ABBEY SEEKS TO SINK ALTERED BILL AND TOBY HELPS WHISTLE-BLOWER -- Abbey (Stockard Channing) is upset when an anti-abortion rider is attached to a foreign aid bill and asks Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) to work behind the scenes to torpedo the President's (Martin Sheen) proposal while Toby (Richard Schiff) gets in a legal bind when an ex-classmate (guest star Jeff Perry) turns whistle-blower on a lawbreaking chemical company. Meanwhile, the Daughters of the American Revolution wants to disown Abbey when they learn that her distant relative was more pirate than patriot.
The President is asleep in the residence when the phone rings. The operator informs him it is 6:00am. As the President gets off the phone - the First Lady comes out of the bathroom and the two talk about how she delayed the wake up call by an hour because the President was so late coming in the night before.
The President proceeds to tell the First Lady that Senator Bangart has attached an amendment to a Foreign Ops bill that prevents aid from going to countries where abortion is counseled. She peppers him with questions about what he is going to do about it - he tells her he doesn't know . . . yet.
Josh is in Leo's office briefing him about a natural emergency taking place in Alaska. Josh leaves and runs into Will to tell him that he is going to need to help C.J. on the melted glacier in Alaska - but Will wants to ask Josh if he is aware the First Lady may be the descendant of a pirate. Josh asks Will who called - Will replies the Boston Globe. They arrive at the front lobby as C.J. arrives - Josh tells her that Will got called about "Captain Feathersworth" - Will realizes this is an actual thing. A socialite from Massachusetts has denounced Abbey's membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) based on Abbey's ancestor. C.J. points out that he wasn't a pirate - he was a privateer.
Amy is in her new office (as the First Lady's Chief of Staff) - she has just hung pictures on the wall, which promptly fall off. An intern comes in and tells her the First Lady is waiting. The First Lady tells Amy that she wants her office to influence the President to threaten to veto the Foreign Ops bill if the global gag rule is kept on the bill. C.J. and Will arrive to tell Amy about the "Pirate Problem."
In Toby's office, an old friend of Toby's arrives to say hello. Burt Gantz now works for a chemical company and is with a company lawyer. They exchange pleasantries and leave - but Burt goes back to Toby's office alone and tells Toby that he wants protection under federal whistle blower laws - the company has been lying to the public.
Josh arrives in Toby's office and wants to know what's up. Toby tells him to calm down until Burt comes back in and they close the door. Burt and Toby tell Josh what's going on. Josh tells Burt to stay there until he calls. As he leaves he runs into Amy in the hall - she wants to press him on the First Lady's request that she get the President to veto the Foreign Ops bill with the global gag rule. Donna tells Josh that everyone in the Counsel's Office is busy until after lunch. He tells her that she needs to go to the DAR reception that evening to keep an eye on a guest with a record that Secret Service won't admit unless someone with credentials watches him.
Leo is meeting with USGS (United States Geological Service) on the Alaska glacier issue. One of the staff members tells Leo that this is probably the first noteworthy event caused by global warming.
Amy goes back to see the First Lady to tell her the President can't threaten to veto a bill that he isn't prepared to actually veto. Plus, he's not going to veto his own bill. Abbey tells Amy to keep trying to convince Senior Staff (Josh) that the gag rule has to be pulled off.
In the White House Mess, Will finds Charlie, who has received a "Dear John" email from Zoey, who is breaking up with him again. Walking back upstairs, C.J. sees Will to tell him that Marion Cotesworth-Haye (the woman boycotting the reception) is in the White House and they can hopefully dispatch this issue right here. Amy arrives and the three of them go into the Mural Room to talk to her. C.J. can't control herself and begins to laugh and Amy and Will have to come up with something - which they do by making up an award, the "Francis Scott Key key."
Amy finds Josh again to suggest that Senior Staff write an official memo suggesting the President veto the Foreign Ops bill in the hope that it will get enough moderates to push to have the gag rule removed. Josh doesn't think it will work, but suggests the she go to Leo.
In Toby's Office, Burt Gantz is meeting with one of the White House Counsel's Office lawyers. However, based on what Gantz has told him - and the actions he took at the chemical company, the lawyer tells the group that Gantz needs protection from federal prosecution not whistle blower status - and that Josh and Toby have to turn him in or they could be charged with conspiracy.
Abbey and Amy are talking about what Amy has tried to do for the First Lady - but Amy has to tell the First Lady that it can't happen.
Jean-Paul is waiting for Zoey when Charlie spots him - the two talk and Charlie realizes that Jean-Paul is stoned. Charlie sends Jean-Paul to the Ellipse to get him away from the White House for a while. Donna and Josh are at the reception and he makes her find the guest that she has to watch. Leo talks with C.J. and Will about the glacier in Alaska and they decide to let Will make a call for more environmental controls to try and curb global warming.
Zoey arrives and is met by Charlie (as he has sent Jean-Paul to the Ellipse, where Zoey was never going to be). He tells her that respectfully, he is not going to stop interacting with her - he loves her. At the reception, Toby see Burt Gantz and the two talk. He is going to get his immunity - but Toby is irked because Burt played him to get the weight of the White House to help him.
Amy and the First Lady have another interaction and Amy tells the First Lady that she is not going to be able to stop the bill from passing with the gag rule and that she is going to have to accept it - the First Lady tells her that she had a good first day and to keep it up. Amy then tells the First Lady that she is going to give Marion Cotesworth-Haye an award at the dinner.
Later, in the residence, Abbey and Jed talk about the day and the Foreign Ops bill - Abbey offers to make a public statement about the gag rule, but Jed tells her not yet, another time.
- Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet
- Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
- Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
- Joshua Malina as Will Bailey
- 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
- Jeff Perry as Burt Ganz
- Elisabeth Moss as Zoey Bartlet
- Trent Ford as Jean-Paul Vicomte de Bourbon
- Amanda Carlin as Hillary Toobin
- Benjamin Brown as Mike Wayne
- Nathan Anderson as Matthew Lambert
- Andrea Savage as Heidi Choat
- Helen Slayton-Hughes as Marion Cotesworth-Haye
- Devika Parikh as Bonnie
- Kim Webster as Ginger
- Steven Hack as Paul Hendricks
- Gregory Linington as Don Novak
- Eric Lemler as Nat
- Ivan Allen as Roger Salier
- Christopher Carroll as Thomas
- Robert Noble as Steward
- Michael J. London as Usher
- ❝Abigail Bartlet – So we're for freedom of speech everywhere, but poor countries where they can have our help but only if they live up to Clancy Bangart's moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?
- President Bartlet – I really don't know Abbey, the day hasn't started yet❞
- ❝Leo – You don't want to stand here for a minute and reflect on the fact that a glacier melted this morning?
- Josh – Well, I would, Leo, but a glacier melted this morning, so at this point Americans are simply trying to outrun it❞
- ❝Was something on your mind that moment in law school when they taught that rule? Were you distracted by a bumblebee?❞
Notes and references