Writer: Carol Flint, Director: Laura Innes
Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos
NBC Photo: Michael O'Neill
- Takes Place: "Three months before the Iowa Caucus" (more than one month after Leo's by-pass)
- Broadcast: November 24, 2004
- Query: Where does the title come from?
- Query: How can it be three months until the Iowa caucus?
- Query: What was Gail's bowl decoration? A tiny White House.
- The Chief of Staff's new Special Deputy Special Assistant gets word of a "Situation". Charlie would previously have taken this information straight to the President but he now takes it to his new immediate boss, C.J.,
- "The Secretary of Agriculture is in the Rose Room."
C.J., Charlie, and Toby get the President out of a celebration and Toby tells them, "CNN's reporting an attack on our peacekeepers compound in Darom south of Gaza City."
Charlie supplements this information, "Up to eight injured and one dead. The peace mission's first casualty."
The President is visibly upset and tells C.J. "...They didn't even let us get the peacekeepers deployed."
"They're Army advance constructions crews."
- Meanwhile, Santos tells Josh his Patients Bill of Rights bill died and he is now joining with a Republican on a watered down version. Josh doesn't understand why.
- "I want to keep these parties talking, Josh."
"...This isn't some convoluted, legislative way I haven;t figured out yet of asking for a favor?"
"Well, I wouldn't mind if you let me keep my huevos when you eviscerate me in public for breaking ranks."
"You're a deserter; and you can have them back at the airport."
- And in Leo's apartment in the hotel he lives in, he dresses himself as if he is going to work. His nurse has trouble understanding.
- "Why do you need a tie and jacket?
"What would you recommend?"
"When Ghandi went to London to meet the King of England, he wore only a dhoti. The reporter asked, 'Aren't you ashamed to meet a king wearing so little?' Ghandi said 'No---'"
"'The King will be wearing enough for both of us,'" Leo finishes her quote. "One difference between the Mahatma and myself. I warn you there are others. You may browbeat me into using the breath spirometer You may mother me about wound care. You may dole out the vicodin like my AA sponsor. You may even entertain me with nutrition lectures."
"You need to eat."
"You may not --- may not --- offer fashion advice."
"Shall I come with you?"
"You shall not."
"Then I'll time you."
"Splendid. Set your watch."
"You've been doing 10 minutes. Try for 12."
"Two more minutes on my own. I'll give it my all." It turns out Leo is just headed to walk through the halls as exercise. And he seems strong and vibrant until he is out of sight of his watcher. But on his own, it turns out he isn't as strong as he pretends to be. On is own, it is obvious how much of a torture it is just to walk down the hall.
- Toby is still briefing the press and, as he says,
- "I got rattled. Said more than I meant."
"...you couldn't resist voicing your personal opinion.... We settled on a message. I buried my opinions out there every day.... The briefing room is not your bully pulpit."
"I got rattled."
"You got rattled and your ambivalence toward policy came out...."
"Are you questioning my loyalty?"
"I am questioning your self-control. If you can't stick to our message --- I don't care if that podium stands empty --- I don't want you out there again!"
- Meanwhile, Leo is being courted by the private sector. And Donna is being courted by the networks for her story: both for interviews and for a movie. And Josh finds out Santos has been working hard to support the Republican version of the Patients Bill of Rights bill. This makes Josh confused and concerned and he and Will confront Santos in the hall. Later Josh looks at the bill in the form the House actually passed. Josh goes to Santos,
- "Congressman, I believe I owe you an apology.... but what I'd like to know is if you let your own bill self-destruct and joined with Strickman, knowing there was an opening if you let them take the lead or if it just started tipping that way and you went with it."
"It didn't hurt the other day in the hall when you demonstrated my independence."
"I'm always happy to do my part.... Nothing motivates Republicans more than a chance to hijack one of our issues.... Don't tell me you're already out of conference."
"Something will be coming the President's way first thing tomorrow."
"You're too good at this." Then he refers to the fact that the Congressman intends to not run for reelection, "you can't just walk away."
- And Toby tells C.J. she can't do her new job,
- "...if you spend all your time guarding your old truf."
Later she says to him, "You think I'm micromanaging."
"I don't want to let the President down."