Season 6 – Episode 11 – “Opposition Research”

Episode Summary:

Josh (Bradley Whitford) goes to New Hampshire with Santos (Jimmy Smits) to set up their campaign headquarters. From the very beginning, there are problems with setting up the office in an abandoned shack and personal differences about the campaign’s goals are immediately evident. Meanwhile, as Donna (Janel Moloney) and Will (Joshua Malina) work together on Russell’s (Gary Cole) campaign, Will makes it clear to Donna that in order for their partnership to work, she needs to acknowledge that Josh is gone.


Previously on The West Wing: I’m not running for Congress again.
– I’m sorry.
But it’s just – I’m not talking about Congress.
So I think I found my guy.
– That’s good.
– Well, we can use you.
Not as an assistant.
The filing deadline’s next Thursday.
I’m in, if you’re in with me.
How’s Donna? She headed for New Hampshire for a couple of weeks.
You can’t leave.
We’re not done.
– Gotta think about the ninth year.
– You’re gonna tell the president you just found a better horse? in the southern half of the state, today’s morning mix of sleet and rain will ease up by afternoon, with temperatures – I want this to be a campaign of ideas.
– I think you missed a turn.
Entitlements are collapsing, our school system’s a joke you could sneak tanks across the Canadian border and these campaigns wind up being about a candidate’s high school transcripts.
It was a left at Horseshoe Lake.
– I thought it was a bend.
– A left, a bend, you missed it.
If we just took the money that campaigns spent on personality contests and partisan sideshows we could solve this country’s problems and shut down talk radio.
First Amendment issues aside, that See, this looks more like a curve, unless this is just bad cartography.
I almost wish that we could have a campaign slogan – without my name in it.
– Yeah, “For President.
” It’s catchy.
– It would probably cut both ways.
– I’m not seeing a curve here anyway.
Why is our headquarters so out of the way? It’s New Hampshire.
There’s not a lot that’s in the way.
Can I look at that? How about a kickoff speech on education? The problem with education is it’s stuck in the muck.
– Here, isn’t that the? – Looks more like a slope than a curve.
You got teachers’ unions blocking any change in hiring structure you got local school districts ready to burn coloring books if Washington dictates what color crayon.
New Hampshire’s about retail politics, person to person.
People here won’t vote for you till you’ve had coffee – in their house five times.
– I hope they’re serving decaf.
Guess we’re using my name after all.
We got room.
– Welcome, Matt.
– Hi, Matt.
Josh, you know Ronna and Ned from my congressional staff.
Yeah, we’ve been talking on the phone.
– I’ve never picked out a headquarters.
– Got a ceiling and everything.
– Yeah, if you like that sort of thing.
– When our fundraising kicks in we’re gonna need phone lines, desks maybe some industrial safety helmets but for now, just make sure we meet the fire code.
You were right.
Germany’s at 240, Japan’s at 243.
-243? – Days in the school year.
And we’re counting because? I was asking Ned to look into lengthening the school year from 180 days to 240.
There’s a professor at Boston College that’s done work on this.
I thought we might have him come here and get ideas for an education speech.
And we will, but let’s not put the cart before the carcass here.
This trip is about introducing yourself, honing a narrative.
– That’s it.
– I’m here to hone.
Didn’t you say this had been a sporting goods store? A kind of specialty sporting goods.
Laraby’s Life Savers? “Lose your boat, we’ll help you float”? – First month’s free.
– If press finds out we’re launching – from the Titanic – We get cheap flood insurance.
Okay, lose the flotillas.
Anyone asks, we’re working on a skylight.
We better get going to our first event.
– We got a full day ahead of us.
– Hang on a minute.
You know, they say democracy is how we choose the guy who gets the blame.
Well, I will take the blame, but I will never forget those of you who deserve the credit.
Thank you for being with me here at the start of this crazy roller-coaster ride.
Let’s go make us some history.
Oh, this is just a bit too metaphorical for me.
All the candidates do it.
It’s an exercise in humility.
I could give a major address on the importance of triple-ply.
How about shaking some hands, helping the people with their recycling.
Anything particular I should say? Just tell them who you are, what you’re doing.
Hi, I’m Matt Santos.
I’m running for president.
Morning, ma’am.
Matt Santos.
I’m running for president.
May I help you with that? Tell me about this education stuff he wants to do.
Ned’s working on that.
I’m working on a national service program and ideas for Medicare reform.
He’s thinking about speeches starting tomorrow.
– We’re not gonna do that.
– We’re not? I’m just getting to know this guy.
I don’t wanna come on too strong, so you gotta help me out here.
– Okay.
You want the memos? – I wanna rein in the policy process.
You can’t.
What part of “campaign manager” do you not understand? Do you want me to draw you a flow chart? – Where’s Matt on this chart? – Let’s call him the congressman.
Well, he likes to be called Matt, and he runs his own policy process.
Matt is a guy who hosts home improvement shows.
The congressman is a guy who runs for president.
You don’t give policy speeches in New Hampshire the world’s capital of grip and grin before people can pick you out of a lineup.
In the House, when we were dragging our feet on a policy he liked he would announce it without telling us.
I gotta meet with some state legislators.
Keep him here till CNN arrives.
I pulled some strings to get us some B-roll.
And don’t let him change the official language to Flemish while I’m gone.
Let’s go.
– Morning.
– Hey.
Hey, aren’t you that new candidate from Texas? Yes, sir.
Matt Santos.
Great to meet you.
Do you know Phil Herlihy? Lives right there in Sierra Vista.
Oh, no, that’s Arizona.
Sierra Blanca, that’s in Texas.
Oh, well.
He’s a good guy.
No, he’s great.
He’s got a million ideas, he’s really engaged.
Hoynes is up by eight in the South Carolina poll.
That’s all name ID.
Mile wide and an inch deep.
– How’s your staff? – I got political folks but fundraising’s just starting so we’re using volunteers.
Lot of money in the Latino community.
What would you think about a big education speech? – In New Hampshire, on his first trip? – Yeah, it’s an idea we’re kicking around.
– Stop kicking.
– Yeah.
Have you and Santos had the conversation yet? – Not yet.
– Have the conversation.
You think this whole campaign’s kind of goofy, don’t you? Yeah.
I’ll call you later.
– This is a dry cleaner’s.
– I’m sorry, I My mom asked me to pick up the dry cleaning on our way.
I’ll be honest, Josh.
I was surprised to see you split from Jed Bartlet like this.
It’s no split, senator.
Jed Bartlet’s not gonna be for his own vice president? He’s the leader of his party.
He’ll remain neutral till there’s a nominee.
Is that a Bob Russell letter opener? VP gave it to me at the lunch caucus.
I got the cup holders last month.
So, what’s your boy Santez have to offer? It’s Santos, and Russell may have the letter opener – but what’s in the envelope? – Might be some tie clips.
You looking for the next Bartlet, I’m telling you, it’s Santos.
Top in his class at Annapolis, coalition-building mayor he’s written more legislation than Russell’s read.
I left the White House to run this.
– You give him credibility.
– Then meet with him.
Pull some folks together for a coffee.
John Hoynes gave a grand to my campaign.
Russell gave 1500, Clarkson, 2.
Our fundraising’s just getting going.
Don’t make this about money.
Money equals viability.
And from what I can tell, your boy has neither.
– How’s it going? – He’s been inside for a while.
The Jardins are top-tier activists in Nashua.
You got a message at headquarters from Will Bailey.
– He’s Bob Russell’s – Yeah, I’ve heard of him.
– Wants to meet you.
– He’s in New Hampshire? Advancing Russell’s trip.
How were the meetings? Met with three state legislators.
They wanna know why I’m running Santos against Bartlet’s vice president.
Free country, isn’t it? Not if everyone thinks the president’s in Cowboy Bob’s saddlebag.
The president’s son-in-law, Doug Westin, has a tough race in the first district.
Yeah, the environmentalists think he’s too pro-snowmobile.
It’s like a bad Grizzly Adams spinoff.
You must know him pretty well.
Maybe if he endorsed Matt.
Put a call into his office.
See if Lizzie Bartlet has a minute to sit down.
– Gonna talk to the New York Times guy? – New York Times guy? Yeah, just tell him to fax me when he gets in.
Okay, gotta go.
Didn’t expect the paper of record on our first trip.
All the news that fits.
– You covering Russell? – I’m covering this.
Morgan from The Post too.
– Really? – Really.
For once, you’re writing the real story.
– How’s it going? – Great.
He was practically autographing deposit bottles at the Litchfield town dump.
Those ought to be worth at least a nickel.
– Wanna sit with the congressman? – Maybe later.
– How long is the New Hampshire swing? – A couple days.
Well, I’m hearing some things out of Houston.
– May wanna shorten your trip.
– What things? Well, he’s your candidate.
I’m sure it’s nothing you don’t already know.
Especially given what’s happening around the world today but, yes, I think it would make a huge difference.
Jamie, Janice, this is Josh Lyman, my campaign manager.
Three more terms in Congress, and my brow wouldn’t be as furrowed as his.
We know Josh.
We ran this precinct for Bartlet both times.
– Mr.
Jardin, Mrs.
– We’re talking about education.
Did you know the congressman was first in his family to go to college top of his class at Annapolis, and can do more chin-ups than the entire council on foreign relations? I don’t know many people who’d be excited by a longer school year.
– I’ll be honest.
Neither do I.
– We’re talking about a longer I’m not trying to excite, I’m telling them what we need.
America is 49th in the world in literacy.
That’s down 18 spots in the last 50 years.
Why? For starters, the 180-day school year, that’s based on the agrarian calendar.
So the kids can tend crops in the summer.
But we’re in a global economy now.
Japan’s at 243 days, Germany’s at 240.
Which is why we want a study.
One of those big, thick reports you spend months just studying.
I got a pretty good education in 180 days.
What’s it have to do with what happens in my son’s class? You know, not enough.
Which is why we need to end teacher tenure – and get rid of failing teachers.
– Our cousin, Phyllis, is a schoolteacher.
I bet she’s a good one.
Which is why she would keep her job.
I need the congressman for one moment.
– Scheduling problem.
– Absolutely.
– Of course.
– I keep telling him to call me Matt.
Excuse me.
I’m road-testing ideas for the speech.
These are top-tier activists.
You just fired their cousin Phyllis.
Next week, we’ll be training Phyllis in computer programming.
You should introduce yourself, talk about yourself.
They asked for my views on education.
– Well, they didn’t like what they heard.
– You’re right.
So let’s not make Jamie Jardin our secretary of education, okay? Un-furrow your brow, Josh.
I’ve run for office six times.
In Texas.
New Hampshire has an education funding crisis.
They have no income tax.
They can’t pay for 60 more days of school.
We need to nationalize the system.
That’s a half-trillion-dollar joke you just made.
India and China are all investing in education like crazy.
– You wanna leave it up to Nashua? – These are all great ideas.
You said this issue is stuck in the muck.
This is how we un-muck it.
The Jardins don’t wanna be un-mucked.
They want to know you, and once they like you We can move onto the swimsuit competition.
Can we talk to the professors? Get a study, wait till we can afford – some research on this? – How long would that take? We’ve exhausted the donors in your district.
One idea is a big fundraising drive in the Latino community.
I don’t feel comfortable with that right now.
It’s a huge donor base you alone can tap.
Josh, I don’t wanna just be the brown candidate.
– I wanna be the American candidate.
– How do you wanna go broke? As the brown candidate, or as the American candidate? I looked at the daily spending reports.
We don’t need to spend $4000 on signs.
– You’re reviewing spending reports? – Let’s go back in with the Jardins.
– Congressman – Call me Matt.
These are all parts of a larger conversation.
The Times is already digging around.
– Maybe other campaigns too.
– No.
– We need to get proactive.
– No opposition research.
I know how to make this work, but you have to let me.
– I don’t want you two to catch cold.
– Oh, scheduling problem’s solved.
Let’s get back to that blackboard.
Folks love taking pictures with those.
– Almost like the real thing.
– Almost.
They talk a little less.
Don’t say that too loud.
His wife is gonna want one.
– May I help you? – I’m Josh Lyman.
– I’m here to see Will Bailey.
– He’s expecting you.
Follow me.
The vice president’s not missing the JJ Dinner either.
If he has to break a tie on the ag bill he’ll do a quick round trip on Air Force Two.
– How’s the Santos juggernaut? – Great.
Just opened our NH offices.
I understand if there’s a tidal wave, you can paddle to safety.
– Our money’s going into the field.
– Mind if a deputy sits in? – It’s your meeting.
– Would you step in here, please? – Why’d you wanna see me? – I’ve got that list of free media events for New Hampshire broken up by media market though some of the targets spill over the border to Vermont.
– Hi.
– Hi.
Why do people cling to this antiquated notion of states? For the purposes of campaigning we live in the United Media Markets of America.
– Yeah.
– I’m not gonna waste your time.
I’m sure you have boats to sink.
We’re all friends, we’re all good Democrats.
No one wants a bloodied nominee.
You don’t wanna attack the president’s record, also known as your record.
Also known as the VP’s record.
He did clap at some bill signings, didn’t he? Live on national television.
Yes, he did.
I’m proposing a clean campaign.
No attacks.
A preemptive truce.
I love what you’ve done with the place.
It’s the Mao Zedong school of decorating.
If you’re not willing to rule out attacks on the Bartlet-Russell administration I’ll take it to the congressman.
He decides what we rule in or out.
– Good.
– Great.
Can we not make this a thing? It’s not a thing.
Okay, so who’s next? I’m setting up dinner with the Jardins, coffee with Keefe.
Push a buyout.
I understand this is retail politics, Josh but how much time do we spend trying to get votes one by one? As much time as it takes to get some.
Well, what about giving some bigger speeches too? – Talking to people, a thousand at a time.
– A thousand sounds better than one.
We’ll get to the speeches.
These are top-flight activists.
They’ll devote every hour, get dozens of their friends to do the same.
I’m just wondering if Jefferson and Madison spent time – having coffee in Litchfield.
– Liz Bartlet’s here to see Josh.
– We still have to have that conversation.
– Hello? Thanks for coming here.
We could’ve done this at the house.
This is for an event we’re doing on aquamarine, well, more maritime Lose your boat, they’ll help you float.
Your husband’s got a tough challenge with Bledsoe on his left.
Doug’s been supporting the snowmobiling clubs for years but to say he’s anti-environment.
We’re giving an environmental speech.
We can win back the Greens.
You still mad at me for having concerns about Doug’s campaign? – Not at all.
– I’m glad.
I’m mad at you for sharing those concerns with the DCCC and the White House Office of Political Affairs.
And if you think you’re getting Doug’s endorsement for Matthew Santos We don’t want his endorsement.
– You don’t? – No.
– No? – No.
You’ve been involved in New Hampshire primaries.
You know why they matter.
Because anyone has a shot here.
Because the voters decide.
You only care because you wanna win it.
You’re right.
Maybe that’s crazy because Russell’s got the money, the support.
But I don’t think he should have it locked up before it starts.
And the only reason he does is everyone assumes that your dad is for him.
– My dad’s gonna stay neutral.
– If Doug did a photo op with Santos no endorsement, just one Kodak moment it would be a wink to your dad’s supporters that this primary is wide open that the establishment hacks have to earn it.
Isn’t that how it should be? Isn’t that how your dad got the nomination eight years ago? I wouldn’t be doing this for you.
The Fickle Pickle Diner in an hour and a half.
– Hey.
– Hey.
He’s shaking hands out front while we wait for Doug Westin.
The press corps seems to be growing.
– They’re covering Doug Westin.
– Right.
We gotta put out a statement when we get back to headquarters.
– On what? – Dwarf-tossing.
– Dwarf-tossing? – I told the town selectmen we would.
There’s some bar over on Route 3, they put dwarves in harnesses and toss them into hoops.
He’s trying to ban it.
We’ll spend more ink on dwarf-tossing than on Medicare.
Ask a dwarf in a harness which matters more.
– Hey, Greg.
– Hey, Josh.
I wanna make a deal on this Houston thing.
It’s a bit late for that.
Everyone’s got it.
Guess you guys are 0 for 2 this afternoon.
-0 for 2? – This UNH professor Stoller? Strober? What about him? He leaked the details of your education plan to the AP wire.
If you reconsider your support for the vice president remember this conversation.
Have a great day, folks.
Thank you.
– Why did we put out an education plan? – We didn’t.
– This UNH guy, Strobelight.
– Strobner.
He leaked it to the AP.
You can’t be spreading this stuff around.
I faxed a few ideas to a couple of people.
This shouldn’t be on paper.
We talked about getting input for my speech.
Look, we’re not We can’t do a speech.
It hasn’t been scored, hasn’t been tested.
You mean, killed by a bunch of consultants.
Someone is shopping an 8-year-old quote out of Houston.
You said the New Hampshire primary shouldn’t come first because, quote, “The state’s as diverse as a Mayflower reunion.
” – That’s a funny line.
– Yeah.
We got a state full of Mayflower descendants laughing.
– I don’t remember saying it.
– Can I deny it? Yeah, it sounds like me, though.
– How fast can you take it back? – It’s true, isn’t it? People here feel this primary is their birthright.
I I think I gotta stand by that.
Take the photo.
Don’t take any questions.
We’ll figure it out later.
– Congressman, how are you? – Pleasure to meet you.
I’m an admirer of your family.
I appreciate your doing this.
I can’t say I agree with your assessment of our primary.
– Excuse me? – Your quote.
You think the state’s diverse? No one writes it, but New Hampshire is 30 percent Franco-American.
It’s funny that no one writes it.
Josh, how’s it feel to be out of Washington, nice? Yeah.
Doug Westin.
I’m running for Congress.
That’s nice.
Bledsoe says you’d shut down the parks if the snowmobilers wanted it.
I care deeply about our parks.
Enough to restrict snowmobiles as your opponent’s challenged? We have a lot to say about parks.
Congressman, you’ve had tough words about this state’s primary.
– We’re here to meet the voters.
– But you don’t value our votes, do you? I value everyone’s vote.
Why don’t you apologize for what you said about this primary.
Why don’t you acknowledge our role as the presidential wine tasters of America? I could never support a candidate who doesn’t.
Well, you know, I’m not much of a wine drinker and I’m sorry if I won’t have your support.
I’m Matt Santos.
I’m running for president.
every substitute teacher in Peoria deciding our long-term competitiveness unless we wanna completely Balkanize the education system.
From Maine to Michigan to Montana, a high school diploma has to mean something, the same thing or we’re walking away from our biggest responsibility.
The congressman and I need to talk about the schedule.
We gotta get a little better code language than that.
See you.
I gotta call my kids before they go to bed.
Yeah, this won’t take long.
I know this isn’t what you thought it would be.
I understood that running for president had to do with public policy.
Every first-time candidate makes mistakes.
The good ones fix them, don’t make the same ones twice.
Well, we’re stuck with this one.
I gotta give that speech at Hawk’s house tomorrow night.
Shelve the education plan.
You have to swallow the Mayflower quote.
You want me to introduce myself to the electorate as a flip-flopper? As opposed to a piece of political toast? Yes, I do.
Do you think this state represents the country? I think it’s 30 percent Franco-American.
I think it decides our future.
If I wanted coffee klatches and recycled cans, I would run for Congress again.
– We need to sell you then the big issues.
– Meaning not in New Hampshire.
Meaning once people get to know who you are.
Let me finish doing what I’m doing.
– We’re having – Call me Matt.
I don’t wanna call you Matt! You think this is any other campaign? You think you’ve been scrutinized and poked and prodded like a prize-winning pig? You haven’t.
You just walked into a great, big x-ray machine.
Everything shows up.
People with 30 years in public life get blown out of these things in two weeks.
This is an 8-year-old quote.
I’ve given thousands Which is why we have to go over everything.
What you’ve said, what you’ve done who your enemies are, were you late on your taxes whether you’ve had problems in your marriage.
– If I did, it’s between me and my wife.
– Nothing is disqualifying if I know it now.
If I had known about that quote, we would’ve skipped New Hampshire.
Tell me if you agree with it.
Whoever fed it to the press has more.
That’s our priority right now.
– Whose campaign is this? – I don’t know.
Who flew down to Houston and talked you into it? Instead of tinkering with pie-in-the-sky education programs you better figure out why you’re running and if you are sure that you are really up to this.
The education plan is why I’m running.
I’m gonna go call my kids instead of standing here and being treated like one.
– Thanks for flying up on short notice.
– Of course.
– We can’t afford any polling just yet.
– I know.
I don’t suppose you’ve seen any with Santos in the mix.
Two private polls.
He’s within the margin of error.
Of who? Of having any support at all.
– Quite a press day you’re having.
– Yeah.
The union leader says he’d create an income tax to pay for his education plan.
The Monitor’s saying he should take the Mayflower back to Houston.
Worst of all, none of it made the front page.
When he reads the papers, he’ll be more pliable.
I don’t want him to be pliable.
I I want him to.
– Agree with you in the first place? – I know how to run these.
If he’d just let me.
– It’s your job, Josh, but it’s his life.
– And this guy is nothing but potential.
Why else would Brock and Morgan be covering our trip? But it’s like he doesn’t get this.
He doesn’t get what this is.
Give him time.
He’s a long way from Houston.
The first of the opposition research you wanted.
– Everyone does it now.
– Yeah.
You can pay me in installments.
– Small ones.
– Thank you.
Josh you should have done this weeks ago.
I can’t believe this.
– We don’t get any points for substance? – It’s right there.
Next to penmanship.
– What about teachers’ unions? – They ignored it.
They didn’t wanna make it a national story.
I added this event yesterday so you could take back the Mayflower crack.
It’s a senior center.
It’s a large and a captive audience.
We’re gonna pay a visit to the state’s oldest voter.
– Dell Tollerson.
– He’s, like, 197.
Granddaddy of the primaries since it was Old Hampshire.
Take back what you said, he forgives you, crisis over.
Oh, there he is.
– Hi.
– Morning.
Shouldn’t there be a crowd? Don’t tell me they’re out playing jai alai.
One of our residents died.
Everyone’s at the funeral.
I suppose Dell Tollerson’s there too.
Oh, I’d say so.
He’s in the coffin.
I don’t think I should defuse this with a joke.
Matt Santos.
– Good staff work.
– We’re a scrappy insurgency, okay? We’re taking our licks early.
That’s a lot of licks for a non-factor.
If Santos was a non-factor, I doubt you and the Post would be sipping strained beets at the Nashua senior center.
– You’re serious.
– What? We’re not writing about Santos.
We’re writing about you.
Why you’re running this quixotic campaign, splitting up the field.
– We’re running to win.
– By thumbing your nose at the primary? Proposing the expansion of education in a state that can’t afford notebooks? We’re talking about big issues.
You’re siphoning off votes to help Hoynes.
Why else would Russell’s folks be worried about you? I want guns off the list.
I want choice off the list.
Eastern Pennsylvania’s overwhelmingly anti-gun and pro-choice.
The people who aren’t vote on those issues alone.
Take them off the list.
I’ll give you a hand.
Know what’s hard about a presidential? Delegating to people you barely know.
You fed that quote to Brock.
You’re trying to force me out.
– Last I checked, you’re not in the race.
– You talked to Brock.
He said you were worried about us.
You turn down Russell, you recruit a nobody to run against us.
It doesn’t make any sense.
– So you dig up damaging quotes? – I didn’t have to.
It was Texas Republicans trying to kill him off so he can’t run for treasurer.
If Santos isn’t serious, why’d you trot Donna out to guilt me? I’m not guilting anybody.
You should be guilting yourself.
After Leo, you’re the best mind in the party and you’re gonna work for us.
It’s inevitable.
When that day comes do you wanna be on the record trashing us so we can’t hire you? Tell Roger and Ellen to come back in here.
Look, I’m not saying it’s gonna come without a cost.
Education is at the heart of everything that we care about.
Competitiveness, opportunity, equality.
Shouldn’t we figure out what we need first, and then get into the details? So you’re saying no tax increase.
Ma’am, what I’m saying is.
– Hi.
– Hi.
– Ronna.
– Actually, it’s Donna.
– No, it’s Ronna.
– No, really, it’s Donna.
– I’m quite certain it’s – Ronna, it’s Donna.
Donna, it’s Ronna.
– Can you give us a minute? – Sure.
She should stick around.
Your whole campaign’s like a Dr.
Seuss nightmare.
One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, We-Fought-the-Good-Fight Fish.
As opposed to The Cat in the Imitation Cowboy Hat fell flat? Go ahead.
Hop on Bob.
You should be with me.
You’re on the wrong campaign.
I let Russell seduce me with perks like a salary and actual political support.
What make-work job do they even have you doing over there? Media targeting for the Northeast and Pacific Northwest.
We’re still the ones with the gutsy education plan.
The ones speaking the truth about the New Hampshire primary.
– Know what Russell’s speaking about? – I didn’t know chipboard could talk.
White Mountains preservation, MTBE, textile conversion, local issues.
– You mean pandering.
– I mean what voters want.
“Campaigns are about them, not us.
” You taught me that.
– You came to deliver my old truisms? – Close.
Letters from Russell supporters to the DNC urging them to protect the New Hampshire primary.
You ought to deliver some of those truisms yourself.
Least you could do is send me the one with the noose.
Yeah, maybe Will’s right.
Maybe you are the man of destiny.
I just wish you’d filled out a little sooner, is all.
– Mr.
– Yeah.
A call for you.
A Mr.
Potus on the line.
– This is Josh Lyman.
– Please hold for the president.
Liz tells me you look like hell.
Yeah, well, hell’s just another word for “far from home without your mittens on.
” Sorry about what happened with Doug.
If you ever have daughters, Josh, don’t let them run off and marry pinheads.
He’s in a tough race.
I deserved it.
No, you took a bullet for me.
I didn’t want Doug to run.
– I was doing my job.
– It looks like I’m for Russell – but I want a vigorous primary.
– I know.
If I speak out, it sends all kinds of wrong signals.
– I know.
– Take down these numbers.
– Numbers on? – Just take them down.
Six to 24 over six.
– And this is? – New Hampshire’s dropout rate.
It fell from sixth-lowest in the nation to 24th in the last six years.
They’re highest in the region now.
I haven’t done enough.
Santos should say that.
People have to know why he’s talking about education what he’s running against.
I haven’t done enough.
Might as well be me.
See you when you visit Washington sometime? Yes, sir.
The Democratic leader says your education plan’s poison for this state.
We respect his views, and we look forward to discussing them in person.
He says after Mayflower-gate, he won’t meet with Santos.
That’s a “gate” already? No way does that qualify as a “gate.
” So you’re not consulting the teachers’ unions, you’re not identifying revenue We’re trying to solve maybe the most serious long-term problem in this country, and of course it’s gonna be controversial.
Of course the status quo is gonna go bananas but where are the other candidates’ education plans? Tell me who’s got an alternative.
Tell me that.
You wanted to talk about the schedule? I wanted to talk about today’s spending report.
You hired Joey Lucas to do opposition research after I told you not to.
– Congressman.
– After I told you that we weren’t gonna smear other Democrats.
Research isn’t on them.
It’s on you.
I don’t know you.
I don’t know what you’ve said or done.
I have to know.
If a teacher smacked me in the third grade that’ll help sell my education plan? If I changed positions on the Lindbergh baby that’s worth having me investigated? Your brother hasn’t worked in five years.
You’re supporting him.
I need to know if you’ve tried to put him on a government payroll.
– I need to know if you’ve made calls.
– Leave him out of this.
– How did she get that? – Same as everyone else.
We better stop doing this like everyone else.
We better stop it now.
You don’t get to run this as a test case on family privacy any more than you get to pick which states are ready for big speeches.
I’m not trying to make this a test case.
Come on.
We’re lucky if we have two months.
I don’t wanna waste it shaking hands.
Two months? I gave up everything for this.
You’re not even in it to win? Maybe we have a different definition of winning, Josh.
Maybe that’s what we should’ve talked about in Houston.
– What’s that? – It’s called a clean campaign.
– I’m not hip to this campaign jargon.
– These are? Statements from the other campaigns, promising education plans by next week.
No one was talking about it, now they all are.
Hoynes challenged the field to debate education.
We’re moving the debate, Josh.
Don’t take that to the Litchfield town dump.
It’ll still win more votes than your guy.
I deserved what you did to us at the Fickle Pickle.
I didn’t do anything.
That was Doug.
I practically poured a bucket of paint on his head when we got home.
We said all along we wouldn’t endorse anyone.
Really? Tons of our supporters lean toward Russell or lean toward Hoynes.
A few have to be leaning toward us.
Not really.
But your guy has one hell of an education plan.
My dad thinks so too.
Only campaign that’s saying much of anything.
– Does this mean you and I are? – No.
I still think you’re a jerk.
– What’s this? – A personal check.
You’re donat? You’re giving Matt Santos $2000? Yeah.
That’s the federal limit.
Liz, this goes on a publicly disclosed donor list.
This is a Bartlet family contribution to Santos for President.
Funny thing about the FEC they really like it when you report this stuff.
Don’t give the environmental speech.
– What do you mean? – Don’t give it.
Doug’s for snowmobiles.
Maybe it’s bad politics, but it’s where he is.
That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.
– What do we do with this? – Cash it fast as we can.
See how many Matt Santos letter openers it’ll buy.
The speech insert on teachers? More training, higher salaries, greater accountability.
– Where is Hawk’s house? – This is it.
This is Phil Hawk’s house.
I thought it was a venue, a speech, not another three-person grip and grin.
Phil’s one of the premier activists in.
What I said about putting your brother on the government payroll – was out of line.
– You’re just doing your job.
I don’t know what you want my job to be.
I mean, days now, I’ve been trying to get my head around this rationale.
I used to tell candidates, “Make it about the voters, not about you.
” But the difference is, you are them.
Working-poor background, kids in public school brother with a high school diploma, he can barely read.
– What is that besides a stereotype? – It’s why you’re in this.
It’s why you’re talking about education.
What’s wrong with that? Especially in New Hampshire, where people think their vote is the most personal thing they can give? Have you taken one moment to think about whether you even like my education plan? Pop psychology aside, whether it’s right for the country? I didn’t have to hear it to know it’d be right.
I do wanna win, you know? But I can’t do it by being just another cardboard cutout even if it is smart tactics.
You can’t run a national campaign on your own.
No one can.
– New Hampshire’s over with, isn’t it? – You’re not making it easy.
Well, you know if we’re gonna do this, I’m not gonna make it easy.
I’m gonna give the big speeches, and I’m gonna push every limit.
And that’s the campaign you get to run.
– But what if I can’t make that work? – Well, then no one can.
When you get the rest of that research we’ll go over it together.
Good evening.
How are you? Hello, sir.
Thank you for inviting us.
Good evening.
– Hi.
– Nice to meet you.
– This is more people than we expected.
– Some of the neighbors came.
– Because? – Mostly because they think he’s nuts.
– But they’re curious.
That ain’t nothing.
– No, it ain’t nothing.
Well, as you all know, I’m Matt Santos, that kamikaze candidate from Texas.
Well, I didn’t leave my home and my family so that I could stand around dumps telling you all what you wanna hear.
I’ve faced some things in my life, my own family, that make me believe that we need to rethink our whole education system.
And if that’s something that’s going to make it harder for me as a candidate well, then, I’ll just have to take it.

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