Teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, Story: Michael Oates Palmer & William Sind, Director: Christopher Misiano
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol, Timothy Busfield
as Danny Concannon, Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
NBC Warner Bros. photo
- Takes Place: The week leading up to Sunday, January 20th
- Broadcast: February 5, 2003
- Query: What do we know about the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu?
- Query: Was Donna's description of what a Navy officer would wear accurate: including her reference to a "Bronze Cross", a "saber" and "thirteen button trousers"?
- Query: Does this episode provide more evidence of Sorkin's interest in Gilbert and Sullivan?
- On Inauguration Day Bartlet is "about to propose the most massive shift in foreign policy since the Marshall Plan and it's going to be wildly unpopular," according to Josh. And when the Leader of the House or Senate tells Leo "The Hill's going to go crazy," he responds, "For a refreshing change of pace."
And then time moves backward to the previous Monday as the President and staff prepare for the speech and discuss the Chief Justice, who has started writing parts of his opinions in verse, and Leo tells Bartlet,
- "He's trying to get the court to adobt powdered wigs."
"What do you mean?"
"Exactly what I said.... Like the British magistrates. I'm telling you, I think there might be a problem."
"You think he stayed too long at the fair?"
- Later Bartlet meets with religious leaders and the subject of violence in Kuhndu comes up. Bartlet hears,
- "... thousands upon thousands of African children will die unless the U.S. intervenes. Tens of thousands of Kuhndunese children and their parents slaughtered."
Bartlet says, "...I got a very sketchy intelligence report on the violence in the capital about an hour ago."
"The violence isn't limited to Bitanga, Sir. It's spread to the countryside.... May I ask you something, Sir, with all due respect, please?"
"If mass genocide had broken out in a small European country, would your intelligence briefing this morning have been quite so sketchy?"
- The President has expressed dissatisfaction with the language of the foreign policy section of the inauguration speech Will is working on so Will sends for all of Bartlet's previous speeches so that he can get a feel for what Bartlet does like since Leo and Toby have both promised the President that that section will be re-written. One speech he comes across is one Congressman Bartlet gave but later had stricken from the record. Will becomes enthralled by this speech from 16 years ago on foreign policy. He starts reading parts of it to Toby. But Toby doesn't want to hear it.
- "...he had it stricken from the record and there was a reason."
"I don't know but things have reasons."
"Yes they do."
"Okay, but C.J. this morning put the body count at 15,000."
"You're talking about Kuhndu? That's what the hell this is about?" Toby is raising his voice by this time.
"We're talking about everything," Will says and then goes on to quote more from this Bartlet speech. "'And freedom from the tyranny of oppression, economic slavery, religious fanaticism.' Tell me if any of these describe anyone we know."
"This isn't what I meant by drafting new language." Toby is shouting.
"What did you mean?"
"Making the old language sound better."
After a pause, Toby tells Will, "You're asking the two of us to create foreign policy by ourselves. That's usually not a good idea. You've got your Pentagon, the NSC, and what do you call it: the State Department!"
"You and Leo McGarry and Josh are his senior counselors and it's not like he doesn't already want to go there."
"This lanuage proposes a new doctrine for the use of force. That we use force whenever we see an injustice we want to correct. Like Mother Teresa with first strike capability."
"You've had too many dinners with daddy. Please go back to finding new language for the foreign section."
- Later while Will tries to do what he has been directed to do, the President comes in and the two sympathize which each other on the fact that the foreign policy section still isn't coming together.
- "What's hard is foreign policy's become a statement of what we won't do." Then the President wonders, "Why is a Kuhndunese life worth less to me than an American life?"
"I don't know, Sir, but it is."
"That was ballsy."
"I won't be working here long."
"You Tom Bailey's son?"
"Talk about the very model of a modern Major General."
- News from Kuhndu continues to come in. In a meeting Bartlet asks,
- "What's the CIA know that I should know?"
"Neighbors are swappping family members."
After absorbing this and leaving the meeting, Bartlet stops at Leo's office and tells him, "Clark says neighbors are swapping family members in Kuhndu."
Then immediately afterwards when he meets with Josh, Bartlet says, "There's intelligence that Kuhndunese neighbors in the country are swapping family members."
"I'm sorry, I don't, I don't unders---"
"For the night, they're swapping family members you know and sleeping in each other's houses."
And a few minutes later when Josh and Charlie are watching news reports from Kuhndu, Josh passes on the information, "Intelligence says neighbors in Kuhndu are sleeping at each other's houses."
"What does that mean?" Charlie asks.
"It means they're making people in the same house rape each other on the promise that their lives will be spared."
- Also setting up things to be continued in the next episode is Donna upset that Lt. Commander Jack Reese, with whom she has been going out, has been transferred to Italy rather suddenly after preparing a report for the President about Kuhndu. And Charlie is annoyed that Zoey's new French boyfriend will be sitting with her at the inauguaration.
--- End of Part I ---