West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Fourth Season Episodes * #412 "Guns Not Butter"
Charlie Young
Dulé Hill as aide Charlie Young
NBC Photo: Michael O'Neill
Writers: Eli Attie & Kevin Falls and Aaron Sorkin, Director: Bill D'Elia
Takes Place: January
Broadcast: January 8, 2003
Query: What is Heifer International?

Hours before the Senate vote on $17 billion foreign aid bill (which the White House expects to be 50/50 with Hoynes to break the tie for a win), Josh is told about a new poll that claims that 68% of Americans think too much money is spent on foreign aid and 59% want it cut:
"Of course foreign aid polls badly," Josh says. "The people it's helping aren't the ones answering the phones...."
But the poll gives a Senator enough support to vote against foreign aid. One of his aides summarizes this for Josh, "You're one vote down on foreign aid."
When Josh gets back to his office, he tells Donna about the poll, "Respondents estimate foreign aid to be 15% of the federal budget. It's one percent of the federal budget, or it was a half an hour ago."
In C.J.'s press conference, she explains why this is a problem, "Foreign aid has been cut 50% in the last decade. In percentage of GNP spent, we rank not toward the bottom, we are the bottom: Dead last."

Josh has to find some other Senator to change their vote the other way. He focuses on a new Democratic Senator from Georgia who goes into hiding so as not to be forced to choose between saying "no" to the President and voting for something her constituents oppose. Josh gives Donna the job of finding the Senator and as she gets a tip, grabs her coat to rush out to find the Senator, we switch to the President telling an audience why foreign aid is important.
"We live in an interdependent world and we should act like it. We live in a global community and we should sustain it. We should cross borders. We should cross borders to build sustainable Democracies that can banish privation and fear. And we should cross borders to bring food and medicine and roads and schools and teachers to parts of the world forgotten by all but the warlords. We're going to pass this Foreign Ops bill. This should be a century of hope and prosperity everywhere. And America's going to lead the world and not just bully it.

While everyone else is trying to save the world from hunger, Charlie gets involved with a plea for help from a private in the Army whose family is on food stamps. When Zoey's new French boyfriend makes fun of Charlie being "powerless to help", Charlie gets further involved than he planned to.

Meanwhile, C.J. has set up a photo op for the President to promote Heifer International which helps poor families around the world by giving them farm animals. She had thought they would send a cow but they sent a goat. Leo thinks cow or goat is a little strange and his expression of disbelief, has C.J. rethinking the whole thing.
"Okay, I think what we are going to do is I think we're going to wait until after the vote at 10:30 'cause if we don't win it would be a mistake for this picture to run tomorrow."
"How big a mistake?" Leo asks ominously.
"One from which certainly my job would have hung in the balance."
"...If the President's wearing a hat or that thing's wearing a Bartlet button, I'm hiding snakes in your car."
"Come on. Don't say that, Not even to joke." C.J. is obviously quite horrified by the thought.
"You're never going to know where they are.... or if you got them all out.... Going to lay their eggs right in the glove compartment." Having thoroughly shaken C.J., Leo leaves her to make arrangements for the Goat Named Ron.

Donna isn't having a lot of luck. She keeps ending up with the Senator's aide instead of the Senator. Even the aide is impressed, though she is sarcastic about it:
"Wow. You know what you are? You're the little aide that could." Still, Donna fails to reach the Senator.
Later, Josh tells Donna, "Don't listen to the naysayers. You've got a great future as a stalker."

Meanwhile Charlie's attempt to help one private has rebounded on the President so as Bartlet reads the memo the Department of Defense has sent over, Charlie tries first to explain what he did and then why he did it.
"I'd asked an assistant I know to give it special attention. I don't know the woman or anything. It wasn't patronage. But I was --- you know --- I was showing off for Zoey."
"There are a couple of thousand military families on food stamps. I can't stand it; the Pentagon knows it. Some families are eligible, some aren't. But to change it, they'd have to raise everyone's pay which they can't do, and this memo is a reminder. It's a get off our backs memo. And you thought you were done with turf wars."
"Did it cause any damage?"
"You decommissioned two aircraft carriers."

C.J., deciding to help with the hazing of the new guy, has put the goat in Will's office. So he approaches her.
"You understand I'm working on the inauguration address, right?"
"How's that going?"
"There are bicycles and goats in my office!" Will says, for the first time showing some feeling about the hazing he has been taking (from no one getting his name right to finding a goat in his office). "All right. Any care and feeding I should know about?"
"The goat has a handler. I'll get..."
"No. I'll take my hazing like the Eton valedictorian that I am. What's his name, please."
"Which one?"
"The handler."
"The goat has a name?"
"Thank you."

Later Ron gets his photo op with the President, who insists that Leo and Josh are next to the goat when the picture is taken.

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

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