Season 6 – Episode 10 – “Faith Based Initiative”

Episode Summary:

The internet press is running with a story that questions CJ’s (Allison Janney) sexual orientation. CJ refuses to put out a statement, which only makes the media press harder. The effects of MS are becoming more pronounced on President Bartlet (Martin Sheen). Meanwhile, Santos (Jimmy Smits) declares that he will run for President but only if Josh (Bradley Whitford) will run his campaign.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: – Jed! – I can’t do the job, Abbey.
Do you understand? I can’t do it.
– Where’s Donna? – She got a new job, I think.
I’ve got her cell if you wanna give her a call.
– Pick your dream candidate? – I don’t know how this works.
You pick the smartest, most capable most honorable individual you can think of, and you have a conversation.
– I’m not running for Congress again.
– I’m not talking about Congress.
Josh should have called.
I could have saved him a trip.
They don’t have anyone else? A Latino district, and they cannot come up with a decent Democrat? You’d think.
– Did you leave it open with him? – No.
I would break you in half.
He knows I’m not going back to the House.
Give me a hand.
These guys are out.
Look at how big this kid is.
I mean, he’s down to my knees.
When did this happen? Shooting up.
It’s that time.
He’s got his own smell.
So, what did he want? He’s not worried about the House anymore.
Supposed to walk Russell through a Cinco de Mayo parade – establish his Chicano street cred? – Not quite.
I hate politicians who wear cowboy boots.
That’s the least of his problems.
Women spend their entire lives trying to get out of heels.
What possible use is there? The guy is a lawmaker.
It’s like going through life wearing a welder’s helmet.
– He’s not a bad guy.
– Well, his footwear’s moronic.
– He’s just trying to get elected.
– Exactly.
– God, this is good.
You want some? – What is it? – It’s ice cream, melted.
It’s good like this.
– I’m fine.
Josh wants me to run for president.
– Of the United States? – I’m pretty sure.
Wow, they are hard up.
I mean, you know what I mean.
It’s.
– Are you thinking about this? – No.
– You’re not.
– Told him no.
Told him no.
What did he say? He said that I was right, that it was a stupid idea and that I made the right decision.
Man of conviction, right there.
He’s got it all figured out.
A nine-point plan.
It’s pretty interesting.
Nine points? – Why not seven or three or? – I don’t know.
– This plan is supposed to make you? – Win.
– Oh, my God.
You’re thinking about this.
– I told him no.
Well, I’m going to bed.
Those kids are gonna be up in a couple hours.
Don’t forget the trash.
The Bartlet administration remains optimistic about upcoming trilateral talks with China and North Korea.
South Korea offers energy assistance to its power-starved neighbors.
It’s quarter past the hour and this is Morning Edition.
The first chink in the armor of the Washington-Pyongyang stalemate – appeared last month in Beijing.
– Oh, my God.
Chinese President Lian agreed to broker talks Are you kidding me? – Well, good morning.
– Right.
I love it when it’s cold enough to make the mud crusty.
– You don’t have to do this.
– Sorry.
You have the full text of this blog thing from the Rohmer Report? Go.
“What team does she play on? Washington abuzz with fresh allegations that a certain former Bartlet administration press secretary may have more than a passing interest in pursuing what many have described as a radical homosexual agenda.
” And it goes on.
– To say what? – You played sports at Berkeley and were the first girl in Ohio Prep history to dunk a basketball.
– Oh, Lord God.
– And that’s pretty much it.
– Did Tommy call? – Tommy? Burly Tommy Keller with the mop on top? Two dinners at the Oval Room last week, the reason I’m wearing this necklace who’s picking you up at 7 tonight Tommy? – He called? – No.
– Everybody in there? – All here.
Five minutes early.
Well, great.
– Morning.
– Morning, C.
J.
Lovely.
I’ve never been more attracted to you.
Restrain yourself.
Last night’s House vote means we have a budget headed for conference committee.
We don’t wanna get hung up on a bunch of silly HHS riders like two years ago.
We’re close, but it’s not a – Slam-dunk.
– Hey, now Charlie made a funny.
Guys, our whole agenda’s riding on this.
We can’t afford another shutdown.
We’ve got the president’s legacy.
This is our last chance to do good, and it all lives or dies with this budget.
Track this closely.
We gonna get college loan and Pell expansions? – Yeah, both versions.
– Just got a list of Republican conferees.
– Wilkinson? – I thought it was a seniority thing.
They can do whatever they want.
– Why they do it behind closed doors.
– Isn’t this it for him? I thought he was going to Kansas to sell flat globes.
– Was he in on budget negotiations? – Didn’t see him.
We keep an eye out.
Hit the phones.
Will, what do you got? VP is speaking to the NAACP next week.
– I’m coordinating with policy shops.
– You want help? – You talking to me? – I may be able to help.
– You’re offering to help the VP? – I can help you with those guys.
– “Those guys”? – You’re the whitest guy on the planet.
Yeah.
Got any particular insights you wanna share? Is it weird? Did it just get weird in here? – A little.
– What else? Kate, where’s Uzbekistan? Something big blew up.
Doesn’t appear to be nuclear.
We’re going over the pictures now.
We really have no idea.
Never open these meetings to the public.
Keep me posted.
President’s working from the residence.
– If you need him, bring it to me.
– He okay? He’s fine.
Temporary balance problems.
Just precautionary.
We don’t wanna risk another fall.
You wanna send a message of love, bring this budget home.
Excuse me, I have to craft a personal statement supporting reproductive arts.
– Hang in there.
– Yeah, yeah.
– There’s a basketball in the trash.
– Nothing but net.
– Don’t put out a statement.
– I will be respectful.
– We don’t need this distraction now.
– It feels funny.
– Be more articulate.
– This can’t be a coincidence.
Rumors about your sexuality the same day Republicans shove Wilkinson – on the budget committee? – You’re acting like a dog in Pompeii.
Hold off on the statement.
Let me make some calls.
You’re drastically overestimating the political potency of my sex life.
Not possible.
– This is great.
– Sir? I have a neurological disorder, and you’ve got me doing calisthenics.
Can I put this in a book I’m gonna write? If I wanted to exercise, I never would’ve become an economist.
– Curtis, my friend, how you doing today? – Just fine, sir.
Well, a mighty blessing upon your mighty frame, son.
Appreciate that.
What can I do for you? – Is my wife about? – I believe she is, sir.
Thank you.
Okay.
You got me trying to do stuff I couldn’t do before I got sick.
When you’re feeling wobbly, that’s a good opportunity for range of motion.
Terrific.
I’ll just pretend I’m a crustacean.
– Use it or lose it.
– Could be said for the power of the presidency.
– Good Lord, Jed, are you all right? – I’m fine.
I just.
Thank you, Curtis.
I may need you.
I’ll holler.
– Right outside the door, sir.
– You bet.
– Great kid.
– I’d like to watch him eat a pie.
– You on your way? – I got a quick meet with your doctor and C.
J.
later this morning five interviews and three receptions this afternoon.
– Oh, jeez.
– Hell’s where you gotta keep smiling and you can’t take off your pantyhose.
Want me in the C.
J.
meeting? If you wanna hear yourself referred to in the third person.
I didn’t think my schedule would be so light on protein.
Well, it’s all right, Jed.
You can afford to lose a few pounds.
– I’ll see you this evening.
– I’ll be here.
– He in there? – Yeah.
Don’t go in.
– He alone? – How do you mean? – Not with others.
– That is correct.
– He’ll be fine.
– Step away from the door.
Hey, one second.
You all right? – How’s this? – I’ll tell you after I read it.
Come on in.
She likes it closed.
– Interesting girl.
– Yeah.
I think I lost the temp lottery.
She’s making me finish one thing at a time.
It’s insane.
– Tell her to back off.
– You tell her.
– Call Donna.
– I can’t.
You may have to resort to manhood.
I’m the victim.
How am I supposed to be a man? This Wilkinson thing seem strange to you? I got calls out to the minority leader and the conferees.
I’m gonna call the whip then see Wilkinson.
We’ll get this budget locked up.
Why did you go to Houston? – Why’d you go to Houston? Santos? – Yeah.
– What’d he say? – He’s not running.
– Could have used him in the House.
– Yeah, it’s a shame.
– You went all the way down there? – I like him a lot.
Russell and Hoynes both still after you? – Yeah.
– Make up your mind? I’m here with you to the bitter end, with bells on.
Vinick makes his way through the primaries there’s not gonna be a Democratic Party.
No.
I know.
I’m on it.
You’re done.
Leave.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
This girl’s fantastic.
Minority leader on one.
Yes, senator, we understand.
Sure.
And we appreciate the restraint you’ve shown through this entire budget process.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Thank you.
And you know this White House is gonna back you 100 percent.
Sit, sit.
Yeah, Baker’s my next call.
Thanks for the heads up.
Oh, I’m fine.
I only use the Internet to shop.
Thanks for asking.
– Cripes.
What’s up? – So I have some interview requests.
– Go ahead.
– The Advocate, Out The Village Voice, The San Francisco Chronicle – Make my stinking day.
– Washington Times Goddess Monthly, Nantucket Republican and Field Hockey Quarterly.
– Field hockey? – I just made that one up as a joke.
– Aren’t you perky as all get-out.
– It seems to be isolated – to just the – Sports fans.
And the statement? I wanna be sure this doesn’t distract from the government.
Yeah, I’ve been struggling with this.
Deny something you have no problem with and make it publicly clear this is private.
That’d be great.
Okey-dokey.
– Hey.
President still in the residence? – Yeah.
We found out what Wilkinson’s doing in the conference.
– Federal ban on gay marriage.
– Sanctity of Marriage Act.
– They’re attaching it to the budget? – To avoid spending the rest of our days in gridlock, we ban gay marriage.
Oppose it, we paint the whole party as out of touch with traditional American values for the election.
– And the budget goes down in flames.
– Margaret! Call the residence.
We need to see the president now.
I looked over your r�sum�.
I think we both know it’s an undersell.
What I’d take to the vice president is the knowledge you’ve gleaned over six years on the frontlines.
I think we can safely say you’ve picked up a lot.
I try to pay attention.
I just wanna make sure I’m not starting a turf war.
Hate to find the deputy chief at my door with a switchblade.
You’re not poaching me.
I need to move on.
And Josh is.
– He’ll find someone to answer his phone.
– Well, we can use you.
No question.
And not as anybody’s assistant.
– Sanctity of Marriage? – That’s right.
– On the budget? – Yes, sir.
Didn’t they attach family planning to a highway bill last year? – They did.
– What’s with these people? – Can’t stop talking about sex.
– If they can’t have it.
Am I having a flashback, or is my brain going? Last time they called it Marriage Recognition Act.
– First term pocket veto.
– Who is this? – Wilkinson.
– What’s he doing on the committee? – That’s what we said.
– It’s a guts move by the leadership.
– We slap it down.
– Threaten a veto.
Make it clear this ambush is unacceptable.
Get a statement going.
They’ll think twice before forcing shutdown.
I disagree.
It’s a bad pitch.
Don’t swing.
There any doubt it would get overturned by the courts? Well, it’s not likely.
So far, anything short of full recognition for same sex partners is a constitutional no-go.
This amendment is pure symbolism.
Is it worth holding up our entire agenda? Get it off the bill, guys.
– And if we can’t? – Just get it off the bill.
– Thank you, Mr.
President.
– Thank you, sir.
Wilkinson’s more of a federalist than an ideologue.
Why’s he suggesting we override the states? The courts will take care of that.
We need this budget.
At the end of the day, you may have to sign it.
– What was that about? – Well, he didn’t say he wouldn’t veto it.
– He didn’t say he would.
– We can get this done.
– Wanna enlighten us? – He wants it off the bill.
– We got that.
– We won’t play chicken in the middle of a budget round.
We’re always in the middle of a budget round.
With a president who can’t go down stairs? He’s not running again.
Why can’t we help him? He made the call.
Let’s get it off the bill.
Try and dole out some budgetary pork to members of the committee.
– See if we can get this killed.
– Okay.
– Maybe Sioux City needs a monorail.
– I’m late for the first lady.
Share your feelings with Wilkinson.
Talk him down.
With what? A threat that the president might actually sign it? You’ll figure it out.
He has a 50 percent chance of developing secondary-progressive MS because the lesions have accelerated here.
That’s pretty common.
– You don’t know how to stop it? – Give me 10 years and stem cells.
Sorry.
We need to focus on the best way to manage his symptoms – in this unique environment.
– That’s what this is.
– Stress? – Can’t be good.
Before and after pictures around this place are intense.
No more back-to-back marathon meetings.
An hour, max.
His legs are gonna cramp and spasm.
Don’t want him kicking out the Resolute desk.
– Or one of the Joint Chiefs.
– How many hours a day? Depends.
Six or seven, tops, and he’s gonna need a nap midday.
A nap? He’s gonna love that.
It’s the public time that’s gonna be tough.
Standing behind podiums, shaking hands, Cabinet meetings.
So more phone, more memos, things he can read and sign.
Too much reading may lead to optical problems.
You’re gonna have to limit reading materials.
– Oh, Lord.
– Anything else? High temperatures can trigger attacks.
Gotta keep the Oval below 70.
Okay.
So we’ll do a daily report on the president’s condition in morning staff.
The bottom line is, we have to be prepared for anything, every day.
Got a minute? – You should call so I can gather my wits.
– Sorry.
You’ve seen The Federal Government Are a Bunch of Dinks.
com? – What if I reject the premise? – They’re all over the C.
J.
thing.
– Anything new? – Her high school basketball stats.
Apparently, she was all-Dayton.
– You heard about the amendment? – Just now.
– The president wants it off the budget.
– Okay.
It’d be nice if the vice president made a statement against it – maybe called Wilkinson.
– The VP is pro-marriage.
As are we all.
I’ve been married almost twice.
Same woman.
– That’s unique.
– We’re fine with it.
Okay, then.
– So the VP will make a statement? – What’s the president’s position? – He wants it off the bill.
– What’s his position? – That he wants it off the bill.
– And if it stays on the bill? We need your help on this.
Right.
This is a lose-lose for us, Toby.
Coming out for it hurts us in the primaries.
Coming out against it hurts us in the general.
I’d have to advise the VP to wait and see.
I wanna kill it before it learns to walk.
I don’t know why you’re here.
Talk to the president about a veto.
Yeah.
Good idea.
– It’s getting bigger.
– Oh, hi.
Sorry.
You wanted an update on this Internet rumor.
– It’s getting bigger? – Blogs are saturated and now there’s a query from the Post.
They’re doing a piece on strategic bloggering.
– What are you, 4′ 10″? – Me? I’m 4′ 11 “.
– I can’t believe we’re the same species.
– There’s your update.
I know we shouldn’t say anything, but are you sure we shouldn’t say anything? Be great to get it off the Net but it would seem like a comment on the marriage act.
Plus, a statement brings this to every news outlet.
– I was gonna say – Not a peep? Thanks for your advice.
– The conferees are waiting.
– Tommy didn’t call? – Crickets.
Guy’s starting to tick me off.
– Crickets? – Senator Wilkinson.
– Oh, I’ve been waiting for an emissary.
Figured it’d be the vice president.
Senator, you’re one of this country’s great federalists.
You believe in state and local control of education.
– I do.
– State and local law enforcement.
– Yep.
– I’m not sure you think there should be a federal government at all.
Well, we lost that fight some time ago, didn’t we? So why would you want an unprecedented, top-down federal mandate to govern every state’s marital laws? Now that we have a federal government – it can protect national values.
– Like individual freedoms? I was thinking of the institution of marriage.
When the budget’s done let’s get a group to talk about it.
I don’t need another study to tell me what’s right.
Senator, I’m not criticizing the sincerity of your beliefs.
Well, that’s refreshing.
Toby, do you believe the Bible to be literally true? Yes, sir.
But I don’t think either of us is smart enough to understand it.
The president wants this off his budget.
Well, if you’re here to threaten a veto, now’s the time to do it.
I’m a busy man.
I don’t appreciate your coming here with hollow threats.
And I don’t appreciate people spreading rumors about C.
J.
Cregg.
I don’t know how to use a typewriter, much less a computer.
I think the president is gonna sign it, Toby.
And I think that you’re here because you think he might sign it too.
Marla, I need the numbers for the meeting.
The earmarks for the conferees.
Can you get that? I’m late here.
Oh, jeez.
– Hello.
– I don’t like to be yelled at.
I would like to have the earmarks so that I can go and do my job.
Earmarks.
Is that frat boy for pork? – Here you go.
– Thank you.
Three hundred thousand dollars for potato-storage research? – Starches are vital.
– How vital is $50 million – for an indoor rain forest in Iowa? – It attracts tourism.
And mosquitoes, I’m guessing.
I’m trying to get some distinguished members of Congress to remove a hateful, gay-bashing amendment from the budget.
By bribing them with taxpayers’ hard-earned money? I don’t know if you read the memo, but I set budget policy.
– You alphabetize and sort.
– Josh.
You got a second? – Yeah.
Come in.
– You’re gonna be late.
So, what are you working on? Actually, right now, trying to build an indoor rain forest.
– Well, good luck with that.
– I’m sorry about landing on you like that.
– My wife wants to kill you.
– I got a lot of women mad at me.
– You ought to work on that.
– I do have to go to this meeting.
– Budget glitch we’re trying to sort out.
– So would this be a package deal? – The budget? – No.
I’ve been thinking about your nine-point plan.
– Really? – Yeah.
But I would like to add a 10th.
– What’s that? – You.
The filing deadline’s next Thursday.
I’m in, if you’re in with me.
So no one here is troubled that the Paper Reduction Act is more than 500 pages long? Let’s just see if we can squeeze it down, save a couple of trees.
– Thank you.
– Thank you, Mr.
Vice President.
You can always tell a bureaucrat, but you can’t tell him much.
– Unless you tell him in triplicate.
– What do you need, Toby? – Sanctity of Marriage.
– Yeah, yeah.
Will gave me the heads up.
– He helpful? – Not as obedient as he used to be.
That’s good to hear.
That’s rough about C.
J.
Yeah, it’s a rough town.
Mr.
Vice President I know you don’t wanna get ahead of the president but we need you to come out against the marriage act.
– Why would I wanna do that? – A clear signal from the White House – and Wilkinson will fold.
– I think Will is right.
I’m gonna have to pass.
Mr.
Vice President, this amendment isn’t about protecting marriage.
It’s about institutionalizing the last acceptable form of discrimination.
You can’t just sit back and allow the religious right – to hijack the social agenda.
– I know Presidential campaigning has to be about more than duck and cover.
This is an opportunity for you to stand up I’ve got a nephew who’s gay.
I love this kid.
His name’s Todd.
I want him to have the same rights and opportunities as everybody else.
He wants to go to West Point.
It makes me sick we’d send him into battle to defend a union, but he can’t enter into one.
– Come out against this.
– We’re not there yet.
the window with the Village People.
You do this wrong, and there’ll be a backlash that sets us back 50 years.
You do it right, we’ll be there in 10.
And in the meantime, what message are we sending? We’re making progress.
We’ve got domestic partnerships, nondiscrimination laws.
Besides, demographics or destiny, kids don’t give a damn about this.
You would tell the president to sign this, then? I’d tell him to get his budget and so would my nephew.
Tommy? – Any Tommy? – No Tommy to give.
– Boston Globe wants – Oh, my God.
to know if we’re gonna comment on the amendment.
– A voice out of nowhere.
– MSNBC too.
MuckrakersManifesto.
com has a story you were gonna coach in the WNBA.
That’s ridiculous.
I went to, like, three Mystics games.
Fox News, both mean Irish guys, whole bunch of websites 11 more newspapers and be quick about it.
– They’re all writing about me.
– Not exactly.
But the amendment gives them license to mention rumors.
President wants a budget with no amendment.
That’s the line.
– And work up a statement.
– I thought we decided not to.
Just in case.
Respectful, non-defensive, not that there’s anything wrong with it.
– I tried that.
– And? And I gave up because it’s stupid.
– Is that an option around here? – Toby suggested it might be.
– What else did he suggest? – That the chief of staff doesn’t issue personal statements that read like letters to Soap Opera Digest.
– Not that I’m a subscriber.
– I’d like a draft on my desk in an hour.
What are you doing? – I got a bad temp.
– This is where you become just sad.
Call Donna.
– What happened with Wilkinson? – He won’t budge.
When God starts talking to people, limits the debate.
How’s the pork? Not having much luck with the other conferees.
Carson wants 600 grand for alternative salmon products.
I think we should just ditch the budget and open a grocery store.
– This amendment’s gonna pass.
– They don’t wanna vote against marriage.
We’ll run out of salmon products before they vote against church and family.
How I hate this issue.
It’s like walking around town holding a sick chicken.
If the president isn’t willing to veto I don’t know how we nickel-and-dime our way out.
So we don’t even try.
C.
J.
‘s caving, VP thinks the country’s not ready to fight discrimination and for all I know, the president’s in naptime.
No one wants to get near this issue.
Even Hoynes is hedging.
Three-paragraph statement.
Can’t even tell if he thinks – there should be a Congress.
– He put out a statement? He said it deserves thoughtful study.
“Thoughtful study”? He said that? Straddling the political divide like an adonis.
– He was on Judiciary with Wilkinson? – Yeah.
Long time.
So Santos stopped by.
Filing deadline’s in two days.
He wants me to go with him.
– To Texas? What for? – New Hampshire.
Why does he wanna go to New Hampshire? To run for president.
I kind of talked him into it.
I think I gotta go with him.
– I laid out a nine-point plan.
– Is one of the points a military junta? Okay.
I’m gonna go back to my office now.
You can’t leave.
We’re not done here.
You can’t skip out with the president lying flat on his back.
Seven years, you’re gonna leave with a get-well card? – Gotta think about the ninth year.
– You’re gonna tell the president – you just found a better horse? – There you are.
– Hi.
– Secretary of agriculture is calling.
– Something about a fruit laboratory.
– Thank you.
So maybe we’ll get Carson after all.
If I make any progress, I’ll get you a new whip count.
You getting through all the files? Yeah, I’m almost up to the Hoover administration.
Margaret give you call sheets for the conferees? Yep.
I spoke to McKenna.
– He’s fine on the education offsets.
– Figured you just had a heart attack.
– They had to take your call.
– Whatever it takes.
Drives me crazy when they use the budget as a social soapbox.
It’s a popular issue.
No one wants to be the first one to line up against it.
If you live your life underneath a magnifying glass you tend to stay away from the heat.
– How you holding up? – Feeling a little over-interpreted.
The Internet thing.
Am I wrong to wanna set the record straight, no pun intended? When I was labor secretary, The National Enquirer ran a story that I’d married Elizabeth Taylor while skydiving over New Mexico.
I’m a heterosexual.
I don’t know why I just said that except, as of today, I’m the most famous.
Not famous, but apparently the most powerful lesbian on the planet.
And the fact of the matter is, I’m absolutely crazy about this man I just met and had two fabulous dinners with in the space of one week.
A man who hasn’t called me today probably because he’s of the undependable gender or maybe he has even less of an idea about how to deal with my alleged and fictitious lesbianism than I do.
So he’ll just remain silent like a submarine under the icecap, and drift away.
Just like the legion of other cowards whom I spent my life staring at the phone panting like a collie for table scraps until I became successful and started to scare them with the very independence they required me to have so that now I’m looking at some bad numbers, if you know what I’m talking about.
But what was I supposed to do? Turn down an opportunity to serve the president who I believe in and adore? You just wanna share it with someone, you know? – So if you wanna send more call sheets – Sure.
No, that’d be a great idea.
I need you to stay, Leo.
So does the president.
C.
J.
, Toby needs you.
Wilkinson won’t move, the vice president has chosen this moment to find his noble core and Hoynes may be behind this whole thing.
– Hoynes? – We have to put the president – with Wilkinson.
– That’s not gonna happen.
– How’s Hoynes involved? – Doesn’t matter.
The president has to threaten a veto to get this off the bill.
– President’s not ready to veto.
– You told him not to.
– I’m not willing to sink the budget.
– Over your dating life.
No, over an empty gesture that’s gonna be struck down by the courts.
So that’s what we’re gonna do.
Pass the buck and pray for judicial restraint.
President’s resting.
We can’t haul him down when we can’t do what he asked.
You’re afraid because it’ll call attention to this garbage they’re running.
No, I’m too busy composing my letter to the editor of Soap Opera Digest.
Josh is thinking of leaving.
– What? – To help Matt Santos run for president.
– The congressman from Texas? – Leo’s gone.
Josh has a foot out the door.
It’s you and I, we’re gonna have to run this thing.
We gonna stand for something or just change the sheets for the president’s hospital bed? We fight an amendment with no practical impact and massive popular support? Yes, we should fight it.
Fight the symbol.
Yes.
Symbols matter.
If they didn’t, why would you care what they say on the Internet? I have to go downstairs for a quick meeting.
C.
J.
called me.
God forbid anyone should see me bumming around the West Wing.
Might think I’m actually running the country.
– This gonna be your idea of resting? – Only gonna take a couple of minutes.
We have a situation here, Jed.
I feel like a guest at the most secure bed and breakfast on the planet.
What’s so important that you’d risk your health? – The Sanctity of Marriage Act.
– Oh, that old chestnut? I was hoping for at least an international crisis.
Hold the fish loosely, Jed, or it’s gonna flop right out of your hands.
– I wanna put my pants on.
– What? My pants.
I can’t put them on.
Oh, okay.
– Here.
– How body from spirit Does slowly unwind Until we are pure spirit at the end You gonna quote poetry now? So this is why they make you take vows.
Yep.
This is why.
Could you overnight this up to David at Concord, please? – New Hampshire office up and running? – Eleven of them.
Cheaper to buy in bulk.
Little different than Orange County three years ago, huh? – This guy’s got a pulse for starters.
– Well, technically speaking, sure.
Don’t miss the romance of the upstart campaign? Sorry to make you waste a walk.
Toby already tried to go over my head.
Remind him the vice president and I actually do talk every once in a while.
You know, he really appreciates your offer to help on this NAACP stuff.
Sure.
Great.
You good? – How’s Donna working out? – Great.
She have an office yet? I didn’t see her out in the bullpen.
She headed to New Hampshire for a couple of weeks.
Excellent.
Well, next time you see her, tell her I say hi.
Of course.
Okay, see you guys on the plane tomorrow.
Where are you off to? South Carolina in the morning, Georgia in the afternoon.
– Working on your Southern strategy? – And my winter tan.
– You could use a couple of rays yourself.
– I’m not so much in for tanning but I’ll give it some thoughtful study.
The luxury of being out of public office.
I don’t have to take a position on every issue before the Congress.
You served with Wilkinson on the Judiciary Committee, right? I did.
He’s a good man.
I mean, he is out there, but he’s for real.
Won’t take a cent of PAC money.
It’s unbelievable.
So you encouraged him to visit his righteous indignation down on the budget process, make Russell swing to the right on gay marriage slay him with the Democratic faithful in the primary? It makes sense.
I’m just confused who the viable candidate is when Russell’s gone.
You underestimate the American public.
Generally a good policy.
I don’t trust their judgment.
I forgot you work for the president of Cuba.
I trust their aspirations, just like all those guys in the white wigs.
– Some were slave owners, I hear.
– Exactly.
– C.
J.
too? That your handiwork? – No.
No, I feel terrible about that.
I’m gonna win this thing, Toby.
Hey.
So are the queers gonna destroy marriage as we know it, or what? I have no idea.
I’m handing out pork like Popsicles.
Wilkinson’s meeting with the president.
– Thought he was in the residence today.
– Yeah, so did the first lady.
I’d steer clear.
Oh, I’m not getting anywhere near that one.
– So I think I found my guy.
– Yeah? – That’s good.
– Matt Santos.
– He said yes.
He’s gonna do it.
– Santos? – Really? – I know.
I got this nine-point pl I don’t need to hear it.
You smell a moment, you gotta go.
I don’t wanna leave you guys with just a candygram and a get-well card.
We’ll be fine.
Come with me.
I think this guy may be the real deal.
I already found my guy.
I don’t know how to tell him, Leo.
Hey.
Hey.
Agriculture’s still dragging their feet on this Appalachian fruit thing.
It was Hoynes.
He wanted to force Russell to support the Sanctity of Marriage Act.
Heartwarming.
So Santos, huh? What are you gonna do when this is done? Whatever I can to stave off the chaos, mayhem and self-interest that lies just beneath our civil disguise.
So not the private sector.
The money would have to be unbelievable.
– See you.
– Yeah.
– You all set, sir? – I’m fine, Nancy.
Bring him on in.
Mr.
President, Senator Wilkinson.
Sam.
– Well, you look terrific, Mr.
President.
– Thank you.
– Sorry I can’t get up, but I can’t get up.
– You’re in our prayers.
I appreciate that, Sam.
I really do.
Now, tell me what I can do to get your amendment off my budget.
Against nature.
Men leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust toward one another.
Men with men, working that which is unseemly.
Romans.
Would it offend you, Sam, if I said this amendment represents a selective interpretation of the Scriptures? A complete inversion of the values of Jesus Christ? No, sir, it wouldn’t offend me.
I’m secure in my faith.
Isn’t there something in that book about forgiveness? – Aren’t we all God’s children? – Of course we are.
Which is why the government shouldn’t institutionalize behavior in opposition to our faith.
What gives us the right to visit our faith upon the country? One nation under God.
What gives us the right not to? – You talked to John Hoynes about this? – John’s a friend of mine.
But I introduced this amendment because I believe you want to sign it.
You told me as much six weeks ago at the prayer breakfast.
That civil unions are one thing but that marriage is between a man and a woman.
I can’t stand up anymore.
– Sir? – I’ve lost my balance.
It should come back, but it’s gone now.
– Are you dizzy, sir? – No, I just can’t find my balance.
It went away.
I try thinking it back, but it’s difficult because it’s not a static thing.
Once it’s gone, it’s hard to imagine having it back again and it’s disheartening to realize that thinking just isn’t gonna get it done.
You’ve just got to trust that you’ll happen onto it again.
You only have one more year, Mr.
President.
Yeah, I’ve got a great future behind me.
Attaching this to the budget gives you all the cover you need.
How is this our job, Sam? I raised my right hand and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.
Where was your left hand, Mr.
President? This was sent over from the northwest gate.
– It says “Oval Room at 9.
” – Yeah.
– Are the press still in there? – Yeah.
This is your statement.
Hey, I just wanted to tell you guys that the Sanctity of Marriage Act’s been removed from the budget at the president’s urging.
The conferees are moving towards a clean budget bill.
It should be on the president’s desk tomorrow.
– Are we on the record here? – Sure.
What the hell.
Are you a homosexual? You know what? I’ve spent the last 14 hours being snickered at by United States senators being ostracized on the World Wide Web having my own colleagues question my ability to do my job.
And I let it get to me.
So I don’t think it really matters whether I’m gay or straight or the best women’s basketball player in Ohio Valley history.
– No one should be treated this way.
– You didn’t answer the question.
That’s right, because it’s none of your business.
Josh, he can see you now.
– Mr.
President.
– Josh.
– How you feeling? – Not too bad.
Sir, I never imagined that I would be having this conversation.
Any word on? Russell for president.
I wanted to start this journey in the place where it all started for me.
Soon, we will be inundated by the polls and the punditry and the prognostications.
All the nonsense that goes with our national political campaigns.
But none of that matters.
This is the place that matters.
Because every day, children walk into this schoolhouse to glimpse their futures.
To ask for hope.
They may not know they need it yet, but they do.
And I am here to tell you that hope is real.
In a life of trials, in a world of challenges hope is real.
In a country where families go without health care where some go without food some don’t even have a home to speak of, hope is real.
In a time of global chaos and instability where our faiths collide as often as our weapons, hope is real.
Hope is what gives us the courage to take on our greatest challenges to move forward together.
We live in cynical times.
I know that.
But hope is not up for debate.
There is such a thing as false science.
There’s such a thing as false promises.
I am sure that I’ll have my share of false starts in this campaign but there is no such thing as false hope.
There is only hope.
And with your help and your hard work and the hopes of good people all across this land I hereby announce my candidacy for president of these United States.

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