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

Santos goes to Sacramento for the last few days before Super Tuesday, and, while he's trying to push his healthcare agenda, the media pressures him to take a stand on California legislation to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.  Russell decides not to go to California and Hoynes plays his own game of dodging the issue.  Donna steps up and takes a more pro-active role in the Russell campaign by becoming the new spokesperson.



On the Santos campaign plane, the reporters in the back of the plane roll an orange with "Hoynes up 9 in CA" toward the front of the plane. Josh picks up the orange, reads it, and heads back to the reporters to answer questions about the upcoming California primary.  He tells them the race is still wide open and the only poll that matters will be on Super Tuesday.

Josh goes back to his seat and Ronna tells him that there's a bill in California that will deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and that Santos is going to want to speak out against it.  She tells Josh that she needs to talk to Santos.  Josh comes into the Santos' cabin and tells them about it, as they begin their descent into California.

They arrive at their hotel and are greeted by Bram, Congressman Santos' body man, who preps him for people he's about to meet.  He is introduced to Eddie Garcia, head of La Palabra, who tells Santos he has to denounce the driver's license bill to get the endorsement from La Palabra.  Santos tells Garcia that he can't denounce the bill.

Act I[]

Santos and staff are making their way to meetings in the hotel and Bram is prepping the Congressman.  Josh and Santos are talking about an internal poll, which Santos is pleased about.  Josh points out that they're third in a three person race, but Santos tells Josh they are pushing the issues forward.  Josh is stopped by the campaign's finance director, who tells Josh the campaign is running out of money.

In New York, Vice President Russell is making his way to an appearance and meets up with John Hoynes.  The two exchange small talk, bordering on animosity.  Will and Donna talk about the campaign and Donna asks Will for more responsibility.  He hands her a statement, calls the press over and tells them that Donna Moss has a statement.  Donna continues to speak with the press and a Hoynes advisor comes up and tries to question Donna.  The two have an exchange and the press moves off and Donna and the Hoynes advisor talk about the two campaigns.

Back in California, Josh is walking with the Santos couple back to their room.  Bram comes up and tells Josh that Garcia called and the La Palabra endorsement is off.  Josh goes up to Santos and asks him what happened.  Santos tells Josh that he can't denounce the bill.  In their room, Josh comes in with Paul Hickman, the finance director, who tells them the campaign is out of money.  Santos asks what they can do to survive until the Texas primary in two weeks.  Hickman tells Santos that the candidate can lend his own money to the campaign.  Santos tells Helen they could mortgage their house in Houston, an idea that she doesn't particularly like.

In New York, Donna comes to Will's hotel room in the middle of the night, because she has been struck with an idea.  She thinks that Hoynes is not going to California and for the Russell campaign to stay in New York would be a bad move.  She thinks something is up.  Will makes a call and learns that Hoynes has canceled his appearances in California.  Will tells Donna to wake everybody up:  they need a new strategy.

Act II[]

In his hotel room, Santos and Helen are talking about the idea of mortgaging their home.  She is clearly distressed by the idea.  The next morning, Santos is off doing interviews and Helen comes to see Josh.  He tells her there is a chance they will come in second, but a small one.  Josh tells Helen not to sign the papers.  Bram is shepherding Santos through the satellite TV interviews.

Josh goes to see Ed Garcia at La Palabra.  Garcia makes it clear that the endorsement will go to the candidate that speaks out against the bill (as John Hoynes has announced he will do) and that he doesn't support the Latino candidate if he is not going to support Latino causes.  Later, Josh calls Leo, who tells him to calm down and keep Santos from doing too much.  Back at the hotel, Josh and Santos get into it again.  Santos tells Josh that he's going to do it his way and if that means the endorsement goes to Hoynes, then so be it.

In New York, Donna goes to see Bill Brewer, the Hoynes advisor.  Upon entering his hotel room, she realizes that Hoynes has no plans to go to California at all.  She leaves to go and tell Will.  Will tells her to slow down and they need to confirm it before telling the VP and heading off to California.  Donna calls a reporter and asks him why would Hoynes have such a big California strategy if he does not really intend to campaign there?

Act III[]

In a California classroom, Matt and Helen Santos are talking about education, even though all of the reporters are asking about the Driver's License bill.  In New York, Donna is being trailed by reporters asking about Hoynes.  She tells them to go and find out why Hoynes is still in New York and not traveling to California.  On the Santos campaign plane heading for Los Angeles, Josh and Santos are talking about their efforts there and why they are still in third given they are the only candidate currently in the state.  Josh and Santos want more reporters to dig into the Hoynes story, so, they roll an orange back to the press cabin with "Where is Hoynes" written on it.  Back in New York, the reporters are now hounding Brewer, the Hoynes aide, who continues to maintain that Hoynes is planning to go to California.

Josh calls Leo again and the two of them talk about the campaign.  Leo tells him to enjoy it as it is almost over.  Josh maintains that he still believes they can win the whole thing.  Josh goes to find Santos who is signing mortgage documents, so they can compete through Texas.  Josh tells them not to sign them and tells Helen and Matt they aren't going to win:  they need to remember who they are and say what they believe in.  Santos should speak out on the Driver's License bill and then wrap things up.  Santos tells Josh a story about when he got out of the military and was applying for a job at the Pentagon:  he couldn't get a security clearance because no one in his hometown would admit to the FBI that they knew him.  When Santos went home to find out what had happened, several children ran up to him and told him that everyone had said they didn't know him:  because he was Hispanic, they had thought that he must be in trouble.

Ronna comes into the room to tell the group that something has happened with Hoynes.  In New York, Hoynes leaves his hotel, trailed by reporters shouting questions but no answers are given.  Josh comes to find Santos and pulls him back to the hotel room, where everyone is watching the news, which is reporting that Hoynes made unwanted sexual advances to a female staff member.  Josh tells Santos that they just went from third to second.

Act IV[]

Josh and others are walking through the halls of the hotel telling people what they should say to the press when asked:  it's a whole new race without Hoynes in it and that Santos and Russell are neck and neck in California.  Bram tells Josh the campaign has received several requests for interviews with Santos (to talk about Hoynes).  Josh points out that they will not comment on Hoynes: they will comment only on education and health care.

Air Force Two is now making its way to California, and Donna is avoiding the press, telling them she knew nothing about the staffers.  Another aide passes her a note and she makes her way to the VP's office, passing Will, who is on the phone trying to get the Governor of California to endorse Russell.  She goes into see the VP and he apologizes for her name being involved in the stories about Hoynes.  Will comes in and tells Russell the Governor is not taking any endorsement meetings.  However, Russell wants to make sure that the Governor doesn't endorse Santos either and asks to get the Governor on the phone.

In Los Angeles, Josh and the Santoses are making their way down a staircase and Josh tells them the Governor is not taking any endorsement meetings.  Santos convinces Josh to call the Governor and ask him for a meeting on the Driver's License bill and not an endorsement meeting.  In a limo, the Governor and Santos talk about things, and Santos offers to stand with the Governor, when he announces the veto of the Driver's License bill.  No endorsement, but a show of support, nevertheless.  The Governor asks why Santos would do that when he supports the bill.  Santos tells him he doesn't support it, but that opposition from a Latino -- like himself -- will not have the news value or political impact of opposition from people like the (white) governor: the fixes need to come from elsewhere, and better legislation will follow.

The Governor and Santos enter a room, where the Governor announces the veto.  He tells the press that he would show them the pen with which he had signed the veto, but he has already given it to Congressman Santos.  He then tells the press that they should be writing about the uninsured in California and if they have questions about that, they should ask Congressman Santos.

On Primary Day, the Santos couple are doing some interviews.  When completed, Josh tells them how the other states are going, mostly to Russell.  However, California is still too close to call.  Josh pulls out a campaign plan for Texas and hands it to Santos.  They go into the other room and watch the results come in on television.  Ronna comes up and hands Josh a piece of paper.  He looks at it and goes to find the Santos couple.  He brings them out in the hall to tell them he has some news:  they have won California!


Matt Santos: We need to focus on electing a progressive candidate. Then we can take on all the tough causes.
Eddie Garcia: Now all we need is a progressive candidate . . . Maybe you don't see more friendly faces because your friends have trouble recognizing you.
Paul Hickman: Excuse me.
Josh Lyman: You wanna meet the congressman?
Paul Hickman: No, I wanna meet you. I'm your new finance director.
Josh Lyman: You're Hickman . . . The human cash register.
Paul Hickman: Call me Paul.
Josh Lyman: I should call you a cab. Why are you here? You should be at a phone bank, phone-banking.
Paul Hickman: I wanted to deliver the news in person.
Josh Lyman: Your job's to give me money, not news.
Paul Hickman: And since we have no money, I thought I'd opt for news.
Josh Lyman: By no money, you mean? So you're going with the literal meaning.
Paul Hickman: The Super Tuesday polls really spooked our big donors. We're raising on the Internet, but once we pay the vendors our cash on hand will look more like an empty palm.
Leo McGarry: Ride's almost over. They want to hang on. The crowds, the adrenaline. You wait. He'll even miss the bad headlines.
Josh Lyman: You think it's almost over.
Leo McGarry: I think you've done a remarkable job. I think you've taken a junior House nobody and made him a national brand, a contender for the Vice Presidency, even.
Josh Lyman: He still believes he can win.
Leo McGarry: It's his job to believe, and if he keeps believing, it's probably 'cause he's...
Josh Lyman: He got it from me. He believes it 'cause I hammered it into him.
Matt Santos: You know, when I got out of the Marines, I hadn't been around my old neighborhood in Houston in a few years. I had just gotten this job offer from the Pentagon, and it required a full FBI background check. After a few weeks, the investigators - they came up to me, and they said, "We can't give you the job. We've interviewed all your old friends and neighbors. They can't confirm anything, not even your name." So I hop a plane, go back to the old block. I see my neighbor's 11- and 13-year-old kids. They're - they're sitting on the stoop, same as always, and they see me coming. They start running toward me, and they're shouting, "Tío Matt, Tío Matt-- "Uncle Matt- "Tío Matt, "the Feds- they were here looking for you. We told 'em we never heard of you." 11 and 13. You're not the only one who can read bad polls, Josh. I am running for president in that Texas primary... and those kids are going to see me do that. And that's the only statement about my skin color I intend to make in this campaign.
Josh Lyman: I've never seen a poll like this. We need a margin of error for the margin of error.

Trivia / Goofs[]

  • "La Palabra" is Spanish for "The Word." This is the first and only time an episode title has been in Spanish. [1]
  • Air Force Two uses the same set as Air Force One has previously in the series. Whilst technically, the call sign "Air Force Two" is used to refer to any military aircraft carrying the Vice President, The aircraft most commonly used is a modified Boeing 757, which unlike the modified 747 used to carry the President, has no second floor. Yet, a staircase is clearly visible when Donna goes to see Russell onboard.



Special Guest Stars[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" La Palabra (2005)
The West Wing: La Palabra