Season 7 – Episode 21 – “Institutional Memory”

Episode Summary:

Two weeks before the inauguration, CJ and the rest of the Bartlett administration consider what they will do next. CJ examines her relationship with Danny and considers whether or not to suggest to the President pardoning Toby.

Script:

Previously on The West Wing: You can do more in a day than most do in a lifetime.
You think I’m not aware I’m living my obituary right now? Kennedy School needs a new dean.
Everyone wants you.
Is today the day for this? How about Secretary of State? – You gonna go with Reynolds? – If I don’t get my first choice.
– Who’s that? – That would be you.
If I’m gonna jump off the cliff and you’re gonna get pushed off the cliff why don’t we hold hands on the way down? You could leave it here.
You know, on the off chance you’re back someday with bad breath.
You’re sweet.
What time is it? – Six forty-five.
– How did that happen? I thought maybe Barton’s tonight.
– For dinner? – Yeah.
– I have the Trade Commission.
– Okay.
– Did I say I was free? – Yeah.
I’m sorry.
I shouldn’t speak when I don’t have my book.
My sister’s in town tomorrow night.
– Wanna meet? – We’re finalizing the budget.
– Well, she’s here Thursday too.
– Intelligence review.
All right, I’m bailing on dinner.
– I’m sorry, this week is just – No worries.
– I feel bad.
I’d love to meet your sister.
– You would.
She’s like me, but with bigger teeth.
– This week is just – No is a perfectly acceptable answer.
– You gotta be able to ask, right? – I just feel bad saying no all the time.
– It makes me feel like a heel.
– So I shouldn’t ask? I should sit by the fire and wait for my booty call? Of course not.
It’s okay, I’m not turning it down, but it’s limiting.
You make it sound like I’m trying to avoid you.
– I didn’t say that.
– I don’t make booty calls.
You don’t make any calls.
– Kind of how it works out.
– What? You’re elusive.
Part of the draw.
You know what? It’s way too early for this.
– What? – It’s 6:45 a.
m.
Hey, I’m kidding.
– Are you? – Yeah.
Everybody take a breath.
Okay.
– I’m sorry.
– There’s nothing to be sorry about.
You’re right.
This will all be easier in two weeks.
– It really will.
– Come here.
Hi.
Tell Kuber I found 14 errors in 16 pages.
They should think about proofing these before they hit my desk.
– Would you like to take a walk? – What did you think was happening now? You could go across the street, get some breakfast.
– Maybe a scone? – I don’t want a scone.
– They have fruit.
– I’m not hungry.
It’s a nice day with fresh air.
You could have a little fun.
I have a schedule, right? We’re not pretending I have a job.
Like Dad, who no longer runs the company, but still shows up every day? It’s a full day, but not crazy.
You could say hello to Will Bailey.
Step aside.
Charlie and I were trying to get a jump on some filing.
We thought we’d have it cleaned up, but things got a little out of control.
– I’ve seen messy before.
– I don’t think you should go in.
– Yeah, I’m getting that.
– Seriously.
Margaret.
You’re not filing, you’re packing.
– Yeah.
– Yeah.
Okay.
Most of this is going to the archive.
A guy named Martine is supposed to pick it up.
– Don’t worry.
– We’re gonna move it somewhere but haven’t settled on where.
– Margaret – I shouldn’t worry.
– You shouldn’t.
Get Fred and Herb in.
– Nice, huh? – This is grim.
– Roosevelt Room in 10.
– What am I doing there? – A casual conversation about your future.
– Another one? We’re nearing the end of the list.
This is a guy from Hollis.
How about this is the end of the list? We cancel the rest send a “thanks, but no thanks.
” – Ten minutes.
– Job interviews? Headhunters waving stock options and corporate jets.
All I have to do is show up at the occasional board meeting.
– Why should I find that appealing? – They don’t know you’re a masochist.
– I like to work for a living.
Is it odd? – I get it.
– You must be getting these.
– Yeah.
Defense contractors mostly.
– You interested? – Maybe.
It’s hard to get excited about anything after this.
– Yeah.
– I’ve got a call with the Chinese defense minister at 4.
You should sit in.
Tell Margaret.
Hey, where’s your transition memo? – It’s coming.
– When? – Soon.
– Did you start it? Yeah, sure.
Final touches.
– I want it today.
– Absolutely.
– We were summoned? – You were.
I read the first half of the budget.
Couldn’t find the deficit reduction.
It shouldn’t be buried on page 600.
It should be up top.
– Is it on page 600? – No.
– Where is it? – There isn’t any.
– What do you mean there isn’t any? – There’s no The president wants deficit reduction in the budget.
I said it should be 50 percent.
We thought it was along the lines of “I’d like a pony.
” – Nobody actually expects to get the pony.
– I want the pony.
– Fifty percent reduction is unrealistic.
– It isn’t.
Go find revenue raisers and cost savers to cut the deficit in half, and then release it to White House, OMB and the agency senior staff this afternoon for comments.
We need to integrate everybody’s feedback.
– What? – You’re talking about doing work on a document nobody will ever read.
– It’s a formality.
– We’re leaving office.
– Really? – I don’t know where to find $ 150 billion.
I told you where you could.
Did we or did we not? – The tax proposed was massive.
– Was that your idea or the president’s? It was the president’s idea to cut the deficit.
It was my idea to propose doing so – With a massive increase – Stop saying massive.
We have to get jobs when we leave.
We can’t Do it! And send the damn thing out for departmental review.
Now.
– Okay.
– Yeah.
What? Wanted to see what the yelling was about.
– What, are you just walking around? – Senioritis.
Having a little trouble getting motivated.
I probably shouldn’t share that with the boss.
– Where’s your transition memo? – My epitaph? They’re important documents that make it possible for your successor to take the baton.
Write one.
Greg Thatcher’s moving over to State.
Santos made him an offer.
Wants to get started as soon as possible.
– Did he write? – I’ll deal with it.
Then I guess it’s okay.
He’s leaving Friday? Today, I think.
You should say goodbye or something.
Yeah.
Tell him to stop in.
– You’re needed in the Roosevelt Room.
– Call all 30 department heads.
Explain that when I said I needed the memos today, I wasn’t making a funny.
– Your Hollis meeting is right now.
– Give me five minutes.
Get him a Coke.
– We shouldn’t keep him waiting.
– He’s a headhunter.
I’m a highly placed official in what was once considered a fairly prestigious organization.
He can sit quietly and have a Coke.
It’s not a headhunter from Hollis, it’s Franklin Hollis.
Franklin Hollis is in the Roosevelt Room? – Yes.
– No, he’s not.
What do I get out of lying in this moment? Hollis is in the Roosevelt Room.
– Really? – There’s a guy in the Roosevelt Room looks just like Frank Hollis.
The hair, glasses, whole bit.
– It’s Frank Hollis.
– Really? He just bought an island.
And Montana.
He didn’t buy Montana.
He bought most of Montana.
– Oh, my God.
– Don’t stare.
– Can I meet him? – I wanna meet him.
Shouldn’t go in together, it’d look not cool.
What’s the last thing you did that looked cool? I touched his hand.
We shook.
– Now I’m uncomfortable.
– Tell him you want a piece of Montana.
– He’s not giving it away.
– What’s he gonna do with it? – Teeth? – You’re fine.
– Think that these numbers should be Okay, thanks, guys, I’ll catch up with you in the lobby.
– Yes, sir.
– Good morning, Mr.
Hollis.
– I’m C.
J.
Cregg.
– Call me Frank.
My dad had 200 shares of Hollis in 1992.
– Sold them.
– You’re kidding.
– Didn’t see it going anywhere.
– Think C.
J.
Goes to work for him? He probably wants a toady to make nice with the FCC.
I’m heading over to the D-Triple-C in a few minutes.
– They’re making you an offer? – I think so.
Will Bailey executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
– Sounds pretty good.
– Could be.
Nice place to work.
I get my hands in a lot of races without the water torture of any one race.
And I’d stay in Washington, which is nice.
– You think? – Yeah.
I mean, no pressure but I like the idea of giving the future an opportunity to unfold of its own accord.
– Our future? – Yeah.
I like that idea too.
I’m prepared to put together a fairly attractive package if you’re willing to – I’m not boring you, am I? – No, certainly not.
That doesn’t happen till I start in on nanotechnology.
No, I’m sorry.
I’m just familiar with the package these days.
Well, what does the package look like these days? You’re prepared to dramatically change my standard of living if I’m prepared to sit on your board and spend an hour a month advising you on your strategic relationship with the FCC.
That sounds like it’d be a waste of your time to me.
– It does? – That’s not the package.
– Okay.
– I’m starting a foundation.
Because if I hold on to all this money, I start to look impolite.
I wanna find a single problem I can attack something which might actually have some kind of substantive effect.
Maybe I should be fighting AIDS in Africa or maybe it’s malaria.
Could be clean air or election reform.
I don’t know.
But my sense is that you would have a unique perspective on what that could be and how to make it happen.
A single problem? It’s a complicated question Highways is what you’re looking for.
– Really? – It’s not sexy.
No one will ever raise money for it.
But nine out of 10 African aid projects fail because the medicine or the personnel can’t get to the people.
Infrastructure’s the problem.
Blanket the continent with highways, then maybe start on plumbing.
– Also not sexy.
– Makes for a lousy telethon.
It does.
Well, if you think that’s what needs fixing I’ll give you – Hey, Will, come on in.
– How goes it? Good.
Thanks.
Listen.
Andy Lowry, he’s gonna be calling you about tickets to the inaugural.
We’re out.
You guys probably are too, but I had to get him off my call sheet.
– I’ll see what I can dig up.
– Thanks.
So you gonna take some time off? – Go sit on a beach or something? – Maybe.
I thought about hiking the Appalachian Trail which I’ve always wanted to do, but don’t wanna do it in February.
If I sit around till May, when it’s warm, I’ll lose my mind.
– Well, weekend in Vegas.
– More likely.
Yeah, listen, we wouldn’t rush you.
The D-Triple-C, we’re dead until March anyhow.
It takes that long to recover from the inaugural.
So you come back when you’re ready help us put together a strategy for the board.
Which races you think you’re looking at? Maryland 3rd, North Carolina 1st.
Florida 15th’s gonna be a big one.
Oregon 4th? Heffinger’s stepping down? No.
There’s always the hope that we can unseat him but it’s a long shot.
I should take it off the list.
He’s a real son of a bitch.
If you can boot him, you should.
I ran Chulo’s campaign against him in ’94.
We lost by 15 points, but he’s one mean bastard.
Well, he’s got an iron grip on that district.
He hasn’t done a thing for them.
He’s barely a seat warmer.
Gotta be someone who can kick his ass.
– Yeah, but the question is who.
– I’m sure you’ll dig up someone.
You won’t find a sane person willing to pick a fight with Heffinger.
– Really? – No way.
I mean, go for it.
I love the attitude.
If you find me someone, we’ll run him.
I’m just not gonna hold my breath.
Illinois 5th should be exciting.
Looks like Faye Green wants to retire.
And there’s gonna be all kinds of craziness in Arizona.
How was it? Was he fascinating? He may not have people skills.
He’s used to talking to machines.
You can’t hold that against him.
I think you should consider it.
You can’t say no to everything.
At least think about it.
Oh, my gosh, you’re thinking about it.
– It was just a conversation.
– But it was interesting.
– Very.
– Hi.
– Andy.
– How are you? – It’s good to see you.
– I didn’t wanna interrupt.
I was in the building.
I thought I’d ask if you had a hole in your schedule.
I wish I could.
I’m a little slammed today.
– You can do it now.
– Really? – You have nothing now.
– I have nothing.
Come in.
– How are the twins? – Oh, amazing.
Inexhaustible.
We spend a lot of time arguing about socks.
– You’re pro, they’re con? – Oh, Molly’s con, Huck’s pro.
But never more than one at a time.
– God, they’re gorgeous.
– Yeah.
They get to spend more time with their dad, now that Toby’s not working.
That must be nice.
So presidential pardons.
‘Tis the season, right? It is.
Is Toby on a list somewhere? The DOJ and the Pardon Attorney are reviewing applications but I don’t think anybody’s had an opportunity to talk to the president.
– Are you planning to? – Bring it to the president? I know this is awkward, and he’s pissed off a lot of people including you, and, God knows, the president but he was attempting to save three astronauts suffocating to death in a tin can somewhere west of the moon – Yeah.
The Union for Concerned Scientists thinks he should get a medal.
So does the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability the Arms Control Advocacy Collaborative the Council for a Livable World.
– Andy Did you read the New York Times Magazine? – There’s a petition.
– I saw it.
Thousands of names, C.
J.
People who think it’s time for Bartlet to come home to his base and acknowledge that carpeting the heavens with nukes is a crappy idea.
I know the president was angry.
He has every right to be.
But we’re talking about prison.
Maybe the president’s calmed down.
I’d like you to talk to him about it.
I’ll see what I can do.
He was your friend for a long time.
I’ll see what I can do.
– You should get going.
– Yeah.
– Did you call Charlie? – He’s on his way.
Herb told me to tell you the budget went to department heads an hour ago.
He didn’t want me to check the changes before it went? I think he didn’t.
– He’s a little turd.
– I’ll let him know.
This is the preliminary list.
They’re finalizing their recommendations.
This didn’t go to the president yet? No, they’ll send it to him in the next day or two.
This is the people who actually applied for pardon.
The president can add names, but I don’t think he’s added any.
– This is everyone who applied? – They’ve cut some already.
– They’ve been through it.
– Did you see the earlier lists? – I’ve got copies.
– You read them? – Yeah, but I don’t remember every name – Toby Ziegler? Never appeared on a list.
– Which means he didn’t apply.
– Nope.
If the president wanted to commute his sentence, he could.
– He can do whatever he wants to.
– Yeah.
– Is he asking about it? – The president? He isn’t.
– Are you? – I don’t know.
– It’s a tough call.
– Yeah.
Thanks.
Anything serious, you can find me at the president-elect’s office.
I can’t imagine this taking longer than 15 minutes.
They asked for a CV.
– The Santos people? – Yes.
– They asked for my resume? – Yes.
– Hi.
– Should I send them a list of references? – No, you shouldn’t.
– I’d be happy to speak on your behalf.
– To the Santos people? – They really shouldn’t need references.
They’re offering me a job, purely as a courtesy which I’ll pretend to consider, purely as a formality.
There are some mistakes in the budget draft that went out.
– You read it already? – Yeah.
– It’s 800 pages.
– Okay, I didn’t.
But Lucy Benoit did, and she’s got crazy stories.
Who’s Lucy Benoit? New reporter, business desk at the Times.
– What happened to Jack? – Shingles.
– Really? – Raging.
Shingles doesn’t force a man into retirement.
Tax fraud is, I think, the real story.
Shingles is a cover.
If I’m in the market for a cover, I’d pick something that’s not – Viral? – Yeah.
Any port in a storm.
I’m going across the street.
– Will you be sad you don’t have a coat? – I’m fine.
– So Who-sy Benoit.
– Lucy, yes.
She seems to think we’re proposing a 50-cent-per-gallon gas tax which, I assume, must be a mistake.
Why does a reporter have a budget I haven’t released yet? Seventy-three department heads have it.
They’ve had it for less than two hours.
Don’t you think they’d wanna read a page before leaking? No, since she’s not the only one with a question.
– Can I tell her it’s a mistake? – You can’t.
– Because we’re not talking about it yet? – That too, but it’s also not a mistake.
Fifty cents a gallon? You don’t mean five cents? – I don’t.
– That’s insane.
You know how many people you’re gonna piss off? Many, many.
Why does the president wanna stir up animosity two weeks before we leave office? – Because he’s old and dotty? – He has a reason.
– He does.
– But we’re not ready to discuss it.
– We’re really not.
– I will kill the rumors.
– Yeah.
Kill whoever’s blabbing.
Because we’re not ready to release it.
– It’s really cold out here.
– I told you to wear a coat.
Hey.
– What do you think about Tony Sharkey? – From Treasury? His wife is younger than his daughter, but otherwise he’s okay.
You think he gets anywhere against John Heffinger? Oregon 4th? Probably not.
D-Triple-C’s afraid to run anybody against Heffinger, they’re wimping out.
If Sharkey’s their option, I see their point.
Tony Sharkey’s my opening salvo.
I’m asking if you’ve got anybody better.
– From Oregon? – I was thinking maybe Ina Horton but she keeps publishing articles on eminent domain that make her sound a little like Mao Tse-tung.
Paul Kravitz is from Oregon.
He put together our immigration plan.
He’d scare Heffinger’s pants off.
Also, Gil Siverly’d be great.
– You’ve been very helpful.
– No problem.
– Hello.
– Hi.
I believe I’m here to see the president-elect.
Great.
What’s your name? – C.
J.
Cregg.
– Miss Cregg.
Ronna Beckman, we met in Pittsburgh.
– Good to see you.
– Nice to see you.
The president-elect is finishing a call.
– Can I take your coat? – Sure.
– Hey.
– Gil Siverly.
– How’s it going? – Good.
Thanks for coming by.
Wow, people are packing up, huh? – Weird, isn’t it? – Sure is.
Have a seat.
– The DOE must be in boxes too, right? – Well, the secretary’s on his way out.
We assumed that Santos would want a new staff what with his education program and all.
But so far, they’re asking a lot of us to stay put.
Were you ready to move on? I’ve been at Department of Education for six years.
A change won’t be the worst thing in the world.
Ever think about running for office? Really? D-Triple-C thinks John Heffinger’s seat in the Oregon 4th is ungettable.
– I think they’re wrong.
– Heffinger’s been there for 15 years.
– I mean, they love him.
– They know him.
Nobody loves him.
– Be a nasty fight.
– The best ones are.
I don’t know.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Heffinger is an idiot, and he’s probably corrupt but I don’t wanna move back home and spend the next two years of my life begging money from everybody I know just so I can get my ass handed to me.
I think you’re underestimating the voters.
We’ve been running dead fish against Heffinger the last 10 years.
We put someone with a heartbeat in the ring, he’s going down.
If it was anybody other than Heffinger Yeah.
Let’s talk about you coming to work for me.
Sir, I’m so flattered that you’d even consider it but Josh is gonna do a terrific job as chief of staff.
Of course he is.
I’ll be available to answer questions on the phone anytime.
You don’t need to create an emeritus position just to keep me as a resource.
Who said anything about an emeritus position? Sir, you’re a true gentleman I appreciate – This isn’t a courtesy call, it’s an offer.
– Seriously? – Institutional memory is an invaluable commodity.
I’m not dumb enough to think we should be reinventing the wheel.
Your name comes up at the top of every must-hire list we’ve made.
We’re going to take office in the middle of a military incursion you helped launch.
We don’t just want you, we need you.
The Russians are more willing to talk now than they were before the election.
Between Josh and your Secretary of State the situation will be well-supervised.
I don’t think you have anything to worry about.
My Secretary of State’s gonna be Arnold Vinick.
What? I’m waiting a couple of days to announce it, but he’s onboard.
– Arnold Vinick? – He’ll be a huge help with Central Asia but it’s a big job, and I don’t want it taking over my presidency.
We’ve got a cabinet to break in, a legislative program to sell Sir, I never entertained the notion I’d stay in the White House.
– I’ve been here a long, long time – Give me two years, C.
J.
Just until we get things settled.
Special counselor to the president? – Sir, l I wish that I could – I’m sorry, we’ve got to I’d love to talk to you more about this but they’ve kind of got me on a sprint today.
I see I’m gonna have to make this fast and dirty.
I’m the president-elect, and I’m asking you to help your country.
I’m probably not gonna take no for an answer.
So you go home and you think about it, and call me back with a yes.
Thanks for coming in, C.
J.
– Hey, there you are.
– Yes.
I asked you to be on the phone with the Chinese defense minister.
– We’ll need you to make the call.
– Okay.
Signal will put it through, he wants to feel like we’re approaching him.
– So don’t say “thanks for calling.
” – Got it.
Transition memos.
– These are all of them? – So far.
– There’s supposed to be 30, this is three.
– More to come.
– Is yours in this pile? – Not yet.
Soon.
What exactly is the problem? You may be asked to stay on, you may not.
You may get promoted.
Other people are coming in and need to know where to find the pencils.
They need to know what your staff was up to or finishing or starting.
They need to know how to do what you do.
This is an important part of governing.
We’re still governing.
Why is this like pulling teeth? – You’ll have it by the end of the day.
– Thank you.
Are you okay? I think I just got an offer I can’t refuse from Matt Santos.
That’s great.
That’s not great.
You’ve been here two years.
It looks different on the far side of eight.
Still.
Nice to get the offer.
They’ll be approaching you soon, I’m sure.
Sure.
What do you think happens if I ask the president to commute Toby Ziegler’s sentence? – Are you gonna ask him? – I don’t know.
– Really? – I’m asking for your opinion.
My opinion is he compromised a crucial defense-department program.
He undermined the president’s authority.
He committed a federal offense.
He goes to jail.
He’s got young children, who for the next five years will look at him in an orange jump suit across an aluminum picnic table.
And don’t get me wrong, l I’m furious at him.
I wanna kick him in the stomach a few times but I don’t want him to rot in the federal pokey.
It’s not your decision, it’s the president’s.
– If he wants to pardon him, he will.
– So I don’t even bring it up? If you want to, bring it up but I don’t think this slipped the president’s mind.
Yeah.
– Did Toby apply? – No.
He may not wanna put the president in a position.
– I’m sure he doesn’t.
Still – You should talk to him at least.
No matter what you do, give him a call.
Yeah.
– Have you spoken? – To Toby? No.
Not since he left.
– Hi.
– Hi.
– Bye.
– Yes.
– Got a few minutes? – Right now? – Yeah, can I kidnap you? Quick lunch? – It’s a little late for lunch.
– You eat already? – I didn’t.
– See? You gotta eat.
Come on.
– I have a packed day.
We’ll make it quick.
Very snappy.
Come on, l I wanna It’s important.
– Got a minute? – Of course.
The Santos people offered national security advisor to Glen.
– Really? – Yeah.
– And he’s saying yes? – Yeah.
– Damn.
– I know.
I knew it was a long shot and I’m young for it, but still – You wanted it.
– They’ll offer you something else.
– Not under Glen.
He can’t stand me.
– He’s probably scared of you.
– Whatever.
He’s not giving me a job.
– That sucks.
– It sucks a lot.
How’d it go at D-Triple-C? Nice offer, but it could be a little crazy-making.
It’s already monopolized my whole day.
I got stuck on this one race that they think can’t be won and I do.
– Which one? – Oregon 4th.
I thought if I could find the right guy, they’d get behind the idea but as it turns out, there’s a real dearth of ballsy Oregonians.
Open it up.
Find somebody good.
They can establish residency in Oregon.
Sure, they buy a house 180 days before the primary and they’re in.
But then we’re running a carpetbagger against a 15-year incumbent.
Yeah, but it’s better than nothing.
What if Oregon weren’t a factor? Place needs a fresh face.
Somebody smart, but not so wonky you can’t put him in front of a camera.
Don’t worry about that.
Find someone you like.
You can always coach them through talking on the camera.
After the press-secretary stint you have that down.
– More or less.
God knows you know all there is to know about policy and campaigning.
You could push a monkey through the process.
Between your Washington experience and your local-politics experience No.
That doesn’t make any sense.
– Yeah, it does.
– It doesn’t.
– I’m not moving to Oregon, for one thing.
– Of course you are.
– I’m not.
We’re – We’re what? – You’ll win.
You should run.
– No, I won’t – It’s the right thing.
– No, seriously.
You’ll win.
– You could – What? – Move to Oregon? – I don’t know.
– I’m not moving to Oregon.
– I’m not moving either.
No, I think you are.
– You cold? – I’m fine.
You’re racing there.
Wanna slow down? Sorry.
I wanna get there, so we can eat and get back.
There’s no place.
There’s a vendor up the block.
We’ll have a hot dog.
Great.
So, what was so important? – What? – You said it was important.
– It’s this.
The walk.
The day.
– That’s it? You’re locked up in that building all day.
It was gorgeous out here.
I thought you should see it.
I have a packed day.
That’s really sweet, but today is not the time for it.
– Okay, sorry.
– No, it’s okay.
It might do us good to see each other in the daylight.
We’re together from 11 to midnight or 5 to 6 a.
m.
We’re both half asleep.
It leads to a lot of tension that’s probably unnecessary like this morning, for example.
I thought it might be a healthy 20 minutes.
You can tell me about your day.
My day.
Yeah.
Franklin Hollis showed up in my office with the most attractive offer I think I’ve ever heard, which I believe I’ll have to turn down because I had a meeting with the president-elect and it looks like I’m gonna work in the White House a couple more years.
I don’t see a guy with a hot dog.
– Did you say yes? – To Santos? Not yet.
Probably tomorrow.
That’s great.
Just What? Did you consider talking to me about it? – Are you serious? – Yeah, I’m serious.
– No, I didn’t.
– That’s great.
– We don’t have that relationship yet.
– Apparently.
What made you think you should be making decisions about my career? One, I’m not, I’m trying to be a part of a conversation about them.
Two, if we don’t have that kind of relationship, what kind do we have? I don’t I don’t wanna answer that question right now.
We agreed to discuss this after the inauguration.
– Not if you’re working for Matt Santos.
– You know what? First 100 days, agenda setting, first State of the Union.
Talk to me after we release the budget, summit at Tashkent.
– What else? – Okay We keep shoving this conversation downstream.
At some point, you have to choose to have a relationship.
We’re not 25 anymore.
At our age, you can’t date a little and screw a little, wait to see if you get sentimental at Christmas.
You have to decide you’re gonna make another person a part of your life.
A partner.
– I don’t have time for this right now.
– Yes, you do.
I called Margaret before I came by.
I’m not a moron.
I called, and you have You’re not the busiest girl in America.
That’s not your life anymore.
Look I’m not trying to turn you into Doris Day.
I know if we have a future together, I’d be Mr.
C.
J.
Cregg.
That’s fine.
But you don’t even see me in the picture, do you? Thank you.
That’s useful information.
– The president-elect needs to talk to you.
– Now’s not the best time.
I tried to push it, but he’s already in the building.
Fine.
– Sorry.
– It’s fine, but I have to go through the federal budget with a lice comb.
It’ll take hours.
That’s why we left room in the schedule.
This is not a quiet day.
It’s a full day.
He’s here.
– Mr.
President-Elect.
– Walk with me to the Situation Room.
– Fifty cents a gallon? – You read our budget? – Supposed to be a placeholder document.
– Paperweight, yes.
You’re proposing a tax that would hammer the working poor and make Democrats look like Norwegian socialists.
It’ll cut the deficit, improve air quality reduce greenhouse gases, curb our addiction to Middle East oil.
– There’s a way to sell an upside.
– Of course there is.
Senate Republicans will set their hair on fire.
The president wanted to present a road map for reasonable governing.
– Road map? For the country or me? It’s what he would’ve done if he didn’t have to mudwrestle Congress over every – Congress isn’t going anywhere.
– It opens a dialogue – C.
J.
, now is not the time.
Now is exactly the time.
We’re hemorrhaging money into Kazakhstan.
The Republican Congress spent us into a bottomless hole.
– I noticed.
– You’ve got 100 days to corral House Democrats and launch a legislative program that balances the budget or you’re gonna spend the next four years in the shadow of our failures.
I’m not arguing on limits on deductions.
You got 100 billion in spending cuts that I’m all for.
But come on Congress will reject your first budget unless the Bartlet version is so inflammatory, yours can’t help but look reasoned and measured.
Why not go after capital gains? Or up the income ceiling on Social Security taxes if you wanna raise a ruckus? – He’s talked about that for five years.
– Yes, but He’s never even considered a gas tax before.
Was this even his idea? – The president supports – Yes or no.
If we propose a 50-cent gas tax it’s a non-event if you propose a 5-cent tax.
Jed Bartlet just saved you $30 billion.
You mean, you just saved me $30 billion.
– Well – You’re not wrong.
It’s a good idea.
How long did it take you to talk him into it? More than five minutes, less than 20.
If your staff can’t get you onboard faster, they don’t know what they’re talking about.
That’s a good rule of thumb.
We’re not trying to leave a dead cat on your doorstep.
A gas tax increase may be the single best thing that could happen to this country.
– Yeah.
Tell the president I’d appreciate it if he pulled it from his budget.
You think it’s worth doing? Come work for me.
We’ll do it together.
Good evening, sir.
Mind if I take a quick look? All clear.
Thank you.
– Thanks.
– It’s not a gift.
I need a drink.
– Would you like to sit? – I sit all day.
– Should I be feeding you or just booze? – Booze is fine.
I can’t eat today.
– You sure? I made a chicken.
– No.
So how are you? Oh, groovy.
– When do you go? – Twenty-sixth.
– What have you been doing? – Cooking this chicken took some time.
I read a lot.
I’ve read really all the books at this point.
– Anything good? – I’ll make you a list.
I read the Constitution.
I think I found a typo.
– In the Constitution? – Yeah.
– Did you call the publisher? – It’s a typo in the original.
– Constitution? – Yeah.
– Sounds unlikely.
– I read two versions because I have time, and there’s an inconsistent comma.
– No.
– So I looked at every English language publication that exists.
Half of them have the comma, half of them don’t.
– Really? – Yeah.
I called the National Archives and had some woman look at the original.
She said she wasn’t sure if it was a comma or a smudge.
– There’s a smudge? – Yeah, a smudge of law.
Does it change the? Changes the meaning of the Takings Clause.
– Seriously? I’m sure it doesn’t.
– I called Tom Merrill, he thinks it does.
– Really? Should we do something? – I’m gonna write it up.
I have a window in the calendar.
It’s Petersburg, right? Yeah.
Low security.
Which certainly outshines the alternatives but still – Yeah.
– Bunks.
Ten in a room.
– Like camp.
Exactly, like camp.
I’m sorry.
– Maybe we should try to do something.
– Dig a tunnel? Andy came by.
She mentioned the idea of a pardon.
She and I need to have a conversation about who talks to whom concerning my future.
– She’s worried about the twins.
For a moment, I thought you came because you gave a crap and wanted to see how I was doing.
I gave a crap enough to ask if you wanted a pardon despite the fact that you walked out on me and the president while we still had a job to do.
You don’t need a pardon, just a frying pan to the side of your head.
– I don’t want a pardon.
– Well, that simplifies matters, thanks.
You don’t wanna consider what this’ll do to Molly and Huck? You think I haven’t? Okay.
– And you? They must be flocking.
– Yeah.
– Well, that’s gotta feel pretty good.
– Frank Hollis made me an offer.
– Yeah? – But so did Matt Santos.
– Well, he has to.
– No.
It’s a serious offer.
He made me an offer he made Arnold Vinick an offer.
– Secretary of State.
– He did not.
He did.
That might be the smartest thing he’s done.
– Impressive, huh? – You’d be a get too.
Are you gonna do it? Probably.
I I don’t know.
It’s complicated.
Why? Danny Concanon.
– I heard something about that.
– We’ve spent time together which is perfectly nice, but he’s getting ahead of himself.
I mean, I’m not ready to shape my life around a guy I’ve been with for a month.
You didn’t pick him up in a bar last Thursday.
You’ve been close for eight years.
That doesn’t mean it magically falls into place once we take the leap.
What? I’m not resisting.
– You’re not? – I’m not a woman who can’t handle a good thing standing in front of them.
– Good.
– Why don’t you sound convinced? You spend your whole life working for powerful, demanding men 24/7.
That’s a lot of testosterone in your world.
– Which has what to do with anything? – You didn’t need to date.
You had Josh and Sam and me and 180 reporters flirting with you day in and day out.
– Come on.
– It’s a lot of positive male attention.
Now you’re slotting in Matt Santos, maybe Frank Hollis.
So, what? You think this is a Freudian temper tantrum? You showed up here at 8:00 at night with a bottle of wine asking me about a pardon we both know is out of the question telling me about a man who’s crowding you.
– I think a lot of things.
– You think I came to take advantage before they cart you off? – I think you don’t know why you came.
You’re a woman with a lot of options.
You’re acting like the world’s backing you into a corner.
Bouncing from one thing to the next, from Bartlet to Santos to Danny to me.
Maybe you should stop bouncing, pick something.
What do you want? I don’t know.
I’d like to learn how to make a chicken like that.
Stick a lemon up it and throw on some rosemary.
– Yeah? – Yeah.
A little salt.
I’d like to learn how to ski.
That would be soothing.
Be a ski bum.
Operate the ski chair for six months.
– Clear my head.
– It’s a chair lift.
Well, first I’d learn the lingo.
Take it from there.
I missed you.
Yeah.
We had it good there for a while.
Yeah, we did.
You should go.
– You kicking me out? – Yeah.
Okay.
– Thanks for asking about the pardon.
– Of course.
No, not of course.
You didn’t have to.
Where to? Good evening, sir.
– Thank you, sir.
– Thank you.
I missed the window.
That’s what’s going on here.
I missed the window to figure out how to do this.
– How to? – Share my life with another person.
How to be a partner or whatever condescending way you put it this – I wasn’t trying – I don’t know how to do it.
Maybe at one point I did, maybe I never did but it’s over now.
It’s too late.
This and skiing, it’s too late.
It’s not gonna happen.
– C.
J – You said yourself it’s not an accident that this hasn’t come together.
This is who I am.
I’m good at my job, Danny.
I’m good at working.
I’m not good at this.
You’re right.
You suck at it.
You’re gonna need a tremendous amount of training.
– You’re not gonna – I am, actually.
– Train me? – I’ll call it something else that’s bad.
We’ll deal with it.
– I don’t need training.
– No, of course not.
– That’s not funny.
– No, it isn’t.
You’re gonna get good at it.
We’re gonna get good at new things.
– You don’t know that.
– I do.
– Don’t make it sound like it’s nothing.
– You didn’t miss it.
– What if I did? – You didn’t miss it.
– What if we can’t? – We’ll figure it out.
All of it.
– You – You can be scared.
No, that’s okay.
But you’re not gonna walk away from me because you’re scared.
I’m not that scary.
So do you want me to take one of the board of directors jobs? – A couple hours a month.
– Where did that come from? I’m trying.
You You wanna be involved.
– I’m I’m – I want you to do what you want.
Take the job at the White House.
Just talk to me about it.
I want us to talk about what it’ll mean, and how it’ll work.
I want us to talk like we’re gonna figure it out together.
I want us to talk because I like the sound of your voice.
I just wanna talk.
Franklin Hollis wants me to take $ 10 billion and go and fix the world.
That sounds like fun.
Does that sound like fun to you? Do you wanna work at the White House? (CJ shakes her head no)
There’s a typo in the Constitution.
Well, someone should look into that.
Toby’s gonna deal with it.
Okay.
What else?

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