Season 6 – Episode 12 – “365 Days”

Episode Summary:

It’s the day after the State of the Union and there’s no time to rest.The staff is busy dealing with emrgency situations while Leo (John Spencer) starts his first day in his new position by watching old State of the Union addresses to find inspiration. Kate (Mary McCormack) spends her day working on a situation in Bolivia; CJ (Allison Janney) on a situation in North Korea; Toby (Richard Schiff) on unemployment.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: I can’t do the job, Abbey.
Do you understand? I can’t do it.
– He’s gonna need a nap midday.
– A nap? He’s gonna love that.
We have to run this thing.
Are we gonna stand for something or just change his sheets for the president’s hospital bed? – When you coming back? – Been here an hour and already I need another 30 days at Sierra Tucson.
Come with me.
This guy may be the real deal.
I already found my guy.
The speech was one of the president’s best.
– Thanks for not making it too long.
– We were aiming for pith.
You succeeded.
We’ve been speaking with Toby Ziegler author of the president’s final State of the Union.
Thank you.
– Clear.
– That was great.
On prescription drugs, I was wondering if the coverage was – I’m sorry, I’ve gotta – C.
J.
‘s waiting for you.
– Thanks.
– And here.
– Congratulations.
– Don’t.
– Dials soared.
– Please don’t.
– Don’t get me started on the crosstabs.
– Trying not to, in fact.
– Is he here yet? – Any minute.
– We sure he’s ready for this? – Says he is.
– Still, 7 a.
m.
? – It fits everyone’s schedule.
– Says he has some thoughts to share.
– Some thoughts? – Fantastic speech, Toby.
– Oh, thank you.
– You really can’t take a compliment.
– No.
Taylor Reid said it was his finest State of the Union.
Yeah, because it’s his last.
In last night’s address, the president called for the largest expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit – Here we are, sir.
– Yeah.
Turning to international affairs, President Bartlet announced – Thank you.
– Good to have you back, Mr.
McGarry.
Thanks, Brian.
Good to have you back, Mr.
McGarry.
Welcome back, boss.
Thought we were keeping this low-key just a couple of us kicking a few ideas around.
This is low-key.
Annabeth wanted to bring the Marine band.
Word got out, and everybody wanted to come and hear what you had to say.
– Good to see you, Leo.
– Welcome back.
– Welcome back.
– Thanks.
– Man of the hour.
– Hear, hear.
– Come now, no false modesty.
– It’s actually self-loathing.
– It was great.
– Have you two met? Press response has been terrific.
Stop being such a pill.
Well, I really wasn’t expecting to have to address a convention, but I can – Before we start, we got you something.
– Completely unnecessary, truly.
Just for the record, I voted for the watch.
My very own defibrillator.
Well, like I was saying, I wasn’t really expecting to discuss this with such a large group, but I’ve been thinking – and this might be an excellent time – Commander.
– Sorry.
– No problem.
I rather unexpectedly found myself with a bit of spare time on my hands these last few months.
We’ve been here seven trips around the sun.
Done some things we’re proud of, things we’re less pleased about.
– The vice president.
I should.
– Sure.
– Just be a minute.
– It may be time for us to take our own temperature.
An internal inventory.
– Can I borrow C.
J.
for a moment? – Sure.
What’s done, what’s undone.
What’s done that we’d like to undo or do over.
A demonstration in Bolivia outside our embassy.
Big one.
– The ambassador’s statement.
– It’s seen as interfering in the election.
The guy is a socialist who says if elected he’ll halt their coca eradication program.
– Get into this.
– I’ll call DOD, Intel the undersecretary for low-grade conflicts.
– We have an undersecretary for that? – Be glad he’s who I’m calling.
Fight the seduction of tumult for tumult’s sake.
– I need Charlie.
– Of course.
– There’s a situation in Bolivia.
– Serious? Low-grade.
See what meetings you can cover what needs to be moved.
– What’s Leo talking about? – I’m really not sure.
Sir, one week doesn’t seem Can we discuss it? Didn’t we just do this? Taking inventory? – It’s called the State of the Union.
– It was fine.
Excuse me, Leo.
Labor secretary’s panicked about the press.
I’ll be right back.
The man’s an infant.
It’s about time he got a good spanking.
– I’d better.
– Referee.
Sorry.
– Welcome back.
– I just came to get these guys.
– Situation.
Juggling some things.
– Go on.
Are we done, Mr.
McGarry? No.
Not yet.
Balance is back.
Any numbness? Pain? Physical or existential? Any chance of getting a straight answer? – Good luck with that.
– Nada.
Spiritual or otherwise.
– You don’t have to go.
– They’ll think we’re Yankee elitists.
– And be correct.
– You could make the occasional effort.
Five hundred laps around an oval.
An entire sport predicated on the expectation of the Grand Guignol.
Guignol, Guignol.
If you’re gonna brag about intellectual hauteur, get your fancy references right.
Grand Guignol, connoting the sanguinary.
Blood.
Like hockey.
– Leave my Bruins alone.
– Martinsville Speedway.
It’ll be a treat.
There are people with their own teeth that are NASCAR fans.
Are you a doctor? I didn’t see your credentials.
University of Daytona.
Now who’s with the not-straight answers? He prefers to be the amusing one.
Fun for the rest of us.
So is he well enough to join me? Pressure and vitals are fine, but I’d rather he didn’t push himself.
– He put you up to this.
– Enjoy the Grand Guignol.
Horror and sensationalism, not blood.
Look it up.
The president will see you now.
Sir, Zalaya’s now polling a close second in Bolivia.
Wasn’t he fourth? Maybe our ambassador can say something new and inflammatory, help him bridge that gap.
There’s concern about rioting.
We need a statement affirming our impartiality.
Pretend to a disinterest no one’s gonna believe because some diplomat had too much – What do they drink there? – The ambassador’s not a stickler.
I’m not declaring to an indifference that’ll provoke guffaws.
If Zalaya wins, he’s pledged to renationalize their industries stop payment on their $6 billion debt, and remove all U.
S.
imperialist forces.
The imperialist forces their government expressly invited in.
They’ve been one of our best allies in the war on drugs.
Since no one ever wins and it never ends, we shouldn’t call it a war.
But we have 2000 troops and seven battleships in Latin America and our pilots engage daily in gunfire.
But we don’t have to call it war.
How about a low-grade conflict? State feels we can tamp it down if you walk the ambassador’s statement back.
“The United States remains neutral in all free elections and discourages any manner of external interference.
” I can probably keep a straight face through that.
Is it enough? – You may specify with regard to Bolivia.
– “This means you, La Paz.
” – So it’s reported in the Latin press.
– They can figure it out.
What’s next? You wouldn’t be more comfortable in your office? This is fine.
– I’m sure you could go in and join them.
– I’ll wait.
They should be done any minute.
Can I get you some water or anything? I’m good, Deb.
You’ve got things to worry about other than me.
– You never called me Deb before.
– No? The president does sometimes.
I actually kind of hate it.
– I’m sorry.
– It’s okay.
You didn’t know.
– You ever tell him? – Hard to work it in.
“Sir, the North Koreans just threatened to rain nuclear fire on Japan the NASDAQ is tanking, there’s a Category 4 hurricane making landfall in the Keys – and, oh, don’t call me Deb.
” – You should tell him.
Oh, hey.
Leo, sorry about this morning.
– It happens.
– I got this Bolivia thing.
– I understand.
– Love to get your perspective on it.
– After I’ve seen the president.
– Later.
Whenever.
– This afternoon? – Sure, if that’s good.
Yeah.
Yeah.
– Three-thirty? – See you then.
Looking forward to it.
Was that Thomas Paine always there? I thought that was Nathan Hale.
“I regret I only have but one life,” et cetera.
Paine.
“These are the times that try men’s souls.
” Get over yourself, Tom.
Ways and Means has some procedural issues – with the Earned Income Tax Credit.
– But there’s movement.
Ten billion’s the goal, but it’s an election year, I’m realistic.
Great response to the State of the Union.
Thirty-six breaks for applause.
I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, that we count or that I care.
– Very impressive.
– I blame him.
– Wasn’t me.
– He’s doing his “sackcloth and ashes” bit.
I used to think it was a way of harvesting more compliments.
Now I understand it’s just self-abnegation and clinical despair.
Man understands me.
Mr.
President, Leo McGarry is outside.
– He’s been waiting? – Yes, and you’re late – for your NSA briefing on Chechnya.
– Okay.
Thanks.
– Thank you, Mr.
President.
– Knock again in five minutes.
– Yes, sir.
– Thanks, Deb.
Leo, have I said how great it is having you back? – A few times.
– Oh, sorry.
Everyone has.
Not quite sure what you want me doing.
What you always did.
Make me smarter.
By comparison? Absolutely.
Oh, congratulations on last night.
I planned a morning resting on my laurels but there’s this I-don’t-know-what in Bolivia.
Courtland and his big yap.
– Wonder why he said it.
– He’s an idiot.
He was always an idiot.
Why do you think we made him ambassador to Bolivia? – Why do you think? – Have you given thought how I might make myself useful? I don’t wanna undermine C.
J.
Sorry to interrupt, sir, but President Trenier is holding for you.
You can do that.
Talk to the French.
– Sorry.
I gotta take this.
– Of course.
The day’s getting away.
Dinner tonight? – Be great.
– I don’t care I’ve said it.
– It’s a great thing you’re back.
– See you tonight.
Bonjour, Mr.
President.
Yes, I’m really looking forward to the G8 in Paris.
I know what it is.
It just has a dull name.
Earned Income Tax Credit.
It’s the one program that sounds like what it is.
Exactly.
D-U-L-L.
This goes to the DNC, and this one’s a blast fax.
It was a highlight of the address.
By “highlight,” you mean a chance for viewers to wonder if they’ll have sex.
– You have – I know.
It’s important.
Thirty-six million live below the poverty line – a million more than last year.
– Shout that out.
– We blame Republicans.
– There’s a fresh angle.
Did you see the HUD bill markup? The secretary spoke to the budget director.
No program does more to lift kids from poverty than EITC.
Oh, God, I thought the name was dull.
The acronym’s worse.
You can’t find a catchier handle? “Marriage penalty.
” “Death tax.
” Now that you remember.
– Leo.
– Margaret.
– Who did this to you? – I got rid of everything.
I should have gone with the mahogany.
I had a feeling.
I don’t want any clutter.
– It’s a look.
– Are those the? I’m still looking for the second inaugural.
– Floor’s good.
– Really? – Tower or pile? – Surprise me.
I just found out eight U.
S.
contractors are being held at gunpoint in Bolivia.
Intel’s sketchy, but it looks like it might be by Zalaya supporters.
– Thanks for the tapes.
– We’re in the Sit Room – if you wanna – I’m sure you can all handle this.
Let me know about the second inaugural.
Sure.
– I should.
– Yeah.
C.
J.
‘s probably looking for you.
Right.
is an age of possibility, of great trials, but also of tremendous opportunities.
We need to set our nation on a new course, create a new history.
– Ten-hut.
– At ease.
– What’s the story? – U.
S.
contractors were ambushed – in the Chapare jungle.
– How many? – Eight.
– Alive? – Far as we know.
– Captured by who? – They’re described as Zalaya supporters.
– I have enthusiastic supporters.
They don’t hold people at gunpoint, much as I might wish they would.
These are paramilitaries, sir.
Run for president, you get a private army? It’s South America.
If Bolivia wasn’t landlocked, he’d have his own navy too.
They claim the contractors are CIA hijacking the election.
– Are they? – No.
– Why are they there? – They’re private citizens.
Who take camouflage gear with them on vacation? They’re part of the coca eradication.
– They work for the government.
– Bolivian? – U.
S.
government.
– Sorry.
State has a $ 700 million contract with Tarmacorp, their employer.
– They’re armed? – Yes.
They’re spraying coca fields – run by drug cartels.
– C.
J.
‘s driving at the difference between what they’re called is more like dolphins and porpoises rather than lions and bats.
What are the captors’ demands? – They haven’t made any.
– We think this may be an election stunt.
Zalaya got a bounce from the ambassador.
He figures a trumped-up U.
S.
tampering charge puts him over the top.
Our guys were there spraying coca fields.
We’re certain of that? Not necessarily themselves directly.
I know they may not attach the hose to the nozzle but they were doing eradication work.
– Yes, sir.
– Not freelancing? Maybe doing some electoral strong-arming in their free time? – There’s no evidence of that.
– Make sure, would you, please? With our history there, people will find it easier to believe Zalaya’s charges than our denials.
It may not make a difference, but when we call him a liar, let’s be right.
Okay.
Next crisis.
Korea.
A 3-foot hole has appeared in the DMZ fence.
Intergovernmental Affairs must announce the Indian health-care reauthorization.
– It’ll get trumped by Bolivia.
– Where is that? Being sure we weren’t doing what Zalaya says.
– And? – Liar, liar, pants on fire.
It won’t rhyme in Spanish.
Don’t be disappointed.
President took a turn at Whack-a-DCI.
– Guy’s gotta quit, right? – I hope not.
It’s fun.
It’s the only person he picks on.
CIA director goes, it could be you or me.
It’s been me.
Are we concerned about our history down there? – Allende, the CIA and Che Guevara? – Yeah.
We don’t have much credibility.
– No.
Talk to Intergovernmental? – In my spare time.
Thank the VP for his help on the speech follow-through.
About that.
He’s out there.
He’s shilling.
Showing loyalty to an administration he happens to be serving in? It’s the president’s agenda.
I don’t recall discussing what would help us in the primaries.
He’ll help this week because the president can’t, but then he campaigns.
– Maybe don’t thank him so much.
– Hello, Ms.
Cregg.
Governor, everyone.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
First lady’s gonna be attending a stock-car race.
– Hell, yeah.
– Excuse me? Colorful regional colloquialism betokening enthusiasm of a visceral, rowdy variety.
– You’re making this too complicated.
– Prep her.
It’s a bunch of cars going real fast around an oval.
I’m done.
It’s a food pyramid, not a human genome.
There are fish-out-of-water concerns.
This is your dream come true.
Eliza Doolittle gets to tutor Henry Higgins.
I’ll see if I can’t find my redneck-to-snob dictionary.
Here’s the message.
“Eat less bread.
” – You’re offended? – You’re implying – I’m some hillbilly hick? – Sorry.
I didn’t mean to imply it.
– It was an emphatic assertion.
– We rubes can throw down.
Just teach her some terms.
Vocabulary.
First, no one attends a stock-car race.
You’re just going.
– Like as not, going drunk.
– Good, but I don’t think Dr.
Bartlet – will be getting liquored up.
– Too bad.
It gets boring.
Can you teach her when to cheer? Stuff like that? Just make sure we avoid a flyover-values disaster.
– Sorry? – People in the middle of the country – you fly over getting to – Real cities? Can’t see why you worry about offending them.
The labor secretary.
Yeah.
Thanks.
Interdiction without intervention.
Eradication without education leaves root causes to linger and fester, damning our most vigorous efforts – What are you watching? – The State of the Union.
– I don’t remember hearing that last night.
– Second year.
– You need something? – Felt bad about running out this morning.
Is there a time you could catch me up? – Whatever’s good.
– This afternoon? – Who should I coordinate this with? – That’d be me.
Oh, okay.
How’s 6? – That works.
– I’ll be here.
I don’t mind going over.
Could stand the exercise.
– I’ll come to you.
– Fine.
See you then.
cost to our national treasury, as well as our citizenry trapped in a disease as insidious as it is neglected.
– You’re bailing.
– We’re not bailing.
Earned Income Tax Credit is a Democratic issue.
We can push it out at 500 million.
– The president wants 10 billion.
– That’s more.
He got applause from both sides.
Last night.
In the dawn, Republicans are gonna insist on added enforcements.
– Their sobriety gives me a hangover.
– Fraud prevention, accounting These are families at the bottom.
.
– Paperwork will confuse them.
– I’ll be there soon.
– We’re done.
– We’re not done, and you’re not bailing.
– It’s a Republican Congress.
– Why does no one come here and say this is a Democratic White House? We should reflect it.
– We don’t have votes.
– After a State of the Union presidents usually barnstorm to sell it.
Don’t lecture us on how to wield this White House’s clout.
– She really said that? – If she wasn’t a woman we might have had to throw down.
Regional colloquialism.
– What’s the next step? – Not sure there is one.
– EITC’s just dead? – No, no, Timmy.
There’s a nice farm where it can play with other dogs.
How did last night become this? Bolivia, bad employment numbers – a hole in the fence.
– Now no furniture.
The majority leader’s been in the Treaty Room since He says since Tuesday.
The NOAA administrator called about the flood area in Hawaii.
He’s setting up a conference call with FEMA.
– You have a meeting with Leo.
– If things are wild – I’ll find you.
– Carol wants you.
The labor secretary is threatening to quit.
– You saw the new furniture? – Leo, I’m sorry – Sure.
We’ll get to it.
– Majority leader, natural disaster.
– Busy day.
– Yeah.
– One week.
– Can we not do this? One week to support the man who dug him out of obscurity.
– He was a widely known congressman.
– As a joke.
– We made fun of him.
– You guys picked him.
– I wasn’t in that room.
– You think I was? Then be mad at the president.
Or Leo.
Or whoever else was there.
And pick a position.
You can’t think he’s a joke and then be upset he’s not helping.
– Yes, I can.
– He’s supportive.
He’ll continue to be.
– If it’s in his interest.
– Oh, I’m sorry.
– Have political rules been suspended? – They should be any chance we get.
– It’s disloyalty.
– The vice president has been steadfast.
I wasn’t talking about him.
– Hey, Leo.
– Hey.
– What you watching? – Old State of the Unions.
– What for? – Just curious.
– How you doing? – Little whiplashed.
– Last night was such a high.
– There as a staffer, at the adult table.
Watching at home.
My sister threw a party because I got a line in the speech.
– Which one? – “We must help those working hardest – to help themselves.
” – I see your fingerprints on it.
Only EITC’s already in trouble.
– The whiplash.
House Dems? – They’re defeatist.
– And Annabeth doesn’t like its name.
– She’s not wrong.
I don’t get excited when I hear EITC.
Do you? If it had a more memorable name, it’d be easier to fight for? I think if we could define it more clearly as a tax cut so a vote against it is seen as raising taxes on the working poor.
I don’t see how you easily oppose it.
dropped off my kids at school.
Thank God, because I don’t know what to tell them.
– Who’s? – Contractor’s wife.
Tarmacorp said to call my congressman.
I called him.
He said call the State Department.
No one is taking responsibility.
Toby.
Yeah.
My husband is an engineer, not a soldier.
– Hi.
I need to see the president.
– Not in there.
– I don’t have anything.
– He’s in the residence.
– Oh, okay.
– Napping.
Only to be disturbed if there’s an emergency.
– It wasn’t on my schedule.
– Or mine.
Will you let me know when he comes back down? My first call.
Are you gonna teach me proper speedway decorum? How to win friends and influence yokels, ma’am.
If I made a crack like that, you’d think me a terrible snob.
What did you turn down to do Martinsville? NIH symposium on molecular structures and bio-imaging.
Not a lot of NASCAR crossover.
Let’s start with the dress code.
Jeans, T-shirt.
Oh, and can you borrow the president’s leather flight jacket? – You don’t find that inappropriate? – Women will be in bikinis on lounge chairs in the RV park.
Inappropriate’s still a ways off.
I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I know something we can bond over – where stock cars are concerned.
– Yes? – We’re both women.
– Okay.
Women are 45 percent of the audience for NASCAR events.
– More than any major-league sport.
– I wonder why.
Everyone has theories, but I’m gonna tell you plain.
It’s the drivers.
They’re a bunch of studs.
Well-built hotties running around in tight fire suits.
– Hotties? – Hotsy-tot, Hottentot hotties, ma’am.
Well, that’s all very well and good, but I don’t – Oh, my.
– He’ll be there.
And him.
Oh, and this one.
– The one with the eyes.
– A favorite.
I would imagine.
You see the contractor’s wife? You’re gonna have to brief.
These guys, absolutely, positively not CIA? Definitely, definitively not.
– Don’t lean on that, Toby.
– Why? They’re U.
S.
mercenaries.
Former military.
Special Ops, SEALs, Marines.
It’s “distinction without a difference” land.
– I don’t see that.
– It’s not your job to.
They weren’t doing what they’re accused of.
That’s our statement.
– Anyone talk to Leo? – He’s watching State of the Unions.
– Unions? – Old ones.
– Yeah? – We said 3:30.
We did? So – what’s your day been like? – It’s quiet.
– Yours? – Not quiet.
– Bolivia? – Yeah.
– Korea, things down in Burundi.
– What? Just these contractors operate under such vague guidelines because that’s how everyone wants it.
There’s no oversight, no controls, and a whole lot of money.
– You know these guys? – Not these, but Yeah, I know these guys.
And it’s not just that it’s futile, you know.
As long as Americans will pay $60 a gram for cocaine some peasant farmer earning $60 a year is gonna grow it.
But it’s just so geopolitically counterproductive.
We make villages war zones, destroy land poison families with herbicides then we’re all surprised when they go vote for the socialist.
Sorry.
It’s a crappy day.
It’s my “annivorcery.
” I don’t What? “Annivorce.
” It’s the anniversary of my divorce.
– I didn’t know you’d been married.
– Couple times.
– Hopeless romantic.
– Hopeless anyway.
– You? – Yeah.
What did you wanna talk about? Sorry.
Ms.
Harper, they need you in the Situation Room.
Maybe later.
– Debbie.
– That wasn’t very long.
– I couldn’t sleep.
– Couldn’t or wouldn’t? I have three daughters and a wife, two of whom are also doctors.
If you think I don’t get enough of that sort of comment, you’re not imaginative.
Naps are restorative.
Churchill took them.
Churchill also maintained a 24-hour buzz.
These days, people who drink that much are encouraged to attend meetings.
A person more for veneration than emulation.
I don’t know where all this restorative junk is from.
Every nap I’ve ever taken leaves me feeling groggy and on edge.
I hadn’t noticed.
The NSA called.
Secretary of state.
NSA again, saying talk to her before talking to the secretary of state.
You’re right.
About so much.
To which specific or category of things are you referring? – The EITC needs a better name.
– To brand it.
– Not just catchier.
– No, to help you fight for it.
– To make it harder to fight against it.
– Deputy Secretary Morrison again.
– Workfare’s taken.
Work Aid? – Sounds like a handout.
– Employment Incentive.
– Oh, no, no.
That’s terrible.
– Work Tax.
– It’s all a work tax.
– Poverty Tax.
– That’s closer.
Poor Tax.
It’s simple, direct.
Poor Tax.
It’s good.
– You want to call her back? – I’ll be right there.
Hard to argue in Congress to institute a poor tax.
Yeah.
Thanks.
This is Annabeth.
Hey.
– Hey.
– Sorry about this morning.
Oh, it happens.
Heard you were watching old State of the Unions.
And inaugurals.
Something wrong with this year’s speech? What do you think? – I wrote it.
– You seemed remarkably uncomfortable accepting praise, even for you.
What are you doing here, Leo? You’re watching old speeches and reading about the Founding Fathers.
You don’t have time to sit around like Buddha, parsing out wisdom.
We’re getting buried alive here.
Get up and grab a shovel.
“While the assault-weapons ban may have ended the debate has not, and I will fight this Congress – as long as the senseless, needless ” – “Needless violence continues.
” Second inaugural.
“The promise of stem-cell research has been delayed by congressional ban.
Imagine a child paralyzed by a spinal-cord injury ” “Watching, waiting, knowing that politics is the obstacle to a cure.
” Third State of the Union.
I know what we said.
We all know what we said.
Last night’s State of the Union, you pulled your punches.
– It was well received.
– It’s easy to applaud for something that no one’s gonna make you stand up and pass.
“By any measure, we’re losing the war on drugs.
– Demand is exactly the same.
” – “Supply is the same but prices have gone down.
” “It’s time for a new approach to this nation’s dependence on drugs.
” That was in a rough draft of last night’s speech.
– I cut it.
– Who told you to? Nobody.
Nobody had to.
You’ve had a heart attack, and he can’t stand up.
Day after every other State of the Union the president launches a road show to stump for what was in it.
This year, I get “Bingo” Bob and a week.
Ten-hut.
– Let’s see it.
– My name is Jonathan Creasy.
I’m a private American citizen working for Tarmacorp under contract for the U.
S.
government.
I’m being held with seven Americans.
We will be released subject to completion of a fair and free election of the Bolivian presidential contest.
“Fair and free” translating to a Zalaya victory.
A private citizen under contract with the U.
S.
government.
Cognitive dissonance, anyone? – Where are we on this? – A P-3 off the Misawa.
PACOM is coordinating the search.
– Anything? – No.
It’s a jungle out there.
– And the Bolivian government? – Rock and a hard place.
They wanna help, but are terrified of looking like they were helping.
They don’t wanna be here in two weeks’ time seeking asylum.
If we find them, who mounts a rescue? Tarmacorp? Us? – Not us.
– Tarmacorp’s flying Vietnam-era Hueys.
They go down, we have more contractors to rescue.
– They’re not U.
S.
troops.
– Because we pay through a middleman? – Nobody forced them to go.
– Explain that to their widows.
– When’s the election? – Ten days.
Do we believe that Zalaya will release them? – If he wins.
– And if he doesn’t? – Will we find them? – The jungle.
They know hiding places.
– We’ll need a tip.
– These are tough guys.
– They can hold out.
– You saw the video.
When you’re being held, – Have you ever been held? – I’ve held other people.
Twenty-four hours is a long time.
Yeah.
– Oh, is it 6:00 already? – I can come back.
No, no.
Come in, come in.
– How you doing? – Oh, you know.
Have to head back to New Hampshire tomorrow.
We’re up 10 points in the polls.
Getting tired of people treating me like I sold my soul to the devil.
– Think you have? – No, the VP’s not the devil.
And I don’t think I’ve sold my soul.
– I may have rented it out a bit.
– Why do you say that? I was mostly joking.
I don’t think he’s the devil.
– I don’t know what I think of him, really.
– Catalog his qualities.
The negative ones, everyone knows and never ceases delighting in reminding me about.
His other qualities? He’s plain-spoken.
He’s clear and direct.
Doesn’t have a multitrack mind like the president but that’s not always a bad thing.
The truth is, and I’m not sure I ever even realized this before now I’ve spent the last year and a half looking for what you saw in him.
You and the president.
When you gave him this job.
You picked Russell.
Him.
To serve as VP to a president with a serious health condition.
You were aware you were picking a potential successor.
On some level, I’ve just trusted that and assumed I’d eventually discover what you knew then.
– Have you? – Tell me what it was.
We’ll compare notes.
I know.
Doesn’t work like that.
He’s my guy.
I have to figure him out on my own.
Sorry to interrupt, but you’ve gotta see the first lady.
Let’s see it.
Made her way up victory lane to congratulate McMurray who was ecstatic after dominating here at Martinsville Speedway.
Not sure if she’s ready to join the Pickford just yet.
There’s the kiss.
The ceremonial victory kiss.
Caught her a bit by surprise there.
Such a good sport.
To take one like that for the flyover states.
– Did you brief her about the kiss? – They loved it.
The first lady for both of you.
Who gets pissed about kissing a NASCAR driver? Another hour of my life gone.
Of course we want to avert a disaster in South Dakota but I can’t take this to the president just yet.
No.
Thank you, governor.
Trouble in South Dakota? In about a thousand years, Mount Rushmore’s on the move.
– How far has it gone so far? – About an inch.
– I hope you don’t mind.
– It looks great.
Nobody ever put fresh-cut flowers on my desk despite 18 acres of gardens outside.
– Majority leader.
– You should take that.
I’ll call him back.
I could’ve used you in the Sit Room.
– You had it under control.
– Didn’t feel like it.
Never does.
– You’re doing great.
– The president’s in the residence.
– Does he want me? – No, sorry.
That’s for me.
Let him know I’m coming right up.
We’re having dinner.
Should’ve run that by the chief of staff.
Chief of staff has enough on her plate.
I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk today.
We’ll find time tomorrow.
Sure.
It was easier for me.
You as my press secretary.
Sam, Josh, Toby.
– Toby? – Toby’s always been Toby.
It took me a year to figure out what I was doing – and those were the easy years.
– We had easy years? Easier than this.
Margaret? What’s next? How’s yours? This heart-healthy stuff, I have to remind myself it’s good for me.
At least it resembles actual food.
Abbey’s got me on this macrobiotic diet.
That does look a little grim.
– What I wouldn’t give for a burger.
– Or cream sauce.
I’d like to have a light cream sauce without everyone reacting like it’s a suicide attempt.
So tonight Abbey’s out of town.
We can turn the residence into a fort and swordfight with empty paper-towel rolls.
So you feel pretty good about last night’s State of the Union? According to at least six op-eds, I set an ambitious national agenda.
Is that what you think? You have a chance to figure out what you’d like to do around here? – Have you? – Don’t do this, Leo.
Not the day after the speech.
Everyone’s walking around here like we’re finished.
We got 365 more days.
It’s year eight, it’s a Republican Congress, and I’m losing staff.
Four years ago, we announced a commission on entitlements.
Why wasn’t it mentioned? Two years ago you announced a commitment to stem-cell research.
The legislation died in Congress.
Leo, you held the wake.
– And the drug-treatment policy? – We had to narrow our focus.
Now’s the time to widen, not narrow focus.
– Why save your political capital? – I have a responsibility to the party.
You have a responsibility to the country, sir.
The American people sent you here for two terms.
Eight years.
So the last one’s gonna be harder.
I’ve never known you to shy away from a fight.
And I’ve never had to make a speech based on the maximum amount of time I could stand up.
Those excuses I kept hearing all day nobody mentioned MS.
Two hundred seventy-two words.
That’s all Lincoln said at Gettysburg.
It took four minutes and set the tone for the next century.
You wanted to talk about what I could do here.
It’s this.
Said the man with the double bypass.
For both of us, sir, this is our last game.
Let’s leave it all out on the field.
– You know why we got called in? – No idea.
Well, I almost got to eat dinner.
You wanna hear something depressing? This disrupts my evening not one bit.
Ten o’clock.
I had a date.
– You had a date tonight? – I always have a date.
Welcome back.
Sorry about the hour.
What’s going on? The president should be down in a minute.
– Everybody here? – Yes, sir.
Follow me.
– What’s this all about? – Stock market crash in Guyana, perhaps.
And me with all my money in sapodilla futures.
– Hey.
– Hi, Leo.
– Welcome.
– Thank you all for coming back in on a school night.
I had dinner with an old friend tonight.
I thought everyone should hear what he had to say.
I wanna read you something.
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.
‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.
” – You? – Thomas Paine.
He said “’tis.
” Might’ve been a clue.
Busy day around here today.
What’d you spend it on? – Bolivia.
– Well, no.
You spent it on a situation in Bolivia, a crisis.
I understand that gravitational pull.
North Korea pokes a hole in the fence, it gets your attention.
As do whiny Cabinet members, floods and new employment figures.
Pretty soon, it’s the whole day.
Problem is, we’re running out of them.
That’s how much time we have left.
We have the ability to affect more change in a day at the White House than we’ll have in a lifetime once we walk out these doors.
What do you wanna do with them? We should finally get serious about health care whether it calls attention to the president’s MS or not.
New approach to Latin America.
A real commitment to drug treatment.
– What else? – The VP and I want to talk about race.
– He’s right.
– I’ve got ideas about the working poor.
– We both do.
– That’s repackaging the EITC.
– Poor Tax.
– Catchy.
– Comprehensive plan.
– Includes training, urban development.
– Weapons ban.
– Affordable housing.
H.
R.
190’s gonna shift the debate back to segregation.
– Ain’t that what you wanted? – A resurgence in civil rights activism couldn’t hurt anyone.

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