PRESIDENT STIRS UP WHITE HOUSE WHEN HE OFFERS JOB TO REPUBLICAN IN EMMY-WINNING SERIES -- When a confident Sam (Rob Lowe) is outmatched by a novice Republican advisor (guest star Emily Proctor) on a political point-counterpoint television program, an impressed President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) offers to hire her as assistant White House counsel despite her party affiliation-- a bold move that sends shock waves through the resentful staff. Elsewhere, Toby (Emmy winner Richard Schiff) and Josh (Bradley Whitford) attend a deadlocked White House summit between representatives of pharmaceutical companies and the leaders of AIDS-ravaged African nations to discuss the high price and availability of much-needed drugs. However, the President is concerned for the safety of President Nimbala (guest star Zakes Mokae), the eloquent leader of one of the nations, after news spreads about a bloody coup back home in his country.
As the show opens, Sam is greeted by Mark Gottfried, the host of Capital Beat. Sam is going to face off against "a blond, leggy, Republican woman" because that's who they could get. Gottfried cautions Ainsley Hayes to not overreach when she tells him that she has never been on television before. In the very first segment, an overconfident Sam gets taken apart by Hayes. As the show goes to commercial, Sam mutters under his breath, "please, God, don't let them be watching." In the West Wing, Josh rushes into Toby's office to announce, "Toby, come quick, Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!"
As he runs off, Toby heads to the door and tells Ginger to get the popcorn before he too heads after Josh.
C.J. gave a press briefing about the White House meeting between representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and the President of Equatorial Kundu to try and get AIDS drugs for the people of Africa. As Bartlet arrives in the Oval Office with Leo, he suggests to Leo they hire Ainsley Hayes. Bartlet heads into a photo op with President Nimbala in the Mural Room.
In the next scene, Ainsley is in her apartment trying to set up her phone and caller ID, when the phone rings. The phone number comes up and she recognizes it as being from the White House.
C.J. arrives late for work and encounters Sam. She tries to talk to Sam to tell him about an encounter she had with a reporter the day before and her response about grand jury deliberations. She stops and Leo comes in, who asks them to step out into the bullpen so he can tell Sam and C.J. that he is offering Ainsley a job. Josh goes into the meeting about AIDS drugs, where President Nimbala is trying to get the pharmaceutical companies to give his country what it needs for its people, many of them who are dying of AIDS. The meeting is making no progress and Toby calls for a break.
Margaret comes into Leo's office to tell him that Ainsley Hayes is here. He tells Margaret to show her in. Ainsley comes in and rambles at Leo. He manages to tell her that he summoned her to the White House not to reprimand her, but to offer her a job. It takes her a minute to stop rambling and realize that he had offered her a job. She cannot believe it and rails at Leo - but he appeals to her sense of duty and asks her to think about it. Josh and Toby talk about the meeting and Josh tells Toby that they need to give President Nimbala something to take home to his country. In the White House briefing room, Ainsley steps into the room, where she talks to the reporter that had questioned C.J. earlier in the week. Ainsley makes note of C.J.'s response about their being a grand jury investigation and then Margaret comes and shows her out of the room.
As the meetings between President Nimbala and the drug companies continue, the problems continue. One of the obstacles is that AIDS drugs need to be taken on a timely basis and the citizens of these countries don't own wristwatches. Josh and Toby ask to speak to President Nimbala alone. They convince the President to accept a deal that will allow him and his country to get what they need. Ainsley comes back to see Leo, as he asked. She stops in to see C.J. first and tells her that she didn't break the law when she mentioned the grand jury investigation to the reporter. The gag rule law only applies to lawyers and judges. She then heads off to see Leo, having told C.J. that she's not going to take the job. She is waiting for Leo when Sam comes in - and the two of them pick up their discussions from Capital Beat.
Josh comes in and is stunned to find out that Leo has offered her a job and even more stunned that she is not accepting it. Sam and Ainsley move their discussion to gun control and Sam loses it - saying "this is not the place to talk about guns right now" especially with Josh in the room and the shootings in Rosslyn still fresh in people's minds. Toby comes in looking for Leo, when moments later Charlie hands Toby a slip of paper. He reads the note, hands it to Josh and rushes out. Josh reads it, hands it to Sam and also leaves hurriedly. Sam reads the note and also leaves, leaving Ainsley alone once again.
The Senior Staff converge on the Oval Office, where the President is getting updates. President Nimbala is shown into the Oval Office, where President Bartlet tells him there has been a coup in his country. President Bartlet tells him he needs to stay - if he goes home the rebels will kill him. Ainsley sees the exchange between the two presidents from Leo's office.
Ainsley is next seen at dinner at a restaurant with her parents. They are telling her that it was a stunt to offer her a job and she should tell them such and not take the job. They continue to bad mouth the Democrats until she finally tells them to stop (because she felt calling them "worthless" was going too far), "don't say that . . . and I'm their lawyer." She gets up and leaves.
The President is sitting in Toby's office with Josh and Toby, talking about Norman Borlaug, who President Nimbala had spoken of earlier in the week. Charlie gives the President a slip of paper, which Bartlet reads. Toby asks, "it happened?" and the President replies, "they executed him in the airport parking lot." The President gets up and leaves the office, followed by Josh.
- 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 Star
- ❝Ainsley – The bill contains plenty of money for textbooks, Mark, and anyone who says otherwise is flat-out lying. And we should tell the truth about textbooks. Textbooks are important, if for no other reason than they'd accurately place the town of Kirkwood in California and not in Oregon
- Josh – Toby. Come quick! Sam's getting his ass kicked by a girl!
- Toby – Ginger, get the popcorn!❞
- Ainsley Hayes: Does anybody know how to work caller-ID?
- Harriet: Oh, how can you not know how to use a telephone?
- Ainsley Hayes: I've been paying attention to other things.
- Harriet: Well, pay attention to that because Bruce's friend is gonna call you.
- Ainsley Hayes: The agent?
- Bruce: Yep.
- Ainsley Hayes: I don't need an agent, I need a caller-ID tutorial.
- Harriet: You need an agent, Ainsley, you're gonna be a star.
- Ainsley Hayes: Used to be, you had to sing and dance.
- Ainsley Hayes: Yes, sir. I've been thinking about that ever since your office called me on Tuesday, and I have something to say on my own behalf, if you'll permit me a moment to say it, and I understand if you won't, but I would really appreciate it if you did.
- Leo McGarry: I... didn't really follow that, but whatever.
- Ainsley Hayes: I think that it is wrong for a man in your position to summon someone to the White House to reprimand them for voicing opposition. I think that that is wrong, and it is inappropriate. It's inappropriate, and I'll tell you what else.
- Leo McGarry: It's wrong?
- Ainsley Hayes: Yes.
- Leo McGarry: You have an interesting conversational style, do you know that?
- Ainsley Hayes: It's a nervous condition.
- Leo McGarry: I used to have a nervous condition.
- Ainsley Hayes: How did yours manifest itself?
- Leo McGarry: I drank a lot of scotch.
- Ainsley Hayes: I get sick when I drink too much.
- Leo McGarry: I get drunk when I drink too much.
- Leo McGarry: Yeah, Ainsley, even if you hadn't already told me all of this, you know, many, many times, I would know it anyway, 'cause I have this FBI file.
- Ainsley Hayes: You have my FBI file?
- Leo McGarry: Yes.
- Ainsley Hayes: I can't believe that! You have my FBI file?
- Leo McGarry: Yes.
- Ainsley Hayes: I have an FBI file?
- Ainsley Hayes: I find this administration smug and patronizing, and under the impression that those who disagree with them are less than they are, and with colder hearts.
- Leo McGarry: I don't think that's true.
- Ainsley Hayes: How many people on your staff assumed that I was ambitious, mean, and stupid?
- Leo McGarry: C.J. Cregg thinks you kill your pets. You don't do that, do you?
- Ainsley Hayes: No, I don't kill my pets. I don't have any pets. I was thinking about getting a pet, but-- that doesn't matter. The point is...
- Leo McGarry: Ainsley.
- Ainsley Hayes: Yes, sir.
- Leo McGarry: Don't you want to work in the White House?
- Ainsley Hayes: Oh, only since I was two.
- Sam Seaborn: No, man, why participate in the process when you can get a job commenting on it?
- Ainsley Hayes: You think because I don't want to work here it's because I can get a better gig on Geraldo? Gosh, let's see if there could possibly be any other reason why I wouldn't want to work in this White House? This White House that feels that government is better for children than parents are. That looks at forty years of degrading and humiliating free lunches handed out in a spectacularly failed effort to level the playing field and says, 'Let's try forty more.' This White House that says of anyone that points that out to them, that they are cold and mean and racist, and then accuses Republicans of using the politics of fear. This White House that loves the Bill of Rights, all of them - except the second one.
- Sam Seaborn: This is the wrong place to talk about guns right now. I thought your column was idiotic.
- Ainsley Hayes: Imagine my surprise.
- Bruce: Uh, damn. I wanted you to say it to his face. I wanted to see...
- Harriet: I hate these people.
- Bruce: Did you meet anyone there who isn't worthless?
- Ainsley Hayes: Don't say that.
- Bruce: Did you meet anyone there who has any-?
- Ainsley Hayes: I said don't say that. Say they're smug and superior, say their approach to public policy makes you want to tear your hair out. Say they like high taxes and spending your money. Say they want to take your guns and open your borders, but don't call them worthless. At least don't do it in front of me. The people that I have met have been extraordinarily qualified, their intent is good. Their commitment is true, they are righteous, and they are patriots. And I'm their lawyer.
- When Ainsley gets her caller ID working and the number comes up and she recites it - "202-456-1414" - this is actually a number for the White House.
- There are 17 places called Kirkwood in the United States, in the following states: CA, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MD, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, WV. There is in fact no Kirkwood, Oregon.
- The theme tune for the show 'Capitol Beat' is similar to the 'News at Ten' theme on ITV News in the UK.
- We wondered what language the fictional President Nimbala was speaking and we finally heard from someone who recognized the language. Wandile C Bereng of Cape Town, South Africa says: "The language spoken by Pres. Nimbala is Setswana. It's an official language in South Africa and Botswana".
Notes and references