Season 6 – Episode 6 – “The Dover Test”

Episode Summary:

When a U.S. peacekeeping compound is attacked and American soldiers are killed, the White House struggles to contain the story even as the father of one of the slain soldiers speaks out against the mission. Meanwhile, Democratic Congressman Santos (Jimmy Smits) attaches his patients’ bill of rights to a Republican piece of legislation — and effectively keeps the Democratic elements in line while maintaining a Republican agenda. Also, Leo (John Spencer) gets a lesson in life and business from his nurse.


Previously on The West Wing: People shouldn’t be sending me flowers.
– They’re for Leo.
– So how’s it going? – How’d you manage it for seven years? – I had a heart attack.
The president wants a Security Council vote.
We’ve lost three countries in the last hour and our diplomatic heavies are in the cardiac ward.
– How do you get women? – You trying to get fired? Work for me.
You’re smart, you know the president.
Why wouldn’t I hire you? – Gonna ask about my kids? – How are they? They don’t recognize me.
“Who’s hugging Mommy?” – I don’t wanna be good at this.
– Don’t worry.
It was better.
Good’s still a ways off.
Of course, the buildings were vacant and in disrepair by then.
I snuck my first cigarette here.
You’ll wanna add a commemorative plaque.
Congratulations on the library, sir.
– Thanks for coming.
– Are you also celebrating today’s polls? – I don’t pay attention.
– In the wake of your peace plan 57 percent of Americans say they’d vote for you for a third term.
Don’t say that in front of an architect.
He’ll extend his deadline.
“Photos only” means photos only.
Oh, for God’s sake.
You’re not still calling this guy.
– Matt Santos.
– Is a quitter.
We got him reelected twice by huge margins.
– He’s popular in his district.
– Don’t waste our time.
He called me.
He wants to sit down tomorrow.
You think he said, “I’m a guy with an uncontested seat in Congress maybe I’ll stop whining and do my job”? I leaned on him pretty hard.
But he’s so persistent, it’s embarrassing.
Enjoy the attention.
It doesn’t have to turn into anything.
– Always talking shop.
– Aren’t you sweet.
– I’m sorry.
Did you? Here.
– I don’t drink red.
– I knew that.
– You drink red.
– I’ll get you white.
Margaret? – I drink red.
Or champagne’s fine.
– Thanks.
– Thank you for being here for the unveiling of these plans for the Bartlet Presidential Library to be housed in a restored section of the historic Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, New Hampshire.
The secretary of agriculture is in the Rose Room.
You know the protocol? to chair the foundation hopes to meet with each of you.
Don’t worry, your wallets are safe.
The secretary of agriculture is in the Rose Room.
“The secretary of agriculture is in the Rose Room”? There’s no chance the secretary’s actually there? No.
– Don’t you take it? – As the president’s aide, I went to him.
As deputy special assistant, I alert C.
and clear it with you.
– Sir, can I talk to you for a second? – Sure.
What are you getting? CNN’s reporting an attack on our peacekeepers’ compound in Darom.
– South of Gaza City.
– Eight injured and one dead.
– The first casualty.
– I’m gonna work on a statement.
The Joint Chiefs have CTAF on the line.
They didn’t even let us get the peacekeepers deployed.
They were Army advance.
Construction crews.
– Excuse me, sir.
– Yeah.
In our statement, when we say “casualty,” don’t say “first.
” who approached the Joint Task Force compound with explosives strapped to his chest leaving no doubt that President Barlet’s Great.
The White House fiddles while Darom burns.
Here’s the president’s statement.
We have no details.
I’m hearing what you’re hearing.
While the White House struggles with the response to this act of terror He uses that.
He doesn’t use our statement.
I like how you leaned on the podium.
More engaged.
I referred them to the Pentagon 10 times.
It’ll be 50 times today.
A wise man once said: “Stone walls are built one stone at a time.
” I was hiding behind my desk when I said that.
Stonewalling won’t work with a peace plan at stake and U.
lives – One life.
– on the line.
– Don’t give this momentum.
– “We’re faced with the tough work – of making peace.
” – Not yet.
See if events force us there.
Did the Pentagon release the soldier’s name? – They have to notify next of kin.
– It takes 15 hours? They told the soldier’s father.
The parents are divorced.
– They haven’t located Mom.
– We stick with “pending notification”? Stick with no.
Say “pending notification” they’ll drag you into questions about: “Why can’t the Army improve services to dependents?” Right.
Makes sense.
“I’m hearing what you’re hearing,” Toby? – C.
and I just did this.
– Least your forehead wasn’t as shiny.
– So, what’s up, congressman? – My bill died in committee.
Patients’ Bill of Rights? Common sense, common good kind of thing that failed to get the votes six times.
On the positive side, you’ve almost passed it so often – people think it’s a law.
– Till somebody needs their HMO.
– Senate eked out a version.
– Sorry to disappoint the president – but my House bill’s DOA.
– Oh, we appreciate all your work.
So I’m signing on to Strickman’s bill.
– Strickman’s a Republican.
– He mentioned something about that.
Strickman calls it Patients’ Bill of Rights because it’s better than Love Letter to Insurance.
– Patients can’t sue.
– A million-five cap.
Your kid loses his legs after your health plan denies treatment? Your kid dies? – You can’t take them to court.
– It’s a bad bill.
So why dignify it by making it bipartisan? I wouldn’t do it if I thought I could tip the balance but Strickman can’t get enough votes.
Strickman’s an old hand.
He’s got something up his sleeve.
When I came to the Hill, you couldn’t get agreement on the right to the closest ER.
You couldn’t negotiate a woman’s right to ob-gyns or a kid’s right to pediatricians.
Forget about liability.
You couldn’t find support for a right to arbitration.
That’s all common ground now.
I want to keep these parties talking, Josh.
So this is basically all warm-up to announcing that you’re gonna run.
– No.
– This isn’t some convoluted legislative way I haven’t figured out yet of asking for a favor? Well, I wouldn’t mind if you let me keep my huevos when you eviscerate me in public for breaking ranks.
You’re a deserter.
You can have them back at the airport.
Fifty-seven, 58, 59.
You don’t need to tag along.
– It’s my office.
– Probably it’s not.
The basement? – I’d be fine down here.
– Eighty.
You’re deputy special assistant to the chief of staff now.
So are five other guys.
I’ll crowd in with them.
They’re not special deputy special assistants.
You’re special.
– Honestly, I’d – Okay, no.
It’s outside the zone.
– There’s a zone? – Less than 100 steps from C.
‘s office.
– I could run when she calls.
– Deputy special assistants don’t run.
The first peacekeeper has been killed in the U.
mission to the Middle East.
Sources confirmed this morning the death of at least one American soldier in Kfar Darom where JTF forces were preparing the way for 18,000 American peacekeepers later this month.
The suicide bomber approached the Joint Task Force compound last night – What are you doing? – I dropped a cuff link – This is when you call me.
– Want me yelling “nurse” all the time? Don’t yell “nurse” at all.
Do I call you “patient”? I yell, “Miss Chakrabarty, I’ll need another bypass.
” You didn’t eat one bite.
– I’m not hungry.
– Sit.
– Why you need a tie and jacket? – What would you recommend? When Gandhi went to London to meet the king, he wore only a dhoti.
The reporter asked, “Aren’t you ashamed to wear so little?” Gandhi said, “No.
” “The king will be wearing enough for both of us.
” One difference between the Mahatma and myself.
I warn you, there are others.
You may browbeat me into using the breath spirometer.
You may mother me about wound care.
You may dole out the Vicodin like my AA sponsor.
You may even entertain me with nutrition lectures.
– You need to eat.
– You may not may not offer fashion advice.
– Shall I come with you? – You shall not.
Then I’ll time you.
Set your watch.
You’ve been doing 10 minutes.
Try for 12.
Two more minutes on my own.
I’ll give it my all.
Among the wounded, two peacekeepers remain in critical condition at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
Several soldiers are expected to return to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.
later this week where they will be reunited with their families.
– Need something? – I’m just looking for the breakdown on the markup.
– You’re getting good on those.
– Thanks.
– Is that a new cast? – Two weeks ago.
Those are nice flowers.
But come on.
“I’m not going anywhere”? – From a photojournalist? – You read my card? – I’m watching Blarney boy.
– The flowers aren’t from Colin.
Why are you reading my card on my flowers on my desk? – I thought they were for me.
– Got a minute? Sure.
You have seen the vice president’s schedule for the last four months, right? It hasn’t somehow eluded you that he’s top-heavy on toasts at the AMA keynotes to the Association of Trial Lawyers potlucks with the JDF and picnics with the NAMI? – I know.
– You don’t need me articulating subtext.
– I should’ve called.
– Damn straight.
The VP’s been positioning himself on patients’ rights.
He’s been up to his elbows in it.
By Iowa, he’ll smell like patients’ rights unless it evaporates.
– It’s not going to.
– The Senate passed a bill last week.
Now the House has a bipartisan effort graced by Matthew Santos and all that elicits from the White House is a bland statement.
I thought this was Toby.
I expect this from him.
I draw comfort in the predictability of it.
It was me.
I can toughen it up.
But the vice president doesn’t have to worry.
– Strickman has no support.
– He’s no fool.
– The Republicans might run with it.
– I spoke to Santos.
He’s gonna keep it on a low flame.
Patients’ rights will be alive as a campaign issue for the vice president.
I promise.
Yes, Madame Prime Minister, it is a tragic loss.
But I wouldn’t call it a harbinger.
Our troops responded swiftly to correct the vulnerability.
I’m not taking my cues from your cable broadcasts.
– That’s a relief.
– But I am concerned about deploying more peacekeepers without a secured base.
And I am too.
We have installed more anti-RPGs, and we’re enlarging the control area.
But I can assure you, our confidence in the mission has not altered.
You still expect full deployment by? March.
General Danzig at UCOM will confirm the timetable and security measures with General Whitehead.
– I see no problems on our end.
– That’s good news.
– My best to Reggie.
– And mine to Abigail.
Thank you.
– That was brisk.
– Which is good.
When she mulls, it’s trouble.
Have we contacted the soldier’s family yet? Just the father, sir.
I’ll get him for you now.
– Thank you.
– The Palestinian Authority uncovered a stockpile of explosives today.
– The good news is – That they actually told us about it? One day at a time.
That’s how we’re gonna make this work.
What else? You think this is a result of the hasty way this was put together? Absolutely.
Two thousand troops I hate these calls.
– You want me to? – You don’t work here anymore.
Hello, Mr.
Godfrey? I’m calling from the White House.
I’m sorry to bother your family at this difficult time but I have President Bartlet calling for you.
– May I put him on? – No, you may not.
– I have no interest – I under Sir.
I’m sorry Yes, sir.
I unders Of course, it’s your – And you can tell Bartlet I said so.
– I will.
And if you’d like, I can arrange for you – Is he on? – Not exactly.
Either I’m getting used to these meetings, or that wasn’t all bad news.
Thirty-six hours, and no secondary attacks on our peacekeepers.
Did a chaplain contact Godfrey’s father yet? Yes, ma’am.
A chaplain joined the casualty assistance officer at the family home last night.
Of course, the father still may speak out.
That’s his prerogative.
I have a question about your troop depletion estimate – or rather, lack of estimate.
– Force depletion.
– We call it force depletion.
– But I’m correct.
This is the estimate of how many troops we expect to lose in the mission? – We don’t break it out that way.
– Is that why the estimate – is left blank here? – No, ma’am.
Leo liked us to leave out our number until he got the NSA estimate.
That way the projections were decided independently.
But you would share your estimate with Leo.
– When he asked.
– I’m asking.
How much of our force may be depleted in JTF Palestine? All due respect, that’s complex.
Based on past Israeli losses, previous peacekeeping missions we’re prepared to respond to – Up to 200 soldiers.
– Well, this isn’t a body count.
The 1 percent includes the entire military force strength.
– Munitions, structures, aircraft.
– And troops? If you’re concerned about the Dover Test, it’s too early to worry.
The Dover Test? Erosion of public support based on arrival of coffins at our air base.
I wanted to understand projections.
The Dover Test wasn’t my concern.
But would you excuse me, commander? Margaret, has the press briefing started yet? The Pentagon has not released the soldier’s name.
That’s all I have.
You can’t comment on whether there’s a problem identifying remains? – I can’t.
– Good toss.
– There are 1000 troops there.
– Peacekeepers, 1100.
It’s hard to believe the Pentagon can’t ID the casualty.
That’s Mr.
Sligh’s speculation.
Get a comment from his network.
– Now, hold on.
I get to defend myself.
– No, you don’t.
– I’m forced to speculate because – Was Toby briefed on Dover policy? – Said he didn’t need to be.
– Go to the Pentagon for that.
There’s no stalling to delay putting a face on this loss? – Absolutely not.
– Quick follow-up.
– Move on.
– I have to move on.
To confirm: If the president is not pulling the curtain over the cost of his peace plan, why are the press being kept away from this slain soldier’s homecoming at Dover Air Base tomorrow? The Dover mortuary has restricted press coverage for the last 13 years.
The DOD suspended access during the previous administration.
Which this administration has ignored.
Why the sudden clampdown? It’s not sudden.
We issued a directive six months ago.
– No, no.
– Your 11:00 is here.
Six months ago, the decision was made to deny press access to Dover? – Why the change? – A request came from the Pentagon based on families’ concerns.
Historically, the events were not public.
They had evolved into media events that competed with official memorial services.
Why wasn’t the policy change announced publicly? It wasn’t a change.
It adhered to a policy already in place.
But the administration altered its stance.
– Was an announcement discussed? – Of course.
– You were in the room? – I was.
By burying this in a directive, it looks like you had something to hide.
Nothing was buried.
Some people – argued to announce a change.
– That would be me.
– Because it was seen as controversial.
– Wrap it up.
Look, the Dover closing was.
Wasn’t taken lightly.
I, and others, weighed in.
Ultimately, it was the way we decided to go.
So you believe the press should have continued access to the air base? I appreciate the Pentagon’s need for a precedent.
Why? Why worry about precedent unless you expect a growing body count? – Shut it down.
– Is that what’s expected? More coffins? The number of coffins isn’t.
Each life matters.
Whether it’s one or 100, access should be consistent.
– You want him in your office? – Oh, yeah.
I am not.
Because you’re pressuring me.
I have work to do.
No, I I said I would sleep on it.
But I did, and it’s just not how I do things.
It’s not No means no.
Leave her alone.
Who is this jerk, some slacker from physical therapy? I’ll kick his ass.
You know, you could thank me for my chivalry.
Toby how’s that search for a press secretary coming? – I got rattled, said more than I meant.
– We were both there six months ago.
You didn’t like closing Dover.
You couldn’t resist voicing your opinion.
Exactly what I predicted.
We look like we’re hiding casualties.
I don’t care about your insights, brilliant as they may be.
– The decision was wrong.
– We settled.
– I buried my opinions out there.
– What were you doing back there? – Don’t you have a White House to run? – The briefing room is not your pulpit.
– I got rattled.
– You did.
Your ambivalence toward a policy came out.
You had ambivalence toward the peace – Are you questioning my loyalty? – I am questioning your self-control.
If you can’t stick to our message, I don’t want you out there again.
– It is close to C.
– The president won’t like it.
On the other hand, he won’t know.
– It is a storage area.
– That might be an exaggeration.
– We can’t do better? – Yeah.
It’s a no.
Two more Democrats have jumped on Strickman’s bill.
Then they’ll have enough votes to pass the thing midway through Russell’s first term.
– Horwitz and Chambers came on.
– Chambers is a pain in the ass.
Yeah, I called him and told him that.
He said he was lobbied hard by your man.
– Santos is out whipping votes.
– No.
Chambers thinks Santos is all about the meteoric rise, centerfold in Roll Call.
Santos has one foot out the door.
– He’s whipping votes? – And I misspoke.
It’s not Strickman’s bill anymore.
It’s the Strickman-Santos bill.
Donna, get Congressman Santos on the phone.
Tell him I’m on my way.
– I’ll set him straight.
– I’ll back you up.
Excuse me.
Leo? Otis.
I haven’t seen you lately.
I thought maybe you upgraded to the Ritz.
These days, it’s mostly The Oriental.
That’s right, Bangkok.
I knew you wouldn’t stay retired.
Sorry to hear Well, you look great, though.
I never figured you for sainthood – but deputy director of the WTO.
– Keep it down.
We’ll have protesters.
My son was mortified by my career at CultiCo.
– I remember.
– Now my grandson has this WTO connection to live down.
– Thankless.
– Oh, God.
Hey, did you hear from Phil? – He’s starting in again? – It’s what I’d do if I were still CEO.
If you don’t go back to the White House, CultiCo would put you on their board.
– Yeah.
– There’s great things happening.
It’s not just petrochemicals anymore.
And the pressure’s not so Not to interrupt.
I got worried.
Congressman Santos’ office.
Wanna see if they have any magazines? – You don’t have to wait.
– I’m fine.
– I’m really sorry, Mr.
– Does he know we’re waiting? – He’ll call when he’s free.
– Is he here? He’s tied up.
Excuse me.
Congressman Santos’ office.
Vacarro, let me see if I can get him.
Is he putting that through? Is that call going through? I’d say yes.
Doesn’t a Vacarro run Metson Health? The Metson Health that’s looking for a new chairman? What do you wanna bet our guy’s up in Strickman’s conference room right now? One way to find out.
Congressman? I’m sorry.
I couldn’t break free.
– This is Will Bailey.
– Hi.
This isn’t a good time right now, Josh.
I’m gonna call you tomorrow.
Hey, congressman, hold up.
– What’s going on? – I’m busy right now.
Whipping votes for a bill? – This isn’t what we talked about.
– It’s what I do.
– What, sell out your president? – This isn’t about the president.
The president doesn’t want a bill with no regulations.
If patients can’t sue their insurers, even when there’s outright negligence A million-five cap is a foot in the door A million-five cap isn’t a pinkie in the dam.
Have you seen the costs of catastrophic illness? Metson could give you a peek.
– Slow down.
– He slows down, you’ll ram this through.
It’s not this bill you don’t want.
It’s any bill.
You’d let sick Americans suffer to help your candidate.
This from a guy who’s bailing on constituents.
Some of us are in this for the long haul.
We’ll govern after you’re gone.
Gentlemen, this is governing.
This is getting your r�sum� seen, making pals in the private sector.
– What do you think I’m doing? – You’d settle for less on this bill – to set up your next career move.
– Settle for less.
This is from the guys that are running Bob Russell for president? I’m sorry, gentlemen.
Yeah, it came today.
You make quite a tag team.
But if you’re on a deadline.
Fair enough.
I won’t I won’t make a decision without giving you that chance.
You too.
– Don’t you have a thing tonight? – A wedding.
When my family asks why I missed the puja, I’ll say, “I couldn’t leave.
– My patient refused to eat.
” – I’ll eat later.
– You’re taking a job? – Not without consulting you.
– It’s not wise.
– You’d like me under your thumb forever.
Yes, my dream is to stay here watching you starve.
I have no appetite because I don’t do anything.
If I agreed to part-time You don’t want me to go back to work? Ten breaths every hour.
This one if you can’t sleep.
Are you from Haryana? I don’t have to be.
It’s in my country.
A lot of folks died there in ’86.
CultiCo is a different company now.
– It has a different name.
– And different people in charge.
People who helped clean up what happened.
I’m late.
I’ll call you to check in.
– Hutchinson said no to a Sunday spot? – We said no – because he won’t let me prep him.
– You go, girl.
– Do people still say that? – Not really.
The lineup I like best for Sunday morning is I give them you.
New chief of staff, most powerful woman in D.
– That’d get them off the woes of Gaza.
– I’ll think about it.
The Pentagon finally released Lieutenant Godfrey’s name the dead peacekeeper’s which brings me to the last thing we need to bug you about.
The lieutenant’s dad lives here.
We thought the president might want to attend the funeral.
Show of respect, handing over the flag.
This service is a private event.
– When they find out where he’s from – The father is not a fan.
The president has Godfrey Senior is in the minority, and it’s not necessarily a silent one.
Looks like he may issue a statement later today.
When were you gonna tell us that? Easier to say “no comment” when you have no comment.
– That used to piss you off.
– And now it’s pissing you off.
Anything else? We need a stronger response on the patients’ bill.
Tell her – Juice it up? – High octane.
– I thought we wanted a patients’ bill.
– Not this demon seed.
The Republicans won’t budge on the liability cap.
Patients won’t be able to recoup their out-of-pocket expenses.
Some rights.
Will said Santos picked up eight more votes from our side.
– And many Republicans.
– You want to distance the White House.
I want the White House in a different galaxy.
Annabeth wondered if she could get a minute later.
– Donna’s got something now.
– She needs Donna.
About Dateline.
– When am I doing Dateline? – Never.
I mean, I said no on your behalf.
I’ll follow up.
Well, I would characterize congressional support as hesitant at best.
The decision to send to a war zone in the Middle East was made by the president and his advisors at the Camp David summit.
Congressional leaders were not consulted.
Congress chose to support President Bartlet’s desire to pursue peace between Israel and Palestine to end the war that has killed thousands.
But the fact of the matter is, when we voted to approve peacekeepers we were led to believe that the president had a viable strategy in place first and foremost, to secure the safety of American troops on foreign terrain.
Now, less than 15 days into the mission the president’s promises have been broken.
We’ve lost one life, so I am asking the question every American is asking.
Are there more to come? What are you doing here? I brought you food.
You’re a broken record.
Be very quiet, huh? Mr.
McGarry needs his rest.
– Is this your little one? – This is Malti.
– Say hello.
– Hi.
– So nice wedding? – Very nice.
You took your pill? – That smells good.
– Nan.
Still warm.
Try it.
Yeah, but to even stop to think that maybe we ought to stop butting into people’s – I’m sorry.
Am I interrupting? – Oh, not a bit.
Thanks for stopping by.
You heard from Dateline? I already told them no, and three others.
Probably makes them chase you harder.
Now I’ve got CAA calling.
– What does the CIA want? – No, CAA.
Talent agency.
They think you need representation.
– Is this about the CBS thing? – Yeah.
I don’t even wanna do an interview.
Now I’m a movie.
– Is that different? – More likely to get made.
– This is all ridiculous.
– Why? Girl next door travels to a war-torn spot survives terrorism to bring a message of peace to her president.
It’s heroic.
Could it be good for us? For the peace plan? Maybe.
But you get paid.
You couldn’t keep working here.
Oh, then forget it.
Paid how much? We are getting a lot of bad press.
– Maybe I should do a news interview? – No pressure, but my gut is you’d pop.
Or you can talk to Toby.
Or C.
She’d know best.
The thing is I wasn’t heroic.
I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I But the soldier who was just killed, and the ones that were wounded those guys chose that.
They volunteered for a job they knew would put them in harm’s way.
That’s heroic.
Talk to Will? – Just now.
– Is he thinking pills or a razor? He’s got a ledge in his office, but it’s only on the second floor.
– You’re gloating.
– Over a certain colleague’s misfortune? Yeah.
I’m not ashamed of what it says about me as a person.
The president’s about to be faced with a crummy excuse for legislation.
Good title, Patients’ Bill of Rights.
Hard not to love that.
Maybe it’ll fix in conference, or we can proclaim it National Veto Month.
– The president’s not gonna veto it.
– He won’t sign it.
It’s grand theft.
They stole the issue and stripped it for parts.
– Have you read the bill? – Yeah, I read it.
Lately? The Strickman-Santos bill the House just passed? Why? Read the bill.
Hey, I was afraid I’d missed you.
– Almost a clean getaway.
– I have an idea.
– Yep.
– It’s good for the president.
It’ll turn the tide on a tough news cycle and give us a fresh start.
– There’s a catch.
– We have to sell it to C.
– And you think I’m the guy for that? – You know her best.
What’s the pitch? – Millet.
– That’s the secret.
The special seed that gives a certain oil.
Only grown in one small area of the Punjab.
– You found your appetite.
– They ought to market this.
It has no shelf life.
My aunt had to smuggle it on a plane.
So basically, I have to move to the Punjab? Even there, it can’t compete now.
Most farmers grow GMO corn.
– And make better money doing it.
– Yes, they never had money before.
Or debt.
My uncle had to sell his land to pay off seed he can’t replant engineered for chemicals he cannot afford.
No one’s forced to use biotech.
They want it.
These advances will feed the world.
People starve because they are kept poor.
So now CultiCo’s responsible for Third World corruption? I didn’t say CultiCo.
Open markets redistribute wealth.
– You’re right.
– Sure there are blind spots in the corporate view.
That’s why I left the first time.
Enough money.
And these guys never say “enough.
” I’m not made that way.
So they replace small farmers growing many seeds with monocultures.
And we all lose the means to feed ourselves.
What? You found your appetite.
Reassure me the president won’t sign this.
– Santos got the cap raised.
– To a slap on the wrist.
– Five million’s not nothing.
– You think the vice president scared the Republicans up to that figure? – Absolutely.
Still, it’s impressive.
– If that’s what impresses you.
Some would be impressed with the $20 million Russell’s raised for his war chest.
It would impress some that their VP got endorsements from Lasko and Carpenter.
– Yeah, I meant to – If you guys Not the president we have his respect.
The rest of you are so busy throwing up roadblocks you haven’t noticed it’s three months till Iowa, and nobody Don’t say Baker.
Nobody who’s declared is polling within 10 points of my guy.
– I have noticed.
– And could you sound more miserable? Forget patients’ rights.
Russell is on his way to being the nominee and God willing, our next president, so get onboard or get out of my way.
– You see the Times? – Yeah.
We’re “hiding the price of peace.
” Yeah.
You have a second? I wanna run something by you.
– C.
won’t like it.
– C.
won’t see it.
– That’s not the only – I’ll go to her office, right? Hey, guys.
– Hey, Charlie.
– There isn’t even a desk.
– One’s buried under here.
– What is all that? My fellow deputy special assistants tell me these are commission reports and initiatives no one’s gotten around to.
– I hope most of it’s recycle.
– Got an assignment? – Pile on.
– Well, maybe.
For the time being.
Call when you need me.
McGarry? Did you fall in? Going through my trash now? – Nice sweater.
Cashmere? – You coming along, or what? We handpick the pool, choose camera positions.
Could be good for everyone.
– It’s worth taking it to him.
– How long would advance need? Advance already spoke to Walter Reed.
The five soldiers arrived yesterday.
They’re all stable.
Are you worried it’ll look like a photo op, too eager to show he cares? – He does care, but we’d be vulnerable.
– But after the focus on casualties here are the survivors with their commander in chief.
It’s not a bad way to reiterate his budget increase for Veterans Affairs.
We don’t want to appear to exploit anyone.
We can trust this president to be authentic.
Advance cleared it with the wounded soldiers.
They’re all okay with it.
I’ll recommend it to the president with one small adjustment.
I haven’t decided not to work.
I’m just not rushing into something new.
I’m gonna give myself some time.
– What’s for dinner? – Hungry? – I’ll have to watch your cholesterol.
– Okay, okay.
The body is predictable.
One month after a bypass, the appetite returns.
Your sleep will grow less disturbed, and your heart will quiet down.
– My heart? – Haven’t you heard it beating? In surgery, they cut the pericardial sac, which insulates the heart.
Afterwards, it seems to pound.
– They can’t repair it? – Heart’s too swollen.
You have to wait until it settles down, scars over on its own.
I might miss the sound.
I’ve gotten used to it.
Part of healing.
Going on.
Congressman, I believe I owe you an apology.
– You want a beer? – Sure.
So either you got the cap to move by promising you’d deliver Chambers or you got Chambers by promising movement on the cap.
Or both.
– Glass, or you all right with a bottle? – Bottle’s fine.
Once the momentum got going you called a couple of the friendlier HMOs to let them know for their own good that a 5 million cap was still a cap and they sure didn’t want this thing passing with the sky the limit.
But what I’d like to know is if you let your own bill self-destruct and joined with Strickman knowing there was an opening if you let them take the lead, or if you just went with it.
It didn’t hurt the other day in the hall when you – demonstrated my independence.
– Well, I’m always happy to do my part.
Vice president softening up the battlefield didn’t hurt.
There’s nothing motivates Republicans more than a chance to hijack one of our issues.
So House bill, Senate bill, not very far apart.
Recess next week, here you are drinking a beer? Don’t tell me you’re already out of conference.
Something’ll be coming the president’s way first thing tomorrow.
You’re too good at this.
You can’t just walk away.
Watch me.
– I’m glad we’re doing this.
– Me too.
– She took your suggestion.
– Except for the press part.
Well, they’re in the parking lot.
– A photo op with no photos? – I’ll see you inside.
No press, but we need a deputy press secretary? You knew cameras didn’t belong in this, but you had her bring it to me.
– You wanted to weigh in.
– Leo used to weigh in.
– When it bothered me, I said so.
– I’m not ignoring you.
It’s my job now.
You can’t do it if you spend all your time guarding your old turf.
How are you? – I’ll check on that for you, private.
– Thank you, sir.
– The new ones are state of the art.
– That’s what I hear.
They’ll have me fitted, up and walking in no time.
And you know the Army.
They’re not gonna let you lay around on their dime.
I wanna go back, sir.
Well, I’ll put in a word with the Joint Chiefs but at the moment, your doctor’s your commanding officer so you make sure you follow her orders, okay? How are you? And this is Lieutenant Martinez, Mr.
– Did I say your name right? – Yes, ma’am.
But you don’t have to remember it when you start talking redeployment, sir.
Is there anything I can do for you? How about a prayer? Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass.
I needed some air.
– It ain’t no photo op.
You knew that.
– Now Annabeth knows that too.
– You think I’m micromanaging? – Yes.
– I don’t wanna let the president down.
– Me neither.
How old do you think those guys are in there, 20, 22? Tops.
We’re not gonna let the president down.

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