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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by C.J.

It's the Democratic National Convention and the race to become the Democratic Presidential candidate has narrowed to three candidates: Russell, Hoynes and Santos.  Also, Bartlet must wrestle with the decision either to launch the super-secret defense shuttle to rescue the astronauts trapped at the space station and risk national security or to let the astronauts die.



Leo is coordinating the convention business, and trying to keep Josh and Will from squabbling with each other.  Leo tells them to come to a decision on how to proceed and that Annabeth is running the podium and everything must be vetted through her.  He asks where they are with their VP selections, and they all hedge.  Will and Josh continue to bicker.  Finally, Leo demands them to do "rock, paper, scissors" to determine the speaking order.

Josh and Ned walk with Helen and Matt into the convention hall.  Josh tells him that Hoynes is speaking last.  As they walk into the arena, they are awestruck at the spectacle.

Act I[]

C.J. is on the phone being yelled at by Secretary of Defense Hutchinson.  Toby and Kate listen in and Charlie enters carrying the newspaper with Greg Brock's article.  Debbie tells them the President is ready for them.  In the Oval Office, the President is furious and tells them to figure this out and tells Toby and Kate to find out who leaked the story and he wants a name on his desk by Friday.

Democratic National Convention - Day One, 8:45am[]

In the Santos war room, Josh is marshalling the forces to make sure the Santos delegates stay with them through the second ballot.  He wants to explore the possibility of getting Hoynes to endorse Santos, getting his delegates to come over to Santos.  Josh talks with Ronna to see if there is any opportunity to pick up stray delegates from other candidates who were in the race.  She says she will look into it.  Josh tells Ronna he is going to "beg an old friend," John Hoynes, who exchanges pleasantries with Josh, though Josh is there to get Hoynes to withdraw and support Santos.  However, Hoynes isn't interested.

In the Russell suites, Will is on the phone, as is Donna.  They are trying to find Governor Baker to have him meet with Russell.  They learn that Baker has been "thinking" and is not ready to meet with Russell.  Josh comes to the Santos' room to tell them that he went to talk to John Hoynes, and that while he didn't say no, he didn't say yes.  Josh believes he's thinking seriously about supporting Hoynes.  Bram comes in to tell them that it's time to leave for the convention center.  Bram asks Josh if he's coming, and Josh replies that he wouldn't miss it for the world.

Act II - Democratic National Convention - 8:47pm, Day One[]

The first ballot is proceeding as expected.  Josh is trying to hold it together and to keep delegates from defecting.  At the White House, Kate comes to Toby to see how they should proceed with the investigation into finding the person who leaked the information.

In the Russell offices, Will is watching the balloting and wondering what Russell and Baker are talking about in the other room.  Baker and Russell are talking and Baker tells the VP that they should think about it and make a decision in the morning.  At the convention, network executives are pleading with Leo:  they want something to happen.  Annabeth comes up to tell Leo that "Draft Baker" placards are being distributed throughout the hall:  Baker is going to try to get nominated from the floor.  In the Santos suite, Josh is trying to hold the Santos delegates together and keep them from defecting to Baker.  Baker is interviewed on TV and VP Russell watches in horror in his suite.  Will tries to get him to focus and to get on the phone to call the Russell delegates.

In the residence, Abbey comes out to find Jed watching the convention and the "Draft Baker" movement from the floor.  In the Santos War Room, Josh is still trying to stop the defection of the Santos delegates.  However, the Russell camp stands to lose more than Santos, for the moment.  The situation is similar in the Russell War Room, when Donna tells Will that Leo wants to see them.

Leo meets with the candidates and the top advisors and tells them they are going to suspend the balloting until the next day and that they need to work out a deal so they can have a nominee by the time the President arrives to speak. 

Act III[]

The next morning, a group of FBI agents arrive at the White House to assist with the investigation.  Toby and Kate greet them and take them into the West Wing.  In the Oval Office, the President is getting a briefing.  Secretary Hutchinson says the civilian shuttle cannot be readied for another two weeks, but the military shuttle could leave from Vandenburg Air Force Base that evening.  C.J. wonders aloud what they would tell the press, Hutchinson suggests that they say that the astronauts were able to fix the leak themselves.

Democratic National Convention - Day Two, 6:35am[]

In the Russell War Room, Will is going over the delegate counts.  Donna wonders if they could still get Santos to agree to the VP slot.  Will points out that it would be better the other way around.  In the Santos War Room, Josh is sitting with a phone clutched to his chest.  He wakes up Ned to tell him that they cannot win without the Teachers' Unions.  Bram points out that the Unions hate Santos.  Josh goes off to see Ernie Gambelli, the head of the Teachers' Unions.  Gambelli is not willing to budge unless Santos drops his plan to end teacher tenure.

At the White House, C.J. is getting ready to leave for the Convention with the President.  Toby brings in the President's speech.  She tells him to prepare two speeches for the President about the space station:  one if they rescue them, one if they don't.  Someone comes in to tell her the FBI is ready to interview her.

Back in the Santos War Room, Josh returns to tell the staff that Gambelli is not giving in.  Bram retrieves a fax and hands it to Josh.  Josh hurries off to the Santos' hotel room.  Santos wants to know if Josh told Ned to offer federal jobs on the convention floor.  Josh dismisses that and asks Santos if he's aware of a report that's coming out about Eric Baker's wife having a problem with prescription medication and depression.  Santos is not interested in making this an issue, and Josh points out the alternative is to flip-flop on teacher tenure.  Santos says nothing and Josh leaves the room.

Will and Donna are discussing the same information about Mrs. Baker.  Donna doesn't want to use it, but Will is taking it to Russell.  Will's contention is Baker's failure to disclose the information, not that his wife suffers from depression.

Democratic National Convention - Day Three, 7:35am[]

Josh is asleep on the floor of the convention, when Leo finds him and wakes him.  Leo tells Josh that the end has arrived:  the President is going to have to back a nominee.  Josh tells Leo that Santos isn't going to pull out just because Josh tells him to.  Josh tells Leo that Santos is "his own man."  Leo replies that he had thought that he, (Leo), had found the last one [who was "his own man"], (meaning President Bartlet).

Act IV[]

Santos is sitting in the empty arena.  Leo comes down and sits behind him.  Leo tells him that he ran a really good race but it's time to step aside.  Santos talks with Leo and Leo points out that the party will be very grateful to him.  Santos asks if he will have a chance to address the delegates again.  Leo says "of course," and leaves.

In the Presidential Suite, the President asks Leo if Santos is really going to step aside.  Leo says he believes that he will.  C.J. asks who the President is planning to support.  Bartlet isn't sure yet.  C.J. asks him to pick the successor he wants.

Democratic National Convention - Day Three, 8:35pm[]

Matt Santos is preparing to address the delegates for the last time.  Matt Santos waits backstage while he is being introduced, and then, with a comment to Josh, followed by a knowing look from his wife, he takes the stage.  Leo and the President are watching the speech from the President's hotel room.  Santos starts his speech, saying he has been asked to step aside.  Santos goes on to tell them that stepping aside in favor of another nominee is not his job:  it's their job as delegates.  His stirring speech rouses the delegates into reconsidering him as the candidate.  In the Presidential Suite, the President asks Leo to find Josh.

Josh walks down a hall with Ernie Gambelli.  Gambelli continues to say that he won't back Santos and that meeting with him is not worthwhile.  Josh asks, who said you were meeting my guy?  Josh opens the door to show Gambelli into the room with the President.

Moments later on the floor of the convention, Gambelli gives all of New York's delegates to Matt Santos, making him the nominee.  In another room, Leo is going over some papers when Josh comes in.  Leo asks him if they've picked a VP candidate yet.  Josh says they have their guy, they're just not sure if he will say yes.  Leo asks who it is, and Josh replies, "you," (meaning Leo).

At the White House, Kate comes to Toby with the news that the FBI thinks they know who the leaker is.

At the convention, President Bartlet takes the stage to announce the Democratic ticket:  Matthew Santos and Leo McGarry.  Watching on television, Arnie Vinick stands up and declares, "OK, let's go win this thing."


Matt Santos: Hoynes is speaking last?
Josh Lyman: Paper covers rock. You and Russell were both, you know, rocks.
President Bartlet: I wanna know who in the administration thinks their opinion of this situation matters more than mine.  I want a name on this desk by Friday.
Vice President Russell: We'll be on the fourth ballot.  I think he's aiming to be on it.  Son of a bitch doesn't wanna be VP.  He's gonna try and get nominated from the floor.
Abbey Bartlet: Thought you were coming to bed.  Convention's still going on?
Jed Bartlet: They haven't finished the second ballot yet.
Abbey Bartlet: What are they doing?
Jed Bartlet: Eating their young.
Abbey Bartlet: Baker?  Eric Baker.  When did he get into this?
Jed Bartlet: About two hours ago.  It's a free-for-all.  I think Aaron Burr has got 20 votes.
Matt Santos: You know, I had hoped to be standing here tonight under very different circumstances.  And I have been asked by people that I respect to take this opportunity to support one of the other fine candidates who have made this race with me, to help decide who our nominee will be.  But I can't do that.  I can't do that, because it's not my place to decide who our nominee should be.  That decision is yours and yours alone.  There's been a great deal made today of Governor Baker's decision not to disclose his wife's minor medical condition.  Many people believe he should have.  But I don't believe Governor Baker failed to disclose it because he was ashamed or embarrassed.  I think he didn't disclose it, because we're the hypocrites, not the Bakers.  Because we're all broken.  Every single one of us.  And yet we pretend that we're not.  We all live lives of imperfection, and yet we cling to this fantasy that there's a perfect life and that our leaders should embody it.  But if we expect our leaders to live on a higher moral plane than the rest of us, well, we're just asking to be deceived.  It's been suggested to me this week that I should try to buy your support with jobs and the promise of access.  It's been suggested to me that party unity is more important than your democratic rights as delegates.  That's right.  It's not.  And you have a decision to make.  Don't vote for us because you think we're perfect.  Don't vote for us because of what we might be able to do for you only.  Vote for the person who shares your ideals, your hopes, your dreams.  Vote for the person who most embodies what you believe we need to keep our nation strong and free.  And when you have done that, you can go back to Seattle and Boston, to Miami, to Omaha, to Tulsa and Chicago and Atlanta with your head held high and say, "I am a member of the Democratic Party."
Leo McGarry: Hey, what are you doing here?  You ought to be down on the floor, celebrating with your guys.
Josh Lyman: We still gotta line up a VP.
Leo McGarry: You ask Baker?
Josh Lyman: Yeah, he begged off.  Doesn't wanna put his wife through it.
Leo McGarry: I guess Russell isn't on the shortlist.
Josh Lyman: That was a nonstarter with the congressman.
Leo McGarry: Want me to help work up a list?
Josh Lyman: No, we got it narrowed down to the guy we want.  I'm just not sure he's gonna accept.
Leo McGarry: You want the president to push your guy along?
Josh Lyman: I called the president.  Said he'd kick the guy's ass all over the schoolyard if it came to that.
Leo McGarry: So, who is it?
Josh Lyman: You.

Trivia / Goofs[]

  • For this episode, which takes place the next day after the previous episode, the timing is off.  It was the end of the Republican Convention and the Democratic Convention would not have started until the following Monday.
  • In 1969, there was uncertainty if the astronauts who landed on the moon (Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong) were going to be able to get back up to the spacecraft.  William Safire, President Nixon's speechwriter wrote two speeches for the president, one for success and one for failure.
  • The Democratic National Convention is filmed in Honda Center in Anaheim, California, as well as the home of the Anaheim Ducks. Ironically, an aerial shot of the convention uses footage of the SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks who are rivals to the Ducks. Debbie Fiderer mentions shin pads and a hockey mask to the senior staff before they enter the Oval Office.
  • In the hotel room before Santos leaves for the convention (before it has begun), the TV in the background shows a headline indicating that 'Baker is picking up momentum going into the third ballot". At that point, he's not yet in the race. The TV then flips back to the proper headline for the timeframe, speculating about a Russell-Baker ballot, as Josh enters the room and the camera pans out.
  • Matt Santos notes that Dorothy Baker might "sell secrets for Zoloft at the corner of 16th and D), however there is no 16th and D Streets NW.  The Ellipse is bordered by 15th Street, 17th Street, Constitution Avenue, and E Street (closed to traffic).
  • The person introducing Matt Santos for his speech incorrectly describes him as a "Proud graduate of America's Air Force Academy." He is actually a graduate of Annapolis who then was commissioned as an officer in the Marine Corps.
  • When the shot cuts from Matt Santos, as he finishes his speech near the end of the episode, to the convention as shown on television, the start of the balloon drop from the end of the episode can be seen beginning.  When the camera cuts to the convention when the balloon drop is actually supposed to appear in the episode, it picks up immediately where it left off.
  • Eric Baker entering the race at the last minute, causing uncertainty as to who will win, was similar to Adlai Stevenson's challenge at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, having obtained very few votes in the primaries. 
  • In reality, the Democratic nomination could have been swung for a candidate in the first ballot, because the Democratic party uses Superdelegates, who are not pledged to any candidate. 



Special Guest Stars[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" 2162 Votes (2005)