Janeane Garofalo signs on as a tough-as-nails media consultant Louise (“Lou”) Thornton, whom Santos hires at Josh’s request even though she and Josh are hardly friends. The campaign could use a jolt, having taken, as Lou puts it, “body blow after body blow” from Vinick and the press in the days following the convention. The biggest problem: Santos’s silence on Bartlet’s decision not to investigate the NASA security leak.
THE WEST WING 7x02 - "THE MOMMY PROBLEM" WRITTEN BY ELI ATTIE DIRECTED BY ALEX GRAVES Transcribed by Soundman for "TWIZ TV.COM". Send feedback to [email protected] TEASER FADE IN: INT. - ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY C.J. and Margaret are talking. MARGARET You wanted the message plan for Monday's bill signing. Scheduling and Advance is thinking little flags. C.J. Little flags? MARGARET American ones. C.J. So we've stopped using the skull and crossbones, then? MARGARET They want to line the President's signing table with a great big row of... C.J. ...little flags. MARGARET Yes. C.J. And the message is? MARGARET This is America. C.J. Not to be unpatriotic, but they do realize this is a Fisheries bill. MARGARET You'd like them to come up with a... C.J. A sign, a slogan, something a little more specific than a great big row of... MARGARET ...little flags. C.J. Thank you. MARGARET Little fish. C.J. walks into her office. Toby is sitting at her table watching a news report. REPORTER [on TV] ...that there's a military shuttle, that that's the only way to repair the station's laboratory module. But with Brock refusing to answer Grand Jury questions on his source for the top... She shuts off the TV. TOBY NASA just announced that the astronauts fixed the space station all by themselves. C.J. Anybody buying it? TOBY Not so much. C.J. Well, we've got a Congressional committee investigating a national security leak out of this building; Washington is devolving into another gavel-splitting, nose-thumbing standstill; not to mention the fact that the Fisheries bill could be the better part of my legacy as Chief of Staff. She hands him a pad of paper. TOBY What's this? C.J. Uh, President and White House Council wanted to put out a statement. We worked out the language while I was in the car. TOBY "Respect for the paw"? C.J. Law. Respect for the law. TOBY It looks like respect for the paw. C.J. You try writing longhand at 50 miles an hour. TOBY You think this is a good idea? C.J. I think the President and White House Council want it out. TOBY You don't think Vinick will stomp all over this, not to mention Santos? C.J. I think the President and White House Council want it out. CUT TO: INT. - AIRPLANE HANGAR - NIGHT OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON 101 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY Two men are watching Santos on TV giving a stump speech. SANTOS [on TV] Now, if you don't think I have a personal stake in my economic plan, if you don't think it's personal for me - hey, if the country doesn't like it, I'll be the first one unemployed. The audience cheers and laughs. We pan around to where we see Santos is giving his speech inside and airplane hangar. SANTOS We can't hang on to the jobs of the past; none of us can. The entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years. A child that is born tonight could live to see the 22nd Century. If we nourish innovation, if we tear down red tape and regulation, that child could lead a brand new industry; can cure a dreaded disease; can touch a far horizon that we can't even glimpse yet. So if it's personal for you, if you want your child to grow up in a world fueled by new prosperity and path-breaking discovery, then I need your vote, 'cause you ain't seen nothing yet! The audience cheers and applauds. We next see several images of Santos on the campaign trail. Images of the Santos-McGarry plane cut the images apart. CUT TO: EXT. - CAMPAIGN - DAY PORTLAND, OREGON Santos gets out of a Suburban and gets ready to greet and welcome the people. Bram comes up to him and they walk and talk. BRAM If we start the speech by five past noon and the Portland affiliates will carry it live. SANTOS Then let's start by noon. BRAM And the Secret Service would prefer it if you didn't wade into the crowd. SANTOS Well, you should tell the Secret Service: put 40 electoral votes on the table, I'll do whatever they want. He heads into the crowd and begins autographing things and shaking people's hands. We see several more images of Santos campaigning. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS-MCGARRY PLANE - PRESS CABIN - DAY Santos is talking to the press. SANTOS Popular Mechanics, 1949. I'm not making this up; they predicted it. In the future, computers will weigh no more than one and a half tons. We see several images of Santos on the campaign trail. SANTOS So, if you think my plan for high-tech jobs is a little light... We see many more images. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS HEADQUARTERS - DAY Josh is sitting at a table in a conference room. He is working on something and he is watching clips of Santos on the trail. We see him draw two boxes on a dry erase board. The first is red and is labeled "SECURITY." The second is blue and is labeled "DOMESTIC." We next see him writing on his pad again. The last thing he writes is "SANTOS = ???" CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS MCGARRY PLANE - NIGHT Santos is walking through the press cabin. Everybody is asleep. He gets to the end of the aisle and turns. SANTOS Anybody got any questions? We see several more images of the campaign. CUT TO: INT. - HEADQUARTERS - DAY SANTOS/MCGARRY CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS WASHINGTON, D.C. 6:12 AM Edie and a consultant named Otto are walking into the conference that Josh is sitting in. They turn on the lights. EDIE Hey, you're here all night again? OTTO I thought you left at 10:30. JOSH I came back when I saw the coverage of yesterday's West Coast Swing. Our economic plan is working, so I'm revamping the message plan. OTTO We would have stayed and helped. JOSH Uh, tell Field: no way am I spending that much on Delaware, tell speechwriting to try a version of this that actually wins votes, and tell Advance I'm canceling the foreign policy reporters' meeting and adding a town hall on high-tech jobs when he gets to Tampa. Otto sees the boxes drawn on the board. OTTO What are those boxes? JOSH People think the campaign's about two competing answers to the same question. They're not. They're a fight over the question itself. Now Vinick is opening up a big lead on security issues. That's box number one. EDIE Okay, so we need to do more military... JOSH No, because if the race is about that, we lose. But we're way ahead on most domestic issues. This new economic message could be our ticket. If we keep the conversation in box number two, we win this thing. He has written "VINICK" over the red box and "SANTOS" over the blue box. He draws a checkmark in the blue box. OTTO What's in box number three? JOSH Trivia, ephemera, stuff we can't control. He draws a question mark in box number 3, which is black. JOSH From today on, every speech, every public event - box number two. OTTO Did you do this stuff on Bartlet's campaign? JOSH Toby Ziegler. A few more nights like this, we could go hairline-for-hairline. Ned comes to the door. NED CNN says the White House is about to make a big announcement about the national security leak. JOSH That can't be, they're trying to damp that story down. NED Tell it to CNN. Josh takes out his phone and dials. JOSH Operator, get me Toby Ziegler, now. CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Toby's phone begins to ring and he answers it. TOBY Yeah. JOSH [VO] Whatever you're announcing... CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - HQ - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...tell me you're going to damp down this leak story, and not... CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS TOBY We're stopping our internal investigation to cooperate with Congress and the Grand Jury. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - HQ - CONTINUOUS JOSH It'll look like Democrats don't care if there are felons in the Sit Room! CUT TO: INT. - TOBY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [VO] Santos is going to get tarred for this! Toby hangs the phone while Josh is mid-sentence. CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS Josh hangs his phone up. A reporter on TV is talking about the story. Josh walks over to the board. REPORTER Bad news for Matt Santos, who just got the spotlight off Leo McGarry's health. OTTO So, national security leak, is that in box number 3? Josh erases the checkmark in the blue box and angrily draws a checkmark in the red box. REPORTER Santos has been trailing his opponent, Republican senator Arnold Vinick. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER. * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - HQ - DAY Josh is talking to Joey, Kenny, and Edie. Otto comes into the room carrying food of some sort. JOSH Keep away from the press. No talking to the press until we hear what Vinick says. JOEY [KENNY] We should have somebody on the road with him. JOSH Bram's on the road with him. JOEY [KENNY] A senior advisor to handle things. JOSH I'm flying out this afternoon. JOEY [KENNY] What about Edie? JOSH I've got half a dozen media consultants coming in a half an hour, I'm flying out this afternoon. Ronna comes in a turns the TV on. RONNA We see on the TV that Vinick is leaving his office. A reporter shouts to him. REPORTER [VO] The President's shutting down his investigation of the security leak. Do you think there's a sound legal basis for this? VINICK [on TV] If that were my White House, I'd seal the doors and windows until we found that leaker, and then I'd throw 'em in federal prison. JOSH Vinick's public schedule; I need his schedule for the day. RONNA Josh. JOSH Is that the Congressman? SANTOS [VO] What are they smoking in that White House of yours, Josh? CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS Santos and Bram are getting off the plane. They both have cell phones to their ear and are apparently both on the same conversation. SANTOS First they Bogart my education plan for some low-tar Congressional compromise, and then they serve up a big fat pitch for switch-hitter Vinick. JOSH [VO] It's a legal strategy. We've got to avoid... CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...commenting or it'll swamp our economic message. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS SANTOS I have to make a statement to get past this. It's all the press is going to want to talk about. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH Any comment on this drags us into a bad story miles off our economic message. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS SANTOS Well, you know I'm having lunch with two dozen foreign policy reporters today. EDIE Josh cancelled that about an hour ago. SANTOS For what? CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH For a town hall on high-tech jobs, and I'm making it a reverse town hall. You ask people their personal stories. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.][VO] No one gets to ask you unscripted question. BRAM He can handle tough questions. You should see him out here, he's on fire. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOEY [KENNY] All this attention on the leak story, it's magnifying the inevitable "Mommy Problem." RONNA Mommy Problem? CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS JOSH [VO] When voters want a national daddy... CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...someone to be tough and strong and defend the country, they vote Republican. When they want a mommy, someone to give them jobs, health care... CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.][VO] ...the policy equivalent of motzah ball soup, they vote Democratic. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOEY [KENNY] On domestic issues, we're three points up. EDIE We're better than Vinick on military issues, plus the Congressman was a Marine pilot... CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS EDIE [cont.][VO] ...flying off carriers in the Gulf. Vinick never even served. JOSH [VO] Democrats don't beat Republicans... CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...on security issues. I know it's phony. I know it's frustrating. But we have to stay in the box that we can win. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS JOEY [KENNY] That's why Vinick attacked Bartlet: to force us back on security. SANTOS So we avoid the press and give them no choice but to cover our economic message. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSH That's right. SANTOS [VO] One sentence... CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS SANTOS [cont.] ...and he boxes me into a corner. Doesn't even mention my name. CUT TO: INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - CONTINUOUS BRAM [VO] Look, we've got to get to this Jacksonville crowd event. We'll see you guys in Tampa. ALL Thank you, sir. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS We see that Santos has hung his phone up and is walking toward the next campaign event. CUT TO: EXT. - WHITE HOUSE - DAY We see a bird's-eye view of the White House. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is sitting at her desk watching a news report about the shuttle leak. REPORTER [on TV] And having made the essential repairs to the space station's laboratory module, NASA now expects the astronauts to return home within the four to five days. We hear Margaret's phone ring. A few seconds later, Margaret comes in to talk to C.J. MARGARET It's Josh, again. I told him to call Toby; he insisted on talking to you. C.J. Find Toby, will you? C.J. stands as Margaret leaves. C.J. Joshua, for the love.... CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. [VO] ...of my sanity, please talk to Toby. He's my liaison to the campaign. JOSH How could you let the President do this, when I finally find a message that works? CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. It was a legal decision. JOSH [VO] And you work... CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...in the most politicized square footage in the country... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.][VO] You turned this over to the Republicans who are going to kill me with a thousand... CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...paper cuts, leak every incriminating detail when it pleases them, and I never get back to my issues. The things I win on. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS C.J. The President wants a fair investigation. He wants politics out of this. JOSH [VO] Then call for a special prosecutor! You're shutting down your investigation, go all the way. CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] Take it out of the political arena for good. And while you're at it, find me a campaign liaison who's not out to screw me... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.][VO] ...with my pants on. TOBY A run-amok special prosecutor... CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS TOBY [cont.][VO] ...rifling through every can of trash... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS TOBY [cont.] ...from the past seven years? CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] Well, I'm glad we have this chance to chat, the last one was so gratifying. I am begging you, get the politics out of this. TOBY [VO] You're the one putting... CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS TOBY [cont.] ...politics in it! JOSH [VO] You deal away my education plan, you don't give me a heads-up on the political tsunami of the week; right now, I am the only thing... CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS JOSH [cont.] ...between Matt Santos and the megaphone through which he is going to trash his own party's White House. Josh hangs the phone up. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - HQ - DAY Josh is walking with some news media people. JOSH Skip the Kentucky leg. We'll hit it through Cincinnati media. Move this photo above the fold. And every time we talk about gun control, we have to say we respect the rights of hunters and sportsmen. Hunters and sportsmen, right up front. They have walked into the main area of HQ. Josh comes to where Ned and Edie are working and the media people walk off. NED The New York Post wants to know if we cancelled the foreign policy lunch to keep Santos away from the leak story. JOSH Tell them no, not everything's a conspiracy. NED But you changed the town hall to a reverse town hall because...? JOSH Certain things are conspiracies. I need sexier economic policy for the reverse town hall. NED Sexier? JOSH The press wants to write about the security leak; we want them to write about the economy. Let's show a little leg. NED And by leg, you mean...? JOSH Targeted tax credits, preferably indexed to inflation. NED When's the last time you went on a date? JOSH I don't want to talk about it. Joey and Kenny walk up. JOEY [KENNY] The Democratic media consultants are waiting. JOSH Okay, I'm running a national campaign here. JOEY By yourself? JOSH Joey, twelve days ago we thought we were going on unemployment. We barely got the nomination. We spent the last four days arguing with the press over Leo's cholesterol level. I delegate plenty. JOEY [KENNY] Name one thing you've delegated. JOSH I would never have chosen this paint color. JOEY [KENNY] You have to hire some heavyweights. Bruno Gianelli? JOSH There's goes half our budget on Italian loafers and mini-bar tabs. JOEY [KENNY] You don't have a political director, you don't have a chief speechwriter, you don't even have a Communications director. There's that huge, empty office next to yours. A guy named Bill walks up and introduces himself to Josh. BILL Hi, I'm Bill. They told me to show up after 10:00. JOSH Absolutely, welcome. You can follow me. JOEY [KENNY] There must be 300 people on staff now. Surely a few of them are capable... JOSH They're kids. Not a single one of these non-shavers would challenge my assumptions, stand up to me in a meeting. Otto walks up and begins walking with them in order to talk to Josh. OTTO We thought we'd try with a Houston... JOSH Just do it the way I asked. Okay? Otto walks off. Josh, Joey, Kenny, and Bill have walked into an empty office. JOSH I mean, this isn't summer camp; we're not making tie racks out of plywood. Not everybody has the savvy to play the big game. This is your desk. Sit with Payroll and Personnel. Diane will give you some business cards. Policy working group starts at 3:00. BILL And that's when I install the new phone lines? JOSH Front desk, around the corner. BILL Thanks for the business cards. JOSH You bet. JOEY [KENNY] We're about to sit down with some of the top media consultants in the party. If you're not leaning on your own staff, at least lean on them. Ronna walks up and starts walking with them. JOSH This is a fake meeting. These guys just want a piece of the DNC media budget. We bring them in, slide them a contract so they won't snipe at us on Meet the Press. RONNA Here's the list of attendees. JOSH What's she doing on there? RONNA You said be sure to invite Louise Thornton. I had to talk her into coming. Joey and Kenny leave them to go to the meeting. JOSH I said "Be sure not to invite her." They walk off to go to the meeting. CUT TO: INT. - MEETING ROOM - DAY Josh and Ronna walk in to begin the meeting. Joey and Kenny, as well as several other media consultants are seated around the table. LOUISE "LOU" THORNTON is seated at the seat to the left of Josh. JOSH Thank you all for coming to this high-level strategy meeting. This is probably the greatest assemblage of Democratic talent since the last time Jed Bartlet dined alone. We see Kenny signing for Joey. After a few moments, she laughs. She is the only one. JOSH As you can see from your handouts, we're positioning Santos very strongly on domestic issues, especially the economy. With a little discipline we can ride out today's press storm. I want your input on our message and strategy. CONSULTANT #1 Your pals in the White House are creating the storm. They're bungling this leak investigation. My Senate clients are nervous. CONSULTANT #2 Mine too. CONSULTANT #3 Very nervous. JOSH Obviously the President's got his legal strategy, while the politics... Ronna brings Louise a cup of coffee. They start whispering to each other. Josh looks distracted. CONSULTANT #1 Why aren't you repackaging Santos as a moderate? No wonder half the Democrats in Congress don't want to share a stage with him. CONSULTANT #2 You've got to repackage him. CONSULTANT #3 Make him a moderate. Ronna has brought Lou something else and she sets it down. Again they start whispering and again Josh looks distracted. JOSH We think when the voters see his record on deficit reduction and middle class tax cuts... CONSULTANT #1 And I don't see why Santos isn't sticking it to Vinick; knifing him with strong contrast. CONSULTANT #2 He should knife him. CONSULTANT #3 With strong contrast. Lou begins pouring either sugar or creamer into her coffee. She makes some noise while doing it and Josh again seems distracted. JOSH We didn't have a full convention to define ourselves. We're trying to run a positive campaign, especially while the voters are learning about us now. If you will look at the handout... LOUISE THORNTON You don't really want our input on message. Everyone's here for a piece of the DNC media budget, so get to the point, please. JOSH It goes without saying that you will each be part of the DNC media buys. You can see on page 2. CONSULTANT #1 [cheerfully] We've got a strong story for the voters. CONSULTANT #3 We're excited about the media buy. JOSH What if I did want your advice on the message? LOU That would be hard to give. JOSH And why's that? LOU Because you don't have one. There is a silent pause. CONSULTANT #3 What she means is that we can test some dynamic new spots. CONSULTANT #2 Yeah, we can ramp up the positives. That would really fill in the picture. LOU I'm not talking about ten-point plans or Leo McGarry's love of egg whites. I'm talking about the iconic, the symbolic, something that you can put on a bumper sticker that tells people who Matt Santos is. 'Cause eight days after the nominating convention, I still don't have a clue. She gets up to leave. JOSH Where are you going? LOU I don't want a DNC contract. I just came by to see if this is the Josh Lyman vanity exercise everyone says it is. Besides, if I take your money, how can I snipe at you on Meet the Press? She leaves. CONSULTANT #1 Obviously she doesn't speak for all of us. They all start talking at once. Josh gets up and leaves to follow Lou. CUT TO: INT. - HQ - DAY Lou is walking out and Josh runs to catch up with her. JOSH You and I haven't always been on the same side. LOU You mean those four times I beat your hand-picked primary candidates? JOSH That was three times. LOU I was counting the 2-to-1 victory twice, but okay. JOSH You're right; I don't have this iconic, symbolic thing. I'm not a Communications director. My strong suit isn't... LOU Isn't connecting with the electorate, I know. JOSH Reducing human complexities to a box of soap flakes, no. LOU All I know about Santos is what the country knows: He's smart and he's cute. That is hardly the stuff of global leadership. JOSH Well, it's better than fat and dumb. LOU That's such a good bumper sticker. You don't need me. They begin walking. JOSH Yes, I think what you do is superficial, but I know it's important or I wouldn't be asking you, of all people, for help. LOU 'Cause I'm not a cultist like you. JOSH 'Cause we have different approaches to campaigns. LOU Right, I win them. JOSH I'm trying to be friends. LOU You saw Vinick on TV this morning. Clearly it wasn't about content, but he was tough and he was authentic. He was Neil Young to your Neil Diamond. JOSH I like Neil Diamond. LOU I'm sure you do. JOSH We can't have a fight about a security leak. We'll get killed. I'm trying to change the conversation back to the economy. LOU How about moving the conversation to the fact that while Santos was serving in the Gulf, Vinick was serving himself Chardonnay. That Santos is still serving in the Reserves as a Congressman. He's been in the Senate for, like, 90 years. He was practically born in a committee hearing. If you're not using the phrase "Beltway Arnie" in every press release... JOSH We're not going negative. Not now, not first. LOU Oh, really. You don't think you're running a negative campaign? Why are you always talking about high-tech jobs? Because Vinick uses a manual typewriter and his future is a set of plastic gums. You're doing political smear like the rest of us. All I'm saying is do it right. They have come into the elevator room. Ned walks up. NED We're getting lots of press calls on this security leak. JOSH How many press calls? NED 113. JOSH We're not commenting. NED Plus, New York Post still thinks today's lunch was cancelled because we're hiding from the leak story. JOSH It's not connected... tell them we cancel lunches all the time. We're fast and nimble and move like the night, okay? LOU Hey, don't mind me. You and Elmer Fudd Jr. just keep changing the conversation. JOSH Hang on. Josh walks back in to talk to Ronna. JOSH Manifest Lou for the Florida-California trip. RONNA Ten minutes ago you didn't even want her... JOSH Some of her ideas are a little nutty, she doesn't always play well with others, but she's got an IQ of 200, she knows this image stuff backwards and sideways, and it's better than having her on the outside lobbing mortars on my lap. RONNA See if she wants the vegetarian option. JOSH She'll have the raw meat. He walks back to talk to Lou. JOSH I want you to come to California and Florida with me. You can pick up a bag on the way to Dulles. If the Congressman signs off, I'm hiring you as Director of Communications answering directly to me. LOU I don't think so. JOSH I'm talking about the future of civilization here. LOU Yes, I don't have any desire to play tambourine in your one-man band. JOSH I am asking you to meet with the next President of the United States. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE. * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Margaret comes in to talk to C.J. MARGARET State's about to brief POTUS and VPOTUS on the Norwegian working dinner. C.J. Can you make sure NSC's in the Oval? State's trying to do an end run. Nancy knocks and comes in from the Oval Office. NANCY The President's ready, Ms. Cregg. C.J. Thank you. MARGARET Plus, Brock still wants a few minutes. C.J. Tell him no, in Norwegian, if you have to. That would be "nosk." C.J. moves toward the door and Margaret follows her. C.J. realizes she is and stops. She turns. C.J. What is it? MARGARET Counsel's office says the first round of Congressional subpoenas are coming and they always start with junior staff. C.J. Okay. MARGARET Obviously, the focus is on the Chief of Staff's office, on our office. If there's anything you want me to... C.J. I want you to tell the truth. She turns and goes in to the Oval Office. CUT TO: EXT. - CAMPAIGN - DAY TAMPA, FLORIDA We see Josh, Lou and Ned get out of a van and start walking toward the building where Santos is to give the reverse town-hall. They are surrounded by press who are asking a lot of questions. Josh hands out papers to them. REPORTER #1 Josh, do you have a comment about this Bartlet situation? JOSH I've got brand new policy, also known as hard news. Don't all thank me at once. REPORTER #2 The Congressman's really not taking questions at the town hall? JOSH He's proposing a major new tax credit for research and experimentation. It rewards innovation in the economy. REPORTER #1 When are you making him available for questions? JOSH After you write about the tax credit. REPORTER #2 Congressional Republicans are saying Democrats can't be trusted with our national security. REPORTER #1 Santos has to be furious at the President for dumping this on his head. How does Leo McGarry feel? JOSH He's upset we're not doing more to reward innovation in the economy. REPORTER #3 Do you have a comment on the New York Post? JOSH I'm against it. That's off the record. REPORTER #3 There's a story on their website that says Santos has cancelled four lunch events in the last two weeks. JOSH Lunch events? REPORTER #2 Yeah, why always lunch events? JOSH Let me get this... they've got a story that we're canceling lunch events? REPORTER #3 Four in two weeks; they're calling it "Santos' Siesta." The reporters laugh. JOSH First of all, that's ridiculous. Second of all, it's a cheap stereotype. REPORTER #1 Well, why is it always lunches, Josh? JOSH You can't seriously be interested in this. REPORTER #2 As opposed to the same economic message two days in a row? JOSH Okay, well, we'll see you after the event. He walks off with Ned, Edie and Lou toward the event. NED You heard about the siesta story. JOSH When I said tell the Post we cancel lunches all the time, the point wasn't to emphasize... NED That we cancel lunches all the time? JOSH Right. NED Kind of a fine-line situation. JOSH Not really. EDIE So how are we going to deal with this? JOSH We hold lunch events every day this week. I don't care if we're stuffed to the gills, we put out a sandwich tray and we call it a lunch event. LOU Doesn't this fall under your famous box number three? JOSH I use a message grid; so sue me. LOU That is what happens when you fight scandal with spreadsheet. JOSH I'm running a Presidential campaign. We talk policy. You've got a better idea? I'll take it. LOU Yeah, Vinick's slugging you in the gut; how about slugging back? JOSH This lunch thing was our goof. LOU You don't think someone's got the tabloids out looking for them? JOSH We can ride it out. We don't give them anything else by the end of the day, they'll be filing stories about the tax credit. Reporter #1 walks up to him. REPORTER #1 Josh. JOSH I'm not commenting on the leak story. REPORTER #1 This isn't about the leak story. JOSH Oh, don't tell me there's another... REPORTER #1 No, this one, you're going to like. He hands him an envelope. CUT TO: INT. - KITCHEN - HOTEL - DAY Bram and Santos are talking while Santos is having his picture taking. SANTOS So, is this covered under Josh's press memo? BRAM No, it's in Josh's scheduling memo. It's a listen-only conference call. We'll do it right after the reverse town hall. You talk about the R&E tax credit for regional reporters but you literally can't hear them speak. They can only listen. SANTOS If it goes well, I can open it up to hand gestures. Josh walks up. BRAM Then you're meeting with Lou Thornton, a media strategist Josh wants to hire. SANTOS Oh, she wins a lot of races. JOSH She probably won't do it, but she is what we need in the Communications shop - aggressive, out-of-the-box. Obviously, her ideas will be heavily filtered through me, but anything you can do to get her on board. BRAM I'll grab you when they start your intro. He walks off. SANTOS So, let me guess: the press is, uh, gone bananas because I haven't been commenting on the leak. JOSH I may have a way to close the security gap overnight. SANTOS Strafing runs over the national press club, huh? JOSH Time Magazine has a copy of a letter from the Marine Reserve Command. You've been called up for Reserve training in Fort Worth, Texas, for two days, Tuesday after Labor Day. He shows him the letter. Santos takes it. SANTOS How'd the press get this before me? JOSH You're a Presidential candidate; from now on, you're going to be the last one to read a lot of your mail. Congressman, it's Christmas in July; "Deck the halls with guns and ammo." This is everything we couldn't do in the convention. You in fatigues, wind in your hair, trench knife in your teeth. This is an annual required thing, right? SANTOS Do a physical, some flight hours, some marksmanship. JOSH With very big guns. Guns are very big. SANTOS It won't look like a stunt? JOSH You're just following orders. Bram walks up. BRAM They're starting your intro. Bram and Santos walk off. Josh starts walking. JOSH Sir, give me your best bottle of champagne. Make it your tenth best. Nothing with a screw-off top. Edie and Lou are standing nearby. LOU Hey, remember me? JOSH Why don't you go watch the reverse town hall? LOU They're still doing introductions. Why don't you leave so we can talk about stuff you're not allowed to hear? She leaves. Josh grabs Edie and brings her over to where Ned is. They start walking. JOSH We're about to make a big announcement. Two days after Labor Day, the Congressman's doing Reserve duty in Texas. He's just following orders. We announce it without comment. A picture's worth a thousand bayonets. EDIE That's fantastic. JOSH Edie, coordinate a small press pool with the Marine Reserve Command. Nothing gaudy; make sure his uniform fits like a glove. Edie stops. Josh and Ned continue to walk. JOSH Ned, work with the Congressional office. Get all the documentation. NED Documentation? JOSH We need to lay it out for the press; dates, details, how he's done this every year like clockwork. NED Sometime he resets the clock. JOSH When it needs rewinding. NED He's postponed it a few times. JOSH For critical national security votes in Congress. NED Usually to campaign for reelection; I think once, because his daughter was sick. A man from the kitchen staff walks up behind Josh and Ned and pops the top off of the bottle of champagne. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - DAY We see Carol talking with Toby about the press. CAROL We have been getting some press inquiries. TOBY Yeah, I'm sure. CAROL A lot of them, actually, on why we ended this internal investigation and how we plan to deal with it now... TOBY Refer them all to the Counsel's Office. CAROL Which is good, except... TOBY We're walling this off from the rest of the White House so we can do some governing around here. CAROL Counsel's not taking any press questions. TOBY Some walls are thicker than others. CAROL Toby, you should see your call sheet. And there are three reporters camped outside your office, wondering... TOBY Which is why I'm nowhere near my office. They have come to C.J.'s office and he walks in. C.J. is there. C.J. How's it playing out there? TOBY Aside from Arnold Vinick's plan to turn the federal government into an episode of Dragnet? C.J. I know it's bad politics; at least it's for the right reason. TOBY Good men with good reasons shouldn't set precedents for bad men with bad ones. C.J. What's this? TOBY Witness lists for the Congressional hearings. What I could get, anyway. C.J. Greg Brock will refuse to testify. TOBY Yeah. C.J. You think Congress holds him in contempt? TOBY The First Amendment isn't what it used to be. C.J. I've been avoiding him all day. TOBY As you should. He walks off. CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - DAY Josh, Santos, and Bram are walking away from the meeting and walking toward the plane. SANTOS So I moved it around a bit, at least I did real Reserve training with the big guns, every year. Almost. It'll look like a stunt, won't it? JOSH 14 weeks before the election, trailing on security, you skipped it for politics and Flintstones chewables, we announce you're putting on a uniform first day of fall campaigning: it'll look like Ringling Brothers' Barnum and Bailey Circus. Josh stops while Santos gets on the plane. CUT TO: INT. - MEETING ROOM - SANTOS' PLANE - DAY Santos comes into the room to meet Lou. She is seated at the seat nearest the door, reading a magazine. BRAM You've got five minutes before a clutch with the City Council Chair before we take off for Fort Lauderdale. SANTOS Okay. He takes a piece of paper from Bram and sits across from Lou. SANTOS Is it Lou or Louise? LOU Well, Lou started in college when I signed up for men's intramural softball. They were a player short; turns out, I was the best hitter on the team. SANTOS So, Lou? LOU Louise is fine. SANTOS What did you think of the reverse town hall? LOU I didn't like your joke about being the first one unemployed. SANTOS That's just a funny line. LOU Shaving cream and seltzer are funny. Unemployment's not particularly funny. SANTOS I've got the Council Chair after this, we could go egg her house. Was there anything that you did like about the town hall? LOU Oh, sure, but I assume you have plenty of people around to tell you how great you are, and if you don't, you should hire some because they're wonderful. SANTOS Yeah. No, we pay a premium for that. Say, are you familiar with the Mommy Problem? LOU I am. SANTOS Do you think I have one? LOU That's something you're going to have to answer for yourself, because right now, Beltway Arnie is kicking you all around the electoral math, the White House is treating you like a fly on their governmental windshield. And I wonder if it's just Josh, or do you have what it takes to come out of the Candidate Protection Program and start kicking back. Bram knocks and shows in the City Council Chairwoman. BRAM Councilwoman Stone, the next President of the United States. SANTOS Hello, pleasure to meet you. Hi, hello. How are you? Oh, we're going to take a little picture here. Okay. Bram begins to snap the pictures as Lou goes back to reading her magazine. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO. * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL - FLORIDA - DAY FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA We see Josh get off the elevator and start walking. He sees Edie walking the opposite way. He speaks to her but while he does, a group of college-aged people grab him for a picture. JOSH Hey, we've got to write up some options for the press... GIRL Mr. Lyman, over here. He puts his arms around the group and takes a picture with them. EDIE Ned says he's postponed his Reserve drilling about a third of the time. JOSH 41%. And whoever gave that letter to Time has to know that. EDIE He stayed in the reserves all these years? JOSH Yes. EDIE So our problem is Santos served too much whereas Vinick never even served. JOSH Well, you're going to be good at this; I can tell. They have walked into a room of some sort. Josh sets his bag down. EDIE What was option one again? JOSH Reporting for Reserve duty right after Labor Day looking like a gun-toting, flag-waving phony. EDIE That would be a no, wouldn't it? JOSH No on option one. A man walks in carrying a box of drinks. Josh turns him around. JOSH Soda shop's closed. He shuts the door after the man walks out. He begins taking his belt off as he walks over to a chair and sits down. EDIE May I ask what you're... He takes the belt and wraps it around his leg and the leg of the chair. He pulls it tight. JOSH It's a law school study trick. I'm not getting up until we figure this out. Option two: postponement; highlights previous postponement if the even grant him one this time. Santos comes in. Josh moves to cover the belt so that Santos can't see it. EDIE Congressman. SANTOS Hi. Stay seated. I've got the high-tech CEOs waiting for me across the hall. I just wanted you to know that I got Lou to come on board as Director of Communications. JOSH That's terrific. SANTOS You were right. She's exactly what we need: a whole different take on the campaign. JOSH I didn't think she'd do it. SANTOS Yeah, there's just one small condition. JOSH What's that? SANTOS Reporting directly to me. Santos turns and leaves. Josh gets up and attempts to follow him out. He falls flat on his face as Bram is walking in. BRAM If you've got a minute, we've got a problem with the Associated Press. JOSH I don't have a minute. Edie, will you tell him why I don't have a minute. EDIE Yeah, he doesn't have a minute. JOSH I'm trying to solve a problem that is 50 times bigger than some sombrero-wearing nonsense. I'll handle it later. BRAM You'll want to handle it now. JOSH What? BRAM The AP's got some sort of photograph. Something that took place in our hotel in Cleveland last week. JOSH Photograph? BRAM Of the Congressman's bed. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - HOTEL - DAY Santos is taking a picture with a group of men. Josh walks up and taps him on the shoulder to get his attention. JOSH I need a moment. He speaks to one of the Secret Service agents. JOSH Can you seal the elevator? They walk into the elevator. SANTOS Is this about Time Magazine? JOSH I'm working on that. Josh pushes a button and the doors close as they start to move. After they start moving, he pushes the emergency stop button to stop the elevator where it is. They look at each other for a moment. SANTOS Hi. JOSH Maybe Lou's right: maybe there is a coordinated effort to throw us off our game. Maybe it's Vinick, maybe it's the RNC. SANTOS Wait, what are you talking about? JOSH AP has a photograph of something that happened in Cleveland in your hotel bed. Is there anything you'd like to tell me? Santos looks resigned that Josh has figured out the secret. SANTOS His name is Bruce. He's a flight attendant on Aer Lingus. They've got a connecting hub out of Hamburg. You know, at first it was long walks along the Reeperbahn... Josh begins to laugh. JOSH I'm sorry. But I have to ask. SANTOS Geez. JOSH It's my job. I'm sorry. SANTOS Wait a minute. Josh hits the button and they begin to move. Santos rushes to the button and stops it again. SANTOS Cleveland? CUT TO: INT. - ROOM - NIGHT Josh, Bram, and Lou are in the room talking about the picture. LOU I don't understand what happened. BRAM He wouldn't let me in his room that morning. I should have suspected something. JOSH Box number three. Fifteen years I've been doing this, I've never been stuck in box number three. LOU Is anyone going to tell me what happened? BRAM He demolished his bed. LOU Demolished it? JOSH It was his wife's only night on the road. It was old, wooden bed; slats, hand-cranks, what have you. LOU Hand-cranks? JOSH And what have you. LOU Look, as much as I respect good craftsmanship, I'm still not clear about what happened. JOSH They broke it together, get it. Ned walks in and comes to Josh. He sets a piece of paper down on the table in front of Josh. Everyone gathers around it. NED The wire photo's out. LOU Oh, my. BRAM Hurricane Santos. JOSH You repeat that outside this room and I'll have you knocking on doors in Alaska, and not the urban part. Give me that. The guy's the next leader of the free world. I won't have us ogling his dirty... you know. NED The hotel proprietor claims the bed was steel-reinforced. Lou and Bram move closer to get a better look. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - NIGHT Josh and Lou are walking out of the room. Josh hands her a copy of the letter. JOSH We have a bigger problem than Helen's Ohio surprise. LOU He's been called up by the Marine Reserves for right after Labor Day. JOSH Two days of marksmanship and flight training. LOU Well bless his broken headboard. JOSH He's postponed it 41% of the time. LOU Postponed it? JOSH 41% of the time. LOU As in "I'll see you when I'm done with my essential government business"? JOSH As in "See you when it's politically convenient and no one in my family has a runny nose." If I'd had a full convention, I would have had the Marines in the parking lot digging foxholes. LOU You won't lift a finger against Beltway Arnie Vinick who never served and who flipped and flopped his way through 40 years of subcommittee hearings. JOSH I am not going negative. Not when people barely know who Santos is. LOU And a vacuum gets filled. That's why he's the swinging king of siesta. You won't even let him admit the obvious which is that the President screwed up on the security leak. That's why you're in this. JOSH The President is trying to take the politics out of it. LOU Then why not call a Special Prosecutor? Why won't Santos call for it? JOSH You're my new Communications director; you're supposed to help me solve this problem. LOU You're the problem; not some box on a grid, not the Marine Reserves. No negative campaigning, no outside opinions within five miles of the candidate, no deviation from some Jonestown-like obsession with your pals at the White House. JOSH Okay. He starts to walk away. LOU When are you going to stop drinking the Kool-Aid? He goes into the room. CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT C.J. and Margaret are walking and talking. C.J. I need Hobson at Treasury. They're worried about another currency devaluation in Argentina, and while I like a nice prime rib for 35 cents, the OAS ain't buying. MARGARET C.J. ... C.J. The message for Monday's bill signing? MARGARET Scheduling and Advance wants to stick with the little flags. C.J. Because this is America? MARGARET Yes. But... C.J. But I want an actual message. They have until tomorrow morning or I'm going to read them the riot act to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic." MARGARET Greg Brock is in your office. C.J. Why is Greg Brock in my office? MARGARET He walked in, he wouldn't leave. I didn't think you'd want me to call the Secret Service. C.J. Think again. She walks into her office where Greg Brock is waiting for her. C.J. We're both professionals. We're both under investigation by professionals. It's bad enough that you're plastered all over my call sheet and Congress has every scrap of paper aside from my half-finished crossword puzzles. Would you please leave this office before I call in an armored division? BROCK I have a question about daycare. C.J. Toby covered that in last week's briefing. We're deadlocked at 300 million. CBC's pushing for more after-school care. I don't think we'll get that out of committee. BROCK That's great, but Della's four and a half. Now she can live with her mom while I'm in prison, but her mom travels for her job. So why isn't there some federal voucher that you get your kids to come with you and get them into daycare wherever you go? C.J. Prison? BROCK I wouldn't talk to the Grand Jury. The judge held me in contempt. I report to Cumberland Minimum Security Prison tomorrow. It should be on Fox by now. C.J. You can appeal. BROCK He refused to stay the contempt; at least 18 months. I have to appeal from behind bars. You don't have to worry about your call sheet for a while. He moves to leave and C.J. stops him. C.J. Just name your source. He looks at her for a moment and smiles slightly. BROCK I always liked you in that suit. He walks away. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE. * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL - NIGHT Josh and Bram are walking. They come to a door and Bram opens it for Josh. BRAM He's already late for the State Party reception downstairs. Josh goes in. Santos is on the phone with Helen. Lou is seated at a table. SANTOS [into phone] No. ... No, Helen, I don't. ... No, I mean short of us crawling under there with a screwdriver and a roll of duct tape, I don't see how we could... Oh, yeah, 'cause I personally love the fact that it's in all the newspapers, and I... Honey, bring a sledgehammer with you when we meet in Michigan and we can... I got to go. He hangs up. SANTOS How many papers is this going to be in? JOSH It's all over the blogs and cable shows. Now the first tier press gets to cover the coverage. This is my fault. I should have pushed out more policy. I knew it'd be hard to hit back against this phony, superficial crap. LOU I don't think it's phony or superficial. These stories only stick when they confirm what people already think. And let's face it, nobody knows what to think. JOSH So, we deserve it? LOU You haven't given anybody an alternative formulation on who he is, so he's taking body blow after body blow. JOSH I'm trying to position him as the guy with the jobs... LOU How about positioning him as the guy with the spine? JOSH You want to hit back against Vinick? Get sucked back into the leak story? LOU I want him to beat back at the White House and get distance from them. JOSH The President's approval is at 66%. The leak has barely made a dent. LOU That's why he seems like his little infant cousin. I'm sure you've never even presented him with that argument. Santos walks over to a table, picks up a heavy book, and drops it on the table. Lou and Josh look over at him. SANTOS Okay. You want me to have a spine, you want me to be nice to my cousin. Let's talk about my Reserve drill. LOU You have to resign your commission, Congressman. JOSH Sir, she's right. LOU You can't show up after Labor Day when you've postponed your service five times in 13 years. It'll look like the mother of all staged photo-ops and we'll get killed in the press. SANTOS 'Cause I moved it around a few times? LOU 'Cause you're a Democrat who wears a uniform when it fits his schedule. SANTOS Oh, and never mind my 25 years of military service compared to Vinick's none. Never mind one of the most pro-military voting records in the Democratic Caucus. LOU Why'd you even leave active duty? You went to Annapolis for free. The taxpayers were supporting your military career. Your trench mates don't have a story to tell? SANTOS And by resigning, I'm saying what? LOU That you are ready to be President of the United States. That we have a civilian-led military and you are threw playing G.I. Joe. Bram comes in. Santos gets up and puts his jacket on. BRAM He really has to get to the State Party reception. JOSH Time Magazine has called twice; we're going to have to tell them something. SANTOS Tell them that if the country doesn't like my military records, I'll be the first one unemployed. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS PLANE - DAY 100 DAYS UNTIL ELECTION DAY We see Lou walking down one of the aisles carrying a bag. She comes into the next section and sits down next to Josh. Edie walks in behind her. LOU Tough press day. JOSH "Vinick's comments called into question the Santos campaign's unflinching support of the Bartlet White House, as Congressman Santos parried tabloid charges, and strained to articulate an economic message." Strained to articulate; it's like he was drooling into a cup. EDIE So Vinick won the day. JOSH Yeah, by walking five feet from his office while the Latin Luther Van Dross napped his way across the continent. LOU So now can we revisit the Bartlet question? JOSH Oh, hi. Let me introduce myself: I'm the problem. LOU I interpret the facts; I read the data; which is why you need me, and also why you resent me. I am not a Bartlet-ista and I'm not a Santos-ista. I am completely untethered to your cult of personality. JOSH Also known as ethics. LOU What is unethical about say Jed Bartlet is a great President; make way on Mount Rushmore. But in this one instance, in this lapse in security, he goofed. Someone in your White House goofed. JOSH Look, I read that data, too. No one thinks the White House goofed on this. It's a press obsession; a Vinick trick to get us on to issues we can't win on. LOU Do you think Vinick participated in last night's tracking poll? She hands him a piece of paper. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS' OFFICE - DAY Santos is seated. He is reading a tabloid paper titled "ORLANDO INQUISITOR." Josh knocks and comes in. JOSH It took us a couple hours to place Helen on the Cleveland trip. Remember, she came out as a surprise for... you. Anyway, that's why some of the stories imply that... He hands him the paper. SANTOS What is this? JOSH Polling question from last night's track. SANTOS "Was the President right to end his own investigation of the classified security leak? Yes, 27; No, 54; Don't know, 19." Are you suggesting I should criticize the President? JOSH I would never suggest that. But you asked me to run this campaign. I don't want you thinking I'm holding back the data. Santos gets up and walks back to where the press are seated. SANTOS Hi. I know you guys have got a job to do whether I like it or not, so I'm not going to pretend that the afternoon naps and the bedside shrapnel don't make for good news copy. So, I'm going to address this once, just this once, and that'll be the end of it, okay: No way was that bed steel-reinforced. He turns to leave. REPORTER Still no comment about the President stopping his investigation? He turns around to address them. Many of the reporters get their recorders out and some snap some pictures. SANTOS You know, if that were my White House I'd call in the FBI. I would do everything in my power to cooperate with both Congress and the Grand Jury. I'd play it by the law, not by politics. And, in case you haven't noticed, that's exactly what this President is doing. He walks away. CUT TO: EXT. - GREG BROCK'S HOUSE - DAY We see Brock leaving his house, surrounded by what appear to be Secret Service agents. A lot of reporters are outside and they start taking photographs. CUT TO: INT. - C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is at her desk watching Brock being escorted by the Secret Service agents. A female reporter is talking but can't be seen. REPORTER [VO][on TV] Certainly no one expected today's decision, which means that Greg Brock must report to jail immediately. That's right: he reports to Cumberland Minimum Security Prison in Maryland immediately. Without any appeal, without any time to take his case to a higher level... Toby comes in. C.J. Did you see? TOBY Yeah. C.J. I need Scheduling and Advance. TOBY Scheduling and Advance? Why? C.J. The Fisheries bill signing. They think our message should be a row of American flags. TOBY That was my idea. C.J. A row of flags? TOBY 'Cause he's the American president, and he's signing a bill into law, and as long as we're being investigated by two branches of our own government I don't see why we should be any more clever than that. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS PLANE - DAY Josh is looking at the polling data that Lou gave him. Lou comes over to talk to him. LOU I've been thinking about the reason I beat you in those three primaries. It's because you wouldn't pound your candidates like I did. This is too important to make it personal. JOSH It's different when you build a candidate from nothing, when you're the person he looks to for more than just shock therapy. Bram comes in from Santos's office. BRAM The Congressman wants you. Both Josh and Lou move to enter. BRAM Just Josh. Josh goes in. CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS'S OFFICE - PLANE - DAY Josh comes in. Santos is seated near a window. JOSH I appreciate what you said about the President today. I've been thinking about the Reserve drill. I think you should do it. Get the past postponements out today ahead of the letter. If they slam us for it, we'll deal... SANTOS Look out the window. He looks out the window. JOSH That's the Rocky Mountains. You turned the plane around? SANTOS We're going to Fort Worth. The Marine Commandant in Washington was my CO in the Gulf. He said I could get it out of the way right now if I wanted to. You know, I didn't have so much as a high school diploma in my gene pool. That commission is the reason I'm on this plane. I'm not giving it up. JOSH Before anyone in the press gets a chance to take a shot at us, the whole country sees you in uniform. SANTOS You'd better cancel our schedule for the next two days. JOSH Sorry about Lou before. She's got a lot to contribute but she should contribute it through me. Some of her ideas are a little extreme. SANTOS That doesn't mean I don't need to hear them. JOSH So you feel like you need her at the table. SANTOS I feel you do. Her, and a whole lot of others. JOSH But there has to be somebody in charge, somebody to filter out the knucklehead stuff. In the Bartlet campaign... SANTOS Jed Bartlet was in charge. You were right about the President, Josh. And Louise was right about leaving a vacuum. I need to hear it all. Bram knocks and comes in. SANTOS Yep. BRAM They're ready for that State briefing in the staff cabin. Bram leaves. Santos notices the board that is hanging on the wall. It has the three boxes that Josh drew. He grabs a marker from off the top of it. He draws a checkmark in each box. SANTOS We're going to beat him on security issues; we're going to beat him on domestic issues; we're going to beat him on trivia, too. He puts the marker back and we focus on the board with the three checks as he leaves. CUT TO: INT. - HANGAR - DAY NATIONAL GUARD TRAINING CENTER FORT WORTH, TEXAS We see Santos and two other Reserve men walking out to the planes. They are dressed in their flight suits and they are carrying their helmets. We see Santos walk over to the plane and put his helmet on. He climbs the steps and gets in the cockpit. The tech finishes fueling and removes the nozzle. The cockpit cover closes. The plane taxis out onto the runway as the voice of a female reporter can be heard. REPORTER [VO] The Santos campaign refused to comment on the drill, saying the candidate was taking care of a personal obligation and would return to his economic themes... CUT TO: INT. - HQ - DAY We see a shot of several TVs showing stories about Santos's drilling and training. MIKE DIACOVO [on TV] Personally I think it's a charade; a made-for-TV movie. Why do you think he stayed in the Reserve... SCOTT PIERCE [on TV] Vinick took a shot at the President. Maybe he's sincere about it, but Santos defends Jed Bartlet, and then says, "Hey, I don't... We pan into a conference room where Josh, Edie, Ned, Joey, Kenny, and Lou are discussing the poll and their numbers. JOEY [KENNY] We jumped four points on security in last night's poll. LOU What about the gender gap? JOEY [KENNY] Might want to use Congressman Cassanova in a TV ad. NED Half the press is calling it a stunt. JOSH Yeah, but all the press is running the footage. LOU When he goes on offense, he really goes on offense. JOSH Yeah, welcome to the cult of personality. Otto, I need that brochure copy on his military record. Edie, get Helen's schedule. We want her on the road with the Congressman at least three days when he gets back from Texas. Ronna, Ned, foreign policy events, best idea gets an extra fortune cookie. We pan out of the room as we follow Ned, who has gotten up to get something. We stop on a TV showing Vinick campaigning. A reporter is talking. REPORTER [on TV] But they are confidant that on national security and other issues, their candidate has a commanding advantage. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END. * * *