Vice President Russell (Gary Cole) appears to be the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president. However, a new contender, Senator Rafferty (Mel Harris) gives an amazing speech and has the press buzzing with her ideas. Josh (Bradley Whitford) discovers an interesting link between Senator Rafferty’s health-care plan and President Barlet’s original plan which only someone on the inside would be privy to. Meanwhile, C.J. (Allison Janney) is trying to get Congress to back a bill.
Previously on The West Wing: – It’s my “annivorcery.
” – I don’t What? The anniversary of my divorce.
– I didn’t know you’d been married.
– Couple times.
Josh has a foot out the door.
It’s you and I, we gonna have to run this thing.
We’re not getting coverage of Politics and Eggs – of “get tough on Pakistan” – Press loves an underdog.
– It’s sketch comedy.
– It’s fun.
– It’ll get us on the news.
– It’s cheap.
You can’t skip out with the president lying flat on his back.
Seven years, you’re gonna leave us with a get-well card? Gotta think about the ninth year.
– What can I get you? – A glass of red.
We have to stop meeting like this.
People will talk.
I’d offer to make an honest woman of you, but you’d tire of me.
And then I’d be left with nothing but my knitting.
– You knit? – I don’t.
So I’d be left with nothing at all.
What happened to your face? Boston Globe.
– “Vice President Robert Russell clings ” – Oh, sorry.
“Congressman Matthew Santos emerged from the pack with a healthy 19 percent of the New Hampshire primary votes.
Even more impressive than his unexpected vault into third place was his considered candor he brought to the stage in last week’s debate.
” The Post called it “shrewd certitude.
” They love you.
– Ignore him.
We got 11 major newspapers tooting our horn.
You gotta open your arms, feel the love.
I feel it.
I feel very warm.
He’s pissed Dave Pemberton wrote about Rafferty.
As did Chris Latham.
Latham and Pemberton are opinion-makers.
She’s enthusiastic about the “Santos for president” idea.
She’s good, but she Latham and Pemberton both wrote about Senator Rafferty’s speech.
They write about it now, everyone who can spell is writing about it next week.
Rafferty got into the race five minutes ago.
New Hampshire was a coup for us.
You’re the Cinderella story.
They should write about you.
There’s only room for one scrappy insurgency.
– You’re not gonna kiss me, are you? – See you at the airport.
Find me a copy of the damn Rafferty speech.
I didn’t know you were back today.
– Yeah, I’m back.
– How you doing? Did Brower send us something on Head Start? – No.
– I mean, Wallace, not Brower.
– I spoke to him about it.
– You want me to call somebody? No, I’ll do it.
You know, I’m joining you today in the Oval.
Margaret, I need a copy of the Western Water Program.
– And I had a blue binder marked EPA – Oh, God! Oh, God! – How about this one? – Penne with red sauce.
– This? – Vodka with cranberry.
You should tell me when you’re out so I can go to the dry cleaners.
– You’re my assistant, not my wife.
– It’ll be less noticeable when it’s dry.
Hug the binder.
Interior released a draft of the Western Water Program with your revisions.
We’re going wide early.
Hopefully we get support before it hits Congress.
– They up the numbers? – Forty million’s the best we can do.
I may need a hand on this.
If anybody has any comments on the Energy Trust Fund Summary, today’s it.
– I thought it went to the floor.
Josh was handling it.
– We lost momentum when he left.
– Chronic problem, that.
Did Josh drop it, or did he give it to somebody, or? God.
– Is this a good time? Yes.
Annabeth’s here to discuss the DNC gala tonight.
– Delighted to have you.
– Thank you.
Every Democratic contender will be in town for this event including all their staffers.
They all want a piece of you.
If I see one coming, duck under a table? Over the top, but we’re in the right area.
I’m not avoiding my former deputy chief of staff.
He’s gonna ask for a favor.
You’ll say no and then feel bad.
No favor, just small talk.
Could you give me that, C.
? Every sitting president goes through this.
It’s a time-honored annoyance.
– Let’s navigate through it gracefully.
– Thank you, all.
Toby? Yes, sir.
I believe this is yours.
– You doing okay? – Yes, sir.
My sister-in-law was very moved by the letter.
– She appreciated it.
– Take as much time as you need.
I prefer to be back at work.
Thank you, sir.
You’re not going to tell me what happened? I cut myself shaving.
With a machete.
Very few people guess that, but it is in fact the case.
You should get a Band-Aid.
I’ll look into that.
Never call a woman and say, “We have to talk.
” – It’s not nice.
– Duly noted.
– You don’t smoke, do you? – Me? No.
– Occasional cigar, not cigarettes.
They sell cigarettes here? – The lack of Josh is becoming a problem.
– Thinking about a replacement? I’ve been working assuming he’d return.
I never thought Santos would hang on.
Nineteen percent in New Hampshire.
Maybe he’s a contender? – The Water Program.
Trying to sort out a three-way war with cities, farmers and environmentalists – who want all of the Colorado River.
– There’s less than everybody thought.
We’ve got lobbyists from each group coming today.
– What time? – Ten is the first.
– Urban-development lobby.
– Who is it? – Cliff Calley.
– No wonder you want flank support.
Try not to worry about the DNC thing tonight.
Russell will get nominated, the president will endorse him.
A photo at the gala isn’t gonna tip the balance.
President’s not plugging someone else? – He really isn’t.
– Greg Brock thinks he is.
He came in, and he didn’t sound like a man with a hunch.
Give him a call.
Tell him the principal wants to see him.
– Diplomatic mission to Mali.
– Bali? – Mali with an M.
– Not Bali with a high? Thought you had a cold.
Margaret, cancel my lunch.
– What happened to your boob? – Really? Chairman of Foreign Ops is holding a planning session for the Mali trip.
It’d be great to have somebody from your end.
– Oh, sorry.
– Help her organize Mali.
– Up on the Hill.
Toby give you his changes on the FOP remarks? – No.
You don’t have them? – No.
Ask him again.
Make sure he knows it’s this week.
State and Foreign Ops has been working with USAID on what they call “high impact health services” for Mali.
This trip’s a kickoff.
– They’re focusing on HIV? – That and child immunization.
Look at it.
Let me know if you have questions.
You have any interest in being fixed up? Not the kind of question I was referring to.
A guy at the gym.
He asked if you were seeing anyone.
Guess you’re famous.
What guy? – I don’t know his name.
– Seriously? We have mutual friends.
We played a pickup game two years ago.
We were introduced at the time.
I see him at the machines at the gym, and it’s all: “Hey, man, how you doing?” It’s two years later.
I can’t ask him his name.
– He asked you to fix us up? – Asked if you were seeing anyone.
We were talking at the gym.
We keep sentences short.
This is No.
And you should talk about something else at the gym.
I got most of it.
– Club soda and salt.
– That’s great.
– It’s wet, though.
– You wanna go with the binder? – Didn’t work well the first time.
– Are you sure? Of course.
– Can I lose the pin? – It was my aunt’s.
– She’s no longer with us.
– Then you should wear it.
– It’s covering a hole.
– You ready? Are you sure we shouldn’t pull Toby in for this? For Cliff Calley, you want a whole phalanx? – He got us on the Clean Air Bill.
– He’s a lobbyist.
He’s building bridges.
– He’s slippery.
– Greg Brock’s here.
– I’ll meet you in the Mural.
– She send you to her tailor? – Morning.
– Hi, pookie.
– You think the president picked a horse.
– He’s done more than that.
He’s channeling support.
But what do I know? I know a lot for a woman of my years.
The president supports all Democratic candidates and will remain neutral until after the primaries.
– What if he did? Hypothetically? – Back a candidate now? – Hypothetically.
– Congress would go through the roof.
Anything the president tried, they’d kill.
It’d appear as support of a candidate that half the Democrats and all Republicans despise and bring his agenda for the year to a halt.
If that, hypothetically, was what was happening he probably wouldn’t tell anybody.
He probably wouldn’t even tell you.
Wish I’d have been there.
Would have been awkward.
I’d have stood in the back.
There must have been a large NASA contingent.
His wife didn’t want that.
If you didn’t do what you do, what would you do? Medicine, probably.
No, it’s a lie.
I’d grow apples.
I’d run an apple orchard and cider mill and I’d be fat as all get-out.
Sometimes I think what if I was at UNICEF or United Way pulling together the AIDS fight, or back in New York improving the public school system, would it be a better use of my 24 hours? Not this.
Not pushing on the ocean.
So who threw the first punch? – Cliff, good to see you.
Cregg with the snazzy promotion.
Do I bow or kiss the ring? What’s the protocol? Stand when I sit, sit when I stand, yes my every question.
You see the suit? Didn’t dress like that at Ways and Means.
– You like? – Where’d you get? – I have a guy downtown – Gentlemen.
Your suit’s nice too.
– You look over the proposal? – Is it gonna get a new name? – The Water Program? – On the nose, no? You’ve got a better idea? “Water, Water Everywhere, Not a Drop to Drink”? I guess you have other issues, why don’t we? Hang on.
Oh, man, I just had a d�j� vu.
We’re trying to circumnavigate as much as we can so let’s talk about what you’re worried – That’s not necessary.
– The name’s your only problem? I don’t like any of it, it won’t work, but I really hate the name.
It’s not so much a solution, but it’s a good first step.
It’s a Band-Aid that gives the government permission to ignore drought conditions in 11 states for five years.
We’re not getting anywhere near it.
Where’d you get the pin? – From a dead woman.
Can we? – The Drought Program.
– Good name.
– Conservation measures The Drought Plan.
Because you created a plan that will extend the drought.
– Star that.
– It’s not a drought.
It’s a drought if we were having less than average rainfall, but we’re not.
We have 58 million people wrestling over one river’s water based on calculations taken in what we now know were 20 flood years.
I’m asking you to work with us.
– Hey, I hear you.
I hear your frustration.
Congress won’t touch it.
Even if I thought more of it, the New Mexico delegation can’t vote for it it makes them look too pro-EPA.
Sylbie in Colorado can’t vote for it.
It makes him look anti-EPA.
California Central Valley can’t support it as any funding they get is deducted from the 42 million they’re getting from the EPA for pollution management.
Collins might vote for it just to piss off Sylbie but I wouldn’t stake my morning on anything Hugh Collins may do.
He’s a bit of a tippler.
Why’d you come if you weren’t gonna play ball? My niece loves the M&M’s with the seal of the president.
She takes them to school, gets a lot of attention.
Got any of those around? Sorry, Mr.
This will take a minute.
– No problem, Larry.
Take your time.
– There you go.
– Nothing going on today.
– Thank you.
Just trying to win primaries.
– You’re not serious.
Sign me in.
– Yes? – It’s Josh.
They won’t let me in.
had to cancel your lunch so I killed the pass.
Didn’t get the message? Yeah, I’m fine about the lunch.
Just coming in to say hello, hang out for a bit.
I got meetings on the Hill all afternoon.
They really frown on the hanging out.
– You know what? Let me in.
How’s it going? – Good.
Good flight? Yeah, it was great.
Margaret, let me in the door.
These are contacts for people on the trip.
– You’ll wanna touch base.
– Now? – No.
Talk about the guy.
– I thought I was done with that.
– What’s he look like? – A white guy.
– Brad Pitt.
– Stop it.
I need Charlie.
– We’re working.
I heard “Brad Pitt.
” You’re not working.
– The Family Leave Expansion.
– The VP wants in? – Hello.
– Am I interrupting? – You were in New Hampshire? It’s nice.
– I was.
– Call me about the announcement? – Yeah.
Ambassador to Mali and global AIDS coordinator want copies of everything.
– Tell me tall or short.
He’s a good-looking guy, smart, got a job, he’s not a jerk.
I don’t know his favorite color but he’s got all his teeth and almost all his hair.
– How much is almost? – He’s got a high forehead.
This is a bad idea.
This is a bad idea.
– Look at this woman.
– Hello, pumpkin.
– She’s a vision.
– I heard Security didn’t wanna let you in.
– New guy.
– I heard it was Larry.
– How you doing? – Good.
A little back pain.
– Sorry to hear that.
– I’m thinking of shiatsu.
– That’s great stuff.
– Yeah, that’s what they say.
– You’re not letting me in there, are you? – Not a chance.
M&M’s bearing the seal of the president.
This from a grown man.
– You got any? – What? The M&M’s.
I’m a little peckish.
– Thank you.
– The Agriculture lobby is in an hour.
– This better not happen with them.
– We’ll get Agriculture.
We’ll handhold on the Hill.
We’ll do it without him.
Who behaves like that? It’s unprofessional.
Yet terribly effective.
You ought to have a conversation with him.
I’m happy picking up the loose ends, but Josh Lyman left a big hole in this place.
– Maybe he’s coming back, maybe not.
– You want me to hire Calley? He knows the Hill.
He knows his stuff.
This guy used to work for Congressional Republicans.
This guy shut down an investigation of my substance-abuse history because he thought maybe we should be governing the country.
It’s a Republican Congress.
Not the worst thing to have someone with relationships on both sides.
He’s the wrong choice.
And he’s irritating.
And he’s obnoxious.
That’s worked for us in the past.
Here’s the part where, due to my years of service you suspend for a moment the Teutonic allegiance to protocol – and shift thyself out of my way.
– Josh Lyman to see you.
Was this place such a killjoy when I worked here – or have the Brown Shirts taken over? – You’re vibrating.
I feel that.
No! I am in town for one day.
Tell him he reschedules this thing again, I’m gonna tear off his head and fashion his skull into a decorative fruit bowl.
– How goes it? – Little bit of back pain, truthfully.
– Sorry to hear that.
– Thinking about yoga.
– I hear it does wonders.
– You can’t see him.
– Five minutes.
Two? – Write a letter.
You should be stuck in double lotus.
– With an itch.
– Good to see you.
– Is it time for the meeting? – Not quite.
Making sure you’re clear on how the trip is funded.
It’s complicated, so if you wanna talk – It’s really not.
– Bring him on.
– You sure? – Yeah.
I’m ready to get off the bench.
In the game.
I’ll put him on the list for the gala.
He’ll know a bunch of people there.
– Who? – Jimmy Hatch, Howard Kagan.
– He works for the government? – It’s D.
– I thought he was a regular person.
You don’t wanna roll out of bed with a hangover, change in the car and find last night’s strategic error in your strategic planning session.
Tell me I’m not having this conversation.
Invite him to the party.
You see the Republican side? Arnie Vinick.
He could get malaria, race is open again.
– Am I seeing things, or is she? – Very.
– I didn’t know she was pregnant.
– She’s pregnant.
I didn’t even know she was married.
How is the president doing? Not terrible.
He gets tired and pretends he isn’t.
His legs hurt, and he pretends they don’t.
– We’re still figuring it all out.
What’s up with Toby? I saw him in the hall.
Acted like a guy who owed me money.
– He’s been out of it since the funeral.
– What funeral? – David.
– His brother? – He died? – Tuesday.
He was sick.
– He went downhill pretty fast.
– Yeah, I knew he was sick.
I I talked to Toby last week.
Why wouldn’t he say anything? I feel awful.
I would have gone.
None of us did.
They didn’t want a whole to-do.
– I’m gonna go.
Hey, you think we can do a water deal without the urban-development lobby? Out West? I don’t know.
You’re gonna get resistance in New Mexico and from Sylbie out of Colorado.
You may get the California Central Valley guys onboard but you’d have to make it a pretty sweet deal.
They get a nice boost from the EPA.
They’re not gonna walk away from that without a big carrot.
– It’s good to see you.
– It is.
– How are you? – A little back pain.
– I’m sorry.
– Thinking about heroin.
– Really? – Will’s not getting in.
I won’t repeat it.
– How go the wars? – I just heard about David.
– Man, I’m so sorry.
Why didn’t you call me? The Energy Trust Fund.
It just got dropped.
Screw the Energy Trust Fund.
I wish I could have been at the The Mental Health Commission? You dropped a lot and walked away.
It all got handed off.
– Oh, yes.
I gotta – Yeah.
Hang on one second.
I got a 12:00 conference call and a 2:00 on the Hill.
– You wanna get some food in between? – Can’t today.
A lot of people I know are working on these campaigns.
All in the same boat.
You’re soldiers in the same war, and then all of a sudden the borders shift.
And every word you say, and every soda you drink has loyalty connotations.
Could be campaigns, or you’re not ready to talk.
– I don’t have a problem talking to people.
– No? – I don’t have a problem talking to you.
– I’m special.
– Yes, you are.
– You think we rushed into this? Maybe.
– You sorry that we did? – I’m not, actually.
Doesn’t mean we didn’t rush into it.
What do you mean we’re not on Meet the Press? No, no.
Call them back.
Talk to Elise Baine.
Tell her they’re not bumping us for Ricky Rafferty.
– Hang up.
– Congressman’s available tomorrow only.
– Rafferty can wait.
– Hang up now.
Keep your pants on.
Call me back.
I’m gonna put a hit out on Ricky Rafferty.
I need to talk to you, not with a million people around.
Is our relationship about to change? Rafferty put out text of the health plan.
Annabeth had a copy.
Look at page three.
“Obliterate the money-laundering middleman between you and your doctor.
” – Why didn’t every article lead with this? – It wasn’t in the first speech.
They released it today.
It guarantees more coverage.
Look at its structure.
It’s structured like Bartlet had it before we had him cut it out of his plan.
Rafferty has someone from the president’s first health-care initiative.
You, Toby, Sam, Melanie, Ken.
– You missed one.
Who’d I miss? The president.
You got a second? Has the president sat down with Senator Rafferty? – Josh – Lunch, casual? – Absolutely not.
– He’s not sure Russell’s representing Democratic values.
A spoiler may move the debate in a new direction.
The president plans to endorse his party’s nomination.
We assume it will be the vice president.
Sorry he’s not backing your candidate but he’s most certainly not backing Ricky Rafferty.
I can see where this is heading.
Four weeks of articles about single-payer health care and it all reads like vintage Bartlet.
The president’s not the first guy to try and phase out insurance companies though he was a bit obsessed with it.
I thought you’d burst a blood vessel trying to talk him off it.
Gotta be nice with lobbyists from over-subsidized agribusiness conglomerates.
Focus on South Carolina.
Rafferty will flame out.
Hey, do you have any thoughts about Russell’s package? Packaging? If this is a “solicit my opinion so I feel important before you ask for a favor” Donna was here.
The VP can’t join the president – at Fraternal Order of Police.
– It’s not about the FOP.
I’m grooming a man for the highest office.
I’m looking to perfect the image, and they say you’re good.
– They do? – Yes.
These people? – Are you okay? – Yeah, I’m fine.
– I have something in my contact lens.
– You’re wearing glasses.
– Did I say something? No, no, it’s not you.
You know, you work somewhere and your perspective and your experience is different from that of everyone around you.
And it’s busy.
People don’t have time to pat each other on the back.
And I don’t want that.
But, gosh it’s just nice to hear that they think I’m good.
– I can come back later.
The boots are over.
The haircut was hasty, and in the debates he’s too interested in other candidates.
His S’s are slushy, his A’s are flat he exhales too loud and inhales too often, but it’s nothing Nothing that can’t be fixed.
And I’m honored, really honored, that you asked.
– Cliff Calley.
– Thank you.
– I was summoned? – You were.
– Excuse me? – Just seeing if it worked both ways.
– Interested in leaving the private sector? – Are you offering me a job? – I’m gauging your interest.
– A White House job.
– Don’t make me think about it too hard.
– Okay, wow.
– What? – It’s a temp job.
Any job in this White House.
And a low-paying one at that.
– A temp job? – I didn’t bring my tape recorder.
– I could’ve played this for my mom.
It was a bad idea.
Leo thought you were a bridge-builder but you’re a hack working for cookie-cutter condo builders and hotel magnates.
How do you sleep? – Ativan.
– I met with lobbyists on this water deal.
Only you wouldn’t budge a bit.
Let’s talk about agribusiness monsters who siphoned 90 percent of the Colorado River into irrigation of California rice.
We’re most safe when we’re our own food source.
It’s a desert.
They grow monsoon crops.
– I don’t need you on this.
– You’re right.
I could jump in, and you still wouldn’t get a deal because the Senate will love it and the House won’t.
Let me thank you for your honesty and service.
Okay, you wanna know how I sleep at night? There’s a drought in Kenya, in Zambia.
There’s a drought in India and Pakistan and Ecuador and Paraguay and there’s a drought in Malawi and Uganda and Australia.
We’re the only nation that can afford the $ 10-billion investment it takes for desalination technology and the government’s never gonna do that unless forced because there’s a major national water crisis and they’re taking heat from cookie-cutter condo builders and hotel magnates.
– Get out of my office.
Immigration bill’s getting gutted in committee.
You see Rafferty’s health-care plan? Yeah.
Who was your point person on immigration? “Obliterate the middleman between you and your doctor.
” Does it bother you someone’s stealing your stuff? – Does that trouble you at all? – It doesn’t.
You’re not a good sharer.
Only way it doesn’t bother you is if you handed it to him yourself.
– Shut the door.
– Ricky Rafferty? Are you crazy? I’ve just eked out a lead.
My guy’s the little engine that could.
– What were you thinking? – I don’t know.
I thought maybe there should be somebody in the field who talks like a Democrat.
You wasted the opportunity.
You and your garage-sale find.
– My what? – Ethanol pledge? – I’m trying to win a race.
– Matthew Santos isn’t gonna win.
You got a chance to shape the debate, strengthen the party, and you blew it! You ran to the center for a stinking You shouldn’t try to win.
You don’t have the man.
You think I left to shape the debate? – Somebody’s got to.
– This is your contribution to the party? The world needed another going-nowhere health-care plan? The world needed to hear one useful idea.
Now every viable candidate has to waste airtime on why they do or don’t support socialized medicine.
There’s a profiting industry leeching the life out of this country’s health care.
– Got something better to discuss? – You’re dragging the field left.
– Good! – You could have fed me ideas.
– You don’t like how I’m running this.
– How? – How? Telephone.
– How? – What are we discussing? – You didn’t ask.
Why the hell didn’t you come to me before you picked Santos? Do you have any idea how strong a force we would have been had we taken on a candidate together? – I’m asking you now.
– Yeah, well, no.
– That’s it? That’s your answer? – That’s my answer.
– You are a selfish, petty – Get out.
waste of the oxygen in the air that useful people could be using.
– Get out! – You get out, you selfish son of a bitch! My brother and I used to collect pennies, pick them up off the street put them in an old whiskey bottle we swiped from my old man.
Every few months or so, we’d go to the bank to get these paper things.
Tubes to make rolls of change.
My brother said: “Never walk down the street without a roll of pennies in your pocket.
” You belt a guy with a roll of pennies in your fist you do some damage.
Get out! Get off! Oh, good.
Can you ask Charlie to get me some background on desalination technology when he gets back from the Hill? What? Maybe you should take a week.
Go back to New York.
I don’t want a week.
You don’t have to want it.
I’m not sure you’re doing yourself any good here.
I’ll be fine.
I’m not sure you’re doing us any good here right now.
There are some things being missed.
– What? – Oh, stupid stuff.
Remarks to the Fraternal Order of Police, which I don’t care about.
– I’m happy to take it for you.
– I’ll do it.
You will? How are David’s kids doing? As Just great.
If that’s where you should be, there’s nothing, nothing more important.
I’m aware of what’s important in this landscape.
When you lose somebody like that that young and healthy, and gone to some senseless cancer Can we not do this, please? Give yourself some time to sit with his kids and look at his picture.
I don’t wanna look at his picture.
He did this.
He did this.
You understand? He sat in a garage with the engine running.
– He was sick.
He was diagnosed.
He could have had years.
But instead, this.
His wife finds him.
What if one of his kids had? Just drop everything and walk away.
It’s Jewish tradition that you don’t leave the body alone before the funeral.
Someone stays and guards it.
And I sat in that room for hours, watching him trying to figure out what was What could have gone through his brain.
I’m not interested in looking at his picture.
You want some water? No.
You want me to go? No.
You were about to answer my question.
How’d he die? Cancer.
Check in with USAID.
They’re not good with details.
Can we call DOD, find out the guy’s name? I’ll find out before you meet him.
I wanna know what I’m getting into.
You do an NSC background check before dates? No wonder it’s been slow.
I’m not gonna do a check.
I wanna poke around at DOD.
– He doesn’t work at DOD.
– You said he worked with Kagan.
– He plays ball with them, works at State.
– What desk? – South America.
– Uruguay? – Yes.
– Red hair? Dick Van Dyke nose? – You know him? – I used to be married to him.
“Is Kate Harper seeing anyone?” I misunderstood the initial inquiry.
Since when do you wear specs? I don’t.
– Somebody leave them? – Yeah.
– They’re not mine, are they? – Don’t think so.
– I lost a pair – They’re not yours.
– They look like mine.
– They’re my brother’s.
– Can you see through them? – I don’t know.
– You going to this DNC thing? – Yeah.
– I understand you have a favorite.
– You here to fight Josh Lyman’s battles? You can’t be doing this from the White House.
– You can’t do this to the president.
You think the president doesn’t want genuine Democratic values in a national presidential contest? He’d do this himself if he could.
I’m doing this for the president.
He could help Russell now if he wanted.
Joint appearances, a bill signing with the VP right by his side.
– Rafferty’s the alternative? – We do what we can.
It’s not your job.
You don’t pick losing candidates and usher them to their principled end.
You’re the guy who takes good men and makes them great.
You and Josh still think you’re barking at the heels of the party.
You are the party.
Rafferty’s a spoiler.
Shouldn’t be in the race.
– I’m not sitting this one out.
But don’t pretend you’re still an outsider with a ponytail and a dream.
You work in the White House.
Your brother didn’t have any more fight in him.
You still do.
You’re gonna be here between Clarkson and Rafferty.
The president comes up, everybody holds hands, picture, and we’re gone.
The president’s between Russell and Hoynes.
– Everybody’s in.
– I’m second to left.
You don’t have a problem with this symbolism? Second only to Rafferty, who’s all the way to the left.
You’re a Democrat.
Left is not a crime.
Liberal is not a dirty word.
We got New Hampshire because people responded to your policies.
The temptation to grab at center is only gonna grow.
– Remember where you came from.
– I can’t remember.
– I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean – I was born a poor black child.
– Close, but no.
– If you shake hands with the president hang on as long as possible, give cameras a chance to get it.
– I was born on the bayou? – That’s not it either.
Good to meet you.
– Half an hour of grip and grin, that’s it.
– Grin, really.
I’m not supposed to grip.
– You’re leaving before the speeches – In deference to my health.
There’s an excuse we could have started using years ago.
I found a few people who aren’t connected to any of the campaigns.
– You should focus attention on them.
– You made a list? – I’ll point them out.
There are six.
– I hope you’re on that list.
You know what? We should get a shot of Can this be one of those nights we get sloshed – and forget we work together? – Wow, that would be lovely.
Josh is here.
If you’re gonna go at it again, let me know in time to put some money on it.
I’m gonna go downstairs to the bar for a while.
Yell if you need me.
I was summoned again.
It’s gotta stop.
One gets drunk with the power.
I’m hiring you to work in the White House.
I looked into what you said about desalination.
You’ve got a point.
I think you may be soulless, but we can work on that.
– I turned you down.
– Nobody turns us down.
We’re like the Mob, but less violent.
Ultimately responsible for more death and destruction.
Still – You don’t think I’m an odd choice? – We got a few months and a lot to do and I think you miss serving your country.
Take a second and breathe.
In a moment, you’re gonna wish you had.
Pardon me, sir.
This is Cliff Calley.
We had a great chat today about your water program.
He’s a big fan.
– Good to meet you, Mr.
– It’s an honor, sir but I’m afraid Ms.
Cregg may have slightly misrepresented my position.
, he’s not a fan.
The deal was you were to surround me with sycophants.
This is one of the six people you’re allowed to speak to.
Take your time.
I thought you weren’t coming.
– It’s time to get back in the pool.
– Good for you.
Sorry I couldn’t help.
Once upon a time, I did this all by myself.
– What can I get you? – A glass of red, please.
– Avoid the Swiss.
As a general rule? I didn’t know they made you come to these.
– I take an interest.
– Really? Change of scenery.
No reason for being here.
– Let’s keep it between us.
– No problem.
I’m on my 82nd of what’s bound to be 350 identical conversations.
– I think I’m losing my voice.
– That’s awful.
Mind if I stand here and pretend we’re talking – but we actually don’t? – Sure.
You sound like a guy formulating an exit strategy.
– I don’t know.
– Can’t say I’m entirely surprised.
Senator Rafferty? They’re ready for you upstairs.
I’ll be right there.
I think you said some things this country needs to hear.
You’ve established yourself as a national presence.
You step out before Super Tuesday before anybody’s shot at a nomination is foiled by what would be considered a spoiler maybe there’s a vice presidency in this for you.
I’m not pulling out before South Carolina.
– I did this to make a point.
And I wanna make sure that everybody’s heard it.
– I certainly never – I’ve gotta step out now.
I should go.
I’m gonna finish my drink.
You’ve got my number if you need it.
Yeah, I do.
Put them on.
Let me see.
Makes you look smart.
I thought I looked smart before.
So did I.