Written by: Josh Singer, Directed by: Max Mayer
- Takes Place: Six weeks before the election which makes it mid-September.
- Broadcast: Sunday, December 11, 2005
Information: The name of the President of Russia is Chigorin.
- The White House is preparing for Ellie's wedding but the problem between Russia and China over Kazakhstan is escalating. Bartlet is pulled away from the rehearsal and is missing the rehearsal dinner. After being brought up to date on the situation, he tells Debbie,
- "I'm going to need the Russian ambassador, the Chinese ambassador and my wife. Probably not in that order."
- Santos has been invited to the wedding and is planning to go. It is six weeks to the election and Santos is still seven points down as the press points out to Donna who answers:
- "We drew record crowds in Jersey today, we got a four-point bump in the debate, the economists said a Santos Presidency might be the best thing to happen to race relations in this country since the Civil Rights Act. I'd say we're gaining ground."
"....You haven't been within five points of Vinick in a month."
"We're a little more focused on the state polls."
"I've got a senior Democrat on record saying it's time to shake things up."
"He should look at a map, do the electoral math. This race is tighter than you think."
- Actually Josh, Leo and Santos are looking at a map and deciding to give up on many states due to lack of money. And then they find that Illinois is moving up and the campaign has to find money to put in there. Later Leo asks if Josh is getting any sleep. Josh ignores the question. And as the campaign pulls money out of states, Santos starts getting calls from high up members of the Democratic Party that Josh is screwing things up. Santos talks to Leo who tells him,
- "No one else I'd rather have running this campaign."
- But even Josh has begun to doubt himself as he tries to figure out where to spend the little money the campaign still has. At the wedding he talks to C.J. who asks,
- "Pinching pennies?"
"You're up a bit in Washington. Can you take some money out of Seattle?"
"We're pulling out of Washington."
"Wow! Things that tight?"
"Welcome to my world." C.J.'s beeper goes off.
"Is that Kazakhstan?"
"Probably. Wanna trade?"
- When C.J. meets up with Kate she discovers Kate has asked Will to accompany her to the wedding. And, of course, Bartlet gets pulled away from the gathering before the wedding because troops from both China and Russia have entered Kazakhstan and the Kazakh acting President has killed 200 people protesting his postponement of the election there. And Democrats are advising Santos to get rid of Josh and replace him with someone who has experience winning a Presidential campaign --- someone who isn't "exactly a force on the campaign trail" for vice president. Donna finds Josh sitting on a step of a stairway.
- "Fried wonton?"
"Really, they're pretty good."
Josh isn't listening - he's still trying to figure out how to spend money he doesn't have. "Yeah?"
"They're out of champagne, though. First Lady just gave me 20 bucks; asked me to pick up a bottle of Cold Duck...."
Josh is distracted and finally asks her, "I'm sorry. Have you seen Leo?"
"I'm bored. I'm an attractive woman waiting to be entertained."
Josh hasn't heard her, "He was just with the President. I'm sure he's still—" Josh rushes off.
- Meanwhile Bartlet is still on the phone trying to avoid conflict and Ellie is waiting for him to walk her down the isle. And finally he gets the Chinese to agree to give him an hour to play the part of Father to the Bride. While he rushes to Ellie, Josh and Leo meet and Josh Knows Leo has been in a corner with Santos and some high level Democrats so he asks,
- "How's Senator Montgomery?"
"Full of hot air, as usual."
"Yeah? Who's he want to replace me?" After they talk a bit, Josh realizes who they want. "They want you. It's you, isn't it? Hell, that's who I'd want. You'd have known. You would have been in Illinois months ago, right?
"...I would have made the same decision as you. And that is exactly what I told Barry Goodwin and George Montgomery. Look, these are tough calls. It's impossible to know how they're going to turn out. What's important is how you respond when you get it wrong, how you react, what your next move is."
"I don't know what my next move is. I've been staring at this damn map all day. I still haven't got a clue. Iowa's vulnerable. I don't know what I was thinking in Wisconsin. We can't take a dime out of Ohio, Florida, Texas— I don't know where to start. They're right: you should take over."
"Really, you're all trying to kill me." They hear the wedding music as they look at the map together.
For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.