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THE WEST WING
7x03 - "MESSAGE OF THE WEEK"
WRITTEN BY LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, JR.
DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER MISIANO

Transcribed by Soundman for "TWIZ TV.COM". Send feedback to
sparticus1611@hotmail.com.

TEASER

FADE IN: INT. - AUDITORIUM - DAY
      MONDAY

Vinick is giving a stump speech.

VINICK
And that's why Ray Sullivan and I are working so hard to take back the White
House for the Republican Party. And with your help, we're gonna do it!

The crowd cheers wildly and the band starts playing. Vinick walks offstage. A
Secret Service man is waiting as well as a campaign employee named DAN.

AGENT
Big Sur is on the move. Secure Room ready?

They walk out of the auditorium and Vinick shakes several hands as he walks
down the hall.

VINICK
Hi. Good to see you. How are you? Hi. How are you?

Dan is on the phone.

DAN [into phone]
All right.

He hangs up.

DAN
Santos picked up two points in our tracking poll.

AGENT
Senator. This is the Secure Room, sir.

The agent opens the door to the men's restroom. CHARLES FROST is there
waiting for him.

VINICK
Perfect.

FROST
Morning, Senator. I'm Charles Frost and I'll be handling your daily
intelligence briefing.

VINICK
Are you with the Agency or the NSC?

FROST
Well, actually, I am an Agency employee, but I have been assigned to the
NSC for the last six months, so technically, I...

VINICK
Great. You mind if I multitask?

Vinick walks over to the urinal to use the restroom. Frost turns to wait
for him to finish. Vinick turns and speaks.

VINICK
Go ahead.

FROST
Well, there's a situation in Kazakhstan

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - DAY

Bruno Gianelli is in the car. He is on the phone with Sheila. He appears to
be on speakerphone.

BRUNO
He should resign the Senate now so we can't be forced into any more difficult
votes.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - VINICK HEADQUARTERS - CONTINUOUS

Sheila is on the phone with Bruno. She is using a hands-free device.

SHEILA
He'd be breaking his promise to Californian voters to serve his full
six-year term.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

Bruno is still on the phone when Vinick gets in.


BRUNO
We've already got enough problems with his voting record.

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.

BRUNO
I'm just saying...


VINICK
Forget it. I'm not quitting the Senate.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
We'll just have to turn the Senate into an advantage.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

BRUNO
No senator has won the Presidency since 1960. There is a reason for that.

VINICK
Sheila, will you please tell Bruno that when I make a decision, that's the
end of the discussion.

CUT TO: INT. - COFFEE ROOM - VINICK HEADQUARTERS - CONTINUOUS

Sheila is getting herself some coffee while still talking on the phone.

VINICK [VO]
What's the next stop?

SHEILA
Fraternal Order of Police.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

BRUNO
It's only a couple of blocks, but the Secret Service wanted us to drive.

VINICK
Do I give them the stump?

CUT TO: INT. - COFFEE ROOM - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
The stump plus.

VINICK [VO]
Plus what?

SHEILA
Homeland Security, the death penalty... a little extra law and order.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

Vinick sees a story on the TV set in the car about Santos and his Reserve
training duty.

SHEILA [VO]
The RNC has a TV ad they want you to approve today. Leon Montera will...

CUT TO: INT. - COFFEE ROOM - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [cont.]
... have the tape when you arrive.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
Are they ever going to stop showing these shots of Santos in uniform?

BRUNO
That's what I call a stunt.

VINICK
Yeah? Pretty great stunt.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Sheila has come back into her office.

SHEILA
You're going to be surrounded by uniforms today, too.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
Yeah, except I won't be wearing one.

BRUNO
Okay, got to go.

The car has stopped as they hang up the call. LEON MONTERA gets in with a
laptop. He sits across from Bruno.

VINICK
Hey, Leon; this is Bruno.

LEON MONTERA
I've got a spot the RNC wants to run.

He opens his laptop and turns it around for them to see a preview of an
attack ad against Santos.

SPEAKER
In six short years in the House of Representatives, Congressman Matthew
Santos has voted for higher taxes 47 times.

VINICK
Must be his committee votes against all the tax cut amendments.

SPEAKER
... so it's no surprise that Matt Santos opposes the tax cut that Arnold
Vinick thinks you deserve. How much will Matt Santos...?

BRUNO
Is this all you guys know how to do? Attack ads?

LEON
Hey...

BRUNO
Have you seen any of the ads I've written for this campaign? Anyone with
half a brain...

VINICK
Leon's not with the RNC. He's one of us. He ran my California operations
for years.

LEON
And I don't write TV ads. I leave that for the people with half a brain.

VINICK
Have Sheila go over to party headquarters and tell them again we're not
going negative. Yet.

LEON
They get that, they just don't think you mean they shouldn't go negative
either.

BRUNO
The press knows you get to approve party ads.

VINICK
It's a good ad.

BRUNO
It's a great ad; if you're ten points down.

VINICK
Santos is gaining on us.

LEON
Reserve duty sure worked.

BRUNO
You still have a lock on the Electoral College. A Democrat can't win without
California and most of this country can't imagine Matt Santos as President.

LEON
'Cause he's Latino?

BRUNO
Latino, inexperienced - take your pick. You don't need this ad.

VINICK
Tell the RNC to shelve this one for now. But if Santos says one word about
my voting record - just one word - tell the RNC to carpet-bomb the swing
states with that ad. I've got to go kiss some babies.

Vinick steps out of the car and starts waving to the cheering crowd.

SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES.
END TEASER.
* * *

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY

We open on a shot of Vinick on TV.

VINICK [on TV]
I'm Arnold Vinick, and I approved this message.

We see that Vinick is set up in the hotel room and he is recording the
standard I-approved-this-message bit. Bruno, Leon, Dan, and several other
people are in the room during the taping.

BRUNO
Stronger.

VINICK
I'm Arnold Vinick, and I approved this message.

BRUNO
Softer.

VINICK
I'm Arnold Vinick, and I'll be the nicest President, ever, I promise.

All the staffers except Bruno laugh.

BRUNO
Quiet. Quiet. Everybody, be quiet. Please, Senator, once again.

VINICK
I'm, uh...

LEON
Arnold Vinick.

VINICK
Right. Thank you, Leon.

They laugh.

BRUNO
OK, that's it. Out! Everyone, out of here.

VINICK
Relax, Bruno. Let them stay. I'll get it right. I'm Arnold Vinick, and I
approved this message.

BRUNO
Good. One more.

VINICK
I'm Arnold Vinick, and I approved this message. Wait, one more. I'm Arnold
Vinick, and I approved this message. I think we got it.

BRUNO
Yep, we got it.

They get up and walk out of the room.

VINICK
When's the meeting with the American Christian Assembly?

WOMAN
We're still working on it.

LEON
They want to do it at their headquarters in  Atlanta; Sheila wants to do it
at our headquarters, or on neutral territory.

WOMAN
Maybe in Philadelphia, tomorrow, after the VFW speech.

DAN
CNN just released a new poll.

He holds up his phone for Vinick to see. Vinick takes out his glasses and
reads it.

VINICK
Oh. A five-point lead?

LEON
Every poll out there has Santos gaining.

VINICK
Because he put on his old uniform for a weekend.

They get out and walk out of the building toward the car.

DAN
There's a three-point margin of error. So really, we could be up by as much
as eight.

LEON
Margin of error goes both ways. It could be pretty much a tie.

FEMALE REPORTER
Senator, does the latest poll indicate your opponent is closing in on you?

DAN
No time for questions.

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?

He has gotten to the car. He turns to speak to the reporters.

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.

CUT TO: INT. - STUDIO - DAY

Josh and Santos are getting ready to do some sort of ad. Vinick is on the TV.

VINICK [on TV]
And I hope Congressman Santos continues to do his duty when I'm
Commander-in-Chief.

SANTOS
I'll take any sentence that has Santos and do his duty in it.

JOSH
Big mistake. Vinick should have changed the subject.

PRODUCER
Live in Sacremento in five.

SANTOS
You think the uniform got to him?

JOSH
I know it did.

Santos sits down on the set. We do not hear anything, but Santos speaks as
though he is answering a question.

SANTOS
Oh, no, Bill. Of course it wasn't a stunt. I've always answered my country's
call to duty and I always will.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - HALLWAY - DAY

Sheila is coming out of the bathroom. She is on the phone with Vinick and
is again using the hands-free device.

SHEILA
You had to do it, didn't you? You had to take a shot at Santos for getting
into that uniform.

VINICK [VO]
I didn't take...

CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CONTINUOUS

Vinick and his staff is getting on their plane.

VINICK [cont.]
... a shot at him. I praised his service.

SHEILA [VO]
Yeah, then you took a shot.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [cont.]
Which you knew the networks would use.

CUT TO: EXT. - RUNWAY - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
It was a cheap stunt. Santos could have delayed his Reserve duty until after
the campaign.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
Well, your little quip is keeping the Santos story alive. He's going to
get another news cycle out of that cheap stunt. Which, if you ask me, was
a pretty great stunt.

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
We need to be setting the agenda for this campaign. Santos should be chasing
me, not the other way around.

BRUNO
Santos is going to have some good days. You can't let it get to you.

VINICK
Sheila, hold on.

He hands the phone to Leon.

VINICK
Put this thing on speakerphone.

Leon does what he asked, then sets the phone down on the table.

LEON
Go ahead.

SHEILA [VO]
We stick to the message of the week.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [cont.]
Homeland Security. You just got the Fraternal Order of Police...

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [VO][cont.]
... endorsement. You're going to get the Philadelphia Police Union's
endorsement after the VFW speech tomorrow.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [cont.]
And we're working on getting you...

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [VO][cont.]
... the Houston Police Union's endorsement on Thursday.

DAN
Guy was mayor of Houston; he can't get his cops' endorsement? That's got to
drive Santos up the wall.

LEON
Have they ever endorsed a Democrat?

BRUNO
This is going to be a very good week for us, Senator. Maybe next week we
can do something.

VINICK
We've got to shake this up now. This is not business as usual.

BRUNO
Santos got a polling bump from the Reserve thing. That is gonna disappear
just as fast...

VINICK
Santos is not the standard-issue Democratic candidate.

DAN
Yeah, he's weaker than the standard-issue Democratic candidate.

VINICK
Matt Santos is a lot smarter and tougher than you think. We've got to take
it to him. We've got to put Santos in a jam. We can't just cross our fingers
and hope for the Houston Police Union to do it for us.

LEON
First one to go negative is a show of weakness.

VINICK
I want to knock him off message without ever mentioning his name.

BRUNO
Look, we can find ways that can surprise him.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Sheila is at her desk listening to the conversation.

VINICK [VO]
I don't want to surprise him. I want to shock him.

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [cont.]
How do we do that?

LEON
Go to Hawaii?

BRUNO
Take a vacation? Yeah, that will shock him.

LEON
Go to a blue state they don't expect us to compete in. Make them waste some
money and time in Hawaii.

VINICK
Santos can read that play.

DAN
Go after the Latino vote?

BRUNO
Mm-hmm.

There is a pause. Nobody answers.

BRUNO
Do-do I actually have to say how insane that is?

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.

VINICK
Without ever opening his mouth on Latino issues?

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [VO][cont.]
Immigration, Mexican border issues?

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [VO]
Without ever campaigning in the Latino communities?

LEON
He's got the Latino community locked up.

DAN
What if we just do policy announcements on Latino issues?

SHEILA [VO]
Waste of time.

VINICK
Bruno, if you're the Santos campaign, how would you respond?

He thinks for a minute.

BRUNO
I don't know.

VINICK
That's the whole point: knock him off his game. Santos will never know what
I'm going to do next.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
It's too risky. Are we going to look unpredictable or are we going to look
desperate?

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
All right, we're changing the message of the week. We're canceling
Philadelphia.

SHEILA [VO]
You can't cancel the VFW!

VINICK
I am not a veteran of a foreign war. It's going to look like I'm playing
Santos's game. Surrounding myself with military people.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
If you cancel the VFW...

CUT TO: INT. - PLANE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
Cancel it. We regroup at headquarters, tonight. We plan a new message of
the week. We're taking it to him, starting right now.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY

Josh is on the phone in his office. Bram comes in holding a piece of paper.

JOSH
Uh, no. The earliest I can get him back to Cleveland is... let me
see... Tuesday. ... No, not tomorrow, next Tuesday. ... Yeah, but Pennsylvania
is a swing state, too. It'll take me at least four hours door-to-door to
fly the candidate and the traveling press from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.

He takes the phone away from his ear and covers the mouthpiece.

JOSH
I can't do this meeting right now.

BRAM
VFW says Vinick just cancelled tomorrow's speech.

Josh speaks into the phone without putting it back to his ear.

JOSH
Hold on.

He recovers the mouth.

JOSH
He cancelled the VFW?

BRAM
VFW's offering us the slot if we want it.

JOSH
Of course we want it. I'll get him out of New York early; have him in
Philadelphia by noon.

Bram puts the piece of paper in front of Josh.

BRAM
New CNN poll: Vinick's lead is down to five.

JOSH
Five?!

BRAM
And the Zogby poll just gave us the lead in  Maine.

JOSH
We've got momentum, baby!

Josh stands. Bram goes to the board behind Josh and colors Maine with a
blue marker.

JOSH
We've got the big mo!

He puts the phone back to his ear.

JOSH
Uh, okay. If I drive him to Akron, can you guarantee me Cleveland
press? ... Great. That's the plan.

He hangs up.

JOSH
Why would he cancel the VFW? What is he, sick?

BRAM
They haven't released the schedule for tomorrow yet.

JOSH
They can't have anything better to do. There's nothing better than the VFW
if you're a Republican.

BRAM
Oh, and we got some movement on the debate negotiations.

JOSH
You mean the negotiations about the negotiations?

BRAM
Right. The Vinick camp has agreed to our demand.

JOSH
No.

BRAM
Yeah.

JOSH
They're willing to come here to begin negotiations?

BRAM
And why is that bad?

JOSH
Because then we don't get to blame them for dragging their feet on debate
negotiations.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - VINICK HQ - DAY

Dan and Bruno are walking.

DAN
The Zogby poll just came out. Same as CNN.

BRUNO
Josh is going to start pushing the press to do Santos momentum stories.

DAN
He ain't got the big mo yet.

BRUNO
He's got something.

They walk into a conference room. There is a map on a board and Leon is
putting a blue magnet on the state of Maine.

BRUNO
We're losing Maine?

LEON
Zogby poll says Santos pulled ahead by two points in Maine.

BRUNO
I don't give a damn what Zogby says. We change our board when our tracking
poll tells us to.

The female aide from earlier is on the phone.

WOMAN
Hang on.

She covers the mouthpiece.

WOMAN
Actually, that was... our own tracking in Maine now has Santos ahead by three.

Leon gives Bruno a smirk and puts the magnet on the board.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - DAY

Sheila is on the phone with GEORGE ROHR, using the hands-free device.

SHEILA
George, I'm telling you, he would love to meet with the reverends
but there's no way I can pull him off the campaign trail and get him to
Atlanta. ... Georgia's not a swing state. He's ahead by 20 points there. ... I
understand: the reverends don't want to look like they're begging. ... Right,
but you have to understand my position here.

Vinick walks in.

SHEILA [cont.]
Okay, why don't you come over here tonight and have the meeting for them? They
preserve their dignity, I preserve my campaign schedule, and we do a little
business. ... Great. See you then.

She hangs up and takes the hands-free device out of her ear.

SHEILA
I just got you out of a meeting with the reverends.

VINICK
Ah, have I told you how much I love you?

SHEILA
But you're going to have to do a meeting with George Rohr.

They start walking.

VINICK
That vicious little... Geez, I'd rather meet with the entire American
Christian Assembly.

SHEILA
No, you wouldn't. George is a political professional and the reverends follow
his advice. You are going to be very nice to him.

VINICK
You're the devil, aren't you? I have the devil running my campaign, don't I?

They walk into the conference room that Bruno, Dan, and Leon are in.

VINICK
Okay, what do we got?

SHEILA
We're changing the message of the week to Immigration issues. It's the last
thing Santos wants to talk about. Not just because he's Latino, but also...

LEON
Would we be doing this if he wasn't Latino?

SHEILA
Republicans have been going after the Latino vote for years now. You've made
a good living helping them do it.

LEON
The press is going to ask if you're doing this because he's Latino.

SHEILA
And the answer is these are important national issues that belong in this
campaign.

LEON
We're going to have to do better than that.

VINICK
What's the plan?

SHEILA
Dan.

Dan gets up from his seat and walks over to a board where there plan is
drawn up.

DAN
Day 1; tomorrow; policy announcement; double the border patrol. Obviously
appeals to our Republican base. A photo-op in El Paso, at the border, and a
photo-op with the Minutemen. You know, the civilians who are helping patrol
the border down there.

LEON
You mean the vigilantes?

DAN
They're not hurting anybody.

LEON
A bunch of nuts patrolling the border with guns? Someone's going to get hurt.

BRUNO
Is there a local chapter of the Klan? Maybe we could do a drop by.

DAN
The Minutemen have got a lot of national press. Our base loves them. It's
a good photo-op.

VINICK
Okay.

DAN
We finish day one with a dinner speech to the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. It's
a day of saturation coverage in Texas, a must-win state for Santos.

VINICK
Next.

DAN
Day two, policy announcement. The Vinick Guest Worker Program. Legal status
for illegals already here doing jobs Americans don't want.

BRUNO
Okay, this I like. Good cross-over appeal for Democrats and Independents.

SHEILA
Especially if we sell it as one of our sensible solutions.

DAN
We haven't got the events for this one worked out yet. Probably just a speech;
not sure where to do it.

SHEILA
We can do it anywhere. The point is: get it out there and force Santos
to respond.

LEON
Because he's Latino.

SHEILA
We're not...

LEON
The Latino community is going to know what you're doing.

VINICK
It's got to be more than just a speech.

DAN
Like...?

VINICK
Introduce a bill.

DAN
In the Senate?

VINICK
I still have a job there, don't I?

BRUNO
It's a good way to turn the Senate into an advantage.

VINICK
Leon, take the speech over to Leg Counsel's office and have them turn it
into legislative language. The details are up to you just make sure it
really is one of our sensible solutions. Sheila, start working on getting
me co-sponsors and a hearing date. What's day three?

DAN
Central America Free Trade Agreement.

VINICK
That's old news. We passed that... we passed that months ago.

DAN
Santos has a problem with it.

VINICK
What, did he split with the Democrats on it?

SHEILA
Worse. He split with himself.

DAN
He voted for it in committee then voted against it on the floor.

Vinick chuckles.

VINICK
He's not going to know what hit him.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE.
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - VINICK HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT

Bruno, Dan, Sheila, and Leon are discussing the message of the week.


SHEILA
After the day in Texas we've got to get him back to DC to introduce the
Guest Worker bill. That way, we can keep the afternoon and evening schedule
we have in Ohio.


DAN

Just add the border patrol and the guest worker stuff to the stump.

BRUNO
I'm going to need him back in the studio for another TV spot.

LEON
I can give him to you for an hour on Friday morning.

The woman sticks her head in the door.

WOMAN
George Rohr is here, waiting in the conference room.

SHEILA
Let's go.

Dan and the woman walk into the conference room next door to where they
were. GEORGE ROHR is waiting there.

DAN
Hey, George, how you doing?

GEORGE ROHR
Hey. Good to see you, Dan.

DAN
Gee, you look great. Private sector's been good to you.

ROHR
"Private sector"? Is that what you guys call religion?

DAN
I mean not working for the Speaker anymore, not stuck in the Capitol all
night listening to the wit and wisdom of the House of Representatives.

ROHR
I do thank God for that.

CUT TO: INT. - OFFICE - DAY

Sheila comes into the office. Vinick is snoozing on the couch. He has his
feet propped up on the arm. She taps one of his feet to wake him.

SHEILA
George Rohr is here.

He sits up.

VINICK
If I win this election, George Rohr never sets foot in the White House. You
got that? I mean, not even a tour.

He gets up and grabs his coat that was hanging on the back of a chair.

SHEILA
George is going to try to jam you on judges. You've got to be receptive but
not committal. "I would certainly welcome your inputs on judicial appointments,
blah-blah-blah.

They walk into the room where Rohr is waiting.

VINICK
Hey, George. Great to see you.

ROHR
Good to see you, Senator.

VINICK
Sorry I couldn't make it to Atlanta to meet with the full group, but this
campaign schedule is so tight you try to change one hour of it and the whole
thing comes apart.

ROHR
I understand. We appreciate you taking the time.

VINICK
Why don't we clear out the staffs so George and I can talk alone?

The rest of the staff leaves and shuts the door behind them. Vinick goes
over to a pizza box to get himself a slice.

VINICK
Can I get you anything? I think we might have a couple of slices of pepperoni
here.

ROHR
I'm good.

VINICK
So what's up, George?

While getting his pizza, Vinick seems as though he is not paying attention.

ROHR
Well, uh, as you can imagine, the Council is very, very concerned about...

VINICK
Sorry. The campaign's the only excuse left for someone my age to eat junk
food. Please, go ahead. I'm listening.

ROHR
The Council's just plain worried about judges, Senator. The reverends are
all afraid of the kind of judges you'd appoint.

Vinick has grabbed a plate and comes and sits down. Rohr sits across from him.

ROHR
We're going to need a guarantee on judges; we're going to need...

VINICK
George, when I'm President I'm going to be very eager for input from you and
the group on judicial nominations. I'm going to make the Vice President my
point man on judges. You know Ray Sullivan.

ROHR
He's a great man, great governor. He's going to make a great VP.

VINICK
And you know that Ray shares your views on everything that's important to
your organization.

ROHR
You mean "to my religion."

VINICK
Yeah.


ROHR
We're not worried about Ray Sullivan. We're worried about you.

VINICK
Ray likes the judges you like and I'm going to rely on Ray's recommendation.

ROHR
A pro-life VP making recommendations isn't enough, Senator. We need you to
commit to appointing pro-life judges.

VINICK
Look, Santos voted for partial-birth abortion. At least I'm with you on that.

ROHR
Reverend Butler and the others think that just means that Santos wants to
kill a few hundred more babies a year than you do.

VINICK
You think I want to kill babies, George?

ROHR
Senator, Santos is closing the gap with you. If our voters stay at home,
you lose. I came to tell you how to get our voters. I came here to help you.

VINICK
Okay. Can we speak confidentially?

CUT TO: EXT. - BORDER PATROL STATION - DAY
      TUESDAY
      EL PASO, TEXAS

Dan is on the phone as they prepare for the Senator's day.

DAN [into phone]
Can you hear me now? ... Oh, okay, go ahead. ... All right, thanks.

He has walked over to where Leon is standing. He hangs up.

DAN
Santos picked up another point in our tracking poll. We're down to a
four-point lead.

LEON
If that.

We pan over to where Vinick is speaking to a crowd of people.

VINICK
That's why I want to double the border patrol, double the man-power down
here; give you guys what you need to get the job done. The easiest way for
a terrorist to get into this country is to cross this border. This isn't
just an immigration issue; this is a Homeland Security issue. We have to
get control of our borders.

CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS PLANE - DAY

Lou is walking down the aisle of the plane with a cup of coffee in her
hand. She is stopped by Katie and another reporter.

KATIE
Hey, Vinick just proposed doubling the border patrol at the Mexican border. Any
comment?

LOU
No, I was not surprised that Santos's VFW speech was interrupted by applause
18 times. Matt Santos is a combat veteran who understands...

KATIE
Vinick says the border is a security issue. "Got to stop Al-Queda at the
Rio Grande."

LOU
I'll get back to you on that.

KATIE
Really?

LOU
No.

She walks off.

CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS'S CABIN - DAY

Lou walks in. Santos is looking at a clipboard with some stuff on it. He is
eating a doughnut.

LOU
Vinick's proposing doubling the border patrol.

SANTOS
Hmm, how's Vinick going to pay for it if he's cutting taxes?

LOU
Save it for the debates. We don't need to fan that flame today. You need to
keep chipping away at Vinick's lead on national security issues.

SANTOS
You know he might as well be saying "elect a Latino and there'll be a Mexican
family sleeping on your front lawn."

LOU
Don't let him get to you.

SANTOS
That's easy for you to say.

LOU
Yeah. You ready for the one-on-ones?

SANTOS
Yep.

LOU
Okay, we picked up another point in our tracking; story of the day: momentum,
momentum, momentum.

She goes to the door and calls a reporter in.

LOU
Come on in, Ellen. This is Ellen Trayers of the Boston Globe.

SANTOS
Good morning, Ellen. Come on in. Have a seat.

They sit as Lou closes the door and sits down.

ELLEN TRAYERS
Senator Vinick wants to double the border patrol. Do you think that will
stop illegal immigration?

SANTOS
Ellen, every poll shows up closing the gap, gaining momentum. So suddenly
you're going to hear all sorts of new proposals from the other side. But
what the American people are going to hear from me is a consistent message
on national security. I told the VFW today, "Keeping this country safe is
my top priority." And I intend on sticking with that.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - DAY

We see Bruno come through a door. He is rushing and in a hurry. He comes
into Sheila's office. He comes to her computer and starts typing something in.

SHEILA
I thought you had to get over to Santos headquarters for debate negotiations.

BRUNO
You have to see this.

He pulls up the Drudge Report and the headline reads "VINICK PROMISES PRO-LIFE
JUDGES." When Sheila sees it, she picks up the phone and dials.

SHEILA
Get me the Senator.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - DAY

Leon and Vinick are in the Suburban, going to their next campaign stop. Leon
hands a phone to Vinick.

LEON
Sheila.

VINICK
Yeah.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
Just a heads-up: crazy Internet thing; Drudge is reporting that sources
close to the American Christian Assembly...

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [VO][cont.]
... say you promised them approval of judges.

VINICK
I've got the Minutemen waiting for me here. Can we talk about this later?

SHEILA [VO]
The problem is...

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [cont.]
... the press takes Drudge very seriously.

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA [VO][cont.]
So we have to issue a denial. We'll put out something on paper from here. Keep
it low-key.

VINICK
Hold off on that denial.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

SHEILA
You didn't promise them anything, did you?

CUT TO: INT. - SUBURBAN - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
We'll talk about this later.

He hangs up.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Sheila seems stunned by what he has said when she hangs up the phone.

BRUNO
What'd he say?

SHEILA
Nothing.

BRUNO
We've got a problem, right?

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO.
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: EXT. - BORDER - TEXAS - DAY
      U.S./MEXICO BORDER
      ESPERANZA, TEXAS

Vinick is speaking to the Minutemen and the press.

VINICK
Hi, how are you? Hi. Good to see you.

He speaks to a man named HARLEY PARKER.

VINICK
Hi, how are you?

HARLEY PARKER
It's an honor, Senator. I appreciate your coming.

VINICK
What's your name?

HARLEY
Harley Parker.

VINICK
Have you caught anybody yet, Harley?

HARLEY
Well, there's a lot of publicity about us being out here. So, you know,
they're probably going to find another spot to cross.

VINICK
Yeah, that's why we've got to get tough about this.

REPORTER
Senator, are you saying the Minutemen should get tough?

VINICK
We've got a 2,000-mile border here. And most of it is unprotected most of
the time. We can't have real Homeland Security if we can't secure our borders.

REPORTER
Senator, the Border Patrol has asked the Minutemen to stop operations. Why
do you support the Minutemen?

VINICK
I understand why the Minutemen are here. I understand their frustration. And
I share their goals. But I agree with the Border Patrol: we should leave law
enforcement to the professionals. The Minutemen are showing you why we need
to double the Border Patrol. What you see here today is going to continue if
the government fails to police this border. We're going to have more and more
vigilantes coming here to do it themselves, and that's not the American way.

The reporters start clamoring for his attention.

CUT TO: INT. - MILITARY HANGAR - DAY

Santos is reviewing some military planes that are being showcased.

SANTOS
This is a great example of how we can strengthen national security and
strengthen our economy at the same time. The Air Force urgently needs more
C-17's and the American workers are ready, willing, and able to do the job.

ELLEN
Senator Vinick says the men patrolling the Mexican border are vigilantes. Do
you agree?

SANTOS
Ellen, I'm here to see the job that these workers are doing for America;
how they're doing their part for the economy and for national security.

REPORTER #1
Congressman, do you think they're vigilantes?

SANTOS
The C-17 is our most advanced military cargo...

ELLEN
Congressman, you're from a border state; what do you think we need to do to
secure the border?

SANTOS
I don't see how you can afford to double the border patrol budget if you're
going to cut taxes.

We see Lou dial and put her phone to her ear.

REPORTER #2
So, doubling the border patrol is a good idea that we just can't afford?

SANTOS
Doubling the border patrol is not going to solve the problem.

ELLEN
Congressman, do you agree with Senator Vinick that the Minutemen are
vigilantes.

SANTOS
Yes, I do.

LOU [into phone]
We've got a problem.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY

Josh is on the phone.

JOSH [into phone]
He agreed with Vinick?

BRAM
We're ready in the conference room.

JOSH [into phone]
Okay, try to keep him on message. I've got to go.

He hangs up and he and Bram start walking toward the meeting.

JOSH
Vinick's killing our VFW coverage with his Mexican border junk.

BRAM
They sent Bruno.

JOSH
Of course they did.

As they walk to the conference room, we see that Reporter #2 is reporting
on the story.

REPORTER #2 [on TV]
Arnold Vinick said that the men patrolling the border are vigilantes. Matt
Santos then agreed with Senator Vinick.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - SANTOS HQ - DAY

Josh and Bram come into the room. Bruno is there waiting.

JOSH
What are you doing here?

BRUNO
I believe the agenda is debate negotiations.

JOSH
I mean what are you doing here representing a Republican candidate.

BRUNO
Great guy; you'd love him.

JOSH
Come on, he's a Republican!

BRUNO
I noticed that.

JOSH
So, did you switch parties?

BRUNO
Just this once.

JOSH
Career on the slide, you figured you grab a few headlines by signing up with
the enemy. You taking a salary or a percentage of the ad buy?

BRUNO
I made so much money on your campaigns, I might just do this one for
free. [pause] Whenever you're ready.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY

Josh and Bram are watching the TV. Bruno is talking to the press, apparently
right outside Santos HQ.

BRUNO [on TV]
We had a very productive meeting.

REPORTER [on TV]
Did you agree on a format?

BRUNO [on TV]
No.

REPORTER [on TV]
Did you agree on dates?

BRUNO [on TV]
No.


REPORTER [on TV]
Did you agree on a number of debates?

BRUNO [on TV]
No.

REPORTER [on TV]
How many debates is the Vinick campaign proposing?

BRUNO [on TV]
We think one's enough to highlight the difference between the candidates,
especially since they seem to agree on so much.

JOSH
He came here so he could hold a press conference at our front door.

BRAM
Pretend there's no difference between Santos and Vinick.

JOSH
Slimy, sleezy, backstabbing, mother...

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE BUILDING - DAY
      WEDNESDAY

Dan is on the phone with Bruno.

DAN
You got any new numbers yet?

BRUNO [VO]
We moved up three points on the tracking.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Bruno is walking to his car. He is using a hands-free device.

BRUNO [cont.]
We're ahead by seven. The border patrol thing worked with conservatives,
the vigilante thing worked with liberals. Did you know he was going to call
them vigilantes?

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE BUILDING - CONTINUOUS

DAN
I had no idea.

BRUNO [VO]
I thought it was going to be a day of...

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

BRUNO [cont.]
... red meat for conservatives, he pulls a little something out of his hat
for libs. Amazing. What did he say about the pro-life judges thing?

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE BUILDING - CONTINUOUS

DAN
He keeps avoiding the subject with me. I'm going to try to corner him after
this thing.

BRUNO
Yeah, well, it's page one of the Atlantic Constitution today, so...

When Dan sees Vinick walking into the Senate press room, he hangs up.

CUT TO: EXT. - PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Bruno hangs up and gets into his car.

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS

We see Vinick walk up to the podium.

VINICK
Good morning. I've returned to the Senate today to introduce S.1103.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS

Josh, Bram, and several other staffers are watching Vinick's spiel on TV.

VINICK [cont.][on TV]
A bill to establish a guest worker visa for farm workers and other...

JOSH
Guest worker visa?

BRAM
This guy's unbelievable.

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [cont.]
This is a sensible solution to a problem that we have to face honestly. There
are currently at least ten million illegal immigrants in this country...

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [on TV]
...most of whom are doing a hard days work at low-paying jobs that Americans
don't want.

Josh's phone rings.

JOSH
Yeah.

CUT TO: INT. - AUDITORIUM - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS

We see Santos giving a speech. Lou is on the phone with Josh.

LOU
Hey, I just got a question about a guest worker program Vinick's going
to propose.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS

JOSH
He's introducing the bill in the Senate right now.

CUT TO: INT. - AUDITORIUM - CAMPAIGN - CONTINUOUS

LOU
Sounds like he's coming at us from the left today.

CUT TO: INT. - CONFERENCE ROOM - SANTOS HQ - CONTINUOUS

JOSH
The only problem is when the Congressman hears about it he's going to want
to be a co-sponsor of Vinick's bill.

CUT TO: INT. - BUILDING - NIGHT

Santos and Lou are walking and talking.

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.

LOU
You were great in the primaries. You won the nomination.


SANTOS

Lou, I shut up on Latino issues and gave Vinick this opening.

LOU
Vinick is going to have some good days.

SANTOS
We're giving him too many good days.

He gets into the Suburban.

CUT TO: INT. - VINICK HQ - NIGHT

Vinick's staff is watching Vinick on Hardball. Chris Matthews is interviewing
him.

CHRIS MATTHEWS
Senator, you went hard right yesterday with your border patrol idea and you
managed to throw a bone to the left with the vigilantes comment. Today you
went hard left with an amnesty program for illegal aliens. You're obviously
trying to trip up the Santos campaign with this zigzag. Don't you run the
risk of confusing voters of where you stand?

VINICK
Oh, I've made it very clear where I stand, Chris.

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Sheila is watching the interview. Dan walks in and stands beside her to
watch it with her.


VINICK

Enforcement first. That's the way you have to do it at the border: stop
illegal immigration and keep the terrorists out. And then once we've secured
the border, we have to deal with the illegal immigrants who are already here
putting in an honest day's work; doing the jobs we need them to do.

DAN
Perfect.

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Josh and Bram are watching Vinick's interview.

MATTHEWS
Senator, where have you been on these issues? Why haven't you talked about
the border patrol budget before? Why haven't you come up with a guest worker
program before? Aren't you suddenly leaning on these Mexican border issues
because your opponent is Latino and you figure he can't talk tough about the
border patrol, or risk saying anything that sounds like amnesty for illegals?

JOSH
Yeah! Welcome to Hardball, Arnie.

VINICK
I think I counted five questions that time, Chris.

JOSH
Vinick's on the ropes now.

MATTHEWS
Come on, Senator, you're trying to jam Santos, right?

JOSH
Come on, Chris. Baby, keep slugging.

VINICK
I'm from California; I've had to live with these problems for a long time
and I've worked hard on them in the Senate. But a Senator can only do so
much. I want to be President because these are the kinds of problems that
Presidential leadership can solve.

MATTHEWS
Senator, we're running out of time, but I want to ask you about the story
that you have secretly pledged to appoint pro-life judges. Is that true?

CUT TO: INT. - SHEILA'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK
Well, Chris, the selection of federal judges and Supreme Court justices is
one of the most important Presidential powers. And I hope to have a broad
range of input...

CUT TO: INT. - JOSH'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

VINICK [cont.]
... and advice on my judicial appointments, especially from my Vice President,
Ray Sullivan, who, as a former federal prosecutor...

MATTHEWS
Senator, we're running out of time. Will you appoint pro-life judges?

VINICK
Chris, the Founding Fathers could have...

CUT TO: INT. - GEORGE ROHR'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

Rohr is sitting at his desk, watching Vinick's interview.

VINICK [cont.]
... written a litmus test for judges into the Constitution, but they chose
not to. So, I don't think the President should impose a litmus test to...

MATTHEWS
Okay. No litmus test for judges. That's all the time we have. Thank you,
Senator Vinick.

VINICK
Thank you, Chris.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE.
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: HOTEL ROOM - DAY
      THURSDAY
      CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Santos is getting ready. Josh knocks and comes in.

SANTOS
Yeah.

JOSH
Morning.

SANTOS
What are you doing here?

JOSH
I just thought I'd see what it was like out on the road.

SANTOS
The candidate's exhausted.

JOSH
Well, I'll see what I can do about that.

SANTOS
Mm-hmm. Lou called you here so you could double-team me, huh; keep me
on message?

JOSH
Actually we were hoping to tweak the message a little bit today by adding a
couple of paragraphs about the Supreme Court to the stump. The next President's
probably going to put a couple of judges on the Court. A woman's right to
choose is at stake, stuff like that. The more you talk about the Court,
the more the press will hammer Vinick on the judges rumor.

SANTOS
Do you actually think he'd promise the reverends pro-life judges?

JOSH
I think he wants to win.

SANTOS
'Cause I can't believe he'd go that far.

JOSH
Yeah, well, we use the story to put pressure on Vinick. Get the press to jam
him with questions about the judges instead of him jamming us with questions
about the border.

SANTOS
He's killing me on that stuff. I have to find ways to challenge him on it.

JOSH
First, we have to put him on the defensive about the judges so we can get
control of our message again. We've been scoring on National Security. We
can get the momentum back if we...

SANTOS
Stay on message.

JOSH
If someone goes on the record saying Vinick promised pro-life judges, the
story's going to explode. We'll be in the driver's seat.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - DAY
      RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Vinick, Dan, Leon, and Bruno are talking. Sheila comes in.

BRUNO

The New York Times loves your guest worker program. I think we might have
shot at an endorsement.

DAN
Kiss of death for a conservative.

LEON
New York has 31 electoral votes.

DAN
I'm just saying...

VINICK
Leon, do you have the talking points on CAFTA?

SHEILA
George Rohr called me before breakfast today. He watched you on Hardball
last night; he thinks you two need to have a clarifying meeting.

VINICK
Let Ray Sullivan talk to him; he knows how to talk to those people.

She looks semi-stunned at what he has said.

SHEILA
"Those people" can take this election away from you'd better...

VINICK
I can't meet with him.

SHEILA
Well, he somehow got the idea that you promised him approval of judges.

VINICK
That's because I did.

BRUNO
You promised them judges?

VINICK
Yeah. I lied.

SHEILA
You lied?

VINICK
Yeah, so did George Rohr. He promised to keep it secret and then the first
thing he does is leak it to Drudge.

SHEILA
You lied to George?!

VINICK
I lied to a liar.

He slams his briefing book shut and stands in anger.

VINICK
He's what's wrong with this party. He's the problem, not me!

SHEILA
Geez.

VINICK
Tell that lying little creep that the United States Senate gets to advise
and consent on judges, not the clergy. If his gang wants to have a say in
picking judges, tell him to run for the Senate.

SHEILA
Are you done?

VINICK
Yeah. You?

SHEILA
Oh, yeah.

VINICK
I was just trying to get through the meeting. He had me cornered. So I figured,
what the hell, I'll tell him what he wants to hear and then ignore him when
I'm in the White House.

SHEILA
If you had checked with me I would have told that wouldn't work; that he
would leak it and then you'd be forced to confirm or deny; either of which
would hurt us with a very large block of voters!

VINICK
I thought you said you were done.

SHEILA
I lied.

BRUNO
Looks like it's time to call Ray Sullivan out of the bullpen.

CUT TO: INT. - SENATE PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

Vinick is speaking to the press.

VINICK
Today, I am introducing a sense of the Senate resolution urging the President
to expedite implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement because
it is an essential component to securing the Mexican border. Increasing
trade with Central America is good for our economy and it's good for their
economy. More jobs in Central America means less illegal immigration in this
country. It's that simple.

REPORTER #1
Senator, are you trying to highlight your support of CAFTA because Congressman
Santos voted against it?

VINICK
He did? I thought he voted for it. I'm not sure how he voted. You can check on
that. I certainly was surprised that so many Democrats in the House voted
against helping impoverished Central American countries to build their
economies, especially when it's good for our economy, too.

REPORTER #2
Senator, did you promise the American Christian Assembly you would appoint
pro-life judges?

VINICK
This is the Senate press briefing room. This isn't the place for campaign
questions. Next.

CUT TO: INT. - SANTOS'S OFFICE - PLANE - DAY

Santos is leaning his head back and has a wet rag over his eyes. Josh is
talking. Lou is also there.

JOSH
You're probably going to get a question about CAFTA.

SANTOS
Because Vinick said something about CAFTA?

JOSH
Still, we should...

SANTOS
Damn, he's good.

LOU
Let's not play Vinick's game on CAFTA. The voters don't care about it.

SANTOS
Okay, let's do it.

He stands up as Lou goes to the door and shows a reporter in.

SANTOS
I get some sleep after this, right?

JOSH
Two hours, I promise.

LOU
Ted Zukoski, Chicago Tribune.

TED ZUKOSKI
Hi.


SANTOS

Sit down, Ted.


TED
Thank you.

They sit.

TED
Congressman, today Senator Vinick said he was surprised that so many Democrats
voted against CAFTA. Now, do you think...

SANTOS
International trade agreements are an important component of our National
Security plan because nations who buy from each other usually don't shoot
at each other; which is why our trade relationships with China are every
bit important to our...

TED
Why did you vote against CAFTA?

SANTOS
It was a complicated bill.

TED
Well, Senator Vinick says that the more jobs there are in Central America,
the fewer people who'll be trying to get into America illegally.

SANTOS
Well, that's true. Look, I'm for free trade, I'm for fair trade; but CAFTA
was not a fair deal for us or for Central America.

TED
Are you saying that CAFTA won't help Central America at all?

SANTOS
Of course it will, but not as much as it could have. Look, I voted for CAFTA
before I voted against it. I voted for it in committee when it was a good
bill. And then the special interest started hacking away at it and it was
mess by the time it got to the floor. So, I voted against it.

They both look at him, and he knows he messed up.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - SANTOS PLANE - DAY

Josh and Lou are talking. Josh is pouring himself some coffee. Lou is looking
something up on her phone.

JOSH
We have to let him loose on CAFTA; get him into a town-hall setting, let
him explain his thinking to real people, not reporters. I mean, the press
is never going to let him explain voting for it and then voting against it,
so we're going to have to...

LOU
We just got our tracking.

JOSH
How bad?

LOU
We've got Vinick up by 12.

Ellen walks up.

ELLEN
Hey. I hear Vinick's tracking has him up by ten.

JOSH
That's not what we have.

CUT TO: INT. - HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
      HOUSTON, TEXAS

Ray Sullivan is meeting with Rohr. Sheila is there.

SULLIVAN
George, great to see you.

ROHR
Good to see you, Governor.

SULLIVAN
I don't know why they bother to keep giving me hotel rooms: this campaign
doesn't actually let the VP candidate sleep. Coffee?

ROHR
Uh, no thanks. We've got a serious problem.

Sullivan goes to the table and pours himself a cup of coffee.

SULLIVAN
George, I understand why you'd like the Senator to make a public commitment
on judges but you've never asked a nominee to do that before.

ROHR
We've never had a pro-choice nominee before. He's got to give us a reason
to support him.

SULLIVAN
That reason's sitting right here.

ROHR
All due respect, Governor, but that's not enough. Now, he promises me he'll
appoint pro-life judges, I tell the reverends that, and then I see him,
on TV, doing the no-litmus-test bit. He humiliated me. Some of our people
are begging me to release a statement saying he lied to me.

SULLIVAN
And I'm asking you not to do that as a personal favor to me.

ROHR
This is bigger than that.

SULLIVAN
Nothing's bigger that personal favors; not to me. You're looking at the next
Vice President or the next front-runner for the Republican nomination for
President. You want to be my friend, George. Believe me, being my friend's
a lot better than being my enemy.

ROHR
We have no problem with you, Governor.

SULLIVAN
You've been promised a lot of things by a lot of politicians over the
years. How many of them have ever come through for you?

ROHR
Not a lot.

SULLIVAN
If you want Arnie Vinick to listen to you about judges, threatening him
isn't going to work. He already told you who he's going to listen to:
me. You already know what kind of judges I want. You've seen the judges I've
appointed as governor. You've approved every one of them. Now you've got a
choice. You can cause trouble for us and it'll just help elect Matt Santos
and Leo McGarry or you can be a team player - the Vinick/Sullivan team. And
I'll make sure President Vinick listens to you and me about judges. [pause]
I appreciate your coming, George.

He gets up and puts his coat on.

SULLIVAN
If anyone in your organization has a problem with the Vinick/Sullivan ticket,
I'll sit down with them anywhere, anytime to talk it through. You know what
the worst thing about the campaign trail is?

Rohr stands and Sullivan shakes his hand.

SULLIVAN
Surprises. I don't want any. You got that?

He leaves.

CUT TO: INT. - HALLWAY - HOTEL - NIGHT

Vinick is being escorted to the auditorium where he is to give his next
speech. Leon is following Vinick. As they come around a corner, Leon pulls
a letter out of his bag.

LEON
Senator?

Vinick turns and Leon hands him the letter.

LEON
I'm going back to D.C. tonight.

VINICK
What's this?

LEON
It's my letter of resignation.

VINICK
What?

LEON
Yeah. The letter is to thank you for everything from when I started in the
mail room to...

VINICK
What's this about? What, problems with Bruno?

LEON
I need to spend some more time with my family.

VINICK
Leon, come on.

LEON
I never thought it was going to be Santos. He didn't have a chance at the
nomination. Now we're three weeks into this and I can't do it. I can't be
working all day and night to beat the first Latino nominee for President. And
now that we're using his heritage against him...

VINICK
That's not what I'm doing. I'm talking policy. That's fair.

LEON
Please, Senator, I was in the meeting.

VINICK
If Santos is afraid to lead the country on these issues then he doesn't deserve
to be President. The voters have a right to hear from the Latino candidate
about Latino issues. He ought to be way out ahead of me on this stuff.

LEON
The twins are two and a half now. My mother-in-law just taught them how to
say the word "Santos." Some day they're going to ask me what I did on this
campaign. I can't tell them I did this. I can't do it.

He walks away. Vinick puts the letter into his coat pocket.

MAN
Senator, they're ready for you.

Vinick walks over to where he will go on stage. Sullivan starts walking
with him.

VINICK
Ray.


SULLIVAN
Hey, Arnie. Back up by ten? We're really sticking it to him. This border
stuff is killing Santos.

VINICK
How did it go with George Rohr?

SULLIVAN
I got him back in his cage for now.

VINICK
You promise him anything?

SULLIVAN
I'll tell you after the election.

ANNOUNCER
The next President and Vice President of the United States, Arnold Vinick
and Ray Sullivan!

They go out on stage amid a mass of fanfare and applause. They both wave at
the crowd.

DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES.
FADE TO BLACK.
THE END.
* * *

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