Written by: Mark Goffman, Directed by: Andrew Bernstein
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
NBC Photo: Ron Jaffe
- Takes Place: January 21 (the beginning of the eighth year of the Bartlet Administration)
- Query: Was Annabeth right to advise Charlie to change how he called the issue he wanted to push?
- Broadcast: January 19, 2005 (9 pm ET on NBC)
- Toby is being complimented by one and all on writing "President Bartlet's final State of the Union Address". C.J. is one of many people to tell him it was a great speech.
"Don't," He tells her although he has accepted what others are saying; though brusquely.
"...You really can't take a compliment, can you?"
Later Leo calls him, "Man of the hour."
As the group applauds, Will says, "Hear. Hear. Come now, no false modesty."
"It's actually self-loathing."
- This is the day Leo starts his new job at the White House, although no one really knows what that job really is. He has some ideas and starts discussing them with some of the staff,
- "I rather unexpectedly found myself with a bit of spare time on my hands these last few months. We've been here seven trips around the sun. Done some things we're proud of, things we're less pleased about... It may be time for us to take our own temperature; an internal inventory... What's done. What's undone. What's done that we'd like to undo or do over...." Even so short a speech is constantly interrupted by the daily crises. Finally, there are only three people in the room and Charlie comes back to pick up Ed and Larry. When the last person in the room asks Leo if they are done, he says, "No, not yet," and writes on the board, "365".
- The talk about the State of the Union goes on in a meeting that C.J. and Toby have with the President, when C.J remarks,
- "Overwhelming response to the State of the Union. Thirty-six interruptions for applause."
"I don't know what's more embarrassing. That we count them or that I care."
"I blame him," Bartlet nods at Toby.
"It wasn't me."
"He's doing his annual sackcloth and ashes bit."
"I used to think it was a way of harvesting more compliments."
"Now, I understand it is just self-abnegation and clinical despair."
"The man understands me."
- When Leo and Bartlet get a moment to talk, Leo tells him,
- "Not quite sure what you want me doing."
"What you always did. Make me smarter."
"By comparison, absolutely.... Have you given some thought on how I might make myself useful? I don't want to undermine C.J." But that's as far as the conversation gets to go for the moment, although the two old friends do arrange to meet for dinner.
- Charlie is trying to push the Earned Income Tax Credit and Annabeth tells him it will have trouble because it doesn't have a catchy name like "Marriage Penalty" or "Death Tax". Later just talking to Leo, Charlie thinks things through better,
- "Annabeth doesn't like its name."
"She's not wrong. I don't get excited when I hear EITC. Do you?"
"Maybe if it had a more memorable name, it would be easier to fight for?" Leo makes a motion with his head and Charlie goes on, "I think if we could define it more clearly as a tax --- so a vote against it is seen as raising taxes on the working poor." Charlie thinks for a moment while Leo just looks at him. "I don't see how you could easily oppose it." Leo as catalyst.
- Charlie tells Toby that Leo has been watching old "State of the Unions" in his new office. So Toby goes to talk to him,
- "Something wrong with this year's speech?"
"What do you think?"
"I wrote it."
"You seem remarkably uncomfortable accepting praise even for you."
"What are you doing here, Leo? Watching old speeches and reading about the Founding Fathers? We don't have time for you to sit around like a garden Buddha parsing out fortune cookie wisdom. We're getting buried alive here. Get up and grab a shovel...."
"Last night's State of the Union, you pulled your punches...."
"You've had a heart attack and he can't stand up." Toby goes on until he is called by his beeper.
- Later Will comes by to see Leo, who asks him,
- "How are you doing?"
"Oh, you know. Have to head back to New Hampshire tomorrow afternoon.
We're up 10 points in the polls. Getting tired of people treating me as if I've sold my soul to the devil."
"Think you have?"
"No. I don't think the VP's the devil and I don't think I've sold my soul." Then Will says something he wouldn't have said to anyone else, even in jest. "I may have rented it out for a bit."
Why do you say that?"
"...I don't think he's the devil. I don't know what I think of him really.... The truth is, and I'm not sure I ever realized this before now, I spent the last year and a half looking for what you saw in him: you and the President, when you gave him this job. You picked Russell. Him to serve as Vice President to a President with a serious health condition. You were aware you were picking a potential successor. On some level I've just trusted that...." Leo again as catalyst.
- Later Leo tells C.J.,
- "You're doing great.... It was easier for me. You as my Press Secretary, Sam, Josh, Toby."
"Toby's always been Toby. Still took me a year to find out what the hell I was doing and those were the easy years."
"We had easy years?"
"Easier than this."
- Over dinner Leo and Bartlet both have "special" food which neither of them finds appetizing. Leo says,
- "I'd like to have the occasional light cream sauce without people reacting as if it was a suicide attempt."
"So, tonight, Abbie's out of town. We could turn the residence into a fort and sword fight with empty paper towel rolls...." Later he asks Leo, "Have you had a chance to figure out what you'd like to do around here?"
"Don't do this, Leo. Not the day after the State of the Union."
"Everyone's walking around here like we're finished. We have 365 more days.... For both of us, sir, this is our last game. Let's leave it all out on the field."
- Bartlet is convinced so he has Leo tell the others,
- "I want to read you something. 'The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.'"
Will identifies, "...Thomas Paine."
"...Busy day around here today.... Problem is we're running out of them." Leo looks at the board and then goes and erases the '5' of '365' and replaces it with a '4' and adds the word 'days' and circles it and says, "That's how much time we have left. We have the ability to effect more change in a day in the White House than we will have in a lifetime once we walk out these doors. What do you want to do with them?" Turns out they all have ideas and suggestions.
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