West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Seventh Season Episodes * #703 "Message of the Week"
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman-- NBC Universal Photo:
NBC Universal Photo: Chris Haston
Written by: Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.,, Directed by: Christopher Misiano
Takes Place: Three weeks into the campaign
Broadcast: Sunday, October 9, 2005

Vinick meets a new guy from The Agency and the NSC.
"I'm Charles Frost and I'll be handling your daily intelligence briefing."
A little later Vinick is brought an ad the RNC wants to run. It is negative and irritates Bruno. Leon Montero, who ran Vinick's California operation for years, joins them and Bruno reminds both of them that Vinick has
"a lock on the Electoral College. A Democrat cannot win with California and most of this country cannot imagine Santos as President."
"Because he's Latino?" Leon asks, showing some irritation.
"Latino, inexperience, you take your pick. You don't need this ad."
The Vinick campaign wants to "stick to the message of the week": Homeland security. But Vinick isn't sure they can just rid this. he tells his aides,
"Matt Santos is a lot smarter and tougher than you think. We gotta take it to him. We gotten put Santos in a jam...."
"First one to go negative is a show of weakness," Leon reminds him.
"I want to knock him off message without ever mentioning his name.... How do we do that?"
"...Go after the Latino vote?"
"...I've always won the Latino vote in California. Why should I give up on that now? ...We plan a new message of the week."
They come up with several immigration related issues. And they bring up the Central America Free Trade Agreement on which Santos voted for it in committee and against it on the floor. After they work out their strategy Vinick has to meet with someone representing The American Christian Assembly who are concerned about the kind of judges Vinick would appoint. Vinick makes a confidential promise but the other side releases that to the press. And then Bruno and Josh meet to discuss the debate negotiations. Later Vinick shows up on "Hardball". And now we are back to the confidential promise. Next day he admits to his staff that he promised "Pro-Life" judges.
Vinick in Message of Week
Julian Acosta as Leon Montero,
Alan Alda as Senator Arnold Vinick
NBC Universal Photo: Mitch Haddad

"I lied."
"You lied?" His chief of staff is incredulous.
"...He's what wrong with this party. Not me.... The United States Senate gets to advice and consent on judges, not the clergy." But he and his staff agree to turn the problem over to his very religious and very right wing Vice Presidential running mate.
Leon resigns from the Vinick campaign feeling that he can't work against the first Latino nominee for President. Both campaigns are having their problems.
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