Season 6 – Episode 21 – “Things Fall Apart”

Episode Summary:

The clear organization of the Republican Convention is making the Democrats look in disarray as the three candidates continue to battle for a clear Democratic Presidential nominee. Bartlet (Martin Sheen) asks Leo (John Spencer) to take control and organize the Democratic Convention. Meanwhile, the International Space Station has a leak and is losing oxygen which jeopardizes the lives of the three astronauts aboard and morality and mortality are examined.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: The only thing you can pray for in this job is the strength to get through the day.
– What? – We won California.
How did we end up in a crouch? I’m not changing my ads because of a stunt.
Eric Baker’s live on MSNBC right now.
Says he’s not running.
It’s the time that I can keep my commitment to the people of Pennsylvania to be a full-time governor.
– Are you asking me on a date? – You haven’t said that you’ll go.
I don’t wanna leave you guys with just a candygram and a get-well card.
We’ll be fine.
As most of you know President Bartlet won a Nobel Prize years ago for economics.
– Yeah.
– Mr.
Vice President, the governor is here.
– Show him in.
– Record deficits – a weakened dollar – Governor.
– Mr.
Vice President.
– a ballooning trade imbalance – What have they been saying? – It’s Bartlet-bashing, mostly.
One advantage of not yet having our nominee.
– They could be going after you.
– Have a seat.
Seems you have something of theirs they’re gonna need back.
– It’s good of you to come.
– My pleasure.
I don’t need to tell you what a critical time this is.
Brokered convention.
It’s been a while.
After the first ballot, we need a consensus nominee.
– Consensus? We’re Democrats.
– The right ticket could create one.
There’s press speculation about Matt Santos as VP.
Of course.
But you’ve gotta think seriously about regional balance.
– I think that’d be a must.
– Vinick’s a moderate.
States will be in play that Democrats count on.
We need to protect our flank.
– Vinick’s well-liked in my state.
– Pennsylvania’s critical.
From the convention straight through to the general.
We’re gonna wanna do everything possible to make sure that goes for us.
– Thirsty? Want something to drink? – Sure.
Absolutely.
Eight is enough.
Eight is enough.
Eight long, liberal years of social policies out of step with the values Elevating oratory.
It’s Lincolnesque.
Boil your message down to the title of a bad TV show.
Careful.
It was formative for many of us.
– Formative? – Crush on the mom.
Very Mrs.
Robinson.
What were you, 8? – Well, she seemed knowing.
– Eight kids.
Maybe not so knowing about contraception.
– What’s he saying? – I wouldn’t know.
I’m not watching.
Yeah, we were not watching up in the suite.
– What do we say to failed trade policies? – Eight is enough! – To years of overregulation? – Eight is enough! – To years of windfalls for trial lawyers? – Eight is enough! To bloated bureaucracy, runaway entitlements – and endless red tape? – Eight is enough! – What say we? – Would eight, perhaps, be enough? – Eight is enough! – Uncanny.
Psychic.
You need to.
– Someone I’m meeting later.
– Don’t wanna keep a lady waiting.
– It’s good for her.
– To years of radical, activist You wanted to talk? I have a proposition.
You been watching this? – Is the Congressman? – Yeah, but – It’s okay.
– Sorry.
– My time is your time.
– Evidently.
– What’s up? – I’ll just.
You should probably hear this too.
The Russell campaign, in return for us releasing our convention delegates is prepared to name Matthew Santos as Democratic nominee for vice president of the United States.
Vice president? – To Russell.
– They’ve given us till Thursday.
– Don’t need it.
Tell them we pass.
– We do, do we? – What do you think? – He’s acting like the front-runner.
– He is.
– By the skin of his teeth.
If this race had gone one more week, you would be the one ahead.
Arguments in favor: It avoids a messy floor fight, chaotic convention.
Also known as exciting, also great television.
Also known as “The Democrats can’t get their crap together.
” The best argument is, it sets you up as the consensus front-runner in either four or eight years.
Nomination would be yours.
Or you’re so tainted by association when Vinick wins – you can’t run for dogcatcher.
– I don’t think anyone elects dogcatchers.
– My dad ran for dogcatcher.
– Really? – No.
– This campaign has been predicated on, driven by, gotten all of the aforementioned momentum from the ironclad conviction that Russell can’t win.
I’m a three-term congressman being offered the second most powerful job in the world.
Sorry.
I thought we were discussing the vice presidency.
How about we all sleep on it? – Hey, it’s getting real, isn’t it? – Real as it gets.
I’ll call you right back.
– Well? – You didn’t expect an answer.
– How it hit him.
A read.
– You know Josh.
What’s he gonna recommend? I’m not asking you to betray king and country.
A best guess.
– I have no idea.
– That’s a real coup for Santos.
– Obscurity to the vice presidency? – He’d be a fool not to take it.
It elevates him to the big leagues.
– How’d it go with Baker? – Receptive.
– You said nothing explicit? – He got the drift.
– Santos turns us down, we go to Baker.
– Win-win.
Good day.
Really good day.
Treasury, Commerce, OMB.
I want all hands out refuting that swill the Republicans were spewing last night.
– Hey.
– Is for horses.
Thank you, Grammy Cregg.
You can take the girl out of the Midwest Fast as her little feet could fly, or not.
Something’s wrong with the International Space Station.
Losing oxygen.
– Astronauts onboard can’t fix it? – Not so far.
Got a NASA administrator – wants to see the president.
– President’s unavailable.
Bring him here.
– Morning.
– Hey.
You watch last night’s Bartlet bash-athon? They think it’s Russell.
They’re tying him to us.
Russell’s had as much to do with what’s gone on as Not the best defense: “I had the job, but no one actually listened to me.
” Get ready for press questions about how organized and unified the Republicans are compared to us.
Organized.
They’re about as spontaneous as.
I actually can’t think of anything as unspontaneous as their convention.
Four nights of Swiss watch precision.
We get a pie fight.
Thanks, Nancy.
Steve, come in.
Children.
Infants.
Well, there’s a lot at stake for these candidates.
I’m chair of the DNC, and that’s what my days are.
Babysitting.
Tantrums, Mr.
President.
“They have more floor passes.
We need a bigger room in the hall.
We don’t like this hotel, we want theirs.
” I’m sorry this is falling to you.
– Until we have a nominee – You saw last week’s Time.
– The exploding donkey.
– “Dems in Disarray.
” You know what next week’s will be.
– “Republicans on a Roll”? – Something has to be done, sir.
I’ve reached the end of my influence.
They won’t listen to the nanny.
We may be in danger of overextending the metaphor.
We need Daddy to step in.
A rescue operation is called for, but the space shuttles are grounded right now pending a safety review and retrofit.
Russians can’t get a launch together in time.
– How long have they got? – Assuming present rate of oxygen loss three weeks they’ll be dead.
Can’t a shuttle be pressed into service notwithstanding the review? One’s missing half its wing assembly, the other’s undergoing tile replacement.
Now, we can try and speed up repairs The concern would be losing the shuttle crew and station crew.
Now, that’s the civilian shuttle.
Sorry? Can we speak with the president? Yeah, they wanna announce right after the Republican convention.
Blunt the bounce.
Smart.
– How come we’re not that smart? – It’s all I’ve been thinking.
– Why didn’t we offer it to him first? – We hope to do better.
– And because he’s in front.
– If Hoynes’ bimbo eruption happened earlier, we’re the nominee.
If New York had been later.
– Yeah, if wishes, horses, et cetera.
– What, is that a Dylan song? – Guys your age have this thing for Dylan.
– Guys my age? This is where we’re at.
We got close, Russell got closer.
Neither of us is home.
– They offer a bird in the hand.
– Know that one? – What about Hoynes? – He doesn’t want it to be us.
You think he still thinks he has a hope? It’s his last hurrah.
He’s gonna milk this.
And, yes, I believe that somewhere in the back of his deeply deluded mind he imagines deadlocked convention, a nation turns its lonely eyes to Hoynes.
– Simon and Garfunkel.
– Forget him.
He’s a wounded animal.
He could wind up doing anything.
Matt Santos for president.
Yeah, just a moment.
Will Bailey for you.
Yup.
– Just checking in.
– Okay.
Any preliminary thoughts on our offer? It’s the next thing we talk about.
Thought the congressman might wanna sit down with the VP.
– I’ll get back to you about that.
– Okay.
I’ll talk to you later.
– What’d he say? – What was that? – Get Hollofson.
– Baker’s chief of staff? – He’s just taking our temperature.
– We’re gonna wanna stay in touch.
How long have they got up there? They run out of oxygen in less than three weeks if the leak doesn’t get worse.
Sir, the NASA administrator alluded to a non-civilian shuttle.
Wernher von Braun’s autobiography was titled I Aim for the Stars.
Mort Sahl joked he should have added, “Only Sometimes I Hit London.
” I want hourly updates on everything that’s being done to fix this.
Thank you.
Thank you, Mr.
President.
– Us, they’re a little worried about.
– Oh, thanks, Bill.
– You know I’m counting on you.
– Left, left, left.
– Bye.
– And that is exactly how Americans feel about the Bartlet-Russell White House.
Left, left, left behind.
You finish all your calls? You don’t finish.
At some point, you just decide to stop dialing.
How you feeling? Hard to say no to the vice presidency.
Well, it’s not what you signed up for.
– No one signs up to come in second.
– Are you kidding me? – We didn’t.
– No.
Hard to say no to the vice presidency.
You don’t have to for a couple days.
– Night, congressman.
– Good night.
My fellow Americans the body politic is ailing.
– You’re not going there.
– We have businesses paralyzed – by overregulation.
– Tell me you’re not going there.
international profile that’s a shadow of our former strength.
– Is he doing what I think? – Foreign policy stumbling – from one crisis to another.
– The MS.
He’s invoking the MS.
progressively falling apart before our very eyes.
– This is gonna backfire.
– A Defense Department enfeebled – Maybe people won’t get it.
– so clogged with complications – it’s positively sclerotic.
– Okay, they’ll get that.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired – of being sick and tired.
– You’re going to hell! Josh, let’s sit over here.
How you doing? I mean, I realize the VP candidate’s the designated hatchet man, but that’s – Santos accepts, you can get revenge.
– Yeah.
You think I might find five or 500 ways to call Vinick old? You want sclerotic, I’ll give you sclerotic.
– Santos wouldn’t do it.
– Probably not.
– Maybe why he shouldn’t take the job.
– Maybe why he’d be a great choice.
– You want him to accept? – You don’t.
I have concerns.
– He’s not hitman enough.
– Too much voltage on the ticket.
– Overshadows the nominee.
– People wish the names were reversed.
Gets people willing to wait until next time.
– How’d you get so smart about this? – I had a good teacher.
Thanks.
I meant Will.
– Okay, see you later.
Good night.
– Good night.
Evening, Charlie.
Mr.
President.
Listening to relentless attacks upon my record seems to have left me wakeful.
Thought I’d stretch my legs, so it’s really the Republicans’ fault we’re in this terribly embarrassing situation.
It’s.
I think, perhaps, the best thing is for us to carry on as if this encounter hadn’t happened.
Due respect, I’m having a hard time exactly imagining that.
It’s 1 in the morning, we both have to be at work in a few hours and you’re standing outside my daughter’s bedroom.
I say we give it a shot.
– Night, Charlie.
– Good night, Mr.
President.
– Good morning.
– Morning.
– Morning.
– Morning.
What’s the status of the space station leak? – Unchanged.
– Current thinking on options? Sections of the space station can be sealed off.
There are small compartments to repair to conserve air.
– Which just delays the inevitable.
– Which buys time to fix it.
– Engineers are working around the clock.
– Around the world.
Which is great, and hopefully will make one heck of a movie but should these efforts fail, I don’t relish the idea of astronauts floating in some spaceship sarcophagus.
– Rescue options? – That’s NASA’s area.
DOD space program expenditures for the last fiscal year came to $22.
9 billion, or $ 7 billion more than NASA’s civilian program.
– What are we spending that on? – That’s what the Chinese want to know.
Since they’re not here, maybe you could just tell me.
– Missile warning, command and control.
– Solar flare watch.
Twenty billion to tell us when the sun burps? – They disrupt satellite communications.
– Yes, and Grand Ole Opry broadcasts.
Are we weaponizing space? Air Force Special Command operates and supports the Global Positioning System and military communication satellites.
We look at ways space systems can support war fighters – in navigation, intelligence.
– Is that weaponizing space? Space-based lasers, highly targeted, no nuclear fallout.
Space-based kinetic energy weapons.
Hunter-Killer satellites.
– R & D guys talk about a lot of things.
– A military space shuttle.
– Reusable launch vehicle.
– Space bomber.
That has the theoretical capability of launching and dropping a weapon anywhere in the world.
With virtually no ability to detect it in advance.
Out of reach of conventional air defense.
Theoretical capability.
No one wants space to become a battleground.
Is that the argument in favor of building it or of not building it? Or the argument for building it and not telling anyone? The answer to that would be yes.
Annabeth, is there a contingency plan to go up and rescue these astronauts if they can’t fix the leak? NASA is exploring all their options.
The precise nature of those is something best gotten from them but the president has every confidence in their expertise.
What’s the White House reaction to the Bartlet-bashing at the Republican convention? – I’m not aware anyone here’s seen it.
– No one? We have a country to mis-run.
– So you saw it.
– I gleaned the gist.
“Republican good, Democrat bad.
” Sophisticated dialectic.
Nuanced.
Care to comment on the expected contrast between the high degree of discipline in the Republican convention and the Democrat’s anticipated free-for-all? I believe the people will be the beneficiaries in that they will be presented a clear choice.
Do they want to be governed by people who are animated or animatronic? Mr.
President? The first lady’s back, and Leo’s here.
– Send him in, please.
– Mr.
McGarry.
– Morning, Mr.
President.
– Leo.
– How you feeling, sir? – Vexed, riled, irked.
– The Republican convention.
– Ticked, honked, pissed.
– You can’t take it personally.
– I keep telling myself.
Problem is, once you’re telling yourself that, it’s too damn late.
– Already taking it personally.
– Gonna be more next couple nights.
I’ve got calls from everybody in the party about ours.
– Rorsche is going to pieces.
– Rock that he is.
I thought he might cry in here.
Actual tears.
With no nominee, they’re running over him.
We need someone strong to organize the damn thing.
– Wonder who we can get.
– If it helps it gives me no pleasure dumping this damn thing on you.
The pleasure of not having to do it yourself.
Which is not inconsiderable.
Let’s get representatives of the three candidates in here set down some ground rules, establish a tone.
A floor fight doesn’t have to devolve into a brawl.
Is there anything to these press rumors of a Russell-Santos deal? Be the smart move.
Latino on the ticket from Texas, gives us a shot there.
Florida.
Maybe even makes California contestable.
Let’s not get carried away.
The Southwest? Vinick’s politics put these in play.
One way or another, we’re coming out of this with a nominee.
Be nice if he didn’t seem like merely the last clown standing.
Now, this space walk is scheduled for 0900 hours Houston time to again try and source the oxygen leak.
Now, the problem with space walks is they’re strenuous resulting in increased oxygen consumption.
Obviously, not an optimal condition at this juncture.
The American people can be assured, we on the ground are doing everything possible to assist these astronauts at this time.
– How was your trip? – You didn’t haul yourself up here in the middle of a presidential morning just to inquire about my trip Oh, my God.
I can’t remember where I was.
Folk dancing, people winning things, and lots of fiddles screeching.
I’m sure the fiddles were wonderful.
Maybe it was me doing the screeching.
Inside.
I caught Charlie tiptoeing away from Zoey’s room last night.
– Caught? – Discovered.
Encountered.
No, damn it, I caught him red-handed, skulking from my daughter’s bedroom.
Oh, I’m sure he wasn’t skulking.
If he’d been sauntering, there might have been a row.
– I got a big picture of that.
– Are you being blithe just to irritate me? Zoey told me about the two of them.
Not that she had to, because there is the small matter of the Secret Service.
A clandestine is a nonstarter around here.
Then why have I been so ostentatiously kept out of the loop? Golly.
One wonders.
Is that actual dismay? Or just your assumption of the standard paternal attitude? – Does it matter? – I just know how you abhor the clich�.
What’s up? I have an awkward question to ask.
Awkward prying, awkward embarrassing, awkward prurient? About your brother.
– Okay.
– I’m sorry to ask but did David ever mention anything about another kind of space shuttle? – Another kind of space shuttle? – A non-civilian shuttle.
A military shuttle? Did he ever mention anything about anything like that? You mean, did he ever commit a felonious breach of national security? Hints, intimations, a brotherly confidence.
– Brotherly confidence, by definition? – Sibling one-upmanship.
Look what I know.
An occasional cryptic hint, when he wanted to lord it over me.
– Like being an astronaut wasn’t enough.
– Thank you so much.
If he’d been in that station and we didn’t send such a vehicle after him – To send it reveals it.
– Would he have sacrificed himself for national security? He would have insisted on it.
But don’t ask me what I would have insisted on.
– Hey.
– Hey.
The Post has the VP offer.
You got somebody leaking in your campaign.
– I’d check yours.
– We run a pretty tight ship.
– Maybe Hoynes’ people got wind.
– It puts pressure on us.
Lays us out there if you turn us down.
Thanks for coming in, guys.
President asked me to organize the convention since we don’t have a nominee.
Though, I’m now hearing that may change? – We hope so.
– It’s under respectful consideration.
The White House is officially neutral, of course but I don’t think anyone’s opposed to avoiding a prime-time display of disharmony and dysfunction.
Which is what we’re here to discuss.
We’ll just wait for the Hoynes representative to arrive.
I don’t know why he was even invited.
– He has 956 delegates.
– And no chance for the nomination.
Dylan Clark, Hoynes for president.
Thank you for that assessment of our chances.
– I’m sorry you heard that, but it’s true.
– With you two maneuvering.
– Gentlemen.
– You gonna accept? – We’re mulling.
– It’s a lousy job.
I’m sure your candidate would agree.
Mine does.
Maybe why he treated it with such dubious respect.
This is exactly what we don’t want on prime-time TV.
The first order of business is to select a convention chair.
I’ve drawn up a list of candidates.
– Martindale? – I have no problem with him.
– He stumped for you.
– We had a couple of joint appearances.
A couple? If they showed up together more, people would think they eloped.
– Ding Martindale.
– Frenley’s not acceptable.
– He’s strong, respected.
– On your VP shortlist.
We don’t have one.
You have one, he’s on it, I’m dinging him.
– No to Pereira.
– Why not? – Are you joking? – He’s Latino.
– God forbid we show diversity.
– Said the man with a Latino candidate.
I hope you’re not suggesting Latinos can’t be trusted to be unbiased.
The three of you, knock it off.
Put lines through the names you object to, and let me have them back.
– Well, I’d like a day to go over this.
– No.
Nope.
Maybe you guys would prefer a Republican.
I’ll look these over later, see if there’s a consensus.
I’d like to discuss floor positions.
To counteract the perception Vinick has it wrapped up I propose placing the California delegation up front.
– Santos won there.
– Nice try.
We’re not gonna sit here suggesting states your campaigns won.
Battleground states.
Missouri, Wisconsin.
– Texas.
Spirited, boisterous.
– Loud enough to carry from the back.
– Have something against my guy’s state? – You should.
The VP carried his home state.
– Matter of fact – We’re not putting Colorado up front.
– A Southern strategy – California.
– Fifth largest economy in the world.
– What has that got to do with anything? Mr.
President, you wanted to see me? You were right.
Avoiding last night is really not going to work.
– Yes, sir.
– I don’t wanna get righteously paternal.
Sir, I don’t wanna sneak around anymore.
– I’m not breaking you up.
– No.
I’m talking about actually seeing more of Zoey.
More time with her.
Spent together.
Being together.
And such.
Charlie the president’s daughter can’t move in with somebody.
– I assume you understand you cannot – Move in here.
– Yes, sir.
That had occurred to me.
– Then I’m sorry.
I’m not quite sure what you.
Are you talking about? – Yes, sir.
– You wanna make – an honest woman out of her? – No, that’s not it at all.
We’ve been sleeping together for kind of a while.
You might wanna consider quitting while you’re ahead.
Yes, sir.
Sir, would I have your blessing? I’m not the member of the family you should be concerned about.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, Mr.
President.
Josh.
– Probably not what you had in mind.
– It’s exactly what we’re worried about.
People are always complaining about how canned these conventions are.
Not the people trying to use them to put a clear message – in front of the American electorate.
– Good TV.
It’ll be entertaining.
Professional wrestling is entertaining, but when they click off the set no one runs out and votes for the loudmouth in the leotard.
Outside of Minnesota.
You need to take the VP deal.
– We’re considering it.
– Not consider it, take it.
The party, the president, needs you to accept.
– Yeah.
– Santos will be incurring the gratitude of a great many people, people who can be very helpful to his future.
– That future could be now.
– Three-term congressman against Vinick? Be careful what you wish for.
I don’t know that Russell has a better shot.
I don’t either.
But Russell goes down, you want people in the party organizers, fundraisers, thinking it was partly Matt Santos’ fault? Long memories, Josh.
Big win for your guy.
Four years from now, he can run the table.
You’d be doing him a favor.
– The space walk? – Unsuccessful.
– How much oxygen it cost them? – Couple hours.
Could’ve been worse.
Worse being a relative term when it comes to slow suffocation.
We have a decision to make.
The security concerns outweigh the consequences.
It’s presumably been launched before without exposure.
– This is a high-profile case – It would disclose the asset.
But measured against our responsibility toward three lives – Two.
Only two are Americans.
– Meaning what? Russian’s life doesn’t count? Two are more expendable than three? – The cosmonaut would see the asset.
– Take pictures of it for all we know.
Even without the camera, cosmonauts are military.
It’d be the intelligence coup of the new century.
I appreciate that.
But wouldn’t we be revealing hardware everyone assumes we have? Maybe we should invite the Chinese and the Russians over for a formal tour.
Israelis and the Iranians can visit each other’s nuclear facilities.
– Mr.
Secretary.
– I can’t help note the absence – of NASA to make the case for rescue.
– I don’t need anyone to make it.
I need more time.
– Thank you, Mr.
President.
– Thank you, sir.
I appreciate that, senator.
I’m giving it every consideration.
Thank you for the call.
Another voice for party unity.
Yeah, the White House just leaned on me pretty good.
– Same extortionate undertone.
– I heard something on the way over.
Source I have in Philadelphia.
Russell’s been talking to Baker.
As backup, we turn him down.
– Thinks it flips Pennsylvania.
– It does flip Pennsylvania.
One hundred and seventy-eight votes swing from us to Russell.
If the Hoynes delegates break anywhere near even once released It’s game over.
Smart.
Smart.
How come we’re not that smart? You have to go sit down with Russell.
And when you’re in there, you look for a way to tell him yes.
– You okay? – Yeah.
Yeah.
Just.
You know.
– Night yips? – Little bit.
Because you’ve made a decision or because you can’t? Both.
Neither.
I bet Arnie Vinick is sleeping like a rock.
– I don’t know.
He’s old.
– What? Old people don’t sleep so good.
Old people who have their party’s presidential nomination wrapped up and have a mortal lock on California in the general.
They sleep like the dead.
But the prospect of sleeping like the dead is part of what keeps old people up nights.
You ever stop to think that maybe Vinick’s up now, worried about you? I can guarantee you that’s not happening.
Smart guy, young guy.
– Good-looking too.
– Yeah.
Let’s see about helping this troubled office-seeker get himself some sleep.
– Morning.
– What do you do when he’s just wrong? – You remind yourself he got elected.
– We could rescue these astronauts.
He’s got 295 million Americans to think about, not just these three.
Two are Americans.
Defense Secretary’s made it clear if they offed the third, he’d send it.
Lovely affirmation of international cooperation in space.
We don’t want Russia, China building space bombers.
They’ll build them if they assume we’ve got one.
Even if they know, they have to build it.
– This is Alice in Wonderland.
– Yeah.
Some days it is.
– Quick.
Hide the Ouija board.
– See, they can afford Ouija boards.
– Josh has us reading chicken entrails.
– I’ll tell the VP you’re here.
– We’re very excited you’ve come.
– Excited to be here.
It’s exciting.
Congressman, welcome.
– Good of you to see me.
– Shall we? Remember, three feet on the floor at all times.
– Have a seat there.
– Thank you.
Don’t.
Congratulations on a well-fought campaign.
You too.
And hopefully, we’re about to put that all behind us.
That’s what we’re here to discuss.
Arnie Vinick is gonna be a tough customer.
We need to marshal all our strength.
I can’t think of a better way than by having both our names on the ticket.
That’s a good point.
So you wanna flip a coin? That’s a good one.
In all seriousness, let me describe the relationship I envision.
A substantive role in policy, strategic planning.
A voice.
A clear and palpable presence.
More of a partnership, frankly, than I’ve had with Jed Bartlet.
– I’m flattered.
– You should be.
It’s not an offer, it’s not the relationship I’d envision with a lesser man.
– You’re capable and bright.
– You’re very kind.
I’m sure there’s things I can learn from you.
Well.
I don’t.
Just as there are undoubtedly things you could learn from me.
Thank you, all.
Josh.
Mad at me? No.
Oddly.
Disappointed? Proud, I think.
You’ve got a tough conversation ahead.
Not so tough.
Yeah, I do.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next president of the United States, Arnold Vinick! Thank you.
Thank you.
We’re gonna run out of prime time.
It is with great humility that I accept your nomination for president of the United States.
Before I share with you my vision for America I wanna say a few words about the man who I hope is my predecessor President Josiah Bartlet.
He has graced and honored his office.
The highest in the land.
The most powerful in the world, some would say.
Myself included.
He has served this country steadfastly and laudably and I say this despite our political and philosophical differences.
For in the end, a presidency is more than a simple catalogue of policies pursued, crises weathered, battles lost or won.
It’s a stewardship, a sacred trust a commitment to sacrifice every fiber of your being every thought, every moment, every Every everything in service to your nation.
President Bartlet has done this well and ably and he deserves nothing less than our humble appreciation and heartfelt gratitude.
Nice what he said about you.
Yeah.
The bastard.
He just picked up five million Democratic votes.
My commitment to strive to be worthy of the example of the great men who have gone before.
Presidents walk in giant footsteps.
They have magnificent legacies to uphold.
I stand here on this day and put my name forth as one who aspires to their example who will daily make that sacrifice.
Who will honor not just the office, but the people that office serves.
Their president of these United States of America.
Arnold Vinick just positioned himself as Jed Bartlet’s natural successor.
How’d he do that? Without one mention, without so much as an allusion to either one he managed to dismiss Russell and Santos as puny, dwarflike children trying to get a seat at the grownups’ table.
Yeah.
I’ll send him right down.
Josh is here to see you.
We start working to beat this guy right now.
– Hey.
– Hey.
– What? – Talk to Leo.
Okay.
Could have used you out there.
Did okay without me.
It’s not the same.
Good luck.
Thanks.
– Listen to Vinick? – No.
You’re better off.
Santos turned Russell down.
Okay.
– Okay? – So now you get him to unturn it down.
– Doesn’t work like that.
– No, it does.
– I told him to find a way to say yes.
– You find it for him.
– You’re not hearing me.
– You’re not hearing me.
Matthew Santos has had a terrific ride.
Improbable, impressive.
And over.
This is a return to reality.
He’s Russell’s vice president.
– It’s not gonna happen.
– You are gonna do this for us for the president.
– For your party.
– I’m not.
I don’t agree with it.
I told him to say yes.
I was wrong.
He’s twice the man Russell is on his best day.
Ten times.
And Russell doesn’t have that many best days.
I’ll go tell the president.
– Toby.
– Okay.
– Toby.
– Yeah.
Okay.
You have to quit and then get rehired.
– Leo wants you in California to – Greg Brock just released a story about a classified military shuttle that could be sent up to rescue those astronauts.
It’s already on the website.
It’ll be on the front page of the New York Times.
To do this, Brock would have had to assure them he had it cold. Which means whoever leaked it, it’s somebody big. (camera pans to CJ)

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