PRESIDENT LAWYERS UP FOR NAGGING ASSASSINATION INQUIRY -- The President's (Martin Sheen) team reacts to the ongoing inquiry into its pre-meditated Qumari assassination by lawyering up as they gingerly approach Leo's (John Spencer) lawyer (guest star Joanna Gleason) while a key judicial ruling on presidential third-party candiates throws a monkeywrench into the campaign. Elsewhere, Sam (Rob Lowe), Toby (Richard Schiff) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) hatch a radical new idea to pay for college education; and the approval process of executive secretary-to-be Deborah Fiderer (Lily Tomlin) hits a snag when new evidence is uncovered.
Opening - White House Situation Room, That Morning
The President (and Leo) arrive in the Situation Room to be briefed on Qumar. Things are getting out of control and the President whispers to Leo they are going to need a lawyer.
Act I - 6:45am - Over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Air Force One is making its way to Michigan where the President will make an address. C.J. is talking with the press and then is told by Bruno the President may get a question about Title IX. Bruno turns to talk to Sam to tell him the court decision may come down on presidential debates.
Debbie Fidderer is on the plane and Sam is briefing her on what to expect in the coming days. She is going to go through an extensive background screening - which she questions why, she's worked at the White House before - Sam points out that she has a "crash button" on her phone and this isn't her last job.
Back at the White House, Leo meets with Jordon Kendall and brings her to the White House Situation Room to tell her about Qumar. The President calls to ask him how it's going. Walking into the ballroom where the President will make his address, he is briefed by Special Agent Casper, the FBI has received a letter from the alleged bomber from Kennison State. The letter promises more attacks. The President then checks with Sam and Bruno to see if they have any remarks for him - the President decides to speak extemporaneously.
Jordon and Leo and still in the Situation Room talking about Shareef and Qumar. The President asked Leo to get her because she has significant international law experience though what they did has no precedent. Leo gets a call that the decision on presidential debates is about to come in - he asks Margaret to come down and show Jordon out.
Toby arrives and finds Josh - they both want to talk to the other about something. Josh goes first and tells Toby about a story he read about a CEO getting a bonus that was tax deductible - he thinks that college tuition should be tax deductible as well. Toby tells Josh that was exactly what he was going to tell him - and shows Josh the newspaper article as proof. Josh is going to talk to Leo and they are going to have to find out a way to pay for it.
Bruno meets up with Josh and Toby and they talk about the upcoming decision - Sam weighs in and tells them not to worry. Leo appears and tells the group they ruled for Sullivan.
Act III - 2:00pm
The Senior Staff is reviewing the decision that was handed down and they are trying to find if there are any grounds for appeal. They decide they are going to have to appeal to the Supreme Court and Leo tells Sam they are going to have to get the Ritchie campaign to join in the motion. Josh and Toby come to Sam to talk about finding the money for tax deductible tuition. It is possible. C.J. comes to find Josh after reading his memo on Title IX.
Charlie comes to talk with Debbie about the forms she has submitted. She answered one of the questions to prove a point that no one really takes the forms seriously and also made an indirect threat against the President. Charlie gets angry and Debbie apologizes and ask Charlie what she can do.
C.J. is talking with the President - Governor Ritchie has been angling for an invitation to the memorial at Kennison State. The President tells C.J. to work it out - but he is going to speak. They arrive in the Oval Office and are greeted by Fitzwallace and Leo. C.J. leaves and the three talk about Jordon and how to proceed about Shareef and Qumar. Fitzwallace suggests a misinformation campaign.
Special Agent Casper arrives to brief the President - they have some good leads on the group that may have been behind the bombing at Kennison State.
Act IV - House of Blues, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Josh, Toby, and C.J. are at a campaign rally and Josh and Toby are talking about how to make tax-deductible college tuition a reality. C.J. is firing up the crowd. Across the room, Josh spies Amy and goes to talk with her. She is now working on the Stackhouse campaign, helping with debate prep and the Sullivan decision will allow Stackhouse into the debates with the President and Governor Ritchie.
Back at the White House - Special Agent Casper briefs the President - they have surrounded a house in Iowa with suspected members of the Patriot Brotherhood. They have fired on law enforcement and are preparing for a standoff. The President tells Casper they don't go until he gives the order. In the Oval Office, Fitzwallace tells Leo and the President how they intend to mislead the Qumari government that Shareef is alive and living in Libya planning to overthrow the Sultan (his brother).
The President comes to Leo's office to meet with Jordon. Jordon is extremely uncomfortable with the information she now possesses - but the President impresses upon her that he needs her help and he understands the gravity of the situation more than she does.
Charlie brings Debbie to see the President and he tells her that despite what she wrote on the forms, she is keeping the job because he likes her.
In Massachusetts, Josh and Toby continue to make their case to C.J. and Sam. They decide to bring it to Leo and try to make it happen. Toby pulls out his phone and calls Matt Kelley (the man from the bar in Indiana) to tell him what they are working on.
- Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
- Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
- Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
- Janel Moloney as Donna Moss
- Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
- John Spencer as Leo McGarry
- Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
- and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet
Special Guest Stars
- Mary-Louise Parker as Amy Gardner
- Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli
- with John Amos as Admiral Fitzwallace
- and Lily Tomlin as Deborah Fiderer
- Joanna Gleason as Jordon Kendall
- Clark Gregg as Special Agent Casper
- Glenn Morshower as Mike Chysler
- Thomas Kopache as Bob Slattery
- John P. Connolly as Matt Kelley
- S.E. Perry as Marine General Thomas
- Peter James Smith as Ed
- William Duffy as Larry
- Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell
- Kris Murphy as Katie Witt
- Charles Noland as Steve
- Alex Paez as David
- Pam Shaddock as Jan
- Mary Kathleen Gordon as Woman
- Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
- Larry Cox as Aide
- NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (uncredited)
- ❝Listen, I know we're here for a serious purpose, for a sober purpose, but I wanted to say I've never been a part of a street gang before, and that's basically what we are -- a pretty well-financed one -- but anyway, I wanted to say it feels good, and I think when we're done with this meeting, I think we should go out and get girls, and I don't know, maybe knock over a fruit stand or something❞
- —President Bartlet
- ❝Debbie – Well, this is fine but I've worked at the White House before. At my last job, the background check wasn't nearly as extensive...
- Sam – You have a button on your phone, a crash button
- Debbie – Hmm?
- Sam – You have a crash button which will bring the Secret Service in instantly and turn your office into a live microphone which will be broadcast all over the building. It's the button you push if someone's trying to take the Oval Office. This isn't your last job❞
- Sam Seaborn: "Joy cometh in the morning," sir.
- President Josiah Bartlet: [to Sam] Thank you
- President Josiah Bartlet: [enters ballroom - addresses the crowd] Thank you very much. Thank you. "Joy cometh in the morning," scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world. There'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms. There aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. [applause] There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well. And we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better. And we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this.
- President Bartlet: Charlie?
- Charlie: Yes, sir?
- President Bartlet: In ascending order of age, would you get my daughters on the phone, please?
- Charlie: Yes, sir.
- President Bartlet: Thank you.
- ❝ Toby – There are a lot of reasons not to do it...but... We met a guy last night, at an airport hotel in a bar. His daughter was upstairs in the room. They'd been looking at colleges. He makes fifty-five thousand dollars a year, his mutual fund got beat up yesterday on Wall Street, he was so happy to be taking his daughter to colleges. He came downstairs to the bar because he didn't want her to see that he didn't know how he was gonna pay for it. There are a lot of reasons not to do it. But during the first campaign, the President said there were two kinds of politicians-
- Sam – The ones who try to say yes, and the ones who try to-
- Toby – -And we're gonna throw these guys out because they wanna say no❞
- Aimee Mann performs a cover of James Taylor's "Shed A Little Light"; Barenaked Ladies perform "One Week"
- When President Bartlet is giving his speech in East Lansing, the Flag of Mississippi is clearly visible on the stage. East Lansing is in the State of Michigan, and the Flag of Michigan is not visible anywhere during the scene.