?

JOSH
Well, there's been no evidence of that so far. Listen...

LEO
Inside.

They go into LEO'S OFFICE.

LEO
So, what's going on?

JOSH
Well, I've got the 'man who came to dinner' in my office. I'm begging the
Ukrainian
embassy for help. If I don't get some soon I'm going to apply for a job at
the
Ukrainian embassy.

LEO
No, here's what we're going to do: All this guy wants to be able to say he
met the
President while he was here.

JOSH
He can't meet the President.

LEO
He can meet the President, accidentally.

JOSH
How can he meet the President accidentally?

LEO
When I was Labor secretary we did it with the Dalai Lama. Obviously Beijing
doesn't
want the President to have any diplomatic contact, so they arrange a low
level meeting,
keep the door open, the President wanders by, 'Hey, how ya doing, Dalai Lama.'

JOSH
That's the most crazy ass thing I've ever heard.

LEO
It works.

JOSH
This is how the world is run?

LEO
Yeah.

JOSH
I'm sticking to domestic policy.

LEO
Yeah, 'cause that has the ring of sanity to it.

JOSH
[remembering] Is Toby meeting with Merino?

LEO
Toby's on a mission.

JOSH
It's the right mission. I know you're not comfortable...

LEO
Continuing to exert influence after the people have voted you out is an
ethically
gray area for me.

JOSH
They're all ethically grey areas, Leo. Screw it! If we're going to have a
fighting
chance, we've got to invite Marino. Marino's going to want in because...

LEO
Marino's a street kid who lives for revenge.

JOSH
I was going to say 'because Marino's devoted to the issue'.

LEO
Also, we may have lost one of our guys.

JOSH
Who?

LEO
Toby's going to ask Marino.

Josh sees Donna walking down the hallway.

JOSH
[calling] Hey, Norma Rae! Get in here.

Donna comes in.

JOSH
[indicating Leo] The man's trying to run a country.

DONNA
This is a law that would prevent 32 to 95 thousand injuries a year.

LEO
Not here it wouldn't.

DONNA
Why not?

JOSH
The White House and Congress are exempt from the work place related laws
they pass.

DONNA
The White House and Congress are exempt?

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Well that makes things considerably easier for yourselves.

LEO
Yeah. Josh, set it up.

DONNA
[to Josh] You've got you four o'clock.

Josh follows Donna out in the HALLWAY.

JOSH
I've got a job for you.

DONNA
The White House and Congress are exempt!

JOSH
Get past it.

DONNA
What do you need?

JOSH
I need Vasily Konanov to meet with someone of absolutely no consequence. You're
my girl.

DONNA
What the hell are you...?

JOSH
I need you to meet with Vasily Konanov.

DONNA
[plaintive] Why?

JOSH
So the President can drop in and interrupt you.

DONNA
Are you kidding me?

JOSH
No.

DONNA
So I'm a beard.

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
I'm being used?

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
As a dupe?

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
And how am I supposed to feel about that?

JOSH
How do you usually feel about that?

DONNA
Josh!

JOSH
Donna.

DONNA
My value here is that I have no value.

JOSH
You have enormous value to me. You have no value to Eastern Europe.

DONNA
Okay. You know what this is?

JOSH
No.

DONNA
This is an opportunity.

JOSH
That's right.

DONNA
This is an audience with a man who understands the plight of the worker.

JOSH
Yes.

DONNA
[worried] Or did you think that because he's a reformer, he'll understand the
plight of economics.

JOSH
Well, he's drunk, and he doesn't speak a lot of English so I don't think
he'll
understand much of anything at all. But set up the meeting and knock 'em dead.

He leaves Donna feeling empowered.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE LOBBY - DAY
Sam and Ainsley are coming back from the meetings on the Hill, back to Lobby.

SAM
'Can I have this muffin?'!

AINSLEY
Listen.

SAM
'Can I have this muffin?'!

AINSLEY
I was...

SAM
I think that you'll discover that the sharpest of closing remarks'll be
blunted by
asking for a muffin.

AINSLEY
The minute we left that room those guys were calling their bosses saying,
'They're
offering to attach reservations, let's jump on it.'

SAM
I have no problem with that. You did great with the reservations and politics
stopping
at the water's edge was touching and then you asked permission to have a
muffin.

AINSLEY
I was hungry.

They meet up with C.J. and all keep walking to the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE.

C.J.
How'd it go on the Hill?

SAM
Much as you'd expect. You know what I think?

C.J.
What?

SAM
I think Ramsey, Roanoke maybe even Greys. I think they're going to vote for
it anyway.

C.J.
Why?

SAM
'Cause Tony Marino's going to tell them to. I just named three Senators that
can't get
re-elected without labor and Marino may be out of a job but he's still going
to swing
a big bat with the unions.

C.J.
Toby's meeting with him right now.

SAM
Good.

C.J.
Do you think I should give Danny Concannon access for a feature?

SAM
Yes.

C.J.
You're wrong.

SAM
Okay.

AINSLEY
You should.

C.J.
Why?

AINSLEY
[beat] He's cute.

C.J.
I'm leaving.

She does just that.

SAM
[to Ainsley] Do you have my two page summary?

AINSLEY
I'm sorry?

SAM
Do you have my two page summary?

AINSLEY
[beat] Yes.

SAM
Could I have it?

AINSLEY
Yes.

She gets the papers out of her briefcase and gives it to Sam.

SAM
Thank you.

He goes into his office to read it. Ainsley waits patiently outside. Sam
comes back
out after about ten seconds.

SAM
You reversed my position.

AINSLEY
Yeah.

SAM
I gave this to you to summarize and you didn't summarize it so much as you
reversed
my position.

AINSLEY
I gave it a little polish, yeah!

SAM
You reversed my position.

AINSLEY
It's shorted.

SAM
It is shorter and you reversed my position.

AINSLEY
Your position was wrong.

SAM
Will you step inside please?

AINSLEY
Sure.

AINSLEY
Sure.

She gets up and follows Sam into his office. He closes the door.

CUT TO: INT. A BAR - DAY
Toby is sitting in bar. SENATOR TONY MARINO arrives.

MAN
Evening, Senator.

Toby stands up as Marino comes up.

TOBY
Senator.

SENATOR TONY MARINO
How ya going, Toby?

TOBY
What'll you have?

MARINO
Ah, Dewar's rocks.

They sit down opposite each other at the little table.

TOBY
I appreciate your coming down.

MARINO
Sure.

TOBY
The President's thinking about calling a session.

MARINO
Yeah.

TOBY
It's true.

MARINO
Yeah, it was well leaked.

TOBY
It's nice we found a use for our particular talents.

MARINO
Yeah.

TOBY
Anyway, I had a meeting at lunch with Joe Fox and Bob Fowler, and they said
we may
have lost one our guys, and I wanted to find out if it was true: who is it,
and is
it important?

MARINO
It's true and it couldn't be less important.

TOBY
Who is it?

MARINO
It was me, Toby.

TOBY
I don't understand.

MARINO
They were talking about me.

TOBY
I don't... Tony, I don't understand. You changed your mind...?

MARINO
No.

TOBY
.... I don't...

MARINO
No, I haven't changed my mind, and I'll do whatever the White House wants
in terms
of sponsors. But if you call a session now, I can't vote for it.

The waiter brings the drink.

WAITER
There you go.

MARINO
Thank you.

TOBY
Tony...

MARINO
Toby, I'm a lame duck Senator. The people of Pennsylvania voted me out and
Morgan
Mitchell. He's gets a seat on Foreign Relations, we should all kill ourselves,
by the way.

TOBY
Senator...

MARINO
I'm going to talk to Newberry about staying where he is, and stopping
dominoes.

TOBY
Senator, there's no reason why you can't...

MARINO
They voted me out, Toby. Largely based on my support of a comprehensive Test
Ban Treaty.

TOBY
Only because Mitchell painted another picture.

MARINO
Well, that's not for me to say. And I'm going to choose not to assume that
my constituents
feel a certain way because they were duped.

TOBY
Senator, nobody expects... you know... you're not expected to...

MARINO
Nobody expects, nobody expects. Toby it seems to me that more and more we've
come to
expect less and less from each other. And I think that should change. I'm
a senator for
another 10 weeks and I'm going to chose to respect these people and what
they want.
You call a lame duck session now, and I've got to abstain.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE LOBBY - NIGHT

	8:25 P.M.

Bonnie is leading a tour group through the White House.

BONNIE
Now, this is the North-West executive entrance to the White House. Now,
ordinarily I'd
be allowed to show you more but the President's in the West Wing right now
and when he's
in his office we like to the area as quiet as possible.

Toby comes in complaining.

TOBY
The whole damn world's flying apart at the equator, did you know that, Bonnie?

BONNIE
[gesturing to Toby] This, of course, is my boss, Toby Ziegler.

Toby stops and addresses the group.

TOBY
Why's the Test Ban Treaty so important? Well! Let me tell you. In 1974 India
set off
a peaceful nuclear explosion. Indira Ghandi herself said they had no intention
of
building a bomb, they just wanted to know that they could. 20 years later
India set
off five nuclear explosions. Who gets nervous? Pakistan. When Pakistan get
nervous,
everyone gets nervous, you know why? 'Cause we're all going to die!

Toby leaves down the Yellow Corridor.

CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Ainsley and Sam are in his office. Ainsley is pacing.

AINSLEY
Sam, half of America's workforce is employed by small business. That's
companies
that employ fewer than 100 workers.

SAM
I know what a small business is.

AINSLEY
Then you know that a third of them fail. One third of all small businesses
lose
money and fail. Not because of rent hikes, or big businesses squeezing them
out,
but because of why?

SAM
Employee fraud.

AINSLEY
That's right.

SAM
Yes.

AINSLEY
Why do you say that?

SAM
You reversed my position.

AINSLEY
Other than that, Sam, other than what you've been saying for the last hour
and a half.

SAM
I can't believe I'm listening to a Republican tell me the government should
run
background checks into peak business. In fact I can't believe I'm listening
to a
Republican. Could it possibly be that most of the people you want to
fingerprint
have darker skin than you do?

AINSLEY
Well, not to let the facts interfere with a good story, but 80% of violators
are white.
Fraudulent employees are three times more likely to be married, they're four
times more
likely to be to be men, 16 times more likely to be managers and executives
and guess
what, professor, they're five times more likely to have post graduate degrees.

SAM
You, listen. I, you know, I can't. Alright. Start from the beginning.

AINSLEY
Really?

SAM
Yeah.

AINSLEY
Are you eating that doughnut?

SAM
Take the doughnut. Start from the beginning.

Ainsley takes a bit from Sam's doughnut.

CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
Charlie is in his office area reading files. C.J. comes in.

C.J.
Hello.

CHARLIE
Hey, C.J.

C.J.
I'm supposed to see him.

CHARLIE
Yeah, there's a meeting in there, but I think they're circling for a landing.

C.J.
Mind if I wait?

CHARLIE
No.

Danny strolls in.

DANNY
Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Hey, Danny.

DANNY
Hey, C.J.

C.J.
Hey, Nimrod.

DANNY
Look, I leaked your damn story for you.

C.J.
You leaked it for me, I leaked it to you, pal. I used you like so much
whatever.

DANNY
Well put. Charlie, I'm here to see the President.

CHARLIE
Yeah, he's finishing up a meeting.

C.J.
Charlie, Danny's paper, after savaging us four times in two weeks would like
access
so Danny can write a three part feature.

CHARLIE
About what?

C.J.
About winning a Pulitzer Prize for writing a three part feature.

DANNY
Look!

C.J.
See reporters seldom win a Pulitzer, feature writers do. And the Post has
been getting
a little out paced in the hardware department lately.

DANNY
Charlie, you know I'm here, do you suspect my motives are anything but
journalistic?

CHARLIE
Yeah, I'd definitely like to be part of this conversation.

DANNY
[to C.J.] Are you telling me this doesn't have anything to do with...?

CHARLIE
C.J.

C.J.
Thank you.

C.J. walks into THE OVAL OFFICE as much as away from Danny. The President
walks back
behind his desk and is signing stuff.

C.J.
Good evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
No more Rouge Nations, huh?

C.J.
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
Well that was easy.

C.J.
Sir.

BARTLET
What's doing, Claudia Jean?

C.J.
Mr. President, the Post would like access for Danny Concannon to do a three
part feature
inside the Oval Office.

BARTLET
Yeah, let's do it.

Charlie comes in and takes some documents from Bartlet.

C.J.
No, I don't think it's a good idea, sir.

BARTLET
Why not?

C.J.
Sir, after the Editorials they've run...

BARTLET
Yeah, they've been way off base.

He takes his coffee mug and goes to fill it from the pot on the other side
of the room.

BARTLET
Not so much the second one. But the first, third and fourth were silly. And
the fourth
was mean spirited.

C.J.
Exactly, so let's send them a message.

BARTLET
Nah.

C.J
Sir.

BARTLET
First of all, it wasn't Danny.

C.J.
Danny is their representative. We have to stop being a punching bag and they
need a
wake up call.

BARTLET
Nah. It's going to look petty and petulant. You know why?

C.J.
Sir?

BARTLET
Because it's petty and petulant.

He walks back to his desk. C.J follows him.

C.J.
Nobody elected this newspaper, certainly not the 48 million people who chose
you to
be President.

Charlie brings something in.

BARTLET
Yeah, but not having to run for anything tends to help with honesty and
decisiveness.
[to Charlie] Thanks, Charlie, send Danny in, would you please?

CHARLIE
Yes, sir.

C.J.
Mr. President, you have to send them a message.

Bartlet takes off his glasses to look at C.J.

BARTLET
I really don't, C.J. [beat] Is this personal?

C.J.
Excuse me?

BARTLET
I hear things, I don't understand most of it, but I hear it.

C.J.
No, sir, it's absolutely not personal.

BARTLET
He's a great reporter, and you're a great Press Secretary. And that's why
it was
never going to work while the two of you had those jobs.

Danny comes in.

C.J.
[shocked] Sir, I...

BARTLET
[calling] Hey, Danny.

C.J.
You...

DANNY
Good evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
Danny, I think you guys have had your heads up your asses for the last few
weeks,
I hope you don't mind me saying so.

DANNY
Of course not, Mr. President.

BARTLET
Not only that, but I think you've been trying to bait me. Which is a waste
of time,
paper and ink. I'm like 50 times smarter than any of you will ever be. I
have an
election to win in two years, and I'm not about to alienate the Washington
Post.

DANNY
Yes, sir.

BARTLET
I'll tell you what I will do, though, I'm cancelling our subscription.

C.J.
Excellent, sir. The White House buys 1100 copies of the Post
everyday. Cancelling
that subscription would send a message loud and clear.

BARTLET
No, I meant just mine and Abbey's. I'll borrow a copy from somebody.

CHARLIE
[from the door] Mr. President.

BARTLET
Yeah. Take it easy, Danny. [beat] C.J.'ll give you all the access you want.

DANNY
Thank you, sir.

C.J.
Thank you, Mr. President.

The President leaves. C.J. and Danny are left looking at each other. Danny
starts
to walk away.

DANNY
I have to go tell circulation we lost 32 dollars and 95 cents.

C.J.
I know about the job offer.

DANNY
I figured.

C.J.
Known about it for a couple of days.

DANNY
Yeah.

C.J.
You don't want to be an editor?

DANNY
I'm a White House reporter.

C.J.
I know. I just thought, by taking a job outside the press room...

Danny walks back up to C.J.

DANNY
C.J! I have no problem with a reporter dating the Press Secretary.

C.J.
[beat] Well, I have a problem, so...

DANNY
Yeah. [beat] Okay, I'll see you later.

C.J.
[beat] Okay.

Danny looks back at C.J. once as he walks out and leaves her standing, lost,
in the
middle of the Oval Office.

CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - NIGHT
Donna is meeting with Vasily Konanov in the mural room. Mr Konanov's 'friend'
and several
Secret Service Agents are there too.

DONNA
See, the keyboard forces users to put their wrists into a palms down position
and
encourages a sideways wrist twist to reach the enter key. That sideways
twist is called
an alner-deviation and it's very bad. It has a right hand bias towards the
important
letter and number keys and frequently used keys like Enter, Shift, Backspace
and Control
are placed near the weakest finger, forces the wrist to absorb the added
pressure...

KONANOV
What in hell is the woman talking about?

DONNA
Sir, I'm talking about my government's unwillingness to...

The President opens the double door of the Mural Room and strides in. Everyone
stands.

BARTLET
Vasily! Vasily Konanov, why you're the last person I expected to be where
they told
me to go.

He shakes Konanov's hand.

KONANOV
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Thank you, Donna.

Donna leaves.

BARTLET
[to the agents] Thank you, gentlemen.

The Secret Service Agents leave and close the doors behind them.

BARTLET
Vasily?

KONANOV
Yes.

BARTLET
[pointing to the woman] I don't know who this is.

KONANOV
Ah!

He says something in Ukrainian. The woman picks up her stuff and leaves. She
curtsies
to the President at the door. Konanov goes to sit down.

BARTLET
What the hell are you doing?

KONANOV
[standing up again] Mr. President, I would like to talk to you about
commercial
landing rights. I would like to talk to you about, I would like to talk to
you
about the World Trade Organization, and I would like to talk to you about
nuclear
compatibility.

BARTLET
I'm not the transportation secretary. You will join the WTO when you reduce
the 300%
tariff on America cars, and with a nuclear weapon pointed at my head I will
not talk
to you about nuclear compatibility.

KONANOV
[desperate] Mr. President.

BARTLET
Vasily, you're a reformer and you're going to do good things in Eastern
Europe and I'm
looking forward to the day when you're President. But until that time comes,
my State
Department deals with the government of the Ukraine. Now you can go home
and so exactly
what you wanted to do. [beat] To say you met with the President of the United
States.

He grips Konanov's hand.

BARTLET
[opening the door] You just did.

The President leaves a very happy Konanov in the Mural Room. The Agents and
the woman
stand up.

BARTLET
How ya doing?

He walks off.

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Leo is in his office, on the phone.

LEO
[to the phone] Yeah... yeah...

Sam and Ainsley come in. Leo holds up a finger.

LEO
[to the phone] Thank you. [to Sam] Doctor Zhivago is out of here.

SAM
Good.

LEO
What do you have?

SAM
The commerce department wants us to back an amendment to a Bill that would
help
small businesses with fraud prevention and employee theft. We want to
recommend it.

LEO
You have numbers?

SAM
Yeah.

Sam gets out a folder and opens it for Leo.

SAM
This is from an independent study that I have faith in. 30% of workers plan
to steal
from their employers, 30% give in to occasional temptation, 5% will commit
fraud
regardless of circumstances, 85% will commit fraud given the circumstances.

LEO
Just out of curiosity, what are the right circumstances?

SAM
Need, opportunity and the ability to rationalize their behavior, it's called
the
fraud triangle. Leo, it's going to help us out when we want to raise the
minimum wage.
It's small business owners who are most opposed to wage hikes.

LEO
You weren't going to go the other way on this?

SAM
Yeah, I was.

LEO
You got turned around?

SAM
Yeah.

LEO
Okay, good. Thanks.

SAM
Thanks.

Ainsley steps forward.

AINSLEY
Hang on, I wanted to just...

SAM
Thank you, Leo.

Sam turns Ainsley around and ushers her out. They get to the HALLWAY.

AINSLEY
That was it?

SAM
Yeah.

AINSLEY
That was it?

SAM
Yeah.

AINSLEY
I don't understand.

SAM
You don't understand what?

AINSLEY
What just happened.

SAM
Leo said yes, we're in.

AINSLEY
I don't understand.

SAM
Leo said yes, that's the end of meeting.

AINSLEY
I was just talking, Sam, I was just talking to you.

They get to SAM'S OFFICE.

SAM
Well, we play with live ammo around here. You convinced me, I convinced Leo,
Leo'll convince the President.

AINSLEY
Sam, I...

SAM
It's a short day, Ainsley, and a big country. We've got to move fast.

AINSLEY
Is it because I said in here, the President in there...

SAM
Yup.

AINSLEY
You've got to tell me when that's going to happen. Is this how you guys
decide
to go to war?

SAM
I don't know, I'm usually not in the room when they do that.

AINSLEY
Sam.

SAM
[calling out as he leaves] Someone get her a cupcake or something.

AINSLEY
Sam.

Ainsley steps out of Sam's office. She looks around the COMMUNICATIONS
OFFICE.
We follow her gaze as the camera pans in a complete circle. People are
walking
around filing things, writing things, carrying things to and fro all at once.
We get back to Ainsley, who smiles, and walks off.

CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT
The President is sitting in his chair. Charlie walks in.

CHARLIE
Mr. President?

BARTLET
Come.

CHARLIE
Toby's here.

BARTLET
Thanks, you can take off for the night, Charlie, we're done.

CHARLIE
Thank you, Mr. President.

Toby comes in.

TOBY
Good evening, sir.

BARTLET
[beat] Tony Marino's going to abstain, huh?

TOBY
Yeah.

BARTLET
He was a great public servant, Toby, a great Senator.

TOBY
Didn't Edmund Burke say that a representative owes not just his industry but
his
judgement and betrays you if he sacrifices his judgement to yours?

The President gets up and begins packing his briefcase.

BARTLET
Yeah. and then he was voted out of office five years later by the people of
Bristol.

TOBY
That's not the point, sir.

BARTLET
I know. The fact is the opponents of the treaty are on both sides of the
isle.
You've got to respect them, Toby. They're politicians and they're flying in
the
face of overwhelming public opinion.

TOBY
I have to respect senators for defying 82% of American people.

BARTLET
Can I tell you something, honestly? This is one of those situations where
I couldn't
give a damn what the people think. The complexities of a global arms treaty,
the
technological, the military, the diplomatic nuances, it's staggering,
Toby. 82% of
the people cannot possibly be expected to reach an informed decision. [beat]
You
want to call a session anyway?

TOBY
No. [beat] No. If we lose, and we will, we're out of.

BARTLET
Yeah. [long pause] Anything else?

TOBY
No, sir. Thank you, Mr. President.

Toby goes to leave.

BARTLET
You know we forget sometimes, in all the talk about democracy we forget it's
not
a democracy, it's a republic. People don't make the decisions, they choose
the
people who make the decisions. Could they do a better job choosing? Yeah. But
when you consider the alternatives, anyway, Abbey's in New Hampshire, you
want
to come up for a cigar?

Toby doesn't answer.

BARTLET
The day's over, Toby. We'll live to fight another one. Come up, and I'll beat
your ass at chess.

TOBY
Are you baiting me, Mr. President?

BARTLET
Yes.

TOBY
[beat] Okay.

Toby follows the President out.

BARTLET
[calling ahead] If anyone's out there, I'm signing off. Have a good night.

The President opens the outside door and they leave. The Agent on the other
side
closes it. A guy turns off the lights and closes the Oval Office.

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

The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John
Wells
Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement
is intended.

Episode 2.6 -- "The Lame Duck Congress"
Original Air Date: November 8, 2000, 9:00 PM EST

Transcript by: Rose Williams
May 28, 2003

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