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West Wing Wiki

The festive Christmas spirit at the annual White House tree-lighting is dimmed when the President learns that Christian relief workers have been jailed in Islamic northern Sudan while he welcomes his three headstrong daughters -- including the returning Zoey -- and is surprised to learn that his son-in-law wants to run for Congress in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, when the licenses of some doctors in Oregon are suspended after they administer drugs in an assisted suicide, Toby tries to keep the administration from being bogged down in a debate -- and clashes with Will when he tries to convince the Vice President to address the political hot potato.



The West Wing is being decorated for Christmas, including C.J., who is putting up a tree in her office.  Toby comes in to comment on the statement that she will give at the briefing about the government being reopened.  Carol comes in to tell C.J. that a local Oregon paper is looking for a comment on a doctor who provided narcotics to a patient to end their life.

The President and First Lady are in the Oval Office awaiting the arrival of their daughters, who will be on hand for the tree lighting and a Christmas celebration in the White House.

Margaret and Leo are in his office - she is going over his schedule and the many holiday parties to which he has been invited - when Leo overhears something on the TV about hostages.  He picks up the phone and directs Margaret to get Josh on the call.  C.J. comes to see Leo to tell him about the problem with the DEA (the doctor in Oregon).

The two of them meet with the President to tell him about what's going on - he leaves his family to walk back to the Oval Office.

Act I[]

In the Oval Office, Senior Staff convene in the room to talk about the hostage situation in the Sudan.  They will continue to monitor things as the day progresses.  As to the Oregon situation - the President is not going to get involved in what is primarily a state issue - even though a federal agency has acted.

Donna finds Josh outside the Oval Office to tell him that Doug Westin is waiting in Josh's office to see him. Doug tells Josh that he wants to run for Congress in the New Hampshire First District.

The Attorney General comes to see Leo about the Oregon problem - Leo tells the AG the DEA agent is going to have to be fired.  The AG is backing the DEA on this - Leo threatens the AG with his job - the AG tells Leo the President won't fire him.

Act II[]

In Leo's office, C.J. and Toby are talking about the AG.  Toby believes he should be fired.  But that may not play well, if he gets fired over assisted suicide.  Toby doesn't want the message hijacked - they decide to use the Vice President to deal with the AG.

In the Mural Room - Congressman Richter and the Under-Secretary of State are awaiting the President (Richter is the one who was on TV talking about "hostages").  The President comes in and they talk about how best to resolve this peacefully and quickly.

In the Oval Office - C.J. is talking to Gus Westin about the tree lighting.  The President leaves his meeting with Congressman Richter and heads for the Oval Office - Debbie greets him and tells him there is going to be a rehearsal, which Bartlet pushes back.  He is still waiting for Ellie to arrive.  He tells Debbie to find Nancy McNally.

Toby comes to Will's office and gives him some remarks to build into the VP's speech on healthcare, remarks about assisted suicide.  Will doesn't want to do it - because it will hurt the VP's chances of gaining a profile as he prepares to run for President.  Toby doesn't care.  Later, Will comes to see Toby to tell him the VP is not comfortable inserting the language into the speech.

Josh comes to see Leo and tells him about Doug Westin.  They go in to see the President - and determine it's not time for Doug to run - the President says he will talk to Doug - but Josh will handle it. 

Act III[]

C.J. comes to see Toby to tell him the Oregon story is still under the radar except in Mississippi, home of the AG - where there is another rumor that he may be planning to run for Governor.  C.J. and Toby talk about this - C.J. feels very strongly about the issue - in part because her father is getting worse and is currently in the hospital.

Josh comes to see Doug to tell him that he shouldn't run for Congress - the DNC wants to back someone else.  Doug tells Josh he's going to run anyway.  Later, Leo asks Josh if he spoke to Doug; Josh tells Leo he did but that Doug may not have understood...  Leo impresses upon Josh to talk to Doug again and make sure he knows the answer is no - he cannot run.

Toby comes to see the President to urge him to talk to the Vice President about the right-to-die language.  The President is reluctant to wade into it - but Toby presses.

Leo comes to see the President and they talk about Oregon and the AG - the President wants the AG in the office right away.  They also discuss the situation in the Sudan, the Americans being held may have been trying to convert people to Christianity - which is illegal in the Sudan.

Act IV[]

The tree lighting is being delayed by Bartlet's grandson - who is reluctant to do it.  Zoey appears and tells her father they can do it - they walk out together.

Movers show up to move Will's stuff out of his office - Toby has arranged for him to be moved to the OEOB.  Doug comes back to see Josh and Josh tries to tell him that he can't run - but Doug tells him that he is running.

In the Residence - the Bartlets are getting ready for dinner - Gus Westin is upset in another room, Ellie is still not there, and Doug is avoiding talking to his father-in-law.  Leo arrives to talk to the President, the AG is downstairs and is leaving shortly - Bartlet leaves with Leo to go talk to the AG.  In the Oval Office - Bartlet lays into the Attorney General and tells him to knock it off or he's fired.

Upstairs, Ellie finally arrives.  Bartlet returns and finds Elizabeth, she is angry with him about Doug.  He tries to tell her that Doug went to Josh - not to him for advice.  He tells her that she should run not Doug.  She doesn't want to run - Doug does, and she is supporting him.  Abbey finds Jed and the two of them talk about past Christmases and then the conversation moves to Jed's eventual end-of-life scenarios.

Downstairs, the Bartlet girls are listening to carolers - C.J. is on the phone with nurses about her father - out on the lawn, the President brings his grandson outside to let him "flip the switch" on the tree.

Trivia / Goofs[]

  • The 1st District of New Hampshire is currently represented by Carol Shea-Porter (D), reelected to the House in 2013 - she previously held the seat from 2007-2011.  Over the past 100 years, the seat has been held by a Republican more than a Democrat.
  • The Jackson Clarion-Ledger is the primary newspaper in Jackson, MS.
  • CJ's secret service codename is Flamingo, Zoey's is Book Bag, Sam Seaborn's was Princeton, and the President is either Eagle or Liberty. Bartlet's grandson Gus is Tonka.
  • Bartlet is given the Arabic title أبو البنات (ʼabū al-banāt), literally "father of the daughters."


President Bartlet: We had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me 'Abu el Banat'. And whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as Abu el Banat. And the Bedouin would laugh and laugh and offer me a cup of tea. And I'd go to pay them for the tea and they wouldn't let me. 'Abu el Banat' means 'Father of daughters' They thought the tea was the least they could do.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" Abu el Banat (2003)