West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fourth Season Episodes * #403 "College  Kids"
John Spencer as Leo McGarry, White House Chief of Staff
(with Teddy Roosevelt)
NBC Photo: Michael O'Neill
Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, Story: Debora Cahn & Mark Goffman, Director: Alex Graves
Takes Place: A few minutes after that last episode ended
Broadcast: October 2, 2002
Query: What was that music played at the Rock the Vote rally?
Query: What was that scripture Bartlet quoted in his speech (see below)?
Query: What was the TitleIX discussion about?

While the President, Leo, Fritzwallace & company try to deal with the effects of the assassination they ordered, Sam, Bruno, Leo and others are also worried about a judge that is about to rule on letting a third part candidate into the upcoming Presidential debates. Sam, Bruno and CJ are also wondering how the President can address yesterday's bombing in a campaign speech without seeming opportunistic. Oh, and the FBI is still trying to track down the (suspected home grown) bombers. And then there is the problem with the security clearance for the President's new secretary (Sam calls her "the President's new Exec") that Charlie and Bartlet are dealing with. Shouldn't forget the ongoing political arguments about Title IX. As usual just your typical day at the office.

Bartlet tells Leo they need a lawyer to advise them on national and international repercussions from the assassination. Leo calls in Jordan Kendall, who was his lawyer when he appeared before the Congressional Committee in "Bartlet for America". He tells her:
". . . last May. . . a private plane carrying Qumari Defense Minister Abdul Shareef went down near Bermuda. . . . Qumar has been investigating the accident because they believe there was foul play. And we believe, in fact we know, that they are trying to frame Israel. They're producing phony evidence."
"How do you know?" she asks.
"Because we do. . . .Jordan --- we know any evidence of assassination is manufactured."
"'Cause we destroyed all the evidence."

About that time, the President calls in. Leo asks what Bartlet's about to say in the speech. Bartlet tells him he doesn't know, but he still has about two minutes. By the time, he gets to the stage, however, he seems to have composed it in his mind:
"'Joy cometh in the morning,' scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world, there'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture, and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms; there aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well, and we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better, and we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this."

While the President gets a standing ovation in East Lansing, Leo continues telling Jordan why they need her. He goes into all the experience she has had in international relations.
"I don't have any experience with what you're talking about," she says.
"Nobody does. And we're talking about we killed Shareef. . . . It's helpful to start saying it out loud."

While Jordan goes home to think about taking on the enormous responsibility that Leo has asked for, C.J. addresses a Rock the Vote rally in Cambridge. She repeats the mantra Bartlet said in Rosslyn:
"Decisions are made by those who show up."

And while that is going on, the President and Leo are briefed by the FBI which thinks it has the bombers surrounded."
"Are there kids inside?" Bartlet asks Agent Casper.
"Yes Sir."
After telling the agent that they are only to go in on his order, Bartlet tells Leo, "You just knew it was going to end up like this."

On the other crisis, Fritzwallace has come up with the details to a plan to suggest that Shareef isn't dead after all. If he isn't dead, of course, then neither Israel nor the U.S. could have assassinated him.

But the President isn't done for the day. Just before he leaves the Oval Office, he hires Debby Fiderer even though it seems she had made comments three years ago about putting arsenic in the President's drinking water. It was an environmental thing she was annoyed at. Although he thinks she's a "whack job", he also thinks she's a class act. And he's become convinced that he is not going to do any better.

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

If you would like to read opinions on this episode, please see the poll at West Wing Fan Survey Page.
Previous SiteMap   Help Us   Home Next

Quotations & some other material copyrighted to John Wells Productions, et al.
Email westwing@bewarne.com to report mistakes, make comments, ask questions
(above address doesn't reach anyone connected to the show itself).

     Amazon    MIS