West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Toby

It's C.J.'s first day as Chief of Staff, and the Bartlet Administration must devise a plan of action when an emissary from the Republic of Georgia walks into the White House and offers them weapons-grade uranium that's in a research reactor the Russians left behind when they pulled out of Georgia. Meanwhile, Josh goes looking for support for the tax cut from the DCCC and along the way meets with Matthew Santos, a bright and enigmatic congressman from Texas.



There is a knock on the door of C.J.'s apartment. She is greeted by two Marines, who instruct her on the evacuation plans for what she should do in the event of an emergency.  While Staff Sergeant Kelsey goes over her new "commute," the Secret Service shows up to provide her with protection, which she doesn't want, but doesn't have much of a choice. C.J. arrives in the residence, just as Charlie has knocked on the President's door.  The President comes out and C.J. briefs him on the morning's events.  The President is trying to boost her confidence, saying that she is going to be great at this, while he mentions to Charlie to try and keep it light today.

C.J. goes into Leo's old office (now her office) where she is greeted by Margaret and the large pile of briefing books for the day.  Toby comes by and asks if she's ready for her last briefing.  Toby is going to do the briefing as she transitions to her new role.  She walks in to start the briefing, but before she gets very far, the President comes in and announces C.J. as the new White House Chief of Staff, to applause from the White House Press Corps.

Act I[]

Carol and Margaret are trailing C.J. through the halls telling her about an issue.  Carol asks about her status.  C.J. tells her that she is going to need to stay back and help Toby.  She goes into the office where Margaret tells her about the day ahead of her.  The two of them turn to the TV to watch Toby briefing the press, where he makes an off handed comment about C.J.'s abilities to perform the job as Chief of Staff.

Josh is also watching and runs off to find Toby after another comment.  Toby comes out of the room and Carol tells him they will get someone else to brief.  Josh and Toby walk to C.J.'s office to begin the Senior Staff meeting.  C.J. lays out a strategy for the day (as well as to try and walk back some of the things Toby said in the briefing).  As they conclude, Toby, then Josh offer up their resignations to C.J.  Then, the President walks in and does the same (a practical joke at C.J.'s expense - the President's idea).

Carol meets up with Toby and Josh to work up a list of viable Press Secretary candidates, and it should be done sooner rather than later.  C.J. goes into a meeting with a Georgian diplomat, who offers her enriched uranium.  C.J. believes it to be another joke.  She steps out of the room and talks with Josh, then realizes that the offer might actually be genuine.

Act II[]

Nancy McNally is in C.J.'s office looking into the Georgian's claim.  She determines that he has also been to the Iranian embassy to make the same offer.  C.J. tells Margaret that she is going to need a meeting today with National Security principals.

In the briefing room, Donna and Toby interview press secretary candidates.  C.J. comes to see the President and Charlie meets her to tell her that she needs to clear the President's schedule.  While C.J. is waiting to go into see the President, the Secretary of Defense calls unscheduled.  Charlie tells C.J. that the Chief of Staff has to approve all unscheduled calls.  C.J. tells Debbie to have the Secretary call C.J.'s office.  She goes in to see the President to tell him about the uranium from the Republic of Georgia.  Later, she returns to the Oval Office to find the President in a meeting with Secretary Hutchinson, who has opted to meet with the President without C.J. present.  She tells Charlie to pull the President out and then confronts Hutchinson outside the Oval Office.

Elsewhere, Josh is being courted to leave the White House and run the DCCC or possibly Congress from Connecticut.  Looking over the list, he is intrigued as to why Congressman Matt Santos is not running for another term.  Josh goes to see Toby to talk about Santos.  Will comes in and they talk about upcoming Congressional races.  Josh gives Will a list of races the Vice President will need to help with.

In C.J.'s office, Margaret is going over more briefing books for C.J.  She then tells C.J. that she is now late for the Georgian meeting, which is to be in the Situation Room.  She walks in and listens to the group discuss the situation.  Nancy McNally silently gestures where she should sit.  After one comment, C.J. offers her opinion, which the Secretary of Defense dismisses.  The two of them go back and forth, and the Secretary finally bullies C.J. and the others that they're moving forward.  C.J. returns to her office in disgust.

Act III[]

C.J. goes in to talk with the President about the Georgian crisis.  She is still angry about Hutchinson and feels the situation is not being handled well.  In the Briefing Room, Donna and Toby continue to interview candidates for Press Secretary.  Someone comes in that Toby really likes and he brings the name to C.J.

C.J. is in her office dealing with a possible news leak about the uranium (the Governor of Tennessee heard from the Secretary of Energy), when Toby comes in to tell her about the new Press Secretary.  She tells Toby that she wants three to five names, not just one.

Josh goes up to Capitol Hill to see Congressman Matt Santos to try and convince him to run for another term in Congress.  The two talk, but Santos cannot be swayed.  Josh is discouraged.  Back at the White House, Carol brings Gail (the Goldfish) to C.J. and tells C.J. that Greg Brock is planning on writing a story on "Is the Administration in Over Its Head."  C.J. goes off to find Toby.  Toby and Donna are working through the candidates. Toby is finding some charade candidates to put on a list with the guy they really want, as C.J. asked him to do.  C.J. arrives and orders Toby to call Greg Brock and tell him to wait on his story.  She goes back to her office, grabs her coat and goes to see Leo in the hospital, who is sleeping.  She sits by him.

Act IV[]

C.J. begins her next day with a fresh look.  She has a conversation with Margaret, who tells C.J. how to deal with the "politics."  She goes into a meeting with Josh and Will and tells them to go and meet with the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Energy to get them to fall in line on the Georgian uranium issue.

In the Briefing Room, Toby and Donna are trying to find more people for C.J.'s requested list.  Annabeth Schott walks in and, while not there for the Press Secretary job, makes it known to Toby that she is there for the job as Deputy Press Secretary not the primary Press Secretary.  Annabeth tells Toby that he should continue to brief the press, while they conduct a more thorough search.  She will help Toby with the press.

Toby goes back to C.J. with two names, the man from yesterday and Annabeth.  He pitches Annabeth's plan to C.J., which she ultimately agrees may be the best move.  C.J. asks Toby about Greg Brock.  Toby tells her that Greg Brock is not going to hold the story, but they'll get past that too.  Toby mentions something about the DOD low balling the troop estimates, which makes C.J. realize that Hutchinson was trying to get out of something he just didn't want to do.

C.J. tells Margaret to get the principals into her office right away.  She then goes to the President and tells him what she is planning to do and takes away the report he is reading.  She goes back into her office and meets with the National Security team and lays out the plan, the new plan, her plan, spanking Hutchinson in the process.

Toby and Josh walk to a meeting that C.J. wants them to attend.  On the way, Josh tells Toby about his meeting with Santos.  Josh thinks there may be something more for him to do.  C.J. has set out some beer for them to thank them for their work.  C.J. goes into the Oval Office to talk to the President.  The two talk about getting the British to help with the Georgian uranium.  The President tells her that she can call the British PM, as she's the Chief of Staff.

Trivia / Goofs[]

  • This marks Jimmy Smits' and Kristin Chenoweth's first appearances in the series.
  • The spot that the Staff Sergeant directs C.J. to go to in the event of an emergency appears to be an area near Rock Creek Park, west of Dupont Circle - however there is no "Denville Road" in the District.
  • CJ references Al Qaeda as a terror threat that could steal the nuclear materials, the first time the real-life terror organisation is mentioned in the show instead of the fictional Bahji network


C.J. Cregg: I do not need a Secret Service Detail.
Secret Service Agent: They'll give you a wide berth
C.J. Cregg: Can we please discuss this?
Secret Service Agent: Not really.
C.J. Cregg: Good Morning. This will be my last briefing as White House Press Secretary.
C.J. Cregg: Isn't the larger P.R. crisis one wherein al Qaeda steals the stuff and we have to admit it wasn't under our control because we were too cheap to go get it?
Secretary Hutchinson: You got a congressional appropriation I don't know about?
C.J. Cregg: [to a sleeping Leo] I don't think this is going to work out.
Margaret: Secretaries have agendas, policy wonks have information.
Debbie Fidderer: What was that?
President Bartlet: I just got spanked.
Debbie Fidderer: Mmm. Sorry I missed it. She still nervous?
President Bartlet: I don't think so, no.
C.J. Cregg: You're an odd woman and I've never quite understood you. But you are extremely capable and you run this office like a Swiss watch, and you're tall, which is reassuring. Leo may need you and if he does, that's okay. But if he's willing to part with you, I hope you'll stay.



Special Guest Stars[]

Guest Starring[]



"The West Wing" Liftoff (2004)
The West Wing Episode Guide