Season 7 – Episode 19 – “Transition”

Episode Summary:

THE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT-ELECT SEE FOREIGN POLICY DIFFERENTLY – Eyebrows are raised when the President-elect places a call to the president of China and offers a different position than that of Bartlet. Meanwhile, Josh picks his deputy chief of staff.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: We offer a Cabinet position to a Republican who can’t possibly take it? – Barry thought it was a good idea.
– Barry is wrong.
Okay to have sex in a hotel, but not my apartment? It’s a step.
People get uncomfortable.
I assumed you’d be one.
Uncomfortable with sex in my apartment? Are you really gonna try to convince me I’m the one who finds this all awkward? You’re blowing any political capital we might have by forcing us to fight a war.
What’s your exit strategy? I don’t have one.
This is your captain.
We’ve reached our flying altitude of 35,000 feet, and we’re expecting a smooth flight.
So I’ve turned off the seatbelt sign but ask that you please remain seated.
Flight attendants will be around to hand out headsets Oh, sorry.
– No problem.
– Thanks.
Sorry.
– There’s room here if you want.
– No, no, no.
Thanks.
I’m fine.
– A lot happening over there.
– It’s my contribution to the chaos theory.
I’ll try to keep the experiment from escaping the lab.
Great Britain has always been first among friends and I look forward to continuing our nations’ special relationship.
I thank you for your call, Madam Prime Minister.
Who’s next? Oh, that phone sheet’s a mile long.
The president-elect returns all calls from G8 leaders.
The Surinames of the world are handled by the chief foreign policy adviser.
– We better hire one.
– Yes, congressman.
Mr Sir.
– Seen you on TV.
– Yeah? You look younger.
Well, TV ages you.
It’s the lighting.
I meant on TV you look younger.
– Okay.
– I voted for the other guy.
Yeah, a lot of people did.
– Didn’t want my taxes raised.
– We’re not gonna raise your taxes.
– Well, Vinick was gonna cut them.
– Not for you.
For the guys you drive around.
– Like you? – You think I could afford to travel like this on my own? – You just let the American public pay.
We almost there? Thank you, chancellor.
The German-U.
S.
relationship couldn’t be more important, both within and independent of the EU.
Oh, I very much look forward to our working together, sir.
Bye.
– Next.
– Russian President Chigorin.
– He’s one of the G8s.
– He’s also a leader of a nation we may find ourselves exchanging hostile fire with any minute.
Call him.
It’s a general partnership.
They’re looking at a prolonged wind-up.
They know they’re liable for new business until notice of dissolution has been given to all their creditors? – No.
I’ve only done this for 28 years.
Look, Leiter is hell-bent on a disso I’m sorry, can we help you? If you’ll all excuse me for a moment.
I thought you’d never call.
You knew you’d hear from me.
Gave me a chance to hone my turndown.
That’s why I didn’t do it over the phone.
Your showing up does have a nice nostalgic symmetry.
– Style points.
– If nothing else.
Substance too.
This guy’s the real deal.
– You said that last time.
– Yeah, look how right I was.
Tell me you don’t miss it.
I don’t miss it.
– Liar.
– Attorney.
– Amazing thing, what you did.
– Well, that’s the easy part.
– It’s what you do with it that counts.
– You know how much I’m making now? – It’s gonna make me wanna puke.
– Not make you want to, you will puke.
So you can afford to come back and work for a government wage.
I can afford to do good work here.
It’s amazing what I’ve got the firm to do.
You should work here.
– Democratic House.
We never had that.
– Republican Senate.
– Moveable.
– Conceivably.
I almost lost, though, you know? Makes you appreciate the shot.
– I can’t do it.
– It can’t just be the money.
– There’s my love life.
– That’s a moveable feast.
– Not entirely.
I’m getting married.
– I’ve heard it before.
– Nice.
– Congratulations is what I mean.
What about your life? – What was I thinking? – I’ve been somewhat busy.
– That explains the – The what? – Your general – What? The It’s the hairline, isn’t it? – It’s retreated.
– It’s routed like Napoleon out of Moscow.
– There’s also a pallor issue.
– You live in melanoma central.
“Healthy glow” turns out to be oxymoronic.
I’d be glad to help with the inaugural speech.
Great.
But that’s not what I flew out here to ask.
Deputy chief of staff.
You’re me, to my Leo.
Think about it.
– Josh.
– At least give me that.
– I did – Fly all the way out here? That’s how much I want you.
I’m willing to channel my mother.
– I’ll think about it.
– Great.
– You done? – Josh.
– What’s to think about? Really? – For one whether I wanna end up looking like you.
The numbers for the San Andreo cleanup won’t make you happy.
Wait till the Santos folks get a load of the figures for Kazakhstan.
They’ll demand a recount.
Santos is coming by for an in-depth Sit Room briefing on the intervention.
Okay.
I want you to be as helpful as possible for the transition team.
Transitions are bumpy at best, even when the incoming and the outgoing administrations are of the same party.
And I don’t wanna hear of any pranks, cutting of cables to computers and such.
– That turned out to be apocryphal.
– No apocrypha either.
We’re gonna leave with some class.
Yeah? – Sir, Marine One is waiting.
– It’s not going anywhere without me.
– Thank you, C.
J.
– Thank you, Mr.
President.
– You just come out here for the day? – Yeah.
Expensive.
– I got a frequent-flier thing.
Hey, it’s me.
– I got clients who come out for the day just to get their hair cut.
– I didn’t get a haircut.
No, l l I wasn’t talking to you.
They go shopping.
You know what, I’m on the phone.
– All right.
– Tell me this novel you sent me isn’t really my call sheet.
– It’s not.
Two more pages came in since mostly congratulations.
– They’re not congratulatory they’re predatory.
They’re sniffing around for a job.
It’s like I’ll say, “Oh, yeah, Jim Blier.
He’d make a good director of intergovernmental affairs.
” On that subject, any thoughts as to my position in the Santos administration? Yeah, you’re on the short list for V.
P.
Set up a meeting with Lou for when I get back.
– Yeah.
– They’re all mansions.
– Fit for the incoming first family.
Kitchen’s bigger than my childhood house.
The bedrooms are lovely.
I’m just not sure they’re all in the same time zones.
Here’s one.
This looks smaller.
– It’s palatial.
– If you don’t like these there are half a dozen more.
Excuse me, ma’am.
– Did you just “ma’am” me? – I I seem to have.
– Don’t do that again.
– Hello? – Hey.
– Hey.
– How you doing? – Okay.
What did Sam say? – He’s thinking.
– That’s good.
– Yeah, I guess.
– You didn’t expect him to say yes just like that.
– Kind of.
– He’s got stuff to figure out.
– What? It’s service to the president.
– What stacks up against that? – Not everyone’s like you, so – Dedicated? – Monomaniacal.
Was there something else? There must have been something Oh, yeah, are you gonna be around? – When? – You know, generally.
Yes.
Generally, I’m gonna be around.
– At some point, we should probably – Yeah.
talk.
– That would be good.
About, you know, at some point.
At some point would be good.
Okay, then.
Okay.
– Have a good flight.
– Yeah, you too.
I mean, not Not you too.
– Obviously – Bye.
He’s here now.
– Mr.
President-Elect.
– C.
J.
, everyone.
Secretary Hutchinson and Dr.
McNally will catch you up on the current situation in Kazakhstan.
We’re approaching full deployment, with 80,000 ground and 30,000 support personnel taking position in a buffer zone around Astana, between the Russian and the Chinese forces.
The last of our troops are staging out of Manas Air Base in Kyrghizstan.
As well as the 172nd Stryker Brigade.
C-130s are airlifting them to our forward base in Ayagoz.
M1 A2 Abrams tanks from the 1st Armored Division in Germany are being flown directly into Ayagoz by C-5 Galaxies.
– Those only carry two tanks per sortie.
– Flying 15 to 20 sorties per day.
– The no-fly zone? – Three hundred miles wide twenty to 30 sorties per day.
– F-16s and F-15s forward deployed to Manas and Ayagoz.
F-22As out of Langley.
– Air refueling, KC-135s? – Out of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.
– Situation on the ground? – Thus far, no incidents reported.
Also, so far, no pullback of Russian and Chinese forces.
But they have stopped advancing.
Then what? That’s up to the Russians and the Chinese.
Well, I can’t say I care very much for that answer.
Our guys are supposed to sit there with targets on their backs and hope some trigger-happy Russian noncom who’s abused his vodka ration doesn’t get reckless or bored or just stir-crazy stupid and decide to start World War III? I have a problem with that.
I have a problem with this entire adventure as I’ve already expressed to the president.
Are the parties negotiating? Our deployment is intended to drive them to the table.
– But they’re not, at present.
– Still posturing.
Half a million troops is a hell of a posture.
– Third-party contact? Anything? – Not at present.
– We would know.
– We are paying somewhat careful attention.
Thank you all for your time.
The NSA picked up the president-elect’s phone call with the Russian president.
– We’re tapping his phone? – In the current crisis the NSA is monitoring all contact with the Russian and Chinese governments as a matter of course.
– And? – The Santos call contained nothing improper.
Hi.
When I said we needed to talk, I wasn’t thinking about tonight.
– I’m kind of fried.
– Who said anything about talking? Good morning, almost.
On the education plan, do we hit full on, or do we step it out? Start with teacher tenure.
Get some traction before we try extending the school year.
These conservatives, they’re already laying for us.
They’re comparing it to avoiding the word Christmas which I don’t begin to understand.
– How long have you been up? – Oh, you know I don’t, actually, why I asked.
Couple of hours.
So last night was nice.
Nice.
It was It was really nice.
On the nice scale, it was way up there in terms of, you know, niceness.
Be still and listen to me.
I don’t know what this is and you don’t either, which is perfectly fine and understandable.
It’s all happened amid absurdly heightened emotional circumstances: The election, Leo’s death, there’s been no moment to so much as take a breath, much less figure any of this out.
And now this roller coaster’s plunging into the transition with its time-pressure demands, then the inauguration and it’s hit the ground running, and before you know it the midterms, the new Congress.
Then we’re running again.
Four years becomes eight, and we’ve never had the talk.
Lose that look of panic.
We won’t have it now.
We don’t ever have to have it.
But there’s a window.
I’d say four weeks.
If we can’t get it together in that time to figure out what we want from each other, then clearly it’s not worth the trouble.
Meanwhile, last night was lovely.
I already called a cab.
You should put on some coffee, and I’ll see you at the office.
Bye.
Did you like any of the houses? Yeah, they’re incredible.
Seeing some more today.
I’m sure they’ll be incredible too, maybe even more incredible.
The thing I find most incredible is this notion that this is what the American people want and expect of us.
– What? – To spend two and a half months in a rich muckamuck’s loaner mansion.
A place he can make available because he has someplace just as or even more swell to decamp to while he’s bestowing upon us this largess.
– Not much of a populist message.
– Not notably.
You’re right.
I’ll have the staff look into alternatives.
“Staff”? If you prefer, my minions.
This is gonna be weird.
Come on.
As congressman, I had staff.
As mayor.
Very weird.
Donna ma’amed me.
– First lady.
– In waiting.
It makes me sound like something out of “The Lady of Shalott.
” You get all the cool names.
– Mr.
President.
Commander in chief.
– That one, that’s kind of hot.
– Yeah? – Got time for a little incursion? – No.
– Not even for a surgical strike.
I had in mind more of shock and awe.
Oh, yeah? After 15 years of marriage, I’d be shocked if you were awed.
Did congressman find his glove? No.
But the president-elect did.
– I did it again? – You did it again.
– Oh, God! – What? I didn’t even know you were here.
What time did you get in? Six, 6: 15.
– Traveling threw me.
I was an hour off.
– Usually 7-ish? Five-ish.
Get me a meeting with Graden.
This doesn’t reflect well on your hopes for advancement.
Congressman Graden.
Ranking Democrat on Ways and Means, takes chairmanship in the new Congress.
Any time’s good, as long as it’s 3:00 today.
Goodwin’s coming over at 9.
Do you like Babish for A.
G.
? He just decamped to Brayton-Connelly.
To be attorney general, I think he’d come back.
Thank you.
He’s smart and tough.
Could be a bumpy confirmation.
What, the MS, Toby Ziegler leak? Were both handled by the book, but if they wanna make noise Yeah, and they will, just for practice.
But he gets confirmed, right? Yeah, more of a problem for Bartlet than for us.
Last licks.
It would be nice to have an attorney general that didn’t hate us.
– How did you guys live with that? – Good question.
– Josh? – Yeah? How’s the White House staffing going? Set Crandall to head DPC.
Courtesy call into Graden later to bless Vukovich for legislative liaison.
How was the Kazakhstan briefing? It’s a mess, and they’re depositing it on our doorstep.
We can’t do anything about it until we take office.
Excuse me, sir.
Josh, your meeting with C.
J.
– Yeah.
– Thanks, Josh.
Thank you, sir.
– Ronna? – Yes? – Get Goodwin for me.
– Yes, sir.
There’s one other international call that I wanna return.
– Of course, sir.
– President Lian.
China’s not one of the G8 countries.
I’m aware.
Right away, sir.
We put out a directive that White House personnel be as helpful as possible to the incoming Santos team.
– No desk drawers glued shut? – That was urban legend.
First day, I needed a crowbar.
Well, none of that.
He would like to move his family into Blair House.
I’ll have Margaret get right into it.
– I appreciate it.
– See how much fun this’ll be? Most of it will be pretty easy.
Not like you don’t know your way around.
If any of your people wanna come hang out with their counterparts I’m sure it can be worked out on an individual basis.
I’ll have Margaret designate a point person you can run requests through.
You’re rearranging the furniture in your head? No.
You ever thought of putting the desk over there? Come January 20th, you can have it moved daily like alternate-side-of-the-street parking.
The inauguration? We need more VIP tickets for the parade.
The president has lots of people to thank.
New administration.
We need to curry favor.
– The future trumps the past.
– We can give some of his allotment to the president-elect.
The key word being “some.
” – Contingencies? – In case of snow the military task force will have plows, coats, hot beverages – Toddies? Hot buttered rum? – Coffee and cocoa.
– Call that a party? – Injuries, standard military paramedic procedure, scoop and move.
If one of the 389 horses should keel over, there will be a team of veterinarians and a forklift.
– Forklift? Which should be a lovely sight for the children.
The Supreme Court should wear makeup in case they have to go in.
A memo outlining everything will be on your desk by this afternoon.
And obviously, don’t hesitate, et cetera, et cetera.
Thanks.
So I’m trying to bring Sam back in.
Getting together the old band.
Goes without saying, any job you want.
– I’m dead serious.
– Very kind.
– Should we talk about this? – I have no idea.
No.
– I’m not done asking.
– I’m done answering, for the moment.
I’ll have someone call Margaret about the Blair House thing.
Has your boss said anything to you about Kazakhstan? He’s not crazy about what you guys are doing.
I assume you know that the president expects the president-elect to keep his reservations about this policy to himself during the transition.
Goes without saying.
To comment on any V.
P.
Name would be speculating about speculation.
I guess if you’re gonna get me to do that I promise to tell you just as soon as we decide to tell you.
Excuse me, I have someone else to equally exasperate on the other line.
Thanks.
Hello? Yes, sir, of course.
Come in, Donna.
Mr.
President-Elect.
– Josh seem all right to you? – A little tired.
– Well, he looks like a zombie.
– He may be going through an undead phase.
– You’ve seen him like this before? Hard to say.
He can get pretty tunnel-visioned.
I think he needs to power down a little.
Is he seeing anybody? Is he having any fun? – Sir? – It’s weird to ask.
No, no.
I have no idea.
– I’m just worried about him.
– It’s just him, truly.
He’s just amped up to a particular peak of Josh-ness.
Thank you.
– Don’t tell him I asked.
– Of course not, sir.
– Mr.
President.
– Do you know we have as many diplomats in Germany, population 80 million as we do in India, population of over 1 billion? Does that sound like a sensible allocation of diplomatic assets for the 21st century? – It does not.
Sir, we have a problem.
NSA monitors picked up a phone conversation between President-Elect Santos and Chinese president, Lian.
– Yeah? – Sir, you’re not gonna like what he said.
Bartlet’s NEC directors worked with a guy who had a Nobel Prize in Economics so it’s a bit of a challenge.
– So I’ve heard.
The president-elect won’t always agree with what he’s told but it won’t devolve into a lecture on the post-Keynesian, macroeconomic reasons why you’re wrong.
Everyone says the same thing starting out: “We’re gonna play error-free ball.
” But then the unforeseen happens.
It’s unavoidable.
What matters then is how good an audible you call.
The difference between a successful presidency and a historical footnote is how well you roll with the punches just to complete my tour of sports metaphors.
C.
J.
Cregg’s on the line.
Thank you for coming in, Howard.
We’ll let you know.
You let them talk too, right? Sassing your potential benefactor that’s an unconventional advancement technique.
Line three.
– What’s up? – Could you come right over, please? – I was just there.
– And now I’m asking you to come back.
– Can I ask why? – It’s about my asking and you complying.
Don’t say you’re busy.
I’ll go phone sheet for phone sheet.
In that case, can we do it over the phone? It’s five minutes, make it.
I’ll time you.
– Hey.
– Hey, yourself.
C.
J.
‘s got a bug up about something.
Can you wait? – Yeah, I’m okay to hang.
– Okay, shouldn’t take long.
– Donna.
Thanks for coming over.
– Of course.
– Can I get you something? – No, thank you, ma’am.
I thought we talked about that.
Due respect, you may have to get used to it.
Comes with the territory.
So I understand that I need a chief of staff.
To do what? I am not sure.
Again, that gets into the kind of first lady you intend to be.
Please, go on.
Well, there’s the activist model, with your own policy agenda and objectives in concert with the president’s wishes but not dependent upon his staff for pursuit or implementation.
– A separate power base, if you will.
– Or? A more traditional, chiefly ceremonial presence.
Representing the country as a hostess goodwill ambassador, without any particular policy focus.
– And those are my choices? – The extremes.
Without presuming to speak for you, I imagine you charting a middle course.
Well, I would like you to help with that.
I’d be happy to be a sounding board, of course, anytime.
– Well, I actually want you to help do it.
– Sorry? Well, I need someone, and you know the terrain.
You’re asking me? Well, apparently, not very clearly.
To be your chief of staff? I think you are extremely capable.
I feel that we have a rapport.
I’m flattered, of course but I’m not sure I have the requisite experience.
I’ve watched you these past months.
My husband sings your praises.
– That’s very nice.
– He’s gonna be PO’ed, in fact that I’m stealing you, just to sweeten the deal.
Please, just think about it.
And just wanted to stake my claim, I guess.
Thank you for considering me.
Did we or did we not have a discussion only hours ago about how to comport yourselves regarding the international security situation in Kazakhstan? I don’t know what you’re talking about.
The NSA reported he placed a call to China in which he made it clear to President Lian he has qualms about this intervention.
– Back up.
The NSA is bugging our calls? Did you not sing an aria this morning about how the president wants a hearts-and-flowers transition? Wiretapping is an odd way of showing love.
Don’t overdramatize.
The NSA monitors all communication with those governments.
We’re this far from being in a state of war with them.
You need to talk to the congressman about mixed messages or the president will.
– It’s not congressman.
– It’s president-elect.
– Fine.
Have him start behaving like it.
– Mr.
Lyman for you.
– Thank you.
Twenty-four whole hours.
Way to give me some space.
It’s been 28.
A little credit.
You can ‘t count the different time zones.
Whatever, it’s transition.
These are like dog hours.
A day is like one of your human weeks.
That’s quite a selling point.
I’ve been thinking.
So you’re engaged – people do this and have marriages.
– Yeah? Who? You know, theoretically.
– She’s an attorney, right? – Yeah.
Gee, I wonder if she’ll be able to find gainful employment in the lawyer capital of the known universe.
She’d have to take the bar again.
Would you? I assume there are a number of things she’d do for you that I’d balk at.
– She doesn’t hate the idea.
– I’ll see you tomorrow.
– I need to think it over.
– Think it over on the plane not that I’m begging.
– I don’t think you’re begging.
Would that work? I can do begging.
Humiliation is not beneath me.
Just get on a plane! Nothing’s irrevocable.
If you hate it, they have return flights.
Don ‘t make me wait.
They’ll find me in a fetal position, sucking my thumb.
I think we’ve moved into begging.
I have no threshold of embarrassment here.
I will abase myself until you submit.
– She passed the bar once, right? – Goodbye.
Sorry, one more.
Could you? Sir, Josh to see you.
Just to Just to You know.
What did you say to the Chinese about Kazakhstan? And more importantly, why aren’t you and I discussing it first? I need to say “Mother, may l” before talking to leaders? If you undercut the sitting president when we’re practically in a state of war.
I have serious objections to this military action.
It’s ill-conceived and ill-defined.
This isn’t the U.
N.
Putting peacekeepers on the ground to keep African tribesmen from hacking each other with machetes.
It’s placing U.
S.
Soldiers smack in the middle of a no-man’s land between two modern armies, hoping they both blink.
Employing American fighting men and women as the equivalent to a tethered goat.
You didn’t say this to the Chinese.
I made it clear I had concerns.
What I wanted to say was that in addition to this making no tactical military sense it is a complete strategic blunder geopolitically.
It’s a potential reversion to a state of hostility with the second largest energy producer, Russia and the risk of damage to relations between the U.
S.
And China a relationship that is going to define the 21st century.
– We’re stuck with this.
– It’s not about opposing it philosophically.
It isn’t working.
It’s a high-stakes game of chicken to bring both parties to the table.
It hasn’t done it.
You can deal with this the day you take office.
Which makes this an impossible situation.
I’m going to be president in two months.
Everybody in the world knows it.
And I’m supposed to sit back and shrug while this administration commits this country to a military situation it admits it has no exit strategy for.
– It’s gonna be my problem.
– Our problem, yes, sir.
No, mine.
I’ll be the guy whose presidency never got off the ground because he inherited his predecessor’s You can address that at 12:01 p.
m.
On January 20th.
– Well, that’ll be too late.
– We have You have no choice, sir.
Anything else will be spun as lack of support for our troops.
And there goes all backing for anything we want to accomplish Democratic House or not.
For now, we line up behind the president, sir.
How does anyone know what I said to the Chinese anyway? The NSA is eavesdropping on all calls to Russia or China.
I want to meet with the president.
– Everybody’s calls, sir, not just ours.
– I want that meeting.
Set it up.
Call C.
J.
Cregg’s office.
See when the president might have time for the president-elect.
Sorry.
– Okay, I’m sorry about that.
– Rough day? – Typical.
– You love it.
You live for it.
You were born to do it.
I’m the same.
Everybody tells me to get a life.
Why? I find life to be terribly overrated.
It’s boring when it’s not disappointing.
Say what you will about what we do, boring it is not.
You can parlay this Santos win into a doubling of your fee.
– Tripling, if it figures into your memoirs.
– Nothing is gonna top this.
– Everything else will be a letdown.
– Letdowns make me semi-rich a tradeoff I’ll endure.
– You don’t care about money.
– Who doesn’t? – You.
– Not as such.
– As what? Score-keeping.
Quantitative evidence that I’m smarter than you.
Not you.
– Who? – Everybody else.
– Come on as communications director.
– Thank you, but no.
– Finish what you started.
– I’m not interested.
Campaigning’s about promise.
Governing’s about achievement.
It’s tougher and a lot less romantic, but it’s not boring.
You’re smarter than everyone.
I want you down the hall.
– Come on, it’s not like getting a life.
– That’s true, look at you.
We’d have to distill the democratic message from what we ran on customize and prioritize it for the first 100 days not allow the Republicans to mischaracterize and demonize us as values-impaired – I may have forgotten about the hours.
– You’re here.
– It would seem.
– Outstanding.
There you go.
Hey, stop.
Your sentimentality is embarrassing us both.
When was the last time you took a vacation? Vacation? Time off from labor? Thought to be restorative, salubrious for body and soul? Not to mention, mental health.
– I don’t remember.
– If I’m your boss that’s really the wrong answer.
Neuroscientists have found that when politically committed people listen to political statements they respond with the emotional side of their brain.
The area of the cortex where reasoning occurs is quiet.
So those people screaming on cable really can’t help it? And guys like you and me are quantifiably nuts and could benefit from the occasional break.
You people don’t take office for another 10 weeks.
I think you could afford to spend one of them lying on a beach somewhere.
Yeah? Yeah.
I got a thing.
I’ve starred which are meetings I’ve x’d out which are blowoffs.
– I haven’t officially said I’m in.
– Yeah.
No, absolutely.
Ladies and gentlemen, Sam Seaborn, our new deputy chief of staff.
Knock them dead, tiger.
You look terrible.
You know, I never get tired of hearing that.
Mrs.
Santos asked me to be her chief of staff.
Wow, that’s great.
I’m to think it over.
I wanted to talk to you.
I was thinking deputy press secretary.
Lou’s gonna be communications director so it would be an extension of what we had on the campaign.
One thing I know for sure is I can’t work for you.
If something’s happening with us, it won’t work.
And if something isn’t, well, that won’t work so good either.
Yeah, about that Things are insane.
There’s no way I’ll be able to get a handle on what’s going on with us in the time frame you laid out.
Three weeks, six days to go.
We’ll see.
I I gotta Otto! – There’s an intercom.
– If I wanted to, I’d use it.
– I can’t find my BlackBerry.
– I’ve got it.
– What? – I’m updating it.
I’ve been looking for it for an hour! – I took it 10 minutes ago.
– Were you planning to tell me? – You handed it to me.
– Why would you think it would be okay? – I figured you had your office e-mail.
– Don’t figure.
Don’t use initiative.
It’s an overrated quality when it comes to assistant work.
– I don’t want to be an assistant.
– Know how to not be an assistant? By doing it great.
Not by leaving your boss electronically stranded for what feels like an hour! This isn’t a campaign.
This isn’t airplanes and hotels and, “Guess where I am now, Ma?” This is grind-it-out time! It’s three yards and a cloud of dust.
If you can’t hack what I need from you now you won’t be asked to do anything more.
Get the BlackBerry now.
Go.
I got it.
Otto give you that? What, you scared to face me, you little Josh.
– I need that.
– In a minute.
I didn’t come because you’re a silver-tongued recruiter or because I got tired of summer in January.
Santos may be the future this country wants.
For all the partisan noises made, we’re a nation of centrists.
He may be the right man with the right message at the right time and if he is I wanna be a part of it.
But he can’t do it without you.
Liberal Democrats will try to force him left.
Moderate Republicans will fence-sit as long as they can.
It’s you who’s gotta make this go who’s gonna cut through the demagoguery and timidity and make people do what they were sent here to do, actually govern.
Serve the voter’s interests instead of striking poses and playing gotcha.
It’s gonna be next to impossible if you’re at your best and, what may only be news to you, you are nowhere near your best.
Take the vacation.
I haven’t said I’m signing on, but I can tell you this I won’t stay unless you go.
One of us is getting on a plane tonight.
If it’s you, you’re back in a week.
If it’s me, I’m gone, adios, for good.
Your call.
Exciting time for you.
Very much so.
I always forget how tall you are.
– Did you play sports at Annapolis? – Football.
– Till I messed up my knee.
– What position? Wideout.
Not great speed, but pretty good hands.
My sister thinks that you are very attractive.
She doesn’t have a sister.
Good morning, Matt.
Come on in.
I understand you’ve been speaking to the Chinese.
– Yes, sir.
– How did you play it? You can probably just read the transcript.
Yeah, sorry about that.
It may be advantageous, all things considered.
Seriously, I need to know exactly what you said.
I haven’t seen the transcript.
I didn’t want to seem overly interested.
I thanked President Lian for his good wishes then brought the talk to Kazakhstan.
I portrayed myself as being impatient with our intervention mystified as to the endgame.
I might have referred to you as an incrementalist.
I’ve been called worse.
You may have to call me worse if this is gonna work.
It’s a great idea to exploit the inherent awkwardness of transition this way.
Use it to play a little geopolitical good cop, bad Cop.
But you’ll have to make some really loud saber rattling if we’re gonna pull this off.
Canadian prime minister Dallaire’s coming.
I’ll blow off some steam about this reckless Kazakhstan intervention.
Lean on my military background.
Make it clear that while I wouldn’t go in, once troops are there I have no intention of just keeping them in place, waiting to get shot at.
I’ll give them things to do, like roll people back across their own borders.
I’ll suggest the Russians and Chinese are going to look back on the Bartlet plan as the good old days.
Which he might want to find a way to artfully communicate to them both.
Sounds good.
You make that case with seeming conviction.
Yes, sir.
Let’s hope you can scare the hell out of them.
Sir, this is Sam Seaborn.
He’ll be covering for me this next week.
– Sorry? – Goodwin’s doing the transition.
I’ve set some senior staff.
Sam knows the players for the rest.
In any event, candidates aren’t going anywhere.
It’s not like they’ll take director of cabinet affairs jobs in Benelux countries.
Lou will be honing our message plan.
I yelled at Otto for no reason.
I haven’t had a vacation in, well, basically, ever.
I will be better able to serve you and your presidency and the country if I unfog my head.
It’s – Sam’s getting married.
– Congratulations.
– Thank you.
– Lou’s right, I have no life.
And l I don’t know if that’s really how I want it or if it’s just some borderline or not so borderline pathetic, pathologic avoidance thing.
If it’s, you know, okay with you.
If it didn’t involve a motorcade, I’d drive you to the airport myself.
Thank you, sir.
– Nice to meet you.
– You too.
Big fan.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain.
Federal air regulations require that all carryon luggage be stowed prior to Personal belongings may be placed in overhead compartments or under the seat in front of you.
If you need any additional information or assistance, contact your flight attendant.
Please refrain from operating any portable electronic devices till we are in flight and the seat belt sign is turned off.
– Once again, thank you for flying.
– Hey.
May I just say, a truly excellent notion? – Sam’s.
– Of course.
The vacation.
Going with you part was all me.

Leave a Reply