Season 2 – Episode 8 – “Shibboleth”

Episode Summary:

As Thanksgiving nears, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) has his own hot-potato issue when a boatload of persecuted Chinese evangelical Christians arrives in California seeking asylum, while a perplexed C.J. (Allison Janney) must choose between two turkeys for the Presidential pardon ceremony — with the other destined for the chopping block. While Bartlet’s staff argues over sending back the illegal immigrants, Toby (Richard Schiff) wants the President to appoint Leo’s (John Spencer) controversial sister Dr. Josephine McGarry (Deborah Hedwall) for a minor education post, fully aware that her opposition to school prayer will cause the controversial subject to emerge again. Elsewhere, Toby, Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Sam (Rob Lowe) make plans to watch football while Charlie (Dule Hill) is dispatched by Bartlet to find the precise cutting instrument for Thanksgiving dinner.

Script:

THE WEST WING
'SHIBBOLETH'
TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN
STORY BY: PATRICK H. CADDELL
DIRECTED BY: LAURA INNES

TEASER

FADE IN: EXT. SAN DIEGO HARBOR - NIGHT
24TH STREET TERMINAL
SAN DIEGO HARBOR
As we see the night sky, we hear a garbled sound from a radio. A man speaks.

MAN [OS]
Yeah, I'm gonna need Romero and Rydell on a backup.

We close in on a small ship. Surrounding it are several boats by the dock,
paramedic trucks
and police cars by the harbor. The United States Coast Guard is all over
the place.

MAN [OS]
I'm gonna need them there in 20... In about 20.

RADIO [VO]
Why the priority?

MAN [OS]
It's 'cause we need a support team out there. Over.

RADIO [VO]
Yes sir.

The camera pans and we see the man, COMMANDER CALE of the Coast Guard,
now talking to
another man, a few feet from the police cars.

COMMANDER CALE
Oh. Take this right over there. Okay?

The man nods and leaves. Behind Cale, a car pulls over. The I.N.S. man,
JOSEPH RUSSO,
comes out quickly and approaches the commander.

JOSEPH RUSSO
Commander Cale!

CALE
Yeah?

RUSSO
Joseph Russo, I.N.S.

They shake hands and shout over all the sounds of the place.

CALE
It's a container ship, Horizon. We're holding them a mile out. They started
from the
Fujian Province.

RUSSO
How many?

CALE
About a hundred.

RUSSO
Did you call the State Department?

CALE
Yeah. We're gonna need some translators who speak Mandarin.

RUSSO
We got 'em.

A helicopter roars overhead.

CALE
Are we talking about expedited removal, or...?

RUSSO
I'm sorry?

CALE
Are we talking about expedited removal?

RUSSO
That's not up to me.

They part ways. A troubled look on Cale's face as Russo heads back to the car.

CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
We see a nice overhead shot of the White House. Sam speaks.

SAM [VO]
Well over three and a half centuries ago, sprinkling by faith and bound by
a common desire
for liberty...

CUT TO: INT. A DARK OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Sam is sitting on a couch reading from a piece of paper. Toby watches him,
as he swings
left to right on his chair.

SAM [cont.]
A small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New World where they
could worship
according to their own beliefs... and solve crimes.

TOBY
Sam...

SAM
It'd be good.

TOBY
Read the thing.

SAM
By day, they churn butter and worship according to their own beliefs and by
night, they
solve crimes.

TOBY
Read the thing.

SAM
Pilgrim detectives.

TOBY
Do you see me laughing?

SAM
I think you're laughing on the inside.

TOBY
Okay.

SAM
With the big hats.

TOBY
Give me the speech.

C.J. enters as Toby switches chairs.

C.J.
Have either of you heard of... uh, I don't know, something, the... Jamestown
Mayflower
Daughters of the American Revolution Preservation Soceity?

TOBY
The Jamestown Mayflower Daughters?

C.J.
I may have gotten the name wrong. They're inviting the White House to
participate in
some kind of... I don't know, Thanksgiving Revolutionary War re-enactment.

TOBY
C.J., let's not torture American History completely to death.

C.J.
Who the hell are...?

TOBY
Jamestown was the 16th century. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth in the 17th
century.
The Fathers of the Daughters of the American Revolution fought in...?

C.J. throws up her arms.

TOBY
The 18th century!

C.J.
It's a festival feast of some kind! Who cares?

C.J. walks next door to her office to get her jacket.

SAM
[to Toby] Somebody needs to learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

C.J. comes back while putting on her jacket. She stands by the door.

C.J.
Re-enactments and proclamations and Native American cornhusks hanging contests
with native...

TOBY
Cornhusks hanging?

C.J.
Whatever. I'm the Thanksgiving cruise director around here.

SAM
It wasn't like this last year?

C.J.
I wasn't here last year.

SAM
Where were you last year?

C.J.
They sent me home last year. You don't remember me having a 102.7-degree
fever and having
all kinds of flu-like symptoms?

TOBY
No.

C.J.
That's 'cause every time we come up on a holiday, you guys check out like
seniors who are
done with finals.

TOBY
We are writing a very important Thanksgiving proclamation.

SAM
And possibly a new action-adventure series.

TOBY
Nobody here has checked out.

JOSH
[walks up] Hey, I was just flipping a nickel in my office. Sixteen times in
a row, it
came out tails.

C.J. looks knowingly at Toby and Sam.

C.J.
I'm going home.

TOBY
Have a good night.

C.J.
Yeah. Yeah.

C.J. leaves, and Josh enters.

JOSH
Sixteen times in a row. [flips his nickel again] Yeah.

Donna shows up at the door. The guys look up.

DONNA
Excuse me, fellas. [looks at somebody out the hall] It's okay. You can come
in here.

No response. Donna motions for the guys to come out into the hall. Josh,
Sam and Toby come
out of the room and see what was out in the HALLWAY. Behind Donna is MORTON
HORN, along
with two turkeys, gobbling inside their own cages.

DONNA
This is Morton Horn. He's from Jasper Farms, Virginia. [to Morton] Tell them
what you're
doing here, Morton.

MORTON HORN
I'm dropping off the turkeys.

DONNA
He's dropping off the turkeys.

TOBY
What are, uh...?

DONNA
Nobody left me instructions. He had a pass from the Northwest Entrance.

MORTON
I'm dropping off the turkeys.

TOBY
Yeah.

MORTON
Where should I put 'em?

After a moment, the guys seem to agree on their responses.

JOSH
C.J.'s office.

SAM
C.J.

JOSH
I'd definitely put them in C.J.'s office.

TOBY
Good idea.

JOSH
C.J. Cregg's office.

SAM
It's right there.

TOBY
Well, C.J.'s office is right there...

JOSH
C.J. handles all the...

TOBY
Donna will show you.

JOSH
...birds.

TOBY
C.J.

JOSH
Yeah.

DONNA
Okay.

TOBY
And Morton, Ms. Cregg is gone for the night, uh, and her office is secure,
so you should
feel free to let the turkeys out of the cage, and allow them to, you know,
roam freely,
as they were meant to do.

JOSH
[after nodding] Absolutely.

MORTON
Okay.

TOBY
Okay.

The turkeys gobble as Morton gets them ready to walk off.

JOSH
Show her who's slacking off. [flips his nickel again]

TOBY
Pizza?

Sam nods.

JOSH
Yeah.

Toby and Sam go back inside the room. Bonnie walks up behind Josh. They walk
to JOSH'S
BULLPEN AREA.

BONNIE
Josh, they need you on the phone.

JOSH
What's going on?

BONNIE
A Commander Cale of the Coast Guard is talking to the watch commander in
the Situation
Room, and they want you to sit in on the call.

JOSH
Why?

He picks up a phone and pushes a button as Bonnie walks away.

BONNIE
I don't know. Something about a boat from China.

JOSH
[into phone] Josh Lyman.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - DAY
MONDAY MORNING
We see an outside view of the White House and Washington Monument.

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Josh and Leo walk inside.

JOSH
It's an 800-foot container ship called the Horizon. Eighty-three Chinese
were stowed away
in containers in the hold.

LEO
I heard 96.

JOSH
Thirteen of them died on the way.

LEO
What happened to the dead bodies?

JOSH
They came over with the 83 lives ones. INS has them in a temporary detention
facility
by the water.

LEO
Brief C.J.

JOSH
[gets up to leave] You doing anything for Thanksgiving?

LEO
The First Family. What about you?

JOSH
Toby and Sam and I are gonna watch football.

LEO
Brief C.J. on the Chinese.

JOSH
Yeah. Leo, do me a favor, would you? Don't tell the President we're just
watching football.
He'll want to invite us for dinner.

LEO
Well yes, I'm sure upon hearing the news that you're free the President of
the United States
will insist that you join him for dinner.

JOSH
I'm just saying, we've been working hard and we'd prefer to watch football
rather than
listen to a history of the yam in Latin.

LEO
Brief C.J.!

JOSH
Yeah.

Josh walks out to hallway and sees C.J. They talk as they walk through
towards their offices.

JOSH
Hey!

C.J.
Hello.

JOSH
Listen...

C.J.
What?

JOSH
About a hundred Chinese stowed away in a cargo hold of a container ship. INS
has them in
a temporary internment camp in San Diego.

C.J.
I'll need more than that.

JOSH
I don't have more than that, but I will in a few minutes, so stay out of
the pressroom
until you talk to me.

C.J.
What about the recess appointments?

JOSH
Toby wants to talk to you about adding a name.

C.J.
Who?

JOSH
Josephine McGarry.

C.J.
Really?

JOSH
Yeah.

C.J.
Is this as a favor to Leo?

JOSH
This is Toby sniffing around for a fight on school prayer.

C.J.
He'll get one.

Josh hangs back as C.J. heads toward her office.

C.J.
Well, I'm gonna see what's next for me in this week of unendurable Thanksgiving
nonsense.

JOSH
Okay.

CAROL
Hey C.J.

C.J.
Hey Carol.

C.J. walks into her OFFICE, not noticing the turkey on her couch and the
turkey on her desk.
She's looking over some papers and starts taking her coat off when she
notices the birds.

CAROL
Oh yeah, the turkeys came.

Donna runs up from down the hall.

DONNA
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... I'm coming! [enters] I didn't know you were
here yet.

C.J.
I am.

DONNA
The turkeys came.

C.J.
So Carol said.

CAROL
Excuse me. [leaves]

DONNA
Josh and Toby and Sam said they should go in your office.

C.J.
Yes.

DONNA
These are the turkeys.

C.J.
The turkeys for what?

DONNA
You weren't here last year.

C.J.
When?

DONNA
Over Thanksgiving. You were sick.

C.J.
Yes.

DONNA
Ever year on Thanksgiving, the President pardons a turkey.

C.J.
He pardons a turkey.

DONNA
Yeah, and it's your event, so...

C.J.
What, are there two?

DONNA
I'm sorry?

C.J.
Why are there two turkeys?

DONNA
Customarily, the Press Secretary decides--

C.J.
No.

DONNA
--which of the two finalists is more photogenic. Their names--

C.J.
I don't want to know their names.

DONNA
This one's Eric and this one's Troy.

C.J.
Eric and Troy.

DONNA
Yeah.

C.J.
And I'm to choose the more photogenic of the two to receive a Presidential
pardon.

DONNA
Yeah.

C.J.
Okay, I have actually a Masters degree from the University of California at
Berkeley.

DONNA
That's a good school.

C.J.
Yeah.

The turkeys start making noises as C.J. stares incredulously.

DONNA
They eat grain or really whatever's lying around, and Troy doesn't like to
be touched.

C.J. stares at Troy.

C.J.
Okay. I'd like to be alone now.

DONNA
I understand.

Donna leaves as C.J. stares with her jacket still halfway off.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - DAY
Charlie is walking through with a shopping bag in his hand. Sam sees him.

SAM
Hey!

CHARLIE
Hey Sam.

They walk and talk in the HALLWAY.

SAM
What's going on?

CHARLIE
I'm shopping for a new carving knife for the President.

SAM
Yes, the President takes carving knives very seriously.

CHARLIE
Yes, I've discovered.

SAM
Would you mind telling him I'm gonna need a few minutes to talk about the
Chinese in
San Diego? Something's going on.

CHARLIE
What?

SAM
We're just getting it in now.

Sam heads off down the hallway as Charlie enters the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
How'd it go?

CHARLIE
I think I've got it this time.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Well I wouldn't get your hopes up, dear.

CHARLIE
Nope, this is a very good knife.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
He's very particular.

CHARLIE
That's one word for it.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
I heard that!

Charlie enters THE OVAL OFFICE.

CHARLIE
Mr. President?

BARTLET
Ah!

CHARLIE
I think you'll find this to your liking, Mr. President.

Charlie opens a box with a carving knife inside.

BARTLET
Yes, yes! Indeed I do.

CHARLIE
Excellent.

BARTLET
Chef's choice. Twice the amount of carbon, which means it'll hold a sharp
edge up to
ten times longer and you can see the handle which texturized molded polymer
has no
rivets or air pockets.

CHARLIE
Well, I'm glad you're happy, Mr. President.

BARTLET
This is an American knife.

CHARLIE
Yes.

BARTLET
No German knives for us.

CHARLIE
No, sir.

BARTLET
Good job.

CHARLIE
Thank you, sir. [turns to leave]

BARTLET
Hold on.

Charlie turns back around and sees Bartlet carving the air with the knife.

CHARLIE
Sir?

BARTLET
Nah... Nah. No, the balance isn't right.

CHARLIE
[sighs] I'll take it back, sir.

BARTLET
Yeah. You know what we need?

CHARLIE
A German knife?

BARTLET
Yeah.

CHARLIE
I'll get on it. And Mr. President, Sam asked me to give you a heads up. He'll
need a few
minutes to talk about San Diego.

BARTLET
You tell him they already briefed me on San Diego.

CHARLIE
He said there might be something else.

BARTLET
Okay.

CHARLIE
Thank you, Mr. President.

Charlie leaves as Toby enters the Oval Office.

TOBY
Sir.

BARTLET
The German's know how to make a knife, Charlie!

CHARLIE
Yes sir.

BARTLET
[to Toby] Josephine McGarry?

TOBY
She's been put on a lot of short lists. Why not pull the trigger?

BARTLET
She's a controversial woman.

TOBY
That's not a flaw.

BARTLET
It is when it's a recess appointment. A recess appointment assumes the
Senate's gonna have no
problem with the nominee. The Senate is going to have a considerable problem
with this nominee.

TOBY
That's the Senate's problem.

BARTLET
Toby...

TOBY
Mr. President, you want to have a debate on school prayer?

BARTLET
Yes, I do.

TOBY
This'll do it.

BARTLET
I got to say... look, I'm just... Toby, I'm not wild about the woman. I've
known her for 25
years and I think she's all about Eve.

TOBY
Well, I wouldn't cast her in a play, but at the Department of Education...

Leo knocks on the door and walks in.

LEO
Good morning.

TOBY
[to Bartlet] You want to have a debate on school prayer?

BARTLET
Yeah.

TOBY
This'll start it.

LEO
What're we talking about?

BARTLET
Recess appointments.

LEO
I've got the final list right here.

BARTLET
Hey Leo...

LEO
[reading from his list] "James Alkins, Assistant Secretary of Transportation
for Aviation;
Leslie Krier, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Ecological Development;
Humberto CPO
Department Administrator for the EPA..."

TOBY
Leo, we're adding a name.

LEO
Who?

BARTLET
Josey.

LEO
No. No!

BARTLET
Assistant Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education.

LEO
Did my sister...?

BARTLET
We want the debate.

LEO
...my sister call you and ask you for this?

BARTLET
She did not call me.

LEO
I'm amazed!

TOBY
She called me.

LEO
I'm less amazed. Take her name off the list.

BARTLET
Not patronate, yet she's qualified.

LEO
Sir...

TOBY
Which she is. Ph.D. in education, six years as a principal, four years as
superintendent
and a significant Democrat!

LEO
They'll bring up school prayer.

TOBY
No kidding.

LEO
Mr. President, please don't hop on the back of Toby's horse, it'll take you
to a fight
we're not geared up for.

TOBY
We are geared up for it, and if we're not we should get out!

LEO
Sure! You first!

TOBY
I'll take the meetings.

LEO
You're damn right, you'll take the meetings and you'll start with aides to
the Republican
leadership and you'll gauge exactly the volume of dumbness with no reward
we can expect!

Josh knocks on the door, and he and Sam enter.

JOSH
Excuse me, Mr. President.

BARTLET
[to Toby] Take the meetings.

TOBY
I'm very happy to.

BARTLET
[to Josh and Sam] Yeah?

JOSH
Mr. President, there's a wrinkle in the situation in San Diego.

LEO
What is it?

JOSH
You're not gonna believe it.

BARTLET
What?

SAM
They're claiming they're Christian Evangelicals fleeing persecution.

BARTLET
You're kidding me.

JOSH
They're seeking religious asylum.

BARTLET
You're kidding me!

SAM
No.

JOSH
The Christian community is gonna scream that they've got to stay, China's
gonna say send
them back, INS is gonna say the law's a law. This is a whole new thing.

BARTLET
Yeah.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - OVERHEAD SHOT - DAY
TUESDAY

CUT TO: INT. THE BRIEFING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
C.J. is holding a briefing.

C.J.
Well, the INS conducts something called a 'credible fear interview.' This
is not a hearing
on whether or not to grant asylum, just a hearing to determine if the detainee
has a
credible fear that they'll be harmed if returned to their country.

The reporters wave their hands.

C.J.
Steve.

STEVE
Will the White House be meeting with leaders of the Christian community to
hear their input?

C.J.
Yes, we will. On the following days, we will be meeting with Reverend Al
Caldwell, members
of Beijing's Embassy and INS agents. The president has asked Josh Lyman and
Sam Seaborn
to run these meetings so it's entirely possible that by week's end we'll
have alienated
Christians, China and our own government.

The reporters laugh.

C.J.
That's all I have on the refugees. I was going to release the list of recess
appointments,
but I'm going to wait a day.  I can tell you the list has been sent to
appropriate committee
chairs and I imagine one of them will leak it to you some time this
afternoon.

The reporters laugh again.

C.J.
I'll also remind you that it's Thanksgiving week, which means the traditional
presidential
pardon...you know...of the chosen turkey. That will be Wednesday
afternoon. Thursday morning,
the president will make his Thanksgiving proclamation in the Rose Garden. Among
the guests
will be members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and members of the
Big Brothers and
Big Sisters of America.

REPORTER
Will you be leading them in song?

C.J.
I'm sorry?

REPORTER
The press secretary usually leads the kids in song.

C.J. looks to her right and then back to the REPORTER.

C.J.
Yes, of course I will be leading them in song for I am the press secretary.

The reporters laugh.

C.J.
Thank you.

She turns to leave the room as several reporters call her name. She looks
at Carol.

C.J.
I've got to learn some songs.

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
We follow Sam and Josh who are walking down the hall.

JOSH
Don't bring it up at the meeting.

SAM
Josh...

JOSH
Don't bring it up at the meeting.

SAM
A man in a threatened to blow up a theatre in the name of God!

JOSH
Yes.

SAM
A theatre with people in it.

JOSH
Yes.

SAM
But sending illegal Chinese immigrants back to China is objectionable.

JOSH
Don't bring it up at the meeting.

SAM
It might slip out.

JOSH
Shove it back in.

SAM
Okay.

Josh and Sam enter THE ROOSEVELT ROOM, where Reverend Al Caldwell, JOHN LA
SALLE,
and Mary Marsh are waiting for them.

JOSH
Good morning, Reverend Caldwell.

CALDWELL
Good morning, Josh, Sam.

JOHN LA SALLE
Good morning.

SAM
Good morning, reverend.

JOSH
Good morning everyone. Welcome. Good morning, Mary.

La Salle and Caldwell join Mary Marsh at the conference table.

MARY MARSH
Josh, the White House will face considerable embarrassment if the president
continues to maintain
his stranglehold on indifference when it comes to persecuted Christians
around the world.

JOSH
Okay, we're done with good morning.

Josh and Sam sit.

MARY MARSH
These are people from a country that oppresses Christians. The president
has to grant
their asylum request.

JOSH
The president doesn't grant asylum requests. The INS judge does.

MARY MARSH
The INS judge is going to do what the president urges him to do. And if the
president
doesn't urge the INS judge to grant the asylum, he's going to regret it.

JOSH
Mary, I swear to God, you are not going to get anywhere in this building
threatening me.

SAM
Do we know they were persecuted in China?

CALDWELL
Excuse me?

SAM
Do we know they were persecuted?

LA SALLE
They're Christians.

SAM
I believe that they are Christians. I'm asking if they were persecuted.

LA SALLE
Yes.

JOSH
How do you know?

MARY MARSH
They stuffed themselves in 20 by 20 foot container compartments for a month
and a half.
Why else would they be here?

CALDWELL
The leaders of the Funjchek church were thrown into labor camps. Last August,
three
Taiwanese-born evangelicals were arrested in Henan province...

LA SALLE
For – I'm quoting now - 'activities incompatible with tourist status under
which they
entered China.'

CALDWELL
In other words, for spreading the gospel, 100 of their followers were detained
and one
woman was beaten by the police.

MARY MARSH
Chinese Catholics are being arrested by the wagon load for recognizing the
Vatican's authority.

CALDWELL
An 82-year-old bishop was released after 30 years in prison and then arrested
again.
An 84-year-old bishop was tortured until he passed out.

MARY MARSH
He's now in a coma.

CALDWELL
China harasses Christians, Josh. The State Department says so. Amnesty
International says so.
I say so. It is fact.

MARY MARSH
And the scores of millions of American Christians and Christians around the
world will not
stand blithely by while religious freedom is threatened.

SAM
Sure you will.

JOSH
[warning tone] Sam...

SAM
No. They will stand blithely by while religious freedom is threatened. They're
just not
doing it this time.

JOSH
Okay.

MARY MARSH
This is about the play?

SAM
A guy writes a play called 'Apostles,' in which Jesus Christ is gay, and
you protest. Fine.
But when a guy threatens to blow up the theatre, you guys are nowhere to be
heard from.

MARY MARSH
That play was disgusting.

SAM
So you're committed to religious freedom for all people unless you don't
like what they
have to say?

MARY MARSH
That's not what I...

SAM
Don't look now but I think the playwright's headed to China.

CALDWELL
Josh?

He motions his head toward the hallway.

JOSH
Yeah.

He gets up and walks into HALLWAY with Reverend Caldwell.

JOSH
Sorry about that.

CALDWELL
No, Sam's right and it's a point well taken.  I just don't want to get bogged
down in a
Mary Marsh mud fight.

JOSH
Sir...

CALDWELL
This is too important.

JOSH
Yes it is.

CALDWELL
I want you to know and I want the president to know. My church will pay out
the bond for
each of the refugees.

JOSH
Well, we may be talking about more money...

CALDWELL
I know how much we're talking about. My church will pay it. If they won't,
I will.

JOSH
Okay. Thank you, Reverend. I'll pass that along.

CALDWELL
Thank you.

He looks down the hall to see Toby headed in his direction.

CALDWELL
Good morning, Toby.

TOBY
Good morning, Reverend.

CALDWELL
You look determined.

TOBY
I am, sir.

He walks around the reverend.

CALDWELL
Good boy.

Caldwell turns away from Toby and walks with Josh. We follow Toby as he
enters THE MURAL ROOM.
Four Republican congressional aides are waiting for him.

AIDE 1
Before we get to anything else, I want to object to the totally crappy way
we were informed
about this.

TOBY
You knew you were getting faxed a list of recess appointments.

AIDE 1
Toby, what makes you think...?

TOBY
Article 2, section 2. 'The president shall have the power to fill all
vacancies that may
happen during the recess of the Senate by granting commissions which shall
expire at the
end of their next session.'

AIDE 2
You can't just slip her in, Toby.

TOBY
Slip who in?

AIDE 3
Don't be cute.

TOBY
I can't help it.

AIDE 3
McGarry's sister.

TOBY
It's Mr. McGarry. And her name is Dr. Josephine McGarry. She has a Ph.D. in
education from
Cornell. She's published many scholarly essays on public education. She was
superintendent
of the Atlanta School District servicing 58,000 students with some of the
highest test scores
in the country. What in particular troubles the senators you  work for about
her resume?

AIDE 1
I think you know.

TOBY
I do but I'd like you to say it.

AIDE 4
She's anti-religion.

TOBY
Is she?

AIDE 4
Yes, she is.

TOBY
Hmm. She's on the board of visitors at her church. She teaches Sunday mornings
at the
Immaculate Heart of Mary School.

AIDE 2
You know what we're talking about, Toby. She's against prayer.

TOBY
She's against prayer?

AIDE 3
School prayer.

TOBY
Ah.

AIDE 3
As she's published many times in her scholarly essays.

TOBY
You wanna know who else is against it? The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals. Organized
prayer in public schools is prohibited and your problem with her is that
while superintendent,
she enforced the law.

AIDE 2
A law that 70 percent say is wrong. Seventy percent of the people say...

TOBY
Laws don't work like that, Wayne. We don't ask for a show of hands.

AIDE 1
You understand that the Senate Republicans...

TOBY
No, I don't. Can you explain it to me slowly using small words and visual
aides?

AIDE 3
Toby...

TOBY
[irritated] Senate Reublicans will hold up confirmations of other nominees.

AIDE 4
This is an abuse of the recess appointment. It's there for convenience. It's
not there to
circumvent the Senate's constitutional right to confirm nominees!

TOBY
Neither is the filibuster. I'll put down my gun when you put down yours.

AIDE 2
The fact is, if you don't think she can be confirmed, it's outrageous...

TOBY
[getting angry] No. What's outrageous is that this would never come to a
vote if we did
it in session. There's no way the Senate couldn't confirm her; she's too
qualified.
[yells] This would never come to a vote! [pause] So... hold up all the
appointments you
want. Shut down the government because a teacher did as she was told. You'll
have given
us a second term and we won't even have to leave the building. But not
because I'm right
and you're wrong. Although I am and you are. But because I am better at this
than you are.

AIDE 3
Not this time.

TOBY
I'm sorry?

AIDE 3
You're not better this time.

He reaches for an envelope inside his briefcase and slides across the couch
to Toby.

AIDE 3
This is a picture of her.

TOBY
Doing what?

AIDE 3
Enforcing the law.

He looks at Toby and then at the other aides. Toby opens the envelope and
looks at the
picture. He looks at the third aide, who has a smug look on his face.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY
Leo is in his desk, looking at a newspaper clipping, shaking his head. Toby
is standing
in the middle of the office.

TOBY
It was a home game, there was an organized prayer and she's breaking it up.

LEO
Yes she is.

TOBY
It's not good, but it's not, you know--

LEO
These are high school students. Two of them are on their knees praying while
being
handcuffed, with my sister standing next to the cop whose hand is on his
nightstick.

TOBY
[picking up paper] He's resting it on his nightstick.

LEO
I'm sure that explanation will be in the caption.

TOBY
Leo...

LEO
One of the students is wearing his marching band uniform, one of the students
is black...

TOBY
Listen...

LEO
And you say it's "not good."

TOBY
Yeah, look...

LEO
That's a penetrating diagnosis from the White House Communications Director.

TOBY
It's not like we weren't aware of the incident.

LEO
We didn't know there was art.

TOBY
It's a local paper.

LEO
It's not local anymore!

TOBY
Well I can save it.

LEO
[leaning forward] Does she know she was submitted?

TOBY
Yes.

LEO
How?

TOBY
I called her.

LEO
Toby!

TOBY
I can save this!

LEO
Margaret!

TOBY
Leo...

LEO
At a football game, a high school, marching band, on their knees. Don't we
think breaking
up Norman Rockwell had the cops, the handcuffs, the nightstick, and my sister.

MARGARET
[enters] Yeah.

LEO
[motioning] Get Josephine on the phone.

MARGARET
Yeah. [leaves]

LEO
I begged you to go slow with this nomination.

TOBY
The post needed...

LEO
The post did not desperately need to be filled. Neither the economy nor
national security
nor infrastructure will collapse without an assistant secretary of primary
and secondary
education.

TOBY
It brings the problem front and center.

LEO
Great. And what prize do we get for that?

TOBY
Leo...

LEO
What prize do we get for bringing it front and center?

MARGARET
[enters] Leo.

LEO
What?

MARGARET
Your sister.

Leo makes a "one second" sign as Margaret leaves.

TOBY
I'll be in my office.

Toby picks up the paper and heads towards the door.

LEO
It brings your problem front and center, Toby.

Toby pauses.

LEO
Leave the newspaper.

Toby returns the paper and leaves. Leo picks up the phone.

LEO
Hey Jo.

CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE | OVERHEAD SHOT - DAY
WEDNESDAY

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - CONTINUOUS
Donna is at her desk, standing looking through a folder as C.J. comes up.

C.J.
Donna.

DONNA
Hey, C.J.

C.J.
Can I borrow you for just a minute?

Donna agrees. They head towards C.J.'s office, passing Josh.

JOSH
Hey C.J.

C.J.
Hey I'd love to stay around and talk with you but I have a turkey pardoning
in 5 minutes.

JOSH
I thought that was tomorrow.

C.J.
No tomorrow's the singing.

JOSH
You're singing?

C.J.
I'm leading the children in song.

JOSH
Excellent.

C.J.
Yes. I need Donna for a moment.

JOSH
You need help with the song?

C.J.
I don't need help with the song. Donna?

DONNA
[to Josh] The INS guys will be here in a minute.

JOSH
Yeah.

C.J. and Donna walk away.

DONNA
What do you need?

C.J.
I need help with the song.

DONNA
Is it the usual song?

C.J.
There's a usual song?

DONNA
"We Gather Together."

C.J.
The song.

DONNA
That's the usual song.

They're now standing in front of C.J.'s closed office door.

C.J.
So you know it?

DONNA
Everybody knows it.

C.J.
I don't know it.

DONNA
[sighs] Didn't you go to elementary school?

C.J.
Yes, right before being a National Merit Scholar.

DONNA
"Madrigals" is another song.

C.J.
"Madrigals?"

DONNA
A couple of guys wearing costumes and playing the lute, it's no problem.

C.J.
You're not the one conducting a musical on CNN.

DONNA
Do you want me to teach you the song?

C.J.
Yes.

DONNA
Now?

C.J.
Not now, right now I have, you know, actual serious work to do. [while waving
a camera flash]

Donna heads off as C.J. goes into her OFFICE. Eric and Troy are still inside.

C.J.
Okay, it's show time guys. I've observed you under a number of conditions,
and this is the
final. I don't like you wigging out in the President's face I just don't
like the photo, so...

She flashes the camera flash, as the turkeys make turkey noises.

C.J.
You both did fine. Troy, I want you know it was neck-and-neck but I'm giving
it to Eric. You
were in it right to the end but it's the flapping thing you've got going
on. I tell you what's
of some concern to me, had I been talking out loud this whole time, that's
very unsettling.

Donna enters.

C.J.
Okay, Eric, here we go.

C.J. tries to get Eric to get off the chair and out the door.

C.J.
Come on Eric, let's go.

DONNA
The guy said to support him under his hindquarters.

C.J.
Well I don't know where his hindquarters are and I'm not going to look that
hard.
Come on Eric... Come on, down.

She snaps her fingers. Donna also tries to help out. C.J. keeps Troy from
coming instead.

C.J.
Troy...

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY
Sam and Josh enter the office as two INS agents, Betram and Gardner, follow.

BETRAM
The passages would cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000.

JOSH
$40,000 buys them a spot in a container?

BETRAM
Yeah.

SAM
How do these people have $40,000?

JOSH
They don't.

GARDNER
That's the problem.

JOSH
They have to pay off the smugglers when they get here so they become indentured
servants.

SAM
Sweatshops?

BETRAM
Drugs, prostitution...

JOSH
You should know that Al Caldwell and the Christian League have offered to
pay their bonds.

GARDNER
Al Caldwell and the Christian League should know that it's not uncommon for
them to be coached.

SAM
On religious persecution?

JOSH
It's a good alibi.

BETRAM
Listen it's not for me to say, but you got to be serious about illegal
immigration, and
you got to do these things within existing laws.

JOSH
Thanks for coming by.

BETRAM
Good seeing you.

GARDNER
Take it easy.

JOSH
You too.

The INS agents leave.

SAM
A lot of them left their families, two months on the water, in a container,
dead bodies
in there... They had to want it.

Josh sits down and sighs.

CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY
The President is standing over his desk looking over and writing on some
papers.
C.J. knocks on door and enters.

C.J.
Mr. President?

BARTLET
Yeah?

C.J.
We're all set.

BARTLET
[looks up] What am I doing?

C.J.
Pardoning a turkey.

BARTLET
Okay.

He turns his attention back to papers as C.J. leaves. While the door still
open, Charlie
enters with an open knife box in his hands.

CHARLIE
Mr. President?

BARTLET
Excellent. [comes around his desk]

CHARLIE
I think you'll like this.

BARTLET
[takes the knife] The Missermeister. Meridian 3000 series. One-piece forged
blade,
riveted palm handle.

CHARLIE
Terrific.

BARTLET
I don't like the handles.

CHARLIE
Okay.

Josh and Sam enter the Oval Office as Charlie heads out.

JOSH
Mr. President?

BARTLET
How's it going?

JOSH
Sir, we've taken a couple dozen meetings in the last two days.

BARTLET
You met with Chinese embassy officials?

JOSH
Last night. They say...

BARTLET
Christians aren't persecuted in China. Since they aren't oppressed, they
don't qualify
for refugee status.

JOSH
Under U.S. or U.N. Conditions here.

SAM
They also make the point that they broke Chinese law when the left the
country illegally,
and should be sent back to the country of origin.

BARTLET
It's a fair point.

JOSH
The INS agents also feel it's not uncommon in this situation for refugees
to... How do I
put it... Feign faith.

BARTLET
Yeah. They'll be coached.

JOSH
So how do you tell the difference between...?

BARTLET
Do you guys know what a "shibboleth" is?

SAM
It's a catch phrase isn't it?

JOSH
A clichE.

BARTLET
It's from the Bible. "Then said now unto him, say now 'shibboleth" and he said
"sibboleth"
for he could not frame to pronounce it right." It was a password, the way
the army used to
distinguish true Israelites from impostors sent across the river Jordan by
the enemy.

JOSH
Sir...

BARTLET
I'm having one of the Chinese refugees flown here. I'll meet with him tonight.

C.J.
[rushes into the room] Mr. President, I can't, you know, indefinitely,
with the turkey.

BARTLET
Yep.

JOSH
Excuse me, Mr. President, what are you going to ask the Chinese refugee?

Bartlet puts on his coat with C.J.'s assistance.

BARTLET
I'm going to ask him to say "Shibboleth."

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY
Leo is looking off intently with his hand near his mouth. The door opens
and Margaret enters.

MARGARET
Leo?

LEO
She's here?

MARGARET
Yeah.

LEO
Okay.

Margaret leaves. Leo gets up and walks around to the other side of his desk.
His sister, JOSEPHINE McGARRY, enters.

JOSEPHINE McGARRY
I understand they've already started beating the drums over me.

LEO
Yeah.

JOSEY
I don't think I need to tell you that I'm not going to shrink from a fight.

LEO
No, you don't. In fact you look for them.

JOSEY
Just like my brother.

LEO
I don't look for fights, Josey. There are enough of them to look for me.

JOSEY
Leo...

LEO
And I am trying to stage manage an undisciplined White House through what
I would say
was a difficult time except I haven't experienced an easy one yet.

JOSEY
This is going to be a big victory for us, Leo. I will have support lined up
from the
AFT, NEA... I will have support...

LEO
Jo, I want you to withdraw your name from consideration.

JOSEY
Why?

LEO
You feel you can do more as superintendent in Atlanta.

JOSEY
No, I mean why...?

LEO
'Cause the President won't. And even if he would it'd look bad.

JOSEY
No, I'm asking you why you...?

LEO
They got a hold of the picture.

JOSEY
Of what?

LEO
You know of what.

JOSEY
There are a lot of pictures, Leo.

LEO
This one is special. This one is "game's over."

Leo is now sitting on the couch, Josey in a chair.

JOSEY
The handcuffs.

LEO
Yeah.

JOSEY
And you wouldn't even consider sticking by me.

LEO
A few years ago on a campaign swing through the south, I met a stringer
photographer
named Odabee Jones. Was an unusual name and so I've remembered it. He told
me he had you
to thank for starting his career in photojournalism 'cause you'd given him
a head's up
when there was going to be something worth shooting.

JOSEY
Leo, what in God's name are you...?

LEO
Look at the photo credit on the picture.

She looks, leans back and starts to talk but Leo speaks.

LEO
You called the photographer! You wanted a picture taken of that.
[beat] Those kids are commendable in this day in age, those kids are
phenomenal...
Now we have laws and they are difficult and they have to be enforced, and
it's right
that they're enforced... but we do not strut ever!

A long pause before she responds.

JOSEY
Is there something you need me to sign?

Leo opens a folder to a letter typed up, gives her a pen; she signs it,
gives back the pen,
sets the letter down, and gets up; moves towards the door.

JOSEY
Anything else?

LEO
[standing up] Kiss your kids hello for me.

Josey sighs and leaves as Toby enters.

TOBY
[sighs] She'll get over it.

LEO
She hasn't gotten over my making her return the stolen milk duds.

TOBY
You were right.

LEO
I know.

TOBY
Josey was the wrong face to put on this.

LEO
Yes.

TOBY
But I'll tell you why it should be front and center. It's not the first
amendment,
it's not religious freedom, it's not church and state, it's not... abstract...

LEO
What is it?

TOBY
It's the fourth grader who gets his ass kicked at recess 'cause he sat out
the voluntary
prayer in homeroom. It's another way of making kids different from other
kids when they're
required by law to be there. That's why you want it front and center; fourth
grader;
that's the prize.

LEO
What'd they do to you?

Toby looks uncomfortable, looks at his feet, shifts his weight from one leg
to the other
as Ginger enters.

GINGER
[motions out] Leo?

LEO
Yeah.

He pauses as Ginger leaves.

LEO
You're right about that part. That part needs to be talked about more.

TOBY
It does.

LEO
Okay.

TOBY
What are you doing for dinner tomorrow? 'Cause Josh and Sam and I are watching
the game.

LEO
I'm with the First Family.

TOBY
Okay. [turns around, then turns back] Hey Leo, do me a favor, don't tell
the President
that we're just...

LEO
Oh the President could honestly give a damn what you guys are doing tomorrow
Toby.

TOBY
Yeah...

He clears his throat as he leaves. Leo goes into the Oval Office.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

MRS. LANDINGHAM [VO]
Uh, Mr. President?

BARTLET
Is he here?

MRS. LANDINGHAM [VO]
Yes, sir.

CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

BARTLET
Good.

He goes from behind his desk to his jacket on a chair. Leo is with him.

LEO
Did we get an interpreter?

BARTLET
He speaks English. He's a chemistry professor.

LEO
Yeah?

BARTLET
[puts on his jacket] There was a while there I wanted to be a chemistry
professor.

LEO
What happened?

BARTLET
I never actually studied chemistry.

LEO
Well, if these college chemistry departments are really demanding that way...

BARTLET
Yeah.

Mrs. Landingham comes in. Behind her is an Asian man, JHIN-WEI and two aides.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Mr. President?

JHIN-WEI comes in, and the two aides stay by the door.

BARTLET
Jhin-Wei?

JHIN-WEI
Yes sir.

They shake hands.

BARTLET
I'm Jed Bartlet. This is Leo McGarry.

LEO
How do you do?

BARTLET
Thanks for coming all this way.

JHIN-WEI
Yes sir.

LEO
[to the aides] Fellas... would you mind waiting outside?

Mrs. Landingham escorts the two aides outside.

BARTLET
Would you care to sit down? It's perfectly all right.

They sit. Leo leans in front of the desk.

BARTLET
[motions to the table] There are some sandwiches here. If you get hungry,
feel free to
eat as much as you want.

JHIN-WEI
Yes sir.

BARTLET
There are questions as to the veracity of your claim to the asylum.

JHIN-WEI
Yes sir.

BARTLET
How did you become a Christian?

JHIN-WEI
I began attending a house church with my wife in Fujian. Eventually, I was
baptized.

BARTLET
How do you practice?

JHIN-WEI
We share bibles--we don't have enough. We sing hymns. We hear sermons. We
recite the
Lord's Prayer. We are charible.

BARTLET
Who's the head of your church?

JHIN-WEI
The head of our parish is an 84 year old man named Wen-Ling. He's been beaten
and
imprisoned many times. The head of our church is Jesus Christ.

BARTLET
Can you name any of Jesus' disciples? [beat] If you can't, that's okay. I
usually can't
remember the names of my kids, or for that matter...

JHIN-WEI
Peter, Andrew, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, Thaddeus, Simon,
Judas and James.
[beat] Mr. President, Christianity is not demonstrated through a recitation
of facts.
You're seeking evidence of faith, a wholehearted acceptance of God's promise
for a better
world. 'For we hold that man is justified by faith alone' is what St. Paul
said. 'Justified
by faith alone.' Faith is the true... uh, I'm trying to... shibboleth. Faith
is the true
shibboleth.

BARTLET
[beat] Yes, it is. And you sir, just said the magic word in more ways than
one. Thank you.
[They stand.] It was a pleasure to meet you.

JHIN-WEI
Thank you, Mr. President.

After they shake hands, Jhin-Wei turns to leave the Oval Office. Bartlet
watches him go,
then turns around to face Leo.

LEO
We're trying to sell more 747s to China, already a big customer. We want
China to crack down
on violators of American copyrights. We're trying to get China to negotiate
a settlement
with Tibet...

BARTLET
Right.

LEO
Right.

Bartlet sits back down again. Leo goes to sit in front of him.

BARTLET
We don't have to grant asylum.

LEO
If you're suggesting what I think you are, you should know it happened before.

BARTLET
Where are they?

LEO
An I.N.S. detention facility in Otay-Mesa. They're being guarded by
I.N.S. agents aided
by the 22nd Division of the California National Guard.

BARTLET
Not the Coast Guard?

LEO
No.

BARTLET
Before... when it happened before... how did it work?

LEO
Well, you don't want to piss off China, and you want to send them back... You
got to ask
yourself, how secure is the I.N.S. detention facility?

BARTLET
[beat] Mrs. Landingham?

Mrs. Landingham approaches the open door from her desk.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Yes sir?

BARTLET
I need to talk to the Governor of California.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Yes sir.

She heads to the phone on her desk.

CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY
THURSDAY MORNING
THANKSGIVING

CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
C.J. comes out of a room and sees Carol.

C.J.
Carol?

CAROL
Yeah?

C.J.
We're starting in five minutes. You can move the press to the Rose Garden.

CAROL
Yeah.

They part ways. C.J. meets Toby as he stops on his tracks and follows her.

TOBY
Hey Toscanini.

C.J.
I'm busy.

TOBY
You're learning the song?

C.J.
I know the song.

TOBY
You don't know the song?

C.J.
'We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing. He chastens and hastens his
will to make known.'

TOBY
You know what it means?

C.J.
I don't have to know what it means.

TOBY
Listen. I don't know what you're doing for dinner tonight, but Josh and Sam
and I...

C.J.
It's about damn time you asked me! I have been sitting here for two weeks
turning down
all kinds of very, frankly, glamorous invitations from people I like more
than you. You
can't ask a girl at the last minute...

TOBY
[stops] Well, if you can't come...

C.J.
No. I can come. I can come. I can come.

They walk again.

TOBY
Good.

C.J.
Should I bring anything?

TOBY
Yeah. Do you know how to, you know, cook food?

C.J.
We're in the Rose Garden in five minutes.

She walks away from him and goes to her OFFICE. She sees Morton trying to
get one of
the turkeys. Donna is with him.

DONNA
C.J., this is Morton Horn. He's from Jasper Farms. He's here to take one of
the turkeys back.

C.J.
What do you mean?

MORTON
Well, I'm here to take one of the turkeys back.

C.J.
[tries to stop him] No. No. These turkeys are going to a petting zoo in
Delaware.

Troy flaps his wings behind her.

MORTON
Well, one of them is.

C.J.
Yeah, but I'm gonna send both of them.

DONNA
C.J., Jasper Farms donated one turkey and then the other one...

C.J.
Right, but I'm gonna take them both.

MORTON
No. I got to take a turkey back.

C.J.
[grabs her wallet] I'm gonna buy them from you. What's he, 30 bucks?

MORTON
These turkeys are 275 dollars.

C.J.
For a turkey!?

MORTON
They're especially raised.

C.J.
At the Waldorf?

MORTON
Ma'am, I...

C.J.
I'll pay it.

MORTON
It's already been sold.

C.J.
Give them a different turkey.

MORTON
Well, all of them have been sold.

DONNA
C.J., I think...

MORTON
Ma'am, it was my understanding that one of these turkeys has to be pardoned,
the other
one sent back to Jasper Farms.

C.J.
Yeah, and I chose Eric because Troy doesn't like to be touched, which,
surely we're not
gonna execute him for.

MORTON
Ma'am, I have a job and I need...

C.J.
Come with me, please.

MORTON
Ma'am!

C.J.
Grab the turkey, and come with me.

MORTON
[sighs] Alright.

C.J. and Donna head out. Morton grabs Troy from the desk and follows them.

CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY
Mrs. Landingham is busy on her desk as Bartlet opens the door to the Oval
Office.
He comes out and just stands by the door.

BARTLET
Mrs. Landingham, can I look at a copy of the Thanksgiving proclamation?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Sir, why don't you use the Intercom?

BARTLET
'Cause...

MRS. LANDINGHAM
'Cause you don't know how to use the Intercom.

BARTLET
I was standing at the door.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Maybe after the ceremony, you could get one of the fourth graders to come
in and show
you how to use the Intercom.

BARTLET
[starts to approach] Can I look at a copy...?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
Sam's bringing it in.

Charlie suddenly comes in.

CHARLIE
Mr. President.

BARTLET
What you got, Charles?

CHARLIE
A winner, Mr. President.

Charlie heads straight for THE OVAL OFFICE as Bartlet follows swiftly behind.

CHARLIE
The 1985 Kimono Yomada made in Japan with the best materials available.

BARTLET
Lighter weight blade.

CHARLIE
Which facilitates cutting and reduces user fatigue.

Bartlet walks around behind his desk. Charlie stands in front.

BARTLET
I once test-drove the Komin Yomada.

CHARLIE
And?

BARTLET
Not wild about it--How about this?

CHARLIE
Okay, Mr. President. I say this with all possible respect, but each of these
knives cut,
you know, meat. Why is it important?

BARTLET
Because it's something we pass on. Something with a history so we can say,
'My father
gave this to me. His father gave it to him, and now I'm giving it to you.'

CHARLIE
Well, okay sir, but if that's true, then why don't you already have one?

BARTLET
I do have one.

CHARLIE
Why do you need a new one?

BARTLET
I'm giving mine away.

CHARLIE
To who?

BARTLET
Whom.

CHARLIE
To whom?

BARTLET
Funny you should ask.

He opens a desk drawer from his left and pulls out what looks like an antique
knife
case, nicely wrapped with a piece of red ribbon.

BARTLET
Charlie, my father gave this to me, and his father gave it to him, and now
I'm giving it to you.

He extends his hand to offer the knife case to his personal aide. Charlie
gently takes it
and gazes at it for a moment.

BARTLET
Take a look.

Charlie unties the red ribbon and opens the case to reveal the knife inside,
in which he
stares at it admiringly.

BARTLET
The fully tapered bolster allows for sharpening the entire edge of the blade.

CHARLIE
It says, 'P.R.' I thought I knew all, but I don't recognize the manufacturer.

BARTLET
Yeah. This was made for my family by a Boston silversmith named Paul Revere.

Charlie swiftly looks up in surprise, much appreciation now seen in his
eyes. Behind him,
C.J. quietly enters.

C.J.
Mr. President?

BARTLET
I'm proud of you, Charlie.

Still taken aback, Charlie gives him a soft response.

CHARLIE
Thank you, sir. [beat] Five minutes in the Rose Garden.

BARTLET
Yeah.

Charlie turns around to leave as C.J. stands at the back of the room,
clearing her throat
before speaking.

C.J.
Mr. President.

BARTLET
Yeah?

C.J.
Hi!

BARTLET
Hi.

C.J.
I'm sorry to ask you this, sir.

BARTLET
Not too late to stop yourself.

C.J.
I need you to pardon a turkey.

BARTLET
I already pardoned a turkey.

C.J.
I need you to pardon another one.

BARTLET
Didn't I do it right?

C.J.
You did it great, but I need you to come out here and pardon another one.

BARTLET
Aren't I gonna get a reputation for being soft on turkeys?

C.J.
Sir, could you come out here and just get this over with?

BARTLET
No, I'm not just gonna get this--What the hell is going on?

C.J.
[approaches] They sent me two turkeys. The most photo-friendly of the two
gets a
Presidential pardon and a full life at a children's zoo. The runner-up gets
eaten.

BARTLET
If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.

C.J.
Mr. President...

BARTLET
Just buy the second turkey.

C.J.
They already sold it.

BARTLET
There's not much I can do.

C.J.
You can pardon the turkey.

BARTLET
The turkey hasn't committed a crime.

C.J.
Sir...

BARTLET
C.J., I have really no judicial jurisdiction over birds.

C.J.
Yes, I know that, and you know that, but Morton Horn doesn't know that.

BARTLET
Who's Morton...?

C.J.
He's a high school kid from the turkey place.

BARTLET
He's in high school and he doesn't know I can't pardon his turkey?

C.J.
That's what I'm betting.

BARTLET
C.J., if we don't and I mean completely overhaul public education in this
country...

C.J.
Yes sir, but maybe this is not the best time to...

BARTLET
Where the hell is he?

C.J.
Right out there.

Bartlet immediately heads for the door, with C.J. following behind him.

CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
As Bartlet and C.J. come out of the Oval Office, we see Donna and Morton by
the door of
the room near Charlie's desk. Troy, the turkey, is in front of them.

C.J.
Morton, this is President Bartlet.

BARTLET
Hey, Morton.

MORTON
Wow.

BARTLET
Well said. Is that the turkey?

DONNA
Yes.

BARTLET
[to the turkey] You're pardoned.

C.J.
Sir...

BARTLET
What do you want?

C.J.
[with hand gestures] Well, you know...

BARTLET
[to the turkey again] By the power vested in me by the Constitution of the
United States,
I hereby pardon you.

MORTON
[pleased] Okay.

BARTLET
No, it's not okay.

C.J.
Sir...

BARTLET
Morton, I can't pardon a turkey. If you think I can pardon a turkey, then
you have got
to go back to your school and insist that you be better prepared to go out
in the world.

DONNA
You can't pardon a turkey?

BARTLET
[beat] No. I tell you what I can do. I'm drafting this turkey into military
service.
In the meantime, somebody will be drafting a check, which will have my
signature on it,
so the folks can buy themselves a Butterball.

MORTON
Okay.

C.J.
Donna, will you have Morton take Troy back to his pen, and remember to
support his hindquarters.

BARTLET
[quietly to C.J.] What's wrong with him?

C.J.
The turkey's hindquarters.

As Morton picks up Troy and walks off with Donna, Sam and Josh come in the
room.

BARTLET
[to Sam] I'm still waiting for the thing.

SAM
[holds up a folder] Right here.

BARTLET
Let's go in.

Bartlet goes inside THE OVAL OFFICE. Josh and Sam follow, but C.J. stays
behind.

C.J.
Sir...

BARTLET
Give me two minutes.

C.J.
[points to the colonnade] I'm gonna step out there and begin the singing
and lute playing.

BARTLET [OS]
Whatever!

C.J. drops her hand and heads out the door.

CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Bartlet is on his way to go behind the desk. Josh and Sam stands in front.

JOSH
I'm assuming you've heard?

BARTLET
By the way, the Latin word for 'yam' is 'dioscorea.'

JOSH
You've heard.

BARTLET
About the Chinese refugees?

SAM
They escaped.

BARTLET
Yeah. Can you believe it?

JOSH
No, as a matter of fact, neither one of us can believe it, sir.

BARTLET
That detention center was being guarded by the 22nd Division of the California
National
Guard. Now, what does it say about our reserve army?

SAM
That 83 men, women and children who haven't eaten in two months staged a
prison break.

BARTLET
Let me read this.

He now has the folder in his hand, puts on his glasses, and starts to read
from the paper inside.

BARTLET
'Well over three and a half centuries ago, strengthened by faith and bound
by a common
desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New
World where
they could worship according to their own beliefs. Now therefore I, Josiah
Bartlet,
President of the United States, by virtue of authority and laws vested in me,
do hereby
proclaim this to be a National Day of Thanksgiving.'

SAM
I'll see you out there, sir. [walks out to the portico]

JOSH
You asked the Governor to stand down the 22nd Division.

BARTLET
[taking off his glasses] And call in the Red Cross. We didn't do anything
illegal.
We're not involved in any massive criminal conspiracy. There's no way I was
letting
them go, and we needed to help China save face, so now they can tell their
people that
the mighty American military was overpowered by...

JOSH
Yeah.

Bartlet starts to head out to the colonnade.

JOSH
So the guy passed the test, huh?

BARTLET
You think I would've sent him back if he'd failed catechism? Let me tell
you something.
We can be the world's policeman. We can be the world's bank, the world's
factory, the
world's farm. What does it mean if we're not also...

He pauses for a moment, smiling a little. From a distance we hear several
children
starting to sing.

BARTLET
We've made it into the New World, Josh. You know what I get to do now? I
get to proclaim
the National Day of Thanksgiving.

HERALD [OS]
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the President of the United States.

BARTLET
[to Josh] This is a great job.

With a big smile, he opens the door to the COLONNADE, and heads for THE ROSE
GARDEN.
Josh stays still at the door for a moment, and then follows him. A Secret
Service Agent
goes to close the door. Somewhere nearby, children continue to sing, with
angelic voices
we can now hear bright and clear.

SINGERS [OS]
...to ask the Lord's blessing.
He chastens and hastens
His will to make known.
The weak and oppressing
Now seized from distressing
Sing praises to His name,
He forgets not His own.

The song ends, and from the door, we slowly--

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 2.8 – 'Shibboleth'
Original Airdate: November 22, 2000, 9:00 P.M. EST

Transcript By: Giorgio, Kris, Tobyfan and JenLovesWW

Leave a Reply