West Wing Continuity Guide

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Warning: Spoilers

Note on the nature of Spoilers:
Spoilers are often taken from first drafts of scripts and those are often not the shooting script and even when you see a shooting script, that can be changed by the director during shooting and then changed again by the editing of the episode. No one here makes any guarantee that the information presented will remain in the episode exactly as presented.

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November 2, 2005 - On the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" today Jimmy Smits said about the "Live Debate",
"They're preparing us as if we are doing a debate. We have these position papers: what the Democratic Party would say, what the Republican Party would say, what out characters.... He's [Alan Alda] taking it really seriously... We get two shots to do it, East Coast and West Coast...."
October 23, 2005 - "barmyarmy" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
Spoilers from #711:
  • Teaser - CJ and Danny are having dinner
  • We join a page into the teaser. Danny is telling CJ that dignity isn't his forte. They agree to order and CJ waves the waitress over. The waitress asks if they would like to hear the specials; Danny's all 'sure' but CJ wants to know if the waitress is just going to read them off a list. She asks if they can read them themselves to save the waitress from having to 'perform'. The waitress seems a bit perturbed by this but claims it's fine and leaves.
  • CJ marvels at her having a night out and says it's like a week in Aruba. Danny helpfully points out that it's cold and dark. CJ misses the joke and tells Danny not to try and make her relax as 'relaxing makes me nervous'. Danny suggests that they get a drink. CJ declines and asks why Danny asked to see her. Danny is surprised that CJ wants him to cut to the chase so quickly; she claims that the sooner she knows, the sooner she can react and then the sooner she can relax which is what Danny wants.
  • Danny cracks that he's suffering from a little performance anxiety.
  • 20 pages later and CJ is meeting with the French Ambassador, Jacques Ormand. They are discussing the situation in the Sudan. CJ wants to undermine financial support for the Sudanese government by placing sanctions on them. Ormand points out that this will create a massive humanitarian crisis. CJ agrees but suggests that formal condemnation from the European Union and student protests are yet to achieve anything. She also points out there is sufficient domestic support in France for firm action with which Ormand agrees. CJ dangles the prospect of supporting French arms sales to China in exchange for the French introducing a resolution at the UN. Ormand points out that the Chinese will veto (the resolution not the arms sales).
  • They discuss whether NATO could do the peacekeeping job before Ormand says that he thinks an African problem requires an African solution. CJ claims that that's not working and it's time everyone helped to clear up a situation they all allowed to happen. Ormand is affronted. He suggest the issue isn't purely humanitarian as far as the United States is concerned. He blames the US for implementing and supporting the government in the first place. CJ concedes that the government has been a great source of intelligence on Islamic extremism but describes the US's support as a calculation. Ormand wonders if the money American companies are still making by trading with killers on the New York stock exchange is also a calculation. He tells CJ that France cannot introduce a UN resolution so obviously aimed at the Chinese and since the US is fond of calling itself the leader of the free world maybe it's time for them to lead.
  • End of Act 1
  • 7 pages later and CJ is on the phone with Danny. She shouts 'Get off now mister' and Margaret comes in to see if she's ok. She claims she is and send Margaret out again. As CJ closes the door she realises that the cord is caught round Gail's bowl and is about to pull it onto the floor. She drops the phone and grabs the fish bowl. Margaret re-enters to see CJ hugging the fishbowl with the phone on the floor. Margaret cracks that CJ obviously wants her privacy! She tells CJ that Steve Lausen from refugee's rights is here. CJ asks for a minute before Margaret sends him in. She hangs up the phone, re-positions the fishbowl and goes to call Steve in.
  • Steve gets straight to the point asking CJ if she's aware of the attacks on the displacement camps. CJ is. Steve asks why there has been no official response yet from the administration. Steve starts reeling off figures about numbers killed. He accuses CJ of letting it happen on 'your watch'. He asks for strong pre-emptive action led by the Bartlet administration. CJ points out that the logical extension of this is 10 years of US nation building in a part of the world where 'many consider us infidels'. Steve isn't convinced by this and asks when stopping genocide became na´ve. He just wants his nation to assert what little is left of her moral authority. CJ tells him that the White House is monitoring the situation carefully. Steve demands 5 minutes with the President but CJ tells him he just had it and she's late for a meeting.
  • She walks into Margaret's office, who lets her know that she is meeting the German ambassador in the Mural Room when she gets back. CJ says great and asks Margaret to arrange a meeting with Doug Westin for that night. Alone.
  • End of Act 2
  • Start of Act 3 — CJ is meeting Ambassador Franz
  • CJ and Franz are discussing the situation in the Sudan. CJ notes that as long as oil revenues flow into Khartoum the humanitarian situation will continue to deteriorate. She wants the German's to produce a UN resolution. Franz points out that the Chinese will veto any such resolution. CJ isn't convinced.
  • Franz also points out that CJ already asked the French to do it without success. He asks CJ why the US is unwilling to introduce such a resolution herself.
  • CJ jumps to the moral high ground and claims that right now the US is doing everything they can to prevent WW3 in Kazakhstan and are concerned about the Sudan as well. Franz tells her to focus on humanitarian needs then. He tells her that it is crazy to mix human rights with oil exports. She offers him the same deal she offered the French over arms sales to China. A note says that Franz is interested. He is worried about the effect of sanctions on a Diesel Electric plant currently being built by the Germans. CJ tells him not to worry — it will be factored in. He agrees to CJ's request and notes that she is very persuasive. He wonders how she will persuade the Chinese not to veto. CJ says that she can be very persuasive. Cut to CJ's meeting with Doug. Doug asks CJ is she knows what the first thing he's going to do after 'they declare me the winner?' CJ doesn't know. He says that he's going go to ask for a recount. Clearly Doug finds this a lot funnier than CJ does.
  • 15 pages later and Josh and Will are meeting in the Roosevelt Room. Josh asks Will for a list of Schedule C employees who would be willing to take unpaid leave and campaign. Will promises to put a list together. Josh requests the 'least humiliating public speakers possible'
  • CJ leans in and informs Josh that the President is flying to Austin to announce it will be the new home of the nation's first Molecular Transport Lab. She wonders if Santos would like to join the President. Josh gives a sarky answer resulting in CJ telling him to 'go to hell'. Cut to CJ's office. She's watching Steve Lausen talking on CNBC. Steve tells the anchor that he is embarrassed that the US is content to stand by and watch and let other countries lead when it comes to the key moral questions of our time. He goes on to say that the US has called it genocide but refused to lead.
  • Kate enters and asks CJ how her conversation with Liz went. CJ describes it as very odd. Kate confirms that 'you didn't tell her' and CJ replies that she didn't feel she had to. Kate asks CJ if she wants to get some food and discovers that CJ has a date with Danny. She offers to walk CJ out but CJ tells her to 'go ahead' as she has to talk to the President. She tells Kate that the stories going to break and that it's going to be terrible and that she wants him to hear it from her. Margaret knocks to tell CJ that the President is ready for her. Kate leaves, CJ walks towards the Oval and we cut to CJ's date with Danny. She's telling him how men are like salmon; 'swimming upstream, hosing down the riverbed with their indiscriminate seed.' Danny interrupts her to repeat 'indiscriminate seed' but she continues anyway, 'until they die bloated and spent, belly up in the sun.' Danny wants CJ to quit sweet-talking him. CJ suggests that men like salmon actually deserve to be taken out by a bear paw at the waterfall. Danny surmises that she's having some trust issues. CJ's friend the waitress approaches and asks what CJ's dessert policy is? CJ doesn't get it straight away but realises the waitress is talking about her reading the specials. CJ says she would quite like to be spared the monologue. The waitress says she'll get them some more water followed by 'Oh gee, I'm sorry. I'll shut up and leave now.' CJ reckons the waitress hates her guts; Danny agrees that she does a bit. CJ apologises about the other night leading Danny to ask why?
  • That's it although I would guess from the circular composition of the episode this would be the last scene.
  • I reckon thats 25% of the episode btw.
October 21, 2005 (2nd post)- "Domer02" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
"I just read through the sides. Lots of stuff with the French and the Germans and a waitress who CJ manages to get to loathe her in about 2 seconds.

Most Interesting:
- "It seems that the relationship between CJ and Josh is still very tensioned.

- "I think that little Dougie Weston might be a bit of a player. CJ wants to meet with him alone. Then, later on, Kate asks her how the meeting with Liz went. She asks if she told her, and CJ said she didn't think it was her place to. Cj then says that the story is going to break and it is going to be really terrible for the President so she wants to be the one to tell him. She goes to enter the Oval and then it cuts to her and Danny eating and her saying how "Men are like salmon, Swimming upstream, hosing down the riverbed with their indescriminate seed..."

- "Danny apparently has something important he wants to talk to CJ about."
October 21, 2005 (1st post)- "biakbiak" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum
"Danny... shows up in episode 11. The sides are up at Now Casting and he and CJ are out on a dinner date, so I imagine that they start to lay the seeds for them renewing their relationship."
October 18, 2005 - "mgoshawk" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum information about 2005-Sept-16-20: Today was a long shooting day.:
"I played a reporter covering the presidential campaign of the character Senator Vinick in the episode, "Al Smith." So the scenes I was in involved actors Alan Alda (Vinick), Ron Silver, and Patricia Richardson (as Vinick's aides.)"

Later: "I worked on 'The West Wing' all day yesterday on the episode, "The Al Smith Dinner." It was a long day and they had me playing:
  • A reporter covering the Toby Ziegler trial (I'm the reporter closest to Ziegler when he steps out of the car.)
  • A Santos campaign staffer (look for the light brown corduroy coat)
  • A Santos reporter (I'm the one that Jimmy Smits is talking to during the video interview.)
"They get away with doing that by having me wear different clothes for each one and wearing/not wearing my glasses."
October 17, 2005 - "Uppy" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to Post-Gazette.com in which we learn that Toby will appear in several more episodes:
"Schiff said he's contracted for 11 episodes this year, and other actors will also appear in fewer episodes to accommodate a smaller budget that resulted from lower ratings. At the same time, he and other cast members will get the same pay for the episodes they are in as they have in the past."
October 15, 2005 - "johnnyd80" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum:
Spoilers for 7.10 "Running Mates"
  • We begin on page 9 at the Santos home as Donna (now working under Lou Thornton in the Santos/McGarry Communications Dept...) finishes a conversation with Matt. Helen and the Santos kids emerge from the house and the kids run to go hug Daddy. The press corps has a field day with the photo op of Santos being a good father. Helen tells her husband the kids aren't feeling well. Apparently, they both have colds. Santos juggles hugging his kids with trying to not have them cough directly ON him, since this would definitely be a bad thing for the campaign trail.
  • Pages later, Will and Kate are in the middle of a verbal tete a tete - they are clearly flirting. We cut back to the Santos house which is in chaos. This is partly due to the Secret Service and partly due to the campaign staff. Helen and Santos are in the eye of an electoral hurricane. Matt turns to Helen, "Neighbors don't mind having all these guys in dark glasses around?" She replies, "You kidding? They now live on the safest block in America.
  • Santos walks outside and attempts to get his mail from the mailbox. An agent stops him. "Sir, did you want to go somewhere?" "Just going to get the mail," says Santos. "Of course, sir. We'll just need a few minutes to shut down the street." the agent tells him. Santos questions him, "To walk to the mailbox." "Anytime you go into the front yard." "We really need to get into all that?" ask Santos. "I'm afraid so, sir." Santos tells him nevermind and the agent replies he'll have someone get the mail for him - and then have someone screen it. The annoyance of the moment is underlined by a low throbbing rumble. "What's that noise?" asks Santos. "Those are our vehicles," the agent tells him. "We keep their engines running." "Neighbors must love that," quips Santos. "Yes, sir." says the agent. As Santos sighs and heads in to his house, we see all the lights go out, accompanied by the sound of many electrical devices powering down. A Santos staffer is heard to shout "Sorry!"
  • Pages later, Helen is still caring for the sick Santos kids, while Matt is still apologies for the disaster zone their home has become. Helen simply nods at his explanations, she's heard it all before and is already used to being a campaign widow. When Matt tries to pitch in and take care of daughter Miranda's sore throat, she tells him she wants Mommy. He's a bit stung by that, but understands. Helen sweeps her away to take Miranda's temperature and Santos is left alone in his empty, bulletproofed bedroom.
  • The next available scene picks up on a Sunday morning as the Santos clan heads to church. The ever-present Secret Service agents ride them there in silence and secure the service in what must be the safest mass ever performed in America. The absurdity of the situation is becoming quite apparent to the Santos's. But they deal.
  • Mixed into the very end of the past couple pages has been one or two lines of stage direction indicated that the alternate scenes from the Santos house have been over at Santos HQ where Josh and ... Lou, Edie, Ronna, and Otto are dealing with a news leak from the staff. Not much more to go on other than that.
  • Pages later, the plot backdrop for the HQ scene is a little more apparent when we see Josh and Leo conversing about his debate rehearsals for that night's one and only VP debate. Leo feels fine about his level of preparation, but Josh doesn't agree. (Wait until he finds out Leo might be replacing him at the helm of the campaign the next day!)
  • CUT TO: The Santos Backyard
  • BBQ in progress. Big old mix of people, all with ID badges, even the folks we know like Donna and Bram. Close up on Santos in the middle of a gaggle of politicos. He's making nice chit chat as the host - "Leo's gonna be better than people think. But it's the message, not the messenger. We're gonna score tonight because what we've got to say about this country is forward-looking and inclusive - and I'm looking at some folks who need refills... Margarita, JD rocks, and Lone Star -- am I right or am I right?
  • Helen and her mother, Ann, join the party. Ann is in her 60s and upset at needing to wear an ID badge. Meanwhile, Helen is trying to pawn off veggie burgers to carnivores. Apparently we're trying to give Helen some left-wing gravitas now. She throws in a quip about hybrid cars for good measure. Don't tell her about Josh's car accident from last season!
  • New guest: Jorge Santos, Matt's younger brother. We remember that he is supposedly unemployed - something in the vein of Bill Clinton's ne'er-do-well brother. Bram is apologizing for the mixup to Jorge. Jorge is grumbling to himself, "Produce ID, pass through a metal detector, to enter my own brother's house.... Bram apparently was told Jorge was out of town, so he didn't put him on the clearance list. "Then you get my name wrong," says Jorge. "It's Jorge, not George." "They just went by what's on your driver's license." says Bram. "Gettin' it changed" comes the reply. Santos crosses over just in time to save Bram....
  • Next scene: Santos kitchen. Helen and Donna are talking about the protesters in the street. Apparently the protest signs with aborted fetuses are clashing with the decor. Donna understands and they continue to talk for a page of dialogue I don't have... But on the page after that we get the tail end of the Donna/Helen conversation which reinforces what we already know: Helen has yet to decide whether she wants Matt to win....
  • Right after Helen exits from Donna, CUT TO: Backstage at the VP Debate, moments away from the starting time. Leo is there with Josh and Lou.
  • Lou is reminding Leo, "Eye contact. Start on the moderator." Josh adds explanation, "Points your punch straight to the camera."
  • Lou jumps in again, "When Sullivan talk, you look at him."
  • Josh again: "But don't stare."
  • Lou: "Don't look bored."
  • Josh: "Even when he's boring."
  • Lou: "He'll be boring."
  • Annabeth elbows her way past them, "Look at me." Leo does. "Gorgeous," she tells him. "Get her away from me." says Leo. "Man cannot take a compliment." replies Annabeth.
  • The stage manager approaches, "Ready for you onstage Mr. McGarry." Leo nods. "Go get him - Good luck" the group tells him. Leo just looks at Annabeth. "You're smirking," she whispers to him. "Yeah." says Leo. And he strides onto the stage.
  • CUT TO: Will's Office (PS I found out elsewhere from a TV Guide episode description for Mr. Frost that Will receives a promotion - looks like he'll replace Toby as WH Comm. Dir. after Toby gets fired for the NASA leak)
  • Close in on a tablecloth with candles, wine, and fine china. Cut wide to reveal Will and Kate. A note says they are dressed for their date - which consists of takeout food....
  • Kate empties a container onto her plate. "Ooh." she coos, "Carciofi salad, shaved parmesan... little order envy." Apparently this one was Will's.
  • "Take it" he tells her. "Oh, no." she replies. "One time, first date offer. I'd seize it." says Will. "First date." as Kate notes his word choice. "Optimist." quips Will. She jabs right back - "Takeout dinner in your office, you must be." A note says Will notices the time. "It's started." He grabs the remote and turns on the TV. A note says Kate regards him with a small smile, presumably while he wasn't looking.
  • On TV, the debate comes up. Sullivan is finishing an answer... "so we again ask why our opponents won't join us in a pledge not to raise taxes."
  • The Moderator turns it to Leo as we view him on the TV. "Mr. McGarry, your response."
  • A note here says Leo starts this part off a bit unsteadily, but he warms up to it as he goes.
  • "Senator Vinick and Governor Sullivan oppose the Kyoto treaty because they don't want foreign governments dictating our emissions standards. They oppose the International Criminal Court because they don't want a foreign body to have legal jurisdiction over US citizens. But they apparently have no problem ceding enormous, unprecedented leverage over our economy to bankers in China. That's who's financing this deficit Republican tax policy has run up. Our opponents evidently favor sending even more billions of US dollars China's way. Matt Santos and I would bring that money back to our shores, for our citizens. And return control of our economy back home, where it belongs.
  • Will is wowed. "Go, Leo."
  • CUT TO: Democrat Green Room (DGR).
  • The Josh Squad is stunned. Josh to Lou, "You give him that?" "I thought maybe you did." she tells him. "That was good," Ronna chimes in, "That was good, right?" "Not bad." says Josh....
  • CUT TO: Republican Green Room (RGR).
  • Sheila and the dude from Office Space (Mayer) are watching. Mayer says, and I'm not making this up, "I never said he was gonna gibber like a gibbon...."
  • We use the TV coverage of the Moderator turning the next question to Leo to CUT TO: The Santos Living Room:
  • "Many Americans consider the Vice President's role in Presidential succession to be the most important responsibility of that office. Given your medical history, why shouldn't voters feel concern about you?"
  • A note says Leo is clearly gaining confidence. "By an overwhelming percentage," Leo begins, "the first warning symptom of a heart attack is death. I'm fortunate to be here. But it wasn't all luck. I was the beneficiary of the finest medical care in the world. Medical care available to me, to Governor Sullivan, but not to the millions of Americans with no or inadequate health insurance. They have their noses pressed against the windows of the world's greatest hospitals, best-trained doctors and nursing professionals, and when they most desperately need their services, they can't get in. Matt Santos and I don't want to leave anyone out in the cold if they get sick like I did. We want every man, woman, and child in this country to have full and equal access to the first-class treatment, that, I firmly believe, saved my life."
  • On Santos' couch, he replies "Damn straight." His daughter Miranda looks up at him, "You said a swear...."
  • CUT TO RGR: Mayer: "He didn't even answer the question!"
  • DGR: Otto repeats what Mayer said. Josh says, "Doesn't matter."
  • RGR: Sheila answers Mayer: "Doesn't matter."
  • DGR: Josh says he may kiss someone. Looking at the crowd, he says, "Or, you know, not."
  • Skip ahead a few pages and we're at the end of the episode. We finish a scene with Mr. and Mrs. Santos saying goodnight to each other after tucking in the kids. Santos tells Helen he'll see them in Phoenix. He leaves and she prepares to go to bed but just sits in the dark a moment first and takes it all in....
  • CUT TO: Leo's Hotel Apt.
  • Leo is alone, drinking mineral water and taking off his shoes. He switches on the TV and catches some pundit comments about his performance that night.
  • One pundit is saying, "McGarry did all he needed to do, exceed expectations." Pundit 2 agrees, but says "How couldn't he, the way the Democrats spun the run-up." Pundit 1 says that they fall for it every time, reviewing the spin instead of the substance. "Substance? In a debate?" asks Pundit 2. As Leo settles in for the night, the banter continues, "I'd be surprised if this debate changed anyone's mind.... Arguably the best outcome for the Vice Presidential debate. At least don't send voters running into the arms of the other guys."
  • CUT TO: Houston Street, at night.
  • The caravan of black Suburbans is winding its way down the street. Santos is riding in the back, alone. A note says he wonders when he'll be back here among the familiar streets of his hometown. He has no clue. Just when he gets to feeling good and sorry for himself... he sneezes. (Oh right, says the audience, his kids were sick. That's gonna suck on the campaign trail)
  • Santos smiles faintly and shakes his head... Fade Out.
October 14, 2005 - "mgoshawk" of posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing Forum a link to:
NBC's Campaign Sites and on that site it says the Live Debate episode will be November 6 (which may be the only episode shown in November.
October 12, 2005 - "Kiera123" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"New sides are out for episode 10, which is titled 'Running Mates.' Those missing Donna will be pleased to know she's in this one."
October 10, 2005 - "jvetoe" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum the following information from Aint It Cool News
"...According to a new and untested — albeit convincing — Coaxial News source, it looks like the next president of the United States will be a Mexican-American Democrat from Houston...."
October 9, 2005 - Randy Poplock — MPA, Environmental Policy has created the below bumper sticker and made it available for sale saying: "All proceeds from stickers benefit Democracy for Washington"
October 4, 2005 - In an article about Lily Tomlin:
"In 2002 she joined NBC's 'The West Wing,' playing President Bartlett's [sic] assistant. Tomlin is disappointed that role will end soon when the new president cleans house."
October 3, 2005 - "johnnyd80" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
Teaser Spoilers from the sides of Episode 7.9 "The Wedding"
  • Fade in on the East Room at night. A white aisle cuts through hundreds of empty chairs. The groom, groomsmen, and bridesmaids are all in place for the ceremony, but they are wearing street clothes. The strains of Handel's aria Sorge Nel Pieto can be heard echoing in the room. Just faintly over the tenor we can hear Jed Bartlet humming along.
  • Ellie is heard through a voiceover, "Dad." She and Jed come into view, arm in arm, walking down the aisle. "Just practicing," he says. "You're not really going to sing along," she tells him more than asks.
  • "I thought I had my own aria" states POTUS, with obvious paternal funny.
  • "Or tell jokes." Ellie is still telling him what not to do.
  • "None?"
  • "After the ceremony," she tells him. "Short ones. Preferably not during the toast."
  • Jed feigns ignorance. "I have to give a toast?"
  • "Dad."
  • They reach the end of the aisle and Jed turns to look at her. A note says that he realizes for the first time that this is how it will feel.
  • Shirley, the social secretary, steps in. "Now you lift the veil, give her a kiss." "And..." as she leads the President of the United States a good twenty feet from the action, "you walk over here. And sit." Abbey's there.
  • Shirley returns to the background to lead the bride and groom through the rehearsal. We focus on POTUS and FLOTUS.
  • "Kinda far from the action." says Jed. "You're not performing the ceremony," his wife tells him. "Yeah," he replies, "Course I wasn't asked."
  • A voice over interrupts. "Sir?" It's CJ. "I'm sorry to interrupt."
  • "That's alright, he was about to go into his Spencer Tracey routine." Heh. Abbey, bringing the funny as always.
  • CJ leans in — "There's been an escalation in Kazakhstan. We've picked up three Russian military convoys heading for the border." A beat. This is not good.
  • Jed turns to Abbey. "I need to step out." She just eyes him. Over at the altar, Ellie turns away from Shirley and eyes him as well.
  • Jed stands up to speak to everyone, "I apologize, I'm afraid I'm going to have to meet you all at dinner." He walks up to Ellie, takes a moment.
  • "I just walk down the aisle and cry?"

    Final spoilers for 7.9 "The Wedding"
  • It's scene 17 and we're 22 pages into the episode, most likely in Act II. Josh and Leo are discussing campaign finances in a diner. Leo is telling Josh it's not worth the ad buy. "Iowa and Wisconsin," Josh reminds him. "Iowa, sure," Leo agrees, "How much we up in Wisconsin?"
  • "Three points," Josh tells him. "And the Illinois ad buy should carry into the southern part of the state." Leo asks if he's considered Missouri cutbacks. Josh tells him they're only down 2 there and he doesn't want to completely cede the state. Leo nods agreement, "Yeah, that sounds right."
  • Leo spots his breakfast meeting. "Gotta go make nice with the fat cats." Josh calls after him, "Pick some pockets will you?"
  • As Leo walks away, and Josh looks at his map, we hear the voice of Eyan Mitchell, DNC field op for Chicago. "Josh."
  • Josh thanks him for flying in. Mitchell tells him he's been saying [for weeks] that they had a shot in Illinois and he wishes Josh had called sooner. They slide into a booth and order coffee.
  • "Just tell me we can get the full field operation ready by November 8th." Josh states. "I'll be honest," Mitchell tells him. "You're asking for a six-month job in six weeks. Sure, we'll get it up, but it's gonna cost you."
  • Cut from Josh to the Mural Room — Morning.
  • Abbey and Ellie are in suits with the Bermudan Ambassador. He has brought a cedar sapling as a gift. This is a tradition in Bermuda for weddings. A photographer and Carol are buzzing around documenting the moment. They thank the Ambassador, pose for some photos, and Carol ushers him out.
  • Carol walks back in with the French Ambassador. Looks like a long day for Abbey and Ellie!
  • Four pages later, and we're back in the diner with Josh. About two coffee pots deep into this breakfast meeting series, now he's meeting with Congressman Cooper of Wisconsin. He's telling Cooper that they're just talking about trimming the ad buy in his state, not killing it. Cooper insists if anything they need more money in Wisconsin, not less, and reminds him that Vinick is outspending Santos two to one in most places. Josh doesn't seem like he's going to listen. Josh's cell rings and he tells Cooper he needs to take this. Cooper tells him "You're up four in Jersey and three in Michigan, you should trim back there."
  • "Thanks for coming by Congressman, I appreciate your input." Cooper exits, and Josh picks up the phone call.
October 2, 2005 - "johnnyd80" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
Spoilers from the sides of Episode 7.8 "Undecideds"
  • About 50 pages in, we're well into Act III and we see an African-American woman named Brenda talking to Santos in what appears to be her home. She offers him cookies and he thanks her, they look delicious.
  • Off camera, we here Brenda's uncle Wilson Burke talking to a Secret Service agent. Wilson wants the campaign vehicles moved up the street, and the agent assures him they'll be removing the roadblocks in 15 minutes. This is apparently not good enough, because Brenda's sister is trying to come down the street and can't get into her own house, so Santos steps in and attempts to smooth things over as only a practiced politician can.
  • "I know who you are," says Wilson, "you need to take your people out of here." Lou Thornton tries to calm him down but Wilson won't have any of it. "The family needs to be here," he states, "you do not."
  • Santos apologizes, and acknowledges how sorry he is for the Burke family's loss. Wilson tells him he should know better. Things are getting a little heated, and the Secret Service agent steps in to tell Mr. Burke that he should back away from Santos. As Santos tries in vain to apologize again to the Burkes, Lou realizes that this has become a debacle and declares that they are leaving. The Secret Service quickly rushes Santos away from the Burkes and straight out of the house.
  • As he leaves, a note says that Santos glares at Lou. She follows, "knowing that she talked him into this whole disaster."
September 30, 2005 - "johnnyd80" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
Spoilers from the sides of Episode 7.9 "The Wedding"
This begins 44 pages into the episode.
  • Debbie Fiderer is talking to Leo and reminding him he has twenty minutes left. She tells him I assume you want to say hello to the Duke of Edinburgh. Leo replies "That's not the Duke of Edinburgh." Debbie gives POTUS a look and he grins. They all part and Leo heads to Santos and someone named Montgomery....
  • Cut to TWW Lobby at the same time where Josh walking in cellaconferencing on the latest Michigan numbers. Josh spots Monty with Leo and Santos, hangs up, and eyes the group in the lobby. A note says they don't look pleased. A beat.
  • A male voice from down the hall comments "Ah, he's a big blowhard." Just then, Josh turns to see CJ walking up arm in arm with former DNC Chair Barry Goodwin....
  • Pleasantries are exchanged and Goodwin expresses his gratitude to Josh for the good job he's been doing on the campaign. Goodwin moves on to reminisce about the old days with Leo while CJ sides up to Josh.
  • CJ says "So you guys must be excited" "Huh?" replies Josh. "Illinois." "Yeah. Hopefully we can afford it." "Pinching pennies?" CJ asks. "Pretty much" says Josh. CJ suggests taking some money out of Seattle but Josh tells her that they've already pulled out of Wash. State entirely. "Wow." says CJ, "it's really that tight??"
  • About 5 pages later, FLOTUS and POTUS are talking. Abbey questions Jed, "Diamonds?" They are interrupted by CJ's off-camera voice, "Mr. President." The Bartlets turns to her.
  • "Mr. President, we have a situation," CJ begins. "The Chinese troops have crossed into Kazakhstan. We've got a translator in the Oval, we're getting the Premier on the line now."
  • A note says Jed looks agitated while Abbey remains calm. "It's okay, we'll do photos after," she tells him. POTUS nods, and heads into the Oval. Abbey calls after to him a reminder, "Jed? The service starts at five."
  • CUT TO The East Room - Later
  • George Montgomery, Barry Goodwin, Leo, and Santos have slipped into the empty East Room. Monty opens saying "Leo, I'm all for allegiance, but loyalty for loyalty's sake is ridiculous." Leo begins to interrupt, but is cut off by Monty, who says, "Josh got it wrong in Illinois." Leo comes back, "Sure with the benefit of hindsight --"
  • "21 electoral votes" says Monty. Leo replies that he didn't exactly see Monty calling for a major effort in Illinois. Santos looks to Goodwin for mediation with Montgomery. A beat.
  • Barry begins telling Santos and Leo that he's never seen an electoral map as inside out as this one, and that Illinois was a unique situation because Chicago is such an expensive media buy. Spending money there would have meant sacrificing Iowa, maybe Missouri, and risking ground in Wisconsin. Santos agrees it's been a costly process. Goodwin mentions that polls move money as much as money moves polls, but that if he had been in Illinois the resulting bump would have gotten more fundraising dollars and they wouldn't need to pull out of so many states now.
  • A note says Leo can't argue this point.
  • Monty butts in that "Josh Lyman's done a terrific job. But Congressman, I'm not sure he can take you to the finish line." Santos says, "Who can?"
  • Leo is surprised to hear that and looks up at Santos. Silence.
  • Goodwin tells Santos, "Only one guy I'd want to have running a campaign this tough. And that's the guy standing next to you." Leo starts to laugh until he realizes Santos isn't laughing with him. Fade out on Leo.
  • Three pages into Act IV and POTUS is on the line with the Premier in the oval. The translator begins relaying the message that this situation is not about oil. "It's about the brutal suppression of a democratic movement, a movement that includes many of our Chinese brothers and sisters. You of all people should understand our concern."
  • A note says that Debbie hands POTUS another note at this point. It reads "5:07" He crumples it up, aggravated - the service was supposed to start at 5:00.
  • CUT TO - The East Room - Same time.
  • Leo, Santos, Goodwin, and Montgomery are still talking in the corner as everyone tries to pressure Leo into taking control of the Santos campaign instead of Josh. They tell him he only has one more hour of campaigning left anyway since the VP debate is pretty much the end of the trail. "Tell that to my schedulers," Leo retorts.
  • "Due respect," replies Monty, "it's not like you're a force on the campaign trail." Goodwin chimes in, "Josh was gonna have to move his war room to the Congressman's plane in a few weeks anyway. You guys start campaigning together, you can run things from there." Monty reminds him that it might even play better with the crowds, and that even though they'll only cover half the ground, they'll get a boost from the joint appearances.
  • Goodwin reminds Leo that the campaign should be about making the best use of political assets. "We are." says Leo, "with me on the trail and Josh Lyman running things at Headquarters."
  • Goodwin looks to Santos, who's been listening closely "Congressman?" A beat.
  • As the crowd comes in, Santos replies "Look like it's time to find our seats. We appreciate your thoughts, gentlemen." A note says Conversation Over.
  • Goodwin and Monty exit as Leo and Santos start to walk towards their seats.
  • Leo mentions that they should find Josh and go over the morning meetings. Santos grunts mild agreement, then stops and turns to Leo, saying "You really believe everything you said just now?" Camera pauses on Leo as we cut to --
  • TWW Lobby, moments later where Abbey is greeting stragglers to the event. She finds a distracted Leo wandering the halls looking for someone. She walks over to him.
    Another side with the part of Sen. George Montgomery:
  • We begin 10 pages and at least five hours earlier than [the earlier part] as Josh spots Sen. Monty walking with a "very animated" Don Francis, the CNN pundit from last night. They're discussing how to spin a particular event about to spill onto the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Monty spots Josh and excuses himself from Francis.
  • Josh greets Monty, who shakes his hand. "Josh. Great news about Illinois." "Absolutely," replies Josh, "Nice to have it in play." "Sure," says Monty, "Shame we weren't there earlier." Josh mentions there were other places they needed to be. Monty comments that with 21 electoral votes, he thought it would be a little higher on the priority list.
  • Josh counters that since they're only up 6 in NY, states they're losing by 10 don't get much attention. "So long as we start investing there now," says Monty. "No question." returns Josh.
  • "I heard a rumor you're thinking of pulling money from Iowa." Josh answers him, "We're thinking of pulling money from a lot of places." "As goes Iowa so goes the Midwest," Monty tells him, "I'd cut back in Philadelphia."
  • Josh tells him that the Philly ad buy covers PA, DE, and NJ - 39 electoral votes! "Any other ideas?" After a beat, a note says it's clear Monty is used to being agreed with.
  • "See you at the wedding, Josh." And Sen. Montgomery walks off. As Josh watches him we CUT TO --
  • The Inside of WILL'S OFFICE, around noon.
  • Will's eating lunch and doing some work. Kate Harper walks in and interrupts him. He asks her if she's done, which she is. "Wanna take a look?" she asks. He says "Sure."
    Another side:
  • Anyway, this picks up a page prior to Jed and Abbey being interrupted by CJ about the Chinese situation.
  • Will is talking to bride-to-be Ellie, and he has to exit awkwardly after a conversation has gone wrong. Ellie turns to Abbey after he's gone and asks, annoyed, "Why is Will Bailey wearing a tux?"
  • POTUS is on the phone with the Chinese Premiere as CJ, Kate, and Secy. Hutchinson listen in on the translation.
  • "Mr. President, we cannot pull back." the translator relays to Jed. Debbie hands Jed the first of what become many little time reminder note.
  • Jed gets strong on the phone, "Lian, this doesn't make any sense. Russia supplies you with the oil they take out of Kazakhstan." "At a premium," comes the reply, "some of which goes to owners of the pipelines. American companies, I believe."
  • "We're not supporting the Russians." declares POTUS. "Yet you're condoning their attempt to annex half of Central Asia," comes the message from the Chinese Premiere.
  • Bartlet claims he's not condoning anything, that he's just trying to stop 2 nuclear powers from starting a land war over oil.
  • PICK UP PREVIOUS SPOILERS between POTUS and the Premiere at this point with no pauses.
  • As mentioned in a previous post, after the push for him to become Santos campaign manager Leo has run into Abbey in the Lobby. She walks over to him.
  • "Hey there, stranger," says Abbey. Leo greets her warmly. She tells him he had a nice speech in Des Moines. "You believe this dog and pony show they've got me in?" he asks her.
  • She ask him if he's getting enough sleep. He says he is, "And eating my vegetables. How's Ellie?" Abbey replies that she's still standing, although that's not necessarily good. The standing is due to not wanting to sit and wrinkle the dress.
  • Leo replies that he's sure he'll [POTUS] be here any minute. "Really." says Abbey. "Miracles happen." Leo replies. CUT TO --
  • The Oval Office.
  • Debbie hands POTUS yet another note which reads 5:46. Bartlet takes the note and discards it without even looking at it.
  • "Lian, I need your men to stop advancing. If you'll just hold your position." The translator replies for the Premiere, "I'm not sure what that will accomplish." Jed tries to convince him to let him just talk to the Russians, to convince them to push President Tarimov to schedule elections. The Premiere replies that it was the Russians who put Tamirov in power in the first place.
  • Frustrated, Bartlet glances down at the pile of 40 some odd crumpled time notices from Debbie, the latest of which is 5:46.
  • "For years this is how the Russians have been operating..." the translator begins to relay.
  • "Lian."
  • "... and given their history it seems clear to me..."
  • "Lian."
  • "... that the only way to stop their continued aggression..."
  • "GODDAMMIT, LIAN, would you shut up already?!?"
  • The translator and Lian shut up. A note says the translator's a little taken aback. After a beat, Jed composes himself and asks, "Is your daughter married?" "Excuse me Mr. President?" comes the Premiere's reply. "Your daughter," says POTUS "I met her when I was in Beijing. Is she married?"
  • The translator relays to Jed: "Yes, she was married two years ago last spring." Jed speechifies: "Then you'll understand me when I tell you that my daughter's wedding is this afternoon and that she's been waiting for me to give her away for the past forty six minutes because I can't put down the phone until you tell me you're not gonna start World War Three today. Now, for the love of God, would you please give me a half an hour to go walk my little girl down the aisle?"
  • A long beat. Finally -
  • The translator relays, "Mr. President, my troops will hold position for one hour."
  • Jed thanks him and we CUT TO:
  • The interior of the Portico, where Josh is staring at a dog-eared copy of an electoral map. Leo walks in.
  • Josh turns to him and asks, "Wedding starting?" "Not yet," says Leo.
  • "How's Senator Montgomery?" questions Josh. "Full of hot air, as usual" comes the reply from Leo.
  • Josh asks the question. "Yeah. Who's he want to replace me?"
September 27, 2005 - "pumpkinpatch" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
"...looking at the casting sides for what appears to be episode 7 or 8, "The Al Smith Dinner"...

"Here's the gist of the scene between Leo and Becca (executive director of the Women's Alliance for Choice).....Leo asks Becca if she understands why the meeting is with him instead of Santos. She speculates it's because Santos doesn't want to be seen with The Women's Alliance for Choice while he's trying to limit abortion. In the same line, Becca says she didn't care for Donna Moss' statement one bit. Leo responds by saying it's rhetorical positioning; President Bartlet did it too.

"...evidence enough to prove Donna does indeed have a role with the press in the Santos/McGarry campaign?"
September 25, 2005 - "SlyFoxDeveraux" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum a distillation of what we think we know from various sources about how many episodes some of the original cast will do this season:
  • Stockard: 3
  • Dule: 5
  • Richard: Handful
  • Martin: 11
  • The Rest: ????
September 24, 2005 - posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
The teaser is available for viewing.
September 17, 2005 - "mgoshawk" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum a link to the OCRegister - "Chatter"
"Some Boeing Co. employees in Long Beach will get their shot at 15 seconds of fame today.

"NBC's 'The West Wing' will film part of an episode in Boeing's C-17 assembly plant, and a number of employees will appear as extras. No special acting ability is required - they'll be playing Boeing employees."
September 16, 2005 - "giesla" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum a link to the following:
Actor DULE HILL has announced he's leaving THE WEST WING.

The 31-year-old actor, who plays CHARLIE YOUNG on the Emmy-winning series, is now preparing to shoot a pilot for PSYCH, which he hopes will prove to be another TV success.

He says, "I'm leaving. I'm doing five episodes this year, then I'll be headed out."

Hill has yet to find out how his character will be written out of the show. 16/09/2005 20:47
September 14, 2005 - TV Guide's "Ask Ausiello" reports:
"The election has been moved from November to March. A perfect cap to February sweeps, no?
September 12, 2005 - "kuebsr" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum information from an something kuebsr originally posted at a Yahoo group:
"The Teaser of the season premiere is a flash forward to the year 2008. The gang has gathered for the dedication of the Bartlet Presidential Library. Well part of the gang that is.
We see the following people.
  • POTUS--who seems to be well and happy and "walking briskly". He approaches a group of people standing and talking under a tree. One by one they turn to see him.
  • As he approaches and they start conversing, we get some exposition about what has been going on in the lives of these people since the end of the administration.
  • First CJ.... She's tan. She's happy. She's living in Santa Monica. She has a baby. With Danny. Jed says Abbey wants a picture. Danny says they emailed one. Jed says Abbey wants one she can tape to the fridge....
  • Next Toby. Who is teaching at Columbia. And says a classroom isn't a bad place to spend time. Bartlet thanks him for coming and he says he appreciated the invitation.
  • Next Kate. Jed tells her he read her book. The prose was beautiful but the stuff about the EU was crap. He tells her to call him and he'll set her straight.
  • Then Charlie. Jed asks him if he read Kate's book and he agrees it was a load of hogwash. He then tells Jed he did a "nice job in Jakarta". Jed deflects the praise.
  • Jed then turns to Will and says "Congressman". Apparently Will got elected to Congress and now sits on Ways and Means. He describes himself as a back bencher who may have a shot at chairman in 32 years.
  • CJ asks Jed if his speech is ready and he says it's a "little meandering" in parts to which CJ/Toby/Will all jump in and offer to look at it.
  • As they're talking Josh approaches. He says "Sir can we get you to..." He then stops and comments on the gathering of "dignitaries". When Jed asks what it was he wanted Josh says...."The President is here".
  • We see the presidential motorcade pull up. We see the black limo. And as we wait to see who climbs out--SMASH CUT to opening titles.
September 10, 2005 - "Gordon Shumway" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
"I heard from a fairly good source that TWW will be filming a Santos Campaign Rally at UCLA this weekend - Sept. 10 and/or 11."
September 7, 2005 (2nd post) "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for episode 7.6, The Al Smith Dinner:
  • The info picks up towards the end of Act 1. A quarter of the page is missing. Then a note says that we're in Vinick's Detroit Hotel Suite. Vinick's sitting at the table with Republican Party Chairman Steve Hodder, 40ish. He's described as focused — the kind of guy who makes a long list and gets everything done. He's eating a sandwich, and it's noted that he seems like the kind of guy who eats on the run. Sheila and Bruno are also in the room, but not at the table. Vinick's not eating his food. Hodder tells Vinick that Santos pulled out of North Dakota and West Virginia. It's a good piece of news that they received so soon after Labor Day. Vinick agrees. Hodder says that that could help them get the WVA 2nd: "these guys don't know a damn thing about party-building". A note says that Vinick's not interested in small talk. Vinick tells Hodder that he doesn't like the abortion ad. He doesn't care how they deal with it, but he wants them to deal with it now; it's become a national story already. Hodder calmly finishes eating his sandwich before saying that no one showed him the ad. He probably wouldn't have run it, but it would cause a lot of damage to walk away from it now. It's an attack that a lot of people think should be covered in Vinick's stump speech. Vinick points out that both he and Santos are pro-choice and he can't pretend that they're on different sides of the issue. Hodder replies that Santos thinks Hodder's 14-year-old daughter should get her father's permission to take an aspirin at school, but not when it comes to abortion. Santos also supports partial-birth abortion: "the 'Constitutional right' to crush the skull of a baby that's halfway out of its mother's body." Hodder thinks that's where Santos and Vinick differ. There's a pause as everyone sees that Hodder's serious about this, and it sucks the oxygen out of the room. Then Vinick tells Hodder that he understands what he's saying, but he's still pro-choice. Hodder tells him that the platform's pro-life. The people in the party who do things like phone-banking and getting their candidates elected are pro-life as well. Sheila argues that if they don't speak out against the ad, they own them, and that's going to cost them. Bruno hasn't said a word, but after Sheila speaks, he tells Hodder that the ad's a "rough negative ad" that comes at a time when they don't need it. The Committee Hodder refers to doesn't know anything about tactics. Hodder says that maybe it isn't tactics; maybe they mean what they say. Sheila says that they know how hard Hodder's working to "keep social conservatives on the reservation". Hodder says they're very close to a third-party candidacy from the religious right. He's still worried that they stay home on election day. Vinick says that the ad hurts him as much as it hurts Santos; it may hurt Vinick even more. Hodder replies that pro-lifers have issues with Vinick, but Santos is in favor of unlimited abortion. They have Congress, Governors, and state legislators to elect; this issue turns out their vote. Bruno tries to argue, but Hodder interrupts him, telling Vinick to ask "the Democrat" to stop lecturing him on how to elect Republicans. Hodder tells Bruno that the US is a partisan country and he's not going to sacrifice several "down-ticket races" to make their 9-point lead even greater. Vinick tells Hodder that if he doesn't denounce the ad, he'll do it himself. Hodder counters that everyone may love Vinick, but the social conservatives don't. Vinick never talks about their issues, he sends mixed signals about judicial appointments, he's the first nominee to skip the Al Smith Dinner because he doesn't want to be near religious voters, and Hodder can't meet his responsibilities to the party without them. Vinick argues that no one could hold all those groups together. If this were Europe, the Republican party would be 5 different parties. Hodder thanks God that they don't have to sleep together — they all just have to show up and vote Republican. Vinick asks if Hodder realizes how many states his pro-choice stance puts on the table. Does Hodder realize how much the party can grow if they let the "wackos tumble into the sea". Hodder guesses that he's a wacko, too, because he'd like to unite the party they have now. He states that he won't denounce the ad, and he thinks Vinick shouldn't either. End of Act 1.
  • Much later, and we're towards the end of Act 2. Three-quarters of the page is missing. At the bottom, a note tells us that we're in a NY hotel room. Leo's meeting with Becca, the Executive Director of the Women's Alliance for Choice. She's in her late 30s and is described as savvy and smart. A title card will pop up to tell us that we're in NY. Leo asks her if she understands why Leo's taking the meeting with her instead of Santos. Becca answers that Santos doesn't want to be seen with someone from her organization — not while Santos is trying to limit abortion. She notes that she didn't like Donna's press conference at all. Leo explains that they were doing rhetorical positioning; POTUS did that, too. Becca counters that POTUS didn't have to run against a pro-choice Republican. And the Alliance hasn't endorsed a Presidential candidate yet. Leo says he knows and that they're going to have to "push that back" a little. They need to get moderate votes to chip away at Vinick's lead. They don't want to make Santos the baby-killing candidate. Becca tells him that they're considering endorsing Vinick. In a "yeah, right" kind of tone, he tells her that she's not talking to some "punk Congressional staffer". Becca, in a serious voice, says that Vinick's pro-choice, and he's probably going to win the election. Leo's about to say something, but she cuts him off, asking him how they're going to close a 9-point lead. They'll be lucky to get one debate. "The way Santos has been begging for it, Vinick's expectations are so low that he has to avoid tipping over the podium to win". Leo says that they're the pro-choice party. Becca says that they sure don't sound like they are. Leo tells her that Vinick won't even criticize the fringes of his own party on this matter. Becca replies that if Vinick wins, then they really are the fringes, aren't they? Both parties will be where the country is — pro-choice down the line. Leo says that if she helps get a Republican elected...she cuts him off and asks him to think about how many more Republicans will stand up for a woman's right to choose. End of Act 2.
  • Much later, and the top part of the page is missing some info. Anyway, a note tells us that we're in Vinick's NY holding room. It's evening now. Vinick, Sheila and Bruno arrive to see Hodder waiting for them. They're all in black-tie attire. Vinick asks Sheila and Bruno to leave. Once they're gone, Hodder says that he's seen the attack ads that Bruno made on Santos, and it looks like Vinick's campaign is "loaded for bear". Vinick just says, "Yeah". Hodder says that he hopes Vinick's going to give a tough speech against partial-birth abortion tonight. Vinick says that he plans to. Hodder continues, saying that the people at the event need to hear it; the story about the Women's Alliance for Choice endorsing Vinick is a disaster. Vinick off-handedly says, "'Cause I'd get more votes for a position I happen to hold". Hodder says it's because a large part of the party doesn't look at the issue in political terms.
  • Vinick says that this isn't a seminary class; politics is about practicality. Hodder says it isn't if you think abortion is murder. Vinick argues that no matter what one thinks on the matter, Roe v. Wade's been the law for decades. Neither he nor the majority of the country is ready to change that. Hodder replies that that isn't the party's position. Vinick explains that he joined the Republican party because liberals were the ones who wanted something from govt, and Republicans just wanted to be left alone, especially when there's no consensus. He's trying to lead the majority to agree on that, not the minority who want to put "Leviticus into law". Hodder thinks that there's room enough for everyone. Vinick answers that there's no room for the 180 million pro-choicers. Vinick wants Hodder to denounce the ad tonight. Hodder says that he's not responsible for making Vinick more "palatable" to the abortion lobby. Vinick says that either Hodder denounces that speech, or he'll do it in front of two dozen Bishops and a slew of Catholic charities.
  • Cut to Santos' NY holding room. He and Leo are meeting with Becca. Leo tells her that the Democratic Party is her home as well as theirs. Becca tells Santos that, according to Leo, Santos is going to aggressively and proudly defend the right to choose in his speech tonight. She thinks it's a gutsy place to do it. Leo states that they're the pro-choice ticket. Becca says that the Women's Alliance still thinks that they need to encourage pro-choice Republicans. So does the Democratic Party. Santos thinks that they need to make clear that they're not hostile towards anti-abortion people. Becca didn't expect to hear this. Leo gives Santos a "be careful" look, and Santos shoots back an "I'm fine" look. Becca tells them that pro-choice means that anyone can do what they want. Santos says that it shouldn't mean that they're proud of that. Maybe all the "chest-beating" is the reason why the right can get away with the ad — the reason the leader of his church can exile him for not imposing his religion on the country. Then he says, "We're surprised people think we're for unlimited abortions? That even some voters who are pro-choice think we're too extreme?" She asks Santos which limits he's for. Santos asks if she supports abortion to choose the sex of a baby. She says no. How about an abortion after establishing IQ? She knows where the conversation is headed; she says no. He answers that she supports limits herself, then. Who are they to say where someone else should draw the line? Becca wants to know what he's going to say in tonight's speech. He's going to say that abortion is a tragedy and a necessary evil. It should be legal, safe, and a lot rarer than it is now. If she has a problem with that, then she should endorse whomever she wants.
  • Cut to Santos walking to the dinner.
  • Cut to Vinick doing the same thing.
  • In the next scene, we see Santos and Vinick walking towards each other from different directions. We hear the MC introducing Leo and Ray Sullivan. A note says that Santos and Vinick see each other through the various people milling about backstage. Santos half-nods. Vinick, who is underwhelmed by Santos's gesture, barely responds.
    This info accounts for approximately 15% of the episode.
September 7, 2005 (1st post)- mgoshawk emailed us
Through Television Without Pity, someone has put up a poll modeled on the one from NBC (which has finished) - the only difference being, this time, the results will be publicized and nobody will be refused answering because of their age group. So, if you like surveys and are curious to know more about the West Wing viewer population, go ahead and answer the survey!
September 4, 2005 - "fishytv" posted a link on the Television Without Pity's West Wing forum
NBC The West Wing fan poll (This note was also posted: "Be forewarned, NBC appears much more interested in certain demographic areas, so if you don't fit the desired demographics, they will thank you without asking any meaningful questions. They also set cookies so that you can't go back and retake the poll.")
August 26, 2005 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for episode 7.3, Message of the Week:
  • Teaser: We're backstage at a hotel ballroom, listening to the end of Vinick's campaign speech. His Secret Service detail gets ready for Vinick to go offstage. FYI: Vinick's Secret Service nickname is "Big Sur". The Secret Service Leader asks an agent if a secure room's ready, and the agent nods and says the CIA briefer is waiting for him there. There's a note describing how well the "Vinick bubble" operates to protect him, and it's noted that the only thing that slows them down is Vinick either waving or shaking hands. The detail stops in front of a Men's Room, and the leader tells Vinick that they're using the Men's Room as a secure room. Vinick says, "Perfect". He goes in and meets Charles Frost, the CIA briefer. Frost, a bit nervous, introduces himself and tells Vinick that he'll be handling Vinick's daily intelligence briefings. Vinick asks if he's with the CIA or the NSC. Frost says he's an Agency employee but has been assigned to the NSC for the last 6 months. Vinick, already bored, asks if he can multi-task while they talk. Then he goes and erm...does his business. Frost starts talking about a possibly serious situation in Kazakhstan.
  • Cut to outside the hotel, where Bruno is waiting for Vinick in his Suburban. We see that he's talking to Sheila as he waits. He tells her that Vinick should resign his Senate position so that he can't be forced into any more difficult votes.
  • Pages later, a note says that Bruno "knows how good it looks, but his job right now is to make his candidate feel good". Bruno says to Vinick, "Now that's what I call a stunt" (I think they're talking about press coverage of Santos wearing his uniform and flying a plane — see info for episode 7.2). Vinick thinks it was a great stunt. Sheila says Vinick's going to be surrounded by uniformed cops, too. Vinick replies that he's not going to be wearing one. The car stops and Bruno hangs up the phone. A man named Leon Montero, a "Latin campaign operative", hops in. Vinick introduces Leon to Bruno. A note says that Leon's all business — he's just trying to keep Vinick on schedule. He opens his laptop and tells Vinick that he wants to show him an ad that the RNC wants to run. The ad starts with a black & white photo of Santos taking his oath of office in the House of Reps. Then the ad cuts to several B&W photos of Santos looking "grim, bored, and angry" in committee hearings. The voiceover in the ad tells us that in Santos's 6 years in the House of Reps, he voted for higher taxes 47 times. Vinick says that it must be Santos's committee votes against all the tax cut amendments. Then we see a closeup shot of a newspaper headline that reads, "Santos Against Vinick Tax Cuts". The voiceover on the ad says that it's not surprising that Santos opposes the tax cuts that Vinick thinks the people deserve. A pause, then the VO asks: how much does Santos want to raise taxes? Can the people afford to find out? The closing is the usual statement about the ad being paid for by the RNC. Brunos asks Leon if all they know how to do is attack ads. Isn't there someone who can write an ad about why Vinick should be President? Bruno's about to launch into an insult about anyone having half a brain being able to write an ad, but Vinick puts Bruno back in his seat, as if he's protecting Leon. Vinick tells Bruno that Leon's not with the RNC — he ran Vinick's California operation for years. Leon tells Bruno that he doesn't usually write ads — he usually leaves that to the people with half a brain. Heh. Vinick tells Leon to have Sheila go to party HQ and tell them that they're not interested in negative ads. Bruno nods approvingly. Vinick adds, "Yet". Leon says that they understand that — they just don't think Vinick means they shouldn't do negative ads either. Vinick looks like he's considering that, so Bruno jumps in and reminds them that the press knows that Vinick approves Party ads. Vinick thinks the ad was pretty good. Bruno counters that it is — if you're down 10 points. Leon argues that Santos is gaining on them. The news about Santos being in the Reserves helped a lot. A note says that Bruno could kill Leon for not making insults about Santos's Reserve duty. Bruno says that Vinick still has a lock on the Electoral College. A Democrat can't win without California, and most of the US can't imagine Santos as President. Leon asks if that's because Santos is Latino. Bruno says it could be because he's Latino or because he's inexperienced. Bruno tells Vinick that he doesn't need the attack ad. Vinick asks Leon what he thinks, and Leon says he agrees with Bruno. Vinick thinks for a moment, then tells Leon to tell the RNC that they're going to turn down the ad for now. Vinick opens the car door and we hear cheers from the huge crowd outside because they notice Vinick sitting in the car as the door swings open.
  • Pages later, a reporter asks Vinick if he thought the Santos thing was a stunt. Vinick stops and tries to do his best version of faking indignation. He says it wasn't a stunt — it was devotion to duty. That's what makes the American military the best in the world. Vinick looks like he's about to walk away, then fakes like he's having an offhand afterthought. He smiles and says he hopes Santos will continue to do his duties once Vinick's Commander-in-Chief. Vinick walks away, knowing that last sentence will be the sound bite.
  • Cut to us watching CNN on TV. They're running the sound bite. We see that Josh and Santos are watching the TV while Santos is getting wired up to do a satellite interview. Josh thinks that Sheila must be going crazy. Santos says he'll take any sentence that has the words 'Santos' and 'do his duty' in it. Josh thinks that Vinick made a big mistake — he should've changed the subject. As the floor manager does the countdown to Santos's interview, Santos asks Josh if he thinks wearing the uniform got to Vinick. Josh says he knows it did. The interview's on, and Santos smiles as he listens to the question being asked. He gives his pat answer, saying that what he did wasn't a stunt. He'll always serve his country, blah blah blah, and he'll use his experience in his decision-making in the Oval. A note says that Josh is beaming — he couldn't be happier. If it keeps up like this, they'll be able to close the "stature gap".
  • Cut to Sheila at HQ, talking on the telephone to Vinick. She says, "You had to do it, didn't you?" She's obviously referring to Vinick's sound bite.
  • Cut to Vinick's side of the conversation (he's now in a plane). He argues that he didn't insult Santos. He praised him.
  • Pages later, Sheila tells Vinick that she got him out of a meeting with some Reverends, but he's going to have to meet with someone named George Rohr. Vinick calls him a vicious little so-and-so and says he'd rather meet with the entire Christian Council than with Rohr. Sheila says he really wouldn't. Rohr's a political pro and the Reverends take his advice. She tells Vinick that he's going to have to be nice to Rohr. Vinick asks her if she's the devil.
  • Cut to Vinick & Sheila entering the conference room for a staff meeting. Everyone stiffens, especially the younger ones, who look nervous. Sheila starts by saying that their message of the week is immigration issues — it's the last thing Santos wants to talk about, & it's not just because he's Latino. Vinick interrupts, asking if they'd be doing this if Santos wasn't Latino. Sheila replies that Republicans have been trying to gain the Latino vote for years, & Vinick's made a good living helping them do that. Leon tells Vinick that the press will ask him if he's doing this because Santos is Latino. Sheila says that Vinick should answer that it's an important national issue & it should be discussed in the campaign. Leon thinks they need a better answer than that. Bob goes over their plan. Tomorrow is Day One. Their policy announcement: doubling border patrol -- it's an obvious appeal to their Republican base. Their message of the day is "Enforcement First". They're going to do a photo op at the border in El Paso & a photo op w/ the Minutemen (the name of the civilians patrolling the border). Leon calls them vigilantes. Bob defensively says that the Minutemen aren't hurting anybody. Leon calls them a bunch of nuts patrolling the border. He thinks someone's going to get hurt eventually. Bruno sarcastically asks if there's a local chapter of the KKK. Maybe they can do a drop-by. Bob argues that the Minutemen have gotten a lot of national press & their base loves them. He insists that it'll be a good photo op. After a moment, Vinick agrees to do it. It seems Leon's a bit disappointed that Vinick's agreed to do it, & Vinick notices. Bob continues, telling them that Day One will end w/ Vinick giving a dinner speech to the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. It'll be total saturation coverage in Texas, which is a must-win state for Santos. On Day Two, they'll roll out Vinick's guest worker program. This is about giving legal status to any illegals already holding jobs that Americans don't want. Bruno says he likes this because it has crossover appeal for Democrats & Independents. Leon agrees. Bob says that anything sounding like giving amnesty to illegal immigrants will be a problem for conservatives, but after hearing their Enforcement First message, they should be able to "bring a lot of Republicans along for the ride". Sheila thinks it'll happen if they sell it as part of their 'Sensible Solutions' theme. Bob says they haven't worked out any events for Day Two yet. They'll probably schedule a speech, but he's not sure where since he still needs to figure out the right audience for a speech that will benefit illegal aliens. Sheila thinks they can do this anywhere — the point is just to get the message out & force Santos to say something about it. Leon says, "Because he's Latino". Sheila defensively says that that's not what they're doing, but Leon interrupts & says that the Latino community's going to know that it is. Vinick says he's going to do more than just give a speech — he's going to introduce a bill. Bruno thinks it's a good way to turn his Senate position into an advantage. Sheila tells him that they don't have a bill that they can introduce yet, but Vinick doesn't think it's a problem. They have 36 hours. He wants Leon to give his speech to legislative council to work on the language. The details are up to Leon, but it has to sound like it is one of their 'Sensible Solutions'. Vinick wants Sheila to get co-sponsors & a hearing date. He asks about Day Three. Bob says they'll talk about the Central American Free Trade Agreement on that day. This will help create jobs in Central America so that anyone living there won't go to the US illegally, looking for work.
  • 2 pages later, & we're in Act 2. Vinick & crew are at his HQ. Sheila, Bruno, Leon, & Bob are going over Vinick's schedule. Sheila thinks that they should get Vinick back to DC after they spend a day in Texas so that he can introduce the bill. They can still keep their afternoon & evening schedule in Ohio. Bob thinks they should just add the Border Patrol & guest worker topics to the stump. Bruno says he needs Vinick back in the studio to do a TV spot. Leon tells Bruno that Vinick will be available for an hour on Friday morning. A woman named Annie enters & announces that George Rohr is there. They all walk towards the conference room. Leon stays behind to look at the schedule. Sheila stops Bruno & tells him she doesn't want him in the meeting. George's party doesn't need to be reminded that they've got a Democrat working for them.
  • Cut to the conference room. Bob enters & sees George w/ his aides. Bob gives Rohr a "big good-old-boy greeting". They small talk, & Bob tells him that the private sector's been good to him [George]. George asks if that's what they're calling religion these days. Bob apologetically says that he's talking about George not working for the Speaker anymore & not having to serve in the House of Reps. George smiles & says that he thanks God for that.
  • Cut to Sheila, who's waking up Vinick (he's having a nap on the sofa in her office). Vinick gets up & tells Sheila that if he becomes President, he doesn't want George to ever step foot in the WH. Not even for a tour.
  • Cut to Vinick & Sheila heading to the conference room. It doesn't look like Vinick's taking any of Sheila's advice. She tells him that George is going to try to "jam" him on judges. Vinick should be receptive but non-commital. They enter the room & greet George. Vinick apologizes for not being able to go to Atlanta. He makes his excuses, and George says he understands. Vinick asks Sheila to clear the room of all staff so that he can talk to George alone. Sheila does it, surprised that he's even kicking her out. Once everyone's gone, they get down to business. George tells Vinick that the Council's very concerned about...he stops talking because Vinick reaches over to get some pizza that's on the table & he wants Vinick's undivided attention. Vinick apologizes, starts eating, & tells George that he can continue — he's listening. George impatiently launches into his thing about judges. The Reverends are afraid of the judges that Vinick may want to appoint. Vinick nods & eats, trying to think of something better to say than, "Get the fuck out of here". George says that they're going to need a guarantee on the judges issue. Vinick nicely says that when he gets the job, he'll be eager to get their opinion on judicial nominations. He's going to make Ray Sullivan, his VP, point man on judges. It seems George likes Sullivan & thinks he'll make a great VP. Vinick adds that Sullivan shares George's & the Council's views on everything that they deem important. George asks if he's referring to his religion. Vinick says yes. George says that they're not worried about Sullivan, they're worried about Vinick. Vinick tells him that Sullivan likes the judges George likes, & he's going to rely on Sullivan's recommendations. George says it's not enough — they need Vinick to commit to appointing pro-life judges. Vinick argues that Santos voted for partial-birth abortion. At least Vinick's w/ George on that issue. George says that Rev Butler & the others think that it means Santos wants to kill a few more hundred babies a year than Vinick does. Vinick calmly asks George if George thinks Vinick wants to kill babies. George tells him that Santos is closing in on him & if George's voters stay home, Vinick will lose. George came to see him to tell him how to get George's voters. He came to help Vinick. Vinick asks if they can speak confidentially. George agrees. As Vinick leans in to talk, we cut to...
  • The border in El Paso. It's Tuesday morning. Bob and Leon are there, as well as Vinick supporters with "Enforcement First" placards. Vinick's surrounded by press as he talks to a border patrol agent. We switch to Bob, who's getting some info from someone over the phone. When he's done, he goes over to Leon and tells him that Santos picked up one point in the polls. They only have a 4 point lead now. We now see Vinick talking to the agent about doubling border patrol while the press are filming.
  • Cut to Lou passing the press section of Santos's campaign plane. A reporter asks her if they have any comment on Vinick's proposal. She replies that no, she wasn't surprised that Santos's VFW speech was interrupted by applause 18 times. Santos is a combat veteran who...another reporter interrupts and tells her that Vinick said the border is a security issue. They have to stop Al Qaeda at the Rio Grande. Lou says she'll get back to him on that. The reporter says, "Really?" She replies, "No". She gets to Santos's section of the plane. Santos is eating while talking to Josh on speakerphone.
  • We switch to Josh's side of the conversation. He's in his office and telling Santos about Vinick's proposal to double the border patrol. Lou tells Josh that a few reporters asked her about that. Santos wonders how Vinick's going to pay for it if he's cutting taxes. Lou thinks he should save his comments for the debate. They're not going to fan that flame today. Josh wants them to stay on message and keep chipping away at Vinick's lead. Santos angrily says that Vinick might as well say that if they elect a Latino, there'll be a Mexican family sleeping on everyone's front lawn. Lou says that she'll be the first one to hit back with everything they've got if Vinick ever mentions Santos's name. Josh tells Santos not to let Vinick get to him. Santos thinks that's easy for Josh to say. Lou asks Santos if he's ready to give some one-on-one interviews. He is. While Lou leaves to get a reporter, Josh tells Santos that they picked up another point, so "the story of the day is momentum, momentum, momentum". Lou returns and introduces Santos to Ellen Trayer from the Boston Globe. She asks him to comment on Vinick's border patrol issue, but Santos says he's going to give out his consistent message on national security instead.
  • Cut to Vinick's campaign HQ. Bruno's running over to Sheila's office. When he enters, we see that Sheila's studying the Electoral College map. She tells Bruno that she thought he was going to go to Santos's HQ for debate negotiations. He walks straight to her computer and clicks the mouse.
  • 3 pages later, and we're in Act 3. Vinick's at the Mexican border, shaking hands with as many Minutemen as he can. The press are there, and Bob's keeping close to Vinick so that he can handle the press. Leon stays in the background because he doesn't want to be included in any pictures. Vinick speaks to a Minuteman named Harley Preston. He asks Harley if he's caught anyone yet. Harley says that there's been a lot of press coverage today, so the illegal immigrants will probably go somewhere else to cross. Vinick thinks that that's why they need to get tough on this issue. Leon's not happy with what Vinick just said. A reporter asks Vinick if he's saying that the Minutemen should get tough on any illegal immigrants trying to cross. Vinick cuts off the reporter by raising his voice. He's about to deliver his soundbite. He says that they have a 2,000 mile border, most of it unprotected. They can't have real Homeland Security if they can't secure their own borders. Another reporter states that Border Patrol want the Minutemen to stop. Why does he support the Minutemen? Vinick catches Leon's eye. Then he turns to the reporters and says he understands why the Minutemen are there, and he understands their frustration. However, he agrees with Border Patrol. They should leave law enforcement to the pros. A note says that the Minutemen stop smiling; they're confused. Vinick says that the Minutemen are showing why they need to double Border Patrol. What they see today is what's going to continue to happen if the govt fails to police the border; they're going to get more vigilantes. It's not the American way. The Minutemen are shocked. The scene ends off Leon's approving look.
  • Cut to Santos in a photo op on a factory floor. He's surrounded by factory workers & some reporters, including Ellen Trayers. Santos says that this is the way to strengthen national security & the economy at the same time. The Army urgently needs armor-plated vehicles, & American workers are "ready, willing, & able to do the job". Ellen tells him about Vinick calling the Minutemen 'viligantes'. Does he agree? Santos stays away from the issue. Another reporter asks him if he thinks the Minutement are vigilantes. Santos says that that's not what he's there to talk about. Ellen says that Santos is from a border state. What does he think they need to do to secure the border? Santos says that he doesn't know how you can double the border patrol when you're cutting taxes. The reporter asks if Santos is saying that it's a good idea that the US can't afford. A note says that "now Santos is in the deep end of the pool". Santos says that doubling the border patrol won't solve the problem. Ellen asks if he agrees w/ Vinick WRT Minutemen being vigilantes. Santos says he does. The scene ends off Lou's worried look.
  • Much, much later, & we're back w/ Vinick & Sheila. Vinick asks Sheila if she's done talking. She says yes. Vinick, knowing that what he said was stupid, tells her that he was just trying to get through the meeting. George had him cornered & he figured that he'd tell George what he'd want to hear, & then ignore George once he got into the WH. Sheila angrily says that if Vinick had checked w/ her, she would've told him that it wouldn't work, that George would leak it, & that Vinick would be forced to confirm or deny the story. Either answer would hurt them w/ a large block of voters. Vinick says he thought she said she was done. She says she lied. There's a pause, then Bruno says that he thinks it's time for Ray Sullivan to make an appearance.
  • Cut to the Senate Press Briefing Room. Leon & Bruno watch from the sidelines while Vinick stands at the podium. He starts talking about the CAFTA bill he'd like to introduce. A reporter asks Vinick if he's trying to show his support for CAFTA because Santos voted against it. Vinick either plays like he doesn't know or actually doesn't know that Santos voted against it. He says he's surprised that so many Dems voted against it when it'll help Central American countries build their economies as well as build the US economy. Another reporter asks Vinick if he promised the Christian Council that he would appoint pro-life judges. Vinick answers that this is not the place for campaign questions. A note says that the reporters shake their heads because "they know that's bullshit".
  • Cut to an exhausted Santos on the plane. Josh & Lou are trying to keep him energized. Josh warns him that he might get a question on CAFTA. Santos asks if that's because Vinick said something about it. Josh is about to reply, but Santos cuts him off, saying that Vinick's good. Lou thinks they shouldn't play Vinick's CAFTA game because voters don't care about it. Santos says, "OK, let's do it". Lou leaves & gets another reporter for a one-on-one session. Josh promises that Santos can sleep for at least 2 hours after he's done. Lou introduces Ted Zukoski from the Chicago Tribune. Ted asks about CAFTA. Santos starts to give a rehearsed answer, but Ted cuts him off & asks why he voted against it. There's a pause, then Santos wearily says that it was a complicated bill. A note says that Josh & Lou don't like what he just said. Santos seems "off his game". Zukoski mentions that Vinick said that the more jobs there are in Central America, the fewer the people who will try to enter the US illegally. Santos says it's true, but he's for free & fair trade. CAFTA wasn't a fair deal for anyone. Ted asks if Santos is saying that CAFTA won't help Central America at all. Santos says that it will, but not as much as it could have. He says he voted for it before he voted against it. It was a good bill while it was in committee, but the special interest groups started "hacking" away at it. It didn't resemble much of what it was before, & that's why he voted against it. Santos looks up & sees Josh's horrified face. That's when he realizes he said something he shouldn't have said — that he voted for it before he voted against it.
  • Cut to the press getting on the Vinick campaign bus. We see Bruno on the phone; he's being told about the "voted for it before he voted against it" bit. Leon gives Bruno the day's tracking poll. Bruno looks at it & walks toward the press part of the bus. Bruno tells the press that they have 3 states today — starting in Tampa, ending in Houson — & they're going to hear a new section on CAFTA & more info on the guest worker deal. A reporter asks about tracking numbers. Bruno says their daily tracking poll's not public info. The press boos & hisses. Then one of them asks if the numbers are good or bad. Bruno says that he's smiling, isn't he? They try to squeeze some more info out of him, & we find out that he's "double digit happy". They try to get even more out of him, but we cut to...
  • Lou & Josh on Santos's plane. Josh thinks they should let Santos say something about CAFTA. The press won't let Santos explain about the voting for it/voting against it thing so he should try to speak directly to the people. A woman enters w/ their tracking numbers, & we find out that Vinick's got a 12-point lead. A note says that Josh gets an instant migraine. Ellen walks up to Josh & says that she heard Vinick has a 10 point lead. With a straight face, Josh says that that isn't what he has.
  • Cut to the Sullivan campaign plane. Sheila leads George to Sullivan's part of the plane. Sullivan jumps up & gives George a big hug, & the press take pics. Sullivan knows that that pic will be front page news in the Bible Belt. After some small talk, they get down to business. Sheila's there, hoping she doesn't have to say anything. Sullivan says he knows why George wants Vinick to make a public commitment on judges, but he's never asked a nominee to do that before. He counters that they've never had a pro-choice nominee before. Vinick has to give them a reason to support him. Sullivan says, "Well, the reason's sitting right here". George says that it isn't enough. Vinick promised that he'd appoint pro-life judges, then George tells the Revs that, then he sees Vinick doing "the no-litmus-test bit" on TV. Vinick humiliated him & some people on the Christian Council are begging him to release a statement saying Vinick lied to him. Sullivan says he's asking, as a personal favor, not to do that. George says, "This is bigger than that". Sullivan says nothing's bigger than personal favors. Sullivan says that George is looking at the next VP or the next front-runner for the Republican nomination for President. He tells George that he should really want to be Sullivan's friend, not his enemy. George says that they have no problem w/ Sullivan. Sullivan says that the CC have been promised a lot of things by a lot of politicians. How many of them have come though? George admits that it's not a lot. Sullivan tells him that if he wants Vinick to listen to him about judges, then he shouldn't threaten him. Sullivan tries to convince George some more, then says that if George causes trouble, he'll only be helping Santos & Leo. If he tries to be a team player, Sullivan will make sure Vinick listens to both George & Sullivan re the judges. A note says Sheila's impressed. Sullivan gets up & says that he has to go. If any of the CC has a problem, he'll sit down & talk to them. He asks George if he knows what the worst thing about the campaign trail is. Sullivan says it's surprises — & he doesn't want any.
  • Cut to Vinick entering a hotel parking lot in Houston. Leon gives Vinick an envelope and tells him he's flying back to DC tonight. Vinick asks him what's in the envelope, and Leon says it's his letter of resignation. Vinick wants to know why he's resigning — is he having problems with Bruno? Leon says that he just wants to spend time with his family. Vinick doesn't buy it. Leon explains that he never thought they'd be up against Santos. Three weeks into their campaign, and he can't do it. He can't work all night and day to beat the first Latino nominee for President. Now that they're using his heritage against him...Vinick says that's unfair. He was just talking policy. Leon says, "Please, Senator, I was in the meeting". Vinick thinks that if Santos is afraid to lead the country on those issues, then he doesn't deserve to be President. Voters have the right to hear about Latino issues from the Latino candidate. Leon says that his twins are 2 . His mom-in-law just taught them how to say Santos. One day, they're going to ask him what he did on the campaign, and he can't tell them what he did. Vinick understands. They share a long look, then Leon leaves.
  • Cut to backstage at the hotel's ballroom. Vinick/Sullivan are about to get an endorsement from the Houston Police Union. Vinick enters as the Union President does his intro. A note says that he and Sullivan haven't had much time to talk since the convention, and they certainly don't have time now. Sheila rushes them towards the stage; Sullivan pats Vinick on the back. Sullivan congratulates Vinick on the 10-point lead and says the border patrol issue is killing Santos. Vinick isn't proud of that. He asks about Sullivan's meeting with George Rohr.
    This info accounts for approximately 50% of the episode.
August 23, 2005 - New pages are up on 701 "The Ticket" and 702 "The Mommy Problem".
August 21, 2005 - Craig T. Fifer emailed us a link to an AP story which says the following:
"Janeane Garofalo will guest star as a controversial media strategist on NBC's 'The West Wing' this fall. Garofalo's character, Louise Thornton, is hired by Democratic Congressman Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) as the new director of communications for his presidential campaign.

"She urges Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and the other staffers to stop playing politics and start concentrating on connecting with the electorate.

"Her first appearance is expected to air Oct. 2, NBC said in a statement. The new season of "The West Wing" will premiere Sept. 25 (8 p.m. ET)...."
August 17, 2005 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for episode 7.5, Here Today:
POTUS and Abbey are in the Residence with Ellie and her 30ish-year-old fiance, Vic, who's a research scientist. They all have champagne flutes in their hands. Abbey admires Ellie's ring. She looks at POTUS, who has a "yeah, yeah" look on his face. Ellie asks her Mom if she thinks it's too big. Abbey says there's no such thing. POTUS says to Vic, "Almost got you a rebate there". Vic wishes he could've afforded a bigger one. We see that Ellie and Vic are really into each other. Abbey wants to hear all the details about the proposal. Vic says they went for a mountain bike ride to a secluded spot in Rock Creek Park. He proposed there. Abbey thinks it's romantic. Ellie says it was: "The two of us and my Secret Service detail". POTUS asks them when they think they're going to have the wedding, and Ellie says they're going to do it as soon as possible. A note says, "Their romantic impatience is charming". POTUS says they don't want to distract from the elections, so any time after that would be fine. He starts thinking about a WH Christmas wedding. Abbey tells POTUS that she doesn't think Ellie wants to marry at the WH. POTUS doesn't think anywhere else could be better. Abbey explains that, while it would be romantic, it would be a spectacle. Ellie's the one who shied away from the spotlight the most. She tells Ellie that maybe she should get married once they're out of the WH. Bartlet says, "Sure. If you want to turn your back on a once in a lifetime opportunity." Abbey hopes that the wedding will be a once in lifetime opportunity. Bartlet asks Ellie if she's seriously considering a non-WH wedding. Abbey tells Ellie that they can have a more private affair at the farm. There's an awkward pause, then Ellie tells them that the "where" is not really a pressing concern at the moment. She says there's something else they need to consider -- and it's something where they shouldn't let too much time go by. A note says there's an extremely awkward pause before POTUS and Abbey realize that Ellie's pregnant. The note also says that Vic's trying not to look as mortified as he feels. Ellie, too. POTUS says that they should start scheduling the wedding, then. Nancy (the secretary) enters, and Abbey introduces Vic as their new son-in-law to be. Nancy congratulates them. Vic looks like he wants the floor to swallow him up. Nancy tells POTUS that CJ and Associate Counsel Wayne need to speak to him ASAP. POTUS, in an almost relieved tone of voice, says, "Let's go". A note says he looks at Abbey, and they exchange a look over the Ellie sitch. "Procreative, indeed". He turns to Ellie and Vic.
August 15, 2005 - Not a spoiler and not even about "West Wing" but I am putting in a second plug for the new website about the Fox TV show "House" or "House MD".:
Within the next few weeks, Fox will finish up reruns on Tuesday nights (except it is being pre-empted tomorrow) and sometimes Monday (next week on Monday is the rerun of an early episode). It is my opinion that the writing for "House" is often better than anything "The West Wing" has had since "Bartlet for America" (not as consistently amazing as the whole first and second seasons of "The West Wing", of course). The plots follow a formula (based on the scientific method), but it is the dialogue which is extraordinary. And the characterization of Dr. Gregory House, based somewhat on a modern version of Sherlock Holmes, is fantastic. (Haven't been into a medical show since "Ben Casey" back in the 60s.) Set your DVR or other recording device for Monday and check out The House M.D. Guide. I now return you to your regularly scheuduled program.
August 11, 2005 - Kevin R. Kirwan of Pittsburgh emailed us the following:
"I was watching a Pittsburgh Pirate baseball game on local TV the other day. Richard Schiff was in the booth because apparently he is related to our play-by-play announcer through marriage. He was talking about the filming schedule on the show, how grueling it is and that he is leaving the show about half way through the upciming season."
August 10, 2005 - David Lomazoff emailed us that TV Guide's Insider reports that The West Wing may have a live episode coming up:
"How do you breathe new life into aging TV shows? By going live! At least that's the plan for two Emmy-nominated NBC series, The West Wing and Will & Grace.

"The West Wing" is planning to do a live special during November sweeps that will revolve around a heated debate between presidential hopefuls Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda). 'We are in negotiations with NBC to do a live debate,' confirms the show's executive producer, John Wells. 'We would actually film the hour leading up to the debate, the on-stage [action], all the backstage [stuff] and the aftermath.'"
August 9, 2005 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Some info in the teaser for episode 7.4, Mr. Frost, has changed.
  • A title card tells us that it's now 82 days (instead of 71 days) before election day.
  • Margaret's last name has been changed to "Hooper".
  • Senator Drummond's name has been changed to "Dresden".
  • We find out that Brock has appeared on CJ's inner-office call log between 2 and 14 times a week in the 6 months before June 30.
August 7, 2005 - Ruth Bennie emailed us information on what Rob Lowe said in an interview about whether he might be showing up again on "The West Wing".
See more and a link to the radio interview on our News page.
August 5, 2005 (2nd post today) - "mgoshawk" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Here are the roles being cast for at Showfax.
August 5, 2005 (1st post today) - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for 7.4, Mr. Frost
  • Teaser: Private conference room. A man (identified as the Chairman) greets everyone & says that this is an inquiry by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. We find out that this is the 14th closed hearing by their committees as they conduct a joint inquiry into the leak. The Chairman asks Margaret to stand & take her oath. She does. Title Card tells us it's Aug 18 — 71 days before election day. The Chairman tells a Senator Drummond that he can proceed. Drummond addresses Margaret as "Ms. Weaver". He asks if she's CJ's assistant. He asks if she's responsible for CJ's incoming & outgoing calls. She says yes to both. He asks her if she's familiar w/ the WH archiving system called ARMS. He tells her that the committee subpoenaed some material that went through CJ's office from Dec 30 to July 30. He says their search was limited to 19 points of the ARMS database. He looks at Margaret & asks if she needs water. She says she's OK, but he asks someone to get her some water anyway. He tells her that they issued subpoenas to retrieve info from all the various communication devices. Does Margaret understand? She does. Is she aware of the June 30th New York Times article which talked about the existence of a top secret military space shuttle? She does. Drummond mentions that Greg Brock, the reporter who wrote the piece, has been jailed for failing to disclose his source. He asks her if he's correct when he says that Brock & CJ called each other at least 2x a week in the 6 months before June 30. He is. He says that Margaret received a call from Brock on the morning of June 27. What was the nature of the call? She says that she wasn't in the room w/ CJ, so she doesn't know. Drummond says that Brock called 2x in the afternoon. Margaret transferred the 1st call to CJ on her blackberry. Is he correct in saying that calls that come through Margaret's phone can be monitored by her after the call has been connected? He reminds her that she's under oath. She says yes. He asks if she ever monitored CJ's calls w/ Brock. As Margaret considers her answer...END OF TEASER.
  • Much later, Ned tells Josh & Lou that they have a last minute change — a HS student orchestra had their funding cut. Lou says, "Boo-hoo". Josh says arts education is Santos's pet project & it would make for a good photo op. Lou says the campaign needs to grow up. Leo asks for the time, telling us that Annabeth stole his watch. Josh tells him it's 10:20. Leo & Annabeth take their leave, w/ Leo telling them he'll see them on Monday. Josh & Lou are alone. We see that they're watching Drummond questioning Margaret on TV. He asks Margaret about a phone call between Brock & CJ on the morning of June 20.
  • Cut to the conference room. Drummond asks her if she was on that call. She doesn't think so. He wants to know what she means. She says that her first recollection of learning of that call was from CJ. He asks her if she means she connected the call but didn't monitor the conversation. She says she doesn't think she made the call. He says, "Categorically, can you say you did not..." Margaret says this is to the best of her recollection. Drummond asks her if she's saying she doesn't remember whether she connected that call or not. She says her best recollection is that she didn't connect that particular call. There's a pause, then Drummond asks her about a call that she received from Will Bailey on the 29th. Was Will calling from the VP's office to discuss the NYT leak article? She says yes. END OF ACT 1.
  • Act 3: CJ walks into a Starbucks & gets in line. A Secret Service agent waits near the door. CJ's so tired that she doesn't notice the man who queues up behind her. We get a close-up of CJ, but we don't see the man. The man asks, "I'm sorry, was this your newspaper?" CJ turns her back & says no. The man says he thought it was her newspaper. The barista's ready to take the next order, so CJ steps up & asks for a cappuccino &...one of these. She gives the barista a post-it note. She reads it & looks at CJ. The barista decides to read the order out loud: the order is for a "triple-shot, half-skim-half-soy, cinnamon-chai mocha-chino w/ extra whip & sprinkles". Not only did everyone hear the order, but now they're looking at CJ. She just tells the barista that she'll wait near a small table. A note says that after a pause, a "shape" stands across from her.
  • Pages later, Kate tells CJ that someone came to her w/ the same story as CJ & Kate looked into it. CJ wants to know if "he" is still briefing Vinick. Kate replies that he's not, especially after what happened yesterday. Kate wants to take care of the matter since CJ's got enough to worry about. CJ says that this person also said that a VP from Unocal would be assassinated. Kate just says, "Yeah". As she leaves, Charlie enters & gives CJ something that came from Counsel's office. She wants to know what it is. He's almost sure that it's a subpoena. As he gives it to CJ, we cut to...
  • Santos in a high school classroom. In attendance are local teachers, parents & students. Josh, Lou, Ned, & crew are standing to one side. Santos talks about raising standards for teachers — they should be paid like professionals, & they should be held to higher professional standards. People applaud, & then a few hands shoot up. Santos points to a teacher. The teacher, Michelle Banks (teacher of 10th grade science), asks if Santos believes in the theory of Intelligent Design. He says it depends. He knows it's risky to admit, but as a Catholic who goes to church every Sunday, he believes in God & his faith tells him that there was a designer behind it all. A note says Josh & Lou are wondering what Santos is up to. Santos points to a father named Bob. Bob asks where Santos stands on creationism. Santos says that he was raised to believe in the literal translation of the Bible, which he thinks is creationism. Josh tells Lou that he thinks they have to leave. She wants to know if he's talking about leaving the school. He says he's talking about leaving the state. Lou argues that the Bible says that Earth is 5000 years old. Scientists have proven that the earth is 4.5 million years old. She thinks it's hard to argue w/ scientific fact. An English teacher speaks up & introduces himself as Cliff Reynolds. Reynolds asks Santos if he believes in the theory of evolution. Santos believes that it would be hard to teach zoology, anthropology, etc etc w/out evolution, so he does believe in it. He doesn't think it's contradictory to believe in science & God. Reynolds asks Santos if he thinks ID should be taught in public schools along w/ the theory of evolution. Santos says absolutely not. One is based on science, the other, faith. ID isn't a theory — it's religion, & the constitution doesn't allow teaching religion in public schools. Reynolds says that many of them would feel more comfortable if children were taught all points of view. Santos says he's all for it. Evolution doesn't answer everything, but it is based on scientific facts — facts that can be proven. ID "asks relevant theological questions". Santos: "I mean, let's face it, at the beginning of all that begatting — somethin' begun. What was that something?" A few people laugh. Santos asks Reynolds whether he would agree that including non-scientific explanations in the science curriculum would misrepresent the nature of science, which would compromise the purpose of public education — the prep of a scientifically literate workforce. Reynolds answers that many there believe a child's life is precious & they would want their kids to be taught a version of science that they are comfortable w/. Santos thinks that the decision of whether ID or evolution happened is up to the individual; the framers of the constitution created a national govt that wasn't established in religion. And why? Because they thought that if people were to be sovereign as well as belong to different religions, the official state religion would be no religion at all. Santos thinks it was a bold experiment then, & a bold experiment now. It wasn't made to make people comfortable — it was made to make people free. He thanks everyone for their time. A note says that the room is filled w/ broken applause. Santos walks down from the podium & shakes hands w/ Reynolds & a few others. As Josh & Lou follow behind Santos, Josh says, "I'll be damned". Lou doesn't know what he's talking about. Santos walks straight to the press — they've been waiting for him.
  • A reporter tells Santos that the ADL want an apology for his comments about separation of church & state. Will he apologize? Reporter #2 asks Santos that, as a Catholic, does he advocate the teaching of creationism to children attending Catholic school? Reporter #3 asks Santos if he thinks Vinick believes in the theory of Intelligent Design. This is when Santos stops & turns. He tells the reporter that he doesn't know & the reporter should ask Vinick that question. A note says, "And that's when it hits Lou". Santos keeps walking. Lou asks, "Did what I think just happen, just happen?" Josh asks Ned (who he calls Ted) for the nearest TV. END OF ACT 3.
  • Much later, we're in a HS classroom at night. Santos is playing the clarinet. He's sitting next to some children. Josh & Lou watch as they seem to be getting their final, & maybe their best, photo op of the week.
  • Cut to POTUS in the East Room, "thinking of his friend & the peace he must hold onto at all costs". We hear Mozart playing in the background.
  • Cut to Santos, who's taking a breath & watching the kids play. A note says Josh & Lou are glad to be there.
July 30, 2005 - "mr gilbert" emailed us:
"The part of political advisor 'Louise' [Thornton] in 7.2 has apparently been cast - it's Janeane Garofalo. She spoke about it briefly at the beginning of her 7/29 radio show, which can be heard through...
www.airamericaplace.com/archive.php?mode=show&id=7 in mp3 format. She's taking the next couple weeks off to shoot TWW in LA & will apparently be coming back to NYC when she's not on the schedule (she emphatically denied that she was leaving her Air America gig)."
July 27, 2005 (2nd post of the day) - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 7.2, "The Mommy Problem"
  • End of the teaser: We hear a few on air reports. One says that the WH will stop its efforts to find the leaker in order to avoid tainting 2 other investigations that are going on right now. The other report says that something could possibly be bad news for Santos, just at the point where he managed to get attention deflected away from Leo's health problems and would rather talk about the economy than lapses in security (I'm guessing). Some guy named Otto says, "So where does this leave us now?" Josh gets up, goes to the board, and erases a check-mark in box #2. End of teaser.
  • Act 1: Morning at Santos's campaign conference room. In attendance are Josh, Otto, Joey, Kenny, Ronna, and a few aides. The TV's on, and we see live coverage of reporters waiting outside Santos's hotel. There's a note that says that Josh is wearing a fresh shirt and is trying to put his tie on as he talks on the phone. Josh tells the person on the phone to keep Santos away from the press. He doesn't want anyone talking to the press until they hear what Vinick has to say. When Josh hangs up, Joey says that someone should be on the road with Santos. Josh tells her that Bram went with him. Joey suggests that they send a senior advisor to handle problems like the one they're having now. Josh says he'll be flying out in the afternoon. Joey suggests Edie or Otto instead. Josh replies that he has 6 Democratic media consultants arriving in an hour — he will fly out in the afternoon. Ronna calls Josh's name, and everyone looks at the TV. Vinick appears onscreen, and a reporter questions him about POTUS closing down the investigation. The reporter wants to know if there's a sound legal basis for doing that. Vinick responds that if he were President, he would seal all the windows and doors until they found the leaker and put him/her in federal prison. Vinick gets into a car before another question can be asked. Josh calls out to the room that he needs Vinick's schedule for the day. Ronna answers a phone and puts it on speaker. It's Santos. He says, "What are they smoking in that White House of yours, Josh?"
  • Cut to Santos and Bram in Philly. They're getting off the plane. The side of the plane might have "Santos-McGarry" painted in red, white and blue. A title card! will say, "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania". Santos is on his mobile with Josh, saying that first the WH "Bogarts" his education plan for a "low tar" Congressional compromise. Now they just gave Vinick some ammo. Josh tells him that it's a legal strategy and they've got to avoid commenting on it or their economic message won't be heard. Santos thinks he should say something about it and then move on.
  • Pages later, Joey points out that they don't have a Political Director, Chief Speechwriter, or Communications Director. A man named Bill arrives, saying he was told to show up after ten. Josh shakes his hand and leads him away. Joey says that they have a staff of 300. Surely a few of them are capable of filling the positions. Josh disagrees. An aide walks up to Josh with a direct mail copy. The aide tells Josh that they thought they would try to use Houston crime stats on the direct mail. Josh tells her to do it the way he asked her to do it. She walks away. Joey gives Josh a look. Josh says that this isn't summer camp. Not everyone has the ability to play in the "big game". Josh motions towards a desk and tells Bill that that's his desk. Josh tells Bill that Bill will need to see Payroll and Personnel. Someone will get him business cards. Josh also tells him that the policy working group meets at 3. Bill says, "And that s when I...install the new phone lines?" After a beat, Josh tells him to go to the front desk. Bill thanks Josh for the business cards and walks away. Joey tells Josh that they're about to sit down with top Democrat media consultants. If he's not going to "lean" on his staff, he should lean on the consultants. Josh replies that he thinks it's too bad that they're having a fake meeting. All the media consultants want is a piece of the DNC budget. They hope that the Santos campaign will bring them in and give them a contract so that the consultants won't "take a swipe" at them on Meet The Press. They enter Santos's campaign conference room, where Ronna and the consultants are waiting. We can see that they were given thick handouts. Josh sees a "type-A", 30ish woman who's distractedly tapping her fingers on the table. Josh quietly asks Ronna why the woman's there. Ronna replies that Josh told her to invite the woman, whose name is Louise Thornton. Josh tells Ronna that he told her to be sure not to invite Thornton. Ronna: "Oh". Josh stands at the head of the table and thanks them for coming to this "high-level strategy session. This is probably the greatest assemblage of Democratic talent since the last time Jed Bartlet dined alone". A note says it's a dead joke and there's dead silence in the room.
  • ...Josh says that as they can see from the handouts, they're strongly positioning Santos on domestic issues, especially the economy. They can ride today's press storm "with a little discipline". He asks for their input on the campaign's message & strategy. The first consultant says, "Your pals in the White House" are creating the storm & are "bungling" the investigation into the leaker. The consultant's Senate clients are nervous. Consultants #2 & #3 ditto the sentiment. Josh tries to say that the WH Admin has its own legal strategy & while the politics...he doesn't finish because he notices Thornton's finger tapping. The first consultant wants to know why they aren't repackaging Santos as a moderate. It's no wonder why half the Democrats in Congress won't "share a stage" with him. Consultants #2 & #3 ditto that. Josh thinks that when the voters see Santos's record on deficit reduction & middle-class tax cuts...he doesn't finish again because of Thornton's finger tapping. The first consultant doesn't see why Santos hasn't stuck it to Vinick by "knifing him with strong contrasts". Josh says that they didn't have a full convention to define Santos. They're trying to run a positive campaign while voters try to familiarize themselves with Santos. Just as Josh tries to get them to read page one of the handouts, he hears the finger tapping again. Josh looks at Thornton & she notices. She tells him that she knows he doesn't want their advice — everyone there wants a DNC contract. Can he just cut to the chase now? A note says that the room freezes. Josh says that it goes without saying that everyone's going to be a part of the DNC media buy, as outlined on page 2. A note says the mood lifts considerably. One consultant says they have a strong story for the voters. The other consultant says they're excited about the media buy. Josh seems to ignore them & looks straight at Thornton. He asks, "What if I do want your advice on the message". She replies that it would be hard to give. He wants to know why. She says it's because they don't have a message. There's a pause, then Consultant #2 says that what Thornton means is that they can try to "test some new dynamic spots". Consultant #3 thinks they can "ramp up the positives". Thornton says she isn't talking about a 10 point plan or "Leo's love of egg whites". She's talking about a message that can be put on a bumper sticker that lets everyone know what Matt Santos is about. It's 8 days post-convention & she still doesn't know. She gets up. Josh asks her where she's going. She says that she doesn't want a DNC contract. She just came to see if "this is the Josh Lyman vanity exercise everyone says it is". Also, if she takes their money, how can she snipe at him on Meet the Press? She's gone. One of the consultants tries to backpedal for Thornton. Josh turns to Joey & says he thinks he knows how to fill the empty office next to his. He slips out the door &...END OF ACT 1.
  • Pages later, Margaret tells CJ that "they" are focused on the Chief of Staff's office. CJ wants to know what Margaret's trying to say. Margaret replies that if there's something she should or shouldn't do/say...CJ cuts her off & tells her that she (CJ) wants her to tell the truth. And this is the only conversation she wants to have with Margaret about it. After a beat, Margaret leaves. A note says it's not the strongest show of faith from the junior staff.
  • Cut to a title card! that says, "Scranton, PA". A reporter says he hopes Santos (I think) flew out there to comment on the POTUS sitch.
  • Cut to Josh in a function hall corridor. He drops his overnight bag, walks past 2 aides who want to talk to him, & gives out press releases to waiting reporters. He tells them that they have a brand new policy, also called hard news. He jokes that they shouldn't all thank him at once. Reporter #2 asks if Santos really won't be taking any questions at the town hall. Josh says that Santos is proposing a major new tax credit for research & experimentation which will reward innovations in the economy. Another reporter wants to know when Josh will make Santos available for questions. Josh says that'll happen after they write about the tax credit...
  • ...Reporter #2 says that Republican Congressmen are saying that Democrats can't be trusted with national security. Reporter #2 speculates that Santos must be angry with POTUS for creating this problem for him. How does Leo feel? Josh says that Leo's upset that they're not doing more to reward innovation in the economy. Reporter #4 has just gotten off his mobile & asks if they have a comment on the New York Post. Josh says he's against it. And that remark's off the record. The reporter says there's a story on the paper's website that says Santos cancelled 4 lunch events in the last 2 weeks. Josh starts to give an answer that's on-message, & then says, "lunch events?" Reporter #2 wants to know why it's always lunches. Reporter #4 says that the Post's calling it "Santos's Siestas". A few reporters laugh. Josh says that, first of all, it's ridiculous. Second, it's a cheap stereotype. Reporter #3 wants to seriously know why Santos cancels lunches. Josh says they can't seriously be interested in this. Reporter #2 sarcastically says, "As opposed to the same economic speech we wrote about 2 days in a row?"
  • Cut to the function hall corridor where Ned, Edie and Thornton are standing with their luggage. Ned walks over to greet Josh while Edie and Thornton talk. It seems they know each other. Ned asks Josh if he heard about the siesta story. Josh says that when he told them to say that Santos cancels lunches all the time, the point wasn't to emphasize the fact that...Ned finishes that it wasn't to emphasize that they cancel lunches. Ned thinks it's a fine-line situation. Josh doesn't agree. Edie wants to know how they're going to handle the problem.
  • Pages later, and we're in Act 3. We're in a hotel and a title card will tell us that we're in Pittsburgh. Edie follows behind Josh, who's walking quickly. An advance guy tries to ask Josh a question, but Josh doesn't want to deal with him right now. He practically knocks the advance guy over as he walks to the staff room. As he picks up a legal pad, he notices that Vinick's comment is being played on TV again. Josh pulls the plug on the TV and turns it so that it faces the wall. He tells everyone in the room that they have to write some options — the "press marginalia can wait". Edie says that according to Ned, "he" (Santos, I'm guess again) postponed his "reserve musters about a third of the time". Josh says it was actually 41%, and whoever gave a certain letter to Time has to know that as well. Edie argues that he stayed in the reserves all these years.
  • Much later, a title card tells us that we're in a naval station in Fort Worth, TX. Santos is putting on his final flight gear. A note says that this isn't Dukakis in a tank. Santos fills the uniform as if he's worn it half his life. Which he has.
  • Cut to the runway, where a crew is helping Santos into an F/A-18 Hornet. Still pics are being taken. TV cameras are there, too. The crew exits, Santos gets a signal which tells him he can take off, and he starts taxiing.
  • Cut to Santos's campaign conference room, where Josh, Joey, Kenny, Edie, Thornton, and Otto are working. 2 TVs show Santos making daredevil moves with the plane. On one show, the title says, "Stunts or Service?", and the other says, "Santos Drills With Reserves". The reporter says that the Santos campaign refused to comment on the muster. They said that Santos had to take care of a personal obligation and would return to talk about economic issues when...Pundit #1 interrupts and says that it's a charade — a made-for-TV movie. Why does the reporter think Santos stayed in the reserves for 13 years? Joey changes the channel and another pundit says that there's a contrast. Vinick's taking a shot at the President and maybe he's being sincere about it. On the other hand, Santos is defending POTUS and saying that he doesn't just fund planes -- he flies them as well. Joey tells everyone that they jumped up 4 points on security in last night's tracking poll.
July 27, 2005 (1st post of the day) - Three posts on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
  1. "Kiera123" posted: "New casting sides are out. The episode is titled 'The Mommy Problem'."
  2. "Sedonared" posted: "The spoilers in question dealt mostly with the Santos campaign vis a vis staffing issues, DNC consultations and the repercussions of the White House leak."
  3. "BigTomDC" posted: "Having read through the sides posted on the Yahoo J/D Shippers Group, the leaks appear to be sort of a backdrop for the episode. Vinick and Santos are each asked 6 to comment on the leak, Vinick saying that if he were President he'd "lock all the windows and doors at the White House and not let anyone leave until the source of the leak was discovered." The White House, meanwhile, has shut down its internal investigation of the leaks, so as not to interfere with at least two outside investigations, presumably one led by Republicans on the Hill, and one by a prosecutor. At one point, Margaret and CJ are talking about the investigations. Margaret tells her that she knows they're going to be concentrating on their office, the CoS office and CJ asks her to clarify what she's talking about and Margaret tells her that if there's anything in particular she'd like her to say when she meets with them, something she should forget or point out... CJ cuts her off and tells her that she wants Margaret to only tell the truth and that that's the last time they're going to discuss it. Margaret stands there a moment and then leaves. There's a note that her words aren't the strongest show of faith from the junior staff."
July 25, 2005 - NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly discussed the status of the Peacock Network. By MIKE MCDANIEL Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle "He told the Television Critics Association":
"...that The West Wing has 'some really good surprises in store,' that the fictional presidential election will not play out this fall (but will be determined before May) and that Alan Alda 'has said he's agreeable to do more episodes.'

"In what is probably a marketing ploy, Reilly's statement about Alda could be an inference that the long-presumed victory of Jimmy Smits' character may not be a given."
July 17, 2005 - Remember how in "365 Days", Annabeth is advising Charlie on how he needs a better name if he wants to push the Earned Income Tax Credit? Well, we were reminded of that when we read an article in today's New York Times Magazine called "The Framing Wars":
LakoffThe article is about how the Democrats are now following in Republican footsteps in paying attention to how they talk about something, how they "frame" --- how they communicate --- their side of the debates. Previously, they "had allowed Republicans to control the language of the debate, and that had been their undoing." If they take control, they can "frame" the issues, which consists of, "choosing the ;aguage to define a debate and,, more important, with fitting individual issues into the contexts of broader story lines." It goes on to talk about "the father of framing" being George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at Berkeley who during the last Presidential election got frustrated enough to try to distill his theories into a "book about politics and language" titled, Don't Think Of An Elephant!/ How Democrats And Progressives Can Win: Know Your Values And Frame The Debate: The Essential Guide For Progressives. (This is available in paperback for $8, which is #23 in Books at Amazon at the moment or in a more recent DVD/Book for $15.30, with a forward by Howard Dean in an introduction by Don Hazen.
July 13, 2005 - "Mrs Visnjic I Wish" posted on Television Without Pity's West Wing forum:
Spoilers for Episode 7.1, "The Ticket"
  • Pages into the episode, Josh tells someone to call "them" again and tell them that the Dems looked like "feuding inbreds" at last week's convention and they need help with their party unity strategy. Josh wants all the Congressmen smiling and clapping at every one of Santos's events. Bram enters at this point, looking nervous. He gives Josh a large envelope.
  • Cut to Leo exiting the stage at the Roy Hill County Fair. He and Annabeth walk toward some reporters. Annabeth tells him that the press want to do a Q&A with him. She reminds him that he controls the press event. If he doesn't like the reporters' questions, he shouldn't accept the premise of their questions. He reminds her that she's actually quoting him. She thought she was quoting Toby. Leo says that Toby got that from him. He (Leo) has been rejecting the premises of questions since the Hoover Administration. They're with the press now. Reporter #1 predictably asks Leo if he's still in AA. It seems Leo knows the reporter and addresses her by name. She continues, asking him when's the last time he attended an AA meeting. Leo tells her that he's made a statement about this before — she should take a look at them. At this point, Leo sees an aide slip an envelope to Annabeth. Reporter #2 wants to know if his cardiologist thinks Leo can handle the stress. Leo says his cardiologist made a statement as well and the reporter should take a look at that. Leo says he'd like to talk about Matt Santos's plans to improve schools in West VA and all over the country. A note says that Leo's paying attention to the press event while keeping an eye on Annabeth, who has opened the envelope and begun reading the contents. He sees her smile.
  • Cut to Toby, who asks Margaret if CJ's in her office. Margaret says CJ's in her office with Babish and the meeting could go on for awhile. He wants to know why, and Margaret says that it seems Babish has a lot to talk about. A concerned Toby tells Margaret to call him when CJ's free.
  • Cut to Santos walking off the Braeburn College Auditorium stage. You can hear the crowd wildly applauding. Josh pulls him aside and tries to talk to him away from some people who want to meet Santos. Santos says he's getting a lot of questions about Leo's health and he needs a better answer other than Leo "cut out red meat". Josh shows him a poll. Pages later, Josh says to Santos, "Not anymore there's not". Josh pushes through some double doors and into the Reception Area at their HQ. You can see a few desks. Santos says he thought HQ would be bigger, but it'll do. Josh tells him (and Helen) that he's actually in another area. They round the corner, and Santos and Helen immediately stop walking. The area's huge. You can see offices and conference rooms, as well as a sea of desks where hundreds of campaign workers are... working. Josh: "Welcome to the mothership". A woman named Edie stands up on top of her chair and calmly shouts over the noise that the 2 o'clock Michigan advance mtg's been pushed to right now. Anyone involved in site or press advance needs to convene in another room. Josh calls Edie's name. She turns around, sees Santos, and OMGs. Everyone hears her calling Santos "The Congressman", and 400 heads turn his way and break out in applause. Santos thanks them.
  • Pages later, Ronna says she did something. Also, Hammond wasn't free either. Josh tells her to get someone from the Colorado Congressional delegation. Josh heads out to a conference room. Ronna follows. We see that Santos is watching a commentator on TV. The commentator's saying that Santos didn't pick Leo, who has all sorts of baggage, because he wanted to. It's because he needed to. Santos needs the gravitas and political savvy, something he doesn't possess himself. The commentator's sure that Santos realizes he'll need it even more if he gets elected. Santos, quietly seething, turns the TV off. Cut to CJ meeting with Babish. Margaret interrupts to give her a 15 minute warning on POTUS's call with Beijing. CJ thanks Margaret, who leaves. Then CJ asks Babish what they were talking about. It seems they were talking about Kate Harper. CJ tells Babish that Kate was the one briefing her because she sat in on the NASA and DOD meetings. Babish asks if CJ likes her. She does. Babish says Kate's an achiever. Pages later, Josh tells Leo that someone's harmless. Leo says he'll just sit quietly and not say a word. He thinks it would be nice to just say hello. Josh agrees. Edie comes up and shoves a document in Leo's face. She asks him to take a look at some quick changes they made. Ronna tells Annabeth that "these" are "his" clips as of about a half hour ago. Annabeth asks Josh if he's read the clips yet. He hasn't. They look over them as Bram enters, asking for a moment of Leo's time. Leo agrees. Then he asks Josh and Annabeth if they're looking at clips. Annabeth tells Leo that Bram needs him...
  • ...Then he needs to see a makeup consultant — he's been looking a bit orange under the fluorescent lights. Leo knows Annabeth doesn't want him to look at the clips. Bram introduces Leo to Special Agent Ellis Taylor. They do a walk and talk: Taylor knows that Leo's met a few people on his detail. Taylor thought it would be a good idea to get everyone together and talk about any questions he may have. Leo just says, "Great". They walk into a conference room, and we see about 80 agents inside the room. They're all at ease until Leo opens the door. A note says they're all wearing approximately the same suits and it's quite a sight when they all turn to look at Leo as he opens the door. Leo asks which ones are on Santos's detail and which are on his. Taylor tells him that all 80 agents are on his detail.
  • Back to Josh and Annabeth. Josh comments (about the clips), "Ouch. Whoa". Annabeth asks Josh if Santos is getting hit the same way. Josh says not like that. Bram enters and tells them Joey Lucas! is there. Josh wants Bram to tell Ronna to hold off on any interviews until he's done meeting with Joey. Bram asks if they're looking at Leo's clips. Josh says yes. Bram asks if they've seen the Wizard of Oz cartoon yet. Annabeth nods her head, but it seems Josh hasn't seen it yet. Pages later, Joey says they have to convince people that Santos is substantial. The phone rings again, and Josh picks it up and immediately puts it back down. Joey says Josh can hire people to help him. Josh says he needs an assistant, a deputy, and a week's vacation in Cabo. It ain't happening today. Joey asks about Leo. Josh says the first few days are tough. Joey asks if Santos is happy. Josh says yes, although Santos doesn't know Leo that well. It's not like they're old friends. Joey thinks Josh feels responsible. Josh actually thinks it'll work out; he thinks Leo's a great choice. Bram interrupts to tell Josh that Santos has been looking for him — their strategy meeting was supposed to start 10 minutes ago. Josh, Joey, and Kenny head for the door.
  • Cut to the conference room, where the staff plus Santos (who has written a whole bunch of staff on a notepad) are waiting for Josh's arrival. Josh apologizes for being late. Santos mentions that Josh is looking for a deputy, and if anyone has a cousin who needs a job... He turns to Edie and says, "What do we got". Edie tells them that the current schedule's color is yellow. If anyone has a pink or blue schedule, they need to get rid of it as it's entirely outdated. Josh asks Annabeth about Leo, and Annabeth says that he's meeting with someone named Lorraine WRT a Medicaid piece. He'll be right there. Josh thinks they should wait for Leo, but Santos wants to continue. He tells Josh to fill Leo in. Next up is media booking. Some guy named Otto says they're booked for the usual things. However, The Daily Show and The View have shown interest in interviewing him. Do they want to go that way? Joey says that it's a mixed bag. Otto wants to know why. Josh answers: "It has something to do with strong arms and fireplaces and you don't want to hear it from Kenny". Joey says Kenny's "hunky". Santos was going to say "telegenic", but if hunky works for her, he'll agree. Josh asks Santos if he read Joey's summary. He has, and he wants to appeal. Joey says that they want to make sure that no one mistakes "that" for insubstantial. Josh says that appealing is what "they" believe and they should play into it — lock it in and build on it. Annabeth thinks it's good news. They've got the charisma factor, which can't be taught; all they have to do now is to project depth. Santos says he's going to start carrying a copy of Proust. Josh says that scheduling needs to make room for more Q&A. It lets everyone know that Santos isn't just a pretty face — he has something to say. Edie suggests having 2 Q&As a day. Santos suggests having one after every speech. Edie says that it takes a lot of time out of the schedule. Santos says it's worth it. Josh agrees and tells everyone that they're looking at 5 press conferences a day. He reminds Santos that Santos controls the conversation. Annabeth repeats the same line she told Leo about the questions. Otto says they need to talk about which interest groups will be given their attention in the next week. Leo quietly enters, and a few people get up to give him their seat. Josh introduces Leo to everyone. Leo apologizes for his lateness, saying there was some confusion over Medicaid figures. Santos tells Leo it's good to have him there, then steers the conversation back to the topic at hand, which is interest groups. Josh thinks they should see broad-based moderate groups first. Annabeth tells Josh that he should be careful. He counters by saying the primary's over and they need to "tack center, hard". Annabeth reminds him that Vinick is a moderate Republican and there's hardly a center left where he doesn't have a hold. Santos says she's right...
  • ...They need the left flank. Leo argues that they shouldn't concede the center — battles are won or lost there. Santos says he won't make it onto the battlefield without a Democratic base. A note says that "Josh notices that was a little sharp". Otto wants clarification as to whom Santos should meet. Josh says he should meet with everybody. What's next? Edie says that people have been asking questions about Leo's personal history. Do they want to re-evaluate how they're handling that? Leo says he's made remarks in the past about all that. They should refer everyone to those statements. Edie's not convinced that that'll satisfy the press. Annabeth thinks they should consider a mea culpa. Josh asks if she's thinking of Nightline. She's actually thinking about 20/20. She thinks Leo should tell Barbara Walters his story, cry a little, and then get on with it. Santos thinks that may simplify matters. Leo says that if he thought it'd help, he'd cry all afternoon. But he doesn't think it'll help. Otto asks Leo about "the Mallory situation". Leo wants to know if Otto's talking about his daughter. Edie thinks Mal might enjoy going on the road with Leo. Leo really doubts it but thinks the press might enjoy it. Annabeth offers to call her. Otto tells them that if Santos is doing 5 Q&As a day, Leo needs to do at least 3. Leo questions their decision to do 5 Q&As. Josh tells him that it's their new strategy and they're testing it. Leo thinks they'll be feeding the beast a lot. Santos says they're going to try it. Leo argues that Santos shouldn't give the press that many shots at him, but Santos shuts down the conversation by saying, "What else." A note says that Leo's keeping his chin up but realizes that Santos was quite brusque. Josh tries to give Leo a "reassuring look", but Leo avoids making eye contact with him. Edie asks if Mal's willing to take the baby on the road with them. Bram asks if the baby's photogenic. Annabeth gives him the death glare. Bram justifies his comment by saying not all babies are photogenic.
  • Time cut to the end of the meeting and everyone's breaking up. Josh asks Leo how he's doing. Leo says he's fine. A lot of pics are being taken of him and he thinks they may get more out of him if they put him in a room with the strategists instead of putting him in front of the cameras.
  • Much later, Leo tells POTUS (during pedeconference) that something's "par for the course", but he can't tell anymore. POTUS says the spotlight's on him everywhere he goes and he won't be able to tell much of anything anymore. He must've expected it when he agreed to take the job. They've reached the bottom of the stairs outside the Sit Room. Leo says he knew, but it happened so quickly. He's not sure it even crossed his mind to say no to something that might move the party forward. He thinks that he was a risky choice and Santos might not have picked him if he had been given a few days to think about it. He's not sure that he would've taken the nomination either if he was given a few days. POTUS asks Leo if that means he would've said no. Leo doesn't answer. Instead, he just says that it was good to see him again and to tell Abbey and the kids that he misses them like they were his own. As Leo leaves, POTUS tells him that this is what it feels like. A note says that Leo stands there as POTUS puts his hand on the scanner that leads into the Sit Room. As the doors open, we see that CJ's inside. She looks at Leo before following POTUS into the room and the door closes on Leo.
  • Cut to Leo stepping out of a limo as he heads toward HQ. A ton of reporters are there. A reporter asks him if he finds the campaign trail exhausting. He addresses the reporter by his first name and says he finds it invigorating. Another reporter asks if Speaker Haffley's "floating an education initiative" with the WH. He says he doesn't know what's happening in the Speaker's office, but he can say that Santos has the most practical approach to improving teacher quality. They ask if Santos's plan is similar to Haffley's. Leo's about to answer that the plan's comprehensive, but another reporter cuts him off, asking why POTUS is working with Haffley when it's Santos's issue. Leo responds that the Constitution gives the President the power to sign bills into law — it doesn't give candidates the power to do anything. A note says that Leo's answer was hasty, and Leo knew it the moment the words came out of his mouth. Annabeth knows it, too. Another reporter asks if Santos thinks he's powerless to effect change. He also wants to know why Santos raised the issue if he knows he's powerless to do anything about it. Annabeth thanks the reporters, saying that it's been a pleasure. She gets Leo through the crowd and into the building. Leo asks her if he accepted the premise of the question. She says he sure did.
  • The spoilers account for approx 22% of the episode.
July 12, 2005 - "mgoshawk" emailed us a post from "Redwoman_in_mich1" on an MSN Group:
"Redwoman_in_mich1" posted: "...I live in Detroit and the All Star game is being played here...well my local talk radio show that I listen to all the time..was talking to the stars that are here for the game and festivies...and I heard a very familar voice..RICHARD SHIFF...which of course I was quite excited to hear him...and he said and I quote" I will only be on for a few episodes this coming season and then I am leaving the show"...thank god I was at a light when he said that because I almost fell over lol...I am only reporting was RICHARD SHIFF said on the radio...out of his mouth..he didnt saying anything else after that..they just went back to talking about baseball...."
July 10, 2005 - To those of you in Britain, Ireland or Europe who use Region 2 DVD players (and those of you in other parts of the world with Region Free players):
Amazon UK is now listing Season 6 Available for Pre-Order in Region 2 DVDs (shipping September 26, 2005).
(Note: Above Region 2 DVDs won't play on most North American DVD players.)
July 09, 2005 - "mgoshawk" emailed us that several places are reporting that NBC will be doing reruns:
"there are going to be reruns on upcoming Saturdays, always at 8PM and 9PM ET."
  • "The Dover Test" and "In The Room" showing on July 23rd.
  • "Impact Winter" and "Faith Based Initiative" showing on July 30.
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July 3, 2005 - There is now a West Wing News Blog
You all might want to check it out.
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