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path: Home / Fourth Season Episodes * #409 "Swiss Diplomacy"
Toby Ziegler
Richard  Schiff as Communications Director Toby Ziegler▀
NBC Photo: Michael O'Neill
Writers: Eli Attie & Kevin Falls, Director: Christopher Misiano
Takes Place: Shortly after the election
Broadcast: November 20, 2002
Query: Has the President of Turkmenistan really proposed to name the month of January after himself?

C.J. is preparing the President to face the press but he is "feeling his oats" as is indicated by the following answer to the question she asks of how he interprets the margin of victory (this is before the press conferance starts).
"Well, the votes have been counted and the people have spoken and it's clear that their will is for me to be able to do and have anything I want. . . . Well, the President of Turkmenistan just extended the date of adolescence to 25. So, things like that."
"I think he also renamed the month of January after himself," Leo mentions.
"That's just greedy. Real power is knowing when to leave a little something on the table. . . . Patient's bill of rights, prescription drugs, keeping the economy growing, find a surplus again, keep the surplus growing, use the surplus to build schools. . . ."
". . . Sir, you and I enjoy your funny jokes, but Idaho, you know, not so much. You'll take it easy in there?" Leo is still trying to bring Bartlet back to reality. But his efforts fall a little short/ When Leo tunes into the President's press conference later, he hears him talking about the month of January. ". . . The President, Gerneralismo --- whatever he comes back as."

Meanwhile Sam is opening his campaign in Orange County. But when he directs questions about the campaign staff to Will Bailey, Sam learns that someone other than Will is going to be his campaign manager.
"Scott's campaign manager?"
"Yes."
"What's your title?"
"Citizen Bailey."
"I'm not kidding."
"I'm the Chancellor of Germany. . . . Not the chancellor per se. . . . Your team's in the field. . . . There are too many chiefs around here."
"Well I'll get rid of some of them."
"No, you want them. . . . These guys are the best. We just went from 435 House races to one. You get the all star team."
"He doesn't want the best, he wants you," Elsie tells Will.
"Yes, but the Republicans are starting their starters so you got to match up."
"We match up fine. You got me into this."
"Well, you got you into this but I owe you the best chance to win and I owe that to Mr. Wilde. I took the race to show the DNC that no district should be ignored."
"What are you gonna do?"
"I'm going to stick around here for a week to help and thank some people and then I'm gonna to take a vacation."
"Where?"
"I don't know, France, Italy, Wales. Maybe EPCOT."

And the Swiss have brought the President a hot potato. The son of the Iranian Ayatollah needs a heart-lung transplant. Doctors Without Borders has come up with the organs. The President needs to confirm that the U.S. will allow the child and his guardian to come for the operation. But then it turns out that there are only three doctors that can do this and one is involved in a tricky operation and the second is repelling the North face of K2. And the third fled his native Iran after the Fundamentalists tortured and killed his father.
"People are taken from their homes in the dead of night and jailed and tortured for months at a time. . . . And public executions. . . . Political opponents drag outside state borders."
". . . the enemy. . . . is not a 15 year old boy. . . ."
"It's not your family that's still there. My family's there. If the procedure isn't successful. . . . ."

Toby is feeling guilty because a Congresswoman who came out for a gas tax hike that Toby and the administration asked her to suppot, thereby lost her re-election. Toby thought he had the perfect reward for her but that fell through. And it is looking like the administration can't offer her any job. She tells him they don't owe her anything:
"I came out for a gas tax, because someone from Michigan had to. Gas prices are too low. It's why the air's polluted. It's why no one wants alternative fuels."
"And clearly that argument took the nation by storm . . . "
"It's in the living," she tells Toby. "It's in the campaigning that you make your mark. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose."

Sam returns from California and goes to see the President:
"You're the nominee. . . . Sam, it's okay to run away from me when you need to."
"I would never, Mr. President. I simply would never do that. That's not how I'm getting votes."
". . . You disagreed with me on Medicare. I remember the meeting right here. Then you wrote a five-page memo. . . . Run towards yourself. I'm wrong about that. Walk. You're not going to be used to your surroundings. If you lose, you lose. But if you waste this, I'll kill you. I'll just kill you, Sam."

The doctor whose father was tortured and killed by the Iranian fundamentalists, ends up trying to save the son of the leader of the hard line Iranian clerics.


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