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THE WEST WING
"GAME ON"
WRITTEN BY: AARON SORKIN & PAUL REDFORD
DIRECTED BY: ALEX GRAVES

TEASER

FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY

	TUESDAY, 7:25 A.M.

TOBY
A crisis of confidence?

LEO
Yeah.

TOBY
I don't understand.

LEO
I was on the helicopter with him earlier this morning, and I'm telling you
he's second
guessing himself, he's revising answers in his head...

TOBY
Leo?

LEO
I know.

TOBY
What-what... I don't... When I left him, he was ready. I don't understand. He's
ready.
You can see it.

LEO
Not this morning.

TOBY
This isn't supposed to happen with you people.

LEO
Christians?

TOBY
Yes. What happened to "steady as she goes"?

LEO
A smart guy said the Presidential elections are won and lost on one square
foot of real
estate. [points to his head] Up here.

TOBY
Well, that's great.

LEO
Yeah.

TOBY
All right, we still got a day and half before he debates. We'll go back
to school.

LEO
I think that's just going to pour gas on the problem.

TOBY
What do you want to do?

LEO
We've got a two-minute drill right now. I think whatever answers he gives
we should
just say "That's terrific, Mr. President."

TOBY
Then what's the point of the two-minute drill?

LEO
We got five of them scheduled before tomorrow night. We're using one of them
for this.

TOBY
This is crazy. I don't believe this.

LEO
That's terrific, Mr. President.

TOBY
All right.

Toby and Leo enter the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE.

SAM
Leo...

TOBY
Listen, we're going to do something in the... in the drill right now.

SAM
What?

TOBY
No notes, just positive reinforcement.

SAM
Why?

TOBY
He has a problem this morning.

SAM
All right. Leo, I've got a 9:30 flight. I'll be there sometime after lunch.

LEO
You really can't do this with a phone call?

SAM
Oh, God, I don't know. The man died. There's a widow. We're asking them
to pack.
I'm an hour and 15 minutes away in a rental car, and we didn't make it
personal.

LEO
All right, I just need you in San Diego.

They see Josh in the HALLWAY.

TOBY
Josh!

LEO
We're still looking for ten words.

JOSH
I'm still looking for them, too.

LEO
Ten words, ten words-- let's go.

JOSH
We're going to expand the field.

They all enter the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. C.J.'s already there.

TOBY
No notes during this drill. [to C.J.] That's you, too.

C.J.
What's that?

TOBY
No notes during the drill.

JOSH
Why?

TOBY
He's in his head.

JOSH
There's pretty important feedback in the two-minute drills.

TOBY
We've got four more. We've got one on the plane.

C.J.
When is Debbie actually starting?

LEO
The President sent her to the Maxwell school for a three-day crash course
in everything.

TOBY
You know you've got a ten dollar bill in there on your clipboard.

C.J.
Yeah. I owe it to someone.

CHARLIE
You can all go on in.

JOSH
Thank you.

They all go inside THE OVAL OFFICE.

BARTLET
Ten words. Ten words.

JOSH
We don't have them yet, Mr. President.

BARTLET
All right, let's do a drill.

C.J.
Mr. President, despite a rise in tension around the globe, you've held up
funding for
a missile defense shield.

BARTLET
Too much money for too little protection.

ALL
Good.

BARTLET
Next.

JOSH
Sir, you oppose a voucher system that would offer children a choice of
better schools...

BARTLET
That would offer some children a choice of better schools, but I haven't
given up the
ghost on better schools for everybody, and vouchers drain money from that goal.

TOBY
Mr. President, this next question is on capital punishment, which you oppose:
If your
youngest daughter Zoey was raped and murdered, would you not want to see
the man
responsible put to death?

BARTLET
First of all, it's important to understand the President doesn't make that
decision,
though he appoints the Supreme Court Justices who do
so. What... any... um... All
right, I'm not going to say that. I'll just go right to... No, I don't. I
think you
know that I'm opposed.... [sighs] Let's not do that. I haven't seen any
evidence that
it's a deterrent, and there are more effective... In my state...

TOBY
Oh, my God.

BARTLET
What?

TOBY
[to Leo] You weren't kidding. [to Bartlet] What's the matter with you? When
I left
you... I just mentioned your daughter being murdered, and you're giving us
an answer
that's not only soporific, it's barely human! Yes, you'd want to see him
put to death.
You'd want it to be cruel and unusual, which is why it's probably a good
idea that
fathers of murder victims don't have legal rights in these situations. Now,
we're
going back to school.

There is a long pause of silence, then they all begin to laugh.

BARTLET
Let's go-- ten bucks. Crisis of confidence. [to Leo] You did one square foot
of real
estate.

LEO
Yes, I did.

BARTLET
Ten bucks for you. [to Toby] And you-- You big bear, come to me. I'm going
to kiss
you right on the mouth.

C.J.
Ten bucks.

LEO
Anything else, sir?

BARTLET
Work hard.

ALL
Thank you, sir.

They head back out to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

JOSH
[to Sam] Have a safe flight.

SAM
I'll see you in San Diego.

JOSH
[to Toby] Sorry about that. It was the President idea. He bet us you couldn't
stay quiet
if he gave a bad answer. What?

TOBY
He's ready.

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

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. CAMPAIGN HEADQUATERS [MATTRESS WORLD] - DAY

	NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA
	47TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

SAM
Excuse me?

ELSIE SNUFFIN
Hang on, one second. [to woman] Can he do "Inside Politics" tomorrow?

WOMAN
I told him he could do it on tape, but we're downtown at five. Let me talk
to them again.

ELSIE
Yes.

SAM
I'm Sam Seaborn. I'm here to see William Bailey. He's expecting me.

ELSIE
Okay.

SAM
Hey... William Bailey. Bill Bailey-- I just got that.

ELSIE
You should definitely mention that 'cause he's probably never heard that
reference
before.

SAM
Okay.

ELSIE
It's Will.

SAM
[as Jimmy Stewart] Merry Christmas, you 'ol Building and Loan.

ELSIE
That's George Bailey.

SAM
Well, why don't we get him?

ELSIE
Will!

SAM
Will!

WILL BAILEY
It's good to see you. I'll be with you in just a second. Darren and Sharon,
where are
you? This is good, but don't ever use the words "waiting periods". I thought
the point
of the statement was to support a stricter waiting period for handguns.

WILL
The point is to get one. "Waiting period" sounds like an inconvience. Keeping
guns away
from felons is an issue of national neccesity. Karen, if you call around on
the state
initiatives...

KAREN
Got it.

WILL
Hi.

SAM
Sam Seaborn.

WILL
Sure, Will Bailey. You want to come inside?

ELSIE
Will, you got like, two minutes.

WILL
There's a press conference. I've been trying to... study a little.

SAM
I met your assistant. She's funny. She's very... She's attractive, too. I
hope I'm not
being innappropriate.

WILL
I have an assistant?

SAM
Oh, well, somebody who works here then.

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
First things first. I bring the condolences of the White House on your
loss. On Mrs.
Wilde's loss, I should say. Everybody's. And to tell you you ran a strong
campaign on
your candidate, and you should be proud.

WILL
Thank you.

SAM
Do you know why I came here?

WILL
Even money it's not to tell me I ran a strong campaign and I should be proud.

SAM
It's not. Though you did, and you should.

WILL
And I will once it's over.

SAM
It's over.

WILL
Nothing I can do about California election laws. The man's name stays on
the ballot.

SAM
Yes, but you can't keep campaigning without a candidate.

WILL
It's a campaign of ideas.

SAM
The candidate died.

WILL
But not the ideas. The metaphor alone knocks me down. Elsie?

SAM
Mr. Bailey...

ELSIE
Yeah...

WILL
I'm getting really cold feet about the bow tie. I know you like it, but for
me, it's
like my whole world becomes about it. Can we rustle up a real one?

ELSIE
Yeah, and we really have to get in the car.

SAM
The campaign's become embarrassing to us. It's a national joke.

SAM
I'm sorry about that.

WILL
I got a press conference. Sally and the Suffragettes-- what you got?

SALLY
We did the PSA.

WILL
Let me see. Very nice. But do me a favor-- read this for me.

SALLY AND THE SUFFRAGETTES
"It doesn't matter who you vote for. Make sure you vote."

WILL
I like the sentiment, but the thing is I think it does matter who you vote
for. What if
it said, "No matter who you vote for, make sure you vote." What do you think?

GIRLS
Good.

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
Will?

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
I'm here for the President.

WILL
I admire the President, Sam. I really do.

SAM
But?

WILL
I don't work for him. [to Elsie] Let's go.

CUT TO: INT. PRESS ROOM - DAY

	4:50 P.M.

C.J.
All right, everyone. Thank you very much. Carol's passing out the
playbooks. Senator,
we've put you on criminal justice, and Martin, we've moved you to welfare,
if that's
okay.

MARTIN
Sure.

TOBY
There's also some third party validator information in there, as well as
the name of
the reporters you'll be handcuffed to. If it's not your thing, don't try to
wing it.
Call somebody over.

C.J.
Surrogate plans leaves at 9:00 this evening. We'll see you tomorrow for
pre-game.

TOBY
C.J., could I see you? And I need Congresswoman Wyatt for just a moment.

They go to the HALLWAY.

TOBY
[to C.J.] Bennett's going to spin for Ritchie.

C.J.
I could have told you that was going to happen! Hang on -- no, wait -- I did!

TOBY
I find competitiveness so feminine in tall women.

C.J.
On defense?

TOBY
Yeah, on defense! What the hell...?

C.J.
Don't huckle around with me right now, Phyllis! I got a North Carolina Democrat
shilling for Ritchie on defense. I've gotta get a guy. I need a Republican.

TOBY
This is why I'm talking to you. You're going to use Albie Duncan.

C.J.
He'll do it?

TOBY
Yes.

C.J.
Duncan?

TOBY
Yes.

C.J.
He will?

TOBY
Yes.

C.J.
Look at me. He's not a little bit crazy?

TOBY
Albie Duncan?

C.J.
Yeah.

TOBY
No, no, no. A little bit.

C.J.
Toby...

TOBY
He's going to be great. You'll see to it. Andy?

C.J.
I'm crazy about the roundness of your head. [walks away]

TOBY
Thank you. Andy?

ANDY
She's nervous. These things are won and lost in the rooms.

TOBY
Not this one.

ANDY
You think so?

TOBY
I know so.

ANDY
Don't get overconfident.

TOBY
That ship's sailed. Hey you want to know something? C.J. doesn't like running.

ANDY
Why not?

TOBY
Believe it or not, because it takes time away from helping. I really like
that about
her, don't you?

ANDY
Yeah.

TOBY
Good. Then marry me again.

Toby and Andy reach TOBY'S OFFICE.

ANDY
No. What else you got?

TOBY
All right. Let's make it interesting. Let's add incentive. The President
wins the
debate tomorrow night and you marry me again.

ANDY
How about the President wins the debate tomorrow night, he gets elected
President again?

TOBY
See, that's the difference between you and me. You're small-time. And that's
why the
twins are gonna need their father around full-time. 'Cause your thing would
be a
terrible trait. A terrible family trait to pass on to little... Beatrice
and Bluto.

ANDY
I'm naming them Beatrice and Bluto now. I don't care if they're boys or
girls. What
do you need?

TOBY
I need you to back up Albie Duncan.

ANDY
Is he crazy?

TOBY
No, no, no. A little bit. No. Look, he's Albie Duncan. He was in the
Eisenhower State
Department. He's brilliant, he's respected. He's a Republican. If he's crazy,
then I
don't want to be sane.

ANDY
You're not.

TOBY
Excellent.

ANDY
I'm out of here. Read Gabe Tillman's speech to the Stanford Club last
night. You're
gonna think you wrote it... only it was somebody better.

CUT TO: INT. PRESS CONFERENCE - DAY

WILL
Someone who will fight for world-class schools. Someone who will take
medical decisions
away from HMO's and give them to doctors. Someone who will make polluters
pay for the
pollution they cause right here in Orange County.

REPORTER
And what are your plans for the final week?

WILL
Volunteers are going door-to-door in every neighborhood. We've got six
busloads of AFT
and AFL volunteers coming down. We've got six get-out-the-vote rallies in
the next six
days. We're in this to win it. Yeah.

TED WILLARD [REPORTER]
Mr. Bailey, Ted Willard Orange County Post-Gazette. What happens if that
happens? What
happens if your candidate wins?

WILL
A special election will be held after no more then 90 days.

TED WILLARD
Does the party have someone in mind?

WILL
We're vetting Wendell Wilkie. What do you think?

The reporters laugh.

TED WILLARD
Seriously?

WILL
Seriously, one election at a time. Beth?

BETH [REPORTER]
60% of Orange County residents disagree with the Horton Wilde gun position
which doesn't
distinguish it from many other issues important to voters here. Is the Wilde
capaign out
of touch?

WILL
60% is six of ten in a focus group. You change one mind, it's a dead heat. We
change two,
it's a landslide. This campaign's a mechanism of persuasion. We're not asking
for a show
of hands.

JUNE WHEELER [REPORTER]
June Wheeler, San Jose Mercury News.

WILL
You're a long way from home.

JUNE
This is a fun story.

WILL
Glad I could help out.

JUNE
Mr. Bailey, we're all sitting here pretending this is a regular press
conference, and
you're very engaging up there, but your candidate died, so why isn't this
all a little
preposterous?

WILL
Chuck Webb is a seven-term Congressman who, as chairman of not one but two
Commerce sub-
committees, has taken money from companies he regulates. He's on the board
of the NRA
and once challenged another Congressman to a fistfight on the floor, over
an amendment
to make stalkers submit to background checks before buying AR-15s, AK-57s,
Street
Sweepers, Mac-10s, Mac-11s. He's joined protests designed to frighten
pregnant women.

JUNE
What's your point?

WILL
There are worse things in the world than no longer being alive. Yes?

REPORTER
You said earlier this morning that the 47th pays more in taxes...

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: EXT. BEACH - DAY
Will sits on bench by the beach, and Sam walks up to him.

SAM
How you doing?

WILL
You don't want to be in San Diego right now? I'd want to be in San Diego.

SAM
I was about to head down there. I was just at your press conference.

WILL
You guys ready?

SAM
Yeah. It's going to be great or a disaster. Nothing in between.

WILL
Good.

SAM
So what is this?

WILL
Our contributors gave their money to Horton Wilde.

SAM
He's dead now.

WILL
I know.

SAM
And that's the metaphor. Standard-bearer for a party that's dead in every
bedroom
community in Southern California.

WILL
That guy had a point.

SAM
Who?

WILL
The Post-Gazette. He asked if we had a name.

SAM
You want one yet?

WILL
Well not me. Not right now. Kay Wilde does.

SAM
The widow?

WILL
Yeah. She wants a democrat to tell us privately that they'll run if he
wins. Nobody
wants it.

SAM
Do you think you're going to need it?

WILL
No.

SAM
Give her Winston Churchill, what does it matter? [pause] All right, it
matters. What
are you doing?

WILL
Sam, I swear to God, I'm trying to win an election. I think you of all people
would be
able to recognize it when you saw it.

SAM
All right. All right. I can get on the 405 if I go straight down there right?

WILL
The fourth light. Hey, you guys give 'em hell tomorrow.

SAM
All right. You'll have more events tonight right?

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
Your tie doesn't go.

Sam ands Will his tie.

CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - DAY

	DEBATE DAY

CARRIE
What are those stripes, 1/16th? They're going to blur.

BOBBY
You like the herringbone?

CARRIE
I think it's going to glow.

BOBBY
It is.

JOHNATHAN
This is the Navy Heraldic Club.

CARRIE
Any other year. They're broadcasting in HD digital now and with the pixels.

JOHNATHAN
Does anybody, anybody, have digital yet?

BOBBY
Solid silk repp, light mustard?

CARRIE
Not with his coloring.

JOHNATHAN
So it's the charcoal and blue.

CARRIE
Yeah, it's good. Charlie! [tosses him the tie]

CHARLIE
Thanks.

Charlie walks from the Mural Room to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

JORDAN
Hey, Charlie.

CHARLIE
Hi. You're starting out in the Oval Office actually.

JORDAN
When do you leave?

CHARLIE
Right now.

JORDAN
Good luck.

CHARLIE
Tell him.

BARTLET
Hey.

JORDAN
Good Afternoon, Mr. President.

CHARLIE
Sir, they've chosen your tie. It's charcoal and blue.

BARTLET
No, I decided to go ahead and wear my lucky tie.

CHARLIE
Are you sure?

BARTLET
Yeah.

CHARLIE
This tie feels pretty lucky to me.

BARTLET
Then it's your lucky tie. Why don't you get mine, and we'll go to the plane?

CHARLIE
Yes sir.

BARTLET
Listen, what do you say I sit in on this meeting for a few minutes. We've
got time.

LEO
What do you say you get into pre-game. Let me worry about this for tonight.

BARTLET
All right.

LEO
Come here a second.

Leo and Bartlet exit to the PORTICO.

LEO
There's no such thing as too smart. There's nothing you can do that's not
going to make
me proud of you. Eat 'em up. Game on.

BARTLET
Okay.

Bartlet walks along the portico. Leo goes back to THE OVAL OFFICE.

LEO
We'll go next door. About a week ago we stopped a Qumari ship called the
Mastico on
information that it was carrying about 72 tons of weapons and high explosives.

Leo and Jordan walk to LEO'S OFFICE where Josh is waiting.

JOSH
Hi.

JORDAN
Hello.

LEO
What do you need?

JOSH
Ten words. Let me try two on you. Defense: "I will make America's defenses
the strongest
in the history of the world."

LEO
In the history of the world? When we say that are we comparing ourselves to
the Visigoths
adjusted for inflation?

JOSH
Crime: "Some crimes are so heinous, so hateful to American values that we
ought to lock
prisoners up and throw away the key." Please don't say yes to that one.

LEO
Keep working on the plane. And call me every 30 minutes.

JOSH
You read Gabriel Tillman's speech at the Stanford Club?

LEO
No.

JOSH
Governor of California's got a new writing staff.

LEO
Are you going to call every 30 minutes?

JOSH
Yeah.

LEO
One more drill on the plane.

JOSH
We're going to make you proud. Sit back and enjoy it.

Josh exits. Jordan turns and shuts one door, and Leo shuts the other.

JORDAN
You stopped a Qumari ship with what Leo? Are we on another crime spree? Why
don't you
call me before?

LEO
[angrily] We stopped them with a warning shot from the USS Austin.

JORDAN
Okay.

LEO
An LPD San Antonio class-warship. The weapons were not on their way to
the Qumari.
They were on their way to the Bahji. If I can't get everyone else on board
with the
fact Qumar is our enemy surely we can agree that the international Bahji
cell is.
The weapons were on their way to the Bahji. And the Austin stopped them.

JORDAN
Qumar is leveraging the Mastico.

LEO
We know this.

JORDAN
What do they want?

LEO
Yesterday they want THAAD missile technology. Today they want convicted
Bahji operatives
let out of US jails. It changes.

JORDAN
You're going to have to give them something.

LEO
[yelling] No! I don't have to do anything, Jordan. I'm right, they're
wrong. They're
strong... I'm much stronger.

LEO
What happens tomorrow morning the President gets on TV and makes his case?

JORDAN
No, we're not ready to do that. We're nowhere near ready.

LEO
What happens?

JORDAN
Assuming we get around the Boland amendment and any potential violations
of domestic
law and separation of powers--forgetting international outcry and sticking
our Arab
allies with an impossible choice of loyalties--six to five and pick 'em
you violated
the Geneva conventions.

LEO
Since when is it...?

JORDAN
Since Francisco Pizarro.

LEO
Well, if you're going to throw the Swiss in my face.

JORDAN
[sighs] Ali Nassir is at the general assembly. How hard would it be to
quietly get
him here from New York tonight?

LEO
U.N. diplomats are a little under pay scale.

JORDAN
He's a reasonable guy.

LEO
Is he?

JORDAN
In relation to.

LEO
Ali Nassir is what passes for reasonable these days.

JORDAN
How hard would it be to get him here quietly tonight?

LEO
Not hard.

JORDAN
All right. Why don't you do it and we'll talk about the next step?

LEO
Margaret!

JORDAN
What was that before with ten words?

LEO
It's a debating phrase. It has to do with making things simpler. [to Margaret]
Would
you get me the National Security Council?

MARGARET
Yes sir.

CUT TO: INT. AIR FORCE ONE HALLWAY - DAY
Charlie walks along one of the hallways. He grabs Donna's arm as she passes
and pulls
her into the corner.

DONNA
What's going on?

CHARLIE
Okay. As I understand it, it was the last debate of the first campaign.

DONNA
Is everything all right?

CHARLIE
No. Moments before the debate started, the President went out to the alley
to sneak
a cigarette, only he lit his necktie on fire.

DONNA
Yes.

CHARLIE
And Josh gave him his, and he won and now it's his game tie. And it got
ripped at the
cleaners by a cleaning solvent we probably shouldn't use anymore.

DONNA
Did you tell him?

CHARLIE
No! But that's a different conversation. My point is [holds up a tie]
doesn't this
look an awful lot like the real one?

DONNA
I don't remember what the real one looked like, but where did you get a tie
on the
plane?

CHARLIE
The neck of the Deputy Labor Secretary but what the hell am I thinking? You
can't pull
off this kind of fake out. Now it becomes the bad luck tie. Bad things will
happen in
that tie. No, you've got to face the music and dance alone.

DONNA
You know what? I think maybe you and the President are obsessing on the
tie. I'm going
to throw this notion out on the stoop and see if the cat licks it up. I
think the
President's performance in the debate had actually very little to do with
the tie.

CHARLIE
Okay. You heard me say it was his game tie right?

DONNA
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Okay.

CUT TO: INT. AIR FORCE ONE - DAY
C.J. approaches Albie Duncan.

C.J.
Mr. Secretary.

ALBIE
Ah, Ms. Cregg.

C.J.
Thanks so much for helping us out.

ALBIE
Yes.

C.J.
Have you ever seen the Moscow Circus?

ALBIE
No.

C.J.
Then I really have no point of reference to describe what a post debate
spin room
is like.

ALBIE
[chuckles] I like you. You're the one I like.

C.J.
Thank you very much. What happens is you'll be taken into the room and
a volunteer
will walk in behind you holding up a large sign with your name on it and
the press
will surround you.

ALBIE
Is that dignified?

C.J.
Absolutely not. Don't even hope. They're going to want you to talk about
why is a
Republican spinning for the President. Nobody's expecting you to say a
thing-not a
thing-that would embarrass the party to which you've been a loyal and
active member
your entire life. He'll be attacked during the debate on China. He'll have
to defend
his trade goals versus human rights violations.

ALBIE
Trade is essential for human rights. Instead of isolating them we make them
live by
the same global trading rules as everyone else and gain 1.2 billion consumers
for our
products and strengthen the forces of reform.

C.J.
That's it. It's that simple.

ALBIE
No, it's not simple, it's incredibly complicated.

C.J.
Sure.

ALBIE
McGarry's boy's over there coming up with greeting cards.

C.J.
Josh?

ALBIE
He's sitting with me, trying to boil down foreign policy into a ten-word
statement.

C.J.
No, no, he's the ten-word. And believe me he hates it.

ALBIE
I've been at the State Department for 30 years and there's no right answer
for these
questions and diplomacy needs all the words it can get its hands on. Plus,
he's from
Connecticut.

C.J.
Yeah, but the thing is Ritchie's good at it and we just need to show we have
that club
in our bag. That's all.

ALBIE
What kind of shot do you get with that club?

C.J.
According to the best people who've analyzed specific polling data there
may a million
undecideds out there who'd come to Bartlet if he displayed one or two
qualities that
were more like Ritchie. And we chose this. So for 90 seconds tonight the
mountain will
come to Mohammed and we'll pretend the whole thing never happened.

ALBIE
Yeah, it's incredibly complicated.

C.J.
Yes.

ALBIE
The answer I just gave you on trade?

C.J.
It was perfect.

ALBIE
You know there's a decent chance I'm full of crap right?

C.J.
Sure.

ALBIE
"Free trade is essential for human rights" ... the end of that sentence is
"we hope
because nothing else has worked."

C.J.
Okay, but I wouldn't say that tonight.

ALBIE
The President knows Chinese political prisoners are going to be sewing
soccer balls
with their teeth whether we sell them cheeseburgers or not, so let's sell them
cheeseburgers.

C.J.
Nor, if it were I, would I say that.

ALBIE
Let me tell you something young lady, 3700 years ago in the Chang dynasty
when a king
died, his slaves were beheaded-- the lucky ones. The unlucky one's were
buried alive.
Political repression? This is progress.

C.J.
Still, I think the first answer's our winner. So, can I find an attractive
aide and
have her bring you some Schweppe's Bitter Lemon?

ALBIE
No, I'm too steamed... yes, yes, okay.

C.J.
Good. [walks down the aisle] Carol?

CAROL
Yeah?

C.J.
Go to work.

CAROL
Yeah.

C.J. meets Josh and Toby in a corner.

TOBY
So is he crazy?

C.J.
Um, yes.

TOBY
What do you think?

JOSH
Well if we lose because of a ten-word answer, then I'm quitting show business.
[walks off]

TOBY
What do you think?

C.J.
I think it depends who shows up. If it's Uncle Fluffy, we've got problems. If
it's the
President, in his last campaign, his last debate, for the last job he'll
ever have...
if the President shows up, I think it'll be a sight to see, I mean a sight
to see.
What do you think?

TOBY
I think you're going to enjoy yourself tonight.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - NIGHT

	8:55 P.M.

The Qumari Ambassador to the U.N. ALI NISSIR is sitting down in the
room. Jordan and
Leo enter.

LEO
Mr. Ambassador.

ALI NISSIR
Mr. McGarry.

LEO
You know Jordan Kendall.

NISSIR
I do, but I did not know she worked here.

LEO
Special Counsel to the Office of the Chief of Staff.

They sit down.

LEO
Mr. Nissir, the President starts his debate in four minutes. I won't be there,
obviously. And for me, it's like missing my brother's wedding, right? A
big Super
Bowl or something. And I'm mentioning this to underline the importance of this
conversation. You have to turn the boat around. It's the match being held
to the fuse.

NISSIR
I don't know anything about a boat.

LEO
You're not getting access to THAAD. We're not going to release Bahji
operatives. You
have to turn.

CUT TO: INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
People are taking their seats in the auditorium.

MAN
[over P.A. system] Ladies and gentleman, please take your seats. The debate
will begin
in two and a half minutes. We'd like to remind you that this is a live
broadcast. In
the event of any technical difficulties, we'd ask that everyone remain
quietly in
their seats until the issue has been addressed.

CUT TO: INT. BACKSTAGE ROOM - CONTINUOUS
We follow Sam backstage talking on his cellphone into a room where Abbey is
taking a
picture with Albie Duncan. Josh is standing next to Vice President John
Hoynes, and
Bartlet is talking to Charlie.

MAN
[over P.A. system] Should you need to exit the hall at any time, please
beware the
reentry will not be permitted mid-broadcast. When the debate comes to
a close...

BARTLET
I guess what I don't understand is this. Have I ever exhibited any evidence
that I'd
be mad if a tie got ruined?

CHARLIE
No, sir.

BARTLET
No, I'm not that guy.

CHARLIE
This tie was special.

BARTLET
The chemicals at the Dry cleaner don't know that.

STAGE MANAGER [OS]
Can we have President Bartlet and Governor Ritchie to the stage, please? This
is their
two-minute warning.

BARTLET
Josh?

JOSH
Yeah. Guys, we're going to give them the room now.

C.J.
Bring it, boss.

Bartlet kisses C.J. on the cheek.

JOSH
Nothing but strikes.

Bartlet and Josh shake hands.

SAM
Game on.

Bartlet and Sam shake hands. They all exit. Bartlet turns around to talk to
Abbey and
sees Toby still in the room crunching loudly on a carrot.

TOBY
I just assumed you wanted to include me.

They shake hands. Toby exits.

MODERATOR ALEXANDER THOMPSON [OS]
Good evening, from the University of California, San Diego. I'm Alexander
Thompson.
Welcome to the Presidential debate between...

ABBEY
Well, it's in the bag. You have someone here to show off for.

BARTLET
My daughters are here?

ABBEY
Are you kidding? Ellie's wearing makeup.

BARTLET
Well, I don't approve of that.

ABBEY
You understand she's 27, right?

BARTLET
I don't approve of that, either. Remember the tie Josh had to give me at
the last minute?

ABBEY
Yeah. I heard that happen. So, do you think there's any point in still having
the debate?

BARTLET
There was a lot of juice in that tie. It was like in the last seconds. Just
the energy
getting me out on stage...

ABBEY
Well... tough.

Charlie enters.

CHARLIE
Sir?

BARTLET
Yeah. I got to go.

ABBEY
We'll do mushy later. So, for now, I just got to say I love you so much that
my head's
going to fly off. But, more importantly, game on, boyfriend! Let's go!

BARTLET
Okay.

ABBEY
By the way, I feel bad. I don't think I've done enough to help you prepare
for this
debate.

BARTLET
Why are you telling me this now?

Bartlet turns around to look back, when Abbey pulls out a pair of scissors
and cuts
off his tie.

ABBEY
Just 'cause.

Bartlet looks down at his tie, then up at Abbey who has a sly grin on her face.

BARTLET
Oh, my God. You're insane. Are you...? You're insane! Charlie!

STAGE MANAGER [OS]
30 seconds, please.

Bartlet runs out into the HALLWAY. Abbey swings the tie around and laughs. They
begin
to frantically walk to the stage.

CHARLIE
Josh, we need your tie.

JOSH
What the hell?!

CHARLIE
Take it off!

C.J.
What happened?

BARTLET
My wife cut it off with scissors.

JOSH
Why?

BARTLET
I don't think we have that kind of time, Josh.

STAGE MANAGER
Folks, can I get you to the stage, please. 15 seconds.

C.J.
No one's done camera test...

TOBY
She's right. Let's run some.

STAGE MANAGER
Sir?

Josh has taken off his and Sam is fumbling to get it onto Bartlet.

SAM
Right here.

Backstage, C.J. and Toby come tumbling through the side door.

STAGE MANAGER
Can you keep it down.

MODERATOR [OS]
With that, ladies and gentlemen, President Josiah Bartlet of New Hampshire, and
Governor Robert Ritchie of Florida.

Applause.

STAGE MANAGER
Quiet, please.

They arrive at the side of the stage. Abbey fixes Bartlet's collar. Bartlet
pulls his
hand back, slaps Abbey on the rear, then walks on stage.

ABBEY
Oh! Oh...

President Bartlet and Governor Ritchie walk on stage, shake hands, then go
to their
podiums.

MODERATOR
The rules for tonights debate are as follows: A candidate will be asked a
question by
one of the panelists, and he will have 90 seconds to respond. His opponent
will then
have 60 seconds with which to ask a question and get an answer-- though it
must be
limited to the same topic. There will be two minutes for closing statements
at the end.
By virtue of a coin toss, Governor Ritchie, the first question is for you.

MAN
Governor Ritchie, good evening.

GOVERNOR RITCHIE
Good evening.

MAN
Perhaps the biggest philosophical difference between you and the President
is over the
role of the federal government itself and whether national problems really
have national
solutions. Can you explain your view?

RITCHIE
Well, first, let me say good evening and thank you. It's a privilege to be
here. My view
of this is simple--

CUT TO: INT. SPIN ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The debate is being shown on large screens backstage. C.J. and Mark are
huddled around
a TV watching.

RITCHIE
[on TV] ...we don't need a Federal Department of Education telling us our
children have
to learn Esperanto, they have to learn Eskimo poetry.

REPORTER MARK
Eskimo poetry?

C.J.
Shh!

RITCHIE
[on TV] Let the states decide. Let the communities decide on health care,
on education,
on lower taxes, not higher taxes. Now, he's going to throw a big word at you--
"unfunded
mandate." If Washington lets the states do it, it's an unfunded mandate. But
what he
doesn't like is the federal government losing power. But I call it the
ingenuity of the
American people.

MODERATOR
[on TV] President Bartlet, you have 60 seconds for a question and an answer.

BARTLET
[on TV] Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded
mandate" is two
words, not one "big word."

They cheer backstage.

BARTLET
[on TV] There are times when we're fifty states and there are times when
we're one
country, and have national needs. And the way I know this is that Florida
didn't fight
Germany in World War II or establish civil rights. You think states should
do the
governing wall-to-wall. That's a perfectly valid opinion. But your state of
Florida got
$12.6 billion in federal money last year-- from Nebraskans, and Virginians,
and New
Yorkers, and Alaskans, with their Eskimo poetry. 12.6 out of a state budget
of $50
billion, and I'm supposed to be using this time for a question, so here it
is: Can we
have it back, please?

JOSH
Game on.

C.J.
Oh, my God!

SAM
Strike 'em out, throw 'em out! [turns to reporters] Anybody want spin?

C.J.
[to Toby] It's not going to be Uncle Fluffy.

TOBY
No.

MODERATOR [VO]
Mr. President, the next question is for you.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
The debate continues.

RITCHIE
...and the partisan bickering. Now, I want people to work together in
this great
country. And that's what I did in Florida -- I brought people together --
and that's
what I'll do as your President. End the logjam, end the gridlock, and bring
Republicans
together with Democrats, 'cause Americans are tired of partisan politics.

MODERATOR
Mr. President?

BARTLET
Actually, what you've done in Florida is bring the right together with the
far right.
And I don't think Americans are tired of partisan politics; I think they're
tired of
hearing career politicians diss partisan politics to get a gig. I've tried
it before,
they ain't buying it. That's okay, though. That's okay, though, 'cause partisan
politics is good. Partisan politics is what the founders had in mind. It
guarantees
that the minority opinion is heard, and as a lifelong possessor of minority
opinions,
I appreciate it. But if you're troubled by it, Governor, you should know,
in this
campaign, you've used the word "liberal" seventy-four times in one day. It
was yesterday.

CUT TO: INT. SPIN ROOM - CONTINUOUS

TOBY
[to Josh] I'm not sure I can watch anymore. No, wait, I can. I can.

CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - NIGHT

NISSIR
Isreal launched and unwarranted, illegal, unilateral air attack against
the people
of Qumar.

LEO
The air strike was neither unwarranted nor was it against the people of
Qumar. It was
against two Bahji terrorist camps after the Isreali Foreign Minster was shot
down by
Bahji operatives of, by-the-by, Qumair citizenship. Educated, if we're going
to use
that word, in Qumari madrassahs and financed by fat members of the Qumari
Royal Family,
including the Sultan's brother, Abdul ibn Shareef.

NISSIR
Zionist propaganda. And we lost a cabinet minister as well.

LEO
Yes, and you have the results of joint U.S, U.K., and Qumari search and rescue
operations, that detail the tragic loss at sea. Yet your intelligence
services seem
ready to tell the world that it was Israel.

NISSIR
A state that sanctions covert assassination.

LEO
Of terrorists. Are you saying Mr. Shareef was one of them?

JORDAN
Excuse me, Mr. Ambassador. Leo?

They get up and walk into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE.

JORDAN
You got to stop it.

LEO
Jordan, I...

JORDAN
You, you got to turn the boat around. You're going to be at war.

LEO
I can't play games with these people anymore. I can't do it anymore. Ben
Yosef gave me
the medal of David, and ten hours later he was dead. I can't pretend Qumar's
our quirky
little ally whose culture it's important to be tolerant of. They're not
wearing wooden
shoes. I was a soldier. I flew fighters over the DMZ. It was incredibly
dangerous. What
did I do that for? What am I handing to the next guy and to my kid?

JORDAN
Turn the boat around. Do that for the next guy, do that for Mallory and do
that for the
President. He's busy right now.

They turn around to see the debate on TV.

BARTLET
[on TV] No, the question is: Should we focus on 90% of the kids, who go to
public school,
or give parents money from the public-school budget to send their kids to
private school
at a time when private schools are even turning kids away who can afford
it? Public
schools are going to be the best schools in the country. They're gonna
be cathedrals.
The answer is a change in the way we finance schools!

They walk back into THE MURAL ROOM.

NISSIR
Mr. McGarry, I think we are both men, and we both know there is a charade
being enacted
here. I understand Western politics, and I understand President Bartlet is
unable to
admit Israel's complicity in the death of the Sultan's brother during a
close election.
So perhaps we could...

Leo laughs.

NISSIR
Did I say something funny?

LEO
You think the President's afraid that if he admitted complicity in Shareef's
death,
he would lose votes in this country? To sweep all fifty states, the President
would
only need to do two things-- blow the Sultan's brains out in Times Square,
then walk
across the street to Nathan's and buy a hot dog. Mr. Ambassador, you are
going to turn
the Mastico around. You are going to cease and desist any disinformation
campaign that
links the death of Shareef to Israel. And sometime next year, the Sultan is
going to
propose a Middle East peace plan -- the Qumar plan -- and win the Nobel
Peace Prize.
Make your phone call. I'll be waiting.

Leo walks out of the room.

NISSIR
He's a little hot under the collar, is he not?

JORDAN
Excuse me, I have a meeting of Godless infidels next door.

CUT TO: INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

MODERATOR
Governor Ritchie, many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is
centrepiece
of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the
time to
cut taxes?

RITCHIE
You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason-- the American people
know how to
spend their money better than the federal government does.

MODERATOR
Mr. President, your rebutal.

BARTLET
There it is.

CUT TO: INT. SPIN ROOM - CONTINUOUS

REPORTER MARK
What the hell?

C.J.
He's got it.

BARTLET
[on TV] That's the ten-word answer my staff's been looking for for two
weeks. There it
is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip
of the sword.
Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes
are too high?
So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me
ten after
that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every
once in a
while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those
days almost
always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced
moments
in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of
the United
States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way,
if the left
has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.

C.J.
[to Toby, Josh, Donna, Sam, Carol and Andy.] I'm going to make a bold
suggestion, but
hear me out. Let's not spin. Let's leave the room. We'll use the experts,
but nobody
from the campaign, nobody from the White House, and definitely not us.

JOSH
Why?

C.J.
There's nothing left to do here, and it's inelegant. It's the punch Ali
never gave
Foreman when he was going down.

TOBY
Absolutely.

JOSH
All right, just a statement. The President's on his way to Washington to
get back to
work.

SAM
And there'll be a lot of drinking on the plane. I don't think that should
be included
in the statement.

C.J.
No. Good heads-up.

They all break up and Albie Duncan walks into the Spin Room. The reporters
start
shouting for him.

ALBIE
Trade with China is essential for human rights. By engaging China and making
them by
the same global trading rules as everyone else, we gain 1.2 billion consumers
for our
products, and we strengthen the forces of freedom, and the President knows
this.

C.J.
Mr. Secretary?

ALBIE
Uh, I'm sorry, Miss Cregg, do you need me?

C.J.
I have a question. Isn't there a decent chance you and the President are wrong?

ALBIE
I'm sorry?

C.J.
I mean, doesn't he also know that Chinese political dissidents are going to
be sewing
soccer balls together with their teeth whether or we sell them cheeseburgers
or not?
I mention this because the President just reminded us that complexity isn't
a vice.

She walks over to him and whispers in his ear.

C.J.
You're the one I like, too.

She kisses him on the cheek then walks away.

MODERATOR [VO]
That concludes this debate. Thank you very much and good night.

CUT TO: INT. AUDITORIUM - CONTINUOUS
Ritchie and Bartlet walk over and shake hands. Ritchie whispers in his ear.

RITCHIE
It's over.

BARTLET
You'll be back.

Ritchie and Bartlet walk back over to their sides of the stage where the
family is
waiting to give them hugs.

CUT TO: INT. BAR - NIGHT

	LAGUNA BEACH AROUND 1:00 A.M.

Will is sitting at the bar, and Sam walks in.

SAM
Hey.

WILL
Tammy, I'd like to buy this old guy a beer. He had a good night.

TAMMY
Okay.

SAM
Thank you.

WILL
How does it feel?

SAM
Winning?

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
Good.

WILL
I thought he was going to have to fall all over himself trying to be genial.

SAM
So did we. But then, we were convinced by polling that said he was going to
be seen
as arrogant no matter what performance he gave in the debate. And then,
that morning
at 3:10, my phone rings, and it's Toby Ziegler. He says, "Don't you get
it? It's a gift
that they're irreversibly convinced that he's arrogant 'cause now he can
be." If your
guy's seen that way, you might as well knock some bodies down with it.

WILL
You don't fly with the team?

SAM
Not this time. I had to return the rental car; that's why I was glad to
get together
again. One-way charges on rental cars are insane. I think if everybody drove
one way,
it'd all work out in the wash. What do you think?

WILL
I think every rental car in America would be at the Grand Canyon and the
Tropicana.

SAM
Let the campaign fold, man. Stay out of the news his week.

WILL
I'm sorry.

Tammy places Sam's drink in front of him.

SAM
Thank you.

TAMMY
Sure.

SAM
You grew up in California politics?

WILL
No, I grew up in Brussels.

SAM
Why?

WILL
Several members of my family worked at the NATO headquarters.

SAM
You're not Thomas Bailey's grandson by any chance, are you?

WILL
I'm his son. I'm the youngest.

SAM
Hmm. That had to have been a nice Career Day. "Hello, I'm Will's dad. I'm
Supreme
Commander, NATO Allied Forces." Not a lot of kids took your lunch money, right?

WILL
No.

SAM
It's embarrassing, Will.

WILL
There's a campaign being waged here, and I'm not embarrassed by it. There
are things
being talked about -- things you believe in, things the White House believes
in --
and they're only gonna be talked about in a blowout, and you know it. And
you know
there's no glory in it, and you still come here twice and tell me my guy's
a joke.
That my people are embarrassing. How many Democrats told you to get out of
the way
for John Hoynes? The bandwagon was in Texas, and the boys were in Nashua,
and how
Democrats told you it was embarrassing? I'm not kidding, Sam. How many?

SAM
All of them.

WILL
That's right.

SAM
You're the one who wrote Tillman's speech.

WILL
No, I'm not.

SAM
His speech to the Standford Club-- yes, you are.

WILL
I don't even... I don't know what you're...

SAM
That's fine. But you and I both know different, right? So let's have some
respect for
that.

WILL
You've ghosted for senators, movie stars, I think the King of Belgium one
time. Do you
say anything?

SAM
No.

WILL
Why?

SAM
Speechwriters don't do that.

WILL
Yeah.

SAM
Okay, I'll just say that it was very good, and a number of people think so,
and leave
it there. Except to say that the jokes worked, too. I don't know who wrote
them, maybe
the King of Belgium, but I know it wasn't the Governor of California.

WILL
[pointing to Elsie] You see that girl over there?

SAM
That's the one I thought was your assistant.

WILL
Her name is Elsie Snuffin.

SAM
What a great name.

WILL
Isn't it?

SAM
Why'd you tell me that?

WILL
She wrote the jokes. Anyway, you should know about her.

SAM
Where'd you find her?

WILL
She was the 11th man on a ten-man writing staff for a sitcom. They weren't
using her
stuff 'cause it was smarter than the show, but she didn't know that.

SAM
All right. Thank you for the beer and for the lively conversation. Listen.. if
you
can't find a Democrat, tells Mrs. Wilde... tell Kay that I'll do it.

WILL
Are you kidding?

SAM
Tell her I'm a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton and editor of the Duke
Law Review.
Tell her I've worked for Congressmen and the DCCC. I have seven years at
Gage Whitney,
and for the last four I've served as Deputy Communications Director and
Senior Counsel.
Tell her I grew up two streets from here.

WILL
I'm not going to ask anyone else.

SAM
This is for election night, if you win. If I read about it before that,
I'm gonna deny
it and we're through.

Sam walks over to where other staffers of Horton Wildes campaign are seated.

SAM
Excuse me.

They applaud and cheer.

SAM
Listen.

GIRL
We love you!

SAM
Thank you. Listen, I've got to get to a bed, but I just wanted to say,
thanks for the
hard work. One more week. You're making a lot of people proud. And if you
get a chance,
read the text of the Governor's speech to the Stanford Club. It's going to
give you
chills. And the jokes, I think, are particularly funny. Anyway... good luck.

They stand up and cheer. He looks at Elsie who mouths "Thank you" to him. He
begins
to walk out.

SAM
Good night, Will.

WILL
Don't forget your necktie.

SAM
Keep it.

Sam walks out of the bar.

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 4.6 -- "Game On"
Original Air Date: October 30, 2002, 9:00 PM EST

Transcribed by: ck1czar and Corrine
June 11, 2003

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