The West Wing

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The West Wing (1999–2006) is a television show about a fictional United States presidential administration, set mainly in the West Wing of the White House.

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7
Pilot In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (1) Isaac and Ishmael 20 Hours in America (1) 7A WF 83429 NSF Thurmont The Ticket
Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (2) Manchester (1) 20 Hours in America (2) The Dogs of War The Birnam Wood The Mommy Problem
A Proportional Response The Midterms Manchester (2) College Kids Jefferson Lives Third-Day Story Message of the Week
Five Votes Down In this White House Ways and Means The Red Mass Han Liftoff Mr. Frost
The Crackpots & These Women And It's Surely To Their Credit On the Day Before Debate Camp Constituency of One The Hubbert Peak Here Today
Mr. Willis of Ohio The Lame Duck Congress War Crimes Game On Disaster Relief The Dover Test The Al Smith Dinner
The State Dinner The Portland Trip Gone Quiet Election Night Separation of Powers A Change is Gonna Come The Debate
Enemies Shibboleth The Indians in the Lobby Process Stories Shutdown In the Room Undecideds
The Short List Galileo The Women of Qumar Swiss Diplomacy Abu el Banat Impact Winter The Wedding
In Excelsis Deo Noël Bartlet for America Arctic Radar The Stormy Present Faith Based Initiative Running Mates
Lord John Marbury The Leadership Breakfast H. Con-172 Holy Night The Benign Prerogative Opposition Research Internal Displacement
He Shall, from Time to Time... The Drop-In 100,000 Airplanes Guns Not Butter Slow News Day 365 Days Duck and Cover
Take Out the Trash Day Third State of the Union The Two Bartlets The Long Goodbye The Warfare of Genghis Khan King Corn The Cold
Take this Sabbath Day The War at Home Night Five Inauguration (1) An Khe The Wake Up Call Two Weeks Out
Celestial Navigation Ellie Hartsfield's Landing Inauguration, Over There (2) Full Disclosure Freedonia Welcome to Wherever You Are
20 Hours in L.A. Somebody's Going to Jail Dead Irish Writers The California 47th Eppur Si Muove Drought Conditions Election Day (1)
The White House Pro-Am The Stackhouse Filibuster The U.S. Poet Laureate Red Haven's on Fire The Supremes A Good Day Election Day (2)
Six Meetings Before Lunch 17 People Stirred Privateers Access La Palabra Requiem
Let Bartlet Be Bartlet Bad Moon Rising Enemies, Foreign & Domestic Angel Maintenance Talking Points Ninety Miles Away Transition
Mandatory Minimums The Fall's Gonna Kill You The Black Vera Wang Evidence of Things Not Seen No Exit In God We Trust The Last Hurrah
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics 18th and Potomac We Killed Yamamoto Life on Mars Gaza Things Fall Apart Institutional Memory
What Kind of Day Has It Been Two Cathedrals Posse Comitatus Commencement Memorial Day 2162 Votes Tomorrow
Cast Twenty-Five External links

Season One[edit]

Pilot[edit]

Flight Attendant: Sir, I'm going to have to ask that you turn off your cellular phone.
Toby: We're flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you're telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

C.J.: Is there anything I can say other than "The President rode his bicycle into a tree?"
Leo: He hopes never to do it again.
C.J.: Seriously, they're laughing pretty hard.
Leo: He rode his bicycle into a tree, C.J. What do you want me to – "The president, while riding a bicycle on his vacation in Jackson Hole, came to a sudden arboreal stop." What do you want from me?
C.J.: A little love, Leo.

Leo: [on the phone with the New York Times] 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how...
C.J.: Leo.
Leo: They hang up on me every time.
C.J: That's almost hard to believe.

Sam: Ms. O'Brien, I understand your feelings, but please believe me when I tell you that I'm a nice guy having a bad day. I just found out the Times is publishing a poll that says a considerable portion of Americans feel the White House has lost energy and focus. A perception that's not likely to be altered by the video footage of the President riding his bicycle into a tree. As we speak, the Coast Guard is fishing Cubans out of the Atlantic Ocean while the Governor of Florida wants to blockade the Port of Miami. A good friend of mine's about to get fired for going on television and making sense, and it turns out I accidentally slept with a prostitute last night. Now would you please, in the name of compassion, tell me which one of those kids is my boss's daughter?
Mallory: That would be me.
Sam: You.
Mallory: Yes.
Sam: Leo's daughter's fourth-grade class.
Mallory: Yes.
Sam: Well, this is bad on so many levels.

Van Dyke: If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn't that too high a price to pay for free speech?
Bartlet: [entering] No.
Van Dyke: Really?
Bartlet: On the other hand, I do think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.
C.J.: Why don’t we all sit down?
Bartlet: No. Let’s not, C.J. These people won’t be staying that long. May I have some coffee, Mr. Lewis? Al, how many times have I asked you to denounce the practices of a fringe group that calls itself The Lambs of God?
Caldwell: Sir, it’s not up to me to—
Bartlet: Crap. It is up to you, Al. You know, my wife, Abbey, she never wants me to do anything while I’m upset. [a staffer hands him coffee] Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Twenty-eight years ago, I come home from a very bad day at the State House. I tell Abbey I’m going out for a drive. I get in the station wagon and put it in reverse, and pull out of the garage full speed. [Leo and Sam appear in the doorway and quietly enter into the room.] Except I forgot to open the garage door. Abbey told me to not drive while I was upset and she was right. She was right yesterday when she told me not to get on that damn bicycle while I was upset, but I did it anyway, and I guess I was just about as angry as I’ve ever been in my life. It seems my granddaughter, Annie, had given an interview in one of the teen magazines. And somewhere between movie stars and makeup tips, she talked about her feelings on a woman’s right to choose. Now Annie, all of 12, has always been precocious, but she’s got a good head on her shoulders and I like it when she uses it. So I couldn’t understand it when her mother called me in tears yesterday. I said, "Elizabeth, what’s wrong?" She said, "It’s Annie." Now, I love my family and I’ve read my Bible from cover to cover. So I want you to tell me from what part of the Holy Scripture do you suppose the Lambs of God drew their Divine inspiration when they sent my 12 year-old granddaughter a Raggedy Ann doll with a knife stuck through its throat? [pause] You’ll denounce these people, Al. You’ll do it publicly. And until you do, you can all get your fat asses out of my White House. C.J., show these people out.
Mary Marsh: I believe we can find the door.
Bartlet: Find it now.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc[edit]

Lloyd Russell: [referring to his Presidential run, speaking to Mandy, who just drove her car onto a curb] It wasn't going to happen.
Mandy: You know what the worst part about this is?
Lloyd Russell: Well, I think you dinged up your suspension pretty good.
Mandy: No, Lloyd, it's the party they're having, right now, in the West Wing, at my expense.
Lloyd Russell: They're not having a party in the West Wing.
Mandy: I've worked with these people for two and a half years. They like to win and they like to gloat.
Lloyd Russell: I'm sure you're wrong.
Mandy: I'm sure I'm not.
Lloyd Russell: There are very serious people working at the White House. A blow is struck for party unity today, there's no cause to gloat.
[cut to the White House]
Josh: Victory is mine, victory is mine. Great day in the morning, people, victory is mine.
Donna: Morning Josh.
Josh: I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.
Donna: It's going to be an unbearable day.

Toby: Mrs. Landingham, does the President have free time this morning?
Mrs. Landingham: The President has nothing but free time, Toby. Right now he's in the residence eating Cheerios and enjoying Regis and Kathie Lee. Should I get him for you?
Toby: Sarcasm's a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham.
Mrs. Landingham: What age would that be, Toby?
Toby: ...Late twenties?
Mrs. Landingham: Atta boy.
Toby: Can I have a cookie?
Mrs. Landingham: No.
[Sam walks in]
Mrs. Landingham: Good morning, Sam.
Sam: Good morning.
Mrs. Landingham: Have a cookie, Sam.

C.J.: Sir, this may be a good time to talk about your sense of humor.
Bartlet: I've got an intelligence briefing, a security briefing, and a 90-minute budget meeting all scheduled for the same 45 minutes. You sure this is a good time to talk about my sense of humor?
C.J.: No.
Bartlet: Me neither.
C.J.: It's just that it's not the first time that it's happened.
Bartlet: I know.
Toby: We're talking about Texas, sir.
Bartlet: I know.
C.J.: USA Today asks you why you don't spend more time campaigning in Texas and you say it's because you don't look good in funny hats.
Sam: It was big hats.
C.J.: What difference does it make?
Bartlet: It makes a difference.
C.J.: The point is we got whomped in Texas.
Josh: We got whomped in Texas twice.
C.J.: We got whomped in the primary and we got whomped in November.
Bartlet: I think I was there.
C.J.: And it was avoidable. Sir.
Bartlet: C.J., on your tombstone it's gonna read 'Post hoc ergo propter hoc.'
CJ: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.
Bartlet: Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know 'post hoc, ergo propter hoc'? Josh?
Josh: Ah, post, after hoc, ergo, therefore... After hoc, therefore something else hoc.
Bartlet: Thank you. Next? Leo.
Leo: 'After it, therefore because of it'.
Bartlet: 'After it, therefore because of it'. It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true. In fact it's hardly ever true. We did not lose Texas because of the hat joke. Do you know when we lost Texas?
C.J.: When you learned to speak Latin?
Bartlet: Go figure.

Bartlet: I don't need a flu shot.
Morris: You do need a flu shot.
Bartlet: How do I know this isn't the start of a military coup?
Morris: Sir?
Bartlet: I want the Secret Service in here right away.
Morris: In the event of a military coup, sir, what makes you think the Secret Service is gonna be on your side?
Bartlet: Now that's a thought that's gonna fester.

Sam: About a week ago I accidentally slept with a prostitute.
Toby: Really?
Sam: Yes.
Toby: You accidentally slept with a prostitute.
Sam: Call girl.
Toby: Accidentally.
Sam: Yes.
Toby: I don't understand. Did you trip over something?

A Proportional Response[edit]

Josh: A couple of things for you to bear in mind. First of all, he didn't know she was a call girl when he slept with her. He didn't pay her. He didn't participate in, have knowledge of, or witness anything illegal. Or for that matter, unethical, amoral, or suspect.
C.J.: Okay. A couple things for you to bear in mind. None of that matters on Hard Copy!
Josh: You're overreacting.
C.J.: Am I?
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: As women are prone to do.
Josh: That's not what I meant.
C.J.: That's always what you mean.
Josh: You know what, C.J., I really think I'm the best judge of what I mean, you paranoid Berkeley shiksa feminista! ...whoa, that was way too far.
C.J.: No, no. Well, I've got a staff meeting to go to and so do you, you elitist Harvard fascist missed-the-dean's-list-two-semesters-in-a-row Yankee jackass!
Josh: Feel better getting that off your chest there, C.J.?
C.J.: I'm a whole new woman.
Josh: You look like a million bucks, by the way.
C.J.: Don't try to make up with me.

Sam: [reading a newspaper article, quoting a congressman] "Folks down here are patriotic, fiercely patriotic. The President better not be planning on making any visits to this base. If he does, he may not get out alive."
Toby: He said that? Sitting there with military officers?
Josh: Don't take the bait.
Toby: Josh.
Josh: Don't take the bait!
Toby: You'd better believe I'm going to take the bait.
Leo: There ought to be a law against it.
Josh: Why'd you get him started?
[Leo shrugs]
Toby: There is a law against it! How about threatening the life of the President? He was talking to other people: how about conspiracy? They were military officers, how about treason? That was a member of our own party, Leo. That was a Democrat who said that!
Leo: It's bad, I know.
Toby: That's it?
Leo: What are you going to do?
Toby: Have the Justice Department bring him in pending felony charges.
Josh: Toby's right. What's the good of being in power if you're not going to haul your enemies in for questioning?
Toby: We're really not gonna do anything about this?
Leo: Yeah, cause what we really need to do is arrest people for being mean to the President.
Toby: There is no law. There is no decency.
Josh: He’s just getting that now.

Bartlet: What's the virtue of the proportional response?
Admiral Fitzwallace: I'm sorry?
Bartlet: What is the virtue of a proportional response? Why's it good? They hit an airplane, so we hit a transmitter, right? That's a proportional response.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Sir, in the case of Pericles 1 --
Bartlet: [talking over him] They hit a barracks, so we hit two transmitters.
Admiral Fitzwallace: That's roughly it, yes, sir.
Bartlet: This is what we do. I mean, this is what we do.
Leo: Yes, sir, it's what we do. It's what we've always done.
Bartlet: Well, if it's what we do, if it's what we've always done, don't they know we're going to do it?
Leo: Sir, if you'd turn your attention to Pericles 1 --
Bartlet: I have turned my attention to Pericles 1. It's two ammo dumps, an abandoned railroad bridge and a Syrian intelligence agency.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Those are four highly-rated targets, sir.
Bartlet: But they know we're gonna do that. They know we're gonna do that! Those areas have been abandoned for three days now. We know that from the satellite, right? We have the intelligence. [over Leo's attempt to speak up] They did that, so we did this. It's the cost of doing business. It's been factored in, right?
Leo: Mr. President --
Bartlet: Am I right, or am I missing something here?
Admiral Fitzwallace: No, sir. You're right, sir.
Bartlet: Then I ask again, what is the virtue of a proportional response?
Admiral Fitzwallace: It isn't virtuous, Mr. President. It's all there is, sir.
Bartlet: It is not all there is.
Leo: Sir, Admiral Fitzwallace --
Admiral Fitzwallace: Excuse me, Leo...pardon me, Mr. President, just what else is there?
Bartlet: The disproportional response. Let the word ring forth, from this time and this place, gentlemen, you kill an American, any American, we don't come back with a proportional response. We come back with total disaster! [He bangs the table]
General: Are you suggesting that we carpet-bomb Damascus?
Bartlet: I am suggesting, General, that you, and Admiral Fitzwallace, and Secretary Hutchinson, and the rest of the National Security Team take the next sixty minutes and put together an American response scenario that doesn't make me think we're just docking somebody's damn allowance!

Bartlet: Did you know that two thousand years ago a Roman citizen could walk across the face of the known world free of the fear of molestation? He could walk across the Earth unharmed, cloaked only in the protection of the words civis Romanus -- I am a Roman citizen. So great was the retribution of Rome, universally understood as certain, should any harm befall even one of its citizens. Where was Morris's protection, or anybody else on that airplane? Where was the retribution for the families, and where is the warning to the rest of the world that Americans shall walk this Earth unharmed, lest the clenched fist of the most mighty military force in the history of mankind comes crashing down on your house?! In other words, Leo, what the hell are we doing here?!
Leo: We are behaving the way a superpower ought to behave.
Bartlet: Well our behavior has produced some crappy results; in fact I'm not a hundred per cent sure it hasn't induced it.
Leo: What are you talking about?
Bartlet: I'm talking about two hundred and eighty-six American marines in Beirut, I'm talking about Somalia, I'm talking about Nairobi-
Leo: And you think ratcheting up the body count's gonna act as a deterrent?
Bartlet: You're damn right I-
Leo: Oh, then you are just as stupid as these guys who think capital punishment is going to be a deterrent for drug kingpins. As if drug kingpins didn't live their day to day lives under the possibility of execution, and their executions are a lot less dainty than ours and tend to take place without the bother and expense of due process. So, my friend, if you want to start using American military strength as the arm of the Lord, you can do that. We're the only superpower left. You can conquer the world, like Charlemagne! But you better be prepared to kill everyone. And you better start with me, because I will raise up an army against you and I will beat you!
Bartlet: He had a ten-day old baby at home.
Leo: I know.
Bartlet: We are doing nothing.
Leo: We are not doing nothing.
Bartlet: We're destroying-
Leo: Four high-rated military targets!
Bartlet: And this is good?
Leo: Of course it's not good. There is no good. It's what there is! It's how you behave if you're the most powerful nation in the world. It's proportional, it's reasonable, it's responsible, it's merciful! It's not nothing. Four high-rated military targets.
Bartlet: Which they'll rebuild again in six months.
Leo: Then we'll blow 'em up again in six months! We're getting really good at it... It's what our fathers taught us.
Bartlet: Why didn't you say so? Oh, Leo...when I think of all the work you put in to get me to run and all the work you did to get me elected...I could pummel your ass with a baseball bat.

Josh: I have to tell you, he's ordinarily an extremely kind man, placing a very high premium on civility. Today...it's just been a very difficult few days for him.
Charlie: I think I should probably go.
[Bartlet comes in]
Bartlet: Excuse me, Charlie? Can I see you inside, please? Come on, it's okay.
[Charlie walks toward him hesitantly and Bartlet sticks out his hand]
Bartlet: I'm Jed Bartlet.
Charlie: I'm Charles Young, sir.
Bartlet: But you prefer Charlie, right? Listen, Leo McGarry filled me in on the situation with your mother. I'm so very sorry. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of calling Tom Connolly, the FBI Director, and we had the computer spit out some quick information. Your mother was killed by a Western .38 revolver firing KTWs, or what are known as cop-killer bullets. Now, we have not had a whole lot of success yet in banning that weapon and those bullets off the streets, but we're planning on taking a big whack at it when Congress comes back from recess. So, what do you say? You want to come help us out?
Charlie: [smiling] Yes, sir, I do.
Bartlet: Thank you, Charlie. [shakes his hand]
...
Charlie: I've never felt like this before.
Josh: It doesn't go away.

Five Votes Down[edit]

Josh: Forgive my bluntness, and I say this with all due respect, Congressman, but vote yes, or you're not even going to be on the ballot two years from now.
Katzenmoyer: How do you figure?
Josh: You're going to lose in the primary.
Katzenmoyer: There's no Democrat running against me.
Josh: Sure there is.
Katzenmoyer: Who?
Josh: Whomever we pick.
Katzenmoyer: You're bluffing.
Josh: Okay.
Katzenmoyer: I'm in your own party!
Josh: Doesn't seem to be doing us much good now, does it?
Katzenmoyer: Against an incumbent Democrat. You'll go to the press and endorse a challenger?
Josh: No sir. We're going to do it in person. See, you won with fifty-two percent, but the President took your district with fifty-nine. And I think it's high time we come back and say thanks. Do you have any idea how much noise Air Force One makes when it lands in Eau Claire, Wisconsin? We're going to have a party, Congressman. You should come, it's gonna be great. And when the watermelon's done, right in town square, right in the band gazebo... You guys got a band gazebo?
Katzenmoyer: Josh...
Josh: Doesn't matter, we'll build one. Right in the band gazebo, that's where the President is going to drape his arm around the shoulder of some assistant DA we like. And you should have your camera with you. You should get a picture of that. 'Cause that's gonna be the moment you're finished in Democratic politics. President Bartlet's a good man. He's got a good heart. He doesn't hold a grudge. That's what he pays me for.

Bartlet: [on pain medication] What's going on here?
Sam: Nothing you need to concern yourself with, Mr. President. Merely a perception issue regarding Toby and the financial disclosure.
Bartlet: Well, I like to roll up my sleeves and, you know ... get involved.
C.J.: Mr. President. Did you by any chance take your back pills?
Bartlet: I don't mind telling you C.J. I was in a little pain there.
Leo: Which did you take, sir, the Vicodin or the Percocet?
Bartlet: I wasn't supposed to take 'em both?
C.J.: Okay, Mr. President, we're going to have someone take you back to bed.
Bartlet: No no no. Sit sit sit. One of you's got a problem, and I'm here to help. You guys are like family. You've always been there for me. You've always been loyal, honest, hard-working good people, and I love you all very much, and I don't say that often enough. [to Sam] So, tell me what the problem is, Toby.
Sam: I'm Sam, sir.
Bartlet: Sam, of course you are.
Toby: Sir, the situation basically is this. I arranged for a friend to testify to Commerce on Internet stocks, while simultaneously, but unrelated to that, bought a technology issue which, partly due to my friend's testimony, shot through the roof.
Bartlet: Toby. Toby, Toby, Toby. Toby's a nice name, don't you think?
Toby: Can we possibly do this meeting at another time?
Bartlet: No no no, I know my body. I know my muscles aren't, you know, but my mind is sharp. I can focus. I'm focused. You all know that about me. Here's what I think we ought to do. [beat] Was I just saying something?

Leo: There's two things in the world you never want to let people see how you make 'em: laws and sausages.

Reporter: I'm curious about the President's farm in Manchester. The property value increased $750,000. What's that due to?
C.J.: Secret Service improvements.
Reporter: Can you go into detail, please?
C.J.: The property now includes a helipad and the ability to run a global war from the sun porch.

Josh: You know, I realize that as an adult not everyone shares my view of the world, and with an issue as hot as gun control I'm prepared to accept a lot of different points of view as being perfectly valid, but we can all get together on the grenade launcher, right?

The Crackpots and These Women[edit]

Leo: Andrew Jackson, in the main foyer of his White House had a big block of cheese.
Toby: Huh.
Leo: I am making a mental list of those who are snickering, and even as I speak I am preparing appropriate retribution. The block of cheese was huge - over two tons. And it was there for any and all who might be hungry.
Toby: Leo, wouldn't this time be better spent plotting a war against a country that can't possibly defend itself against us?
Leo: We can do that later, Toby. Right now I'm talking about President Andrew Jackson.
Sam Actually, right now, you're talking about a big block of cheese.
Leo: And Sam goes on my list!
Sam: What about Toby?
Leo: I'm unpredictable. Jackson wanted the White House to belong to the people, so from time to time, he opened his doors to those who wished an audience.
Mandy: And then he locked the doors behind them and made them eat two tons of cheese.
Leo: It is in that spirit...
Sam: Hang on. Mandy doesn't go on the list?
Leo: Mandy's new.
Sam: So it's just me... on the list?
Leo: Yes. It is in the spirit of Andrew Jackson that I, from time to time, ask senior staff to have face-to-face meetings with those people representing organizations who have a difficult time getting our attention. I know the more jaded among you, see this as something rather beneath you. But I assure you that listening to the voices of passionate Americans is beneath no one, and surely not the peoples' servants.
Josh: [walks in with C.J.] Sorry, we're late. Is it "Total Crackpot Day" again?
Leo: Yes, it is.
Sam: And let us please note that Josh does not go on the list.

Bartlet: It was not a space ship from another planet, just another time -- a long since abandoned Soviet satellite. One of its booster rockets didn't fire and it couldn't escape Earth's orbit. A sad reminder of the time when two powerful nations challenged each other and then boldly raced into outer space. What will be the next thing that challenges us, Toby? That makes us go farther and work harder? You know that when smallpox was eradicated, it was considered the single greatest humanitarian achievement of this century? Surely we can do it again, as we did in the time when our eyes looked towards the heavens, and with outstretched fingers we touched the face of God.

Toby: It's not so much that you cheat sir, its how brazenly bad you are at it.
Bartlet: Give me an example.
Toby: In Florida, playing mixed doubles with me and C.J., you tried to tell us your partner worked at the American Consulate in Vienna.
Bartlet: She did.
Toby: It was Steffi Graf, sir!
Bartlet: I'll admit the woman bore a striking resemblance to her.
Toby: You crazy lunatic, you think I'm not going to recognize Steffi Graf when she's serving a tennis ball at me?

Bartlet: Hey, everybody, listen up - Zoe's down from Hanover and I'm making chili for everyone tonight!
[Everyone looks horrified]
Josh: Oh God...
Various: [With a noticeable lack of enthusiasm] Great! Great!
Bartlet: [Put out] Okay, you know what? Let's do this. Everybody look down at the big seal in the middle of my carpet. [Everyone looks down at the Presidential seal] Now look back up at me. [They do so] Zoe's down from Hanover and I'm making chili for everyone tonight!
Everyone: [With more convincing forced enthusiasm] That's great! I love chili! Terrific!
Bartlet: There! You see how benevolent I can be when everybody just does what I tell them to do?

[Josh is in his office, with Schubert's "Ave Maria" playing on his boombox]
Josh: C.J., an N.S.C. staffer gave me a card with instructions on it for what I'm supposed to do in the event of a nuclear attack. They want me up in the plane or down in a bunker. They don't want you... or Sam, or Toby, for that matter. I didn't want to be friends with you and have you not know.
C.J.: [surprised] Josh, have you been upset about this?
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: You're very sweet sometimes. You really are.
Josh: C.J...
C.J.: Of course they don't want me, Josh! I'm a press secretary. I don't think they're going to be issuing a whole lot of releases. Sam and Toby are communications and my guess is that speech writing won't be a priority either. Come, have some fun. [starts to leave]
Josh: [points at his boombox] This is a beautiful piece of music. Do you know this?
C.J.: ...I'm Catholic.
Josh: Hang on. Listen. Listen. [turns up his boombox at the words "O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen"] There, right there. It's... miraculous. [beat] Schubert was crazy, you know.
C.J.: [nods] Yes.
Josh: Do you think you have to be crazy to create something powerful?
C.J.: Josh, the Cold War is over. There's not going to be a nuclear–
Josh: God, C.J. It's not going to be like that. It's not gonna be the red phone and nuclear bombs.
C.J.: What's it going to be?
Josh: It's going to be this! It's going to be something like this. Smallpox has been gone for fifty years. No one has an acquired immunity. Flies through the air. You get it, you carry a ten foot cloud around with you. One in three people die. If 100 people in New York City got it, you'd have to encircle them with 100 million vaccinated people to contain it. Do you know how many doses of smallpox vaccines exist in the country? Seven! If 100 people in New York City get it, there's gonna be a global medical emergency that's gonna make HIV look like cold and flu season. That's how it's gonna be, a little test tube with a... a rubber cap that's deteriorating... a guy steps out of Times Square station, [imitates a smashing noise]. smashes it on the sidewalk... there is a world war right there.
C.J.: We'll make more vaccine.
Josh: You better hurry, 'cause I'm the only one with one of these cards.

Mr. Willis of Ohio[edit]

Sam: C.J., we've been working on this commerce bill for three weeks, I hear you talk about the census all the time.
C.J.: Yeah. Yeah.
Sam: Well... I don't understand. How could you-
C.J.: I've been faking it.
Sam: You've been faking it?
C.J.: I've been playing it fast and loose there's no doubt about it, but sitting in on some of the meetings we've been having, and reading the briefing book last night, I have to say that the census is starting to sound to me like it's, well, important.
Sam: Ah-hah.
C.J.: And, I've come to the realization that if I'm gonna be talking about it all week, it's probably best that I understand what I'm saying.
Sam: When?
C.J.: When what?
Sam: When did you come to this realization?
C.J.: About an hour ago.
Sam: Okay. Let's... I tell you what, let's forget the fact that you're coming a little late to the party and embrace the fact that you showed up at all.
C.J.: That's what I say.

Josh: Sam, I'm taking Charlie for a beer tonight before the vote. Zoey and Mallory are coming.
Sam: Sounds good.
C.J.: I like beer.
Josh: If you want to come I guess that'd be okay.
C.J.: Why, Josh, you've swept me off my feet.

[Josh and Sam have joined Charlie in confronting the guys who are hassling Zoe]
Josh: [Pressing Zoe's panic button] Yeah. You guys don’t realize it, but you’re having a pretty bad night.
Guy 1: [Sarcastic and aggressive] Oh really - and who’s gonna give it to us, huh?
[The door slams open and Secret Service agents burst in]
Agent: Federal Agents!
[Josh and Sam raise their arms and point at the three guys]
Sam and Josh: Right here!
[The agents grab the startled and protesting guys and force them head-first onto the bar whilst one grabs Zoe and guides her out protectively]
Agent: Shut up! I swear to God I’ll blow your head off. Everybody stand back.
Guy 1: [to Charlie] Hey, I ain’t done with you Sammy.
Charlie: My name is Charlie Young, jackass. And if that bulge in your pocket’s an 8-ball of blow, you'll be spending Spring Break in a Federal Prison. [to Josh] Now I’m having a good time.

Bartlet: The Secret Service...
Zoey: The Secret Service should worry about you getting shot!
Bartlet: They are worried about me getting shot. I'm worried about me getting shot! But that is nothing compared to how terrified we are of you. You scare the hell out of the Secret Service, Zoey, and you scare the hell out of me, too. My getting killed would be bad enough, but that is not the nightmare scenario. The nightmare scenario, sweetheart, is you getting kidnapped. You go out to a bar or a party in some club and you get up to go to the restroom. Somebody comes up from behind, puts their hand across your mouth and whisks you out the back door. You're so petrified you don't even notice the bodies of two Secret Service agents lying on the ground with bullet holes in their heads. Then you're whisked away in a car. It's a big party with lots of noise and lots of people coming and going and it's a half hour before someone says, "Hey, where's Zoey?" Another fifteen minutes before the first phone call. It's another hour and a half before anyone even thinks to shut down all the airports! And now we're off to the races! You're tied to a chair in a cargo shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda and I am told that I have seventy-two hours to get Israel to free four hundred and sixty terrorist prisoners. So I'm on the phone, pleading with Binyamin and he's saying "I'm sorry Mr President, but Israel simply does not negotiate with terrorists, period! It's the only way we can survive." So now we got a new problem, because this country no longer has a commander-in-chief but has a father who's out of his mind because his little girl is in a shack somewhere in Uganda with a gun to her head! Do you get it?!

[In response to Josh's earlier speech to Donna about why the government does not issue refund checks for each person's portion of the budget surplus.]
Josh: Donna? How much were the sandwiches?
Donna: $12.95
Josh: I gave you a twenty.
Donna: Yes, as it turns out, actually, you gave me more money than I needed to buy what you asked for. However, knowing you, as I do, I'm afraid I can't trust you to spend the change wisely. I've decided to invest it for you.
Josh: That was nice. That was a little parable.
Donna: I want my money back.

The State Dinner[edit]

Donna: I’m not wild about this whole Indonesian thing.
Josh: What’s the problem?
Donna: I’ve been doing some reading on my own.
Josh: I wish you wouldn’t do that.
Donna: Why?
Josh: Because you tend to cull some bizarre factoid from a less than reputable source and then you blow it all out of proportion.
Donna: I do not.
Josh: Donna...
Donna: I just thought you might like to know that in certain parts of Indonesia, they summarily execute people they suspect of being sorcerers.
Josh: What?
Donna: I read it.
Josh: They... summarily execute people they suspect of being sorcerers?
Donna: They behead them.
Josh: Sorcerers.
Donna: Gangs of roving people. Beheading those they suspect of being sorcerers. You know with... what’s that thing that Death carries?
Josh: A scythe.
Donna: They’re doing it with a scythe.
Josh: Well, thanks for the head’s up.
Donna: I thought you might like to know who’s coming over for dinner.
Josh: You bet.

Harry: Mr. President?
C.J.: No questions right now, Harry.
Harry: A short one.
Bartlet: She’s not worried about the length of your question, she’s worried about the length of my response.

Mandy: It really bugs you that the President listens to me sometimes.
Josh: Yes, but you shouldn’t take it personally. It bugs me when the President listens to anyone who isn’t me.

Mandy: What about a negotiator?
Military officer: Negotiate what?
Mandy: A peaceful settlement.
Josh: This is a standoff with federal officers. A peaceful settlement is "put your guns down, you’re under arrest."
Mandy: I think it would be wise if we demonstrated that we exhausted every possible peaceful solution before we got all Ramboed up.
Josh: I don’t think it’s unreasonably macho for the White House to be aggressive in preserving democracy.
Mandy: Let me tell you something. Ultimately, it is not the nuts that are the greatest threat to democracy, as history has shown us over and over and over again, the greatest threat to democracy is the unbridled power of the state over its citizens. Which, by the way, that power is always unleashed in the name of preservation.
Josh: This isn’t abstract, Mandy. This isn’t a theoretical problem. The FBI says come out with your hands up, you come out with your hands up. At which point, you’re free to avail yourself of the entire justice system.
Mandy: Do you really believe that? Or are you just pissed off because I got into the game?

Bartlet: Time’s up.
Little: Actually, if I may, Mr. President. I didn’t get my full five minutes.
Bartlet: Yes, I know. But I got tired of listening to you. Now you listen to me. I have a Nobel Prize in Economics and I’m here to tell you that none of you know what the hell you’re talking about. At 12:01 am, I’m using my executive power to nationalize the trucking industry.
Little: You can’t do that, Mr. President...
Bartlet: Fourteen White House lawyers disagree. Truman did it in ‘52 with the coal mines.
Little: And it was struck down by the Supreme Court.
Bartlet: In 50 years. There’s a new bench and I’ll take my chances. As for Labor, I am calling Congress into Emergency Session to grant me the authority to draft the truckers into military service. [Russo and the Truckers Union delegates look dumbfounded] You’re going to love our food. Nice talking to you folks. If this isn’t settled in 47 minutes, don’t worry. We know where to find you.

Enemies[edit]

Bartlet: We should organize a staff field-trip to Shenandoah. I could even act as the guide. What do you think?
Josh: [Under his breath] Good a place as any to dump your body.
Bartlet: What was that?
Josh: ... Did I say that out loud?
Bartlet: See, and I was gonna let you go home.
Josh: [Sinking feeling] ... But instead?
Bartlet: We're gonna talk about Yosemite.

Toby: All right... It couldn't have gone far, right?
Sam: No.
Toby: Somewhere in this building... is our talent.
Sam: Yes.

Bartlet: I find these Cabinet meetings to be a fairly mind-numbing experience, but Leo assures me they are Constitutionally required.

Sam: You're asking me out on a date.
Mallory: No, I'm asking you to accompany me to see an internationally renowned opera company perform a work indigenous to its culture.
Sam: Right, and in what way will it distinguish itself from a date?
Mallory: There will be, under no circumstances, sex for you at the end of the evening.
Sam: Right.
Mallory: So what do you say?
Sam: Well, like most people I'm an absolute nut for Chinese opera. The Chinese being known the world over for their soaring and romantic melodies, and what with your guarantee that there won’t be sex, I don’t see how I could say no.

Hoynes: What did I do? Where in our past, what did I do to make you treat me this way?
Bartlet: John...
Hoynes: What did I ever do except deliver the South?
Bartlet: You shouldn't have made me beg, John. I was asking you to be Vice President.
Hoynes: Due respect, Mr President, you had just kicked my ass in the primary. I'm 15 years younger than you are and I have my career to think of.
Bartlet: Then don’t stand there and ask the question, John. It weakened me right out of the gate. You shouldn’t have made me beg.

The Short List[edit]

Sam: In 1787, there was a sizable block of delegates who were initially opposed to the Bill of Rights. This is what a member of the Georgia delegation had to say by way of opposition; 'If we list a set of rights, some fools in the future are going to claim that people are entitled only to those rights enumerated and no others.' So the Framers knew–
Harrison: Were you just calling me a fool, Mr. Seaborn?
Sam: I wasn't calling you a fool, sir. The brand new state of Georgia was.

Sam: It's not just about abortion, it's about the next 20 years. Twenties and Thirties it was the role of government, Fifties and Sixties it was civil rights. The next two decades it's gonna be privacy. I'm talking about the Internet. I'm talking about cell phones. I'm talking about health records and who's gay and who's not. And moreover, in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?

C.J.: What are you holding?
Danny: It’s a goldfish.
C.J.: Why?
Danny: It’s for you.
C.J.: Really?
Danny: Josh said you like goldfish.
C.J.: [laughing] The crackers, Danny, the cheese things that you have at a party.
Danny: Oh… Ah… You know what, I’m not a hundred percent sure I was supposed to know that.
C.J.: The crackers, Danny.
Danny: Well, fine, now I got a goldfish.
C.J.: [still laughing] Give it to me.
Danny: No, no, no.
C.J.: No, you’ll kill it.
Danny: You think I can’t take care of a goldfish?
C.J.: I absolutely do not.
Danny: Her name’s Gail, by the way.
C.J.: The fish?
Danny: Yeah.
C.J.: You named it Gail?
Danny: No, the guy in the store.
C.J.: [more laughing] Come here. [Gives Danny a kiss on the cheek] Thanks for the fish.

Bartlet: Did you have a drink yesterday?
Leo: No, sir.
Bartlet: Do you plan to have a drink today?
Leo: No, sir.
Bartlet: That's all you ever have to say to me.

Bartlet: Would it surprise you to know that for the last few months you have been on a short list of candidates for the bench?
Mendoza: Yes, it would.
Bartlet: Well then this is gonna knock your socks off. Tomorrow evening at 5 o’clock, I am naming you as my nominee to be the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. You were not the first choice, but you are the last one, and the right one. Will you accept the nomination?
Mendoza: With honor.

Leo: One in three?
C.J.: Yes.
Leo: He said one in three White House staffers are on drugs?
C.J.: Yes.
Leo: Where does he get these stats?
C.J.: Leo-
Leo: I mean where does he pull them from?
C.J.: Out of the clear blue sky, but that doesn’t matter!
Leo: [to Margaret] Is someone bringing me a tape on this?
Mandy: This isn’t happening to me.
Leo: Nothing’s happened, stay cool.
Sam: [walks in] Is it possible for Peter Lillianfield to be a bigger jackass? You think if he tried hard, there’s room for him to be a slightly bigger horse's ass than he’s being right now?
C.J.: At some point you hit your head on the ceiling, don’t you?
Sam: I think there’s unexplored potential.
Josh: [enters] ‘Sup.
Mandy: Josh.
Josh: Five White House staffers in the room. I would like to say to the 1.6 of you who are stoned right now that it’s time to share.

Josh: I was interrogating this intern from the legislative liaison’s office and she broke down crying while telling me about a bong she had made out of an eggplant.
Leo: You can do that?
Josh: I used to use a potato.
Leo: You’ve always been industrious.

In Excelsis Deo[edit]

Bartlet: Apparently, I’ve arranged for an honor guard for somebody.
Toby: Yes, sir. I’m sorry.
Bartlet: No no. Just tell me, is there anything else I’ve arranged for? We’re still in NATO right?
Toby: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: What’s going on?
Toby: A homeless man died last night; a Korean War veteran, who was wearing a coat that I gave to the Goodwill. It had my card in it.
Bartlet: Toby, you’re not responsible for …
Toby: An hour and twenty minutes for the ambulance to get there. A Lance Corporal, United States Marine Corps, Second of the Seventh. The guy got better treatment at Panmunjom.
Bartlet: Toby, if we start pulling strings like this, you don’t think every homeless veteran would come out of the wood works?
Toby: I can only hope, sir.

Laurie: [to Sam] I can’t believe you. What, did you get this out of a book?
Josh: It was my idea.
Laurie: Oh! What are you, the brains of the outfit?
Josh: Yeah, I am. And I got to tell you, I could care less about your indignation right now. A man has left himself open to the kind of attack from which men in my business do not recover. Now if our tactics seem less than civilized it’s because so are our attackers. In any event, I don’t feel like standing here taking a civics lesson from a hooker.

Leo: [Signing Christmas cards] Who the hell is this guy and why would I care if he has a merry Christmas?
Margaret: Just sign the damn thing.

Josh: An hour with you in a rare book store. Couldn't you just drop me off the top of the Washington Monument instead?
Bartlet: It's Christmas, Josh! No reason we can't do both.

Josh: Here's one.
Mandy: One what?
Josh: A book which if I was stuck with it on a desert island I still wouldn't read it. "The Adventures of James C. Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California." I believe I would eat this book before I read it.

Lord John Marbury[edit]

Charlie: Mr. President?
Bartlet: I'll take the Indian ambassador in the Oval Office.
Charlie: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: And then if you could just ask the Secret Service to step in and kill me, please.
Charlie: Yes, sir.

Josh: It's what I do now; I'm a professional hostile witness.

Mrs. Landingham: How are you, Josh?
Josh: I've been subpoenaed.
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, I'm sorry, dear. Would you like a cookie?

Leo: [on Marbury] You're really gonna let him loose in the White House, where there's liquor and women?
Bartlet: We can hide the women. But the man deserves a drink.

Bartlet: Thank you for coming. How was your flight?
Marbury: Intoxicating.
Leo: So I see.
Marbury: [to Leo] Allow me to present myself...Lord John Marbury, I was summoned by your President.
Leo: Yes. We've met, 10 or 12 times. I'm Leo McGarry.
Marbury: I thought you were the butler.
Leo: No, I'm the White House Chief of Staff.
Marbury: Nonetheless, would you have something with which to light my cigarette?
Leo: No, I'm afraid we don't allow smoking in this part of the world.
Marbury: Really? In this part over here we encourage it!

He Shall, from Time to Time...[edit]

Bartlet: I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends - apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?

Bartlet: We meant 'stronger' here, right?
Sam: What does it say?
Bartlet: I'm proud to report our country's stranger than it was a year ago?
Sam: That's a typo.
Bartlet: Could go either way.

Donna: So if the Capitol building blows up, the man my country will be looking to is the Secretary of Agriculture?
Josh: It's my country too.
Donna: Yeah, but you'll be dead.
Josh: Which is why I really don't care that much.
Donna: Josh–
Josh: [Cutting Donna off] Donna, I really don't anticipate the Capitol building exploding.
Donna: What percentage of things exploding have been anticipated?
Josh: Now you're bringing me down.
Donna: I would think so.

Bartlet: What's on your mind?
Toby: The era of big government is over.
Bartlet: You want to cut the line?
Toby: I want to change the sentiment. [pause] We're running away from ourselves and I know we can score points that way, I was a principal architect of that campaign strategy right along with you, Josh. But we're here now, tomorrow night we do an immense thing; we have to say what we feel, that government, no matter what its failures in the past and in times to come for that matter, government can be a place where people come together and where no one gets left behind. No one...gets left behind. An instrument of good.

[with the Secretary of Agriculture, Roger Tribbey, the cabinet member staying behind during a State of the Union address]
Bartlet: Oh, Roger. If anything happened, you know what to do, right?
Roger Tribbey: I honestly hadn't thought about it, sir.
Bartlet: First thing always is national security. Get your commanders together. Appoint Joint Chiefs, appoint a chairman. Take us to DEFCON 4. Have the governors send emergency delegates to Washington. The assistant Attorney General is going to be the Acting A.G. If he tells you he wants to bring out the National Guard, do what he tells you. [pause] You got a best friend?
Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Roger Tribbey: [chuckles] Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: That's your chief of staff.

Take Out the Trash Day[edit]

C.J.: Carol, dotting the Is crossing the Ts, thank you for that.
Carol: We do our homework.
C.J.: You misspelled senator.

Josh: We've got a bit of a sticky wicket.
C.J.: Please don't tell me I'm staying here and working late tonight.
Josh: I need you to read a report.
C.J.: I'm a woman in her prime, Josh, I'm a prime woman.
Josh: There's no doubt about it, but I need you to read this anyway.
C.J.: What is it?
Josh: We want Congress to sign off on funds for a hundred thousand new teachers. They say, fine, but you gotta stipulate that in Sex Ed classes....
C.J.: Abstinence only?
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: I would have no trouble passing such a class.
Josh: We commissioned a report about a year ago on Sex Education in public schools, and, well, this is it.
C.J.: What's it say?
Josh: It's not good.
C.J.: How's it not good?
Josh: It says basically that teaching 'abstinence only' doesn't work—that people are going to be prone to have sex whether they're cautioned against it or not.
C.J.: Well, what are they recommending?
Josh: Something called "abstinence plus".
C.J.: Abstinence plus?
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: What's that mean?
Josh: Well, Sam's renamed it 'everything but'.
C.J.: Everything but?
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: Ah.
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: They want teachers to teach...
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: And so the sticky wicket joke was..?
Josh: A regrettable pun. Should I order you some food?
C.J.: Y'know, I can't remember the last time I got home before midnight.
Josh: By the way, pages 27 to 33? A couple of things every girl should know.
C.J.: Get me a salad.

Mr. Lydell: The hate crimes bill is fine. Who gives a damn? It's fine, I don't care. If you ask me, we shouldn't be making laws against what's in a person head but I don't give a damn, it's fine. I don't understand how this president, who I voted for, I don't understand how he can take such a completely weak ass position on gay rights. Gays in the military, same sex marriage, gay adoption, boards of education. Where the hell is he? I want to know what quality necessary to being a parent the president feels my son lacked. I want to know from this president who has served not one day in uniform - I had two terms in Vietnam - I want to know what quality necessary to being a soldier this president feels my son lacked. Lady I'm not embarrassed that my son is gay, my government is.

Toby: We're gonna see to all those things. In the meantime, at a time when the public is rightly concerned about the impact of sex and violence on TV this administration is gonna protect the Muppets, we're gonna protect Wall Street Week, we're gonna protect Live From Lincoln Center and by God, we are going to protect Julia Child.

Bartlet: Mrs. Landingham.
Mrs. Landingham: Yes sir?
Bartlet: You're not going to believe this but I think I'd actually like a banana.
Mrs. Landingham: I'm afraid not sir, no.
Bartlet: Why not?
Mrs. Landingham: You were offered one earlier, sir, and you were snippy.
Bartlet: I wasn't snippy!
Mrs. Landingham: I'm afraid you were, Mr. President. [looks toward the oval office] C.J.'s waiting, sir.
Bartlet: Thank you, Mrs. Landingham. [To C.J. as he enters the Oval Office] She withholds food from me.

Take this Sabbath Day[edit]

Sam: The U.S. is one of five countries on earth that puts to death people who're under the age of 18 when they committed a crime.
Charlie: Nigeria.
Sam: Pakistan.
Charlie: Saudi Arabia and Iran?
Sam: Yeah. So, that's a list we definitely want to be on.

Josh: I can hold my liquor.
Donna: No, you can't.
Josh: I can drink with the best of 'em, Donna.
Donna: You can't drink with any of 'em, Josh.
Josh: I'm a politician, okay? I can drink.
Donna: You have a very sensitive system.
Josh: I wish you'd stop telling people that. It makes me sound like an idiot.
Donna: You're gonna have two drinks and spend the rest of the weekend sleeping it off.

Toby: The Torah doesn't prohibit capital punishment.
Rabbi Glassman: No.
Toby: It says, 'An eye for an eye'.
Rabbi Glassman: You know what it also says? It says a rebellious child can be brought to the city gates and stoned to death. It says homosexuality is an abomination and punishable by death. It says men can be polygamous and slavery is acceptable. For all I know, that thinking reflected the best wisdom of its time, but it's just plain wrong by any modern standard. Society has a right to protect itself, but it doesn't have a right to be vengeful. It has a right to punish, but it doesn't have a right to kill.

Rabbi Glassman: Say what you will about the Catholic Church, but their position on life is unimpeachable: no abortion, no death penalty.
Toby: I spent yesterday...
Rabbi Glassman: You spent yesterday hoping the President wouldn't call the Pope.
Toby: You're damn right I did.
Rabbi Glassman: If he had done it, after doing so, the fear of every non-Catholic who voted for him would be realized.
Toby: Congratulations Rabbi Glassman, you may now join the White House communications staff!

Bartlet: I want you to know that I had a number of people on my staff search for a reason the public would find palatable to commute the sentence. Technicality. Any evidence of racism.
Father Cavanaugh: So your staff spent the weekend looking for a way out.
Bartlet: Yeah.
Father Cavanaugh: Like the kid in right field who doesn't want the ball to get hit to him.
Bartlet: I'm the leader of a democracy, Tom. 71% of the people support capital punishment. The people have spoken. The courts have spoken.
Father Cavanaugh: Did you call the Pope?
Bartlet: Yeah.
Father Cavanaugh: And how do you do that?
Bartlet: Oh, for crying out loud, Tom. I open my mouth and say, "Somebody get me the Pope."
Father Cavanaugh: [raising a finger to emphasize his point] Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. President, but I was thinking... [pause] You're just this kid from my parish, and now you're calling the Pope.
Bartlet: Anyway...I looked for a way out, I really did.
Father Cavanaugh: "Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord. You know what that means? God is the only one who gets to kill people.
Bartlet: I know.
Father Cavanaugh: That was your way out.
Bartlet: I know.
Father Cavanaugh: Did you pray?
Bartlet: I did, Tom. I know it's hard to believe, but I prayed for wisdom.
Father Cavanaugh: And none came?
Bartlet: It never has. And I'm a little pissed off about that. [glances at his watch as it hits midnight] I'm not kidding.
Father Cavanaugh: You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, "I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me."
The waters rose up. A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, "Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety." But the man shouted back, "I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me."
A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, "Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety." But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.
Well... the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. "Lord," he said, "I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?" God said, "I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?" [pause] He sent you a priest, a rabbi, and a Quaker, Mr. President. Not to mention his son, Jesus Christ. What do you want from him?

Celestial Navigation[edit]

C.J.: [knocks on Josh's door] Josh...
Josh: [looks up] What the hell happened?
C.J.: I had woot canal.
Josh: What happened to your cheeks?
C.J.: I had woot canal!
Josh: Why are you talking like that?
C.J.: I had woot canal!
Josh: Yeah, I heard you the first time, I was just amusing myself.
C.J.: I can suggesht some ovva fings you can do wif yourshelf!
Josh: Are you in pain?
C.J.: I HAD WOOT CANAL!
Josh: You're gonna need to stop saying that, 'cause you just look and sound so ridiculous.

Josh: You're going to be reading a bit today about your secret plan to fight inflation.
Bartlet: I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh: No.
Bartlet: Why am I going to be reading that I do?
Josh: It was suggested in the press room that you do.
Bartlet: By who?
Josh: By me.
Bartlet: You told the press I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh: No, I did not. Let me be absolutely clear, I did not do that. Except, yes, I did that.

Josh: I denied it for half an hour, they wouldn't take no for an answer!
Bartlet: You were clear?
Josh: I was crystal clear! They said, "Do you think that if the President has a plan to fight inflation, it's right that he keep it a secret?" I said, of course not!
Bartlet: Are you telling me that not only did you invent a secret plan to fight inflation, but now you don't support it?

[Charlie has just entered the President's bedroom.]
Bartlet: Charlie, do you realize you are committing a federal offense right now?
Charlie: I'll take my chances with the feds, sir.
Bartlet: How do you know the First Lady wasn't going to be naked when you came in here? Come to think of it, where the hell is my wife?
Charlie: Argentina, sir.
Bartlet: Oh yeah.
[Bartlet rises groggily]
Bartlet: Have you slept yet?
Charlie: No, sir.
Bartlet: Good.
[Later, at the Oval Office]
Bartlet: I'm tired, I'm cranky, and my wife is in Argentina. Let's get this over with.

Leo: He’s driving from Nova Scotia to Washington?
Sam: Yeah.
Leo: How’s a person do that?
Sam: Oh, my guess is, he’ll take the Trans-Canada Highway to New Brunswick, then maybe catch the 1 and take the scenic route along the coast of Maine. 95 through New Hampshire to the Mass Pike, and then cut over to the Merritt Parkway 'round Milford.
Toby: Something really kinda freakish about you, you know that?

20 Hours in L.A.[edit]

Toby: What, I'm not coming in the car?
Bartlet: No, and you know why? Because you made fun of the guacamole.
Toby: I didn't!
Bartlet: I could tell you were thinking it.
Toby: ...Fair enough.

Josh: [about the President] How's he doing in there?
Toby: He's got that look on his face like he's thinking of ways of killing himself.

Bartlet: This is a debate that is obviously going to continue in town halls, city halls, state legislatures, and the U.S. House of Representatives. There is a population in this country that seems to focus so much time and energy into this conversation, so much so that I am forced to ask this question - is there an epidemic of flag burning going on that I'm not aware of?

Toby: I just figured out who you were.
Kiefer: He's gonna say Satan.
Toby: No, you're the guy that runs into the 7-11 to get Satan a pack of cigarettes.

Joey: Vox populi, vox dei.
Josh: The voice of the people is the voice of a dog.
Joey: The voice of God, Joshua.
Josh: Yes.

The White House Pro-Am[edit]

Josh: We're gonna do 'good cop, bad cop.'
Toby: No, we're really not.
Josh: Why not?
Toby: 'Cause this isn't an episode of Hawaii Five-O. How about you be the good cop and I be the cop that doesn't go to the meeting?

Bartlet: Try to find out who those friends of my wife's are in the wire piece and take them out back and have them shot. Can I do that?
Leo: Yeah.
Bartlet: Yeah, Leo says I can do that.

Toby: You're concerned about American labor and manufacturing.
Congressman: Yeah.
Toby: What kind of car do you drive?
Congressman: Toyota.
Toby: Then shut up.
...
Josh: What would you have done if he had said he drove an American car?
Toby: Found some other way of humiliating him.

Josh: This, right here, this is the reason why you have a reputation as a pain in the ass.
Toby: I've cultivated that reputation.

Mrs. Landingham: I'm not used to having members of the print media in here.
Danny: I'll try not to get ink on the furniture.
Mrs. Landingham: Aw, Danny, and I was just about to offer you a cookie.
Danny: And now?
Mrs. Landingham: No.

Six Meetings Before Lunch[edit]

Jeff Breckenridge: You got a dollar?
Josh: Yeah.
Jeff Breckenridge: Take it out. Look at the back. The seal, the pyramid, it's unfinished, with the eye of God looking over it, and the words annuit coeptis - he, God, favors our undertaking. The seal is meant to be unfinished, because this country's meant to be unfinished. We're meant to keep doing better. We're meant to keep discussing and debating. And, we're meant to read books by great historical scholars and then talk about them...

Sam: Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don't need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Toby: I feel like I've lost 180 pounds. I am smiling, I am laughing, I am enjoying the people I work with - I gotta snap outta this. What's on your mind?
Mandy: I want you to help me get the Chinese to give us a new panda bear to replace LumLum.
[Very long pause]
Toby: Well that did the trick.

Bartlet: [reading from a book by George Washington] "In public, put not your hands on any part of your body that is usually covered."
C.J.: Well... I do what it takes to keep the press corps happy, Mr. President.

[The office staff watches the Senate start to vote on Mendoza's confirmation to the Supreme Court and begin celebrating. Bonnie starts handing around a bottle of champagne]
Toby: Put it down! Put it down!
Bonnie: Toby!
Toby: No champagne.
Bonnie: We're just getting--
Toby: Put it down. Everyone in this room, let me have your attention! Please. The law of our land mandates that Presidential appointees be confirmed by a majority of the Senate, a majority being a total of half plus one for a total of what, Ginger?
Ginger: Fifty-one.
Toby: Fifty-one 'yea' votes is what we see on these screens before a drop of wine is swallowed! Because there's a little thing called what, Bonnie?
Bonnie: "Tempting fate"?
Toby: "Tempting fate" is what it's called. In the three months that this man has been on my radar screen, I have aged forty-eight years. This is my day of jubilee, I will not have it screwed up by what, Bonnie?
Bonnie: By tempting fate.
Toby: By tempting fate! These things take patience. These things take skill. These things take luck. In the fifteen months we've been in office, what kind of luck have we had? Ginger?
Ginger: Bad luck.
Toby: [clears his throat and raises his eyebrows] What kind of luck?
Ginger: Very bad luck.
Toby: We've had very bad luck.

Let Bartlet Be Bartlet[edit]

C.J.: The theme of the Egg Hunt is "learning is delightful and delicious" - as, by the way, am I.

Mrs. Landingham: You're not getting enough roughage in your diet. You know I'm right about that.
Bartlet: I know I'd like to beat you senseless with a head of cabbage, I know that for damn sure.
Mrs. Landingham: Once again you display an immaturity about vegetables that I think is not at all Presidential.

Major Tate: Sir, we're not prejudiced toward homosexuals.
Admiral Fitzwallace: You just don't want to see them serving in the Armed Forces?
Major Tate: No, sir, I don't.
Admiral Fitzwallace: 'Cause they impose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion.
Major Tate: Yes, sir.
Admiral Fitzwallace: That's what I think, too. I also think the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change.
Major Tate: Yes, sir.
Admiral Fitzwallace: The problem with that is, that's what they were saying to me fifty years ago. "Blacks shouldn't serve with whites. It would disrupt the unit." You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... Beat that with a stick.

Leo: You want to see me orchestrate this right now? You want to see me mobilize these people? These people who would walk into fire if you told them to. These people who showed up to lead. These people who showed up to fight. [points at Charlie] That guy gets death threats because he’s black and he dates your daughter! He was warned: “Do not show up to this place. Your life will be in danger.” He said, “To hell with that, I’m going anyway.” You said, “No.” Prudent or not prudent, this 21 year old for 600 dollars a week says, “I’m going where I want to, because a man stands up!”

Leo: Listen up. Our ground game isn't working; we're gonna put the ball in the air. If we're gonna walk into walls, I want us running into them full-speed.
Josh: What are you saying?
Leo: Well, you can start by telling the Hill the President's named his nominees to the FEC. And we're gonna lose some of these battles. And we might even lose the White House. But we're not going to be threatened by issues: we're going to put 'em front and center. We're gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy. That sound alright to you Josh?
Josh: I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.
Leo: Yeah?
C.J.: I serve at the pleasure of the President.
Sam: I serve at the pleasure of President Bartlet.
Leo: Toby?
Toby: I serve at the pleasure of the President.

Mandatory Minimums[edit]

Bonnie: [after Josh told the Senate Majority Leader to "shove his legislative agenda up [his] ass"] Rambo!
Josh: You talking to me?
Bonnie: Nice phone call.
Josh: That's how we do things in New England, my friends.
Bonnie: In Indiana, we're not allowed to talk like that.
Ginger: In New Jersey, we encourage it.

Sam: Mandatory Minimums are racist.
Toby: I understand that.
Sam: They're a red herring.
Toby: I understand that, too.
Sam: It's a way of looking like you're tough on crime, without assuming the burden of being tough on crime.
Toby: Everything you've said I understand.
Sam: I'm saying...
Toby: We do things one thing at a time.
Sam: But I'm saying we don't have time to do things one thing at a time.
Toby: We're talking about treatment.
Sam: I'm talking about treatment and I'm talking about Mandatory Minimums and I'm saying it's a red herring and I'm saying it's racist.
Toby: When you talk to the President, I want you talking about treatment. I want you talking about treatment vs. enforcement and I don't want you to stray from that!
Sam: Toby, is this what you meant when you said, "Sam, you're completely in charge of this"?
Toby: Yes, I meant, you're in charge of this, in the sense that you're subordinate to me in every way.

Toby: [to Andy] I have to get back to work. And you, being a Congresswoman... I'm sure you need to be back out there... you know, screwing the people.

Josh: Take it easy.
Sam: I won’t take it easy! Give me the phone. I'm gonna call the Senator and I'm gonna tell him that he can shove his legislative agenda up his ass!
Josh: I've already done that.
Sam: I'll do it again.
Josh: You know what this is like? This is like The Godfather. When Pacino tells James Caan that he's gonna kill the cop. It's a lot like that scene, only not really.
...
Josh: It is like that scene. I'm James Caan. [to Sam] You're...you're Al Pacino.
Toby: Let's go.
Josh: Toby, you're the guy who shows Pacino how to make tomato sauce.

Toby: Mr. President.
Bartlet: We were almost done.
Toby: I... met with Congresswoman Wyatt today.
Bartlet: When you were married to her, did you call her Congresswoman Wyatt?
Toby: No, sir.
Bartlet: Sometimes I call my wife Dr. Bartlet.
Toby: I call her Andy or uh... Andrea.
Bartlet: Okay.
Toby: Mandatory Minimums.
Bartlet: You're whupped, my friend.
Toby: Sir.
Bartlet: No, she's been talking to you for a year about Mandatory Minimums. You've been saying no. Looks like we know who wears the pants in the Ziegler family.
Toby: You call your wife “Dr. Bartlet”?
Bartlet: Just for the turn-on.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics[edit]

Bartlet: We agree on nothing, Max.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Education, guns, drugs, school prayer, gays, defense spending, taxes - you name it, we disagree.
Senator Lobell: You know why?
Bartlet: Because I'm a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir. And I'm a gun-toting, redneck son-of-a-bitch.
Bartlet: Yes, you are.
Senator Lobell: We agree about that.

Toby: Since when are you an expert on language?
C.J.: In polling models?
Toby: Okay.
C.J.: 1993. Since when are you an uptight pain in the ass?
Toby: Since long before that.

Bartlet: What do we do with him?
Sam: Make him the Ambassador to Paraguay.
Bartlet: What do we do with the Ambassador to Paraguay?
Sam: Make him Ambassador to Bulgaria.
Bartlet: I like this. Because, if everybody keeps moving up one, I can go home.

Margaret: Want to hear a joke?
Leo: Uh... Okay.
Margaret: You know why they only eat one egg for breakfast in France?
Leo: Why?
Margaret: 'Cause in France, one egg is 'un oeuf'.

Cochran: I'd like to speak to your supervisor.
Charlie: Well, I'm Personal Aide to the President, so my supervisor's a little busy right now trying to find a back door to this place to shove you out of, but I'll let him know you'd like to lodge a complaint.

What Kind of Day Has It Been[edit]

Bartlet: Here’s another one. Two politicians are having an argument. One of them stands up and says, "You’re lying!" The other one answers, "Yes, I am, but hear me out." [audience laughs]
Moderator: Mr. President, do you have time for one more question?
Bartlet: I don’t think I answered the last one. Suzanne’s got me telling jokes. Here’s an answer to your question that I don’t think you’re going to like: the current crop of 18-25 year olds is the most politically apathetic generation in American history. In 1972, half of that age group voted. In the last election, 32%. Your generation is considerably less likely than any previous one to write or call public officials, attend rallies, or work on political campaigns. A man once said this, "decisions are made by those who show up." So are we failing you, or are you failing us? It's a little of both.

Bartlet: They’re telling me that we’re out of time. I just want to mention that at several points during the evening, I was referred to as both a liberal and a populist, and a fellow fourth from the back called me a socialist, which is nice, I haven’t heard that for a while. Actually, I’m an economics professor. My great-grandfather’s great-grandfather was Dr. Josiah Bartlett, who was the New Hampshire delegate representative to the Second Continental Congress, the one that sat in session in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776 and announced to the world that we were no longer subjects of King George III, but rather a self-governing people. "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up. Class dismissed. Thank you, everyone. God bless you. And God bless America.

Danny: C.J., I'm not staying in the penalty box forever. I have covered the White House for eight years and I've done it with the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and the Dallas Morning News! And I'm telling you you can't mess me around like this!
C.J.: Danny, I just gotta tell you, that was - seriously - that was a turn-on when you said that, though I don't know why you decided to be your most haughty on the Dallas Morning News in that sentence.

Bartlet: You're not going to spoil my good time for me.
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, sir, I think we both know from experience that's not true.
Bartlet: Yeah.
Mrs. Landingham: You need to be in the car ten minutes ago, Mr. President.
Bartlet: Do you see me walking out the door?
Mrs. Landingham: No, I see you standing and arguing with a senior citizen.

Admiral Fitzwallace: The eagle... on the seal in the carpet. In one talon he's holding arrows and in the other an olive branch. Most of the time, the eagle is facing the olive branch, but when congress declares war, the eagle faces the arrows... How do they do that? You think they've got a second carpet sitting around in the basement someplace?

Season Two[edit]

In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I[edit]

Bartlet: [on operating table] It didn't hit anything, they're just gonna look around and make sure.
Zoey: Are you in a lot of pain?
Bartlet: No...
Zoey: Are you lying?
Bartlet: Yeah, cause I want these guys to tell reporters that I was brave and joking around.
Zoey:You are brave. You were so good tonight, Dad.

Bartlet: What about our people?
Leo: C.J. hit her head on the ground, but other than that.
Bartlet: Get the Cabinet together, and the Security Council. Tell Jerome to suspend trading on the stock exchange...do we know who the shooters were?
Leo: [shaking his head] No.
Bartlet: I'm gonna be under anesthesia for a couple hours.
Leo: It'll be fine.
Bartlet: You know what I'm talking about, right?
Leo: I'll talk to Abbey.
Doctor:: [grabbing Leo's arm] Sir, it's time.
Bartlet: Hey, come here. [Leo leans in toward the President and turns his head. Bartlet plants a reassuring kiss on Leo's cheek.] It's okay.
Leo: I'll see you in a few hours Mr. President.

[flashback]
Woman: You've been a... um, uh, what did you call it?
Toby: Professional political operative.
Woman: You've been one your whole life.
Toby: Well, there was a while back there when I was in elementary school.
Woman: [laughs] You any good?
Toby: [long pause] I'm very good at it.
Woman: What's your record?
Toby: My record?
Woman: How many elections have you won?
Toby: Altogether?
[The woman nods]
Toby: Including city council, two Congressional elections, a senate race, a Gubernatorial campaign, and a national campaign? [long pause] None.
Woman: None of them?
Toby: You gotta be impressed with my consistency.

[flashback]
Man: Governor Bartlet, when you were a member of Congress, you voted against the New England Dairy Farming Compact. That vote hurt me sir. I'm a businessman. That vote hurt me to the tune of maybe, 10 cents a gallon. I voted for you three times for Congress. I voted for you twice for Governor. And I'm here sir, and I'd like to ask you for an explanation.
Bartlet: [pause] Yeah, I screwed you on that one.
Man: I'm sorry?
Bartlet: I screwed you. You got hosed.
Man: Sir, I...
Bartlet: And not just you. A lot of my constituents. I put the hammer to farms in Concord, Salem, Laconia, and Pelham. You guys got rogered but good. Today, for the first time in history, one in five Americans living in poverty are children. One in five children live in the most abject, dangerous, hopeless, backbreaking, gut wrenching, poverty, one in five, and they're children. If fidelity to freedom and democracy is the code of our civic religion then surely, the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says 'We shall give our children better than we ourselves received.' I voted against the bill 'cause I didn't want it to be hard for people to buy milk. I stopped some money from flowing into your pocket. If that angers you, if you resent me, I completely respect that. But if you expect anything different from the President of the United States, I suggest you vote for somebody else. Thanks very much. Hope you enjoyed the chicken.

[flashback]
Bartlet: Why are you doing this? You're a player. You're bigger in the party than I am. Hoynes would probably make you National Chairman. Leo, tell me this isn't one of the twelve steps.
Leo: That's what it is. Right after admitting that we are powerless over alcohol and a higher power can restore us to sanity. That's where you come in.
Bartlet: Leo...
Leo: Because I'm tired of it! Year, after year, after year of having to choose between the lesser of who cares? Of trying to get myself excited over a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low, I can hardly look at it. They say a good man can't get elected president. I don't believe that, do you?
Bartlet: And you think I'm that man?
Leo: Yes.
Bartlet: Doesn't it matter that I'm not as sure?
Leo: Nah. 'Act as if ye have faith and faith shall be given to you.' Put another way: 'Fake it until you make it.'

In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part II[edit]

C.J.: We're confirming now that a suspect is in custody, and is being questioned by federal law enforcement. At this time, we cannot... we are not releasing any information whatsoever about the suspect.
Steve: Can you tell us anything, his name, where he's from, his ethnicity, if you guys suspect a motive?
C.J.: Yes, Steve, I can tell you those things, because when I said that we weren't releasing any information whatsoever, I meant except his name, his address, his ethnicity, and what we think his motives are.

[flashback]
Toby: Come join the campaign.
C.J.: How much does it pay?
Toby: How much were you making before?
C.J.: $550,000 a year.
Toby: This pays $600 a week.
C.J.: So this would be less.

Margaret: Can I - can I just say something for the future?
Leo: Yeah.
Margaret: I can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good.
Leo: You can sign the President's name?
Margaret: Yeah.
Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?
Margaret: Yeah. Or... do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea?
Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say it was a coup d'état!
Margaret: Well...I'd probably end up doing some time for that.
Leo: I would think! And what the hell were you doing practicing the President's signature?
Margaret: It was just for fun.
Leo: We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret vetoing things and sending them back to the Hill!

C.J.: This is our fifth press briefing since midnight. Obviously, there's one story that's going to dominate news around the world for the next few days, and it would be easy to think that President Bartlet, Joshua Lyman, and Stephanie Abbott were the only victims of a gun crime last night. They weren't. Mark Davis and Sheila Evans of Philadelphia were killed by a gun last night. He was a biology teacher and she was a nursing student. Tina Bishop and Linda Larkin were killed with a gun last night. They were 12. There were 36 homicides last night. 480 sexual assaults, 3,411 robberies, 3,685 aggravated assaults, all at gunpoint. And if anyone thinks those crimes could have been prevented if the victims themselves had been carrying guns, I'd only remind you that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best trained armed guards in the history of the world. Back to the briefing.

[flashback]
Bartlet: Tonight, what began on the commons in Concord, Massachusetts, as an alliance of farmers and workers, of cobblers and tinsmiths, of statesmen and students, of mothers and wives, of men and boys, lives two centuries later as America! My name is Josiah Bartlet, and I accept your nomination for the Presidency of the United States!

The Midterms[edit]

Josh: Tell me democracy doesn't have a sense of humor. We sit here, we drink this beer out here on the stoop, in violation of about 47 city ordinances. I don't know, Toby, it's election night. What do you say about a government that goes out of its way to protect even citizens that try to destroy it?
Toby: God bless America.

Bartlet: Good morning, everybody. Anybody know what the word 'acalculia' means?
Sam: It's the inability to perform arithmetic functions...I'm sorry, Mr. President. You wanted to answer your own question, didn't you?
Bartlet: Yeah, but I'll get over it.
Sam: Good for you, sir. That's very mature.
Bartlet: Shut up.
Sam: You're not over it yet, are you?

Bartlet: Toby, I'm drinking the most fantastic thing I've ever tasted in my life: chocolate syrup, cold milk, and seltzer. I know it sounds terrible, but trust me, I don't know where this has been all my life.
Toby: It's called an egg cream, Mr. President. We invented them in Brooklyn.
Bartlet: In Brooklyn? Not New England?
Toby: There are many good things in this world not from New England, sir.
Bartlet: Toby, don't ever let me hear you say that again.

Charlie Okay. Zoey and I are going out. I'll be on my pager.
Leo: You're going out?
Charlie: Yeah.
Leo: Charlie, you're taking extra protection, right?
Charlie: Hey, Leo...
Leo: Secret Service protection, Charlie. But thanks for loading me up with that image.

Bartlet: I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes it does. Leviticus.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.
[Dr. Jenna Jacobs stands]

In this White House[edit]

Josh: Toby, come quick, Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl.
Toby: Ginger, get the popcorn.

Bartlet: Charlie, when they close the book on you and me, it will say that at this moment you were not there for me. And for that, obviously, there will be some kind of punishment.
Charlie: Well, you could sing Puccini for me again, Mr. President, and we'll call it even.

Bartlet: Charlie, I wanna hire a woman whose voice I think would fit in nicely around here. She's a conservative Republican. You think I should do it?
Charlie: Absolutely, Mr. President, cause I'm told that theirs is the party of inclusion.

Sam: But for a brilliant surgical team and two centimeters of a miracle, this guy's [Josh] dead right now. From bullets fired from a gun bought legally. They bought guns, they loaded 'em, they drove from Wheeling to Rosslyn, and until they pulled the trigger they had yet to commit a crime. I am so off the charts tired of the gun lobby tossing around words like personal freedom and nobody calling 'em on it. It's not about personal freedom. And it certainly has nothing to do with public safety. It's just that some people like guns.
Ainsley: Yes, they do. But do you know what's even more insidious than that? Your gun control policy doesn't have anything to do with public safety, and it's certainly not about personal freedom. It's about that you don't like the people who do like guns. You don't like the people. Think about that the next time you make a joke about the South.

Ainsley: [to her Republican friends about the Democratic White House staff] Say they are smug and superior. Say their approach to public policy makes you want to tear your hair out. Say they like high taxes and spending your money. Say they want to take your guns and open your borders but don't call them worthless. At least don't do it in front of me. The people I have met have been extraordinarily qualified. Their intent is good. Their commitment is true. They are righteous, and they are patriots. And I'm their lawyer.

And It's Surely to Their Credit[edit]

Engineer: Cut take.
Bartlet: Sorry, everybody. This is gonna be it. Four is my lucky number.
Donna: This is take five, sir.
Bartlet: Five is my lucky number. "Fifth-take Bartlet" - that's what Jack Warner used to call me.
Donna: Did you really know Jack Warner, Mr. President?
Bartlet: Yeah, because I used to be a contract player in Hollywood and I'm 97 years old.

Engineer: Saturday morning radio address, take 21.
Donna: I have a really good feeling about this one, sir.
Bartlet: Is this still my first term?

Ainsley: You lied to me just then.
Leo: I'm a politician, Ainsley. Of course I lied to you just then.

Leo: This is Ainsley Hayes. She's scared of meeting you, so be nice.
Lionel Tribbey: The girl who's been writing the columns?
Leo: Yeah.
Lionel Tribbey: [to Ainsley] You're an idiot.
Ainsley: Oh God–
Leo: She's not an idiot, Lionel, she clerked for Dreifort!
Lionel Tribbey: Well, Dreifort's an idiot.
Leo: Dreifort's a Supreme Court Justice, Lionel, so let's speak of him with respect and practice some tolerance for those who disagree with us.
Lionel Tribbey: I believe, as long as Justice Dreifort is intolerant toward gays, lesbians, blacks, unions, women, poor people, and the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments, I will remain intolerant toward him! [to Ainsley] Nice meeting you.
Leo: She's working for you, Lionel.
Lionel Tribbey: Excuse me?
Leo: She's working for you. The president asked me to hire her for your office.
Lionel Tribbey: The President of what, asked you to hire her for my office?
Leo: The United States.

Ainsley: Mr. Tribbey? I'd like to do well on this, my first assignment. Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.
Lionel Tribbey: Well, not speaking in iambic pentameter might be a step in the right direction.

The Lame Duck Congress[edit]

Bartlet: Charlie!
Charlie: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Can I have a couple of aspirin or a weapon of some kind to kill people with?

Leo: Even when they're here in session, getting a hundred senators in line is still like trying to get cats to walk in a parade.

Sam: I don't need your help. I'm asking for your help so let's not make a federal...
Ainsley: [into her phone] Dad, it's me. Sam's asking for my help.
Sam: Put the phone down.
Ainsley: [into her phone] Gotta go, dad, I need to help Sam.
Sam: That must have rolled them in the aisles back in Georgia.
Ainsley: I'm from North Carolina.
Sam: Wherever it was you studied baton twirling.
Ainsley: That'd be Harvard Law School.

Donna: So, I'm being used.
Josh: Yes.
Donna: As a dupe.
Josh: Yes.
Donna: How am I supposed to feel about that?
Josh: How do you usually feel about that?
Donna: My value here is that I have no value.
Josh: You have enormous value to me. You have absolutely no value to Eastern Europe.

Toby: Why's a test-ban treaty so important? Let me tell you. In 1974, India set off a peaceful nuclear explosion. Indira Gandhi herself said they had no intention of building a bomb, they just wanted to know that they could. Twenty years later India sets off five nuclear explosions. Who gets nervous? Pakistan. And when Pakistan gets nervous, everybody get nervous. You know why? 'Cause we're all gonna die.

The Portland Trip[edit]

Bartlet: The Assistant Energy Secretary is flying to Portland in the middle of the night so he can meet with me on Air Force One on the way back?
Charlie: Yes sir.
Bartlet: The day-to-day experience of my life has changed in many ways since taking this job.

Sam: Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place. We should be talking about not being satisfied with past solutions. We should be talking about a permanent revolution.
Toby: Where have I heard that?
Sam: Permanent Revolution?
Toby: Yeah.
Sam: I got it from a book.
Toby: What book?
Sam: The Little Red Book
Toby: You think we should quote Mao Tse-tung?
Sam: We do need a permanent revolution.
Toby: Still, I think we'll stay away from quoting Communists.
Sam: You think a Communist never wrote an elegant phrase? How do you think they got everyone to be Communist?

Bartlet: A long flight across the night. You know why late flights are good? Because we cease to be earthbound and burdened with practicality. Asking important questions. Talking about the idea that nobody has thought about yet. Put it a different way...
Sam: Be poets.

Donna: I have an excellent sense about these things.
Josh: Actually, you have no sense about these things. You have no vibe, you have terrible taste in men, and your desire to be coupled up will always and forever drown out any sense of self or self-worth that you may have.
Donna: You're a downer, you know that? I'm calling you Deputy Downer from now on.

Danny: [asking why C.J is going on the Portland Trip] Are you being punished?
C.J.: I'm not being punished. I'm going on the trip.
Danny: If the whole bus goes off the record, will you tell us why you're going on the trip?
C.J.: [hesitating] I made fun of Notre Dame. [the journalists collectively groaned] Usually I get away with it.
Danny: They're playing Michigan tomorrow.
C.J.: I know that now.
Danny: You can't do that when they're playing Michigan.

Shibboleth[edit]

Sam: Over three and a half centuries ago, linked by faith and bound by a common desire for liberty, a small band of pilgrims sought out a place in the New World where they could worship according to their own beliefs... and solve crimes.
Toby: Sam...
Sam: It'd be good. By day, they churn butter and worship according to their own beliefs, and by night they solve crimes.
Toby: Read the thing.
Sam: Pilgrim detectives.
Toby: Do you see me laughing?
Sam: I think you're laughing on the inside.
Toby: Okay.
Sam: With the big hats.
Toby: Give me the speech.

C.J.: Every time we come up on a holiday, you guys check out like seniors who are done with finals.
Toby: We are writing a very important Thanksgiving proclamation.
Sam: And possibly a new action-adventure series.
Toby: Nobody here has checked out...
[Josh enters]
Josh: Hey, I was just flipping a nickel in my office. Sixteen times in a row, it came out tails.

C.J.: In the following days, we will be meeting with Reverend Al Caldwell, members of Beijing's Embassy and INS agents. The President has asked Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn to run these meetings so it's entirely possible that by week's end we'll have alienated Christians, China, and our own government.

C.J.: They sent me two turkeys. The most photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children's zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.
Bartlet: If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.

Charlie: Okay, Mr. President, I say this with all possible respect, but each of these knives cut, you know, meat. Why is it important?
Bartlet: Because it's something we pass on. Something with a history so we can say, 'My father gave this to me. His father gave it to him.'
Charlie: Well, okay, sir, but if that's true, then why don't you already have one?
Bartlet: I do have one.
Charlie: Why do you need a new one?
Bartlet: I'm giving mine away.
Charlie: To who?
Bartlet: Whom.
Charlie: To whom?
Bartlet: Funny you should ask. [takes out knife case from his drawer] Charlie, my father gave this to me, and his father gave it to him, and now I'm giving it to you. Take a look. The fully tapered bolster allows for sharpening the entire edge of the blade.
Charlie: It says 'P.R.' I thought I knew them all, but I don't recognize the manufacturer.
Bartlet: Yeah. This was made for my family by a Boston silversmith named Paul Revere.

Galileo[edit]

Bartlet: Sam's gonna make some changes.
Tate: Are you going to clear them with me?
Sam: Probably not. [to the recorder] Write this. Eleven months ago, a 1,200-pound spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Eighteen hours ago...18 hours, do I have that right? It's going to be noon Eastern time.
C.J.: Yep.
Sam: Eighteen hours ago, it landed on the planet Mars. You, me, and 60,000 of your fellow students across the country, along with astroscientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California, NASA Houston, and right here at the White House are going to be to the first to see what it sees, and to chronicle the extraordinary voyage of an unmanned ship called 'Galileo V.'
Bartlet: [to C.J.] He said it right.

Josh: There's a Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee?
Leo: Yes.
Josh: Made up of members of the There-But-For-The-Grace-of-God-go-I Club?
Leo: You wanna mock people or let me talk to Toby?
Josh: I wanna mock people.

Sam: [about why we should go to Mars] 'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave and we looked over the hill and we saw fire. And we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the West and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and this is what's next.

Bartlet: [to Leo, about a Russian warhead explosion:] Leo, at the time the SS-19 exploded, it was being drained of its liquid hydrogen in an attempt by deserting soldiers to – wait for it...
Leo: Steal the warhead?
Bartlet: Steal the warhead! [to the Russian Ambassador ] When were you gonna tell us about that? You realize how dangerous–
Russian Ambassador: Mr. President, you shouldn't be concerned with the welfare of the Russian people.
Bartlet: Well, I am concerned with the welfare of the Russian people, but that's not what they pay me for. You guys fall asleep at the switch in Minsk, and I've got a whole hemisphere hiding under the bed. How do you not tell us this is going on? How do you not ask us for help?
Russian Ambassador: We'll not need help finding the leaders of the black market network–
Bartlet: Yeah, thanks. We're sending in NATO inspectors.
Russian Ambassador: Leo and I were just discussing the terms.
Leo: The terms are we're sending in NATO or he's taking a walk to the press room.
Bartlet: [to the Russian Ambassador] Get your foreign minister on the phone. [pauses] I honestly don't know from where you guys get the nerve.
Russian Ambassador: From a long, hard winter, Mr. President.

C.J.: We have at our disposal a captive audience of schoolchildren. Some of them don't go to the blackboard or raise their hand cause they think they're going to be wrong. I think you should say to these kids, "You think you get it wrong sometimes, you should come down here and see how the big boys do it." I think you should tell them you haven't given up hope, and that it may turn up, but in the meantime, you want NASA to put its best people in the room, and you want them to start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh and most of them won't care, but for some they might honestly see that it's about going to the blackboard and raising your hand.

Noël[edit]

Leo: [to Josh] This guy's walking down a street, when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up "Hey you! Can you help me out?" The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up "Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. "Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?" And the friend jumps in the hole! Our guy says "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!" and the friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out." As long as I got a job, you got a job, you understand me?

Dr. Keyworth: What happened three weeks ago?
Josh: I don't know what you're referring to.
Dr. Keyworth: I don't know what I'm referring to either, but some of the people you work with became concerned with your behavior three weeks ago.
Josh: Well, I've been concerned with their behavior since long before that.

Bernard: [to C.J.] The President, on a visit to the gallery, and possessing even less taste in fine art than you have in accessories, announced that he liked the painting. The French government offered it as a gift to the White House. I suppose in retribution for EuroDisney. So there it hangs, like a gym sock on a shower rod.

Charlie: You send a Christmas card to everyone who writes a letter to the White House.
Bartlet: I do?
Charlie: Yes, sir. And somewhere around a million people wrote you letters this year.
Bartlet: Okay, but some of those were death threats.
Charlie: They've weeded those out.

Josh: Doctor Keyworth, I'm the deputy White House Chief of Staff. I oversee 1,100 White House employees. I answer directly to Leo McGarry and the President of the United States. Did you think you were talking to the paperboy? In your wildest dreams, did you imagine that I would walk into this room without knowing exactly who you are and what you do?

The Leadership Breakfast[edit]

Sam: It's a private poll. The press doesn't have access to it... The only way they'd know what questions were being asked is if they were actually called by one of the pollsters and... Oh my god!
C.J.: Yes.
Sam: A reporter got called by one of the pollsters?
Josh: Wow. What are the chances of that?
Sam: The chances of that are astronomical.
Josh: We can calculate it. They sample 800 respondents...
C.J.: Would the two of you stop being amazed by the mathematics!

Donna: Josh, this was delivered by messenger.
Josh: What is it?
Donna: It's... wait... wait... no. Damn, my x-ray vision is failing me today.

C.J.: Why were you holding women's underwear before?
Josh: Never really needed a reason.

Bartlet: Donna wants me to call Karen Cahill and make it clear she wasn't hitting on her when she gave her her underwear.
Leo: Yeah, that's because I made fun of her shoes and Sam said there were nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan and Donna went to clear up the mix up and accidentally left her underwear.
Bartlet: There can't possibly be nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan...
Leo: Mr. President, please don't wade hip deep into this story.

Leo: Alexander Hamilton didn’t think we should have political parties. Neither did John Adams. He thought political parties led to divisiveness.
Toby: They do. They should. We have honest disagreements. Arguments are good.
Leo: Only if they lead to statesmanship. Or it’s just theatre. And statesmanship is compromise.
Toby: What about persuasion? They’re coming for us, Leo.
Leo: I know.
Toby: I mean they’re coming for us now.
Leo: Toby, if you knew what it was like getting him to run the first time...
Toby: I know.
Leo: Like pushing molasses up a sandy hill. If I go and tell him it’s time to run again he’s going to get crazy... and frustrated. He’s going to sink into his head and he’s going to say he’s not running.
Toby: Yeah.
Leo: Yeah.
Toby: So we’ve got to do it for him. We’ll keep it away from this office but we’ve got to get real now. Leo, Ann Stark’s a war time consigliere. That’s why she was bumped up.
Leo: I’m a wartime consigliere too, Toby. I was just hoping it’d be peace time a little longer.
Toby: Yeah.
Leo: Shake my hand.
[Toby and Leo shake hands]
Leo: We just formed it.
Toby: Formed what?
Leo: The Committee to Reelect the President.

The Drop-In[edit]

Donna: [about Lord John Marbury] Are you threatened by his brilliance?
Josh: Neither Leo nor I are threatened by his brains, his looks or his charm. He is, however, a lunatic Brit and we're grateful there's an ocean between us.

Lord John Marbury: Your assistant, Margaret, is looking positively buxom.
Leo: [awkwardly] Thank you. I'll tell her.
Margaret: [from outer office] Thank you!
Lord John Marbury: Oh, yes! Well done!

Mrs. Landingham: In my day we knew how to protect ourselves.
Leo: Well, in your day you could pretty much turn back the Indians with a Daniel Boone musket, couldn't you?
Mrs. Landingham: Ah, sarcasm, the grumpy man's wit.
Leo: Go sharpen a pencil, would you?

Josh: Why don't we just give the $60 billion to North Korea in exchange for not bombing us?
Bartlet: It's almost hard to believe that you're not on the National Security Council.
Josh: I know, I feel like they're missing an important voice.

Bartlet: Where are you on the missile shield?
Lord John Marbury: Well, I think it's dangerous, illegal...fiscally irresponsible, technologically unsound, and a threat to all people everywhere.
Bartlett: Leo?
Leo: I think the world invented a nuclear weapon. I think the world owes it to itself to see if it can't invent something to make it irrelevant.
Lord John Marbury: Well that's the right sentiment... and certainly a credible one from a man who's fought in a war. You think you can make it stop? Well, you can't. We build a shield and somebody will build a better missile.
Bartlet: Well, it's a discussion for serious men. They say a statesman is a politician who's been dead for fifteen years. I'd like us to be statesmen while we're still alive.

Bartlet's Third State of the Union[edit]

Charlie: And why doesn't he ask the First Lady about the $500 check himself in the normal course of, you know, being married to her.
Mrs. Landingham: When the President inquires into the First Lady's personal bookkeeping, the First Lady gets angry at him... and yells.
Charlie: Well, she's gonna get angry and yell when I inquire too.
Mrs. Landingham: Well, the President doesn't care so much about that.

Sam: They have bathrobes at the gym?
C.J.: In the women's locker room.
Sam: But not the men's.
C.J.: Yeah.
Sam: Now, that's outrageous. There's a thousand men working here and fifty women...
C.J.: Yeah, and it's the bathrobes that's outrageous.

Sam: Okay, can I talk to you about adrenaline for a second?
Ainsley: Adrenaline?
Sam: Yeah. You’re feeling it right now and it’s gonna get even more cause it’s a big night, and you were a hit and you’ve never experienced anything like this.
Ainsley: And you think I’m going to have a nutty.
Sam: I’m saying don’t drink until you’re off television.
Ainsley: God! Thanks Sam for that debating tip. You have a feel for nuances. You say I shouldn’t be drunk when I’m representing the White House.
Sam: Yeah. And remember you’re a blond, Republican girl and that nobody likes you.

Donna: [to Josh] You have to ask a girl out on a date. You can't just randomly tumble into a girl sidewise and hope she breaks up with you soon - the way you always do.

Republican: Why when the Second Amendment clearly says that the federal government will not infringe upon citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.
Toby: Because it doesn’t say that. In fact it doesn’t say that at all. The only way it says that is if you remove some words from it. It says "a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the government shall not infringe." The words "well regulated" and "militia" are in the first sentence. I don’t think the framers were thinking of three guys in a Dodge Durango.
Republican: You don’t really know what the framers were thinking do you?
Toby: No. But I know that if you combine all the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia you’ll get a population roughly the size of the United States. We had 32,000 gun deaths last year, they had 112. Do you think it’s because Americans are more homicidal by nature or do you think it’s because those guys have gun control laws?

The War at Home[edit]

Josh: Numbers don't lie.
Joey (Kenny): They lie all the time. They lie when 72 percent of Americans say they're tired of a sex scandal, while all the while, newspaper circulation goes through the roof for anyone featuring the story. If you polled a hundred Donnas and asked them if they think we should go out, you'd get a high positive response. But, the poll wouldn't tell you it's because she likes you. And she knows it's beginning to show and she needs to cover herself with misdirection.
Josh: Believe me when I tell you that's not true.

Joey (Kenny): There are people you haven't persuaded yet. These numbers mean dial it up. Otherwise, you're like the French radical watching the crowd run by and saying, "There go my people. I must find out where they're going so I can lead them."

Bartlet: Damn it! How the hell did it happen?
Leo: It was bad intelligence, sir.
Bartlet: You think?
Leo: Ferente left behind a radio and a soldier at the outpost. And they were deliberately sending us misinformation.
Bartlet: We never anticipated they somebody might try that? We weren't prepared for someone to try and outfox us with a stratagem so sophisticated it's an entire generation behind "Hey look, your shoelaces are untied!?" Is that how I just lost nine guys, to a damn street gang with a ham radio?

Sam: [about the President] Last night you were scared to meet him.
Ainsley: And I'm still scared to meet him, but I'll overcome that in order to erase the humiliation that I've brought upon myself and my father.
Sam: You are just in your own little Euripides play over there, aren't you?

Leo: I fought a jungle war. I'm not doing it again. If I could put myself anywhere in time, it would be the Cabinet room, on August 4, 1964. When our ships were attacked by North Vietnam in the Tonkin Gulf. I'd say, "Mr. President...don't do it. Don't consider authorizing a massive commitment of troops and throwing in our lot with torturers and panderers, leaders without principle and soldiers without conviction; no clear mission, and no end in sight." This war is at home. The casualties are in our prisons, and not our hospitals. The amount of money the American government is spending in Colombia is the exact same amount American consumers are spending buying drugs from Colombia, we're funding both sides of this war and we'll never win it that way.

Ellie[edit]

Charlie: [about the President's movie options] Well, he would have especially enjoyed the scene where the Prince Myshkin character has a seizure while engaging in an erotic fantasy in a Long Island church.
Mrs. Landingham: Charlie, please don't say the word "erotic" in the Oval Office.
Charlie: I'd be perfectly happy never to say any of those words anywhere ever again.

Margaret: [to the Surgeon General] Red meat has been found to cause cancer in white rats. Maraschino cherries have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Cellular phones have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Has anyone examined the possibility that cancer might be hereditary in white rats?

C.J.: [about the movie producer] This guy's trying to get a little bit of free media by screwing with us. I'm the enforcer, Sam. I'm gonna crush him, I'm gonna make him cry, and then I'm gonna tell his mama about it!

Bartlet: I hear you’re thinking about ophthalmology.
Ellie: Oncology.
Bartlet: Why would you want to study people’s feet?
Ellie: That’s podiatry.
Bartlet: That’s children’s medicine.
Ellie: Pediatrics.
Bartlet: I thought it was obstetrics.
Ellie: That’s pregnant women.
Bartlet: And what’s the study of feet?
Ellie: Dad, you’re not going to make me laugh.
Bartlet: The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at the end of the day.

Bartlet: [angrily to Ellie] I have set up monumental, unprecedented, unbreakable rules about my children and the press. I have gotten White House reporters transferred to Yemen for approaching Zoey and Elizabeth. It is the law! Well, I'm sure before you gave the quote you cleared it with the Communications Office. I'm sure you went over the exact wording with C.J. Cregg and coordinated with White House strategy so that the timing was right in the news cycle. I'm certain you consulted the appropriate party leadership because you're a pretty knowledgeable operative having spent so much time with me.

Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail[edit]

Sam: I'm just going to change my shirt.
Leo: You look bad. You're tired. You slept in the office. It's Friday. Go home.
Sam: Why?
Leo: Because I think you're putting too much faith in the magical powers of a new shirt.

C.J.: No cameras.
Toby: You negotiated that?
C.J.: Yes.
Toby: They agreed to it?
C.J.: You want to make out with me right now, don't you?
Toby: Well, when don't I?

Toby: You want the benefits of free trade? Food is cheaper.
Policewoman: Yes.
Toby: Food is cheaper! Clothes are cheaper, steel is cheaper, cars are cheaper ... Phone service is cheaper! You feel me building a rhythm here? That's because I'm a speech writer and I know how to make a point.
Policewoman: Toby.
Toby: It lowers prices, and it raises income. You see what I did with 'lowers' and 'raises' there? It's called the science of listener attention. We did repetition, we did floating opposites, and now you end with the one that's not like the others. Ready? Free trade stops wars. And that's it. Free trade stops wars, and we figure out how to fix the rest. One world, one peace... I'm sure I've seen that on a sign somewhere.

Josh: So, now you have two choices - meeting with an unruly mob or meeting with lunatic mapmakers.
Toby: Or getting paid a lot more money working almost anywhere else I want.

Donna: [After Sam learns the identity of a deceased Communist spy] It was people pushing paper around fifty years ago. Why does it matter?
Sam: It was high treason, and it mattered a great deal! This country is an idea, and one that’s lit the world for two centuries and treason against that idea is not just a crime against the living! This ground holds the graves of people who died for it, who gave what Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion, of fidelity.

The Stackhouse Filibuster[edit]

C.J.: If you ever have a free two hours and are so inclined, try standing up without leaning on anything and talking the whole time. You won't make it. I wouldn't make it. Stackhouse wasn't supposed to last 15 minutes. He's 78 years old. He has a head cold. This bill is going to pass. Well, somebody forgot to tell Stackhouse, Dad, cause he just went into hour number eight.

Leo: You just spent six billion dollars on health care. How do you feel?
Josh: I'd feel better if it meant just once I could go to a doctor without filling out something on a clipboard.

Bartlet: C.J., let me tell you something, don't ever ever underestimate the will of a grandfather. We're madmen, we don't give a damn, we got here before you and they'll be here after. We'll make enemies, we'll break laws, we'll break bones, but you will not mess with the grandchildren.
Leo: There was quite a bit of sugar in the creme' d'caramel.

[all in voiceovers]
C.J.: There are so many days where you can't imagine anything good will happen.
Josh: You're buried under a black fog of partisanship and self-promotion and stupidity...
Sam: ...and a brand of politics that's just plain mean.
C.J.: Yes, Hoynes had us nervous with his admonishment of big oil and, yes, the president was making us nervous too. But that's for tomorrow. Tonight, I've seen a man with no legs stay standing, Dad, and a guy with no voice keep shouting. And if politics brings out the worst in people, maybe people bring out the best. Because I'm looking at the TV right now, and damn if 28 U.S. senators haven't just walked onto the floor to help.

Sam: Winnie. Yeah, I said it. Listen, you're talented. When you get out of school, you should come see me for a job.
Winnifred Hooper: I suppose you're not a complete loser. And you write very well...So when I get out of school, you should come see me for a job.

17 People[edit]

Sam: You're going back to Smith College, the cradle of feminism, to argue in opposition of the Equal Rights Amendment?
Ainsley: And get some decent pizza, yeah.
Sam: They're gonna hate you.
Ainsley: I'm a straight Republican from North Carolina. You don't think they hated me the first time around?

Sam: I flat-out guarantee you that if men were biologically responsible for procreation, there'd be paid family leave in every Fortune 500.
Ainsley: Sam, if men were biologically responsible for procreation, they'd fall down and die at the first sonogram.

Sam: So guys, when I was downstairs I made a decision: I'm going to register with the Republican Party. And I'll tell you why, if you're curious. It's because they're a freedom-loving people.
Ainsley: We also like beef.
Sam: You know, you insist that government is depraved for not legislating against what we can see on the newsstands, or what we can see in an art exhibit, or what we can burn in protest, or which sex we're allowed to have sex with, or a woman's right to choose. But don't you dare try to regulate this deadly weapon I have concealed on me, for that would encroach against my freedom.
Ainsley: Yeah, and Democrats believe in free speech as long as it isn't prayer while you're standing in school. You believe in the Freedom of Information Act, except if you want to find out if your 14-year-old daughter has had an abortion.
Sam: We believe in the ERA.
Ainsley: Well, go get them.
Sam: How can you have an objection...
Ainsley: Because it's humiliating! A new amendment we vote on declaring that I'm equal under the law to a man? I am mortified to discover there's reason to believe I wasn't before. I am a citizen of this country. I am not a special subset in need of your protection. I do not have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men. The same Article 14 that protects you, protects me and I went to law school just to make sure. And with that, I'm going back down to the mess, because I thought I may have seen there a peach.
Sam: [to Ed and Larry]: I would have countered that, but I already moved on to other things in my head.

Bartlet: Toby's concerned that the peaceful solution I brokered in Kashmir last year was the result of a drug-induced haze.
Leo: I was there with him. So was Fitz. So was Cashman, Hutchinson, Berryhill...
Toby: Well, that's fantastic.
Leo: Toby.
Toby: None of you were elected!
Bartlet: I was elected, they were appointed. The Vice President was elected. He has the constitutional authority to assume my--
Toby: Not last May, he didn't. Last May, when you were under general anesthesia.
Bartlet: That's because I never signed the letter, but I don't think I got shot because I got MS!
Toby: No, I don't think you did either, sir. I meant that during a night of extreme chaos and fear when we didn't yet know if we'd been the victims of domestic or foreign terrorism, or even an act of war, there was uncertainty as to who was giving the national security orders and it was because you never signed the letter. So I'm led to wonder, given your condition and its lack of predictability, why there isn’t simply a signed letter sitting in a file someplace. And the answer, of course, is that [chuckles] if there was a–a signed letter sitting in a file someplace, somebody would ask why. The Commander in Chief had just been attacked, he was under a general anesthetic, a fugitive was at large, the manhunt included every federal state and local law enforcement agency. The Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware National Guard units were federalized. The KH-10s showed Republican Guard movement in southern Iraq. And twelve hours earlier, an F-117 was shot down in the no-fly, and the Vice President's authority was murky at best! The National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State didn't know who they were taking their orders from. I wasn't in the Situation Room that night, but I'll bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets that it was Leo. Who no one elected! For ninety minutes that night, there was a coup d'état in this country.
Bartlet: [sarcastically] And the walls came tumbling down. I feel fine, by the way, thanks for asking. [interjecting as Leo tries to speak up] No, Leo, Toby's concern for my health is moving me in ways...
Toby: Mr. President --
Bartlet: [suddenly infuriated, throws a stack of papers against his desk] SHUT UP! [circles around his desk, staring Toby in the face] You know, your indignation would be a lot more interesting to me if it weren't quite so covered in crap!
Charlie: [poking his head in] Sir...
Bartlet: [sharply] Yeah?
Charlie: Mr. Garrett.
Bartlet: Thanks. [glares back at Toby] Are you pissed because I didn't say anything, or are you pissed because there are fifteen people who knew before you did? I feel fine, by the way, thanks for asking.

Josh: Hey, Ado Annie, I sent you flowers. I think what you're trying to say is, "Why thank you, Josh, they're beautiful, how very thoughtful of you."
Donna: Really? 'Cause I think what I was trying to say was "Shove it."

Bad Moon Rising[edit]

Bartlet: [on Babish] He looks down his nose at me 'cause I'm not a lawyer.
Leo: Yes.
Bartlet: I didn't go to law school. I got a PhD in economics instead.
Leo: Your parents were very proud.
Bartlet: Yeah, and all that happened was I won a Nobel Prize and got elected President so I guess that decision didn't really pay off.
Leo: Yeah.
Bartlet: Should I run back and get my Nobel Prize?
Leo: I think he knows you've got one.

Josh: The number of people whose permission I need before I can do whatever the hell I want... Let me tell you something - there's really a lot to be said for fascism.

Sam: I'm less visually observant than others but I make up for it.
Emily: How?
Sam: With cunning and guile.

Josh: You got a phone call while you were in there.
Donna: From who?
Josh: Europe, in 1939.
Donna: Yeah?
Josh: Yeah, I jotted it down. Apparently, they're at war, but we'd taken a firm stand as an isolationist nation and refused to get involved. Our resources are ours, and their problems are on the other side of the world, though, they do have problems. Sounds to me from what they said on the phone that France, Austria, and England are getting absolutely pounded by the Germans and with no end in sight. They say that by 1941 they're gonna desperately need our help if they have any chance of survival, but I think they're just being hysterical. This son of a customs agent with the Charlie Chaplin mustache ain't going anywhere, but there's no telling that to Franklin Roosevelt, who's trying to convince his country to get involved. That's why he came up with this.
Donna: An eighth-grade social studies textbook?
Josh: Turn to the page I flagged.
Donna: The Lend-Lease Act.
Josh: Yeah. Simply put, a loan of arms to Russia and Britain with the understanding that they pay us back when the war was over. And he said this - he said, "If your neighbor's house is on fire, you don't haggle over the price of your garden hose." ... There are too many things in the world we can't do. Mexico's on fire. Why help them? Because we can.

C.J.: There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It's how I know for sure that the government isn't covering up aliens in New Mexico.

The Fall's Gonna Kill You[edit]

C.J.: You guys are like Butch and Sundance peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder-filled rapids 300 feet below, thinking you better not jump 'cause there's a chance you might drown. The President has this disease and has been lying about it, and you guys are worried that the polling might make us look bad? It's the fall that's gonna kill ya.

Josh: I told her we were commissioning a poll to explore attitudes towards subsurface agricultural products.
Leo: Subsurface agricultural - What the hell?
Josh: Underground. We think Americans are eating more beets.

Donna: A thing the size of a garbage truck is gonna be in a two-thousand-mile-an-hour free fall and no one knows where it's gonna hit!
Charlie: I'm rooting for Zurich.
Donna: Charlie?
Charlie: I've had it up to here with the Swiss.

Leo: What do you want from me?
Josh: Thirty million dollars.
Leo: No.

Bartlet: My wife and I are fighting battles on several fronts, including with each other.

18th and Potomac[edit]

Josh: Are you saying that people who start smoking and get addicted to nicotine are too stupid to live?
Senator Rossitter: No, I'm saying they're too stupid to be protected by the courts.

Mrs. Landingham: Good evening, Mr. President.
Bartlet: Bob Crutchet?
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, sir. Surely you have better things to do than annoy me.
Bartlet: Never.

Mrs. Landingham: You know I could beat you up anytime I want, sir.
Bartlet: Secret Service would have you down like a calf at a rodeo.

Mrs. Landingham: [on her new car] When you get inside, there's this...
Bartlet: Smell?
Mrs. Landingham: How did you know?
Bartlet: It's the smell of freedom... and the chemicals they treat your dashboard with.

Leo: We're not going to stop, soften, detour, postpone, circumvent, obfuscate or trade a single one of our goals to allow for whatever extracurricular nonsense is coming our way in the next days, weeks and months.
Toby: When did we decide this?
Leo: Just now.

Two Cathedrals[edit]

[Flashback]
Young Bartlet: Why do you talk to me like this?
Mrs. Landingham: You've never had a big sister and you need one. Look at you. You're a Boy King. You're a foot smarter than the smartest kid in the class. You're blessed with inspiration. You must know this by now. You must have sensed it. Look, if you think we're wrong... if you think Mr. Hopkins should honestly get paid more than Mrs. Chadwick, then I respect that. But if you think we're right and you won't speak up because you can't be bothered, then God, Jed, I don't even want to know you.

Bartlet: [standing in the National Cathedral, walking towards the altar and talking to God about Mrs. Landingham] You're a son-of-a-bitch, You know that? She bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. What, was that supposed to be funny? "You can't conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God," says Graham Greene. I don't know whose ass he was kissing there 'cause I think You're just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman? A warning shot? That was my son. What did I ever do to Yours except praise His glory and praise His name? There's a tropical storm that's gaining speed and power. They say we haven't had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the north Atlantic last year, 68 crew. Do You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. Doesn't even carry guns, just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail, that's all it can do. Gratias Tibi ago, domine (I give thanks to You, O Lord). Yes, I lied. It was a sin. I've committed many sins. Have I displeased You, You feckless thug? Three point eight million new jobs, that wasn't good? Bailed out Mexico, increased foreign trade, 30 million new acres of land for conservation, put Mendoza on the bench, we're not fighting a war, I've raised three children... that's not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a deo pio? A deo iusto? A deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem! Tuus in terra servus nuntius fui officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem! (Am I to believe those were the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with Your punishments! I was Your servant on Earth - I spread Your word and did Your work. To hell with your punishments! To hell with You!) [walks away from the altar, lights a cigarette, takes one puff, throws it to the ground, puts it out with his foot and proceeds to leave] You get Hoynes!

C.J.: We'll call them Answer A and Answer B.
Josh: Yeah.
C.J. Mr. President does this mean you won't be seeking a second term? Answer A is 'You bet. I will absolutely be seeking a second term. I'm looking forward to the campaign. There is great work that is yet to be done.'
Josh: Yes.
C.J.: Answer B...
Josh: 'Are you out of your mind? I can't possibly win re-election. I lied about a degenerative illness. I'm the target of a Grand Jury investigation and Congress is about to take me out to lunch. I'd sooner have my family take their clothes off and dance the Tarantella on the Truman Balcony than go through a campaign with this around my neck.' [pause] You think that's too on the nose?
C.J.: I do.

[Bartlet stands alone in the Oval Office, in the middle of a raging storm. The back door suddenly flies open]
Bartlet: God damn it...Mrs. Landingham!
[Mrs. Landingham suddenly walks through the main door of the Oval Office]
Mrs. Landingham: I really wish you wouldn't shout, Mr. President.
[Bartlet stares at her for a few seconds]
Bartlet: The door keeps blowing open.
Mrs. Landingham: You could have used the intercom to call me, you know.
Bartlet: I know, but I didn't want to-
Mrs. Landingham: You didn't want to, or you didn't know how?
Bartlet: It's not that I don't know how. It's just that I haven't learned yet.
[Pause. Mrs. Landingham smiles at him]
Bartlett: I have MS, and I didn't tell anybody.
Mrs. Landingham: Yeah. So, you're having a little bit of a day.
Bartlett: You're going to make jokes?
Mrs. Landingham: God doesn't make cars crash and you know it. Stop using me as an excuse.
Bartlett: The Party's not going to want me to run.
Mrs. Landingham: The Party'll come back. You'll get them back.
Bartlett: I've got a secret for you, Mrs. Landingham, I've never been the most popular man in the Democratic Party.
Mrs. Landingham: I've got a secret for you, Mr. President. Your father was a prick who could never get over the fact that he wasn't as smart as his brothers. Are you in a tough spot? Yes. Do I feel sorry for you? I do not. Why? Because there are people way worse off than you.
Bartlett: Give me numbers.
Mrs. Landingham: I don't know numbers. You give them to me.
Bartlett: How about a child born this minute has one in five chances of being born into poverty?
Mrs. Landingham: How many Americans don't have health insurance?
Bartlett: 44 million.
Mrs. Landingham: What's the number one cause of death for black men under 35?
Bartlett: Homicide.
Mrs. Landingham: How many Americans are behind bars?
Bartlett: Three million.
Mrs. Landingham: How many Americans are drug addicts?
Bartlett: Five million.
Mrs. Landingham: And one in five kids in poverty?
Bartlett: That's thirteen million American children. 3.5 million kids go to schools that are literally falling apart. We need 127 billion in school construction, and we need it today!
Mrs. Landingham: To say nothing of 53 people trapped in an embassy.
Bartlett: Yes.
Mrs. Landingham: You know, if you don't want to run again, I respect that. [stands up] But if you don't run 'cause you think it's gonna be too hard or you think you're gonna lose - well, God, Jed, I don't even want to know you.

Sandy: Mr. President, can you tell us right now if you'll be seeking a second term?
Bartlet: I'm sorry, Sandy, there was a bit of noise there, could you repeat the question?
Sandy: Can you tell us right now if you'll be seeking a second term?
[Bartlet slides his hands off the podium, puts them in his pockets, looks away and smiles]
Leo: Watch this...

Season Three[edit]

Isaac and Ishmael[edit]

Josh: What's Islamic extremism? It's strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say "strict adherence," I'm not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there's only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: 'Allah-hu-Akbar.' "God is great." If your guys are getting creamed, then you're on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren't allowed to attend school or have jobs. They're not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don't have to tell you they don't need to shout at a soccer match because they're never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they're playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them... You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.

Toby: When you think of Afghanistan, think of Poland. When you think of the Taliban, think of the Nazis. When you think of the citizens of Afghanistan, think of the Jews in concentration camps. A friend of my dad's was at one of the camps. He used to come over to the house, and he and my dad used to shoot some pinochle. He said he once saw a guy at the camp kneeling and praying. He said, "What are you doing?" The guy said he was thanking God. And my dad's friend said, "What could you possibly be thanking God for?" He said, "I'm thanking God for not making me like them." Bad people can't be recognized on sight. There's no point in trying.

Bartlet: A martyr would rather suffer death at the hands of an oppressor than renounce his beliefs. Killing yourself and innocent people to make a point is sick, twisted, brutal, dumb-ass murder. And let me leave you with this thought before I go searching for the apples that were rightfully mine: we don't need martyrs right now. We need heroes. A hero would die for his country but he'd much rather live for it.

Student: What do you call a society that has to just live every day with the idea that the pizza place you are eating in could just blow up without any warning?
Sam: Israel.

Josh: But listen, don't worry about all this right now. We got you covered. Worry about school. Worry about what you'll tell your parents when you break curfew. You're gonna meet guys. You're gonna meet girls. Not so much you, Fred. Learn things, be good to each other. Read the newspapers, go to the movies, go to a party, read a book. In the meantime, remember pluralism. You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to go in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. Makes them absolutely crazy.

Manchester, Part I[edit]

Sandy: Can you tell us right now if you'll be seeking a second term?
Bartlet: Yeah. And I'm gonna win.

Reporter: Was he physically and emotionally prepared to make a life and death decision after what he'd just been through?
C.J.: He'd been through a TV interview and a press conference. The President finds you all annoying but not prohibitively debilitating.

Charlie: Aren't you supposed to be writing?
Toby: I am writing.
Charlie: I don't see paper.
Toby: 'We can sit back and admit with great sensitivity that life isn't fair... and the less-advantaged are destined to their lot in life... and the problems of those on the other side of the world should stay there... and our leaders are cynical and can never be an instrument of change... but that, my friends, is not worthy of you; it's not worthy of a President; it's not worthy of a great nation; it's not worthy of America.' Paper's for wimps.

Charlie: [advised to get a lawyer] How much?
Babish: Assuming you saw nothing wrong, heard nothing wrong and did nothing wrong... about $100,000.

Toby: It's a typical marriage, I've been there.
Charlie: Well, I haven't, but he's the President of the United States, so my guess is no, it's probably not a typical marriage.

Manchester, Part II[edit]

Bartlet: It occurs to me, I never said I'm sorry. I am. For the lawyers, for the press, for the mess, for the fear. Bruno, Doug, Connie -- these guys are good. They want to win. So do we. The only thing we want more is to be right. I wonder if you can't do both. There's a new book... and we're going to write it.

Bruno: I've been thinking it might not be such a bad idea to lock you all in here and set the place on fire. We have 48 hours before we kick off this campaign. We will work hard, we will work well, and we will work together. Or so help me, mother of God, I will stick a pitchfork so far up your asses you will quite simply be dead.

Connie: I was trying to find a Starbucks. A guy in a gas station said, "Round here, people don't pay four bucks for a cup of coffee."
Sam: New Hampshire. Live free or cheap.

Bartlet: [to C.J. about his original election] I was never supposed to win. Then you guys came along and all of a sudden...

Bartlet: Did you know that hardly any of the guys who landed on the moon are married to the same people they were married to before they went there?
Abbey: What?
Bartlet: I'm just saying, it could have been worse: I could have been an astronaut.
Abbey: You could not have been an astronaut.
Bartlet: I would have been a great astronaut.
Abbey: You're afraid of heights, speed, fire, and small enclosed spaces.
Bartlet: I'd have overcome it to go to the moon.
Abbey: I know you would have. [pause] There's something important I have to say. I haven't really made up my mind yet, but at the moment, I'm leaning towards voting for you.

Ways and Means[edit]

Donna: I grew up on a farm.
Josh: You grew up in a condo.
Donna: I grew up near a farm. And I was cute and I was peppy. And I always did well on my 19th Century English Literature midterm until you came along and sucked me into your life of crime!
Josh: Hey, I'm not the-
Donna: White collar crime boy! You know what they do to a girl like me on the cell block? I've seen those movies.
Josh: Yeah, me too.
Donna: I bet you have.
Josh: Look-
Donna: Sell my farm girl ass for a carton of Luckys.

Babish: A subpoena is just a legal agreement to produce certain testimony and documents.
C.J.: Yeah, but isn't that like the way a mugger uses a gun to produce your wallet?

Ainsley: What do you need?
C.J.: I want you to get together with one of your friends in the press room from a conservative paper.
Ainsley: You really think we have a secret handshake, don't you?
C.J.: Do you?
Ainsley: Yes.

Donna: Why are you a Republican?
Cliff: Because I hate poor people. I hate them, Donna. They're all so poor, and many of 'em talk funny, and don't have proper table manners... my father slaved away at the Fortune 500 company he inherited so that I could go to Choate, Brown and Harvard and see that this country isn't overrun by poor people and lesbians. No... I'm Republican because I believe in smaller government. This country was founded on the principle of freedom, and freedom stands opposed to constraints, and the bigger the government, the more the constraints.

Leo: What have you got?
C.J.: Nothing. And you know why?
Leo: Rollins likes us.
C.J.: I don't know if he likes us, but he doesn't hate us.
Leo: Well, that's just because he doesn't know us.
C.J.: Leo, we need to be investigated by someone who wants to kill us just to watch us die. We need someone perceived by the American people to be irresponsible, untrustworthy, partisan, ambitious, and thirsty for the limelight. Am I crazy, or is this not a job for the U.S. House of Representatives?

On the Day Before[edit]

Bartlet: You know what we're starting with tonight?
Josh: No, sir.
Bartlet: Hot pumpkin soup with cheese gnocchi and a chèvre brioche.
Josh: Was anything you just said food?

Bartlet: They're going to miss hot pumpkin soup with a cheese gnocchi and a chèvre brioche.
Leo: Yeah.
Bartlet: That's a pretty big price to pay just to override my veto.

Toby: They don't have the votes to override.
Sam: Says you.
Toby: Says me, Josh, the Office of Political Liaison, Legislative Liaison and the Minority Whip.
Bartlet: Sometimes it's like I don't even need to be here.

Josh: He can have a member try to attach an amendment to the override vote.
Donna: What kind of amendment?
Josh: Doesn't matter. "To qualify for the estate tax repeal, the estates have to have Astroturf™."
Donna: And still it's hard to figure why Congress can't get anything done.

C.J.: I changed my clothes because I didn't think it was appropriate to talk about two dead teenagers while wearing a ball gown and you know that because you're stupid but you're not stupid, you know what I'm saying? Security's gonna take your press credentials, you'll call my office every day, and I'll decide if you get into the room. I'm taking your spot on Pebble Beach, you can do your stand-ups from Lafayette Park.
Sherri: Who the hell do you-
C.J.: One more word out of your mouth and every local station but yours gets an exclusive with the President. Hunting season on me is over. [Sherri exits] And the chemical formula for table salt is NaCl!

War Crimes[edit]

Bartlet: Words when spoken out loud for the sake of performance are music. They have rhythm and pitch and timbre and volume. These are the properties of music and music has the ability to find us and move us and lift us up in ways that literal meaning can't.
Abbey: You are an oratorical snob.
Bartlet: Yes, and God loves me for it.
Abbey: You said he was sending you to hell.
Bartlet: For other stuff, not for this.

Gen. Adamle: Sultan Bin Abu Azir ain't what he used to be. Last time I was in Kuwait he gave me a gold-inlaid Gadara sword originating from the Bin Hamar tribe.
Leo: What'd you get this time?
Gen. Adamle: Nothing.
Leo: Wanna go down to the Situation Room, blow 'em off the face of the earth?

C.J.: Somebody said you were hanging out with some tribe, and they made you a king.
Will Sawyer: I'm a god.
C.J.: Oh.
Will Sawyer: I'm the only white man to ever witness the sacrificial rites of the Bau tribe of Fiji. I was almost a victim myself, until they made me The Supporter of the World.
C.J.: How'd you swing that?
Will Sawyer: Using my Palm Pilot, I convinced the Bau I had the power to make the gods' writing appear at will, and more significantly, predict the next day's weather.
C.J.: So you're a god?
Will Sawyer: I'm the god of Good Harvest and the Land of the Dead.
C.J.: I gotta go there and bring my laptop. It quacks when I have e-mail.
Will Sawyer: No, you're too tall.
C.J.: What would happen?
Will Sawyer: They would paint your face and...other body parts black so as to resemble a warrior ornamented for feast or combat. Then you would be garroted by a length of boar tripe.

Sam: This country is populated with unbalanced people, many of whom find their way to Washington, as if the continent funnels them into this one spot.

Bartlet: [on the Vice President's refusal to endorse gun control in his home state] You're a hero in Texas!
Hoynes: I was a hero in Texas.
Bartlet: Texans don't like that you have the courage of your convictions?
Hoynes: They're not my convictions, they're yours.
Bartlet: Oh, yeah, I forgot.

Gone Quiet[edit]

Leo: We've got to meet with Albie.
Bartlet He's going to scold me. He's been at the State Department since Truman. He thinks I'm a kid and that he outranks me.
Leo: You'll be fine.
Bartlet: I've got to tell him I lost a submarine. Can I make something up like say 'what if a friend of mine hypothetically...'

Abbey: I was hiking, Oliver. I was hiking. Are you really that much an enemy of nature?
Babish: Nature is to be protected from. Nature, like a woman, will seduce you with its sights…and its scents and its touch…and then it breaks your ankle, also like a woman.
Abbey: What the hell kind of dates are you going on, Oliver?
Babish: I hear ya.

Josh: [quoting] We have the greatest technology of any people, of any country in the world, along with the greatest - not the greatest, but very serious problems confronting our people. And I want to be President in order to focus on these problems in a way that uses the energy of our people to move us forward, basically.
C.J.: Yes!
Josh: It's the 'basically' that makes it art.

Babish: You broke some laws, Abbey, and quite frankly you should be ashamed of yourself, but this investigation isn't about that.
Abbey: Look–
Babish: It's about the criminalization of politics. An attempt to do in the hearing room what they couldn't do at the ballot box.
Abbey: I understand, but we don't have the luxury...
Babish: Abbey, stop eating fruits, stop eating vegetables, it's doing something bad to you. Fruits and vegetables will seduce you, like a woman, with their...
Abbey: Oliver!
Babish: Truth isn't a luxury. You're going to go in there, you're going to swear an oath, you're going to get asked questions, and you're going to tell the truth. It's the way you stand up and say 'Stop!'
Abbey: You should be careful, Oliver. You keep talking like a person, they're going to kick you out of the bar.
Babish: I've been kicked out of bars before.
Abbey: I meant–
Babish: I know what you meant.

Sam: Why are you so bent on countering these idiot leaflets?
Bruno: Because I am tired of working for candidates who make me think I should be embarrassed to believe what I believe, Sam. I'm tired of getting them elected. You all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said liberal means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on communism, soft on defense, and we're going to tax you back to the stone age, because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to. And instead of saying 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave it to Beaver trip back to the fifties,' we cowered in the corner. And said 'Please don't hurt me.' No more. I really don't care who's right, who's wrong. We're both right. We're both wrong. Let's have two parties, huh, what do you say?

The Indians in the Lobby[edit]

Bartlet: Were we talking about something?
C.J.: I don't know sir, when I came in here – back in the late 50s – there was a purpose to it but then one thing led to another and I blacked out. I mean, I can hang in there with the best of them, sir, but somewhere during the conversation about anise and coriander and the other fifteen spices you like to use to baste a turkey I simply lost consciousness.
Bartlet: You know that line you're not supposed to cross with the President?
C.J.: I'm coming up to it?
Bartlet: No, no, look behind you.

Josh: Did you get me a flight?
Donna: Yes.
Josh: Excellent! One that gets me there in time for dinner?
Donna: Yes.
Josh: And I don't have to change planes in Atlanta?
Donna: No, even better, you do have to change planes in Atlanta.
Josh: I told you–
Donna: You have to change planes in Atlanta! Deal with it!

Operator: Hello, welcome to the Butterball Hotline.
Toby: What the hell is...
Bartlet: Shhhh. Hello!!
Operator: How can I help you, sir?
Bartlet: Well, first let me say, I think this is a wonderful service you provide.
Operator: Well, thank you. May I have your name please?
Bartlet: I'm a citizen.
Operator: I'm sure you are, sir, but if I have your name I can put your comments in our customer feedback form.
Bartlet: I'm Joe Betherson...ton. That's one 't', and with an 'h' in there.
Operator: And your address?
Bartlet: Fargo.
Operator: Your street address, please?
Toby: [picks up another phone, into it] Zip code, Fargo, North Dakota, right now. [hangs up]
Bartlet: My street address is 114... 54 Pruder Street, and it's very important that you put 'street' down there because sometimes it gets confused with Pruder Way and Pruder Lane. Apartment 23 R... Fargo, North Dakota... [Charlie walks in with a piece of paper, Bartlet grabs it.] Zip code 50504.
Operator: Thank you. Your voice sounds very familiar to me.
Bartlet: I do radio commercials for... products.
Operator: And how can I help you?
Bartlet: [sits down] Stuffing should be stuffed inside the turkey, am I correct?
Operator: It can also be baked in a casserole dish.
Bartlet: Well, then we'd have to call it something else, wouldn't we? [Toby sits down and puts his hand under his chin.]
Operator: I suppose.
Bartlet: If I cook it inside the turkey, is there a chance I could kill my guests? I'm not saying that's necessarily a deal-breaker.
Operator: Well, there are some concerns. Two main bacterial problems are Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni.
Bartlet: All right. Well, first of all, I think you made the second bacteria up, and second of all, how do I avoid it?
Operator: Make sure all the ingredients are cooked first. Sauté any vegetables, fried sausage, oysters, etc.
Bartlet: Excellent! Let's talk temperature.
Operator: One hundred and sixty-five degrees.
Bartlet: No, see, I was testing you! The USDA calls for turkeys to be cooked to an internal temperature of 180 to 185 degrees.
Operator: Yes, sir, I was talking about the stuffing which you want to cook to 165 to avoid health risks.
Bartlet: Okay. Good testing!
Operator: Do you have an accurate thermometer?
Bartlet: Oh yeah. It was presented to me as a gift from the personal sous chef to the king of... [Toby raises his hand and Bartlet catches himself] auto sales in...
Toby: [whispering] Fargo.
Bartlet: Fargo. Phil Baharnd. The man can sell a car like... well, like anything.
Operator: Very good, sir. You have a good Thanksgiving!
Bartlet: And you do, too. Thanks a lot! [hangs up the phone] That was excellent! We should do that once a week.
Note: The actual residential ZIP codes for Fargo range from 58102 to 58106. The zip code given, 50504, is not a valid USPS ZIP code [1] [2]

Bruno: [to Bartlet] I have difficulty sometimes talking to people who don't race sailboats. When I was a teenager, I crewed Larchmont to Nassau on a 58-foot sloop called Cantice. There was a little piece of kelp that was stuck to the hull, and even though it was little, you don't want anything stuck to the hull. So, I take a boat hook on a pole and I stick it in the water and I try to get the kelp off, when seven guys start screaming at me, right? 'Cause now the pole is causing more drag than the kelp was. See, what you gotta do is you gotta drop it in and let the water lift it out in a windmill motion. Drop it in, and let the water take it by the kelp and lift it out. In, and out. In, and out, till you got it. The voters aren't choosing a plumber, Mr. President. They are choosing a president. And if you don't think that your family should matter, my suggestion to you is to get out of professional politics. And if you think that I'm going to miss even one opportunity to pick up half-a-knot boat speed, you're absolutely out of your mind. When it costs us nothing, when we give up nothing?! You're out of your mind.

Bartlet: With the ingredients for stuffing you have to cook them before you put them in the turkey, and you're not going to know whether I did or not.
Abbey: I'll do what I always do with anything you cook. I'll wait for the girls to eat it first.
Bartlet: Me, too.

The Women of Qumar[edit]

Bartlet: Did the Celtics win last night?
Charlie: No, they got crushed.
Bartlet: 'Kay, when I say 'Did they win?' you can just say yes or no.
Charlie: They got pretty well crushed.

C.J.: You know, if I was living in Qumar, I wouldn't be allowed to say 'Shove it up your ass, Toby,' but since I'm not: Shove it up your ass, Toby!

Josh: I just came from seeing Amy Gardner.
C.J.: Yeah? How'd it go?
Josh: I showed her who's boss.
C.J.: Who'd it turn out to be?
Josh: It's still unclear.

Leo: A national seat-belt law is never gonna happen.
Sam: Why?
Leo: What's the most important state in the primaries?
Sam: New Hampshire.
Leo: What's the most important state in the general?
Sam: Michigan.
Leo: What's the only state without a mandatory seat-belt law?
Sam: New Hampshire.
Leo: And where do they make the cars?
Sam: Fair enough.

Josh: How am I not supposed to call you a hypocrite when you say that the government shouldn't tell women what to do with their bodies?
Amy: Exercise some self control, I guess. Prostitution is about the subjugation of women by men for profit.
Josh: But the profit goes to the women.
Amy: In some cases. But I know of no little girl, and neither do you, who says "I want to be a prostitute when I grow up."

Bartlet for America[edit]

Bartlet: [on phone] Listen, I don't care that much about your ass but if you need to perjure yourself to protect me you're going to damn well do it.
Leo: Sir, this isn't a secure call, so I'm going to say to the 17 global intelligence agencies that are listening in that he was kidding just then.

Mike: In thirteen years with the bureau I've discovered that there's no amount of money, man-power or knowledge that can equal the person you're looking for being stupid.
Bartlet: Good, well, some of the stupidest criminals in the world are working right here in America. I've always been very proud of that.

Leo: The President was at the debate site, walking the stage. A podium is a holy place for him. He makes it his own like it's an extension of his body. You ever see a pitcher work the mound so the dirt does exactly what his feet want it to do? That's the President. He sees it as a genuine opportunity to change minds – also his best way of contributing to the team. He likes teams. I love him so much.

Leo: I'm an alcoholic. I don't have one drink. [pauses] I don't understand people who have one drink. I don't understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don't understand people who say they've had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? [pauses, sighs] My brain works differently.
...
Jordan: I don't understand how you could have a drink. I don't understand how, after everything you worked for, how on that day of all days you could be so stupid.
Leo: That's because you think it has something to do with smart and stupid. Do you have any idea how many alcoholics are in Mensa? You think it's a lack of willpower? That's like thinking somebody with anorexia nervosa has an overdeveloped sense of vanity. My father was an alcoholic. His father was an alcoholic. So, in my case...
Jordan: [nods] Ain't nothin' but a family thing.

Cliff: [to a Republican senator] This is bush league. This is why good people hate us. This, right here. This thing. This isn't what these hearings are about. He cannot possibly have been properly prepared by counsel for these questions, nor should he ever have to answer them publicly. And if you proceed with this line of questioning, I will resign this Committee, and wait in the tall grass for you, Congressman. Because you are killing the party.

H. Con-172[edit]

Leo: Okay. Well, I'll just call the President and suggest to him that he allow a huge bipartisan vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives calling him a liar and that he welcome the result. Then, I'm going to flap my wings and fly to Neverland.
Jordan: Leo–
Leo: You think I am so desperate to save my ass, I'm gonna roll over on Jed Bartlet?
Cliff: I don't think it's a matter of–
Leo: I take a bullet for the President. He doesn't take one for me.

Josh: Well, I'm a straight shooter. I think my record's pretty clear on that.
Toby: Yeah.
Josh: [about Amy Gardner] I'd like to see her again.
Toby: Call her.
Josh: And ask her out?
Toby: Yeah.
Josh: No, no. 'Cause there's a potential she says no and then I have to move someplace where it'll never be spoken of again.
Toby: Yeah.
Josh: I need to come in under the cover of business.
Toby: 'Cause you're a straight shooter.
Josh: Yeah. I need a point of friction. An issue where the feministas and the White House disagree. That way, I can go to her, break the bad news, stand tough, smooth it over and then, you know, I take it from there.
Toby: How about the word "feministas"?

Larry: [Reading a book that an ex-reporter wrote about the White House] “Bartlet was playing a round of golf with Toby Ziegler, the prickly communications director, whose bitter inner darkness spelled the breakup of the one marriage we know about.”
C.J. : It was miniature golf, wasn’t it?
Toby: Yeah.

Leo: This is five hundred and thirty-five Congressmen and Senators standing up and saying the President lied and should be ashamed of himself. And this is us, standing up and saying 'You're right.' This would be the first time in history a President has been censured. Congress isn't talk radio – it's the seat of democracy. Their opinion matters, and their condemnation doesn't have to come with handcuffs to be devastating to this President. That is the force and effect. And it's not gonna happen 'cause of me.

Bartlet: [to Leo] I was wrong. I was. I was just...I was wrong. Come on, you know that. Lots of times we don't know what right or wrong is but lots of times we do and come on, this is one. I may not have had sinister intent at the outset but there were plenty of opportunities for me to make it right. No one in government takes responsibility for anything anymore. We foster, we obfuscate, we rationalize. "Everybody does it." That's what we say. So we come to occupy a moral safe house where everyone's to blame so no one's guilty. I'm to blame. I was wrong.

100,000 Airplanes[edit]

Sam: I think you should. I think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good. I think giving people a vision of government that's more than Social Security checks and debt reduction is good. I think government should be optimistic.

C.J.: [on the President] He's all right?
Leo: He's about to be censured, and then he's gonna deliver the State of the Union, and then he's gonna run for reelection. My guess is, that there are some things on his mind.

Carol: [after the State of the Union speech] Congratulations, boss!
C.J.: Nice job. Take the rest of the night off.
Carol: Yeah, it's one in the morning.
C.J.: Well, you've earned it! Sam, Sam, the sunshine man. Get on the couch, I'm gonna do you right here.
Sam: Okay.
C.J.: Sorry, I was still talking to Carol.
Sam: What is wrong with you?
C.J.: We really don't know.
Sam: Hey, I'm just, you know. Anyway, congratulations. And if you're serious about that thing with Carol, I can just sit in the corner and not even say–
C.J.:[laughing] Get out!

Josh: I'm seeing Amy again tonight.
Donna: Second date?
Josh: First date, really. Last night was more of a ... you know ...
Donna: Scheme.
Josh: Yeah.
Donna: Good, 'cause the second date's usually where the wheels come off the wagon for you.

Sam: [reading an excerpt rejected from the State of the Union speech] Over the past half century, we've split the atom, we've spliced the gene and we've roamed Tranquility Base. We've reached for the stars and never have we been closer to having them in our grasp. New science, new technology is making the difference between life and death, and so we need a national commitment equal to this unparalleled moment of possibility. And so I announce to you tonight that I will bring the full resources of the Federal Government and the full reach of my office to this fundamental goal: We will cure cancer by the end of this decade.

The Two Bartlets[edit]

C.J.: So, the 4-H convention.
Toby: We're not going.
C.J.: I don't get it. How can you not want to see the butter cow?
Toby: I'm that way.
C.J.: You understand it's a life-size cow made entirely of butter.
Toby: We're not going.
C.J.: There's also a butter Elvis and a butter Last Supper which has, I swear to God, Toby...
Toby: Butter on the table?
C.J.: It's got butter on the table right there between butter James and butter Peter, an almost mind-blowing vortex of art and material that dares the viewer to recall Marcel Duchamp.
Toby: How do they keep it from melting?
C.J.: How, indeed.
Nancy: Toby, you have a phone call in the staff cabin.
Toby: Thank you.
C.J.: Butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter, butter.

C.J.: Duchamp was the father of Dadaism.
Toby: I know.
C.J.: The da-da of Dada.
Toby: It's like there's nothing you can do about that joke. It's coming, and you just have to stand there.

C.J.: I'm the wrong Democrat to talk to about affirmative action.
Toby: Why?
C.J.: Because... After my father fought in Korea, he became what this government begs every college graduate to become. He became a teacher. And he raised a family on a teacher's salary, and he paid his taxes and always crossed at the green. And any time there was opportunity for career advancement, it took him an extra five years because invariably there was a less qualified black woman in the picture. So instead of retiring as superintendent of the Ohio Valley Union Free School District, he retired head of the math department at William Henry Harrison Junior High.

Toby: I was a telemarketer for about a week. I can't remember what we were selling, but you worked off a script. "Hi. Good evening. My name is..." And "Toby Ziegler" was okay for New York, but once I got into the other time zones, I needed a name that wasn't gonna bother anybody.
Bartlet: Toby, if you have something to say, please say it.
Toby: Ritchie's good for all time zones.
Bartlet: My family signed the Declaration of Independence. You think I've got an ethnicity problem?
Toby: Well, the line isn't between light skin and dark skin.
Bartlet: Yeah?
Toby: It's between educated and masculine. Or Eastern academic elite and plain-spoken.
Bartlet: It's always been like that.

Toby: There's always been a concern about the two Bartlets. The absent-minded professor with the 'Aw, Dad' sense of humor. Disarming and unthreatening. Good for all time zones. And the Nobel Laureate. Still searching for salvation. Lonely, frustrated, lethal.

Night Five[edit]

Ainsley: How about this? We drop out of the UN entirely and use the 926 million to take everyone in the country out to brunch?

Toby: Well, how about when we, instead of blowing Iraq back to the 7th century for harboring terrorists and trying to develop nuclear weapons, we just imposed economic sanctions and were reviled by the Arab world for not giving them a global charge card and a free trade treaty? How about when we pushed Israel to give up land for peace? How about when we sent American soldiers to protect Saudi Arabia and the Arab World told us we were desecrating their Holy Land while ignoring the fact that we were invited? How about two weeks ago, in the State of the Union, when the President praised the Islamic people as “faithful” and “hard-working” only to be denounced in the Arab press as knowing nothing about Islam, but none of that is the point… I don’t remember having to explain to Italians that our problem wasn’t with them, but with Mussolini. Why does the US have to take every Arab country out for an ice cream cone? They’ll like us when we win! [long pause] Thousands of madrasas teaching children nothing, nothing, nothing but the Koran and to hate America. Who do we see about that? Do I want to preach America or Judeo-Christianity? No. If their religion forbids them from playing the trumpet, so be it. But I want those kids to... look at a globe. Be exposed to social sciences, history, some literature. They’ll like us when we win.

Bartlet: Well, I guess we talked about a lot of things: who we think the Republican challenger is gonna be, and incumbency, and campaign strategy - strategic overview, but the long and short of it is, my father never liked me, at all. [long pause]
Dr. Keyworth: Well, at least we're closer to my area now.
Bartlet: Yeah, I thought you'd enjoy that.

Dr. Keyworth: Use me, don't use me, but all I can offer you is this: I'll be the only person in the world, other than your family, who doesn't care that you're the President. Our time is up.

Dr. Keyworth: Mr. President...If you were any other patient...
Bartlet: Say what you'd say to any other patient.
Dr. Keyworth: I'd say, screw around if you want, but it's your money, it's about to be my money, and I sleep fine.

Sam: Celia, I asked Ainsley, and she said she didn't mind at all. Plus, Charlie said he's fine with it.
Celia: Charlie's a man.
Charlie: Damn right.
Ainsley: Sam.
Sam: Yes.
Ainsley: We need to be clear we're not going to take a bath when other countries can afford to take on more.
Sam: Yes.
Ainsley: This is important.
Sam: I also think it's important to make it clear that I'm not a sexist.
Charlie: And that I'm all man.
Ainsley: You're Celia?
Celia: Yes.
Ainsley: He's not a sexist.
Celia: If you're willing to let your sexuality diminish your power.
Ainsley: I'm sorry?
Celia: I said I'm surprised you're willing to let your sexuality diminish your power.
Ainsley: I don't even know what that means.
Celia: I think you do.
Ainsley: And I think you think I'm made out of candy glass, Celia. If somebody says something that offends you, tell them. But all women don't have to think alike.
Celia: I didn't say they did and when somebody said something that offended me, I did say so.
Ainsley: I like it when the guys tease me. It's an inadvertent show of respect I'm on the team and I don't mind it when it gets sexual. And you know why? I like sex.
Charlie: Hello.
Ainsley: I don't think whatever sexuality I may have diminishes my power. I think it enhances it.
Celia: And what kind of feminism do you call that?
Ainsley: My kind.
Bonney: It's called Lipstick Feminism. I call it Stiletto Feminism.
Sam: Stilettos?
Ainsley: You're not in enough trouble already?
Sam: I suppose I am.
Celia: Isn't the point that Sam wouldn't have been able to find another way to be chummy with a woman who wasn't sexually appealing?
Ainsley: He would be able to, but that isn't the point. The point is that sexual revolution tends to get in the way of actual revolution. Nonsense issues distract attention away from real ones: pay equity, child care, honest-to-God sexual harassment, and in this case a speech in front of the U.N. General Assembly. So, you, [to Sam] 25% on the assessments for Category A. [To Charlie] You...I don't know what your thing is. [To Celia] And, you, stop trying to take the fun out of my day. With that, I'm going to get a cupcake.
Sam: Well, for the moment, I'm going to do what she's telling me to do.

Hartsfield's Landing[edit]

Toby: That's a beautiful chess set.
Bartlet: It's a gift for you.
Toby: Really?
Bartlet: Yeah, it's hand-carved. It belonged to the Prime Minister's grandfather, who used it to play with Lord Mountbatten.
Toby: I'm surprised that she gave it away.
Bartlet: Nah, we boosted it on our way out of the palace. I've got some little bottles of shampoo and conditioner, too.

Charlie: Look, C.J.–
C.J.: You'll find it in your filing cabinet under A for anal.
Larry: I don't really wanna know what he's going to find in his filing cabinet, do you?
Ed: No.

Leo: What are you doing?
Josh: Just trying to get a little pizza in an uncivilized world.
Leo: It's not easy being you, is it?

Bartlet: Let me tell you, you're really showing me something tonight. A lot of spunk, a lot of pluck. This game isn't all about size, you know. There's a little thing called heart and you've got it, my friend.
Toby: You know what, old man? The very minute they swear in the next guy, you and I are going round and round.
Bartlet: Check.

C.J.: So, how long do you usually make people your bitch?
Charlie: Depends.

Dead Irish Writers[edit]

Abbey: You really planned this all yourself.
Bartlet: I'm like Gatsby but without the problems.

Lord John Marbury: Abigail! May I grasp your breasts?
Bartlet: I'm standing right here!
Abbey: You may kiss my cheek.

Lord John Marbury: Abigail.
Bartlet: Now it's a party.
Abbey: Oh. Yes, your lordship.
Lord John Marbury: Your breasts are magnificent.
Abbey: Oh. Um... thank you, John.
Lord John Marbury: May I inquire, Mr. President – the first thing that attracted you to Abigail - was it her magnificent breasts?
Abbey: It was.
Bartlet: You know John, there are places in the world where it might be considered rude to talk about the physical attributes of another man's wife.
Lord John Marbury: My god. Really?
Bartlet: Yeah.

Sam: I need you to tell me everything you can tell me about the Superconducting Super Collider.
Professor Milgate: How much time do we have?
Sam: About ten minutes.
Professor Milgate: If you pay very close attention, stay very, very quiet – I can teach you how to spell it.

Abbey: Amy.
Amy: Yes, ma'am?
Abbey: C.J. and I are gonna get drunk. Come on.
Amy: Yes, ma'am.
Josh: You're going?
Amy: The First Lady just asked me to get boozy with her. You don't think I want to write a book one day?

Senator Enlow: If we could only say what benefit this thing has. No one’s been able to do that...
Professor Milgate: That’s because great achievement has no road map. Well, the X-ray’s pretty good. So is penicillin. Neither were discovered with a practical objective in mind. I mean, when the electron was discovered in 1897, it was useless. Now we have an entire world run by electronics. Haydn and Mozart never studied the classics. They couldn’t—they invented them.
Sam: Discovery
Professor Milgate: What?
Sam: Discovery is what—that's what this is used for. It's for discovery.

The U.S. Poet Laureate[edit]

Josh: [on Bartlet's slight to Ritchie] Why do you think this one's so hard to spin?
C.J.: 'Cause it's the classic Washington scandal. We screwed up by telling the truth.
Josh: All right. Let's try not to do that too much.

Tabatha Fortis: Nice office.
Toby: Exactly sixty-three feet from the Oval Office. If you don't think we measure, you're out of your mind.

Sam: By the way, my Princeton Tigers could whip your Cal Bears any day of the week.
C.J.: At what?
Sam: Logarithms possibly.

C.J.: Let me explain something to you. This is sort of my field. The people on these sites? They're the cast of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. The muu-muu-wearing Parliament smoker? That's Nurse Ratched. When Nurse Ratched is unhappy, the patients are unhappy. You? You're McMurphy. You swoop in with your card games and fishing trips -
Josh: I didn't swoop in, I came in the exact same way everyone else did.
C.J.: Well, now I'm telling you to open the wardroom window and climb on out before they give you a pre-frontal lobotomy and I have to smother you with a pillow.
Josh: [pause] You're...?
C.J.: [nodding] I'm Chief Bromden, yes, at this particular moment. I'm assigning an intern from the press office to that website. They're going to check it every night before they go home. If they discover you've been there I'm going to shove a motherboard so far up your ass - What?
Josh: Technically, I outrank you...
C.J.: So far up your ass!
Josh: Okay.
C.J.: Okay.

Tabatha Fortis: [to Toby] You think I think that an artist's job is to speak the truth. An artist's job is to captivate you for however long we've asked for your attention. If we stumble into truth, we got lucky, and I don't get to decide what truth is.

Stirred[edit]

Donna: I shall do those things.
Josh: You shall?
Donna: I shall... and I'll tell you what I'd like in exchange.
Josh: How about a weekly salary of some kind?
Donna: Yes, plus a favor.

Bartlet: Can I tell you what's messed up about James Bond?
Charlie: Nothing.
Bartlet: Shaken, not stirred will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.

Bartlet: I love doing this.
Charlie: Really?
Bartlet: Yeah.
Charlie: Filing tax returns?
Bartlet: Yeah.
Charlie: Okay...
Bartlet: What?
Charlie: I was just thinking about the plurality of Americans who made the decision to pull a lever that had your name next to it.
Bartlet: Suckers.

Charlie: They're saying I owe the federal government money?
Bartlet: And you don't even need a stamp. Hand it over.
Charlie: There's a mistake.
Bartlet: Whatever. Hand it over.

Bartlet: [on the phone to Donna's former teacher] It's Jed Bartlet, Mrs. Morello. I've got a few questions. When you taught Beowulf, did you make the kids read it in the original Middle English or did you use a translation?
Mrs. Morello: We used a translation, Mr. President.
Bartlet: Okay. We're going to call that the James Bond version.
...
Bartlet: [whispering] Tell her where you are.
Donna: Mrs. Morello, I am standing in the Oval Office and it is because of you.

Enemies Foreign and Domestic[edit]

CJ: [about the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia] Outraged? I'm barely surprised. This is a country where women aren't allowed to drive a car. They're not allowed to be in the company of any man other than a close relative. They're required to adhere to a dress code that would make a Maryknoll nun look like Malibu Barbie. They beheaded a hundred and twenty-one people last year for robbery, rape, and drug trafficking. They have no free press, no elected government, no political parties. And the Royal Family allows the Religious Police to travel in groups of six carrying nightsticks and they freely and publicly beat women. But 'Brutus is an honorable man.' Seventeen schoolgirls were forced to burn alive because they weren't wearing the proper clothing. Am I outraged? No, Steve; no, Mark; no, Chris: that is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace.

Nikolai: It is freezing too cold in Reykjavík. It is freezing too cold in Helsinki. It is freezing too cold in Gstaad. Why must every American President bound out of an automobile like as at a yacht club, while in com...
George: Comparison.
Nikolai: Comparison, our leader looks like... I don't even know what word is.
Sam: Frumpy?
Nikolai: I don't know what "frumpy" is, but onomatopoetically, sounds right.
...
Sam: It's hard not to like a guy who doesn't know 'frumpy,' but knows 'onomatopoeia.'

Admiral Fitzwallace: Mr. President.
Bartlet: Fitz! Fitz, you old polecat, you old so-and-so.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Trying to be "one of the fellas," sir?
Bartlet: Yeah.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Well, well done, sir.

Sam: [on the President] Any trip over eight hours, he tends to fire somebody at the end of it, and the last three times it's been me...

Admiral Fitzwallace: Wait a second, hang on. You're telling me that foreign policy of this magnitude is conducted through Sam, and I'm still alive?
Sam: We're pretty impressed ourselves, Mr. Chairman.

The Black Vera Wang[edit]

Sam: [holding up an envelope] What's this?
Ginger: I don't know. It's marked "personal."
Sam: You don't know who sent it?
Ginger: There's no return address.
Sam: Think it's porn?
Ginger: I don't know.
Sam: 'Cause I'm pretty tired, but if it's porn—I mean really good porn—by the way if my innocent joking's making you uncomfortable in any way—
Ginger: No, I'm hoping it's porn.

Bruno: This isn't bad, Sam. Let me show you bad. [they walk out to where all the TVs are running the ad]
Sam: Oh, God.
Bruno: It's on free media. Everywhere. All day, all night, for free. You got played, Sam. And you forgot that all warfare is based on deception.

C.J.: There's no way you're letting me walk out the door, so what is it we're doing?
Simon: I'm sorry?
C.J.: What's your plan for me?
Simon: I don't have a plan.
C.J.: Are you gonna let me drive myself home?
Simon: No. [holding up something] I've got your spark plug. Is that what you meant?
C.J.: You've got my spark plug?
Simon: And your battery. Fuel pump, starter relay, timing belt, the ignition fuse. And well also the engine, I guess.
C.J.: Did you leave me anything?
Simon: Wiper fluid. You can clean your windshield. No, actually, you need the battery.

C.J.: Anything else, Agent Sunshine?
Simon: It's Special Agent Sunshine, but that couldn't matter less.

Bartlet: I'm not going to the bunker. There are going to be people who aren't going to the bunker, and when I get out I'm not going to be able to tell them what to do anymore and I like doing that. Let's get Abbey to New Hampshire but I'm not going to the bunker. And if you say I have to, I'm walking across the alley with the Chief Justice and I'm handing John Hoynes my resignation. And as soon as he's sworn in I'm telling him to appoint me his Vice President because I'm not going to the bunker. If the agents come, the agents come, but tell Ron he'd better bring more than a couple of guys.

We Killed Yamamoto[edit]

Leo: I know it was a screw-up, but I loved how he stormed into it, full speed, bam, like there's now a Sam Seaborn-shaped hole in the wall.

Leo: We spent millions of dollars developing a pen for the astronauts that would work in zero gravity. Know what the Russians did?
Toby: Used a pencil?
Leo: They used a pencil.

Bartlet: [about replacing Mrs. Landingham] So it's been a year. Why don't you organize the search, you know for a new Executive Secretary.
Charlie: Yes, sir. Absolutely.
Bartlet: I may not like the first couple of candidates. It may take a while.
Charlie: No, I don't imagine you're going to hire somebody sir, but this is a step in the right direction.

Donna: Eliminating the term 'north' from North Dakota is an important state issue and the President feels it should be resolved on a state level. While the President is sympathetic towards the cause and understands the large economics ramifications of this name change, he feels the issue is not yet ripe for national attention. The President wishes you well on your endeavors and thanks you for your support.
Man: Uh, Miss Moss? Are you aware that studies clearly show the word 'north' leaves the impression that this state is cold, snowy and flat, significantly depressing tourism and business startup.
Donna: With due respect, sir, your average temperature is 7 degrees. Your average snowfall: 42 inches, and a name change isn't going to take care of that.
Woman: We enjoy roughly the same climate as South Dakota. We took in 73.7 million in tourism revenue last year. They took in 1.2 billion. They have the word 'south'.
Donna: Also Mount Rushmore.

Admiral Fitzwallace: I don't know who the world's leading expert on warfare is, but any list of the top has got to include me and I can't tell when it's peacetime and wartime anymore.
Leo: Look, international law has always recognized certain protected persons who you couldn't attack. It's been this way since the Romans.
Admiral Fitzwallace: In peacetime.
Leo: Yes.
Admiral Fitzwallace: The Battle of Agincourt...this was the French fighting against the British archers. This was like a polo match. The battles were observed by heralds, and they picked the winners. And if a soldier laid down his arms, he was treated humanely...
Leo: Yeah.
Admiral Fitzwallace: And the international laws you're talking about...this is where a lot of them were written, at a time and in a place where a person could tell between peacetime and wartime. The idea of targeting one person was ridiculous. It wouldn't have occurred to the French to try to kill William Pitt. That all changed after Pearl Harbor
Leo: I don't like where this conversation's going...In the Situation Room, Fitz...
Admiral Fitzwallace: We killed Yamamoto. We shot down his plane.
Leo: We declared war...
Admiral Fitzwallace: If Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been successful...
Leo: ...and the plot to kill Hitler was an internal rebellion.
Admiral Fitzwallace: ...there would have been statues built of an assassin. We'd've had to explain that to our kids!
Leo: I'm going to get back to the office.
Admiral Fitzwallace: We measure the success of a mission by two things: was it successful and how few civilians did we hurt. They measure success by how many. Pregnant women are delivering bombs! You're talking to me about international laws? The laws of nature don't even apply here! I've been a soldier for thirty-eight years, and I've found an enemy I can kill. He can't cancel Shareef's trip, Leo. You've got to tell him, he can't cancel it.

Posse Comitatus[edit]

Bartlet: [to Gov. Ritchie] In the future, if you're wondering, "Crime. Boy, I don't know" is when I decided to kick your ass.

Sam: [when Ritchie is late] If ninety percent of success is showing up, we're just happy there's someone standing up for the other ten.

Sam: He [Gov. Ritchie] said that this was how ordinary Americans got their entertainment.
Toby: I've been to 441 baseball games at Yankee Stadium. There's not one person there who's ordinary.
Sam: I know.
Toby: You making fun of the Yankees?
Sam: Uh...no...
Toby: Now?

Season Four[edit]

20 Hours in America, Part I[edit]

Margaret: Speaking of health and fitness...
Leo: Oh, merciful God!
Margaret: What did you have...
Leo: I had half a grapefruit!
Margaret: Really?
Leo: You think I'm lying?
Margaret: No.
Leo: Okay.
Margaret: Yes.

Sam: [on his answering machine] Hi, it's Sam. I'm going to sleep now for a little bit, but if you really need me just yell really loud and I'll probably wake up.
Josh: SAM!!!

Sam: Do we have some sort of condensed... Reader's Digest index... of, well... all human knowledge?
Ginger: We usually just use Margaret.

C.J.: We've got a new addition to our running list of things Robert Ritchie's not. Speaking this morning at the Philadelphia Financial Council, the Governor said, "I'm no scientist but I know a thing or two about physics." So for the week you can add scientist to doctor, mind reader, and Chinese.

Toby: Toby Ziegler. I work at the White House.
Girl 1: Wow. Humongous whoop.
Josh: Come on! He's Communications Director. It's a decent sized whoop.
Girl 2: How many unborn babies did you guys kill today?
Josh: Whoa, hey. Danger, Will Robinson.

20 Hours in America, Part II[edit]

Bartlet: ...restoring abundance amid an economic shortfall, securing peace in a time of global conflict, sustaining hope in this winter of anxiety and fear. More than any time in recent history, America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive. Forty-four people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition, when, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran into the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

Sam: [on being a Big Brother] I could narrate what I was doing for him. "Right now, I'm reading background intelligence on Central America as it relates - believe it or not - to textile imports." Intelligence... 007! See, and right away I've got him going with 007.
CJ: I'm sitting here listening; already, I've turned to a life of crime.

Josh: You have an inadvertent habit of putting down my Judaism by implying that you have a sharper anti-Semitism meter than I do.
Toby: You know, the ancient Hebrews had a word for Jews from Westport: they pronounced it "Presbyterian."
Josh: And by saying things like that.
Toby: I'm just saying, I'm from Brighton Beach.
Josh: Well, Mohammed al Mohammed el Mohammed bin Bizir doesn't make the distinction when he suits up in the morning.
Toby: Well, as long as you have a good grasp of the complexity of that situation.
Donna: What the hell are the two of you talking about?
Toby: I assure you neither one of us knows.

McNally: Leo. Yeoman Fitzwallace.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Dr. McNally.
McNally: Let's attack.
Admiral Fitzwallace: Who?
McNally: Qumar. Let's recommend to the President that we attack.
Leo: Why?
McNally: 'Cause I've had it.
Admiral Fitzwallace: I don't think the UN is going to let us do it for that reason.
McNally: That's 'cause you're a sissy. You want peace in the Middle East? Give me a pair of third generation ICBM's and a compass. You get B-2 Spirit stealth bombers over Qumar right now, as if the Qumari Air Defense Sytem requires stealth capability. Just fly in at night, and while you're at it, could you order the USS Louisiana to fire off a D5 Trident just to see if it works? What's the worst that could happen?
Admiral Fitzwallace: [to Leo, bewildered] Is she talking to me?
McNally: Yes!
Admiral Fitzwallace: Well, 98% of all living organisms within a seven mile radius would die instantly in a torrent of fire.
McNally: Admiral Sissymary... We're running out of options on the menu.

Toby: We don’t know what the next president is going to face. If we choose someone with vision, someone with guts, someone with gravitas, who is connected to other peoples lives and cares about making them better. If we choose someone who inspires us then we will be able to face what comes our way and achieve things we can’t imagine yet.

College Kids[edit]

Bartlet: Listen, I know we're here for a serious purpose, for a sober purpose, but I wanted to say I've never been a part of a street gang before, and that's basically what we are – a pretty well-financed one – but anyway, I wanted to say it feels good, and I think when we're done with this meeting, I think we should go out and get girls, and I don't know, maybe knock over a fruit stand or something.

Debbie: At my last job, the background check wasn't nearly as extensive...
Sam: You have a button on your phone, a crash button.
Debbie: Hmm?
Sam: You have a crash button which will bring the Secret Service in instantly and turn your office into a live microphone which will be broadcast all over the building. It's the button you push if someone's trying to take the Oval Office. This isn't your last job.

Bartlet: ...'Joy cometh in the morning,' scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world, there'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture, and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms; there aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well, and we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better, and we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this.

Jordan: All I meant by 'cloak and dagger' is that I'm not cut out for the security meetings and the secret this and the back channel ambassadors. It's like you're in the Mafia.
Leo: Well, it may be like I'm in the Mafia, but I'm not. I work for the good guys.
Jordan: It was one sentence. The problem was that you were never at the other end of the phone.
Leo: That's an entirely different kettle of beans and we can have that discussion, but history has shown if you just wait and tell it to a divorce lawyer you can have half of my stuff.
Jordan: I don't want your stuff.
Leo: You don't know; some of it's good stuff.

Donna: We're here!
Josh: You know, everybody's really over that now.
CJ: Admiral Scott! Your expedition's returned!
Toby: Are they over it?
Josh: Yeah.
Bruno: Barnum, Bailey, and their sister Sue!
Josh: They're almost over it.

The Red Mass[edit]

Josh: We run the risk of alienating...
Bartlet: Heroin addicts?
Josh: Liberals.
Bartlet: Whatever.

Bartlet: Mike, pick yourself out a daughter. My oldest is married, but I can have it annulled. The Pope said he'd do it, I swear to God.
Casper: That's very friendly of you, sir. Thank you.

Bartlet: It's not even the number of debates, as much as the format. Two-minute response followed by a one-minute reply. That's not a debate. That's not a debate! It's a joint press conference.

C.J.: What is really the difference between one debate and two debates?
Toby: "What's the diff–"! It's a whole other debate! It's a second debate! It's 100% more debate!

Charlie: Can you make a run to the staff secretary's office? Ella's not there, but someone should be. Make sure you just take what needs to be signed today. They're gonna try to give you a whole stack, and right there's where you become a man.
Emily: Should I use sex as a tactic?
Charlie: If you need to. Hell, even if you just want to.

Debate Camp[edit]

Bartlet: [to Leo] Honey, if we're going to have this fight, can we not do it in front of the Joint Chiefs? It just scares the hell out of them.

Toby: A couple of things. I need you to look at a couple of answers on defense readiness. I need concrete examples of waste in Pentagon procurement. We need two more members of the IRC for post spin. I need you to fill out this marriage license and paperwork for a joint checking account and review this 60-second answer on Rwanda.
Andy: Okay, okay, okay and um, under no circumstances, and sure.
Toby: See, by my count, you said under no circumstances to the IRC post spin and sure...
Andy: I said under no circumstances to marrying you again.
Toby: May I ask why?
Andy: I have the unique experience of having done it once before.

Sam: What's going on with you and Andy?
Toby: Nothing.
Sam: I think you're wrong.
Toby: I'm not.
Sam: I think you're getting back together.
Toby: We're not.
Sam: But you want to.
Toby: Yes.
Sam: I think... Wait. What?
Toby: See, sometimes if I slam on the brakes, you run right past.
Josh: Okay, fill us in on everything you've got so far between the two of you.
Toby: Yeah, that's what's going to happen right now.

Mrs. Landingham: We're choosing pictures from the collection at the National Gallery.
Bartlet: They'll loan stuff?
Mrs. Landingham: Anything you want in the National Gallery or the whole Smithsonian.
Bartlet: Really?
Mrs. Landingham: Yeah.
Bartlet: I want Apollo 11.
Mrs. Landingham: Well, you can't have that.
Bartlet: Then don't bother me.

Charlie: Josh and Sam talked to me. I'm on board.
Toby: With what?
Charlie: Team Toby.
Toby: See, I lent voice to thought and that was my mistake.
Charlie: If you want to marry Andy, then, damn it, so do I...
Toby: Okay.
Charlie: ...want that, you know, to happen to you.
Toby: I get it.
Charlie: Do you? Because this is about love.
Toby: I think you have a different motivation.
Charlie: Laughs?
Toby: Yes.
Charlie: Sure, but also as much love, really, as I think either one of us are comfortable with.

Game On[edit]

Josh: Ten words: "I will make America's defenses the strongest in the history of the world."
Leo: "In the history of the world?" When we say that, are we comparing ourselves to the Visigoths, adjusted for inflation?

Gov. Ritchie: My view of this is simple: we don't need a Federal Department of Education telling us our children have to learn Esperanto, they have to learn Eskimo poetry. Let the states decide, let the communities decide on health care, on education, on lower taxes, not higher taxes. Now, he's going to throw a big word at you - "unfunded mandate." He's going to say if Washington lets the states do it, it's an unfunded mandate. But what he doesn't like is the federal government losing power. But I call it the ingenuity of the American people.
Moderator: President Bartlet, you have 60 seconds for a question and an answer.
Bartlet: Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded mandate" is two words, not one big word. There are times when we're fifty states and there are times when we're one country, and have national needs. And the way I know this is that Florida didn't fight Germany in World War II or establish civil rights. You think states should do the governing wall-to-wall. That's a perfectly valid opinion. But your state of Florida got $12.6 billion in federal money last year - from Nebraskans, and Virginians, and New Yorkers, and Alaskans, with their Eskimo poetry. 12.6 out of a state budget of $50 billion. Now, I'm supposed to be using this time for a question, so here it is: Can we have it back, please?
Josh: Game on!

Moderator: Governor Ritchie, many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is the centerpiece of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the time to cut taxes?
Gov. Ritchie: You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason - the American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does.
Moderator: Mr. President, your rebuttal.
Bartlet: There it is. That's the ten word answer my staff's been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip of the sword. Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.

Gov. Ritchie: Now, I want people to work together in this great country, and that's what I did in Florida—I brought people together—and that's what I'll do as your President. End the logjam, end the gridlock, and bring Republicans together with Democrats, 'cause Americans are tired of partisan politics.
Bartlet: Actually, what you've done in Florida is bring the right together with the far right. And I don't think Americans are tired of partisan politics; I think they're tired of hearing career politicians diss partisan politics to get a gig. I've tried it before. They ain't buying it. That's okay, though...that's okay, though, 'cause partisan politics is good. Partisan politics is what the Founders had in mind. It guarantees that the minority opinion is heard, and as a lifelong possessor of minority opinions, I appreciate it. But if you're troubled by it, Governor, you should know, in this campaign, you've used the word 'liberal' 74 times. In one day. It was yesterday.
Toby: I'm not sure I can watch anymore...no, wait, I can. I can.

Will: Sixty percent is 6 of 10 in a focus group. You change one mind, it's a dead heat. You change two, it's a landslide. This campaign's a mechanism of persuasion. We're not asking for a show of hands.

Election Night[edit]

Sam: You wrote a concession?
Toby: Of course I wrote a concession. What, do you want to tempt the wrath of the... whatever, from high atop the thing?
Sam: No.
Toby: Then go outside, turn around three times and spit. What the hell's the matter with you?
Sam: It's like, 25 degrees outside.
Toby: Go!

Sam: He wrote a concession speech?
Josh: Of course he wrote a concession speech. Why wouldn't he? What possible reason would he have for not writing a concession speech?
Sam: The wrath from high atop the thing?
Toby: He upped and said we were gonna...
Josh: No! You gotta go outside, turn around three times and curse.
Toby: Spit.
Josh: Spit and curse.
Toby: Do everything.
Josh: Go!
Toby: Go!
Josh and Toby: GO!

CJ: Did you—?
Sam: Yes, I turned, I cursed, I spat, it froze.
C.J.: Can't be too careful.
Sam: I think you can.

C.J.: [to Toby] Listen, I know better than to stick my face in your personal life. Except, you know, for sport.

Abbey: That was wonderful!
Bartlet: That was fun.
Abbey: How you feeling?
Bartlet: I feel great.
Abbey: You want a glass of water?
Bartlet: No, I'm fine.
Abbey: You seem a little dry. Sure you don't want a glass of water?
Bartlet: No, I feel great.
Abbey: Maybe I should get you a glass of water, just in case. You could hold it in your hand.
Bartlet: [pause] How'd you know?
Abbey: You were off the prompter.
Bartlet: [A little teary] Just for a second, I couldn't see it.
Abbey: It's all right. There are going to be more days like this. It starts now. It's going to be harder this time.
Bartlet: Yeah, I know. We can still have tonight, though, right?
Abbey: [fighting tears; smiles] You've got lots of nights.

Process Stories[edit]

Sam: She wanted a name for election night and I said, "Use my name," not thinking for a second it was ever going to be a practical option. Can I ask, is your office now The House of the Rising Sun?
C.J.: Yes.
Toby: You did it for the widow.
Sam: Yes, and for a guy I met named Will Bailey who was running the campaign and worked his ass off and never backed off and, by the way, navigated a dead liberal Democrat to a win against Chuck Webb! Five hundred races tonight, that was pretty impressive. Though it was an Aristotelian confluence of events that could only happen to me.

Bartlet: I don't want to intimidate you, but it turns out I'm the first Democrat in twenty years to make a clean sweep of the Plains states. And I'm not just talking about Iowa and Nebraska.
Abbey: Are you trying to turn me on now?
Bartlet: Yeah.
Abbey: All right.
Bartlet: I won the Dakotas, the Badlands, the Black Hills... But let's go down, way down, to the Deep South and the humid bayou of Louisiana and its nine electoral votes. What manner of man it must take to win the state, which, by the way, is the only one operating under the Napoleonic Code of France. And I still don't know what that's all about, but back to me...
Abbey: Hon, this is like, nerd hot talk.
Bartlet: Who's your Commander in Chief?
Abbey: You are.

Bartlet: You're young, Charlie. Don't you want to be having fun right now?
Charlie: Yes, sir. But I work for you.
Bartlet: I get that a lot.

C.J.: We're all impressed with how influential you were, particularly when you consider that most of us have never met you! But what I'm most grateful for is the process story, which takes attention from the debate, and focuses it where it belongs, which is the contest. This is the story everyone'll be clamoring for and I like that you're filling that need. And to show my gratitude, I'm calling all the major news outlets and letting them know that I'll be forwarding all your confidential memos to the President, logs of all your calls with him, Secret Service logs of your meetings inside the White House.
Chris: I really pissed you off, huh?
C.J.: Don't disrespect Leo McGarry and Bruno Gianelli.

Bruno: I'm just simply going to kill you.
C.J.: She seems nice.
Bruno: That is the brunette, named Annette.
C.J.: Wouldn't you give anything if she was from Tibet?
Bruno: I'm actually fine with her being from Philadelphia, so please state your business.

Swiss Diplomacy[edit]

Bartlet: [loudly] Debbie! First of all where the hell are you and where are my–?
Debbie: [enters with glasses] Right here, Mr. President. And the Ipswitch clams in Chesapeake Bay can hear you bellowing right now.
Bartlet: Ipswich clams don't come from Chesapeake Bay, they come from Ipswich.
Debbie: Not anymore.
Bartlet: [to Leo] Have her beheaded for my birthday.

Bartlet: This meeting doesn't go in the Sit Room anymore, okay? I don't know why the hell it's here. This isn't a military operation.
Leo: It's a secure room.
Bartlet: My office is a secure room, too, isn't it? Please, somebody tell me it is or I gotta go pack some stuff.

Bartlet: Charlie! Would you pull the first lady out of whatever it is she's doing?
Charlie: She's with the women's caucus.
Bartlet: Well put on a helmet and pads and get in there.

Abbey: Samuel Mudd set Booth's leg after he shot Lincoln. Doctors are liable in this country if they don't treat the patient in front of them.
Bartlet: Just for the record, this is why we don't talk about foreign policy, which we do, but you don't think we do enough.
Abbey: Why?
Bartlet: Because Samuel Mudd was tried and convicted of treason for setting that leg.
Abbey: So?
Bartlet: What 'so'?
Abbey: So that's the way it goes. You set the leg.

Bartlet: Run towards yourself. I'm wrong about that - walk. You're not going to be used to your surroundings.
Sam: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: If you lose, you lose. But if you waste this, I'll kill you.

Arctic Radar[edit]

Toby: Call and response isn't going to work in front of a Joint Session. You're alliteration happy: 'guardians of gridlock,' 'protectors of privilege.' I needed an avalanche of Advil. And when you use pop-culture references, your speech has a shelf life of twelve minutes. You don't mind constructive criticism, do you?
Will: No, sir.
Toby: Anyway, thanks for coming in. I told Sam I can do this by myself.
Will: Well, maybe he thought that your speeches were obscurantist policy tracts lost in a cul-de-sac of their own internal self-righteousness and groaning from the weight of statistics. I'm just speculating. I can't say for sure.
Toby: [pause; laughs to himself] A 500-word stanza on American leadership in a globally interdependent age that moves beyond triumphalism by this time tomorrow. If it's 501, don't show it to me.

Charlie: You want me to have the President dodge a call from the UN Secretary-General and not know why?
Leo: Yeah. Can you swing that?
Charlie: If I could, that would be troubling, wouldn't it?

Toby: [to Leo] You're like the guys who say, 'Are you telling me you could only find one African-American speechwriter good enough to work at the White House?' I'm amazed I found that many. 'Good enough to work at the White House' is a pretty small population to begin with. And guys who can write entire sections of a State of the Union? I'd be as surprised if there were as many as nine of us. And Sam was one of them.

Toby: This is incredibly good... Will. 'Never shrinking from the world's...' '...a fierce belief in what we can achieve together.' I used to write like this. It was ten months ago. I don't understand what's going on. I really don't. I've had slumps before. Everybody does, but this is different. I'm sorry, we don't know each other, but there aren't that many people I can talk to about it. I don't understand what's happening. There's no blood going to it. I never had to locate it before. I don't even know where to look. I'm the President's voice and I don't want it to sound like this. And there's an incredible history to second Inaugurals. 'Fear itself,' Lincoln...I really thought I was on my way to being one of those guys. I thought I was close. Now I'm just writing for my life and you can't serve the President that way. But if I didn't write...I can't serve him at all.
Will: Yeah. Can I tell you three things? You are more in need of a night in Atlantic City than any man I've ever met. Number two is, the last thing you need to worry about is no blood going there. You've got blood going there, about thirteen ways. And some of it isn't good. Once again, I say, Atlantic City. I'd say sit down at a table, go for dinner, see a show take a walk on the boardwalk and smell the salt air... but if you're anything like me, nothing after 'sit down at a table' is going to happen.
Toby: What's the third thing?
Will: You are one of those guys.

Leo: When you order a guy to go fight, the guy can’t think it’s because you’re sleeping with his wife.
Bartlet: You’re right.
Leo: That’s…That’s an unusual phrase for you sir, did you just learn it?
Bartlet: Well you didn’t let me finish.
Leo: I had a hunch.

Holy Night[edit]

Will: Seriously, Toby, you put me in that office and everyone who works on the speech-writing staff is gonna resent me.
Toby: Don't be ridiculous. It's a West Wing office. Everyone who works in the White House is gonna resent you.

Zoey: My dad's going to love him.
Charlie: Oh, yeah.
Zoey: Well, I love him, so my father will love him.
Charlie: That's absolutely the way it works.

Zoey: So I have to ask you and I'm nervous, but I'd like Jean Paul to come stay with us in Manchester this Christmas.
Bartlet: Zoey, I think it's really sweet that you still come to me for permission. You're classy and you're old-fashioned.
Zoey: So it's okay?
Bartlet: Not in a million years.

Toby: [to Will] Listen, when you get home tonight you're going to be confronted by the instinct to drink alone. Trust that instinct. Manage the pain. Don't try to be a hero.

Josh: Danny thinks w-we somehow got a Gulfstream to land in Bermuda, assassinated Shareef, then disassembled the plane and distributed the pieces throughout the Bermuda Triangle?
C.J.: Yeah.
Josh: I think he spent too much time in the Africa hot.
C.J.: The thing is...
Josh: Yeah?
C.J.: I'm absolutely certain that's what happened.

Guns Not Butter[edit]

Bartlet: It's the curse of every daughter's father.
Charlie: Boyfriends?
Bartlet: I don't like them, I don't like them at all.
Charlie: Yes, I know sir.
Bartlet: What the hell happened with you two? It was perfect. I just kept you in the office all the time.
Charlie: Well, she was unhappy that I was at the office all the time.
Bartlet: That was the point. If I was trying to make her happy, I'd buy her a Cabriolet.

Bartlet: I like your sass.
CJ: You've got a very nice sass yourself... sir.
Bartlet: What, are you touring?
CJ: I could.

Bartlet: Mr. McGarry, Mr. Ziegler, Mr. Lyman, Miss Cregg. It's the Temptations! I love you guys!
Leo: You only think you've heard everything, but you haven't.
Bartlet: Hit me.
Leo: Toby.
Toby: James Hoebuck will vote yea ten-thirty if we give him $115,000.
Bartlet: Million?
Josh: Thousand. $115,000.
Bartlet: For an RV? What's he want?
Leo: An NIH study on remote prayer.
Bartlet: I like it. There should be a button on my desk I can press and forty-nine people instantly pray for me.

Danny: We cut farm assistance in Colombia. Every single crop we developed was replaced with cocaine. We cut aid for primary education in northwest Pakistan and Egypt; the kids went to madrassahs. Why weren't you making a case that Republican senators are bad on drugs, and bad on national security? Why are Democrats always so bumfuzzled? By the way, sixty-five more flight schools today. Maisy hasn't found your guy. Don't worry. There are thousands more.
CJ: You know something there, General Tso? If you had a story, you'd write it. If you don't have one, shut up. We just lost a vote. We're not bumfuzzled. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to cancel a photo op with a goat.

Donna: You took funding for remote prayer to the President?
Josh: I did it with gusto.
Donna: That's 'cause you don't know the story of Fishhooks McCarty.
Josh: Is this a real person or a Donna person?
Donna: Corrupt politician on the Lower East Side in the '20s. Every morning he stopped at the St. James Church on Oliver Street and said the same prayer, "O Lord, give me health and strength. We'll steal the rest."
Josh: Not that there needs to be, but... was there a point?
Donna: You've got health and strength, both of which, coincidentally, I prayed for after hot lead was shot into your body.
Josh: Yeah... You're going to need some Kryptonite, by the way.
Donna: Okay, settle down.
Josh: All right.
Donna: So you've got health and strength.
Josh: And we'll steal the rest?
Donna: Bet your ass.
Josh: All right. Good work tonight.

The Long Goodbye[edit]

C.J.: [on the phone] No, I didn't mean that you have no social skills, Toby... I'm sorry if you think I was being insensitive to your... I think you're very... you're a very pretty girl, Toby.

C.J.: Dad... you... cannot expect me to silently do nothing. You're going to require care.
Tal: I wasn't built for it. You came for the prom, not for this.
C.J.: Reunion. I'm not going.
Tal: Coward. That world, the expertise, the solicitude, no. No, thanks. I want to go down with some silence, with my music, with some grace.
C.J.: I'll quit and take care of you.
Tal: 'We sail,' said Pascal, 'in a vast sphere,' Claudia Jean, 'ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.' I'd much rather see you on TV, darling, than sitting opposite me, watching a demolition derby going on in my brain.

C.J.: My name is C.J. Cregg. As you know, I work for the President of the United States. This is why I was asked to make a short speech for our reunion. It's a terrible subject, a terrible idea: The Promise of a Generation. So bad I was going to start off with a joke and fill the whole thing in with more jokes. But I find the topic has gotten under my skin while I wasn't paying attention because every generation has promise and every generation fails that promise in some respects. How can we not? What is promise if not something that's impossible to live up to? My boss had to recently make his case to the American people that he was worth reelecting and it was not an easy process --- nor should it be. And in its wake I've been thinking a lot about civility, civic duty and kindness, and how pervasive and powerful they are. How enduringly pervasive those qualities are in American life and how I see them all around me day after day. America's a terribly difficult idea filled with promise and impossible to live up to. Promise is inchoate and promise is what binds us. Some of us died, some got sick, some got rich, some had bad luck, some of us were fortunate, more than others. But failed promise only truly fails when it leads to lowered expectation.

Inauguration, Part I[edit]

Bartlet: I have a problem.
Josh: Well, you're about to propose the most massive shift in foreign policy since the Marshall Plan and it's going to be wildly unpopular.
Bartlet: All right: two problems.

Bryce: This President can't write himself a blank check when it comes to foreign policy. Especially this President.
Will: 'Especially this President?'
Bryce: Yes.
Will: Because of the clause in Article 1 that says not every President gets the full powers of Commander-in-Chief?
Bryce: Are you re-writing the section [of the speech]?
Will: Yes.
Bryce: Dramatically?
Will: Well, I like to think that I have a certain flair...

Toby: I throw a rubber ball against the window; that means you come to me. As my frustration level grows, so does the velocity of the ball against the window.
Will: Don't you ever worry about the window breaking?
Toby: During moments of peak frustration: when the Speaker of the House threatened to repeal the 16th Amendment, a couple of Yankee games, and when Congress censured my boss...but it's always held up, that window; that window is a game-day player.

C.J.: [to Carol] Stop trying to get us together, okay? If I wanted Danny I could have him. And he's still a jackass from the foreign-ops vote and many other things, so tell him I'm getting my hair done.
Danny: Your hair looks great.
C.J.: [to Carol] There was no way you could tell me he was right behind me? You couldn't fit that in?

Toby: This language proposes a new doctrine for the use of force! That we use force, whenever we see an injustice we want to correct: like Mother Teresa with first-strike capability!
Will: Damn right!

Inauguration, Over There[edit]

Will: I heard once - I don't know if this is true - I heard once that you convinced the President to let you rewrite a section of the State of the Union with less than twenty-four hours to go. It was the second year and everybody was a Republican, whether they were or not, and people at the DNC had convinced him to include the line, 'The era of big government is over.' And you couldn't live with it. Because government should be a place where people come together and no one gets left behind. An instrument of good. And that's exactly what we heard in the State of the Union the next night.
Toby: There were maybe four people in the room when I had that conversation.
Will: Well, if I'd have been one of them, I would have repeated it to everyone I met.

Bartlet: Charlie, I'm gonna change my mind again on the Bible.
Charlie: [ironically] Mr. President, you have to imagine my utter surprise.
Bartlet: Aren't you afraid that one day I'm just gonna kick your ass like it's never been kicked?

Toby: We're not talking about the President going to Asia or the President going to Rwanda or the President going to Qumar. We're talking about the President sending other people's kids to do it.
C.J.: That's always what we're talking about. And in addition to being somebody's kids, they're also soldiers and sailors, and if we're about freedom from tyranny, we should be about freedom from tyranny, and if we're not, we should shut up!

Bartlet: We're for freedom of speech everywhere. We're for freedom to worship everywhere. We're for freedom to learn... for everybody. And because in our time, you can build a bomb in your country and bring it to my country, what goes on in your country is very much my business. And so we are for freedom from tyranny, everywhere, whether in the guise of political oppression, Toby, or economic slavery, Josh, or religious fanaticism, C.J. That most fundamental idea cannot be met with merely our support. It has to be met with our strength. Diplomatically, economically, materially. And if Pharaoh still don't free the slaves, then he gets the plagues or my cavalry, whichever gets there first. The USTR will go crazy and say that we're not considering global trade. Committee members will go crazy and say I haven't consulted enough. And the Arab world will just go indiscriminately crazy. No country has ever had a doctrine of intervention when only humanitarian interests were at stake. That streak's gonna end Sunday at noon.

Bartlet: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world. Do you know why?
Will: Because it's the only thing that ever has.

The California 47th[edit]

Bartlet: Leo said just now that there was going to be an NEC briefing on scoring and tell her what I said.
Leo: 'What's wrong with booze and a comfortable pickup?'
Debbie: No, I see there's no hour too early for your Noel Cowardesque wit, sir.

Ambassador Tiki: Mr. President, the U.S. is trampling on the sovereignty of my country and on behalf of Nzele–
Bartlet: I've just taken your airport... clearing the way for the 101st Air Assault to take the capitol. Seven thousand troops, twenty-five battle tanks, fifteen Apache attack helicopters, and three destroyers. Strictly speaking, I conquered your country without the paperwork.
Aide: Kundu is in the midst of a civil war.
Bartlet: No, it's not. It's in the midst of a one-sided slaughtering of an entire people.

C.J.: Don't be fooled: they love us in Orange County. They're crazy-go-nuts for the President – really, the whole Democratic Party in general. I think they really like it when we come to town. When we were there last month, we were working the crowd, and some young boys – worried, possibly, that I couldn't afford fruits and vegetables on a government salary – tossed me some of their own.

Josh: You want to go to Orange County?
C.J.: I think we have to go. [to Bartlet] Even though there's $1,300 with your name on it if you don't make me go with you.
Toby: Get over the dress, would you?
C.J.: It was a suit, and they hit me with an avocado!
Toby: It could have been worse.
C.J.: How?
Toby: They could have hit me.

Toby: Listen to me. We've got all kinds of atmospheric cabin pressure up here. We're a little late, so the Colonel's put the hammer down in a 747. You've got wind shear, downdraft, massive turbulence, not to mention four giant engines burning jet fuel at galactic temperatures. We're standing in a flying death tube! [people look up] No, not the rest of y-y-you, it's just my family. It's fine. Look...
Andy: What do you want me to do, step off?
Toby: Also, you've got twins in there; you're basically a minivan. How are you fitting into a seat?
Andy: Uh-uh... I saw him first, girls.

Red Haven's on Fire[edit]

Abbey: How did you live with Josh Lyman?
Amy: I'm sorry?
Abbey: How did you live with him? He beat Max out of the 12 million earmarked for vaccine education. And when I said I wanted the 12 million he said "So did I. And at the end of a prize-fight, you look at the guy who's dancing around and that's who won"? So I wanna know how you lived with him.
Amy: We never technically lived together which was the subject of many–
Abbey: Don't you wanna kill him when he says things like that?
Amy: My problem is I wanna jump him when he says things like that.
Abbey: Where'd you get your mouth?
Amy: Brown, then Yale Law School.

Sam: [in jail] How'd you call Josh? Didn't they take your cell phone from you?
Toby: [motioning to a group of prostitutes] I used theirs.
Sam: So on a call-girl's phone bill, there's gonna be a call to Air Force One?
Toby: You really gonna be teaching a seminar on call-girl caution? Really?

Toby: It made the news out there?
Will: A Jewish guy won a bar fight. It's news everywhere.

CJ: [about the First Lady's speech] You should tell her not to talk about the House vote.
Charlie: You want me to tell Mrs. Bartlet she's going to look like a dilettante?
CJ: I once had to tell the President he was wearing two different shoes.
Charlie: That's roughly the same.

Toby: [to Sam] You're gonna lose, and you're gonna lose huge, they're gonna be throwing rocks at you next week, and I wanna be standing next to you when they do.

Privateers[edit]

Abbey: So we're for freedom of speech everywhere but poor countries, where they can have our help, but only if they live up to Clancy Bangert's moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?
Bartlet: I really don't know, Abbey. The day hasn't started yet.

Company Guy: We don't make chemicals, Toby. We make ideas.
Toby: Uh huh. But what do you sell?
Company Guy: Chemicals.

Charlie: Do you have a girlfriend?
Will: No.
Charlie: When was the last time you did?
Will: About nine months ago.
Charlie: How long did it last?
Will: About two days. In my defense, though, she was psycho.
Charlie: So why are you giving me relationship help?
Will: Because I'm the only one in this conversation who didn't get a Dear John email from his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.
Charlie: God, that's really true, isn't it?

Amy: Am I being hazed? Is this a hazing? 'Cause I'll go along and everything, but I have to see Josh...
Will: It's not a hazing. They don't do that. [feels in his pocket] Except... yes, you put olives in my jacket again.
CJ: I did, I did do that. But this is on the level.

Zoey: Are you going to do what I asked in the email?
Charlie: No.
Zoey: You just refuse.
Charlie: I do. I refuse, respectfully.
Zoey: You can't refuse and be respectful at the same time.
Charlie: Watch me. Ask again.
Zoey: Stop pursuing me.
Charlie: Respectfully, no.
Zoey: Why?
Charlie: 'Cause I'm in love with you, and that's the way it goes.

Angel Maintenance[edit]

Will: There's a Festival of Lights and Bonfires in this region that accompanies something called the Wildflower, you know, Renaissance, with lilac and ochre.
Reporter: That you can see from thirty-three thousand feet?
Will: Yes, it's arranged in a pattern that befuddles astronomers to this day. We should be coming up on it any...
Chris: Oh my God!
Will: Of course, on the right side of the plane, there's an F-16 Falcon.

Josh: Stopping all bipartisan legislation is like saying 'Let's blow up the place. Maybe voters'll hire us to rebuild it.'

Leo: By the way, not for nothing, but draftees aren't nearly as well trained. It's why there were so many casualties in Vietnam.
Toby: Right. Also, the Vietcong.
Leo: Plus that.

C.J.: It's okay, you're afraid of flying.
Will: I'm not afraid of flying. I... experience flying.

Katie: If there is an issue of national security, isn't it also a national issue for everyone down there?
Reporter: In other words, turn on the damn phones.
C.J.: Someone ask Steve what time it is; it's going to crack you up!
Reporter: C.J....
C.J.: How is it a threat to anyone on the ground?
Steve: Air Force One generally doesn't break all by itself.
C.J.: Steve...
Steve: Claudia, in a room someplace, they're talking about the possibility that the plane was sabotaged.
C.J.: By screwing with the front wheel?
Mark: If the malfunction is because of a leak in the hydraulics, and they try to recycle the gear, the front end of the plane's gonna blow up.
C.J.: No, you're right, I should definitely let you use the phones.

Evidence of Things Not Seen[edit]

C.J.: I thought my reflexes before, in the Press Room, were catlike.

C.J.: The substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.
Toby: I think what he's asking is why, on most other nights, do you think the world's going to hell in a hula hoop, but tonight...
C.J.: We dip twice and eat gefilte fish?
Toby: Suzy Creamcheese, do not attempt the Haggadah.
C.J.: I know how to bless the soup, too.

Toby: And they're sending in a team of lawyers to look into it?
Will: Yeah, but we're scrappy.

Josh: Your sense of humor's a bit of a high wire act isn't it? You're really trying to thread the needle.
Donna: And half of it you don't even get.

C.J.: There's no website supporting it?
Toby: And you gotta ask yourself, if no one on the Internet wants a piece of this, just how far from the pack have you strayed?

Life on Mars[edit]

Joe: I know that when life expectancy goes up, that's not victimizing undertakers.
C.J.: Well argued, though I do hate you and everything you stand for.
Joe: Claudia Jean, you've only known me for four minutes. Usually it takes people the better part of an hour to hate me and everything I stand for.
C.J.: I'm the Press Secretary, Boo-Boo. I don't have that kind of time.

Will: I came in to show you the spots and to tell you I think we should run a counter-ad. I don't have an idea for one.
Toby: Well get one! Have an idea! Don't come in here with half a thing and not be able to - you know, after you've walked me to the brink, and say 'we've got to do this, it's important, though I have no earthly idea how.' Like one of those guys who buys a big new thing, but doesn't really know how to get the most out of it!
Will: Toby, either get Andy to marry you, or kill yourself.
Toby: [pause] Yeah.

Charlie: Are you eating a salad?
Toby: Yeah.
Charlie: Why?
Toby: 'Cause I am.
Charlie: I don't think I've ever seen you eat a salad. What kind of salad is it?
Toby: I don't know.
Charlie: Just mixed greens?
Toby: I don't know what kind of salad it is, I'm eating a salad, okay? I'm doing it, do I have to know the names? There's no difference between them, it's a bowl of weeds!
[Charlie looks at Toby silently]
Toby: Some of them have cheese, this isn't the kind with cheese, does that answer your question?
[Charlie continues to look at Toby silently]
Toby: How many years have you guys been 'Toby, you eat like a teenager.' 'Toby, that's red meat.' 'That's your second cigar.' Here I am, eating this salad, which, by the way, you could cover this thing in barbecue sauce and it still tastes like the ground, and I'm getting heckled from the gallery! Who wanted to come in here and eat his roast beef sandwich with ketchup on a kaiser roll and watch the damn tennis on my TV! That's all I'm saying.
Charlie: Man, Toby, you're really doing everything you can do to get that woman to marry you.

Leo: [to Hoynes] You're a giant, John. You're a US Senator, the Vice-President of the United States, and presumptive nominee of your party. You cannot be taken down by this... cheap person and her customers huddled around Macy's window waiting for someone to turn themselves inside out.

Commencement[edit]

Wesley Davis: I'm leading Bookbag's paparazzi patrol for three months.
Josh Lymann: Really? Bit of a powderpuff detail there, isn't it, fella?
Wesley Davis: Nah, I go where I'm told.
Josh Lymann: So in your training what were you taught to do if, say, a stringer for Town and Country were to get in her face?
Wesley Davis: You know I can kill you and just make up the reason why I did, right?

Bartlet: [about Zoey's Secret Service detail] Well, here's my question: these guys look pretty young to me, and I'm looking for something very specific. This is a father-daughter situation, and so I think what I'm looking for in terms of protection would best be characterized as... well, overwhelming force. Do they have that? Do they have the ability to just overwhelm any danger that might...do you have overwh– [To Butterfield] Do they have overwhelming force?
Ron Butterfield: Attack, Wesley.
[Agent Wesley attempts to attack a female agent, who proceeds to throw him to the ground and put a handgun to his head. Zoey enters during.]
Bartlet: Wow!
Zoey: Oh God, Dad, what are you doing?
Bartlet: This one here tossed Wesley like a sack of potato chips!

Will: This speech is about creativity. In my judgment it's a home run. But what it isn't is a speech that will convince Zoey not to go to France tomorrow.
Bartlet: Well, let's write that one!

Danny: You want to comment on a wire report that says that the President lifted his gown and groped himself during the Invocation?
C.J.: Yeah, that was a troubling moment, but he had to get his napkin.

Butterfield: We have a situation. We're up at black, and procedurally, the Chief of Staff is told before--
Leo: What happened?
Butterfield: Zoey Bartlet... is missing, and there's a dead agent at the scene.

Twenty-Five[edit]

Leo: [to C.J.] Do not get into a discussion of the President's emotional state. You have to pivot whatever you get to Commander-in-Chief...We're in control. The government is functioning. This is the most important press conference of your life.

Bartlet: I need you to tell me now: do you think she's already dead?
Leo: I absolutely do not.
Bartlet: If they show me a picture of her alive and tell me to aim cruise missiles at Tel Aviv, they're counting on the fact that a father--
Leo: But you wouldn't.
Bartlet: I might.
Leo: There are people around you who won't let you.
Bartlet: How about a picture they've got a knife to her throat; get out of Saudi Arabia?
Leo: You shouldn't think of images like that.
Bartlet: All I can think of are images like that...Leo, the people you just named don't have the legal authority to stop me from doing certain things, and some of them would go to jail if they didn't follow my orders. Very quietly, I want you to assemble the Cabinet. I want you to call the Speaker of the House.

Toby: [to his twin newborns] I didn't realize babies come with hats. You guys crack me up. You don't have jobs, you can't walk or speak the language, you don't have a dollar in your pockets, but you got yourselves a hat, so everything's fine. I don't want to alarm you or anything, but I'm Dad. And for you, son, for you this will be the last time I pass the buck, but I think it should be clear from the get-go that it was Mom who named you Huckleberry. I guess she was feeling like life doesn't present enough challenges to overcome on its own. And honey, you've got a name now, too. Your mom and I named you after an incredibly brave, uh... An incredibly brave woman. Really not all that much older than you. Your name is Molly. Huck... and Molly. So, what do I do? Well, you're going to need food and clothes and doctors and dentists... there's that. And should you have any questions along the way... I'm going to be doing stuff like this, Huck, 'cause you're leaking a little bit out of your mouth there. You holding my finger, son? Hey Molly, your brother's holding my hand. You wanna hold my hand?

Will: The President temporarily handing over power to his political enemy? I think it's a fairly stunning act of patriotism... and a fairly ordinary act of fatherhood.

Walken: Franz Ferdinand, who was the nephew of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, was killed by a group called the Black Hand. And because they were a Serbian nationalist society, the empire declared war on Serbia. Then Russia, which was bound by a treaty, was forced to mobilize, which meant that Germany had to declare war on Russia. Then France declared war on Germany, and that was World War I. Because the emperor's nephew was killed. Now I thought you all had some good ideas, but somebody ought to make it clear to the people in this room that someone is in charge.

Season Five[edit]

7A WF 83429[edit]

Josh: I think we made a mistake.
Donna: What?
Josh: Letting the President step aside.
Will: Have you been watching CNN, MSNBC? Even FOX is treating it as a seminar on the resiliency of the Constitution.
Josh: The President's daughter is probably tied up in the back of a gas station. We have no idea how this is playing.
Will: He showed he's a leader, nobly embracing his own flawed humanity.
Josh: Lincoln and Kennedy had children who died. They didn't take a sabbatical.
Toby: Who's been calling?
Josh: Congressional leadership.
Toby: Lincoln never got a ransom note from Jefferson Davis. He's putting country before family. I'd carpet bomb Mecca to get my kids back.
Josh: What if they like Walken better? What if he seems more presidential? What if they want Walken to stay?
Will: In a few days, President Bartlet turns the second letter over to Congress.
Josh: What if it doesn't take a few days? What if it takes a few weeks, a few months? What if she's never found?

Walken: What are the chances Zoey Bartlet's still alive?
Casper: Hard to say, but I think yes she probably is. They'll want to milk this for all its worth.
Walken: Get your people in place, Admiral. We don't go today unless we're provoked. [to Casper] Find her and find her fast. But if Zoey Bartlet turns up dead, I'm going to blow the hell out of something, and God only knows what happens next.

Bartlet: You work for the President. He's going to need you down there.
Charlie: I work for you, sir. Someone else can show him where the Xerox paper is.
Bartlet: You do a lot more than that.
Charlie: Thank you, sir, but I'd prefer to stay here with you.

Democrat Speaker: You've elevated Walken and the Republicans. You've made them genuine players on the world stage.
Leo: I didn't elevate them. The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 did. And I'm not prepared to think about politics when we're under terrorist attack. The Republic comes first.

Walken: You know I'm not the enemy. The things that unite us are far greater than things that divide us. We both believe in democracy, preservation of American values, protection of our citizens in a sometimes hostile world.
C.J.: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?
Walken: Exactly.

The Dogs of War[edit]

Josh: You're campaigning in the middle of a national tragedy....
Atwood: You don't get it, do you? The Republicans are in awe of Bartlet. He recused himself in the only way he could. In the way envisioned by the Constitution... The whole notion of the 25th Amendment is that the institution matters more than the man. Bartlet's decision was even more self-sacrificing because he willingly gave power to his opposition.
Josh: The institution may matter more, but it's your guy protecting it, not ours.
Atwood: A truly self-sacrificing act usually involves some sacrifice.
Josh: So, now you're going to nail us to the cross.
Atwood: No. You beat the terrorists at their own game. We're not stupid, Josh. We try to use this to our advantage, it will blow up in our faces. We'd seem callous and unfeeling. In contrast to Bartlet's extraordinary gesture of courage and patriotism. And anyone who thinks otherwise has a particularly craven way of looking at politics.

Bartlet: 'The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.'
Leo: Dr. King.
Bartlet: I'm part of that darkness now, Leo. When did that happen?
Leo: Dr. King wasn't wrong. He just didn't have your job.

Walken: This is a weird-looking room.
Debbie: Truman called it the crown jewel of the federal penal system.
Walken: You a Truman fan?
Debbie: Yes, sir.
Walken: Me, too.... If Truman were alive today, he'd be a Republican.
Debbie: Oh, I doubt that very much.

Toby: If we go two lines without using the phrase 'unimaginably large military arsenal' we're out of our minds.

Bartlet: The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Words I did not fully understand until our daughter was taken from us three days ago. But now we can rejoice and be glad, for that which was lost has been found. That my child is back in her mother's arms is serendipity and grace, a second chance that will not slip through our fingers again. I wish I could tell you there is some new policy, some new weapons system, a silver bullet perhaps that could meet this moment, that could keep us safe from the terror that is now among us. But if I were to say that I'd be lying. All I can promise you is that I will fight with every fiber of my being, with every weapon in our arsenal, and with every ounce of God's grace to keep us strong, and free, and safe.

Jefferson Lives[edit]

Will: Diane Frost is a serious name.
Josh: Diane is a serious loon of the left.
Toby: I love Diane Frost. I'd marry Diane Frost if I were a member of her stated sexual preference, but Diane is the definition of unelectable.

Will: We're having trouble with the Democrats.
C.J.: Wow, along with the Republicans. That's kind of everyone.

Debbie: Mrs. Bartlet, I can't tell you how hard I prayed for you.
Abbey: I appreciate that.
Debbie: Well, you shouldn't. I'm not very religious. So there's the risk that my praying could be taken as insincere or even an affront, which, if it's a vengeful God, could have made matters worse.
Abbey: Well, it didn't, so maybe there's a clue.

Bartlet: Are you a horseman Bob? I'm looking at your boots.
Russell: Oh, I love to ride.... No, I wear these boots, um... Oh, I could give you some crap about remembering my roots, but I wear these because I've got flat feet and they don't hurt my arches.

Han[edit]

Toby: In a triumph of the middling, a nod to mediocrity, and with gorge rising, it gives me great nausea to announce Robert Russell — Bingo Bob, himself — as your new Vice President.
Will: This lapdog of the mining interests is as dull as he is unremarkable...
Toby: ...as lackluster as he is soporific. This reversion to the mean...
Will: ...this rebuke to the exemplary...
Toby: ...gives hope to the millions unfavored by the exceptional...
Russell: [entering] ...not the worst, not the best, just what we're stuck with.

C.J.: We've certainly come a long way from "Give me your tired, your poor." If we don't allow this defection, if we blithely exploit this young man's ignorance, then I don't know who we are anymore.

Josh: By refusing to put language to it, we pretend it does not exist. But it's something. Even if we don't know what to call it. I just think it's time to start working on a language plan for whatever it is we're doing, too.

Bartlet: There's a Korean word, Han. I looked it up. There is no literal English translation. It's a state of mind. Of soul, really. A sadness. A sadness so deep no tears will come. And yet, still, there's hope.

Constituency of One[edit]

Will: I need to see my bed, I'm thinking of carrying a picture of it in my wallet.

Leo: He's a Democrat from Idaho. They use Democrats for target practice up there. Sometimes he's got to lean to the right.

Josh: You're leaving the party because of me?
Carrick: I'm not leaving the party because of you - but you made it a whole lot easier.

Russell: I admire speech writers. They have to have the tendency to doubt and the capacity to believe in equal measure.... I'm playing with a handicap.... Spare tire on the automobile of government. Heartbeat away from having a heartbeat.... I may need more help than that dead guy you got elected in Orange County, Will. I may need some political life support myself.... I'd like you to be my Communications Director.... I know I'm not the best politician, but here I am Vice President of the United States.
Will: Sir, I'm a special assistant to the President.
Russell: Chief strategist and senior counselor to the Vice President.
Will: Are we playing poker?
Russell: I'm showing you my hand.
Will: You're looking for your own Toby Ziegler.
Russell: I'm looking for someone who can beat Toby....
Will: Thank you, sir, but I'm not interested.
Russell: I like loyalty, Will. I respect loyalty. But you can run out the clock on a Bartlet Presidency that in effect is over. You can finish something that you never started in the first place.... Or you can shape the next presidency from the ground up. Total access. Coach of the team.

Josh: It's a missile defense system that can't hit missiles.... when were you promised–?
Carrick: Seven years ago.
Josh: Under the last President?
Carrick: Right.
Josh: Okay, a bunch of things have fallen by the wayside since then, like Communism....

Disaster Relief[edit]

Donna: Schadenfreude?
C.J.: You know, enjoying the suffering of others. The whole rationale behind the House of Representatives.

Josh: When I write my political memoir, this will be the character building funny part.
Donna: I thought I was the character building funny part.

Will: [about Toby] He hates me.
C.J.: Oh, yeah. The way you hate the girl you ask to the prom who says, 'No thanks, I already have a date.' You made a choice. Now own it.

Josh: I'm just trying to see around the corner so I don't get bit in the ass.
Donna: Are you going around the corner ass-first?

Josh: Vast and violent vacuum cleaner, uprooting everything in its path.
Toby: It's a funnel cloud.
Josh: Vast and violent vacuum cleaner.
C.J.: It's a vacuum cleaner and a funnel cloud. See, men? Peace on earth.

Separation of Powers[edit]

Chief Justice Ashland: It's all compromises, now. The ones who have no record of scholarship; no body of opinions, nothing you can hold them to. That's who they'll confirm. Raging mediocrities...I have good days and bad. But on my worst days, I am better than the amped-up ambulance chasers you could get confirmed by this Senate. You can't do it, Jed. You're not strong enough. The Speaker's running the table and I can't take a chance.

C.J.: Okay, but I've got to be careful about saying "man."
Toby: Why, because--? Oh, c'mon!
C.J.: You'd be surprised. I get letters.
Toby: Fine, "human being," then, or do the other mammals complain?

Josh: No, Leo, how is this acceptable? Haffley's not the prime minister, you take this to the president, you'll know what he'll say?
Leo: He'll say yes.
Josh: How can you say that?
Leo: To keep the lights on! To make sure a couple of million government employees keep getting paid. It's two more months...
Josh: This isn't governing, it's duck and cover.
Leo: He'll say that too.

Shutdown[edit]

Donna: There's no agreement.
Josh: How far apart are we?
Donna: They're leaving the building.

Bartlet: Well, I'm not going to negotiate with anyone who holds a gun to my head. We had a deal. I don't care if my approval ratings drop into single digits. I am the President of the United States, and I will leave the government shut down until we come to an equitable agreement.

Leo: Don't go out there again until morning.
C.J.: Okay, but the enemy's advancing and you had better give me more than a squirt gun before the sun comes up.

C.J.: That's one way to make the shutdown seem real to the country -- don't mail eleven million checks.
Will: It'd be catastrophic if we don't fix this.
Toby: FDR will rise from the dead?
Will: Millions of angry grandparents are going to march on Washington, burn us in effigy.

Toby: Sell me.
C.J.: We had agreed to a one percent cut on a thirty-day continuing resolution, but the Speaker pulled a bait-and-switch.
Toby: One percent, two percent -- what's so unreasonable about three percent?
C.J.: Three percent equals X dollars, which is Y flu vaccinations, Z school lunches...It's more convincing with numbers.

Abu el Banat[edit]

Will: Are you people trying to kill me?
Toby: We're trying to make sure you can move to Oregon and kill yourself.

Donna: There are pages turned down with Post-its to tell you which of your relatives the gifts are for. If you're happy with the choices you should initial at the X. If you're not happy with the choices, you should remember how this goes when you try to do this yourself.
Josh: I like the polar fleece stuff.
Donna: Who's in charge of shopping?
Josh: You are.

Leo: [to Josh] You have to go back and tell him no. In no uncertain terms. Draw a picture if you need it. A ballot in a circle with a line through it.

Bartlet: She dumped a Rhodes Scholar for this guy. Zoey left Charlie for the frog. Ellie and the guitar player with the purple van. My children choose morons, every one.
Debbie: They say daughters look for their fathers.

Bartlet: You know, 15 years ago, we took a trip to Egypt, all five of us, saw the pyramids and Luxor, then headed up into the Sinai. We had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me "Abu el Banat." Whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as "Abu el Banat." The Bedouin would laugh and laugh and then offer me a cup of tea. And I'd go and pay them for the tea, and they wouldn't let me. "Abu el Banat" means "father of daughters." They thought the tea was the least they could do.

The Stormy Present[edit]

C.J.: Toby.
Toby: Yeah.
C.J.: Is there something you wanted?
Toby: World peace?
C.J.: Toby, I'm not protecting you. Go hide from the President somewhere else.

Toby: Who needs Dante? I'm on my way to hell at 30,000 feet.

President Newman: You start saddling up camels in every country in the Middle East then you better be prepared to spend the next 50 years sifting through sand because this isn't a quick run on the beach, Jed. This is the new world order.

The Benign Prerogative[edit]

Donna: A lot of them, their judges spoke at their sentencing about the harshness of what they had to impose.... Scrutinize away. You tell me? Do we toss out Daisy Aimes, mother of three... had a boyfriend who stored a kilo in her closet. She's done eight years and is facing eleven more. That's longer than rapists and child molesters get.... I don't see a list anymore. These are people.

Bartlet: I will never surrender in the War on Drugs, but if you are consistently getting slaughtered on the battlefield, you've probably misjudged your enemy.

Charlie: C.J., with the press - could you ever trust a reporter?
C.J.: Is this the beginning of a joke?

Leo: If it was you whispering pardons in his ear, it was the right thing.
Abbey: I don't whisper, Leo. That's not how it works between us. My job is to help Jed be as good a President as he is a man.

Bartlet: I can't dress for this thing without you. Which one screams "dominance"?
Abbey: Do I get to wear it afterwards?
Bartlet: No comment.

Slow News Day[edit]

Toby: More college kids think they'll see UFOs than Social Security checks.
Bartlet: But they don't tell you how many believe in UFOs; that's the number we ought to be worried about.

C.J.: If we're not running offense, we're running defense, and if we're playing defense, then there's some clever sports analogy that explains what happens then....
Josh: We're screwed.
C.J.: That'll do...

C.J.: A little tough love's what these people need. If that doesn't work, I'm moving on to Molotov cocktails.

Bartlet: Social Security is the third rail of American politics. Touch it, and you die.
Toby: That's 'cause the third rail's where all the power is.

C.J.: We've been over this. We need a hard news announcement each and every day or the press runs amok!

The Warfare of Genghis Khan[edit]

Leo: My generation never got the future it was promised... Thirty-five years later, cars, air travel is exactly the same. We don't even have the Concorde anymore. Technology stopped.
Josh: The personal computer...
Leo: A more efficient delivery system for gossip and pornography? Where's my jet pack, my colonies on the Moon?

Bartlet: I thought when the Soviet Union fell, we could actually have disarmament. You go from trying to get rid of these weapons altogether to holding your breath that one doesn't go off on your watch. Strike another goal off the list.

Josh: What I know is politics, public perception. And the image of NASA is not good. Telescopes launched that can't focus, planetary probes that crashed because engineers mixed up meters and feet. The only time NASA makes the front page anymore is when something goes wrong. You need to get off the front page. This administration only has one space priority: that you guys stop screwing up.

Josh: Voyager, in case it's ever encountered by extraterrestrials, is carrying photos of life on earth, greetings in fifty-five languages, and a collection of music from Gregorian chant to Chuck Berry, including "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" by 1920s bluesman Blind Willie Johnson, whose stepmother blinded him at seven by throwing lye in his eyes after his father beat her for being with another man. He died penniless of pneumonia after sleeping bundled in wet newspapers in the ruins of his house that burned down, but his music just left the solar system.

Bartlet: Hans Bethe wrote, "If we fight a war and win it with H-Bombs, what history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for, but the methods used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of Genghis Khan who brutally killed every last inhabitant of Persia.

An Khe[edit]

C.J.: That was fun! Sanctimonious little guttersnipe sent a great big fat one up and over the plate. Health care reform! From a guy who's still on the fence about the application of leeches!

Josh: Eve Harrington in penny loafers here just corrected me in front of the President.
Donna: Were you wrong?
Josh: That's not the point.
Donna: What is the point?
Josh: I'm going into my office now.

Carol: Toby and Josh are in your office.
C.J.: What do they want?
Carol: To make fun of you, I think.
C.J.: And you let them in?
Carol: And made them coffee.

Josh: Taylor Reid was talking about your spin on the decline in manufacturing jobs and he said...
Toby: 'The tall lady's back to telling tall tales.'
C.J.: The tall lady.... Carol, call 'The Taylor Reid Show' and book me on the next open slot. I'm going to reach down and rip off his puny, little face.

Josh: Congressman Wendt, who single-handedly blocked our tax credit to expand child care to working families, is attempting to bind the feet of your entire gender with his paleo-chauvinist stay-at-home mom tax cut.
C.J.: I'm going to read the bill and supporting materials.
Josh: What if you just kick up a cloud of dust about the revenue impact and mention that he's the Darth Vader of child care?

Full Disclosure[edit]

Toby: [to Ed & Larry] This meeting's about politics. Facts won't help.

C.J.: What do I need to catch up on?
Toby: The President signed a school vouchers bill for D.C.
C.J.: Are you kidding? I leave the building for an hour and he switches parties.

Toby: Promise me something.
C.J.: What?
Toby: You'll never let them make a list of my screw-ups. They wouldn't have enough paper.

Charlie: C.J.
C.J.: Yeah?
Charlie: Don't go on TV with Taylor Reid again unless you're going to tell him what an idiotic, shallow, uninformed, and lying punk he is.
C.J.: I think he knows that.

Leo: Check with Margaret about the Mural Room.
Will: The Vice President has it.
Toby: For what?
Will: He's the Vice President, Toby. I don't have to justify his using a room.
Toby: Of course not. For what?

Eppur Si Muove[edit]

Leo: I'm sorry but can we really justify spending $800,000 on 'A Bio-Cultural Approach to the Study of Female Sexual Fantasy and Genital Arousal'?
Toby: How can we afford not to?

Abbey: Would you like me to do interviews with the Press Corps?
C.J.: God, no. They're the most cynical bastards on the planet. You need to get beyond the Washington echo chamber and speak right to the people.

Toby: This conversation would be a whole lot easier if I weren't fighting my way through a cloud of Obsession.
C.J.: There's no cloud.
Toby: It's about to precipitate out. It's about to rain Obsession.

Mark Hayden: You still smarting I had to carry your ass through Con Law?
Josh: You did not have to carry--
Mark Hayden: You thought strict scrutiny was a pickup technique.
Josh: Hey, it worked on Pam Sussman. I mean, not that well. How is your lovely wife?

Abbey: So, what was it? The tube top to meet the Queen of England, or the low-rise jeans with the North Korean delegation?
C.J.: Mrs. Bartlet, the press didn't know what to make of you before the MS became public. You've never been the traditional hat-knitting President's wife.
Abbey: Oh, shoot. Was that in the handbook? Maybe just get me a photographer and seven years' worth of yarn.

The Supremes[edit]

Josh: Lang? Isn't she a lefty?
Leo: Yes. We want the left flank sufficiently mollified and the right flank sufficiently panicked so as to inspire a little conciliation on all flanks.

Toby: If... If we were gonna try this. What would be the plan?
Josh: We give the President and Leo the name. We bring Christopher Mulready in. We bring Lang back in. Hopefully the two of them woo the pants off the President, and he agrees to the deal without noticing he's standing in the gaze of history, pantless.

Debbie: I hate to do this, but it's Rina, sir. The girl in the dress with the flowers--
Bartlet: Just now?
Debbie: Yes.
Bartlet: What'd I call her?
Debbie: Lana.
Bartlet: Who's Lana?
Debbie: I'm guessing an exotic dancer from your spotty youth.

Toby: Where's the Senator?
Josh: He's with C.J. He got me a little drunk.
Toby: Is he leaving?
Josh: I think he's getting C.J. a little drunk.

Access[edit]

C.J.: You begin every day juggling a very precise schedule which completely, completely falls apart by mid-morning.

C.J.: One of the hardest things to learn: There are so many true crises, so many lurking situations that could be dangerous for the President, its hard not to get caught up in the adrenaline and make everything lethal. It's more than picking your battles, marshaling your energy. It's about grace under fire. All war metaphors. I guess that's it; being able to tell when its a matter of life or death.

Talking Points[edit]

Josh: Sir, have you read the talking points?
Bartlet: I'm an economist. Some would say half-decent. I don't need a primer on this.
Charlie: Due respect,sir, your answers on economics can be a bit---
Bartlet: Polysyllabic?
CJ: Academic.
Leo: I was going to go with incomprehensible.

Bartlet: Anybody got any crayons so I can color in my Ph. D.?

Ryan: Today's my last day at the White House.
Josh: Thank you.
Ryan: I was hoping you'd give a toast at my going-away party.
Josh: How about a plaque, for best impersonation of a blue blazer?
Ryan: So, you're coming to the party?
Josh: I'm having my own celebration with five cloves of garlic and the cast of The Exorcist.

Ryan: Where you going?
Josh: To meet Congressman McKenna.
Ryan: That's funny, actually.
Josh: No, it isn't funny. He's a two-bit jerk of a House member. He holds us hostage every time we have a budget or a trade deal, or enough discretionary authority to buy an ice cream cone. I've got the Speaker of the House in ten minutes. I'm gonna smile, bob my head, and stick him in the outbox.
[The two walk into the Roosevelt Room together]
Josh: Beat it. I've got a meeting.
Ryan: So do I's the thing.
Josh: It's just me and McKenna.
Ryan: I'm his new Legislative Director. Hi. He figured it'd be leverage enough that he's on two authorizing committees and can stall half your budget priorities. Is this the part where you smile and bob your head?

Leo: 'You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose'.... We run a country; we deal in abstractions.

No Exit[edit]

Debbie: [to Bartlet] For an Anglo Saxon, you were darn funny.

Toby: He's a featherweight who only looks like a lightweight because he's got you propping him up.
Will: He's the heir apparent.
Toby: Don't say 'heir apparent' when we have men in moon suits hermetically sealing the Oval. This is Russell's only shot... A night like this.

Leo: Believe me, I love the idea of you ministering to the wayward and unwashed. I don't love you becoming a de facto spokesperson for a load of issues we can't support.
Abbey: I'm not on a lecture tour, I'm seeing patients.
Leo: 'Hello. My name is Clarissa Ponsissa. I'm 14 and sexually active. But I know it's okay, 'cause I got my condoms from the First Lady.' Fox News is throwing a party.

Gaza[edit]

Admiral Fitzwallace What do photographers say in the digital age, now that the old 'Come up and see my darkroom' line has gone the way of the dodo?

C.J.: Say you're from Minnesota.
Toby: I'm from Minnesota.
C.J.: No, we're pretending you're from there.
Toby: We're not actually.
C.J.: And you'd like prescription drugs from Canada.
Toby: What do I have?
C.J.: Not important.
Toby: It could be clouding my judgment.
C.J.: You're no fun anymore.
Toby: I'm having fun.

Toby: [on the phone] Are you kidding? Do you know the term "decent interval"? Go away. [hangs up] Magley from the DNC, wants to talk about who to run for the two vacant House seats.
Will: You're joking.
Toby: They're still picking up pieces of these guys over there, he's talking about DeSantos' poachable district.
Will: What's he calling you for?
Toby: He thought Josh'd be upset about Donna being in the car. I guess he figured since my ex-wife was only almost blown up that I'd be only almost upset.

Memorial Day[edit]

Toby: Listen, we need to make a call on Camden Yards.
Josh: Huh?
Toby: It's Memorial Day. He's gonna toss out the first pitch at Camden Yards.
Josh: Cancel it. Eh, can't cancel it; sends the wrong message. Ask for a moment of silence. And Toby, he's gotta, you need to take him out with gloves and a ball.
Toby: It's a six foot toss from the stands. It's Little League.
Josh: FDR threw from the stands; beaned one of his photographers in '37, extended the Depression by four years.

Bartlet: Damn it, Shira, if I'm going to find the people behind this, I need access to the bomb site, access to the evidence and the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, three things I cannot get if you keep firing missiles into Gaza!

Reporter: The cuts aren't reflective of the President's attitude on military response in Gaza?
C.J.: The cuts are reflective of the fact that Toby Ziegler has never written a five-minute speech in his life.

Leo: You know, on May 13th, the day before Israeli Independence Day, the TV stations in Israel screen the names of every soldier who's fallen for the country. A name flashes on the screen for a second or two, then the next name appears, you go to bed, you get up, the names are still flashing. That's how they observe Memorial Day.

Leo: The country wants action. Bringing Farat back to the table--
Bartlet: I'm not saying it's Camembert and wine, I'm saying it's what we got! Tell Hutchison to find a way to get Nassan without taking out a city block, I'll launch the damn missile myself!

Season Six[edit]

NSF Thurmont[edit]

Leo: Just skip to the part that's going to piss me off
Toby: That's going to be all of it.

Bartlet: I'm not bombing half the Middle East because it's going to make us all feel better.

Leo: He doesn't like chaos. We bomb some apartment building in Gaza or a camp in Syria there'll be consequences. And we can't tell him what they're going to be. Will we get drawn into a war in the Middle East? Will suicide bombers be climbing onto buses in Passaic, New Jersey instead on Tel Aviv and Haifa? ...The President is looking for answers and we don't have them.

Bartlet: They want peace but I have to blow something up first?
Leo: I think they are willing to haggle on the peace part.
Bartlet: That usually work in the past?

Leo: Sir, the Lincoln Battle Group will be in position sometime tonight; they're awaiting your order to strike Nassan and the Syrian camps in the morning.
Bartlet: What?
Leo: We can't wait for Farrad. The risk of losing Khaleel Nassan is too great. We have intel linking Iran to the martyrs, it's sketchy in spots, but overall it's a compelling case. I'm recommending you include Iran in the attack.
Bartlet: General Alexander went ahead with plans for these bombings?
Leo: At your request.
Bartlet: I said I'd consider it when the time was appropriate! I did not ask–
Leo: He was trying to anticipate your eventual need, sir. At my urging...Mr. President, please, Congress, the Joint Chiefs, the American public, your own staff, everyone disagrees with your assessment of the situation.
Bartlet: Killing Palestinians isn't going to make us feel safer. They'll kill more of us, then we'll have to kill more of them. It's Russian Roulette with a fully-loaded gun!
Leo: We can't allow terrorists to murder our citizens–
Bartlet: Why would they do it? Why would Palestinians murder American government officials? They never have before. They're deliberately provoking us, Leo. They know that we have to retaliate. They've studied us; they want us to overreact–
Leo: This isn't overreacting. It's the appropriate, balanced–
Bartlet: Tell me how this ends, Leo! You want me to start something that may have serious repercussions on American foreign policy for decades, but you don't know how it ends!
Leo: We don't always know how it ends!
Leo: ...The Lincoln will be in position in a few hours, and then you are going to have to give the go-ahead for the bombings.
Bartlet: ...Or what?

The Birnam Wood[edit]

Bartlet: Whether you choose to do this today or ten years from today, you will face the same geography, the same neighbors, the same ancient animosities. More years of bloodshed and pain will not change those facts. The only path to a real and lasting peace is through negotiation.

Mukarat: They've done everything in their power to undermine moderate leadership. Don't they understand when they blow up leaders of Hamas with bombs, all those Palestinian homes, they only make them stronger? Boys and girls, they no longer want to be doctors, teachers, engineers. Now, they all want to be martyrs.

Leo: I can't support this decision. For a short period, we may be welcome. But what happens when we have to start kicking in doors? Declare martial law? Enforce curfews --
Bartlet: Once they establish a rule of law, and their economy settles down, they'll be quiet --
Leo: This isn't a romp in the desert! You're committing American lives to something that may go on for decades!
Bartlet: [angrily, nearly shouting] How are we not involved now-- [suddenly goes quiet, looking back at the house, then, quieter, shaking his head] We can't keep having this argument.
Leo: No, sir, we can't. If my counsel is no longer of use to you, perhaps–
Bartlet: So, if I disagree with your advice, you have to threaten me?
Leo: This is your own League of Nations, and it will ruin you like it ruined Wilson.
Bartlet: Okay. I'll need your successor in place before you leave.

Kate: The tragedy is that the Palestinians and the Jews are so much alike.
Charlie: How's that?
Kate: All through history no one's wanted either of them.

Bartlet: Any ideas on how to break the logjam?
Josh: Too bad Congress isn't here. They'd just cook the books and hold a press conference.

Third-Day Story[edit]

Abbey: [about Leo's heart attack] Stress actually restricts the flow of blood to the coronary arteries. What I'm saying is it's physiological. Unless you wanted him meditating his way through intelligence briefings and sleeping in a flotation device... There's nothing you did–
Bartlet: I fired him.
Abbey: What?
Bartlet: Last night at Camp David, I fired him. What does that do to the flow of blood?

Toby: We're fumbling. Our diplomatic strategy is a game of telephone.
Bartlet: Read the coverage. We're doing fine.
Toby: Today, sure, and the second day's story is how you pulled it off. But the third-day story is that Congress doesn't want to pay, that our coalition's fraying, that the spokes are coming off the wheels–
Bartlet: It's a couple of days. This was totally unexpected.
Toby: No, it wasn't. Not with Leo's history with alcohol, with pills. Mr. President, surely you had a process in place.
Bartlet: Not for this. You think we'd even be doing this without him?
Toby: No, sir, but Leo is one person and there are 290 million more and they come first.

Abbey: You think this is your fault? It's not.
Bartlet: He's my best friend. I'm not the kind of person who has best friends.
Abbey: Because your life is your work, and so is his; your work.
Bartlet: What are you trying to say?
Abbey: You chose this; both of you. You're running a country, for God's sake, not a tree house.
Bartlet: Well, Leo stays in the tree house if he wants to. We'll work around his recovery; half-days, whatever it takes.
Abbey: He's not going to work half days. He's not going to work around his recovery. He's not going to do whatever it takes.
Bartlet: That's his decision.
Abbey: And we know what that decision is going to be.
Bartlet: So I should wake him up and fire him again? Because it worked so well the first time?
Abbey: Let's talk about this time. You've got to keep him out of that job. He'll kill himself for you if you don't.

Bartlet: I'd like to know why my Treasury Secretary's on national television denouncing a tax cut I never saw because of an estimate I never asked for.
Josh: We did offer to brief you on the details.
Bartlet: Brief me now.
Josh: We're not quite ready to brief you on the details.
Bartlet: Because you made a complete hash of it; the Leadership's sole request before taking up peacekeeping.
Toby: We're close to 60 Democratic votes.
Josh: It's just that you might face a decision about the fall legislative agenda.
Bartlet: What is that?
Toby: Would you prefer a bill to appoint an American monarch...
Josh: ...or a ban on the institution of marriage, except in casinos and department stores.
Bartlet: You tell the Speaker and the Majority leader that with my newfound royal authority, with all my free time now that my marriage has been banned, and with the support of every NATO member in my pocket I'm sending those peacekeepers to the Middle East. If Congress wants to feed them, pay them, or ever bring them back, that's entirely up to them.
Toby: I assume we're free to play with the language on that.
Bartlet: We're done here.

Leo: Mr. President.
Bartlet: A morphine drip, and we can skip the formalities. I might get one myself... wheel it into meetings with the joint chiefs. You're not fired, Leo. You can delegate, work part-time. Bring the morphine with you for all I care.
Leo: You... You remember... what you told me... when you offered me the job?
Bartlet: "I need you to jump off a cliff."
Leo: And I did. And I'd do it again. But you need a new... chief of staff.
Bartlet: We came here to put the job first. Spend our lives for something that would outlast us. I just thought we'd have a longer line of credit is all. I'm gonna need that list of names.
Leo: Only one name.

Liftoff[edit]

C.J.: [to Margaret] You're an odd woman and I've never quite understood you. But you are extremely capable and you run this office like a Swiss watch. And you're tall, which is reassuring. Leo may need you and if he does, that's okay. But if he's willing to part with you, I hope you'll stay.

[After Toby and Josh have both "resigned" after C.J.'s promotion]
Bartlet: I'll make this quick. I don't know if I'm comfortable working this closely with a woman. Maybe it's time for me to call it a day, give the VP a chance to steer the ship.
[C.J. looks confused; after a moment, Toby starts giggling, which sets everyone off, and C.J. realizes the prank]
Bartlet: [to Toby] You're weak. You have a weak will. You should have held it. See if she pulled out the Continuity of Government plan.
Will: He cracked up at the mere suggestion of the VP...
Toby: [Still giggling uncontrollably] I had a whole thing on spending time with my kids, I went up.
C.J.: You are bad, bad men.
Bartlet: In the service of a vengeful god.
Will: On behalf of the Vice President and myself and every man who's ever had a Wonder Woman fantasy, it's a bright day.
C.J.: Get out.

C.J.: You got the energy quarterly?
Bartlet: I got it right here, thank you.
C.J.: I'd like it back.
Bartlet: How about you get your own copy?
C.J.: We're not ready to assess domestic nuclear storage facilities, sir. The team hasn't evaluated all the options and I haven't presented you with complete information.
Bartlet: You don't think this is a good start?
C.J.: I think it's you doing my job for me. You're looking at this based on DOD's call. Their perspective is valid, but it's only one perspective, and until we've gathered all the others, if you need something to read, I recommend the new Benjamin Franklin bio. It's a real page turner. [Grabs papers and begins to exit] Thank you, Mr. President.
Debbie: What was that?
Bartlet: I just got spanked.
Debbie: Hmm... Sorry I missed it. She still nervous?
Bartlet: I don't think so, no.

The Hubbert Peak[edit]

Bartlet: [to C.J.] I'm noticing a distinct slackening of awe, a certain lack of trembling in my presence.

Toby: On a scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being C.J. and 1 being a chimp throwing feces - where do I rank?

Annabeth: How do you get women? Briefing the press is a seduction.
Toby: Briefing the press isn't a seduction. It's war!

Josh: My testosterone is flying.
Donna: Try not to get it on anyone.

Annabeth: [about Josh] He totaled a hybrid with an SUV. He's like an eco-terrorist in reverse.

The Dover Test[edit]

Leo: 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.
Nurse: You need to eat.
Leo: You may not - may not - offer fashion advice.

Donna: I wasn't heroic. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Santos: 'Settle for less?' This is from the guys that are running Bob Russell for President?

A Change is Gonna Come[edit]

Hoynes: [to Josh] It's time to start leading. You're never going to be Leo McGarry to Jed Bartlet. But you can be Leo to me. I'm running for President. I want you with me. I want you to run my campaign.

Bernard: Did you pick out that tie, or is it government-issue?
Charlie: My sister bought me this tie.
Bernard: The things we put up with for family.

Josh: I'm going to need a converter for China, and I can't find my garment bag.
Donna: I think baggage claim is in the next terminal over.
Josh: You used to love it when I couldn't dress myself without you.
Donna: I used to love peppermint ice cream, too, but now those little pieces of candy, they get stuck in your teeth in a way that I find irritating.

In the Room[edit]

Will: [to Josh] He's smart enough to take your advice... Bob Russell might be the next President of the United States. You get in now, you can make him the candidate you want him to be. After that we make him the President we need him to be.

Leo: Ever see Arnie Vinick campaign? He'll go into those high school gymnasiums in Iowa and New Hampshire and blow them all away. He'll shake every hand in the joint, kiss every baby, hug every widow on Social Security and sound smarter and more honest than any Republican they've ever seen. Because he is.

Will: [About Bob Russell] He's not stupid.
Josh: That's your bumper sticker?

Will: You have to care who's going to sit in that chair after Jed Bartlet is gone.
Josh: I do. That's why I don't want Bob Russell to be President.

Bartlet: [woken by his staff, in his cabin on Air Force One] I thought you were gonna let me rest.
C.J.: I'm so sorry, sir. State just got a heads-up from the IAEA that they're gonna report tomorrow that the South Korean government has admitted to conducting an experiment to enrich uranium. [as C.J. is talking, Bartlet is looking down at his legs and his arm, in some realization] South Korea is not releasing any details. We need you to get on the phone and get the President to come clean. We can't ask China to help stop North Korean nuclear experiments if the South is doing it too. [she picks up a phone] Get us a secure line with the South Korean President.
Bartlet: [softly] C.J....hold it.
C.J.: Sir?
Bartlet: ...I can't move.
[moments later, the President is taken on a stretcher to another part of the plane]
Surgeon General Griffith: Progressive paralysis, he had trouble with his hands, now it's both legs and his right arm...
Bartlet: [sarcastically] So much for being staff-dependent in China.
Surgeon General Griffith: Fairbanks is closer, but Anchorage is better--
Bartlet: I've got better doctors up here than I do down there.
C.J.: Mr. President, we can't take the chance--
Bartlet: Let's not pretend we didn't know this was gonna happen.
C.J.: No, Mr. President, I didn't know...
Bartlet: I mean, we always knew it was gonna happen someday. I'm ready for it, you better be too.
C.J.: Mr. President, we can't land in China--
Bartlet: [sternly] This plane is going to China. That's a direct order from your Commander-in-Chief.

Impact Winter[edit]

Bartlet: [about to be carried downstairs] I'm just saying, you drop me, that's a moment that follows you the rest of your life.

Margaret: There's someone here from NASA. He needs to speak to whoever's in charge, and at this point I have no idea who that is.
Leo: Maybe, keep the philosophical questions to yourself?

Josh: What happened to the good old days when a couple of hacks with cigars chose the nominee in a smoked filled back room?
Leo: They didn't do so bad, did they?
Josh: We need a back room.

Santos: Wow. Hi.
Josh: How ya doin'?
Santos: You lost?
Josh: Could be. Could be.
Santos: Come on in.
Josh: Um, sorry to bug you at home, but there wasn't time to wait for you to get back to Washington.
Santos: I'm there next week.
Josh: I'm on a bit of a deadline. It's a filing deadline.
Santos: Josh, Josh, Josh.
Helen: Matt?
Josh: It's a little crazy, I know.
Santos: I'm not running for Congress again, Josh. You came a long way and I'm sorry about that, but it's just...
Josh: I'm not talking about Congress.

Faith Based Initiative[edit]

Bartlet: If I'd wanted to exercise, I'd have never become an economist.

Bartlet: Is upholding the sanctity of marriage our job? I raised my right hand and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution.
Sen. Wilkinson: Where was your left hand, Mr. President?

Toby: [to Josh, about leaving to run Santos' campaign] You can't leave. We're not done here.... You're going to walk into the Oval Office and tell the President you just found a better horse?

Josh: What are you going to do when this is done?
Toby: Whatever I can to stave off the chaos, mayhem and self-interest that lies just beneath our civil disguise.
Josh: So, not the private sector?
Toby: The money would have to be unbelievable.

Santos: I wanted to start this journey in the place where it all started for me. Soon, we will be inundated by the polls, the punditry, and prognostications, all the nonsense that goes with our national political campaigns. Well, none of that matters. This is the place that matters. Because everyday, children walk in to this schoolhouse to glimpse their futures, to ask for hope. They may not know they need it yet, but they do. And I'm here to tell you that hope is real. In a life of trials, in the world of challenges, hope is real. In a country where families go without health care, where some go without food, some don't even have a home to speak of, hope is real. In a time of global chaos and instability where our faiths collide, as often as our weapons, hope is real. Hope is what gives us the courage to take on our greatest challenges, to move forward together. We live in cynical times, I know that. But hope is not up for debate. There is such a thing as false science, there is such a thing as false promises, I am sure I will have my share of false starts. But there is no such thing as false hope. There is only hope.

Opposition Research[edit]

Josh: [after Santos admits he only became a candidate to get a couple of months of media exposure for his education plan] I gave up everything for this! You aren't even in it to win?
Santos: Maybe we have a different definition of winning, Josh.

Josh: You're not making it easy.
Santos: Well, you know if we're going to do this, I'm not going to make it easy.... I'm going to push every limit. And that's the campaign you get to run.
Josh: What if I can't make that work?
Santos: Well, then no one can.

Josh: One idea is a big fund raising drive in the Latino community.
Santos: I don't feel comfortable with that right now.
Josh: Its a huge donor base you alone can tap.
Santos: Josh, I don't wanna just be the brown candidate, I want to be the American candidate.
Josh: How do you want to go broke? As the brown candidate or the American candidate?

Santos: I want this to be a campaign of ideas... and these campaigns always wind up being about a candidate's high school transcripts.... You know, if we just took the money the campaign spent on personality contests and partisan side shows, we could solve this country's problems and shut down talk radio, all at the same time.

Josh: New Hampshire is about retail politics. People here won't vote for you until you've had coffee in their house five times.

365 Days[edit]

Leo: 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.

C.J.: Overwhelming response to the State of the Union. Thirty-six interruptions for applause.
Bartlet: I don't know what's more embarrassing: that we count them or that I care.

Kate: It’s not just that it’s futile. I mean, as long as Americans are willing to pay $60 a gram for cocaine some peasant farmer earning $60 a year is going to grow it. It’s just so geopolitically counter-productive. We turn their villages into war-zones, we destroy their land, we poison their families with herbicides, and then we’re surprised when they go vote for the socialists.

Debbie: That wasn't very long.
Bartlet: I couldn't sleep.
Debbie: Couldn't or wouldn't?
Bartlet: I have three daughters and a wife; two of whom are also doctors. If you presume I don't get enough of that sort of comment, you're really not using your imagination.

Leo: 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.

King Corn[edit]

Vinick: I read about that education plan you introduced in New Hampshire. That's pretty gutsy stuff.
Santos: Saw the ethanol speech.
Vinick: Well, that wasn't gutsy so much as suicidal. Or so my staff tells me... My staff is very proud.
Santos: Well, if they weren't, I was.
Vinick: You're not an ethanol fan?
Santos: Not until today.

Donna: Mr Johnson, your platform would include paying the President, the Cabinet and all members of Congress a salary of one dollar a year?
Mr. Johnson: Hell, yeah. Make 'em get a real job.
Donna: And you want to ban motorcycle helmets, color televisions, drop out of the UN, abolish Medicare and totally privatize Social Security?
Mr. Johnson: You gotta get the government out of our damn pockets.
Donna: Sir, are you sure you're a Democrat?

The Wake Up Call[edit]

Bartlet: All I have in this situation is influence. Influence and relationships. If you take that away from me, I am powerless!

Leo: What? Prime Minister Graty thinks you are an intellectual snob. A Yankee Doodle windbag. Likely as not you would have made things worse.
Bartlet: If an American dies and there is even the slightest suspicion of international intrigue, she's supposed to wake me.
Leo: Since when? If I had used that rule, you'd be dead by now of sleep deprivation.

C.J.: [about the President's valentine date] You're taking her to the opera?
Bartlet: Verdi's Othello, romantic eh?
C.J.: Isn't that the one where the guy kills his wife?
Bartlet: It's in Italian, I'm hoping she won't notice.

Toby: You're not planning on writing a constitution this week?
Lessig: The document is just a beginning. A constitutional democracy succeeds only if the constitution reflects democratic values alive in the citizenry. Which is why our most important job is to instill those values in their leaders through discussion and debate.

Toby: I don't think a strong executive is such a good idea... Half the faculty at Yale Law describes the American Presidential system as one of this country's most dangerous exports... It is a recipe for constitutional breakdown!
Lessig: Well, I can see this is going to be a vibrant discussion.

Freedonia[edit]

Josh: How about our exclusion from the debates. Let's try that.
Ned: So, what do we do? Film chicken coops and say they're too chicken to debate us?
Josh: I want two volunteers. I want them in giant chicken suits. I want them in my office first thing in the morning.

Josh: We can't afford a huge, glitzy ad buy, so we run something feisty, funny, out-of-the-box. Turns our one minute of prime time into a national sensation.
Aide: Santos on ice skates, wearing a goalie outfit, pledging to defend America?
Josh: [pause] Closer to the box than that.

Santos: [in a live TV ad] Good evening. I'm running for President and if you don't know who I am, I wouldn't be surprised. I've been shut out of tomorrow night's debate for suggesting that it actually be a debate and this is the only ad I can afford. I got in this to improve a broken school system, to fix entitlement because they're going bankrupt, to expand health coverage because it will save money if fewer people show up in emergency rooms. What I found is that Presidential campaigns aren't about these things. They're about clawing your opponents' eyes out as long as you don't get tagged for it. So how about this: I will never say anything about my opponents or anything about anything without saying it myself, right into the camera. You might not get to hear much of me but when you do, you'll know I stand by it. I'm Matt Santos and you better believe I approve this ad.

Drought Conditions[edit]

C.J.: You want me to hire Cliff Calley? No. He's the wrong choice. And he's irritating. And he's obnoxious.
Leo: That's worked for us in the past.
[Josh yells angrily outside door]

Josh: [after seeing that Margaret is quite pregnant] Am I seeing things? or is she...
C.J.: Very.
Josh: Wow. I didn't know she was pregnant.
Leo: She's pregnant.
Josh: I didn't even know she was married... [beat; Leo and C.J. stare at him] Right. How is the President doing?

Cliff: I turned you down.
C.J.: Nobody turns us down. We're like the Mob, only less violent. Ultimately responsible for more death and destruction.

Toby: Sometimes I think, what if I were at UNICEF or United Way pulling together the AIDS fight, or back in New York turning the public school system around? Would that be a more effective use of my 24 hours? Not this. Not pushing on the ocean.

A Good Day[edit]

Will: [on the tiff with Canada] The Vice President advocates a hard line.
Kate: Permanent lockout in the NHL? Maple syrup embargo? Turn off Niagara Falls?

Kate: [to the Canadian ambassador] Ambassador, listen carefully. An hour ago I reviewed the United States' contingency plan to invade your country.
Will: Uh...there's a contingency plan...
Kate: 1789, amended in 1815, the calligraphy is beautiful. And if one more "deal" is floated in this room, I'm gonna ask DOD to reactivate it. [walks out]

La Palabra[edit]

Santos: The Governor has already endorsed Hoynes... Nothing I say tomorrow is going to make a difference. We need to focus on electing a Progressive candidate. Then we can take on all the tough causes.
La Palabra Rep: Now all we need is a progressive candidate.

Josh: It's been two days since the press asked me a policy question. And I think that was about the smoking policy on the plane.

Reporter: If the election were held today...
Santos: People would be surprised, because it's usually held on Election Day.

Ninety Miles Away[edit]

Senator Framingham: We were close once, back then.
Leo: No. Senator, we just drank back then. We were never close.

In God We Trust[edit]

Vinick: I don't see how we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in this government. And I want to warn everyone in the press and all the voters out there, if you demand expressions of religious faith from politicians, you are just begging to be lied to. They won't all lie to you but a lot of them will. And it will be the easiest lie they ever had to tell to get your votes. So, every day until the end of this campaign, I'll answer any question anyone has on government, But if you have a question on religion, please go to church.

Bartlet: It's not up to us to decide what the voters get to use in evaluating us.
Vinick: A little odd coming from someone who wasn't completely open about his health.
Bartlet: That was a big mistake.
Vinick: Was it? What did we know about Lincoln's health when he was running: nothing. Washington? Jefferson? What about FDR's health? And when he died in office, did people say, "Gee, why didn't he tell us he was sick?" No. Did they say, "I wish I didn't vote for him"? No.

Vinick: You think a voter really needs to know if I go to church?
Bartlet: I don't need to know, but then I'm not going to vote for you anyway.

Vinick: Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?
Bartlet: It's hanging in there, but I'm afraid the constitution doesn't say anything about the separation of church and politics.

Bartlet: The only thing you can pray for in this job is the strength to get through the day. You can try coffee if you want but prayer works better for me.

Vinick: (watching Bob Russell and Matt Santos on TV) If either one of these guys had the political instincts of Jed Bartlet, I'd be 20 points behind right now.

Things Fall Apart[edit]

Leo: How are you feeling, Sir.
Bartlet: Vexed, riled, irked.
Leo: The Republican Convention.
Bartlet: Ticked, honked, pissed.
Leo: You can't take it personally.
Bartlet: That's what I keep telling myself. But when you start telling yourself that, it's too late: you're already taking it personally.

Vinick: For in the end, the presidency is more than a simple catalog of policies pursued, crises weathered, battles lost and won. It is a stewardship, a sacred trust, a commitment to sacrifice every fiber of your being, every thought, every moment, every ... every everything, in service to your nation.

Toby: Arnold Vinick just positioned himself as Jed Bartlet's natural successor.
Annabeth: How'd he do that?
Toby: Without one mention, without so much as an allusion to either one, he managed to dismiss Russell and Santos as puny dwarf-like children trying to get a seat at the grownups' table.

Bartlet: Werner Von Braun's autobiography was titled 'I Aim for the Stars.' Mort Sahl joked, he should have added 'Only Sometimes I Hit London.'

Will: [as Santos enters] Quick, hide the ouija board.
Santos: See, they can afford ouija boards. Josh still has us reading chicken entrails.

2162 Votes[edit]

Bartlet: A national security leak during the Democratic convention! Are we working for the Republicans now? They're going to whack us for the security leak and then whack us again for dithering over saving the lives of brave astronauts.

Abbey: [about the Democratic convention] What are they doing?
Bartlet: Eating their young.... It's a free-for-all. I think Aaron Burr's got 20 votes.

Leo: You have to quit, Congressman. We have to unite behind a candidate.... We need these last days to put our message before the American people.
Santos: You think either of them can beat Vinick in the Fall?
Leo: Who knows? But you step aside for the good of the party; people won't forget. The President and I won't let them.
Santos: Will I have a chance to address the convention again?
Leo: Of course.

Santos: You know I’d been hoping to stand here tonight under very different circumstances, and I have been asked by people that I respect to take this opportunity to support one of the other fine candidates who have made this race with me, to help decide who our nominee will be. But I can’t do that. I can’t do that because it’s not my place to decide who our nominee should be. That decision is yours and yours alone. Now there has been a great deal made about Governor Baker’s decision not to disclose his wife’s minor medical condition. Many people believe that he should have. But I don’t believe Governor Baker failed to disclose it because he was ashamed or embarrassed. I think he didn’t disclose it because we’re the hypocrites, not the Bakers; because we’re all broken, every single one of us, and yet we pretend that we’re not. We all live lives of imperfection and yet we cling to this fantasy that there’s this perfect life and that our leaders should embody it. But if we expect our leaders to live on some higher moral plain than the rest of us, well we’re just asking to be deceived. Now it’s been suggested to me this week that I should try to buy your support with jobs, and the promise of access. It’s been suggested to me that party unity is more important than your democratic rights as delegates. That’s right it’s not. And you have a decision to make. Don’t vote for us because you think we’re perfect. Don’t vote for us because of what we might be able to do for you only. Vote for the person who shares your ideals, your hopes, your dreams. Vote for the person who most embodies what you believe we need to keep our nation strong and free. And when you have done that, you can go back to Seattle, and Boston, to Miami, to Omaha, to Tulsa and Chicago, and Atlanta with your head held high, and say, “I am a member of the Democratic Party.”

Leo: [about a potential VP candidate] Do you want me to get the President to lean on him?
Josh: He told me that he'd kick the guy's ass all over the school yard, if it came to that.
Leo: Who is it?
Josh: You.

Season Seven[edit]

The Ticket[edit]

Leo: Ok. Let's start by reframing the question. Forget about a four year term, the presidency is 18 months. That's your window. After that, there's midterms. No one on the Hill has time to do business with you, they're too busy getting re-elected.
Santos: Huh.
Leo: Then suddenly, you're running again.
Santos: So I'm basically throwing everything out but my first five pages.
Leo: In the garbage. Realistically, one page. But, we can do this in phases.

Donna: You called Russell a cowpoke. You said the President avoided him in the halls. You hummed "These Boots Are Made For Walking" every time the press mentioned his name.
Josh: Yeah, but I won.
Donna: It was my job, Josh. You're not used to me being in a position of authority. I'm sure that's uncomfortable.
Josh: I've got an airplane hangar out there filled with 500 strangers looking to me for direction. I've got a candidate who doesn't trust any of them, and frankly, neither do I. And if you don't think I [breath hitches] miss you every day....
Donna: [She gets up and starts to leave the office trying to hold back her tears] Thank you for your time....

The Mommy Problem[edit]

Santos: [in a campaign ad] Now, if you don't think I have a personal stake in my economic plan, if you don't think it's personal for me - hey, if the country doesn't like it, I'll be the first one unemployed. We can't hang on to the jobs of the past; none of us can. The entire store of human knowledge now doubles every five years. A child that is born tonight could live to see the 22nd Century. If we nourish innovation, if we tear down red tape and regulation, that child could lead a brand new industry; can cure a dreaded disease; can touch a far horizon that we can't even glimpse yet. So if it's personal for you, if you want your child to grow up in a world fueled by new prosperity and path-breaking discovery, then I need your vote, 'cause you ain't seen nothing yet!

Josh: People think the campaign's about two competing answers to the same question. They're not. They're a fight over the question itself.

Josh: When voters want a national daddy...someone to be tough and strong and defend the country, they vote Republican. When they want a mommy, someone to give them jobs, health care...the policy equivalent of motzah ball soup, they vote Democratic.

Josh: [to media consultants] This is probably the greatest assemblage of Democratic talent since the last time Jed Bartlet dined alone.

Lou: You saw Vinick on TV this morning. Clearly it wasn't about content, but he was tough and he was authentic. He was Neil Young to your Neil Diamond.
Josh: I like Neil Diamond.
Lou: I'm sure you do.
Josh: We can't have a fight about a security leak. We'll get killed. I'm trying to change the conversation back to the economy.
Lou: How about moving the conversation to the fact that while Santos was serving in the Gulf, Vinick was serving himself Chardonnay. That Santos is still serving in the Reserves as a Congressman. He's been in the Senate for, like, 90 years. He was practically born in a committee hearing. If you're not using the phrase "Beltway Arnie" in every press release...
Josh: We're not going negative. Not now, not first.
Lou: Oh, really. You don't think you're running a negative campaign? Why are you always talking about high-tech jobs? Because Vinick uses a manual typewriter and his future is a set of plastic gums. You're doing political smear like the rest of us. All I'm saying is do it right.

Message of the Week[edit]

Vinick: Hey, I'm proud of my voting record. Well, most of it. I'd quit the Senate in a second if I thought it'd help us win. Now it would just look like a cheap stunt.

Male reporter: Senator, what do you think of Congressman Santos doing his Reserve duty in the middle of the campaign?
Female reporter: Do you think it was a stunt?
Vinick: A stunt? No, that was... that was devotion to duty. That's what makes the American military the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. And I hope Congressman Santos continues to do his duty when I'm Commander-in-Chief.

Vinick: I've always won the Latino vote in California. Why should I give up on that now?
Bruno: Well, I don't know. Let me think. Well, maybe because you're running against a Latino candidate who's going to get about... 2,000 percent of the Latino vote.

Santos: You know, I introduced a guest worker program the first year I was in Congress. I couldn't even get a hearing on it. Vinick opens his mouth about it once, it's like he's parting the Red Sea.
Lou: If you agree with it you're going to look like a follower, not a leader.
Santos: He's the one that's following me on this.
Lou: It won't look like it; not now. We can't be chasing reporters around with a six-year old page from the Congressional Record to prove you got there first.
Santos: Yeah, well, I shouldn't have been hiding on these issues. I didn't want to be the brown candidate. I didn't want to be stereotyped. Josh was right; I should have gotten out in front of all this stuff during the primaries.

Mr. Frost[edit]

Josh: After the round table we're going to have to put something out clarifying the Congressman's statement on Intelligent Design.
Lou: That says what, he thinks God's a moron?
Josh: He's running for President, not preacher-in-chief.
Lou: He's not going to use Medicaid for communion wafers. He said he believes in God, as did Abe Lincoln and George Washington.
Josh: We can't get sucked into these local issues.
Lou: Yes, except Republicans have nominated the first pro-choice and, by all accounts, anti-God candidate in history. For the first time, we have a chance to reach into their base and win back religious voters, to tell a swath of the heartland that maybe, just maybe, we have a nominee who's not hostile to their cultural values.

Clifford Reynolds: Clifford Reynolds. I teach English here at Leonard.
Santos: Nice to meet you, Clifford.
Clifford Reynolds: Thanks. May I ask you if you believe in the theory of evolution?
Santos: Well, I think it'd be very difficult to teach geology, anthropology, and zoology without evolution, so yes, I do. I don't believe it's contradictory to believe in science and believe in God.
Clifford Reynolds: Do you believe that the theory of Intelligent Design and the Theory of Evolution should be taught alongside each other in the public schools?
Santos: Absolutely not. One is based on science, the other is based on faith. Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory, it's a religious belief. And our Constitution does not allow for the teaching of religion in our public schools.
Clifford Reynolds: Many of us here would be more comfortable if our children were taught all points of view.
Santos: And I'm all for that. Evolution is not perfect. It doesn't answer every question but it is based on scientific facts; facts that can be predicted, tested, and proven. Intelligent Design asks theological questions. I'm sure that many of us would agree that at the beginning of all that begat-ing, something begun.
[The people laugh]
Santos: What was that something?
Clifford Reynolds: Congressman Santos, many of us want a version of science taught to our kids that's in accordance with our beliefs.
Santos: I understand. But can't we agree that the inclusion of non-scientific explanations into the science curriculum of our schools misrepresents the nature of science? And therefore compromises a central purpose in our public education which is the preparation of a scientifically literate workforce. If you have a problem with your child's education, get involved. If you have a problem with what the School Board wants to teach, run for School Board. We can never forget that the best way to preserve our democracy is to take part in it. Thanks for your question. Thank you all.

Annabeth: Try to get some sleep. The motorcade's going to pick you up at 7:00 am sharp at your hotel. Now, once you wrap it up with Russert you have a thirty-minute window to get to Face the Nation followed by a sit-down with the Post.
Leo: [as they wait for an elevator] Don't you ever get tired?
Annabeth: No.
Leo: And how is that?
Annabeth: I graduated cum laude with a degree in Art history and if you'd told me I'd end up here... [they get into the elevator] ...let's just say I love my job.
Leo: What time is it?
Annabeth: [hands him his watch] Headed back to your hotel?
Leo: Yeah. It's been a day.
Annabeth: Hmm.
Leo: What are you up to?
Annabeth: Heading back to my apartment and a nice hot bath.
Leo: You feel like dinner?
Annabeth: I do, but--
Leo: We'll get a bite. It's early.
Annabeth: Thanks, but no. [pause] I just think it's better while we're spending so much time together that we try and keep our distance whenever possible.
Leo: [confused] Keep our distance?
Annabeth: Because of the tension. [walks out of the elevator]
Leo: What tension?

Santos: To be a person of faith is to have the world challenge that faith. Was the universe designed by God? That's up to everyone in this country to decide for themselves because the framers of our Constitution believed that if the people were to be sovereign and belong to different religions at the same time then our official religion would have to be no religion at all. It was a bold experiment then, as it is now. It wasn't meant to make us comfortable. It was meant to make us free.

C.J.: [to Toby] Good evening. You would not believe the day I had. I'd tell you about it if I could talk about it, but a bunch of stuff happened today that I can't talk about, so I guess I should stop talking about it. [hands a folder to Margaret] But the truth is, I'm so strung out and wired on caffeine that I can't even tell what room I'm in.
Toby: C.J....
C.J.: Let's open that bottle of champagne you gave me for my birthday. Maybe the alcohol will balance out the caffeine.
Toby: C.J., the leak--
C.J.: [gets out the bottle of champagne and two glasses] Let's have a toast. One final toast before I leave the White House for my perp walk in leg irons. Here, you open it.
Toby: C.J.
C.J.: Fine, I'll open it. But just, uh, listen to what I have to say. Leo's in trouble.
Toby: I know.
C.J.: You do?
Toby: I got a lawyer.
C.J.: What?
Toby: I got a lawyer.
[C.J. looks up with concern on her face]
Toby: I did it.

Here Today[edit]

Margaret: I reached Oliver Babish. He says you owe him a raspberry panna cotta cheesecake.
CJ: He'll live.
Margaret: Longer, probably.

Babish: Who were you talking to?
Toby: My attorney's voice mail.
Wayne: My instructions were that you sit quietly.
Toby: I'm pretty sure I used my indoor voice.

Lou: I was thinking while you were asleep.
Josh: I wasn't asleep.
Lou: Oh, really? With the drooling, the twitching, and muttering to yourself, which might otherwise be described as a schizophrenic episode, I'd go with 'You were sleeping.'

Toby: I was hoping we would be able to speak in private.
Bartlet: Your actions have pretty much made that impossible. I haven't had much time to absorb this news, so I'll apologize in advance if I express any half-formed thoughts.But the one thought that hits the hardest is that this was somehow inevitable; that you've always been heading for this sort of crash-and-burn. That self-righteous superiority; not that you were smarter than everyone; that you were purer, morally superior.
Toby: Due respect, sir, I don't think I'm morally superior to everyone.
Bartlet: No, just to me.

Bartlet: Toby, when you walk out of here, there will be people out there, perhaps a great many, who will think of you as a hero. I just don't for a moment want you thinking I'll be one of them.

The Al Smith Dinner[edit]

Josh: The ad's a sham. Anyone can see from the full interview.
Lou: Then bam, we hit Vinick with a political two-by-four.
Josh: You don't have to be happy about this.
Lou: You don't have to be queasy about this.
Josh: You don't know Santos the way I do. If this becomes a full-out negative...
Lou: You think he's got a glass jaw?
Josh: I think we lose a negative ad war. I think the other side is better at this and I think they have more to work with.

Will: You saw the wires. They counted the number of questions I was asked this morning because I didn't answer one of them.
C.J.: You thought we were going to get good coverage this week?
Will: 47, by the way; a career high.
C.J.: You have to let the press punch themselves out.
Will: You're talking to the punching bag. My job is to look like I'm not completely ignorant. Counsel won't even brief me on the details of Toby's firing.
C.J.: I asked them not to.
Will: Don't you want me to have a shred of credibility in the briefing room?
C.J.: Your ignorance is your credibility. That's why I put you in this job. And your constituents aren't in that room, they're in distressed urban areas. You brief at 4:00.
Will: 0 for 47. I'm the Jamaican Bobsledding Team!

Lou: Yeah, come with me.
Josh: Where are we going?
Lou: Bedroom/office/staff room.
Josh: OK, I don't want to seem ungracious. We've all been under a lot of pressure. It's just that...
[they enter the room, and Donna is sitting on the bed]
Josh: Hi.
Donna: Hi.
Lou: I don't know what the problem is between you two, but she's great on television and I don't care if she worked for Francisco Franco in the primary. Right now, it's all hands on deck, so work it out.

Vinick: Politics is about practicality.
Hodder: Not if you think abortion is murder.
Vinick: Whether you do or not, Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for decades. Most of the country is not ready to change that. Neither am I.
Hodder: Well, that's not the party's position.
Vinick: I joined this party because the liberals were the ones who always wanted something from the government. We just wanted government to leave us alone. Especially when there's no consensus otherwise. I'm trying to lead the majority who agrees on that, not the minority who wants to enact their version of Leviticus into law.

Santos: Next time you decide to smear me maybe you'll have the guts to do it yourself.
Vinick: I had nothing to do with that ad. You blew off the debates. It's clear what kind of campaign you want.
Santos: Oh, I forgot how eager you were for debates. And next time you send left-wing lobbyists to my office don't forget the gift card.
Santos: You want an ugly campaign you're going to get one.
Vinick: I didn't start this.
Santos: Nah, your henchmen did it for you. [pause] You're hitting me on partial-birth tonight, aren't you? [He shakes his head and chuckles]
Vinick: Here we are, a Presidential campaign, grand national debate, pounding each other on one of the few things we basically agree on.
Santos: Then let's negotiate now.
Vinick: Excuse me?
Santos: No backroom tactics. You and me, a real debate.
Vinick: Oh, please.
Santos: A real debate, really.
Vinick: No negative ads. No attacks in our speeches out there.
Santos: If we can have a real debate on the issues, just you and me...
Vinick: How's Sunday night?
[Santos holds out his hand. Vinick shakes it.]
Vinick: It's a hell of a way to end your campaign.
Santos: Oh, I'm just getting started.

The Debate[edit]

Vinick: It is truly an honor to be here tonight. I would...You know, I've watched every televised Presidential debate that this country has ever had. And every time I heard them recite the rules, I always thought that meant they're not going to have a real debate. When the greatest hero of my party, Abraham Lincoln debated, he didn't need any rules. He wasn't afraid of a real debate. Now I could do a 2-minute version of my Sensible Solution stump speech and I'm sure Congressman Santos has a memorized opening statement ready to go. And then we could go on with this ritual and let the rules decide how much you're going to learn about the next President of the United States, or we could have a debate Lincoln would have been proud of. We could junk the rules. We could let our able and judicious moderator ask us questions. And we could forget about whether each of us has the exact same number of seconds to speak. We could have a real debate if that's all right with you, Matt.
Forrest Sawyer: Um, Senator, according to the rules, candidates may not direct...
Santos: No, please. [to Vinick] You mean like a Senate debate? What are you going to do, filibuster me? Are you going to grab the microphone for a whole hour?
Vinick: No, no, no. We tell the American people what they need to hear, no more, no less. I suspect the audience will reward brevity.
[The audience laughs and claps.]
Santos: Okay, let's have a real debate.

Santos: [about border problems with Mexico] This is not a law enforcement problem. This is an economic problem. If Mexico's economy was as strong as Canada's, there wouldn't be a problem. The President cannot solve this problem. You cannot seal a 2,000-mile border. Mexico has to solve it. Mexico has to grow its own economy. It has to provide enough jobs so that it's not worth it to try to cross into our borders illegally. There is no other real solution to this. And Senator Vinick is smart enough to know that and I think you are, too.

Vinick: Liberals who are opposed to tax cuts anyway always say you can't cut taxes until you've cut spending. I say we can lecture our children about overspending until we run out of breath or we can just cut their allowance. I'm a cut-the-allowance kind of parent.

Santos: Our whole school system has been slipping for years and our rankings with other countries in math and science achievement... we've got to find a way to turn that around. If we provide the school systems and teachers with everything they need and the flexibility to experiment with fresh new approaches, I think that American students can be number one in the world in math and science in ten years.
Vinick: That's a lie.
...
Vinick: It's a lie that every President, Democrat and Republican, has been telling for 20 years: we're going to be number 1 in ten years. Go ahead, Google it right now. I'm not saying that every President knew it was a lie when he said it or that Congressman Santos knows it's not true, but I do. So let me tell you what our goals should be, our realistic goals. First of all, let's stop pretending that everyone can or should go to college. Every airline needs high-paid mechanics and none of them have to go to college. There are plumbers in some parts of the country that make a better living than dentists. Now, I'm not talking about lowering our ambitions. I'm talking about targeting our ambitions correctly. Now, it's true: some other countries have raised their academic standards over and above what they were once. But we still have the best scientists in the world, the best doctors, and by far the most Nobel prizes. If a kid does well in one of those foreign high schools, guess where he or she wants to go to college. That's right; Harvard, Stanford, Cal-Tech, the University of Texas, and a hundred other American universities that are better than anything they have in their countries. So, if we're going to have a practical approach to education, we're going to have to admit that not every one can go to MIT. But most of the kids who do go to MIT come from American public schools.

Vinick: Entrepreneurs create jobs. Business creates jobs. The President's job is to get out of the way.
Santos: Do you want a President who will get out of their way when corrupt executives are plundering a company like Enron?
Vinick: Hey, I'll go after corporate crime. My running mate, Ray Sullivan, was very tough on white-collar crime when he was a prosecutor and my Attorney General will be just as tough.
Santos: Do you want a President who will get out of the way when airline executives are putting their companies into bankruptcy so that they can avoid the pension responsibilities to the workers that have dedicated their lives to those companies?
Vinick: Some of our older airlines are having trouble meeting their huge pension obligations at the very same time when they're facing intense competition from low-cost airlines that are so new they don't yet have pensions to pay. Now, an unthinking liberal will describe the airline bankruptcies as the evil capitalists screwing the workers.
Santos: I didn't say that Senator and I don't think you should put words in my mouth.
Vinick: No. Of course you didn't say it. You're not an unthinking liberal. Are you?
[The audience laughs and applauds.]
Santos: I know you like to use that word 'liberal' as if it were a crime.
Vinick: No. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have used that word. I know Democrats think liberal is a bad word. So bad you had to change it. What do you call yourselves now, progressives? Is that it?
Santos: It's true. Republicans have tried to turn liberal into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.
Vinick: A Republican President ended slavery.
Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican; Senator, what happened to them? They got run out of your party! What did liberals do that was so offensive to the Republican Party? I'll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things, every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, 'Liberal,' as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.

Undecideds[edit]

Bram: The bus is here. We've really got to move.
Lou: Sir, do you know what the average SMT time was this week?
Santos: Bram clocks this. He rounds up because he's got money on it.
Lou: 92 minutes.
Santos: That's a lie!
Helen: SMT?
Edie: Santos Mean Time.
Helen: 92 minutes late?
Santos: The notion that I'm the problem is convenient, but completely fallacious!

C.J.: Do me a favor and talk to Ellie about whatever problems you're having with her music.
Will: Now?
C.J.: I was supposed to be in there but then Kate happened. It's going to take a few minutes; I thought you could do your thing.
Will: I was working!
Kate: I was golfing.
C.J.: Mini.
Will: I've mastered the windmill shot, with the bridge.
Kate: That's a hard one!
Will: Hole-in-one.
C.J.: People!

Ellie: Look, we realize there's a lot that goes along with having a wedding at the White House, but anything we could do to keep the numbers under control...?
Will: Sure.
Ellie: I know my father needs to invite a lot of people but I'm not crazy about the spotlight and Vic's a little agoraphobic.
Vic: It's not a phobia.
Ellie: I was exaggerating.
Vic: It's the occasional shortness of breath.
Ellie: It's really nothing!
Vic: ...sometimes I pass out.

Will: [going over the guest list] Andrew Edward... what's he doing in the H's? Oh, right! His Royal Highness, Duke of York.
[Vic stands up and looks uncomfortable]
Ellie: Do you want to get some air?
Will: Hey, at least he's not bringing the Queen. [pauses and checks the list] Oh, maybe he is bringing the Queen...

Toby: [about Santos] He’s not presidential material.
Josh: Why?
Toby: Why? Because he left. He left Congress. He left Washington to go home and do small, important work. You had to haul him by the hair out of the family bed. Did you never stop to wonder if that was a good choice?
Josh: He stepped up. When presented with the opportunity…
Toby: [interrupting] A man in that job shouldn’t have to be presented with anything. It’s for someone who grabs it and holds onto it. For someone who thinks the gods have conspired to bring him to this place. That destiny demands of him this service! You don’t have that kind of drive, that hubris, how in the hell are you gonna make the kind of decisions that stump every other person in this country? How in the hell are you gonna hold that kind of power in your hand?”
Josh: You don’t know he’s not that man.
Toby: You don’t know that he is. [pauses] Is he? Look me in the eye and tell me that you know. Without a shadow of a doubt…you know. [pauses] That’s why the other guy wins.

The Wedding[edit]

Abbey: You're not performing at the ceremony.
Bartlet: I wasn't asked to.
C.J.: Sir, I'm sorry to interrupt--
Abbey: No, that's quite all right. He was about to go into his Spencer Tracy routine.

Abbey: So, rumor has it you're going to have a chat with the groom tomorrow morning.
Bartlet: I am.
Abbey: Well, that will be lovely, I'm sure!
Bartlet: What? I did it with Doug!
Abbey: Yeah. I don't recall that as being an unqualified success.
Bartlet: Well, now I've had a run of it.
Abbey: You do know that talking him out of marrying your daughter is not an option.
Bartlet: Yeah. [pause] You really think it's not an option?

Will: [at a press conference on TV] Uh, they'll be walking down the aisle to "Sorge Nel Patto", the aria Gaffredo sings to his daughter in Handel's Rinaldo. The aria was picked for its beauty and its text, which translates roughly to, "a certain delight surges from my breast and promises to calm my heart."
Kate: That was lovely.
Will: I made it up. Don't tell.

Vic: Sir, was there something you wanted to discuss?
Bartlet: No, no. I just thought...you know, when you have a daughter, you just like to know...you really want to know whether...ah, hell. Just tell me you decided to marry her before you got her pregnant.
Vic: Eleven months, two weeks and three days.
Bartlet: Excuse me?
Vic: That's when I decided to marry her: a year ago, on our third date.
Bartlet: What was wrong with the first two?

Santos: [about Josh] How'd it go?
Leo: Fine.
Santos: You taking over?
Leo: No.
Santos: Leo, I thought we...
Leo: Josh is going to make a lot of strategic decisions over the next few weeks. He's going to sweat them like life and death. And they'll be important, sure, which is why you and me are going to be in on every one of them. But they're meaningless compared to the decision the voters are going to have to make just by listening to you and trying to see if they can connect with the idea of Matt Santos as President. And Josh has nothing to do with that. Goodwin's right: Josh has taken you as far as he can. The rest is up to you.

Running Mates[edit]

Martin Sheen: Good evening. On December 16, we lost our good friend and colleague John Spencer. Through our shock and grief, we can think of no more fitting memorial to this wonderful man, this extraordinary actor, than to share with you, beginning tonight, the last few months of his work here on The West Wing. Johnny, it seems we hardly knew you; we love you and we miss you.

[Josh and Donna are on the phone with each other]
Santos: Tell Josh to chill.
Donna: Josh, chill.
Josh: Did you just tell me to chill?
Donna: It would appear so.
Josh: Is it somehow not clear that I'm your boss?
Donna: Congressman's recommendation.
Josh: Oh.
Donna: To which I heartily concur.
Josh: Yeah, I don't think you tell me to chill.
Donna: I wanted to scream it everyday for eight years.
Josh: Whatever inhibition prevented you, summon it.

Santos: Is there a problem?
Helen: It's just that when you said you were going to come home and spend time with the kids, I thought you were going to spend some time with the kids.
Santos: I played with them this morning. I don't want to get in their faces. They're sick.
Helen: They have head colds. It's unlikely you'll start bleeding from the eyes.
Santos: I'm in the middle of a Presidential campaign.
Helen: That's where you've been nights.
Santos: I know it's been rough.
Helen: The kids being issued panic buttons and the house transformed into an armed camp?
Santos: A bit of an exaggeration.
Helen: Do the windows in here look any different?
Santos: No, not really.
Helen: It's amazing the natural look they can achieve now with bulletproof glass. Labor Day, the barbecue: I had to provide the Secret Service with everyone's names, Social Security numbers, birth dates. To come by and have a hot dog, everybody had to be issued ID pins. My mother walking around tagged like she was some threatening wacko. If you're considering this an opportunity to crack a mother-in-law joke, you are seriously misjudging the mood of your audience.
Santos: [pause] I had a real good one, too.
Helen: Yeah, what?
Santos: Too late. [pause] I'm sorry. Tomorrow will be better.
[Helen laughs.]
Santos: Hey, think about the neat place we get to live in once we win this thing.

Josh: I forget, in D.C. do they allow felons to vote? [pause] Too soon?
Toby: Yeah, a little bit.

Josh: Get some rest. I need you to look pretty for 20 million TV viewers.
Leo: If that's what we're counting on, the campaign is doomed.

Internal Displacement[edit]

C.J.: I wanna do my job. I wanna suck every morsel of meat off this experience before it's over.
Danny: Just get something done, will ya?
C.J.: That'll come down to what it always comes down to.
Danny: What's that?
C.J.: How dirty do my feet have to get without disappearing into the mud in order to get an inch of what I really want done.

C.J.: Relaxing makes me nervous. It feels like I'm missing something.

Danny: We're both about to fall off a cliff. And I don't know what I'm gonna do with the rest of my life, except I know what I don't wanna do. And on Inauguration Day, you're going to be released from that glorious prison on Pennsylvania Avenue, with...
C.J.: No human skills?
Danny: Seems to me...
C.J.: I should punch you in the face.
Danny: That's what I'm talking about.
C.J.: Keep going...
Danny: So, if I'm gonna jump off the cliff, and you're gonna get pushed off the cliff, why don't we hold hands on the way down?

C.J.: Men are like salmon. Swimming upstream, hosing down the riverbed with their indiscriminate seed...
Danny: Indiscriminate seed?
C.J.: Until...
Danny: Did you just say "indiscriminate seed"?
C.J.: Until they die, bloated and spent, belly-up in the sun.
Danny: Oh, quit sweet-talkin' me, baby.
C.J.: Unless they get taken out with a bear paw in the waterfall, as they deserve to be.

Will: What's wrong?
C.J.: Close the door.
Will: I didn't do it.
C.J.: Close the door.
Will: Toby did it.
C.J.: Shut up!
Will: [closes the door] Gonna talk now? [silence] Seriously. I don't react well to this... It's like staring at a dog.
C.J.: I think Doug Westin is having an affair with his nanny.
Will: Geez! I don't wanna know that! Why did you tell me that?
C.J.: Because you deal with the press and I don't want you to get blind sided.
Will: Exactly! I work with the press. I do my best work when I'm the least informed person in the room. You taught me that.
C.J.: Suck it up.

Duck and Cover[edit]

Santos: Yes, we worry about what's happening in the culture: we have two young children. But censorship is like saying I can't have a steak because a baby can't chew it. Let's be careful. Yeah?

Bartlet: [Trying to persuade the California governor to evacuate San Andreo] Better a few fender benders on the I-5 than a generation of babies with thyroid cancer.

Bartlet: [trying to figure out the nuclear plant accident] I thought a degree in economics was plenty for this job. My kingdom for a plumbing license.

C.J.: Are you ready?
Will: To fly into a massive cloud of radiation while the rest of the country is making hats out of tin foil?
C.J.: It was a rhetorical question.

Vinick: [who endorsed nuclear power during the debate] Every time they show that debate clip, it looks like I ran into that plant myself and spilled uranium on the floor!

The Cold[edit]

Donna: Vinick has a cold!
Annabeth: Oh, that's precious.
Josh: I'm going to send him some Vicks VapoRub and a big German nurse!

Debbie: [As Vinick and staff sit down in the Mural room] Make yourselves comfortable. The President will be right with you.
Vinick: Thank you.
Debbie: [quietly] Not too comfortable.
Vinick: What?
Debbie: [acting confused] What?

Sullivan: We have had a good time always running for the center. But the party's over. You're a Republican, you need to start talking to the Republican, conservative base.
Bruno: Nail him to the cross. He can stump for votes on the Via Dolorosa.

Will: I have a thing of yours.
Kate: My Pyongyang book, good. I tore up my whole office looking for it.
Will: It's not that.
Kate: Really?
Will: Really.
Kate: It's in a blue binder. It may not be —
Will: Nothing in a blue binder.
Kate: Are you sure? I mean, picking it out —
Will: It's a bra.
Kate: ...oh, okay.

Josh: [looking at Donna] Oh, this must be what your first smack high feels like.
C.J.: Here's hoping it's not followed by a huge crash and years of rehabilitation.
Josh: Nothing could kill my mood right now, but that was a good try.

Two Weeks Out[edit]

Vinick: We lost independents because a nuclear power plant almost had a meltdown after I said nuclear power was completely safe.
Bruno: That is water under the bridge. Now we’ve got to...
Vinick: If it’s water under the bridge, how come I’m still ducking reporters on the campaign trail?

Lou: Hey Josh?
Josh: Yeah?
Lou: The congressman's briefcase: what's inside there?
Josh: Road stuff...toothbrush, electric razor, sometimes a wallet. Why?
Lou: We seem to have lost it, and he seems kinda worried.
Josh: The guy's running a tie for the presidency and he's got two weeks left, so you can expect him to look worried once in a while.
Lou: So there's nothing... bad in there.
Josh: Like?
Lou: I don't know! Heroin, porn...
Josh: No, that's all mine.
Lou: I'm going to go now.

Vinick: If Santos takes California, game over.
Jane: A Republican can win the Presidency without winning California.
Vinick: And a Democrat can't. This isn't some sentimental, home-state thing. This is about winning. I don't have a 50-state strategy anymore. I have a one-state strategy: the one state that has everything: big cities, small towns, mountains, deserts, farms, factories, fishermen, surfers, all races, all religions, gay, straight, everything this country has. There's more real America in California than anywhere else. If I can win California I can win the country.
Jane: That's a nice speech; just don't say it into any microphones. Because everyone else in the 49 other states thinks that California is a giant psycho ward.

Vinick: Over a 26-year career in public service, I'd probably do a lot of things differently if I could do them over again. But my job is to make the best decision I can with the information at the time. You know, if you do something for 26 years you should keep getting better at it. I'm better than I used to be because I have better information. I have more experience making tough decisions. And I have more mature judgment. And that's what I think this country needs now, more than ever. We have troops on the ground in Kazakhstan and more on the way. That's the choice that President Bartlet made to try and keep Russia and China from slipping into war there. Now, the next President is going to have to take over that situation the first hour on the job. That's the most important issue that's facing the country in this campaign. Not who said what about nuclear power 25 years ago. Or did one of us use too strong a word in a debate. The real decision Americans are going to have to make is who do they want as their next Commander-In-Chief.

Welcome to Wherever You Are[edit]

Santos: We need to start addressing real issues and stop wasting time on beauty pageant ephemera.

Donna: Speaking of which, where's Annabeth?
Lou: I gagged her and put her in the luggage compartment.

Election Day Part I[edit]

[After the various couples of the campaign retire for the night, Josh and Donna are sitting alone in a bar]
Josh: Did you ever ... "come onboard"?
Donna: No.
Josh: Never had a campaign fling?
Donna: No. [sits next to Josh]
Josh: Do you want another drink?
Donna: No. [gets up, glances one last time at Josh, and slowly heads to her room.]

Will: You spend the night at my house more often than not.
Kate: Which makes me...?
Will: A really good date.

Bruno: [moves his watch from his left wrist to his right] Superstitious. One of my election day good luck routines.
Jane: One of?
Bruno: You met Carrie already.

Annabeth: Leo's going to sleep the whole damn thing. I got to go get him up. What can I say? Nerves of steel. I just got to get him themed up for the party. He's been threatening to wear his robe.

Charlie: [to C.J.] You're a smart savvy woman who could easily consider world domination for a next career move.

Election Day Part II[edit]

Josh: [to Donna] Hey, what happened to you? Two minutes. 120 seconds - I was stuck in there with Dull and Duller, counting beads in my imaginary abacus. [he notices her expression] Ohio? Texas - we won? We lost? We need a good lawyer, what?
Donna: 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.
[Josh looks horrified]

Santos: America has lost a giant tonight. And I have lost a friend. Leo McGarry devoted 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 will not 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 have not yet voted, it is the only thing that should matter when you go to the polls tonight.

Bartlet: The first time I met Leo, we argued.
C.J.: About what?
Bartlet: Monetary... something, role of the Fed...
C.J.: Who won?
Bartlet: I did. I'm sure if you could ask him, he'd say he did. [beat] We almost lost him fifteen years ago, did you know that? Abbey and I used to talk about it. I was prepared then. Not today.

Donna: [to Josh] You've done a remarkable thing. Win or lose. An extraordinary thing.
Josh: [tearful] I talked him into this, into joining the ticket.
Donna: Nobody ever talked Leo into doing anything he didn't want to do. And he'd want you upstairs [in the campaign suite], not down here. You belong up there, it's your night. He was so proud of you, Josh.
[Josh breaks down crying]

Santos: Thank you all so very much. Thanks for sticking around. You know, if you haven't left this room in a while, the sun is coming up! First, I want 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. [beat] My father was a barber, my mother a domestic servant, and I never dreamed that I'd have this chance to serve so many people in so many ways. It would be easy for me to stand here and claim a sweeping mandate for the next four years. I can't do that. This was a razor-thin election. My intention is to be the President of everyone - black or brown, yellow or white, Republican or Democrat. I've got a lot of reaching out to do. 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's not about left or right, it's about doing right. Together, we are going to lift up those who have been let down. We are going to ensure that the promise of America is not the privilege of the few, but the birthright of all Americans. I am more grateful than I can say, you have given me an opportunity that comes to few people. Perhaps fewer are worthy of it. God bless you, and God bless America.

Requiem[edit]

Charlie: [to Toby, at Leo's funeral] I'll walk out with you. I don't think a picture of you and me makes the New York Times. Do you?

Transition[edit]

Josh: This guy is the real deal.
Sam: You said that last time.
Josh: Yeah, and look how right I was.

[Josh just offered Sam the job as Deputy Chief of Staff.]
Sam: I'm going to need time to think about this.
Josh: Fine... You done yet?
Sam: Josh...
Josh: What's there to think about?
Sam: Well, for one thing, whether I want to end up looking like you.

Josh: When I said we needed to talk, I wasn't necessarily thinking about tonight. I'm kind of fried.
Donna: Who said anything about talking?
[Before he can answer, she kisses him.]

Josh: So last night was nice. Nice. It was really nice. On the nice scale it was way up there in terms of... you know, niceness.
Donna: Be still and listen to me. I don't know what this is. And you don't, either, which is perfectly fine and understandable. Whatever the buildup, it's all happened amid absurdly heightened emotional circumstances: the election, Leo's death. There's been... not a moment to so much as... take a breath, much less figure any of this out. And now this roller coaster's plunging into the transition, with its time-pressure demands and then the inauguration, and it's hit the ground running, and the first hundred days and, before you know it, the midterms and the new Congress, and then we're running again and four years becomes eight, and... we've never had the talk. And you can lose that look of panic in your eyes. We're not going to have it now; we don't ever have to have it. But there's a window. I'd say four weeks. If we can't get it together in that time to figure out what we want from each other, then clearly it's not worth the trouble. While last night was lovely, I've already called a cab. You should put on some coffee, and I'll see you at the office.

Donna: Not everyone's like you, so...
Josh: Dedicated?
Donna: Monomaniacal.

The Last Hurrah[edit]

Doctor: Your hand healed faster than I expected.
Vinick: That's 'cause I went from 1,000 handshakes a day to none.

Vinick: What do you have in California?
Lawyer: You don't want to be the official greeter at a vineyard, do you?

Lawyer: [about Vinick] He'll be bored to death and won't be able to afford the Republican lifestyle he deserves.

Institutional Memory[edit]

Gaile Addison: As you know, we have very little in the budget for redecorating.
Helen: Oh? How much is very little?
Gaile Addison: $200,000. You might want to establish a fund raising committee to raise a few million dollars and do it right. There really is a lot to do, especially in this room. I've never really liked the color of this rug but the Bartlets ... Well. It's up to you now.

Danny: [to C.J.] We keep shoving this conversation downstream. At some point you have to choose to have a relationship. We're not 25 any more. At our age you can't date a little and screw a little and wait around to see if you get sentimental at Christmas. You have to decide if you're gonna make another person a part of your life. A partner.

C.J.: [to Toby] You don't need a pardon, you need a frying pan to the side of your head.

Danny: [to C.J.] I want you to do what you want to do. Take the job at the White House. I just want you to talk to me about it. I want us to talk about what it will mean and how we'll make it work. I want us to talk like we're gonna figure it out together. I want us to talk...because I like the sound of your voice. I just want to talk.

Tomorrow[edit]

Debbie: Good morning Mr. President.
Bartlet: Morning.
Debbie: How are you feeling this morning?
Bartlet: Unemployed.
Debbie: A lot of that going around the building.

Josh: [looking at a note C.J. has given him] W.W.L.D?
C.J.: "What would Leo do?"

[Bartlet and Santos (the outgoing president and president-elect) ride to the inauguration together in a motorcade]
Bartlet: How's your speech?
Santos: It's got some good sections, but no "Ask not what your country can do for you..."
Bartlet: Yeah, Kennedy kind of screwed us with that one, didn't he?

[C.J. leaves the White House for the last time. A man in the street spots her.]
Man: Hey, you work there?
C.J.: Pardon?
Man: I said, do you work up there? In the White House.
[C.J. smiles sadly]
C.J.: No. I don't.
Man: Oh, sorry.
C.J.: No problem.
[Pause]
Man: Must be something, huh?
C.J.: Yeah. Yeah, it must be something.

[Last lines]
Abbey: Jed, what are you thinking about?
Bartlet: Tomorrow.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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