West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Seventh Season Episodes * #717 "Election Day II"
Election Day / Helen Santos
"Election Day II"
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
NBC Universal Photo: Chris Haston
Written by: Eli Attie & John Wells, Directed by: Christopher Misiano
Takes Place:
Broadcast: Sunday, April 9, 2006
If you miss this episode on NBC April 9, try Bravo, Monday, April 10

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States are going red and blue. It is over an hour until polls close in the West. And Santos is coming to the campaign headquarters and is talking on the phone with Josh when Donna comes up to Josh to tell him,
"Leo was unconscious in his room. Annabeth found him. He wasn't — he wasn't — breathing. They're taking him to the hospital in an ambulance now."

By the time Santos gets to the headquarters, Josh and Donna have left for the hospital and Lou tries to get Santos to hold off with any release of news.
"A quarter of the country is still voting.... I know he was your friend. He was my friend too. But we can't be sentimental about this or we will have a Republican president who will gut education... and cut taxes until we are bleeding red ink. And when Leo wakes up, he will kick your ass for letting that happen. You know he will."
Santos isn't convinced. "Start working on a statement. Get me to a phone. I want to call the hospital."

Josh and Donna run into the hospital. They find Secret Service agents to find out where Leo is. Then run down the hall and find Annabeth, who is crying.
"He died, Josh."

Josh calls Santos. Donna calls C.J. who has to tell the President, who had previously been informed of Leo's collapse. Santos calls Vinick to tell him what has happen. And the TV news is announcing,
"Breaking news and some would say heathbreaking news.... Leo McGarry has been pronounced dead.... He was rushed to the hospital after a massive heart attack.... Vice Presidential candidate. White House counselor and Chief of Staff. Labor Secretary and decorated Vietnam veteran."
Another network is saying, "The Chicago native played a role in shaping every presidential election of the past quarter-century."

Santos is getting a wide range of advice, but Lou says the immediate need is for a statement. Helen asks about Josh. Lou asks Santos,
"You need him back?"
"I need Josh to be wherever he needs to be."

Donna gets Josh back to the hotel. He is in shock. Vinick is sickened by the comments made by his own staff on the subject. Bruno is silent. Sheila is back and offering some calmness.
"We have to be very careful. We could create a backlash for ourselves."
Vinick says, "How about creating a conscience for ourselves? I've known Leo for 20 years. Can we please not use him as a step stool?"

Santos does give a statement,
"America has lost a giant tonight and I've lost a friend. Leo McGarry dedicated his life to public service. To the notion that every citizen is responsible for making this country a better place. That we have a sacred duty to participate in our democracy. To leave America stronger for the next generation. If I win this election, the country will be worse off because Leo McGarry won't be there to help me run it. But I don't want anyone to vote for or against me because of Leo McGarry. This race wasn't; about him and it isn't about me. It's a vision for America that will outlast Leo and outlast me. There's an America that's bigger than any of us. And for those of you who haven't yet voted, it is the only thing that should matter when you go to the polls tonight. Thank you."
Election Day II
"Election Day II"
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss --
NBC Universal Photo: Chris Haston

  • Music played as Santos walks up
    to give his victory speech
    was "Beautiful Day" by U2
    available on U2 -
    The Best of 1990-2000
  • Just before Santos gives his
    speech about Leo, Foo Fighters
    were playing "Miracle" available
    on their In Your Honor album.
    The song they played
    from last week's episode is
    from the same album.
At the White House, Bartlet tells C.J.
"The first time I met Leo we argued."
"About what?"
"Monetary something. Role of the Fed." He shrugs.
"Who won.?"
"I did." He pauses. "I'm sure if you could ask him, he's say he did." After another pause he says (slowly and with several more pauses), "We almost lost him 15 years ago. Did you know that? Abbey and I used to talk about it. I was prepared then. Not today."

The Santos campaign gets news on several states going to Vinick. The Vinick campaign learns that the Republicans are losing several House seats. But then Texas is finally called for Santos. Donna looks around and doesn't see Josh anywhere. She finds him in Leo's room with tears.
"I talked him into this, into joining the ticket."
"Nobody ever talked Leo into doing anything he didn't want to do. And he's want you upstairs. Not down here. You belong up there. It's your night. He was so proud of you, Josh." Josh leans against her crying.

Both Santos and Vinick are resisting calls from their staff for having lawyers contest the close calls in some states. Then California is called for Vinick. It is now down to Oregon and Nevada. It Vinick wins either of them, he will win. Santos needs to win both to win. Both Vinick and Santos are asking for the other's phone number. Then Oregon is called for Santos and it all comes down to Nevada. Vinick is refusing to allow his staff to send out lawyers in case Nevada goes for Santos.
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"I'll be a winner or I'll be a loser. I won't be a sore loser."

Santos and Josh also decide they aren't going to be calling for recounts if they lose. And then they call Nevada. And the next thing we see is C.J. waking up Bartlet to tell him --- with a smile on her face --- that we have a winner. Vinick sticks by his guns about not challenging the vote counts. Santos starts his victory speech with,
"First I wanted to say a special word of thanks to Senator Vinick and I ask you all to join me in applauding his lifetime of service. Arnie Vinick made this a better campaign and he's made this a better country for all of us. My father was a barber. My mother a domestic servant. And I never dreamed that I'd have this chance to serve.... My attention is to be the president of everyone.... America has become more polarized. You can't run for president and not see that. Our votes may have been divided but our country will not be divided. Because ultimately it isn't about left or right but about doing right..."

Josh is upstairs listening to the speech on the TV and he goes to a board with photos of the candidates. To a photo of Leo, he says,
"Thanks, boss."

--- Corrections to Come ---

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let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

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