West Wing
18th And Potomac

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This Is The Dawning of the Age of Sagittarius

After the commercial break, Leo's waiting for Jed in the Oval Office. When Jed arrives with a few of the military advisors tagging along, he looks at Leo and barks, "What?" Leo tells him that two of Dessaline's bodyguards were shot, and they think Dessaline's headed to their embassy. Jed asks how they know this. Leo says that Peter Bratt got a message through; POTUS asks with annoyance what Bratt's doing down there. Leo replies, somewhat impatiently, "He went down for the inauguration! And he may well have Dessaline in the trunk of his car." Jed's amazed to hear this: "In the trunk of his car? Did we evacuate the nonessentials?" Leo says that they're on their way to waiting aircraft, and warns that if they don't take Dessaline in, he'll end up convicted in a twenty-minute trial and imprisoned for life, if not executed by the junta. Cornelius tells POTUS that they shouldn't take sides in an internal situation such as this. Leo: "Of course we're choosing sides! There was a free election! We saw to it that there was a free election, and Dessaline won." Cornelius says that if they grant asylum, they will officially be in a standoff with Bazan. Jake adds, "And the best way for Bazan to elevate his stature in Haiti is to stage a standoff with the U.S." Cornelius: "Plus Bazan can surround the embassy saying he's searching for a wanted criminal, and obviously he can take everyone in the embassy hostage!" Leo's turn: "Mr. President, there will never be real elections in Haiti if the military thinks it can simply kill the winner. Also, I'd like to point out, sir, that we encouraged Dessaline to run. In fact, we strongly encouraged it and now he's in the trunk of a car!" I always think that this must be one of the hardest parts of the President's job: being surrounded by trusted, intelligent people who are all at odds with each other, all of them making good points and cogent arguments, and it's on you to decide what to do and take responsibility for the results. I couldn't deal with that burden day in and day out. Some days it's all I can do to choose between Ancient White and Seed Pearl for the woodwork. Tony expectantly holds up the phone and says, "The car's at the gate. I got the gate right here." With little hesitation, Jed says, "Let him in." Cornelius tries to advance his viewpoint once again, but Jed cuts him off, ordering, "Let him in." Tony listens to the caller for a moment as the other four men watch him in anxious silence. Tony: "He's in." Everyone looks back at Jed, who gives a slight nod in Leo's general direction.

Back in the war room, Toby, C.J., and Sam are wondering if they should put Hoynes up at the press conference. Sam thinks that there's never been a more important time to emphasize the Vice-Presidency. C.J. feels that VPOTUS's presence underlines the President's health risk. Sam feels that it will emphasize that the President anticipated the problem and took that into account in his selection of VPOTUS; C.J. rightly points out that it will also underscore the fact that he anticipated the problem and didn't tell anyone about it. Sam argues that Hoynes was one of the first people to know, and that his presence would indicate that he "signed off on the President's health and joined the ticket." I'm not entirely sure that it's been made clear that Hoynes knew about Jed's health prior to the election. It's quite possible he didn't find out until afterward, although, since we know that Hoynes made Jed "beg" him to be his running mate, maybe the MS/one-term thing is how he finally got Hoynes to agree to that. C.J. counters that the press corps will bombard Hoynes with questions and impanel themselves as a grand jury. Sam's losing patience with C.J.'s arguing with his every proposal: "Then let 'em, C.J.! We did something wrong or we didn't." C.J. snipes, "Well, fan-tastic, Sam! I didn't realize it was that simple." She tosses her glasses into the air and they land on the table. Someone knocks and brings a message to C.J.; Toby hands C.J. her glasses so that she can read the message. It is a nicely intimate gesture, although I don't think, as some people seem to, that it indicates anything's going on between them. It's just a signal of their comfort and closeness and cohesiveness as co-workers. Hey, that was a cornucopia of alliteration. Okay, I'll stop. She read the message, announcing, "There's a situation developing in Port-au-Prince. I have to get ready to brief." She leaves. Toby stares at Sam. Sam stares at the table. Toby asks, "Sam? Can Josiah Bartlet function as President?" Sam replies, "I'm not a medical expert." Toby says, "Right." He gets up and paces a bit. Sam points out that there are responsibilities and obligations to the party, and that if Bartlet isn't going to run, he has to point to Hoynes and say, "This is our guy." Toby asks, "What if they ask Hoynes, 'In the meantime, can Bartlet function as President?'" Sam says he'll say yes. Toby asks, "What if he says, 'I'm not a medical expert'?"

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West Wing




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