Season 6 – Episode 7 – “A Change Is Gonna Come”

Episode Summary:

Final preparation goes into President Bartlet’s (Martin Sheen) visit to China when he accepts a flag from the Taiwanese delegation representing the Taiwanese Independence Movement — prompting China to mobilize for military action.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: Russell is on his way to being the nominee and our next president.
So get onboard or get out of my way.
You’re too good at this.
You can’t walk away.
Watch me.
– Special assistant to the chief of staff.
– Sorry? Work for me.
The president can’t miss you if you haven’t gone.
Mr.
Vice President, have you been having an affair with Helen Baldwin while here? – Yes.
– If we’re gonna weather this, then We’re not gonna weather this.
I’m resigning.
Tell the president not to worry about the book.
– I’m not gonna make him look bad.
– Am I in the book? – Yes.
– I’d prefer not to be.
Sure.
The book is an apology.
To my family, and to the American people, for past mistakes.
But it’s also a statement of principles.
A summary of where I think we are as a nation, and where we could be.
And where is that, Mr.
Vice President? You know, Diane, this country still faces very serious tests both at home and abroad.
Public education, health care the outsourcing of jobs.
These are major problems that require serious thinking.
And on the international front, we Mr.
Vice President, I hate to interrupt but are you saying we’re on the wrong track? No, absolutely not, Diane.
No.
I think that President Bartlet has done tremendous work.
And you bear no ill will towards the present administration? No, no ill will towards the president or Leo McGarry.
I was just down in the East Room watching the run-through.
What are you reading? Where’d you get that? – Will had a copy.
– Will gave it to you? – I borrowed it.
– I’m sure it’s illuminating.
This country has been run well.
– Know how often you’re mentioned? – No.
– Wanna know how often I’m mentioned? – Not really.
Wanna know how many times Josh is mentioned? – Where is Josh? – Josh is.
He’ll be fine.
and I have written about them.
The vital vision for our future that we need to focus on Charles Young, look at that.
Made the effort to come back and visit the old man.
– Mr.
President, where’s Curtis? – Who? – Curtis.
Your new body man.
– Oh, nice fellow, Curtis.
But he’s no Charlie, Charlie.
Gotta tell you, he’s no good at tying a tie.
– Sir, you know I can’t tie a tie either.
– Well, that makes three of us.
– Really? – Are you being coy – Mr.
Vice President? – Absolutely.
You are going to ruin my reputation for hard-nosed journalism.
Diane, I’m just here to promote a book.
– You’ve got a call.
– Okay.
Make sure we get Josh’s notes from the briefing with Foreign Relations.
– Donna brought them.
– Good.
Who’s on the phone? The vice president.
The former vice president.
– What’s taking so long? – Thank you, Charlie.
– I couldn’t tie my tie.
– Yeah, I know that.
Could we go now? I would also like to find a way to be involved in the ongoing pursuit of peace in that region.
And, yes, Diane, I would like to return to public life.
I think I can make a contribution.
Thanks for coming, Josh.
– Did you see the interview? – No.
– Did you look at the book? – No.
If you’re gonna bust my chops I have no idea why I’m here, Mr.
Vice President.
Yes, you do.
Whatever.
You’re early.
It’s dinnertime in Beijing, and I’m just getting to the office.
Time is relative.
That’s what we in the international arena say.
You heard John Hoynes is doing Diane Mathers? The WTO file for the briefing on the China summit.
He’s promoting his book.
Iowa’s around the corner.
‘Tis about to be the season.
– He called twice.
– I need a converter for China.
I can’t find my garment bag.
I think baggage claim’s in the next terminal over.
You used to love it when I couldn’t dress without you.
I used to love peppermint ice cream, but now the candy sticks in your teeth in a way I find irritating.
The red carpet will be lined with glowing paper lanterns to represent the industrial core of the city.
And the mayor of Xi’an has requested permission to present President Bartlet – with a golden key to the city.
– We have no problem with that.
The president is interested in the terra-cotta warriors that guard the tomb of the Emperor Qin Shihuang.
There are over 7000 – pottery soldiers and horses.
– Pottery? We understand the president is a student of the Qin Dynasty.
– We thought that – Yeah, I’m sure he’d be delighted.
And now the menu for the morning’s welcome breakfast in Beijing.
Of course.
And why don’t you go ahead and do that.
– What’s this? – The nonproliferation briefing packet.
– You’re done? – Do I get extra credit? – Want a gold star? – How about another assignment? I’ll see how you did on this one.
They’re deliberating on breakfast in Beijing.
They’re picking fortune cookies.
I always thought fortune cookies were an American invention.
– You have to get me out of there.
– Can’t do it.
– I have things to do.
– Talk to Josh.
– I’m talking to you.
– Talk to the man in charge of this venture to the Orient, Joshua Lyman.
– I don’t report to Josh.
– No, you report to me.
And I, magnanimous leader that I am shrewd executive and spreader of the wealth I have chosen to delegate Get used to that word.
delegate the preparation and readiness of the China summit to Josh.
So while technically you are correct with regard to the chain of command I can’t believe you’re making me go back in there.
Not I.
Josh.
You see how beautifully this works? If we don’t come home with progress on the semiconductor tariffs We’re pushing China on semiconductor tariffs, intellectual property rights textiles, shrimp, financial services.
I speak for all of us when I say – this seems to be in great shape.
– We’re looking forward to it.
– Thanks for your hard work.
– My pleasure.
Thank you.
– Thank you, congresswoman.
– What about Taiwan? What about it? They’re gonna wanna discuss the sale of the 3-PC Orion sub-hunting planes.
– It’s not on the agenda, senator.
– Then I’m sure it won’t be discussed.
We sell arms to Taiwan and will continue to.
It’s not up for discussion.
At least, not until we start pushing China on weapons exports to Pakistan.
China has pledged to stop exporting A pledge that they’ve ignored, along with their WTO commitments – and their agreements on prison labor.
– Senator, I’m not sure I see the point.
The point, ma’am, is the Chinese tend to welsh on their markers.
And I don’t wanna see Josh here offer up the farm in exchange for more lies and empty promises.
– I’ll keep that in mind.
– Good.
The Democratic Party hasn’t been overrun by a bunch of panda huggers.
Mr.
Ziegler, we just have a few more items to discuss and decide.
Now, let me see, I thought cell phones didn’t work in here.
They don’t.
– How’d it go? – Fine.
We’re gonna wanna go over the intellectual-property stuff.
– Hunt gave you a hard time.
– Yeah, but this was Harris and Haas.
– What did Hunt want? – Hunt wanted to give me a hard time.
Guy brings new meaning to the word “curmudgeon.
” I appreciate you letting me carry the ball on this one.
One less ball I have to keep my eye on.
Hey.
We got a question from the gaggle about a flag the president received during the National Prayer Breakfast.
– A flag? – A green flag.
– From the Taiwanese delegation.
– You’re kidding.
– Was that funny? – A green flag? – Green with a red flower.
– No, no, no! – Josh.
– The Chinese are gonna freak out.
– Isn’t the Taiwanese flag red and blue? – Yes.
No.
There is no Taiwanese flag.
There’s the flag of the Republic of China, used in Taiwan which is red and blue.
The green one is the original flag of the Taiwan Independence Movement.
The guys who wanna hold a tea party in Taipei Harbor and declare independence? You can see how I might be concerned about the symbolism of the president accepting their flag on the eve of a major summit with China.
– I sound a little hysterical.
– Just a touch.
So we’ll just give the flag back before anyone knows we had it.
– I thought you were in with the – They walked out.
– The protocol guys? – They got a call from their embassy.
Something about the National Prayer Breakfast – and a flag.
– Margaret! Counsel needs you to sign this to retrieve the 25th Amendment letter from your personal archives.
They want me to step down again? You’re loaning it out for an exhibit at the National Constitution Center.
I solve Middle East peace, fix Social Security and they want the paper I used to remove myself from office.
It is the National Constitution Center.
It’s not like the Smithsonian’s beating down my door.
They’ll take a greater interest once you’re dead.
Something to look forward to.
And these are the bios of the Medal of Arts winners for tomorrow night’s gala.
I heard there’s gonna be a tribute.
A musical guest.
A surprise musical guest actually.
I always loved Jerry Garcia.
– If I’m not mistaken, he’s unavailable.
– Hence the surprise.
– Mr.
President.
– Thank God.
You were given a flag by a member of the Taiwanese delegation this morning.
I seem to remember a stuffed ewe and a bar of soap etched with a quote from the 42nd Psalm.
It was a green flag with a red chrysanthemum.
– Sounds charming.
– Sir.
I handed everything over to my new body man.
– The new Charlie.
– Curtis Carruthers.
Not that Charlie could be replaced, of course.
Of course.
Charlie? If he’s worth anything, it’s at the Gifts Unit.
– Okay.
– If it’s there, it’s gotta be tagged cataloged, photographed and appraised.
– Could be decades until you see it again.
– We’re gonna need it sooner.
I’m on it.
– How big a problem is this? – Chinese’ll make noise – ask for us to return the flag publicly.
– What else? Demand for a statement we do not support Taiwanese independence.
And maybe tattoo “There’s only one China” on all our foreheads.
Well, the tattoo’s not an option.
Thanks.
Do you want me to bring in the secretary of state? – Excuse me? – If you’re reconsidering our policy on Taiwan.
– Did I say that? – This type of thing is right up your alley.
C.
J.
, I must have gotten enough trinkets to buy back Manhattan this morning.
I honestly didn’t see the damn thing.
Are we through? Yes, sir.
Thank you, Mr.
President.
Hello? – May I help you? – Bernard? – Yes.
Welcome to my festoonery.
– Where’s Rose? Rose, in what I assume was a clerical error of some kind, was promoted.
– They transferred you to the Gifts Unit? – Apparently, I am the new Rose.
There was a Taiwanese flag.
The independence flag, nicknamed “the eight chrysanthemum-petal flag.
” – Rather unimaginatively, I’d say.
– Yeah, have you seen it? Oh, yes.
The flag itself is a magnificent specimen.
An original, hand-sewn relic entered in the island-wide flag competition and was chosen over 186 other designs.
That was in 1994.
The color scheme seems more reminiscent of the Taipei Holiday Inn circa 1970.
– Don’t repeat that to the Taiwanese.
– I hadn’t planned on it.
– Is there anything else? – The president needs the flag back.
– Oh, I’m afraid not.
– Excuse me? The flag is an historical artifact.
Its value is higher than the reporting threshold – established by the GSA.
– So? When the president accepts a gift of such value it is deemed to have been accepted on behalf of the U.
S.
– He shouldn’t have accepted it.
– Be that as it may according to Chapter 5 of the U.
S.
Code, Section 7342(c) it is now the property of the American people.
– I need that flag.
– You’re suggesting I break the law? – No.
– Well, then I suppose we’re in a bit of a pickle.
– The ambassador’s here.
– Yeah.
We’re gonna be conciliatory.
– Mea culpa.
Our bad.
– Got it.
– We’re gonna hop right over this little – Josh.
– That’s the whole Chinese delegation.
– I missed this part – of the protocol meeting.
– You were there, right? I was, in and out.
Couldn’t stomach any more haggling – over the nine-meat soup.
– Nine-meat soup? It was on the menu for the dinner at Shanghai.
– Beef, chicken, pork.
– You don’t wanna go there.
Gentlemen.
I think we should start by stating again that the president wishes to convey his utmost apologies.
Let’s not be troubled by simple misunderstandings.
Here’s our statement.
It has been released to the press.
Meddling in your internal affairs? You will return the flag.
Yeah.
I mean, as soon as we locate it.
– Yes.
– Good.
President Lian hoped this would not interfere with our plans.
We’re looking forward – to a productive summit.
– As are we.
As such, we know you will understand our need for a few minor adjustments.
Adjustments? So as to reiterate the open friendship between our countries the president wishes to hold the Beijing welcome ceremonies outdoors – rather than indoors.
– Okay.
He proposed we move the summit from the Great Hall of the People to the Gate of Heavenly Peace.
The Gate of Heavenly Peace.
– In Tiananmen Square.
– You wanna welcome the president of the United States in Tiananmen Square? Is there a problem? So that’s the flag we got.
– That’s China.
What’s this one? – Republic of China.
– This is China, that’s China.
– Republic of China.
People’s Republic of China.
Banned in China, used in Taiwan.
– Used in China, banned in Taiwan.
– What’s this one? – Taiwan’s majority party.
– Which party flies the Taiwanese flag? The Taiwanese flag, not popular among the Taiwanese.
– They don’t change it because? – China would declare war.
Good reason.
These things come with a G.
I.
Joe set? – I play a lot of Risk.
– They wanna put Taiwan on the table.
The Chinese wanna scrap half the trade agenda to discuss the U.
S.
role in blocking Taiwan’s independence movement.
They thought it’d be fun to jump-start the summit with a welcome bash in Tiananmen Square.
– You’re eating Chinese.
– Lo mein? Hunt thinks we’re weak on China.
If the Taiwanese lobby gets hold of this It’s too late.
Senator Hunt’s asked for floor time tomorrow.
He’s floating a resolution urging the president to display the green flag – in the State Department lobby.
– That could be a problem.
He’s a cranky old man.
The Chinese are gonna be that offended? No.
I mean, yes.
But the Chinese aren’t my primary concern.
He salutes that flag on the Senate floor.
– Could send a signal.
– Taiwan thinks it’s time for a new flag a new name, a new anthem.
We gotta shut him down.
What do you wanna do? Hang him up and beat him with a pogo stick.
Josh.
Send Toby to the Chinese embassy first thing in the morning with Kate.
Tell them this had nothing to do with us, that Hunt’s a nutjob.
– I’ll phrase that differently.
– They’ll have their flag back by the end of the day, and once it’s returned their adjustments are off the table.
We spent two months hammering this out.
It’s not getting hijacked by some flag-waving jackass of a senator.
– Josh, you’re gonna go see Hunt.
– Yeah.
– And, Josh – Yeah, yeah, tone it down.
Guess I’ll take this to go.
The visual of the president in Tiananmen Square.
Not my first choice for a photo op between the two presidents.
Let’s figure out how to make it work just in case.
– So I’m working for you now again? – Toby.
– How are things going with China? – Great.
Really.
Just fantastic.
So the president has a photo op, something about the 25th Amendment? The letter removing himself from power.
He’s handing it over to the National Constitution Center trustees.
The vice president would like to be part of that ceremony.
Okay.
Only, wasn’t that, you know, before the vice president’s time? – Well, technically.
– Isn’t this more of a Toby thing? – Isn’t what more of a Toby thing? – The National Constitution Center ceremony tomorrow night.
The vice president wants to show his support.
He wants to horn in on Baker’s photo op with the president.
– He’s coming in? – Baker’s governor of Pennsylvania home of the Constitution Center and a former chairman of the board of trustees.
And a future presidential candidate trying to get the backing of the president.
Really? Hadn’t thought of that.
Fins to the left, fins to the right.
Baker, Hoynes.
Yeah, Hoynes on Diane Mathers should be interesting.
– That’s it? – Yeah.
The president assured us we’d have his support.
We’ll get Russell another photo op.
The vice president is not gonna be.
You know what? Fine.
– He didn’t flinch at that Hoynes stuff.
– I don’t know why.
He’s all over the news.
I’ve been getting calls.
– He called me a couple times.
– He? I was talking about reporters.
– Hoynes called you? – I haven’t called him back.
– I’m not interested.
– In what? In anything having to do with John Hoynes.
– You’re still here, Mr.
President.
– Yeah.
Sir, I think we should put in a call to the American Institute in Taiwan.
Make sure Taipei doesn’t get the wrong idea? – Yes, sir.
– Go ahead and make the call.
I’ve always wondered why they let me pick these guys every year.
– Sir? – The honorees for the National Medals.
I mean, I enjoy a good cantata, and Turner’s landscapes send me over the moon, but what do I know about art? You’re the popularly elected representative of the people of the U.
S.
Sure, but nobody told them I was gonna be art critic in chief.
Thank goodness.
Sir? You think they knew what they were getting when they pulled the lever? I do, sir.
Yeah, okay.
Good night.
Good night, Mr.
President.
– It’s ironic, senator.
– I’ve been expecting you, Josh.
Here you are trying to raise this flag, but six months ago when the president of Taiwan considered doing the same Taiwan’s democratically elected parliament passed a law to stop him.
– I thought it was sad.
– What’s to be sad? They’re free.
They have the third-highest standard of living in Asia.
– Who needs independence? – They have it in everything but name.
Is there another democracy whose leader is not allowed – to set foot in Washington? – A small price to pay.
So is the Stamp Tax.
We support the suppression of a vibrant democracy – by a cruel dictatorship.
– Come on, senator.
They’re selling Quarter Pounders in Shanghai.
They got thousands of satellite dishes on the rooftops in Beijing.
– In a couple of years – I understand the theory.
Commerce and culture.
A gradual conversion to the religion of capitalism and democracy.
China’s a happy place.
Taiwan goes free.
– So why stand in the way? – When Patrick Henry said: “Give me liberty or give me death,” do you think he meant: “Except for Wednesdays and Sundays”? Sir, you are jeopardizing a very tolerable, evolving status quo.
The Chinese have 496 ballistic missiles pointed at Taiwan – and I’m jeopardizing the status quo? – Yes.
Well, it’s not what this country should stand for.
Why do you think the president accepted the flag? – It was a mistake.
– Jed Bartlet doesn’t make mistakes.
Somebody has to stand up.
So I’m going to the Senate at 1:00 tomorrow.
You’re a smart guy.
If you’re that worried, you’ll figure out a way to keep me off the floor until you’ve given the flag back to the Taiwanese.
But refusing to support Taiwanese independence? It’s wrong.
And I think you know that I’m right.
Charles, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see you again.
– Yeah.
So it says here – Did you pick out that tie – or is it government issue? – My sister bought me this tie.
– The things we put up with for family.
– Yeah.
So in accordance with the Foreign Decorations and Gifts Act the president can buy back any gift accepted on behalf of the U.
S.
Must we suffer another round of Capture the Flag? – The president wants to buy it.
– Really? – Yeah.
– Very well.
As I’m sure you know the GSA requires a commercial appraisal.
– How about you ballpark it for me? – Well, a flag of this nature it’s very hard to put a sum on it.
But given its historical significance and the current set of circumstances, which would increase its worth I’d wager 20 to 30,000.
Dollars? – Hey.
– Morning.
How’d it go with Hunt? He’s still planning to speak at 1, but I spoke with Harris.
– Okay.
– They’re doing a quorum call at noon.
Harris stands up at quarter to 1 and suggests the absence of a quorum.
– Procedural roadblock.
– Yeah.
How long can we keep Hunt off the floor? Long enough to get the flag back to the Taiwanese and make his resolution moot.
– Great.
– Yeah, only it’s the wrong call.
– We should let Hunt speak? – His resolution’s not gonna pass.
The president doesn’t even have to acknowledge it.
I’m not arguing a retooling of the Monroe doctrine but let Hunt on the floor.
Let him make the principled argument.
Run it by Kate and Toby.
If they’re onboard, we take it to the boss.
– Morning, Margaret.
– Good morning.
Excited about the Medal of the Arts ceremony? – Very.
– It’s a surprise musical guest.
– You’re worried I’ll give it away.
– With the singing and dancing.
– The president’s in with Governor Baker? – He just arrived.
Let me know when Kate gets back.
And find out where Charlie is on getting the flag back.
– Do you have a favorite song? – Can’t say that I do.
I’ve always liked “Jelly Man Kelly.
” He likes jelly the most.
He likes it on toast.
– Then there’s Jenny Mulhenny.
– Margaret.
Right.
Mum’s the word.
– Governor Baker, welcome.
– Busy day? Always.
We’ve got the National Medal of the Arts gala tonight.
Is that the letter? That is the letter that removed me from office.
I have to keep the one that put me back in case anyone starts asking questions.
The museum will take precious care of it.
– How do you like the old place? – It’s – humbling.
– Believe me it’s worse from behind that desk.
There’s a dagger that hangs from a thread somewhere up there.
I’d think the Secret Service would do something about that.
– How are your numbers in Iowa? – I haven’t declared.
You gonna tell me you don’t have people in the field already? Iowa and New Hampshire look very good.
Gentlemen.
– Mr.
Vice President.
– I didn’t know you were joining us.
This is historic.
I don’t wanna miss out.
The historic moment happened a couple of years ago – but it’s good to see you.
– Sir, could I? Excuse me.
Mr.
President, the museum wants this exhibit to focus on the nobility and patriotism that you demonstrated in evoking the 25th Amendment.
It’ll be a tribute to your leadership and the principled spirit of your presidency.
– Russell, while a sterling leader – You gonna be part of this photo op? Well, as trustee of the museum, I Yeah, well, I’m sure no one’ll mind if Bob sits in.
I mean, after all, he’s sort of a trustee of this office.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re ready.
– Taking to wandering the hallways? – Hoping to absorb some wisdom.
Osmosis.
You here alone? You sent Russell in to crash the photo op.
Nice move.
I get why you’re so worried about Baker, but why not about Hoynes? Hoynes has name recognition.
The recent New Hampshire polls – have him 10 points behind us.
– Same in Iowa? He resigned in a sex scandal.
He can’t come back from that.
– Sex isn’t what it used to be.
– By the time he’s in we’ll be ahead of him on money and endorsements.
– Unless Baker’s already knocked you out.
– Why I’m not sleeping nights.
Josh said C.
J.
wanted a copy of the trade agenda.
– Okay.
– So you know who’s coming tonight? – It’s a surprise.
– Give me a hint.
I really shouldn’t.
– “Jelly Man Kelly.
” – Who? Can you get this out of the China team? Hey.
– Hi.
– That’s trade stuff.
I’d love anything he’s got on Taiwan.
Sure.
Is there an issue? I know it’s Josh, so there’s always an issue – No issue.
– He’s been working hard on this.
– I just wanna stay in the loop.
– Okay, but – everything’s under control.
– Yeah.
– The rally began this afternoon – Except that.
with leaders of Taiwan’s independence movement waving the same type of flag President Bartlet accepted yesterday Margaret, page Kate, get the CIA director on the phone.
Okay, thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for coming in, Eric.
– Good to see you again.
– My pleasure.
Bob, could I see you for a second? – Mr.
President, I really appreciate – Don’t do that again.
– Mr.
President – I’m not choosing sides.
Not him, not you.
– Excuse me, Mr.
President.
– Yeah, we’re through.
I wanted to give you an update.
There are some demonstrations in Taipei, sir.
– Okay.
– They’re peaceful and small given the events of the past few days.
Are they organized by the Independence Party? Yes, but prominent members of the DPP are in attendance.
The majority party? Anyone close to President Chen? His vice minister of foreign affairs.
How are the Chinese? Things didn’t start off well.
It went downhill from there.
If I knew the PLA was dispatching Ming-class subs into the Taiwan Strait due to the demonstrations – China’s deploying submarines? – They’re showing their teeth.
– I don’t think they’Il – I get distracted at breakfast – and China’s deploying teeth? – Sir.
Yeah, I’ve had enough.
I want you on a plane to Taipei immediately.
– Yes, sir.
– Tell President Chen I’m not going to war over a flag.
At least not today.
– Can we get Beijing on the phone? – I think so.
I’ll get Josh.
You and I are ending this right here, right now.
The president’s acceptance of the independentists ‘ flag has led a few experts to wonder whether the United States is considering a change in stance on the question of independence.
It’s pretty minor.
There’s some members of the majority party there.
– I need you to call Senator Harris.
– Okay.
We gotta shut Hunt down.
– I thought we were gonna – Josh.
– I’d like to discuss it with the president.
– It’s already been discussed.
Submarines trump symbolism.
I had to make a call.
Okay.
Sure.
Anything else? We agree to Tiananmen Square, and we’re working on Beijing – to drop their agenda demands.
– No discussion of Taiwan? – Not publicly.
– We’ll need to deal with the fallout – from the welcome at Tiananmen.
– Yeah.
– You put Toby on it.
– And the president wants me with him at the summit.
There’s some things up in the air.
We’d feel more comfortable if Sure.
I’ll start pulling together the briefing packets for you.
Come on.
You’re going.
You need Toby to deal with press.
Somebody’s gotta man the fort here.
I’m fine staying.
You’re his guy.
You’re in the room, in the chair.
He needs you.
That’s how it was with Leo.
– That’s how it’s supposed to be.
– Yeah.
I’m.
Thanks.
– Awfully dark in here.
– Leo.
– Was this place always so gloomy? – Not when you were here.
Well, no need to relive The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
They keep coming in with furniture, fixtures and wallpaper.
– I just haven’t had the time.
– Have Margaret spruce it up.
Margaret suggested Shirley Chisholm’s Barcalounger.
Oh, God, I’ll bet she did.
– Can we sit? – Of course.
Lunch looks great.
You look good in here.
– Comfortable.
– Yeah.
Today, not so much.
You sent Kate to Taipei.
You’re gonna be fine.
He’ll return the flag send a message to Taiwan, and the Chinese will be so pleased it’ll probably give the president an extra bargaining chip in Beijing.
In the meantime, we let them push us around on Taiwan on North Korea, on trade, on human rights.
How’s the human-rights situation in China compared to 10 years ago? You’d rather we were snarling at each other, and keeping one eye fixed on the nuclear launch codes? I lived through the first Cold War.
One was enough, thank you.
I’ll take blue jeans, even low riders and Starbucks over fighters and submarines any day.
Not all evolution mandates revolution.
I had to take the summit away from Josh.
Yeah.
China.
The U.
S.
A situation.
Really, any situation having to do with Taiwan.
That.
That’s you.
That’s your job.
You really got a lot of time on your hands, huh? You have no idea.
But once in a while, on certain days when they take down the flag out that window at sunset you know you did something.
And that ain’t all bad.
“Respect for the dignity of every citizen is vital to America’s strength.
” – The opening statement? – He says it in Shanghai.
It plays when he arrives in Tiananmen.
Yahlin’s taking it to the ambassador.
Thanks.
Let me know.
– Charlie! Where’s my flag? – I’m working on it.
– Charlie.
– See, the GSA requires an appraisal – in accordance with the Gifts Act – I need that flag.
– Yeah.
– I mean, I need it now.
I know it seemed like a little thing yesterday, but now it’s a big deal.
I need you to take care of it.
If you can’t – I need to put someone on it who can.
– I got it.
– Bernard.
– Charles.
Didn’t they teach you that surrender is the better part of valor? Bernard, this is Richard Squire.
– Hello.
– And aren’t you a frumpy little fellow.
Mr.
Squire is from the counsel’s office.
He’s a Rhodes Scholar, he’s got a law degree from Yale and I believe he’s memorized the U.
S.
Code.
– I get a little tripped up by Title 14.
– Do you? Anyway, according to Mr.
Squire here, the president cannot accept a gift from a foreign government if doing so would violate U.
S.
law establish a quid pro quo, or adversely affect the foreign relations of the United States.
State Department Protocol Regulation – I wasn’t aware of a Section B.
– Oh, yes.
– It’s a very useful little provision.
– Indeed.
Yeah.
So if you would be so kind.
A piece of cloth.
A cheesy piece of fabric.
Donna.
Background for the briefing pack on China.
Phone list, and more calls from the law firm of Hoynes, Hoynes and Hoynes.
– Garment bag for the China trip.
– Where’d you find it? You left it at a luggage repair shop after the G8 six weeks ago.
See how you don’t take care of me.
– What’s that? – A gift.
I unwrapped it.
– You unwrapped my gift? – Who knows? It could’ve been a bomb.
Wanna know how many times you’re mentioned? – Three? – Thirty-nine.
Working hard? – Leo.
– Careful.
He’s ornery today.
– And tonight, the concert? Liberace.
– Debbie, get out of here.
– I didn’t know you were coming.
– I thought I’d check in on your new boss.
– I hear you’ve been playing.
– It’s a put-up job.
– Seems to be working.
– Yeah.
I damn near started World War llI today.
Is this the way I’ll be remembered? Roosevelt liberated Europe from fascism Bartlet couldn’t liberate a flag from his own basement.
That was a put-up job.
You knew when you took it the flap it would cause.
Come on.
I gotta go and put on the penguin suit.
– Leo.
– Sir.
– When you coming back? – I’ve been here an hour and already I need another Yeah.
Okay.
Leo.
Nothing.
Sure.
The book is an apology.
To my family, and to the American people, for past mistakes.
But it’s also a statement of principles.
A summary of where I think we are as a nation, and where we could be.
And where is that, Mr.
Vice President? You know, Diane, this country still faces very serious tests both at home and abroad.
Public education, health care And, yes, Diane, I would like to return to public life.
I think I can make a contribution.
Thank you very much, Mr.
Vice President.
– You were great.
Thanks very much.
– Thank you.
And we’re out.
– Hey.
What’d you think? – I think she served up softballs.
Yeah.
Yeah, it’s gonna get tougher.
Just as long as you’re okay.
– I’m here.
– Thanks.
Now, I’ve got a call to make and a meeting, but it won’t take too long.
John F.
Kennedy once said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors.
” It isn’t often that we award this medal posthumously but for the legendary Sam Cooke, we made an exception.
And to assist us, it’s my honor to introduce our surprise guest.
A national treasure in his own right who insisted on joining us.
I trust none of you will mind.
I asked him to bring his guitar.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr.
James Taylor.
Thank you, Mr.
President.
I’ve been a Sam Cooke fan for about as long as I can remember.
This is a classic Sam Cooke song that has echoed down the generations.
– You have a call.
– Okay.
Make sure we get Josh’s notes from the briefing with Foreign Relations.
– Donna brought them.
– Good.
Who’s on the phone? The vice president.
The former vice president.
Hello? – The vice president called tonight.
– Russell? – Hoynes.
– And? He told me to look in the index.
You’re not in it.
Yeah.
Thanks for coming, Josh.
– Did you see the interview? – No.
– Did you look at the book? – No.
If you’re gonna bust my chops I have no idea why I’m here, Mr.
Vice President.
Yes, you do.
Now, I’ve done things I can never undo.
I lost one marriage.
I’m trying to save another.
I let down my children.
I’ve fallen off the pedestal hard and had to live with the consequences.
But when I look around and see “Bingo” Bob Russell and Eric Baker I see plenty of reasons to stay sober.
You think the public’s gonna welcome you back with open arms? I’m a better person, and I’ll be a better candidate than I was eight years ago.
– You lost that race.
– I lost that race when I lost you.
You’re very friendly tonight.
Just because I can’t keep my hands off you.
What is it? I didn’t see the flag.
What? The green flag.
I didn’t see it.
I couldn’t tie my tie.
I haven’t been able to focus or see out of my right eye since early yesterday morning.
I didn’t see the flag.
There’s much to be done, and seven years of following isn’t enough.
It’s time to start leading.
You’re never gonna be Leo McGarry to Jed Bartlet.
But you can be Leo to me.
I’m running for president.
I want you with me.
I want you to run my campaign.

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