West Wing
The American President, Part II

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"A Medium-Sized Nightmare"
There's a shot of a hotel at night. It's snowing. Inside, Bob Rumson's in a suite with a bunch of other people. He's on the phone, saying, "Well, I agree 110%, Mrs. Harper. That's why I'm up here in the dead of winter talkin' about it with you folks." He laughs and tells her she's very generous, and that he'll be taking that money off her hands right now. He hangs up as a guy enters the room carrying a manila envelope. Rumson asks, "Whaddya got?" Envelope guy announces, "Call me Santa Claus, Senator. She's got an FBI file." Rumson, disgusted: "Oh, shit, Stu, my mother's got an FBI file." Stu, still smug: "Yeah, but...I got art." Rumson looks at the picture. Stu continues, "It's a demonstration outside the Department of Commerce. The picture's old, and some of the faces are obscured by the fire, but that's a burning flag, and that's Sydney Ellen Wade right there in front." It is indeed; she looks young and earnest and has long curly hair instead of her kicky little professional haircut. Rumson sings, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...." At the GDC, Sydney's on the phone: "Think like a father for a second. Wouldn't you like your kids to be able to take a deep breath when they're thirty?" He seems to acquiesce and she thanks him and tells him he's doing the right thing. Sydney announces they can update the tote board, which then indicates they need ten votes in forty-two days. Everyone cheers. Sydney's assistant David sits down and says, "Hey Syd, I saw on your schedule you're gonna meet with McSorley, McCluskey, and Shane." Sydney replies, "Yeah, the Motown Three said they'd give me thirty minutes next week." She's aware that it's a long shot, but she thinks it's worth the effort. David suggests that they should do some prep work, and asks whether she wants to order in. Sydney explains she can't, since she's having dinner at the White House. She suggests starting early tomorrow. David replies, "Okay. I'm having lunch at the Kremlin, so we'll have to, you know, start even earlier than that..." Sydney leaves, as David continues, "in order for me to catch the morning plane to Moscow." At the White House, the President's motorcade is waiting for the Prez in the pouring rain. In the Oval Office, Shepherd on the phone, and he doesn't seem happy: "Douglas, does the NRA have videotapes of you playing golf with Satan? We've already softened the assault weapons. We're leaving the SKS, the Mini-14, and about two hundred and fifty other types on the street. I mean, how much pull can one lobby have?" Janie is bustling about with her coat on, gesturing to her watch to hustle POTUS along. He ends his call, saying he's late for a party fundraiser. He hangs up. Janie nags him about being late. A.J. hustles in, saying, "I just got off the phone with the Federal Mediator in St. Louis. Management just walked away from the table. The baggage handlers, pilots, and flight attendants are all getting set to walk in forty-eight hours." As POTUS puts his coat on, he tells A.J. "I studied under a Nobel Prize-winning economist." Dr. Josiah Bartlet, I presume? He asks A.J., "You know what he taught me?" A.J. replies, "Never have a airline strike at Christmas?" Shepherd: "Yeah. I'm going to St. Louis." A.J. suggests Shepherd can leave straight from the fundraiser. As Janie and the Prez reach his limo, Robin and Lewis rush up and ask for a moment. Janie tells them that POTUS is running incredibly late. Shepherd tells them, "Hop in. We'll talk in the car."

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West Wing

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