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THE WEST WING
'100,000 AIRPLANES'
WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN
DIRECTED BY: DAVID NUTTER


TEASER

BARTLET [V.0.]
We stand at a critical point--a time of choosing. If we take the hard course,
the right
course, there is no limit to what we can achieve. There is no limit to what
we will
achieve...

A round of APPLAUSE.

FADE IN: INT. NATIONAL STRATEGIES GROUP - NIGHT
It's the night of the State of the Union address. The people -- staffers,
aides, and
pollsters -- are busier than usual. The place -- a bright and spacious room
in the
National Strategies Group -- is filled with television screens, all of which
are showing
one thing: President Jed Bartlet, as he delivers to Congress information on
the State of
the Union. In the bottom of every television screen is some kind of a dial
or gauge,
whose purpose we don't know yet. A woman we'll know later as LISA SHERBORNE
is looking
at the largest screen, mounted from the ceiling in the middle of the room. She
is Sam's
ex-fiancee, a shorthaired, blonde reporter. Sam joins her, and points to
the monitor as
he explains the dials.

SAM
The dials go from zero to 100. They dial up if they like what he's saying. They
dial down
if they don't. All the numbers lead to a central computer.

LISA
Like the Nielsens.

SAM
Yeah.

LISA
They're behind a screen somewhere.

SAM
Huh?

LISA
The people with the dials. They're behind a screen somewhere.

Sam points to the other monitors by the wall. In close distance is a
PHOTOGRAPHER, taking
quite a lot of pictures.

SAM
They're in Macomb County. They're in Portland. In Los Feliz,
California. Norman, Oklahoma.
Joey puts together a decent snapshot.

LISA
Which one's Joey?

Sam looks over to a corner, where Joey and Kenny are busy looking at computer
screens.

SAM
Kenny! Can we get Joey a second?

Kenny taps Joey and signs something to her. She turns and looks at Sam. She
is sporting
a new haircut and new professional-looking glasses.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...And we will leave a safer, cleaner planet for future generations...

Joey gestures at Sam to wait a minute. Sam signs something back.

LISA
When did you pick that up?

SAM
I just said thanks.

From behind Lisa, the photographer takes two quick snapshots of Sam.

SAM
Could he go easy with the pictures?

LISA
You said it wouldn't be a problem.

SAM
When did I say that?

LISA
C.J. Cregg said it wouldn't be a problem.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...this time, but I have the utmost confidence...

Joey and Kenny finally approach them.

SAM
Joey, this is Lisa Sherborne. She's doing a piece for Vanity Fair.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...whether it be two years or 22...

JOEY [KENNY]
I don't have a lot of time right now.

LISA
What do the different lines mean?

JOEY [KENNY]
Red's for Republicans, blue's for Democrats, and green's for Independents. When
we say
something liberal, like...

SAM
"Death is bad."

JOEY
Right.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...that is under protective...

JOEY [KENNY]
Blues go up and reds go down. When we talk about values, reds and greens go
up. You're
usually lucky to break 65. I got to get back now.

Our POINT OF VIEW shifts from Joey and Kenny as they walk off, to the large
monitor above
them. Now we can see the dials in great detail. Some numbers indicate the
time elapsed
and the number of people in the audience. As Bartlet speaks, the three
colored lines move
at constant speed with little or no fluctuation from the middle 50 line.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
I have abiding respect for the Speaker of the House and the Majority
Leader. They are men
of fundamental decency and public servants of purpose.

APPLAUSE.

LISA
How much of this did you write?

SAM
We don't really talk about that.

LISA
You think there's anything you're gonna talk about, or is this gonna be an
extraction?

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...to the men and women of both chambers, who have labored to shed the weight
of
partisanship and donned the cloak of progress.

APPLAUSE.

LISAThe lines don't seem to be doing much.

SAM
[raises index finger] Hang on.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
It may be said that in the last half century, America won the Cold War and
modeled
freedom for a waiting world. Today, we are faced with a new challenge...

LISA
Breaking out the greatest hits, huh?

BARTLET [on T.V.]
...Now in a new century, when we meet and master new forms of aggression
and hatred,
ignorance and evil, our vigilance in the face of oppression and global terror
will be
unequaled by any moment of human history.

APPLAUSE. Suddenly, all three lines in the dials make big jumps. They will
stay above
50 for a while.

LISA
Now you're cooking.

BARTLET [on T.V.]
And to the enemies of freedom, the enemies of democracy, the enemies of
America, the
enemies of humanity itself, we say here tonight with one voice. There is no
corner of
this earth so remote, no cave so dark, that you will not be found and brought
to light
and ended. More APPLAUSE. A majority of the audience gives Bartlet a standing
ovation.
Sam dons a proud look. The lines are way above 50 now, indicating high 60s
and 70s.

LISA
That's a number spike.

SAM
[to a man in controls] Hey, crank that up.

LISA
You broke 65 in all the lines.

Even more APPLAUSE. Sam and Lisa walk to take a closer look at another screen.

SAM
We nearly had one almost as big.

LISA
What?

SAM
I said we nearly had one almost as big.

LISA
What was it?

SAM
We almost cured cancer.

LISA
Really?

SAM
This close.

LISA
What happened?

SAM
Just one of those things.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
A large number of staffers, aides, and guests are gathered and conversing
in the well-lit
and well-decorated Northwest Lobby. Soft music plays somewhere. From a table
on one side
a BARTENDER is serving drinks. Amy passes by and stops by the table.

BARTENDER
Can I help you, ma'am?

AMY
Glass of chardonnay, please.

Amy waits for her drink. Josh takes this time to sneak from behind.

JOSH
Hey, Amy.

AMY
Are you talking to me?

JOSH
Yes.

AMY
What did I say about that?

JOSH
You said not to talk to you.

AMY
Yet, you're doing it anyway.

JOSH
Yes, I am.

AMY
You're doing it again.

JOSH
Look...

AMY
You're still doing it.

JOSH
Amy...

AMY
I'm walking away now.

The stumped Josh watches Amy leave. After a moment, he orders his own drink.

JOSH
Ice and vodka, please.

A man announces an arrival. It's Sam, with Lisa and the photographer behind
him.

MAN
Sam Seaborn!

The party guests acknowledge the announcement and applaud the great writer.

SAM
Thank you. Thank you. I am at Ha Ha's in Cleveland on the 16th, and tip your
waitresses.

Sam shakes someone's hand, just as Josh approaches.

JOSH
Sam. Congratulations.

SAM
Hey, you too.

They hug tight.

JOSH
So far so good, huh?

SAM
The dials were what we thought. We'll wait for the overnights.

JOSH
Lisa.

LISA
Josh.

JOSH
Still trying to get waived into Generation X?

LISA
Still a pompous jackass?

JOSH
Oh, you betcha. See you later.

Josh walks away. Sam and Lisa head for the drinks table.

MAN
Congratulations, Sam.

LISA
Tell me about the cancer thing.

SAM
It got cut. [to the bartender] Jack Daniels.

LISA
You were gonna cure cancer.

SAM
We were gonna say we were gonna cure cancer. Curing it is someone else's
department.

LISA
How does that work?

SAM
How does what work?

LISA
Deciding what you're gonna say.

SAM
You mean writing the State of the Union?

LISA
Yeah.

SAM
It's a long story.

LISA
I'm writing along story.

SAM
Do you do any kind of preparation before you come to report...

LISA
I prefer to...

SAM
Hang out at Moomba?

Lisa gives Sam a convincing look.

SAM
The process begins six weeks beforehand with budget meetings.

LISA
Why budget meetings?

SAM
'Cause if we're introducing a new idea, people are gonna want to know how
we pay for it.

Sam continues, but we are introduced to a series of scenes explaining the
writing process
of the State of the Union. The first of these show Ginger reading something
on her desk.
A man with a cart passes by and places a stack of bound papers on Ginger's
desk.

SAM [V.O.]
Memos are written--

Ginger takes the memos, goes into SAM'S OFFICE where Toby, Sam, and
other staffers are having a discussion. She puts the stack of memos on top
of other
stacks of papers on Sam's desk.

SAM [V.O.]
--they come from everywhere. Every agency, department, senior advisor,
outside notable.

LISA [V.O.]
What's an outside notable?

SAM [V.O.]
Former presidents, Henry Kissinger, Bill Gates, Jesse Jackson, Mr. Rogers
wants to write
us a memo; we'll read it. We'll pass some of them on to the President. He'll
start making
notes in the margins.

Bartlet, in his BEDROOM, is up at a late hour reading and writing.

SAM [V.O.]
Then we have "The President's First Thoughts" meeting. That's when we all
want to kill
ourselves.

LISA [V.O.]
Why?

A staff meeting in the OVAL OFFICE shows Bartlet pacing.

SAM [V.O.]
'Cause that's when the President tells us we're nowhere.

LISA [V.O.]
Why?

SAM [V.O.]
'Cause we're nowhere. So we try to figure out what people want to hear.

Another meeting, but this time with Joey in the MURAL ROOM with an appropriate
visual aid
that says "1. Strong Leader 2. Values 3. Cares about us."

SAM [V.O.]
And that's when anybody who didn't want to kill themselves before has
certainly been
converted to the cult.

LISA [V.O.]
Why is this so hard?

SAM [V.O.]
'Cause it's a white piece of paper.

LISA [V.O.]
How high are the stakes?

SAM [V.O.]
How high can you count?

A woman in TOBY'S OFFICE puts three books on Toby's desk.

LISA [V.O.]
So what do you do?

SAM [V.O.]
Whatever it takes to get started.

Yet another meeting, this time in the ROOSEVELT ROOM and with a big white
board, which
barely has any space to write on because of all the scribbles on it. Toby
walks to the
board and starts to write something.

SAM [V.O.]
And we read new memos, and we try new themes, and we hear new slogans,
and we test new
lines, and after a few weeks of that...

Toby reveals what he wrote on the board. In big black letters, it says,
"We're nowhere."

SAM [V.O.]
...we've still got a white piece of paper.

Back in the WHITE HOUSE LOBBY, Sam and Lisa are now serving themselves with
food.

LISA
So it's hard?

SAM
Hmm?

LISA
It's hard?

SAM
It's hard under the best circumstances. Obviously, it got a little harder
two weeks ago.

LISA
What happened two weeks ago?

Sam looks at Lisa, who realizes what it was.

LISA
Congress censured the President.

SAM
Yes.

CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY
Two weeks ago, Toby, Sam, Josh and C.J. are waiting in Leo's office. Leo,
who just walked
in, is bringing troubling news.

LEO
Good morning.

JOSH
What's going on?

LEO
Late last night, early this morning, the President reached an agreement with
the
Leadership to accept a Congressional Censure.

The room falls silent for a minute. The staff certainly isn't pleased.

C.J.
How's he feeling?

LEO
Hmm?

C.J.
How's he feeling?

LEO
Fine. It's over.

SAM
Joint Resolution?

LEO
Yeah. A Concurrent Resolution, actually. It'll take a couple of days for
the lawyers to
get together on the language.

C.J.
We should leak in the meantime, soften up the ground?

LEO
Yeah.

C.J.
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.
[long pause] It's over. That's all.

C.J.
Thank you.

SAM
Thank you.

Toby, Sam, and C.J. exit, while Josh remains on his seat. Leo, now with
glasses on, just
looks at Josh, who touches his head.

CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Just after hearing the news, Toby, Sam, and C.J. enter the empty Roosevelt
Room.

SAM
This is like the Civil War. When's the last time Congress rebuked a sitting
president?

TOBY
The Civil War.

SAM
And now, how do you...?

TOBY
Yeah.

C.J.
Should we postpone the State of the Union? What are the rules on that?

After wandering the hallway, Josh enters.

TOBY
He's required to give Congress information on the State of the Union. If he
buys Congress
a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, he's fulfilled his
Constitutional...

SAM
Postponing or canceling's an admission of defeat.

C.J.
He's accepting a censure. That is defeat. And you don't ask the school bully
out to lunch
the day after he stole your lunch money.

SAM
You don't go on a starvation diet, either. And we can spin the censure as
a bipartisan...

C.J.
You can't spin a formal denunciation from the legislative branch. It spins
itself.

SAM
I don't...

C.J.
It's our biggest press hit of the year, our biggest pre-convention campaign
exposure. I
don't know how you make a formal report to Congress when Congress just called
you a liar.

JOSH
I say we strap a polygraph onto the TelePrompTer.

No response.

JOSH [CONT.]
Humor--to lighten the load... I recommended that he take the censure and if
any of you
had been on the inside, you'd have recommended it too. How does he deliver
the State of
the Union in two weeks? He's the President of the United States. When he
walks into the
House chamber, they're all gonna stand up. Anyone here not believe this
President can
take it from there? I still got my lunch money. Toby? Sam? You got to dig
in. [pause]
Anything else?

Josh chuckles, which C.J. returns back.

JOSH
All right.

C.J.
Hey Sam.

SAM
Yes?

C.J.
Well argued.

SAM
Yeah.

Sam and C.J. exit and walk and talk in the HALLWAY.

SAM
What do you want?

C.J.
What kind of attitude is that?

SAM
C.J....

C.J.
Vanity Fair's pitching my office a story on you.

SAM
What's the angle?

C.J.
They want to do a profile, and they want to start the reporting on the night
of the State
of the Union.

SAM
Why don't they just cover the State of the Union address?

C.J.
This is their way of doing that. The thing is... you know the writer.

SAM
Who?

C.J.
Lisa Sherborne.

SAM
That's funny 'cause I used to be engaged to someone named Lisa Sherborne.

C.J.
Isn't it funny?

SAM
I'm not doing it.

C.J.
I'd like you to.

They exchange looks before they enter SAM'S OFFICE.

SAM
What happened to rule number one on staff profiles being that we don't do
staff profiles?

C.J.
When did we have that rule?

SAM
We should have that rule. Keep the focus on the President. People should
think he writes
the State of the Union.

C.J.
I think people know about speechwriters.

SAM
Then there's no more story to tell.

C.J.
In the past, you tell me. Did it help or hurt that the campaign had a youthful
and
energetic energy?

SAM
I'm not sure you can say "energetic energy."

C.J.
Did it help or hurt?

SAM
It helped.

C.J.
Do we need help right now? Do young women read Vanity Fair?

SAM
So let them cover the President.

C.J.
They do cover the President. Right now they want you, and I want to give
you to them.

SAM
[pause] It's got to be Lisa Sherborne?

C.J.
Hey, is the reason you guys didn't get married is 'cause her name would have
been Lisa
Sherborne Seaborn?

SAM
Yeah. That's the reason.

C.J.
I could do this for a living. [exits]

CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - PRESENT
The night of the State of the Union, Sam is seated by one of the tables in
the room,
which has been conveniently turned into a party dining area for the special
night.
C.J. passes by Sam, but his gaze is focused on Joey and Kenny, who pass
through the
Communications Bullpen. In the HALLWAY, Sam meets Joey and Kenny as they
exit the bullpen.

SAM
Do you have anything?

JOEY
No.

SAM
I don't believe you.

JOEY [KENNY]
I don't have anything.

SAM
If you didn't have anything, you wouldn't be out here at the party.

JOEY [KENNY]
I like parties.

SAM
What do you have?

JOEY [KENNY]
I have the first 20 minutes.

SAM
Okay.

JOEY [KENNY]
You don't want the first 20 minutes.

SAM
Why?

JOEY
Sam... Hi.

Joey sees Lisa, who just walked up from behind Sam.

LISA
Hi.

SAM
[to Lisa] I just need a minute, okay?

LISA
I can wait.

SAM
I need you to wait over there.

LISA
Okay.

Lisa goes into the Roosevelt Room. Joey, Kenny, and Sam step inside the
COMMUNICATIONS
OFFICE for privacy.

SAM
Why don't I want the first 20 minutes?

JOEY [KENNY]
It's what we expected it would be.

SAM
Tell me.

JOEY [KENNY]
It was the censure. People saw it was...

SAM
Just tell me.

JOEY [KENNY]
Democrats, low to mid 50s. Republicans, high 30s.

SAM
Independents?

JOEY [KENNY]
Low 40s.

SAM
You're kidding me.

JOEY
Sam...

SAM
Low 40s?

JOEY [KENNY]
We knew the first 20 minutes...

SAM
Ten minutes. You said ten minutes and not this bad.

JOEY [KENNY]
Wait for the rest of the dials.

SAM
We did Internet commerce in the first 20 minutes. We did child asthma...

JOEY [KENNY]
He wasn't the President in the first 20 minutes. Wait for the rest of the
dial groups.

SAM
Top line, cross-tabs, whatever you get, I got a bad feeling about tonight.

Sam exits and sees Lisa seated in the ROOSEVELT ROOM, drinking. He approaches,
and she
stands up before he could say anything.

LISA
Were those polling numbers?

SAM
No.

LISA
What was that about?

SAM
It was polling numbers, but it was... it was nothing.

LISA
How's it look?

SAM
It's too early to tell.

They sit, and they exchange smiles in the process.
FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO
FADE IN: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT
Sam and Lisa are still seated by their table. Ed and Larry walk up.

ED
Sam...

LARRY
Congratulations.

SAM
You too. Ed, Larry, this is Lisa Sherborne from Vanity Fair.

LISA
Uh, which one's Ed, which one's Larry?

ED and LARRY
Doesn't matter.

LARRY
[to Sam] Joey went back to the office.

SAM
Thank you.

Ed and Larry leave.

LISA
You don't have to introduce me as Lisa Sherborne from Vanity Fair.

SAM
I like to let them know they're talking to a reporter.

LISA
You really are uncomfortable with me being here, right? You're not just,
you know, being
you.

SAM
I don't know what that means.

LISA
How did curing cancer get cut from the State of the Union?

SAM
A lot of things got cut.

LISA
Curing cancer?

SAM
Hey, we had to cut a section about making government manuals easier to read,
so curing
cancer can take a number.

LISA
Why are you pissed at me?

SAM
I'm not pissed at you. I'm working.

LISA
You're done working.

SAM
I'm not done working. You're confused because you see Absolut Cosmopolitans
and famous
people.

LISA
[laughs softly] A section on government manuals.

CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY
Two weeks ago, Donna is reading a monster of a book on her desk. Josh walks
up.

JOSH
Donna?

DONNA
Yeah?

JOSH
Can you get me the most recent memo from the DPC on the welfare-to-work
initiatives?

DONNA
Yeah.

Donna's attention is still on the big book. Josh changes the subject.

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.

JOSH
That is so false.

DONNA
What are you doing?

JOSH
A late drink.

DONNA
Where are you going?

JOSH
Wilson's.

DONNA
I like that place.

JOSH
I don't.

DONNA
Why?

JOSH
Well, for one thing, the piano player only seems to know one song.

DONNA
Which song?

JOSH
"Little things with fur better hurry..."

DONNA
"Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry."

JOSH
Okay.

DONNA
"Surrey With a Fringe on Top."

JOSH
Whatever. It's like I'm on a hayride.

Donna walks over to a file cabinet Josh is standing next to. She pulls out
a file from up
top and reads.

JOSH
What are you doing?

DONNA
I'm trying to figure out if you have to pay for the plane ticket to Phoenix.

JOSH
It was official travel.

DONNA
Yeah, well, that doesn't really seem to make a difference...

JOSH
What does the rule say?

Donna sits back down, sighs, and reads from the big book.

DONNA
An employee may not use contract airline/rail passenger service provided
under the
contract with the General Services Administration. See part 301-15 subpart
B of this
chapter.

JOSH
What's the problem?

DONNA
Well, let's set aside that there's no subpart B. The rest of it uses a
sentence
structure with which I'm not familiar.

JOSH
[starts for his office] Just put it on my credit card.

DONNA
No. See, I think this is what it's designed to do. I think it's designed to
break a
person's spirit.

JOSH
And damn it, that's my job.

DONNA
We're getting beat by the system.

JOSH
We are the system.

DONNA
We suck.

JOSH
Yes. I need the welfare-to-work memo.

Josh reaches his office. Donna turns to the hallway and meets Toby, who has
been walking
very slowly, seeming very distracted.

DONNA
How many words in the Gettysburg address?

TOBY
266.

DONNA
And the Ten Commandments?

TOBY
173.

DONNA
So you really wouldn't think you'd need 6000 to discover how a plane ticket
gets
reimbursed.

TOBY
No.

DONNA
No.

Donna walks off. Toby stands still, looking into Josh's office. Josh was
about to come
out, a phone rings somewhere, and he goes back in. Toby puts his hand on
the wall,
playing with it a little as he walks forward, slower than usual. Josh looks
at him from
inside his office.

TOBY
What's going on?

JOSH
Welfare-to-work.

Both of them walk and meet each other in the hallway.

TOBY
I was happy when you said this morning that you recommended the censure.

JOSH
Your face didn't register much.

TOBY
I was thinking about the speech.

JOSH
I figured.

TOBY
Don't ask me how it's going.

JOSH
I wouldn't.

TOBY
It's in the larva stage. You can't rush these things. It's not like putting
a hammer
to a nail. [pause] I need some pie.

JOSH
You should go get some. [starts to walk off]

TOBY
[pause] Come with me.

Toby seemed a little surprised with what he said. Josh, surprised as well,
turns around
to face him.

JOSH
Okay.

TOBY
Don't ask me about the speech.

JOSH
Wouldn't do it.

The two start walking. They will end up past the lobby and down the stairs.

TOBY
How'd it end up going last night?

JOSH
With Amy Gardner?

TOBY
Yeah.

JOSH
Very, very well.

Donna passes them and gives Josh something.

DONNA
Here's the memo.

JOSH
Thank you.

TOBY
You know Amy's seeing somebody.

JOSH
I do know that.

TOBY
You know who?

JOSH
No, and I don't want to know. Yes, now that you mention it, who?

TOBY
John Tandy.

JOSH
Really?

TOBY
Yeah.

JOSH
[pause] Really.

TOBY
Yes.

JOSH
Interesting.

TOBY
Yeah.

JOSH
It's interesting, and I'll tell you why.

TOBY
Why?

JOSH
Because John Tandy is a...

TOBY
I'll tell you why, seriously.

JOSH
Why?

TOBY
'Cause they started seeing each other shortly after Nan Lieberman announced
he was gonna
make a primary challenge in the 20th district.

JOSH
Really?

TOBY
Yeah.

JOSH
Ah-so.

TOBY
I don't think he's courting Amy Gardner. I think he's courting women.

JOSH
I don't think you're right.

TOBY
Why?

JOSH
'Cause that's ridiculous.

TOBY
Really?

JOSH
No. It's not ridiculous. Of course, you're right.

TOBY
[sighs] Hey, who's the President having dinner with tonight?

JOSH
Friends of Abbey.

TOBY
Good, 'cause when you're in this kind of mood, having dinner with your wife's
friends
is just what you're hoping for.

CUT TO: INT. THE RESIDENTIAL DINING ROOM - NIGHT
That night, Bartlet is indeed having dinner with Abbey's friends, who,
apparently, are
all oncologists. Chamber music plays in the well-lit dining room, but Abbey
is not
present at the moment.

WOMAN
It's molecular pathology.

MAN 1
S.T.I.

MAN 2
[to Bartlet] That's the Signal Transduction Inhibitor.

BARTLET
I'm sorry?

MAN 1
S.T.I. stands for Signal Transduction Inhibitor.

BARTLET
Abbey just went to take a phone call.

Bartlet looks down at his dessert and plays with the spoon, barely listening
to the
conversation. Something else is obviously in his mind.

WOMAN
We've tested it on 12 patients.

MAN 1
Is this the first drug that targets sphingosine kinase?

WOMAN
It is. Yeah. The first drug.

MAN 2
Where are you with the FDA?

MAN 1
The FDA just ruled they can use higher doses.

WOMAN
This, they did.

Another man, BOBBY, who just went and got his cup of coffee, joins in on
the conversation.

BOBBY
I'm telling you, we're ten years, 25 billion dollars and a good luck charm
away from
curing human cancer.

MAN 2
More than 25 billion dollars, but the point is...

MAN 1
Two and three more breakthroughs in molecular targeting...

WOMAN
Which is what the Signal Transduction Inhibitor is all about.

Bartlet heard something that appealed to him. He looks up.

BARTLET
[to Bobby] What did you just say?

WOMAN
We're talking about a new drug, which is a signal transduction
inhibitor. Sphingosine
kinase was identified recently as the enzyme believed to control all signal
pathways
to cancer growth. This new drug can act as a kind of, guided missile.

MAN 1
Smart bomb.

WOMAN
Yeah. That destroys cancer cells without killing the healthy ones.

BARTLET
Right. The part I understand was Bobby saying we could cure cancer in ten
years.

BOBBY
Not cure it, but make it chronic.

BARTLET
In other words, make it so that people could live with it?

BOBBY
Yeah.

BARTLET
What is standing between us and that happening?

WOMAN
I don't know.

BARTLET
Who at this table knows?

WOMAN
Nobody knows.

BARTLET
How much money would it cost?

WOMAN
Nobody knows that, either.

BARTLET
He just said...

WOMAN
It's cancer. Nobody knows anything.

BARTLET
He just said ten years. I want to hear about this from the beginning. Talk
to me like
I'm not an oncologist.

Everyone else looks at each other.

BARTLET [CONT.]
I'm not messing around. This isn't barbecue night. I'm the
Commander-in-Chief. Put your
asses in the chairs.

Everyone standing takes his or her seats.

CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - NIGHT
From inside, we follow a man as he walks down the hallway. We stop just as
he passes
the Communications Office. From a distance, we see Toby exiting his office
and going
into Sam's. He crumples a piece of paper in his hand.

CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Toby throws the crumpled paper as he enters. Sam is at his desk typing.

TOBY
I'm out of pie.

SAM
We'll get some more.

Toby plays with his mouth and savors the last of his pie. He picks up some
kind of
snack on a table and starts eating it.

TOBY
So how's it going on the uh... what are you doing?

SAM
The economy. I'm getting somewhere.

TOBY
I can look at it when you're ready.

SAM
How about another two hours?

TOBY
Lisa's gonna do a piece?

SAM
It wasn't my idea.

TOBY
I wouldn't think so.

Sam stands and picks up a newspaper from outside his door, then comes back
to his desk.

SAM
C.J. asked me if the reason we didn't get married was because her name
would've been
Lisa Sherborne Seaborn.

TOBY
That's funny.

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
[pause] So why didn't you get married?

SAM
Hmm?

TOBY
Why didn't you?

SAM
She didn't like me very much. [sits back down]

TOBY
Ah.

Toby and Sam immediately see Bartlet in the hallway, accompanied by an agent,
as he
heads for the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. They meet as Bartlet enters.

TOBY
Good evening, Mr. President.

SAM
Good evening, sir.

BARTLET
I want to call everybody in. I just had dinner with some of Abbey's
friends. They're
all oncologists. I think in the State of the Union, I can announce that I'm
directing
our researchers to have a cure for cancer in ten years. Call everybody in.

Bartlet and his agent leave. Stunned, Toby and Sam exchange looks.

TOBY
This is about the censure.

Toby goes in his office. Sam waits a moment, then enters his office as
well. From out-
side, we FOCUS on the seal at the door that says, "THE WHITE HOUSE
COMMUNICATIONS DEPT."

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. WILSON'S BAR - NIGHT
The piano player plays "Surrey With a Fringe on Top." The place is filled
with fancy
dressed people, all of whom are conversing with each other. Somewhere inside,
Josh is
with Amy. It's their "first date."

AMY
What did you just say?

JOSH
I said it for your own good.

AMY
Did you?

JOSH
I did. I like you.

AMY
I hate you.

JOSH
Let's look at the facts.

AMY
Okay.

JOSH
He was polling at 69% among Democrats. And that's all Tandy's got in his
district.

AMY
Congressman Tandy.

JOSH
All right. He had a 69% favorability rating with women. You need 93%
favorability among
men to beat that, and Mahatma Gandhi doesn't get that in the Florida 20th.

AMY
Somebody's been studying.

JOSH
When Nan Lieberman announces that she might challenge him in the primary,
his favorability
goes down to 52%. You know why?

AMY
'Cause you're an idiot?

JOSH
'Cause women started going over to Lieberman.

AMY
Look...

JOSH
Women's groups started hedging saying there aren't enough women in
Congress. Tandy needs
women. NOW hasn't endorsed him yet.

AMY
It's January.

JOSH
Yes. Still, when did he start going out with you? A week after Lieberman
announced.

AMY
How do you know when we started going out?

JOSH
I know everything. And you are the door to women. The WLC put nine million
dollars in the
hands of pro-choice candidates. You narrowed the gap in the House from 14
to nine in one
election. You bring home the bacon.

AMY
You think John's worried about losing women? He runs and Emily's List
practically makes
a wire transfer. He crushed his last opponent in Lauderhill -- I don't even
remember his
name -- but he was a moderate pro-choice Republican, and there was 29% gender
differential. You think he's going around with me 'cause he's afraid of Nan
Lieberman?

JOSH
I do.

AMY
[chuckles] Well, I've never been so flattered in my life.

JOSH
I don't think I'm getting enough credit for saying this for your own good.

AMY
Don't talk to me.

JOSH
Look...

AMY
Don't talk to me.

JOSH
We're changing the sub...

AMY
You're talking to me.

JOSH
Perhaps...

AMY
Don't talk to me.

JOSH
I should just sit here?

AMY
Yes.

JOSH
And?

AMY
Not talk to me.

JOSH
Amy...

AMY
I have wit, I have charm, I have brains, I have legs that go all the way
down to the
floor, my friend.

JOSH
You don't have to...

AMY
Don't talk to me.

Josh watches as Amy walks away. Seconds later, his cell phone rings. It's
Toby.

JOSH
Hello?

TOBY
Josh?

JOSH
Yeah.

TOBY
You got to come back.

JOSH
Why?

TOBY
The President thinks he can cure cancer.

JOSH
Well, that's some good news, I guess.

TOBY
Yeah. I'll see you in a few minutes.

Josh hangs up.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
Joey and Kenny, who have just been called in, are walking with Charlie in
the hallway.
They're heading for a meeting in the Oval Office.

JOEY [KENNY]
Did he find a cure for cancer? 'Cause if he found a cure for cancer, I think
that would
be interesting. I think that was something we should share.

CHARLIE
Yeah.

JOEY [KENNY]
But he didn't. He wants to find a cure for cancer, and he wants to say that
in the State
of the Union. You know what my response would be? Me, too, but is this the
first time you
had that thought?

CHARLIE
Sign "union" again. That was cool.

Joey signs the word.

CHARLIE
No. It must have been a different word.

JOEY [KENNY]
Is he serious about this?

CHARLIE
That's not my department. I get you to the meeting.

JOEY [KENNY]
Right.

CHARLIE
Joey?

JOEY
Yes?

CHARLIE
How high are the stakes for the speech?

JOEY [KENNY]
They're high. But a magic trick isn't gonna help.

CHARLIE
How high?

JOEY
High.

CHARLIE
How high?

JOEY [KENNY]
Well, you don't win anything in January. You only lose. If he doesn't park
the State of
the Union, and I mean deep, it'll be his last one.

CHARLIE
All right. You're in the Oval Office.

Joey nods and steps into the Outer Office.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE LOBBY - NIGHT
Josh enters and sees Ed and Larry walking by.

JOSH
Hey, did I hear Toby right on the phone?

LARRY
Could be worse, you know.

JOSH
How?

LARRY
He could have cancer.

JOSH
Do the two of you ever go anywhere separately?

ED
It's weird, isn't it?

JOSH
A little weird. Yeah.

Ed and Larry walk off. Josh continues on his way.

CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Sam, Toby, C.J., Joey and Kenny have been waiting. Josh walks in.

JOSH
What's going on? What was that phone call?

TOBY
We're gonna meet and talk. [beat] How'd it go?

JOSH
Not at all well. You know whose fault that is?

TOBY
John Tandy's?

JOSH
No.

TOBY
Hers?

JOSH
Yours.

LEO
Let's go.

Leo had just opened the door from inside and invites everyone into the OVAL
OFFICE.

TOBY
Leo, is he serious...?

LEO
He's on his way down.

Toby closes the door when everyone else gets in.

JOSH
Totally your fault.

TOBY
I'm just, you know... I'm just the guy who does the thing.

JOSH
What?

TOBY
We've run out of pie.

From the portico, Bartlet steps in.

BARTLET
Good evening. Thanks for being here so late.

ALL
Good evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
A President stood up. He said we will land a man on the moon before the end
of the
decade. You know what we knew when he said that? Nothing. We didn't know
anything.
We didn't know about the lunar surface. We didn't know how to land one of
these things.
All we'd ever done is crash it into the ocean. And God knows we could figure
out how to
land soft. We didn't know how to blast off again, but a President said we're
gonna do it,
and we did it. So I ask you, why shouldn't I stand up and say we are going
to cure
cancer in ten years?

Silence in the room. No one responds.

BARTLET [CONT.]
I'm really asking.

JOSH
Well, how close are we to really being able to do this?

BARTLET
Nobody knows.

JOSH
Then...

BARTLET
Toby.

TOBY
It'll be seen as a political ploy.

BARTLET
Why?

C.J.
It can be seen... [to Toby] Excuse me. [to Bartlet] It can be seen as
self-serving.

BARTLET
How?

C.J.
Using cancer to deflect attention from MS.

BARTLET
You think people with cancer care what my motives are? You think their
families do?

C.J.
I'm saying...

BARTLET
Joey?

JOEY [KENNY]
I agree with everything that's been said, except, I don't think they'll see
it as
deflecting the MS. I think they'll see it as deflecting the censure.

BARTLET
Once again, why would somebody...?

JOEY
Everybody cares about motive, Mr. President.

BARTLET
I didn't...

KENNY
She said, "Everybody cares about motive," sir.

BARTLET
Sam.

SAM
Yes sir?

BARTLET
Why shouldn't I do it?

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.

Bartlet nods, turns to look at Leo, then back to his staff.

BARTLET
I'm sorry. I know it's late, but I want to start seeing drafts of a new
section in the
next few hours. C.J., I want a sense of a media overview, too.

C.J. nods, but nobody moves instantly.

BARTLET
Now.

ALL
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

The staff exits. Bartlet goes behind his desk, and Leo gives him a knowing
look.

BARTLET
I just want to look at some drafts.

Leo exits to his office.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT
After the meeting, Sam and Toby walk in.

TOBY
I don't have an hour and a half to spend on this.

SAM
I can do it.

TOBY
You don't have an hour and a half to spend on it either.

SAM
Why are you opposed to this?

TOBY
Stopping what we're doing to write about curing cancer?

SAM
Yeah.

TOBY
'Cause it's never gonna be in the speech.

SAM
How do you know?

Toby goes into his office just as Joey and Kenny enter.

JOEY [KENNY]
What resources do we have to devote?

SAM
I don't know.

JOEY [KENNY]
How much money is it gonna cost?

SAM
I don't know.

TOBY
[exits his office] That's how I know.

JOEY [KENNY]
The man's about to get a Congressional Censure. He's trying to pull a rabbit
out of his
hat. What are you doing humoring him?

SAM
I'm not humoring him.

TOBY
I don't want you spending more than an hour and half. [goes to his office]

SAM
You're a pollster.

JOEY
Yes.

SAM
You don't think this will poll well?

JOEY [KENNY]
Do I think people are in favor of curing cancer? Yes, I do.

SAM
So?

JOEY [KENNY]
But federal government shouldn't be directing scientific research.

SAM
Why?

JOEY [KENNY]
Because you stink at it. If it was up to the NIH to cure polio through a
centrally
directed program instead of an independent investigator driven discovery,
you'd have
the best iron lung in the world, but not a polio vaccine.

SAM
When did you get an M.D.?

JOEY [KENNY]
I was just quoting Samuel Broder.

SAM
Who's he?

JOEY [KENNY]
The former director of the National Cancer Institute. The speech is gonna
work fine.
Don't overreact to the censure.

SAM
There is no speech yet.

JOEY [KENNY]
There will be.

SAM
I have to work now. The President asked me to try this.

JOEY [KENNY]
I'll be in my office. [exits with Kenny]

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - PRESENT
Back at the State of the Union party, Joey and Kenny walk down the hallway
talking,
obviously by means of signing. Josh comes up from behind.

JOSH
Listen... When the hell are we getting numbers?

JOEY [KENNY]
You are a pleasure to work for.

JOSH
I hear that a lot. When are we getting numbers?

JOEY
When I say so.

Joey and Kenny walk away. Donna, on the other hand, walks quietly from behind
Josh.

DONNA
So many women, so little charm.

JOSH
What in God's name could you possibly want right now?

DONNA
[faces him] Let me tell you something. Making government manuals easier to
read?

JOSH
Yeah?

DONNA
Would have been a winner.

Amy suddenly passes by behind Josh and smacks him hard on the head.

AMY
Come with me.

JOSH
[to Donna] Excuse me.

Josh follows Amy, until they reach a deserted hallway, not far from the party.

AMY
[whispers] He happens to be more feminist than the White House.

JOSH
I have no idea what you just said.

AMY
I said he happens to be more feminist than the White House.

JOSH
Feminine?

AMY
Feminist. He wrote the amendment to the HHS Appropriations Bill that made
violence near
abortion clinics a federal crime while you guys were seeking legal commentary.

JOSH
Forgive us for talking to lawyers about the law.

AMY
He almost single-handedly beat back three parental consent bills, and on
two of them,
he ran his own damn whip operation because they weren't Leadership priorities.

JOSH
The Minority Whip doesn't work for us.

AMY
And he ties the Violence Against Women Act to the last crime bill...

JOSH
Amy...

AMY
...over White House objection.

JOSH
I'm not quarreling with his credentials as a lover of women. I happen to
know he excels
in that area.

AMY
Look who's talking.

JOSH
I'm just saying...

AMY
That he's using me.

JOSH
I was saying that. I was saying it two weeks ago. Now I'm not saying anything
in the
vicinity of that.

From the other end of the hallway, someone walks up. It's Congressman JOHN
TANDY.

TANDY
Hey.

AMY
Hey.

JOSH
Congressman.

TANDY
Josh, great night for us.

JOSH
We'll see. [They shake hands.]

TANDY
Amy, we're doing some pictures with the President in the Mural Room.

AMY
You don't want to do them yourself?

TANDY
No. Come on.

Tandy starts to walk off. Josh and Amy exchange looks.

JOSH
Go ahead. Photo-op.

Amy begins to leave, but she stops and looks back one more time. Tandy,
already a few
steps ahead, calls her.

TANDY
Amy.

AMY
Yeah. [joins him]

TANDY
[to Josh] Congratulations.

Josh watches as Amy and the Congressman step away.

JOSH
[to himself] Hmm. We'll see.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - LATE NIGHT
Two weeks before the State of the Union, Sam knocks at the open door. Bartlet
is at his
desk, reading.

BARTLET
Yeah. Come on in.

Sam steps in and walks up to the desk.

SAM
Good evening, Mr. President.

BARTLET
You got it?

SAM
Yeah.

He gives Bartlet a piece of paper, which he reads, all the while pacing the
room.
Bartlet finds himself seated on a chair.

BARTLET
This is good.

SAM
You know we can't do it.

BARTLET
Yeah.

SAM
We need to line up experts who can face the press, and in just two weeks.

BARTLET
Yeah.

SAM
Sloane-Kettering, Dana-Farber, The Cleveland Clinic, UCLA.

BARTLET
We'd want to include the Society of Clinical Oncology.

SAM
And the NCI.

BARTLET
The OMB would have to score it. We haven't identified the offsets to pay
for it. We can
barely tell them what the it is.

SAM
Clinical trials under Medicare and Medicaid, Science and Technology Democrats,
the
pharmaceutical companies.

BARTLET
[sighs] It was a good idea though.

SAM
We have other good ideas.

BARTLET
So we don't get water from a rock. We just do our thing and take our chances.

SAM
I think so.

BARTLET
[stands] We're gonna have to do it awfully well this time.

SAM
We've done that before.

Bartlet gives Sam the draft back.

BARTLET
Anything else?

SAM
[shakes his head] Thank you, Mr. President.

Sam exits. Bartlet walks back to his desk.

CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE LOBBY - PRESENT
At the State of the Union party, C.J. is conversing with two men. Nearby,
Kenny calls her.

KENNY
C.J.!

C.J.
[to the men] Would you excuse me?

C.J., with drink in her hand, walks down the hallway to JOSH'S BULLPEN
AREA. Almost
every staffer in the place is gathered around Joey and Kenny. As soon as
C.J. arrives,
Joey starts.

JOEY [KENNY]
Well, something happened at the half-hour mark.

TOBY
What?

JOEY [KENNY]
They remembered why they liked him in the first place. The breakdowns are
being handed
around, but the really good news are the panel backs. Sixteen Democrats,
16 Republicans,
and 12 Independents were asked identical questions two days ago and one hour
ago. Two
days ago, 48% said he was able to handle his job effectively. Tonight,
that number's 59.

Some sounds of amazement and relief from everyone.

JOEY [KENNY]
"Trustworthy," 60%, up from 41.

TOBY
Give us the real one.

JOEY [KENNY]
"Strong leader..." [with a smile] 69%.

Strong, loud, and motivating cheers come from everyone. The place is lifted
up with joy
and rapture, as they smile and applaud.

JOSH
[arms up in the air] We're back! Yes! Yes!

Sam and Toby hug. Josh kisses Joey. He then goes to Donna, kisses and hugs
her. C.J. gives
Toby a handful of lip smacks. Sam exchanges a high five with Larry as Ed
cheers nearby.
Josh lifts C.J. up in the air. From the end of the hall, staffers make way
and applaud as
Bartlet walks up, with Leo behind him. Bartlet puts his arms around Sam and
Toby.

BARTLET
Somebody get these guys some pie.

Smiles and laughter continue.

C.J.
Joey, is there an extra copy of the panel backs? I didn't get one.

KENNY
I got one.

C.J.
Thanks.

She takes the copy and makes a run for her office, passing by Toby.

TOBY
C.J.!

C.J.
Hang on.

TOBY
Dance with me!

C.J.
Hang on! I'm just gonna toss this in my office.

As C.J. enters her office, Carol walks in behind her.

CAROL
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 earned it.

Sam knocks and enters. Carol exits.

C.J.
Sam, Sam, sunshine man. Get on the couch, I'm gonna do you right now.

SAM
Okay.

C.J.
Sorry, I was still talking to Carol.

SAM
What is wrong with you?

C.J.
We really don't know. [laughs] Lisa mentioned that it wasn't going that well
tonight.
You still got a couple of weeks with her, you'll...

SAM
Yeah. I wish that we hadn't started tonight.

C.J.
Why? It was a shining moment.

SAM
It got the job done, but it's ironic, 'cause that thing, sort of, a thing
between us is
I'm supposed to know the difference between flash and substance.

C.J.
Sometimes a little flash is what's required. You said that to me.

SAM
I say that when I don't have anything to say.

C.J.
It wasn't a Vegas act. It was stirring. And I wouldn't hang your head when
you say it
got the job done. That job was impossible and it had to be done. There aren't
ten guys
in the country who could write that speech.

SAM
I bet the Cancer Committee can't wait to buy me a beer.

C.J. puts a hand on Sam's chest.

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.
[laughs] Get out.

C.J. takes a sip of her drink as Sam leaves.

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT
Sam leads Lisa inside.

SAM
Sorry. I was just getting some polling numbers.

LISA
Can you tell me what they were?

SAM
They're internal numbers. CNN/USA Today will have something in a little
while. Anyway,
this is my office over here.

LISA
Sam, I'm gonna give my notes from tonight to someone else and let them finish
the
reporting over the next few weeks. You're obviously not comfortable with this.

SAM
They're internal numbers, Lisa, I can't...

LISA
Yeah, whatever. I'm gonna give my notes to someone else.

SAM
[pause] Anyway... [shows Lisa inside his office] This is my office.

LISA
It's nice.

SAM
[pause] C.J. asked me a couple of weeks ago if the reason we didn't get
married is
because your name would be Sherborne Seaborn.

LISA
That's exactly why we didn't get married.

SAM
[pause] Why didn't we get married?

LISA
Why do you think?

SAM
'Cause I don't know what the cool restaurant is, and I don't care. When I
get hungry,
I want to eat. And I don't know where the Tommy Hilfiger party is, and I
don't know
what to do once I get there.

LISA
You're full of crap.

SAM
I was never cool enough for you.

LISA
You're full of crap, and you think too little of me, and I didn't leave
you. You left me,
and you did it to do this, and the reason you're pissy is 'cause I'm here
looking at you
and writing about you, and you're wondering if I'm gonna think you've been
doing anything
at all.

SAM
Often it's not clear to me whether or not I have.

LISA
You have.

SAM
How would you know?

LISA
I don't know.

SAM
[pause] Here's something interesting. In 1940, our armed forces weren't
among the 12
most formidable in the world, but obviously we were gonna fight a big war. And
Roosevelt
said the U.S. would produce 50,000 planes in the next four years. Everyone
taught it was
a joke, and it was. 'Cause it turned out we produced 100,000 planes. Gave
the air force
an armada that would block the sun.

LISA
Do you still have what you wrote that night?

SAM
About curing cancer?

LISA
Yeah.

Sam walks to his desk and fiddles with his laptop. He shows Lisa his draft
on curing
cancer.

LISA
Read it to me. [sits]

SAM
[reads] "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."

LISA
[pause] That was nice. [beat] I'll pass the notes along.

Sam nods and watches Lisa leave his office. As he leans back on his chair,
we see his
computer screen and the words to his draft. With a touch, he highlights all
the words,
before he deletes them. For a moment, Sam just sits still, staring at the
blank page.

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

The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John
Wells
Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement
is intended.

Episode 3.11 -- '100,000 Airplanes'
Original Airdate: January 17, 2002, 9:00 PM EST

Transcript By: Giorgio
March 6, 2002

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