path: Home / Continuing Threads & Relationships President Bartlet & Toby Ziegler
Martin Sheen as President Bartlet & Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler© NBC Photo: James Sorensen
- Toby gets upset when the President decides to deviate from the text Toby has written or at least pre-approved. When the President deviates from a dinner speech, he later says to Toby:
- "...I half expected to see you coming at me with a salad fork."
"But for the Secret Service restraining me, Sir."
"Thank God for the Secret Service." [#104]
- The President tells Toby:
- "You're what my mother calls a pain in the neck."
"That's what my mother calls it, too...."[#104]
- Toby is one of those critical people that may be useful but are always annoying. And sometimes the President's annoyance is expressed:
- ""Is it time for my 10 am scolding?" and when Toby continues by asking the President why something is the way it is, the president responds, sarcastically, "Cause I'm weak willed and stupid?"
- Toby is not fond of political expediency, and tends to exaggerate the consequences of giving in on an idea for the sake of politics:
- "Do I look like Joe McCarthy to you, Toby?"
"No, sir. Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That's how they get in the door in the first place." [#5]
- But when Toby isn't in full argument mode, he does remember that he is dealing with the President and he is sensitive to having annoyed him. The President may be the only person to whom Toby is sensitive:
- "Sir I guess we haven't been getting along too well.... Ive been irritating you." [#5]
- It turns out Toby wasn't the first choice for his job. He confronts the President on that and the President tells him the truth:
- "We were up all night on that one, Toby. Me and Leo and Josh. They were screaming at me, 'Governor, for God's sake it's got to be Toby....' I couldn't live without you, Toby. I mean it. I'd be in the tall grass. I'd be in the weeds. I know I disappoint you sometimes. I mean I can sense your disappointment. And I only get mad because I know you're right a lot of the times.... You're are a wise and brilliant man, Toby.... did you mean what you said?
My demons were shouting down the better angels in my brain?... You think that's what is stopping me from greatness?"
"I suppose you're right."
"Tell you what, though, in a battle between a President's demons and his better angels, for the first time in a long while, I think we just might have ourselves a fair fight." [#5]
- When Josh asks Toby to persuade the President, Toby says:
- "The President can paint his own picture."
"Yeah but he listens to you." [#9]
- Josh tells Toby:
- "When he goes off on a thing, Toby, he expects you to bring him in. He wants you to do it so he doesn't have to do it himself."
- Josh explains to the "farmer's daughter" why Toby is so far away from the speech at the beginning of "20 Hours in America":
- "The President has his blood pressure taken every morning. On higher blood pressure days, Toby's not allowed to be in the President's sight line while he's speaking. . . . He has trouble concealing his displeasure."