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

The internet press is running with a story that questions C.J.'s sexual orientation. C.J. refuses to put out a statement, which only makes the media press harder. The effects of MS are becoming more pronounced on President Bartlet and doctors warn that he will need to take a daily nap and cut down on reading. The President's budget is being held up by Senator Wilkinson who insists the President add a provision banning gay marriage. The President wants it off the budget, but Josh and Toby are not successful getting the votes to combat Wilkinson's amendment. The Vice President refuses to help the administration, despite the fact he has a gay nephew. Toby confronts Wilkinson and finds that former Vice President John Hoynes may be behind Wilkinson's actions.  The President works a deal with Wilkinson directly.  Meanwhile, Santos declares that he will run for President, but only if Josh will run his campaign, and C.J. makes a defiant statement to reporters.



Matt and Helen Santos as lying in their bed talking about Josh's visit.  Matt finally tells her the real reason for Josh's visit - he wants Matt to run for President of the United States.  He tells her that he told him no - but she knows he's considering it.

Act I[]

C.J. is getting ready for work and her phone buzzes - there's a blog story out that calls into question C.J.'s sexual orientation.  She arrives at the White House for Senior Staff and they go around the room to talk about what's coming up in the next few days.  Budget negotiations, the President's legacy, the Vice President's campaign, and a situation in Uzbekistan.

In the Residence, the President is having a physical therapy session.  The First Lady comes to see him and he asks if she wants him in on any of her meetings - she says no.  He is a little discouraged at his schedule being so light. In the West Wing - Toby tries to go into Josh's office - but Marla, Donna's replacement, stops him.  Josh comes out and then brings Toby in.  They talk about the budget and then Toby asks about why Josh went to Houston.

C.J. is on the phone with a Senator about the budget - when Annabeth comes to see her about several interview requests that she has received.  They talk about the statement she wants to put out.  Josh and Toby come into her office to tell her they have learned that Senator Wilkinson is planning to attach a "Sanctity of Marriage" amendment to the budget and they need to see the President right away.

Will is talking with Donna, who has come to ask Will for a job.  Will wants to make sure that Josh won't be upset, but Donna doesn't really care about Josh: she needs to move on.

Act II[]

Josh, Toby, and C.J. come to see the President to tell him about what has happened.  The President listens and tells Toby and Josh to "get it off the bill."  C.J. warns the President that, "at the end of the day, you may have to sign it."

In the hallway, C.J. comes out and tells Josh and Toby to make it happen, to find a way to convince the other members of the Conference Committee to strip the marriage amendment.  C.J. leaves for a meeting with Abbey and the President's doctor.  The doctors makes it clear they need to be very careful about how much activity the President can undertake over the course of a day.

Toby comes to see Will to ask for the Vice President's help on the gay marriage ban.  Will tells Toby that he won't ask the VP until they know the President would veto it.  Will also tells Toby that it is a trap for Candidate Russell and he plans to advise the Vice President to stay away from it.

Annabeth finds C.J. to tell her the Internet story is growing.  It appears that the story has also cost C.J. a chance at another date with "Tommy," who has not called for C.J.

Toby goes to see Senator Wilkinson about the gay marriage ban.  The two discuss the issue and the Senator calls Toby's bluff, telling Toby that if the President were going to veto the budget, he would have already said so. The Senator tells Toby that he believes the President will sign the bill and that he thinks Toby knows it too.

Back at the White House, Josh calls for Marla. He needs some numbers in advance of a meeting.  His phone begins to ring - he finally picks it up - it's Marla telling Josh that she doesn't like to be yelled at.  He goes out and asks her nicely for the numbers that he needs for a budget meeting.  Matt Santos comes to see Josh and the two go into his office - the Congressman tells him that if Josh comes along to run the campaign - he's in.

Act III[]

The Vice President is in a meeting, and when he is leaving, meets Toby in the hallway.  Toby presses the Vice President to come out against the Sanctity of Marriage Act, but the Vice President doesn't want to do that.  He tells Toby that he has a gay nephew and that despite that, he can't take a position on the Act before the President does.

Annabeth finds C.J. again and tells her they are going to need a comment on the Wilkinson Amendment.  C.J. tells Annabeth to draft a statement for her to see in an hour (despite Annabeth already having being told by Toby to leave it alone).

Josh is in Toby's office, hiding from Marla, when Toby comes in.  He tells Josh to just call Donna.  The two talk about their respective work on Wilkinson and the Marriage Amendment: neither of them is having much success.  Josh tells Toby that he has persuaded Santos to run for President.  The two argue about how Josh could consider leaving at this critical point in the Bartlet Administration, but Josh tells Toby that he is just trying to look to the future.

C.J. finds Leo, who is going through some files.  The two talk, and C.J. unloads on Leo about the Internet story of her alleged sexual orientation.  As she is leaving, she tells Leo that she needs him to stay, and so does the President.  Toby comes to C.J. to tell her that Wilkinson isn't going to move and the Vice President is not helpful and that Josh told him that he's thinking of leaving.  He tells C.J. that it's just the two of them to hold this together for the final year.

In the residence, the President is getting dressed to go downstairs to the West Wing for a meeting.  Abbey comes in and questions if this is what the President believes is "resting."  The two talk of mortality and Abbey is clearly upset because of the President's increasing infirmity but they move on.

Act IV[]

Josh comes to see Will, hoping to find Donna.  Will tells Josh that she is in New Hampshire opening the Vice President's campaign offices.  Elsewhere, Toby confronts John Hoynes to ask him if he put Wilkinson up to proposing the Amendment to force Russell to move right, hurting his campaign.  Hoynes does not answer Toby's question, but he does say that he plans to win the nomination and then the presidency.

Josh comes to find Leo to tell him that Wilkinson is going to meet with the President (against Abbey's wishes).  Josh then tells Leo that he's found his guy.  Leo is happy for Josh, but when Josh invites Leo to come along, Leo tells him, "I already found my guy."  Josh tells Leo that he doesn't know how to tell the President that he's planning to leave.

Toby returns from his meeting and Josh finds him. Toby tells him that it was Hoynes who put Wilkinson up to the amendment.  The two continue their discussion from earlier (without arguing) about what they will do when this is over.

In the Oval Office, the President meets with Senator Wilkinson.  The two trade biblical passages and Wilkinson tells the President that he believes the President wants to sign this bill and that's why he attached the amendment to the budget.

C.J. returns to her office where a gift has been sent to her, with an invitation to dinner.  Margaret gives C.J. the statement and she walks over to the Press Bullpen to tell them that the Sanctity of Marriage amendment is being removed from the budget bill at the President's urging and the budget should be on the President's desk for signature by the next day.  Chris asks C.J. if they are on the record. C.J. agrees and she immediately asks C.J. if she is gay. She does not directly answer the question, saying instead that it's none of their business.

Josh enters the Oval Office to tell the President that he is going to leave him to run the Santos campaign. Donna unpacks a box in one of the Vice President's campaign offices in New Hampshire. Matt Santos announces his campaign for the presidency.

"Hope is real. In a time of global chaos and instability where our faiths collide, as often as our weapons, hope is real . . . There is such a thing as false science, there is such a thing as false promises, I am sure I will have my share of false starts. But there is no such thing as false hope. There is only hope."

Trivia / Goofs[]

  • Bartlet recites, "How body from spirit does slowly unwind/Until we are pure spirit at the end." This comes from the poem "Infirmity" by Theodore Roethke.
  • When talking to Toby, Vice-President Robert Russell reveals he has a gay nephew. He also makes a somewhat prescient comment about same-sex marriage being legal in ten years if done right. In real life, the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges , decided in June 2015, legalized same-sex marriage ten years and six months from the air date of this episode.
  • There are two fish in CJ's fishbowl.
  • At the end of the episode, a plaque is seen on the President's desk. The plaque says: "O God, thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small." It is attributed to the "Prayer of Breton fishermen." President Kennedy had a similar plaque on his desk given to him by Admiral Hyman Rickover, who gave one like it to the commanding officer of each new Polaris submarine.


Helen Santos: [on hearing that Josh wants Matt Santos to run for President] Boy, they are hard up.
Josh Lyman: [to C.J., after she tosses a basketball across the room into a wastebasket] I've never been so attracted to you in my life.
C.J. Cregg: Restrain yourself.
Annabeth Schott: You want to emphatically deny something you have no problem with and make it publicly clear this is a private matter.
C.J. Cregg: Yes.
Annabeth Schott: Okie dokie.
Toby Ziegler: I hate this issue. It's like walking around town holding a sick chicken.
Robert Russell: [to Toby, on same-sex marriage] 5,000 years of socialization didn’t go out the window with the first Village People album. You do this wrong, there’ll be a backlash that sets us back 50 years. You do it right, we’ll be there in ten.
Josh Lyman: To run for President. I kinda talked him into it. I think I got to go with him. I laid out a nine-point plan.
Toby Ziegler:  Is one of the points a military junta?
Josh Lyman:  Okay, I'm going back to my office.
Toby Ziegler: You can't leave. We're not done here. You can't skip out of here with the President lying flat on his back.  Seven years - and you're going to leave us with a candy-gram and a get well card?
Josh Lyman:  Someone's got to think about the ninth year.
Toby Ziegler:  You're just going to walk into the Oval Office and tell the President, you just found a better horse?
C.J. Cregg: I spent the last fourteen hours being snickered at by United States senators, being ostracized on the World Wide Web, having my own colleagues question my ability to do my job, and I let it get to me. So I don't think it really matters whether I'm gay or straight, or just the best damn women's basketball player in Ohio Valley history. No one should be treated this way.
Reporter: You didn't answer the question.
C.J. Cregg: That's right. Because it's none of your business. [She leaves the room and rips up the statement she was planning to read]



Special Guest Stars[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" Faith-Based Initiative (2005)