The President (Martin Sheen) engages both Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) in intricate chess matches that underscore the wily game of brinkmanship Bartlet is playing with the Chinese who threaten to turn their war games in the Taiwan Strait into the real thing if Taiwan begins test-firing their new U.S. Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is edgy about every vote out of the 42 cast in a remote New Hampshire burg that are counted immediately and always predict the winner of the day’s crucial state primary. Elsewhere, a mischievous C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to upset Charlie (Dule Hill) by not accounting for her copy of the President’s top-secret daily schedule — prompting a war of mischievous games and tricks.
THE WEST WING "HARTSFIELD'S LANDING" WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN DIRECTED BY: VINCENT MISIANO TEASER FADE IN: EXT. ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT Air Force One is coming in to land. ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE 8:40 P.M. EST Bartlet descends from the plane as the cameras flash. He is met by a Secret Service Agent and then by C.J. as the Service guy moves away. REPORTER 1 [VO] Welcome home, Mr. President! REPORTERS [VO] Mr. President! Mr. President! BARTLET Thank you! REPORTER 2 [over the shouts of the others] Any further follow-up after New Delhi? BARTLET I'm sorry? REPORTER 2 Was there any follow-up after New Delhi? BARTLET We spoke several times about Kashmir, and she assured me they're working towards a peaceful resolution. We also had a spirited conversation about chess. REPORTER 3 The Prime Minister plays chess? BARTLET Chess was invented in India. Somewhere around 600 A.D., a gigantic chessboard was constructed at Fatehpur Sikri which was the capital a long time ago, and human figures were used as chess pieces. C.J.'s cell phone starts to ring and she fishes it out. BARTLET [cont.] They moved at the Emperor's will. That's what I like to call the good old days. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT We see a man in a suit on TV in the background as the door opens. Margaret walks in. MARGARET [indicating phone] C.J. Leo hits the speakerphone. LEO C.J.? C.J. [on phone] Hey, Leo. LEO What's he doing? CUT TO: EXT. ANDREW'S AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT C.J. is standing with her cell phone as Bartlet speaks to the press in the background. C.J. The history of chess by Dr. Josiah Bartlet. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT LEO Get him in the car. C.J. What's going on? LEO And get the press pool back here too. C.J. What's going on? LEO China. CUT TO: EXT. ANDREW'S AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT C.J. Okay. BARTLET [to the press] In sandlewood, and a laquered classic Stanton in boxwood. C.J. [approaching] Thank you, everybody. BARTLET [over his shoulder as she leads him away] Hey, don't forget! [checks watch] Hartsfield votes in three hours and 21 minutes! We're gonna find out who the next President is. He and C.J. walk towards the car. BARTLET I'm gonna give some of the chess sets out as gifts, did you see them? C.J. Leo needs you in the car. BARTLET Did he say-? C.J. China. Bartlet gets into the car and an Agent shuts the door behind him. CUT TO: INT. INSIDE OF PRESIDENTIAL LIMO - CONTINUOUS Bartlet picks up his phone. BARTLET Yeah? LEO [VO] Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET What's going on? CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT LEO Intel says Taiwan's getting ready to test fire three Patriots. BARTLET Where? LEO A base on a island in the Pingdong region. BARTLET What's China's reaction? LEO An acceleration of integrated military exercises. BARTLET Big? LEO Yeah. BARTLET How big? LEO Unprecedented. Shall we tell Taiwan not to test the missles? Sir? BARTLET No. I mean, we could try, but they're not gonna go for it. LEO They might. BARTLET What are they asking for? LEO They want us to put some hardware in the Taiwan Strait. BARTLET Tonight? LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET I'm assuming Nancy and Fitzwallace and the Chiefs... LEO Everyone concurs, Mr. President. BARTLET You? LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET We have a pretty good sense of the worst-case scenario? LEO We end up sending the largest US naval armada to South-East Asia since the end of Vietnam. BARTLET That sounds right. LEO [after a moment] Sir? BARTLET All right, we know the play. LEO We're going to assemble in the Sit Room. BARTLET She gave me these beautiful chess sets. LEO The Prime Minister? BARTLET Yeah. I'm on my way. Let Fitzwallace know I'm gonna order the Seventh Fleet into the Taiwan Strait. LEO Yes, sir. Bartlet hangs up the phone. BARTLET [to the driver] Let's go. CUT TO: EXT. ANDREW'S AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT The Presidential motorcade moves away. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT Bartlet and Leo walk side by side. CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS Bartlet and Leo step inside. MILITARY MAN Ten-hut! All rise. BARTLET Good evening. ALL Good evening, Mr. President. BARTLET Listen, they start voting in Hartsfield's landing in about two and a half hours, so this may end up being somebody else's problem. [General laughter. Everyone sits.] The scale of the war games is unprecedented? NANCY It's a simulation of an invasion of Penghu Islands, and it includes battle-stance intervention by foreign aircraft carriers. LEO What's the Taiwanese reaction so far? NANCY All armed forces are on heightened alert. The War Minister asked for an emergency Cabinet meeting. LEO What about equipment movement? NANCY Keyhole shows ten AH-1W Helicopters. LEO [to Bartlet] Super Cobras. NANCY Yeah, on the tarmac at Chingchuankang. LEO The Nimitz? MILITARY GUY 1 About two hours away. LEO The Indepence? MILITARY GUY 1 Also two hours away. LEO What other assets can be moved in? MILITARY GUY 2 There's a battle carrier group, the Carl Vinson. It's on it's way to relieve the Constellation in the Arabian Gulf. LEO 'Kay, let me backtrack for a second. What's C.J. facing in the press room right now? NANCY Well, Xinhua's reporting the live fire exercises. LEO Is the Carl Vinson close enough to make a detour to the South China Sea? MILITARY GUY 1 We think that's our next move. LEO Sir? BARTLET That's our next move. NANCY After that? BARTLET After our next move comes their next move. CUT TO: INT. THE PRESS ROOM - NIGHT Camera pans across from C.J. on screen to C.J. at the podium. REPORTERS C.J.! C.J. Katie. KATIE Is the President gonna ask the Taiwanese to hold off testing the Patriots? C.J. No, and it's important to remember that Patriot missles are defensive equipment which can only be used in the event of an attack. REPORTER 1 But it's the testing of the Patriots that's provoking the Chinese war games. C.J. I'm not in a position to say what's provoking the war games. Chris? CHRIS The Chinese attack Taiwan, we're obligated to defend them under the '79 Act, correct? C.J. Actually, under the '79 Act we agreed to provide Taiwan with sufficient capability to defend itself, but we're getting way ahead of ourselves. There's gonna be a Pentagon briefing at 10 AM. REPORTER 2 Will the President be monitoring the situation throughout the night? C.J. The President will be monitoring the situation in the China Seas as well as Hartsfield's Landing. Any of the new people not know about Hartsfield's Landing? A hand raises. C.J. Hartsfield's Landing is a town in New Hampshire, population 63. While the rest of New Hampshire goes to the polls at 8 AM tomorrow, all of the 42 registered voters of Hartsfield vote at one minute past midnight or... [checks watch] a little over two hours from now. Hartsfield has accurately predicted the winner in every Presidential election since William Howard Taft, who, by the way, was the founder of the seventh inning stretch wherein we sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", music and lyrics by Jack Norworth and Albert VonTilzer. [general laughter] It's all part of the service here at Claudia's house of useless knowledge. That's a full lid, thank you very much. She leaves the podium. REPORTERS C.J.! CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS C.J. walks along with Carol. CAROL Albert VonTilzer? C.J. Ironically, neither of them had ever been to a major league baseball game when they wrote that song. The other song they were famous for was? CAROL I didn't even know they were famous for that one. C.J. "Shine on Harvest Moon". C.J. heads towards her office as Carol walks off in a different direction. She meets Charlie coming towards her, carrying a pile of boxes. C.J. Charlie. [notices what he's carrying] What are those? CHARLIE I'm distributing chess sets as gifts. C.J. I need a copy of the President's private schedule. CHARLIE Didn't you get one? C.J. I need another. CHARLIE You gotta sign it out. C.J. I'm sorry? CHARLIE You gotta sign it out and then sign it back in. It can't be photocopied, and it can't leave the building. C.J. [amused] What the hell is this? CHARLIE For the third time in two months, a copy of the private schedule wound up in the press room. I've got to crack down. C.J. I've got to sign it out? CHARLIE And sign it back in. C.J. I'm the Press Secretary. CHARLIE You do a nice job. C.J. Gimme the damn schedule CHARLIE [handing her a clipboard] Sign it out, and sign it back in. C.J. [signing] The anal-retentive side of you is not gonna to help you get girls. CHARLIE I do okay. C.J. leaves. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Josh is at his desk by his computer, writing. JOSH Donna! After a moment he gets up. JOSH Donna! DONNA Yeah? She bursts in, almost thumping Josh with the door. JOSH You know... DONNA I was coming. JOSH You were taking your time. DONNA I don't have warp speed. JOSH Do you remember Jennifer Flender, the daughter of the mom and pop who have the tackle shop? DONNA Mack and Roberta Flender. JOSH Yes. DONNA The Flenders. JOSH The daughter just e-mailed me and told me her parents are voting for Ritchie. DONNA Why is she e-mailing you? JOSH She e-mails me. DONNA Why? JOSH 'Cause she's got a little crush on me. DONNA You didn't sleep with the Flender girl, did you? JOSH She's twenty years old. DONNA Mack has got guns, Josh, and doesn't like northerners. JOSH He lives in New Hampshire. DONNA Still- JOSH It doesn't matter. Mom and pop are voting for Ritchie, and they vote in Hartsfield's Landing. You gotta talk to them. He hands her a piece of paper. DONNA What are you talking about? JOSH I'm not kidding. Two votes could be the margin. DONNA It's Hartsfield's Landing. JOSH Yeah. DONNA I thought we were just kidding around with this. JOSH We're not. DONNA It's 42 votes. JOSH That are cast at 12:01 and counted at 12:07. The rest of New Hampshire doesn't come in until nine PM. That's 21 hours of the news having nothing to report but the winner at Hartsfield's Landing. I want it to be us. You have to get on the phone and talk to the Flenders. [sits] DONNA The Flenders - why me? JOSH They liked you. They took you in, they fed you. DONNA You make me sound pathetic. JOSH You were pretty pathetic, and the Fenders fed you. DONNA [standing] Flenders. JOSH See, you remember their name. There's obviously a connection. DONNA Josh- JOSH [holding a hand up to his ear expectantly] Politics in New Hampshire is what? DONNA [rolling eyes] Retail. JOSH Thank you. Get on the phone, find out what their problem with the President is, and solve it. DONNA All right, except I can't get on this phone. JOSH Why? DONNA It's a government phone, I can't use it to intimidate voters. JOSH Sad but true. You know what I'm thinking? DONNA [sharply] Yes. JOSH Cell phone, Lafayette Park, and a warm coat. DONNA I'm taking your coat. [heads over to grab it] JOSH It's a good coat. DONNA [leaving] I'm taking it. JOSH I'm cool. CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT We see Sam through the window as he comes in. He slips off his scarf and coat, and then notices the chess set arranged on his desk, all pieces in position. He clicks on the light to illuminate it, then picks up one of the black pieces and the note that sits on top of the board. Bartlet arrives in the doorway. BARTLET Excuse me. SAM [looking up] Mr. President, welcome back. BARTLET Thank you. How are you? SAM I'm fine, sir, I was just... someone gave me this chess set. BARTLET Yeah, it's from me. SAM You're kidding? BARTLET The Prime Minister gave me a few different sets, and I wanted to give them as gifts. SAM I'm really overwhelmed by this, Mr. President. BARTLET The State of the Union was really something else. SAM Thank you again, sir. BARTLET This one's a Lotus set, hand-carved camel-bone. She told me it came to her from a direct descendent of Tan Sen. You know who that was? SAM No. BARTLET The greatest musician of his time. SAM What time was that? BARTLET Sixteenth century. He'd go to the human chess matches at the Mogul Court of Emperor Akbar, and that began the family obsession with the game. Wanna play? SAM You? BARTLET Yeah. SAM I'll get killed. BARTLET Why? Bartlet picks up a black piece and a white piece and holds them behind his back. SAM You're a Grand Wizard or a Grandmaster or something. BARTLET No, I'm none of those things. I'm just grand. He holds out both hands in fists, and Sam taps the right with a finger. BARTLET [opening his hand] You're white, but don't ever touch me. SAM I'm sorry, sir. BARTLET I was kidding. He spins the board on the desk so the black pieces are at his end. Sam deliberates for a moment, then moves a pawn (d2-d3). BARTLET Ah, the Fibonacci opening. Very interesting. SAM You're just gonna mess with me this whole time, right? BARTLET Yeah. Bartlet moves a pawn (e7-e5). SAM So India went well? BARTLET Yeah. Sam moves a pawn (e2-e4). SAM A standing ovation on the floor of the Stock Exchange. BARTLET A billion dollars at the Export-Import Bank didn't hurt. Bartlet moves a knight (b8-c6). SAM I suppose. BARTLET Three billion in direct foreign investment to the forty-four billion China gets. You're an American, where would you rather put your money? Sam moves a bishop (c1-e3). SAM India. BARTLET Why? Bartlet makes a move off-screen (possibly knight g8-f6). SAM They're Democratic... English-speaking. There's the rule of law. Better since Cuba. Sam moves a pawn off-screen (a2-a3). BARTLET That's right. Bartlet moves a bishop (f8-c5). SAM Do you mind my asking how bad it's getting out there tonight? BARTLET It's bad. If Kashmir's the most dangerous place on earth, the second most dangerous is the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan's got four hundred thousand troops on high alert; the size of China's war games is unprecedented. SAM Have you thought about asking Taiwan to call off the Patriot tests? BARTLET You think I should? SAM No, sir. BARTLET Why not? SAM Because China's if got three hundred missiles pointed at Taiwan, why shouldn't they be able to defend themselves? Sam moves a piece off-screen (right-hand side of the board). BARTLET That's right. Plus guess what? [makes another move] The Patriot tests aren't why China's showing its teeth. SAM [intrigued] Why aren't they? BARTLET Are you ready to come inside? Sam nods slowly. SAM Yes, sir. BARTLET By the end of the week, Taiwan's going to announce they are holding their first free elections. SAM You're kidding. BARTLET Defend your queen. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS Nancy, Leo, and the Chinese delegation are seated around a table. NANCY Mr. Ambassador, please. CHINESE AMBASSADOR Excuse me, please. NANCY Sir. There is a purpose to this meeting. CHINESE AMBASSADOR Yes. You have discovered that calling us reckless is not working. NANCY Taiwan is a geo-strategic centre for commerce. It sits on an oil lane for Asia and the Middle East. CHINESE AMBASSADOR Excuse me- NANCY And unnecessarily militarizing- CHINESE AMBASSADOR Madam- NANCY Unnecessarily militarizing on such a large scale is, in fact, reckless. CHINESE AMBASSADOR Taiwan is a part of China and is not a protectorate of the United States. And it is your actions that are an encroachment on Chinese sovereignty and interference in internal affairs. LEO Our battle carrier groups are in international waters. Are you claiming jurisdiction? CHINESE AMBASSADOR No. LEO Then let's settle down. CHINESE AMBASSADOR The Shanghai Communiqu*- CHINESE AIDE Sir, I- CHINESE AMBASSADOR The Shanghai Communiqu*- NANCY Says that there is but one China, and that Taiwan is a part of China, and the United States government does not challenge that position. The US is only interested in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves. CHINESE AMBASSADOR A settlement that is not best facilitated by the US selling arms to Taiwan. LEO That's not on the table in this meeting. CHINESE AIDE This year's arms sale package was the biggest in the decade. [The Chinese delegation all nod as he speaks.] Four K-Class Destroyers, twelve anti-submarine P3 Orions - you approved the AMRAD. LEO That's not on the table. CHINESE AMBASSADOR I've said what was to be said. Taiwan's reunification with the mainland is the will of all Chinese people. And just so we understand each other; the moment that we see them testing their US-built Patriots is the moment that you will see us testing our CSS-6 missiles. Leo looks grave. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - NIGHT Donna comes in, wrapped up in a long coat. JOSH How'd it go? DONNA They're not voting for us. JOSH Why? He gets up and follows her as she goes to make herself coffee. DONNA 'Cause the old Perren pulp mill is still idle after five years. JOSH It's been five years, and why is it our fault? DONNA 'Cause instead of protecting American jobs we're letting Canadian pulp importers take over their market share. JOSH It's called free trade. DONNA It's also called "why the Flenders aren't voting for us". JOSH [rubbing his face] Didn't you... talk up our accomplishments? DONNA I couldn't think of them. JOSH Donna. DONNA They don't care about our accomplishments, they care about the market for away-from-home paper towels and tissue products. Can I give them a commitment? JOSH A commitment? DONNA Yes. JOSH No! You- We're not making a trade commitment to the Flenders! We're not for protectionism, and neither are the Republicans. Tell them the President's been good for the ecomony overall. DONNA They say he's been bad for the economy. She starts to walk away and Josh follows her round to her desk area. JOSH We're for affordable health care. DONNA What's affordable if you've lost your job at the pulp mill? JOSH They don't - the Flenders don't work at the pulp mill! DONNA Nobody works in the pulp mill! JOSH All right. If Canada's making cheaper pulp, then New Hampshire has to diversify. That's why the President has allocated five hundred million dollars for trade adjustment assistance. That's why - write this down. That's why he's tripled small business start-up loans. That's why he's balancing the budget. [Donna dutifully writes it down.] Go. DONNA [sipping her coffee] It's so warm in here. JOSH Go. She puts the coffee down and hurries out, shivering. CUT TO: INT. LOBBY - CONTINUOUS Charlie comes up behind Donna. CHARLIE Donna. DONNA Yeah. CHARLIE You haven't by any chance seen my copy of the President's private schedule, have you? DONNA I don't think so. CHARLIE It's stamped D12. DONNA I haven't seen it. [leaves] CHARLIE Thanks. He heads through the doors she just came out of. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - CONTINUOUS Josh is coming out of his office. JOSH Hey, Charlie. CHARLIE Listen. You haven't seen my copy of President's private schedule, have you? JOSH No. CHARLIE [sighs] I'm trying to retrace where I've been within the last hour. I was here, I was in the mess, I went back to my desk... [realizes] Excuse me. He heads towards C.J.'s office. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS CHARLIE Hello. C.J. Chaz. CHARLIE You wouldn't happen to know where my copy of the private schedule is, would you? C.J. Did you lose it? CHARLIE I don't believe I did, no. C.J. Yet you don't have it. CHARLIE Odd. Carol appears in the doorway behind him. CAROL [to C.J.] He'd like you for a moment. C.J. Thank you. C.J. leaves and Charlie follows her. CUT TO: INT. WHITE HOUSE CORRIDORS - CONTINOUS CHARLIE Where is it? C.J. How would I know? CHARLIE Where is it? C.J. I just hope you didn't leave the building with it. CHARLIE Give it up, Tiny. C.J. [laughing] Think you're going to want to talk nicer to me than that, because when a reporter finds it, they're going to come to me, and that thing is stamped D12, and you signed out D12, and rules are rules. CHARLIE Funny. C.J. What? CHARLIE I never told you it was D12. C.J. How about that? They come to a stop in front of Ed and Larry. C.J. [cont.] You'll find it in your filing cabinet under 'A' for 'anal.' Ed and Larry exchange a look as Charlie moves off. LARRY I don't really want to know what he's going to find in his filing cabinet, do you? ED Nooo. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS The President is meeting with various people. BARTLET Okay. ALL Thank you, Mr. President. They file out as C.J. comes in. LEO C.J. C.J. Yeah? LEO I want you to leak it to two or three sources; the U.S.S. Carl Vinson is going to do what's called a passing exercise with the Independence. We want South China media to pick it up right away. C.J. Sure. C.J. leaves as we hear the sound of a knock. CHARLIE comes in. CHARLIE Mr. President. BARTLET Yeah? CHARLIE Can you see Toby a moment? BARTLET Yeah. [turns to Leo as Charlie leaves] Give us a minute, would you? LEO I'll let you know when there's something new. BARTLET Thanks. Leo leaves and Toby comes in. TOBY Good evening Mr. President, welcome back. BARTLET Thanks. C'mon in. TOBY [waving a note] I think this note was delivered to me by mistake. BARTLET What's it say? TOBY 'Come play chess.' BARTLET No, that's for you. TOBY It says 'Sigmund, come play chess'. BARTLET That was a joke. Not so funny, huh? TOBY That's a beautiful chess set. BARTLET It's a gift, for you. TOBY [after a moment's silence] Really? BARTLET Yeah. It's hand-carved, it belonged to the Prime Minister's grandfather. He used it to play with Lord Mounbatten. TOBY I'm surprised she gave it away. BARTLET Nah, she didn't, we just boosted it from the palace on our way out. I've got some little bottles of shampoo and conditioner, too. TOBY [uncomfortably] Well, it's a beautiful gift, sir. BARTLET Sit down. TOBY I wouldn't want to take your time tonight. BARTLET [removing his jacket] Come on, now. You were out of line, I was a jackass - let's call a truce. TOBY Well, I certainly apologise, sir. BARTLET [sitting down] Let's play chess. TOBY Aren't you in the middle of a game with Sam? BARTLET Yeah; he's... one, two, four, eight, twelve moves away from checkmate. TOBY Twelve moves. BARTLET Yeah. You take white. TOBY [taking a seat opposite Bartlet] Lord Mountbatten used to play with this set? BARTLET With Jawaharlal Nehru when they came to an agreement on the necessity of India's independence. TOBY Appropriate topic for the evening. BARTLET Yeah. Toby moves a pawn (e2-e4). BARTLET Taiwan's not gonna be our topic. Ah, the Evans Gambit! Bartlet moves a pawn (e7-e5). TOBY There's no such thing as the Evans Gambit. BARTLET A variation of the Giuoco Piano opening, named after a British sea captain, W.D. Evans, who invented it in 1820 - don't tell me chess moves. TOBY I moved my pawn. BARTLET Well, it's as popular today as it was back then. Toby moves a knight (g1-f3). Bartlet moves a knight (b8-c6). TOBY What is- Toby moves a bishop (f1-c4). BARTLET I'm sorry? TOBY What is our topic? BARTLET Re-election and the Bartlet Psychosis. Bartlet moves a bishop (f8-c5). TOBY [nodding slightly] Seems to me the last time we were here, we didn't do very well. Toby moves a pawn (b2-b4). BARTLET So we get right back on the horse. Bartlet takes Toby's pawn with his bishop (c5-b4). TOBY I was out of line sir, I really do apologize. BARTLET You apologized already, so let's get back on the horse. TOBY Neither one of us rides horses. Toby makes a move off-screen. BARTLET That makes it more likely we'll learn something. Bartlet makes a move off-screen. There is a knock at the door and Charlie enters. CHARLIE Sir. BARTLET Yeah? CHARLIE [on his way out] Sam says Bishop to Queen's Knight three. BARTLET Excuse me; eleven moves. He gets up and leaves. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT The camera pans up to show Bartlet, watching Sam think of his next move. BARTLET Take your time. [beat] See the whole board. [beat] Think happy thoughts... SAM Sir... BARTLET Sure. He gets up, then sits down again on a farther chair, and starts munching on something. BARTLET The Spanish brought chess to the court of Charlemagne in 760 AD. Charlemagne is French for Charles the Great. The Charles is a river in Boston. The Hudson River is actually not a river at all... SAM I'm taking your rook. [makes a haste movement on the board] Bartlet gets up to make his move. BARTLET Now take your time. [beat] See the whole board. SAM The Hudson isn't a river? BARTLET It is in the Catskills, but once it gets to Manhattan, it's a tidal estuary. SAM Because it's deeper than the body of water it flows into. BARTLET Yeah. SAM You mind my asking how the meeting with the Chinese ambassador went? BARTLET Well, how do you think it went? SAM I think they said if Taiwan tests the Patriots, they'll start their exercises. BARTLET That's right, except they didn't call them Patriots. What did they call them? SAM US-made Patriots. BARTLET Right. SAM They want us to say we're gonna roll back our sale of arms to Taiwan. BARTLET Good. SAM But we're not going to stop arming Taiwan. BARTLET No. SAM Especially not now when they're trying to hold free elections. BARTLET Right. SAM Plus it's the law. BARTLET Yeah. SAM So we sell them the Orions and we sell them the AMRAAMs... BARTLET [looking at the board] Your move. SAM Hang on... You've got two carrier groups headed to the Taiwan Strait... BARTLET Move. SAM Plus, the Carl Vincent in the South China Sea... [moves a figure on the board] Beijing wants you to scale back the weapons and you're not going to do it... BARTLET Right. [takes one of Sam's chess pieces] I gotta go back to Toby in the other room. He's trying a Balducci attack. [walks out] SAM How does it work? BARTLET See the whole board! Sam leans back in his chair, alone, looking at the board. SAM The Aegis Destroyers. CUT TO: INT C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT C.J. is feeding Gail as Josh walks in. JOSH I'm going out for some pizza, do you want any? C.J. [walks towards him and grabs her coat] I'll go get it. I want to get some air. JOSH We need three. C.J. 45 minutes till Hartsfield's Landing! JOSH We're working the room. C.J. Good. JOSH It is absurd that 42 people have this kind of power. C.J. I think it's nice. JOSH Do you? C.J. [gets her wallet from her purse] I think it's democracy at its purest. They all gather at once... JOSH At a gas station. C.J. It's not a gas station, it's nice. [counts her money] There's a registrar or voters, the names are called in the alphabetical order, they put a folded piece of paper into a box. See, this is the difference between you and me. JOSH You're a sap? C.J. Those 42 people are teaching us something about ourselves: that freedom is the glory of God, that democracy is its birthright, and that our vote matters. JOSH You're getting the pizza? C.J. Yeah, I should call ahead. She picks up the receiver, instead the whole phone is lifted. C.J. tries to tear the receiver from the phone. C.J. He crazy-glued my phone. JOSH Who? C.J. Ha ha. Charlie! Charlie crazy-glued my phone. Okay. Okay... [chuckles] Now we're playing for keeps. [puts on her scarf and walks out] Donna approaches Josh. DONNA Josh. JOSH How'd it go? DONNA I told them about the trade adjustment assistance. JOSH And? DONNA They're not wild about the Canadian pulp thing but their real problem is the tax policy. They want to go from an income tax to a sales tax. JOSH Is this gonna end up with Mackey Flender as Fed chair? DONNA I'm just telling you... JOSH Tell them a national sales tax is regressive. Poor people pay a much higher percentage of their income. [They start walking down the hall.] Tell them we'll study it. DONNA Okay. Is the President destroying the economy to save salmon? JOSH [stops] No. DONNA I'm having a hard time convincing them of that, too. JOSH [as they start walking again] There's no salmon in New Hampshire! DONNA Mackey's sister's friend lives in Oregon. JOSH Tell them we haven't made a decision on the salmon runs. Tell them salmon restoration is important to the economy. DONNA Do you even know what they're talking about? JOSH What am I n the fish guy? Tell them we're looking into it. They reach JOSH'S OFFICE. DONNA Uh.. they think the President is going to privatize Social Security. JOSH He's not going to... That's the other guys! He's not going privatize Social Security! He'll... He'll privatize New Hampshire before he privatizes Social Security! DONNA Yeah, but we haven't ruled it out. JOSH 'Cause we told Congress we'd keep an open mind! DONNA They're really prefer it if we ruled it out. JOSH [grabs a fat book off his shelf] Here. 'Bartlet for New Hampshire.' Gives all the reasons why Bartlet's for the people of New Hampshire, the Flenders, everybody, all... 17 of them or... whatever the hell goes on out there. Why are you wearing my coat? DONNA [takes the book and walks out] It's warmer than my coat. JOSH Okay. Go. When Donna leaves, Josh walks into the bullpen. JOSH Are we getting pizza? EVERYONE Yeah! Okay! Yes! LEO [comes up to Josh] What are you doing? JOSH Trying to get a little pizza in an uncivilized world. LEO It's not easy being you, is it? JOSH No. Listen, so I shouldn't sweat, right? There's a predetermined time for the carrier groups? LEO You know what? Half of me wants to let them go. JOSH Half of you always wants to let them go. Half of everybody always wants to let them go. LEO They need 400,000 troops on high alert for thinking about holding an election. 400,000 troops and a battery of Patriot missiles for thinking about having an election. JOSH You're gonna turn the carrier groups around, right? LEO [smiles] We'll see how the pizza turns out. Leo walks past Josh outside the bullpen. Josh returns to his office and dials a number. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE GATES - NIGHT Donna leaves the premises as her cell phone rings. She turns it on. DONNA Yeah? JOSH [on phone] Yeah, it's me. I just want to remind you that child support collection is up 37%. DONNA What? JOSH I said child support collection is up 37%. We're cracking up on deadbeat dads. I wanted to make sure you told them that. DONNA Okay. JOSH Leo was just here. DONNA Yeah? JOSH He's talking about Tawian, he's saying 400,000 troops and a battery of Patriot missiles just to think about holding free elections. You know, it was one of those things... DONNA Okay, listen, I've got to call them. We're running out of time. JOSH Yeah, okay. He hangs up the phone. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Toby and Bartlet continue their game. BARTLET Let me tell you, you're really showing me something tonight. A lot of spunk, a lot of pluck, this game isn't all about size, you know. There's a little thing called heart, and you've got it, my friend. TOBY You know what, old man? The very minute they swear in the next guy, you and I are going round and round. They each make a move on the board. BARTLET Check. TOBY [sighs] How did you get good? BARTLET I had a friend in school who taught me. He was good. He was ranked 18 and under. He was a really nice guy, everybody liked him. TOBY What was his name? BARTLET David Wheaton. Everybody had a crush on his sister. TOBY You still see him? BARTLET He went on to Princeton and Christmas vacation, he'd saved up to go to San Francisco and he was on the wharf and he saw a guy beating a woman up and he went in to stop it and the guy stabbed him to death. TOBY Well, he taught you well. BARTLET So you know, I had this historic stretch of sleeplessness after our last meeting? TOBY I didn't know. BARTLET Got so bad Leo brought in a guy from ATVA who worked with Josh. TOBY Isn't he a trauma specialist? BARTLET Yeah, but we know him, and I figured he had to go to school for everything, so... Anyway, we brought him in late at night. TOBY What did he say? BARTLET He said it was your fault. He said you shouldn't bother me so much. TOBY I really am sorry about that. BARTLET I'm kidding. TOBY Yeah. I forgot for a second that you're hilarious. BARTLET Let's go ahead and say the Republicans nominate Ritchie. TOBY They will. BARTLET First of all, I'd stop for a moment and say, you know, 'why?' I mean they got some serious guys in the field. Kalmbach, Daniel, Wesley? TOBY Democrats had a lot serious guys in the field, and they nominated you. BARTLET That's true. TOBY [moves a chess piece] Check. BARTLET [responds with a move] You think the strike against me is nobody likes the smartest kid in the class. TOBY I don't know, sir. Being a smartest kid in the class is a pretty good pitch, it's not a strike unless you watch it as it sails by. BARTLET I don't do that. TOBY Check. BARTLET And I'm not a snob. TOBY I don't believe you are. BARTLET If a guy is a good neighbor, if he puts in a day, if every once in a while he laughs, if every once in a while he thinks about somebody else and, above all else, if he can find his way to compassion and, and tolerance, then he's my brother, I don't give a damn if he didn't get past finger-painting. What I can't stomach are people who're out to convince people that the educated are soft and privileged and out to make them feel like they're less, then, you know, 'he may be educated, but I'm plain-spoken, just like you!' Especially when we know that education can be a silver bullet, it can be the silver bullet, Toby! For crime, poverty, unemployment, drugs, hate... TOBY Who are you trying to convince? BARTLET I'm saying I don't watch the pitch go by. TOBY Check. BARTLET And if I do, it's not because my father... TOBY Was an idiot. BARTLET [beat] Can we talk... God, can we talk about, please, can we talk about my father with some respect? The man's gone, can we... he's my father, he wasn't a Dickens character! TOBY Yes, sir. Toby's hands are nervously clasped together. Bartlet sighs. Toby makes a move on the board. LEO [walks in] Mr. President? BARTLET Yeah. Leo exits. Bartlet moves his queen. BARTLET Check. Toby moves his king. Bartlet, his queen. BARTLET Check. Toby retreats his king again. Bartlet moves his queen to take a bishop. BARTLET Check. I'll be back. He stands up and walks out in Leo's direction. BARTLET Don't cheat. I know exactly where the pieces on the board are. I know exactly where the pieces are on Sam's board. I know exactly where the pieces still are on David Wheaton's. [leaves] CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Nancy is inside with Leo as Bartlet walks in. NANCY Sir, the carriers are 35 minutes from the Strait now. BARTLET All right. [to Leo] You can bring the ambassador back now and get Beijing. NANCY I'm sorry, sir, it's a formality, but... LEO She needs the order. BARTLET The Aegis Destroyers. NANCY Yes, sir. Just out of curiosity, what if that doesn't work? BARTLET I don't know, but for sure we're gonna blame you. NANCY Yes, sir. [walks out] LEO What's going on? BARTLET I don't know. Toby keeps coming back at me with this... I don't know. He says I let the pitch go by. LEO What pitch? BARTLET I soften... I smooth myself out publicly. It's not a put-on, by the way, I'm honestly folksy. LEO Yeah. BARTLET Yeah what? LEO Yeah... nothing. BARTLET You agree with him? LEO I don't think you let the pitch go by. BARTLET I don't. LEO I think you foul it off. BARTLET Yeah, well, he keeps coming back at me. LEO Invited him back this time, didn't you? BARTLET All right. [turns to go] LEO So? What are you doing? BARTLET Just playing some chess. [walks out] FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE LOBBY - NIGHT C.J. walks in with pizza boxes, swipes her ID and continues walking as sirens break out and Secret Service agents burst into the area. TOMMY Would you stay right there! C.J. Tommy, it's me! OFFICER 1 What happened? TOMMY She ran the card through. C.J. It must be bent or something. OFFICER 2 Stay right there, please! C.J. I'm staying right here, I haven't moved! OFFICER 3 Look... [passes her ID card to another agent] C.J. Guys, it's me! TOMMY The card says you're Charles Young. C.J. Yes! Okay, well, obviously I'm not. TOMMY Why do you have a card that doesn't belong to you? C.J. Becau... LEO [walks up from the back] What's going on? TOMMY Mr. McGarry, this woman has a card that doesn't belong to her. LEO C.J., what the hell... C.J. Charlie's getting me back for... She tries to make a step forward, but the Agents hold her back. OFFICER Stay where you are, please. C.J. Oh, my God. LEO Tommy, sign her in with an appointment. C.J. An appointment?! LEO Be in your office in 15 minutes. C.J. Can I move now? The agents nod and dissolve. C.J. proceeds, frustrated. CUT TO: EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE GATES - NIGHT Donna is walking with her cell phone. DONNA Roberta... Roberta, those are all good points and perfectly valid areas of disagreement, but what I don't understand... I was saying, what I don't understand is you guys were such fans of the President, you loved him when he was governor, [stops at the gate] you worked so hard from when he was campaigning... Yeah. Yeah. Well, he didn't lie. No, he didn't lie, Mackey, and I'll... and I'll tell you what else: the man just accepted a Congressional censure, and I think it's time... And he should be held to a higher standard, and believe me he holds himself to a higher standard, but sometimes you can't meet it because Presidents aren't kings. This one's an economist from New Hampshire and I think it's time for you to get off your horse! Josh struts out from behind, shivering in his suit. JOSH Donna. DONNA [sighs in exasperation] I... I'm standing out here in the middle of the night... Hold on, please. [to Josh] You know, I've kind of had it now, too: they're shocked and appalled and disappointed but really, they're none of those things, they just wish they were. So, never miss an opportunity to feel morally superior... I don't know. What do you want me to do now? JOSH Let them vote. DONNA What does that mean? JOSH I came out here to tell you to let them vote. Donna stares at him. Josh takes the cell phone away from her. JOSH [into phone] Yeah, this is Josh Lyman. We just wanted to call and thank you again for all your work and remind you that the polls in Hartsfield's Landing open in fourteen minutes. Get the chains in the truck, Mack? Okay, listen, tell your sister in Oregon I'm gonna try and learn something about salmon. Right now, all I know is they're good on a bagel. Good night. He closes the phone. JOSH [to Donna] Maybe they are morally superior. Anyway, they get to vote. Together, they walk back. Josh exhales loudly. JOSH It's freezing out here. Can I have my coat back? CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet pours himself coffee at his desk. TOBY Abbey told me this story once. She said you were at a party once where you were bending the guy's ear. You were telling him that Ellie had mastered her multiplication tables and she was in third grade reading at a fifth-grade level and she loved books and she scored two goals for her soccer team the week before, you were going on and on... And what made that story remarkable was that the party you were at was in Stockholm and the man you were talking you was King Gustav, who two hours earlier had given you the Nobel Prize in economics. [laughs] I mean, my god, you just won the Nobel Prize and all you wanted to talk about to the King of Sweden was Ellie's multiplication tables! BARTLET [approaches to sit across from him] What's your point? TOBY You're a good father, you don't have to act like it. You're the President, you don't have to act like it. You're a good man, you don't have to act like it. You're not just folks, you're not plain-spoken... Do not n do not n do not act like it! BARTLET I don't want to be killed. TOBY Then make this election about smart, and not... Make it about engaged, and not. Qualified, and not. Make it about a heavyweight. You're a heavyweight. And you've been holding me up for too many rounds. Toby lays down his king on the board to retire. Bartlet stands and turns to walk out. BARTLET Pick your king up. We're not done playing yet. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - NIGHT Charlie is inside as C.J. walks in. C.J. Hello. CHARLIE How you doing? C.J. You really want to dance with me? CHARLIE Wouldn't it have been a lot easier to respect the rules and regulations? C.J. What are you doing in here? CHARLIE Leo told me to be here. C.J. Leo? Leo walks in. LEO What the hell??! C.J. and Charlie start talking at once. C.J. I want a copy of the daily schedule and Maryann the librarian over here told me I had to sign it out... CHARLIE You sign out a copy and this copy doesn't leave the building, when C.J. decides she's above all that... More inaudible shouting. C.J. And he crazy-glued my phone!!! LEO All right. I think it's fine that people blow off a little steam, but now it's done, and it's time for one of you to be mature. CHARLIE Well God knows C.J.'s a lot more mature than I am. C.J. Hey! CAROL Excuse me, Leo? LEO Yeah. CAROL Nancy McNally is calling for you. Leo leaves. C.J. and Charlie turn to each other. C.J. Okay. Well. Okay, it's over. That's that. She throws her papers on her desk. The desk falls crashing to the floor. C.J. turns around to Charlie, who is on his way out of the office. C.J. So, how long do you usually make people your bitch? CHARLIE Depends. [walks out] C.J. Okay... CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet walks in and sits. BARTLET Sorry. I got tied up. SAM No, it's fine. BARTLET Let's get back to it. SAM You know, sir, I looked something up while you were gone. Eisenhower, it seemed, at all costs wanted to avoid sending ships to resupply Quemoy and Matsu, 'cause they'd be less then a mile from the Chinese army. A private could... well, everybody was a private in Mao's army, but a private could fire on a ship and that'd be it. We'd be at war. We'd have to be. BARTLET Yeah. SAM Eisenhower wouldn't do it. BARTLET No. SAM Why are you? BARTLET Look at the whole board. SAM I am. BARTLET You're not. SAM I'm trying! BARTLET Sam... SAM Why were the carrier groups in the Taiwan Strait? BARTLET Are they in the Taiwan Strait? SAM They're on their way. BARTLET Is that the same thing? SAM How does this end? Leo knocks and walks into the office. LEO Sir. BARTLET [to Sam] Like this. Bartlet walks to Leo to read the note he brought him. BARTLET Turn them around. I'll make some calls and thank people. LEO Yes, sir. BARTLET Thank you, by the way. LEO You, too. [leaves] Bartlet returns to Sam and hands him the piece of paper. SAM I'd like to try it without looking at the note. BARTLET [sits down] Okay. SAM China agrees to stand down the war games. BARTLET Right. SAM And they agree to let Taiwan test the Patriots. One Patriot. BARTLET Yes. SAM And we... Please, I want to be right about this. We agree not to sell Taiwan the Aegis Destroyers for a period of... I don't know... five years. BARTLET Ten years, but you've got it. SAM Sir, the Aegis... the Aegis radar technology isn't something that... I mean, what if Taiwan did fall to China? Now they have n plus these ships cost something like $800 million apiece. Buying four of them would eat half of Taiwan's defense budget. BARTLET And so... SAM You never were going to sell them the destroyers. BARTLET [shakes his head] But everybody wakes up alive in the morning and saves a little face. SAM [amazed] I don't know how you... I don't know the word, I... don't know how you do it. BARTLET You have a lot of help. You listen to everybody and then you call the play. [rises to his feet] Sam. You're gonna run for President one day. Don't be scared. You can do it. I believe in you. [looks at the board] That's checkmate. Sam's amazement fades a little bit. CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Bartlet and an agent walk out of the bullpen. Staffers continue to walk and work as we hear the sounds of a television on the desk. REPORTER [on TV] Two roads, no traffic lights and Town Hall's a filing cabinet and a countertop in the clerk's basement. But Hartsfield's Landing, New Hampshire, is where democracy begins for the world's only superpower. It's 12:01am, and the registrar of voters who's also the principal and only teacher at the Hartsfield's school, calls the roll of voters. As we follow another staffer who walks through the office, another TV mounted on the ceiling shows the Hartsfield's Landing election in progress. REGISTRAR [on another TV] Claire Abernathy, please step up and cast your vote. [beat] Diana Abernathy, please step up, cast your vote. [beat] Barney Braddock, please step up, cast your vote. [beat] Lillian Braddock, Lillian's 18, everyone! This is her first vote. Please step up and cast your vote. [beat] Congratulations, Lillian. The crowd applauds as each voter steps up to the counter, to drop their ballot in the ballot box, which is under the banner 'America's first primary'. 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 3.14 – "Hartsfield's Landing" Original Airdate: February 27, 2002, 9:00 PM EST Transcribed by: Irene and Nomad August 30, 2002