Leo (John Spencer) tries to convince an unenthusiastic President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) about the merits of an expensive and errant missile defense system while the chief executive ponders the political benefits of chiding hard-core environmentalists over the actions of eco-terrorists when he addresses their convention. Toby (Richard Schiff) pushes hard for chiding them, and drops a condemnation into a speech that Sam (Rob Lowe) has been slaving over. He does it without Sam's knowledge and when Sam finds out, he feel deeply betrayed by Toby and also feels that the President sacrificed friends with similar ideals for a miniscule political point.
Meanwhile, Bartlet endures the formalities of accepting the appointments of a range of foreign ambassadors but he enjoys one in particular -- the presentation of the charming Lord John Marbury (Roger Rees) who returns as Great Britain's new U.S. ambassador. In addition, C.J. (Allison Janney) treads lightly when she is dispatched to New York to dissuade a comedian, Corey Sykes (Rocky Carroll), who once uttered a well-publicized but offensive joke in the President's presence from performing at the annual Will Rogers dinner. What Sykes takes offense to was that at the time, the White House claimed that the President did not laugh at the joke, but Sykes knew that he did.
- 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 Jed Bartlet
Special Guest Star
- David Graf as Colonel Mark Chase
- Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham
- Renee Estevez as Nancy
- NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper
- Robert Clotworthy as Tom
- and Rocky Carroll as Corey Sykes
- Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
- Kim Webster as Ginger
- Devika Parikh as Bonnie
- Tom Hall as Officer Mike
- Alberto Isaac as Tada Sumatra
- Erik Holland as Peter Hans
- Jodie Hanson as Caprice
- Kris Murphy as Katie Witt
- Randolph Brooks as Arthur Leeds
- Timothy Davis-Reed as Reporter Mark
- Eric A. Payne as Secret Service Agent
- Elkin Antoniou as Alice
- Eliott Goretsky as Staffer
- Brian Watt as Staffer
- Sam Seaborn, rebuking Toby for the drop-in: The cynicism of attacking your friends for political protection offends them and it offends me. It offends you and there's really nothing I can do to make you feel better about that.
- On the missile defense shield:
- Leo McGarry: I think the world invented a nuclear weapon, and I think the world owes it to itself to see if they can't invent something that would make it irrelevant.
- John Marbury: Well that's the right sentiment, and certainly a credible one from a man who's fought in a war. You think you can make it stop? Well, you can't. We build a shield and somebody will build a better missile.
- President Bartlet: Well, it's a discussion for serious men. They say a statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years. I'd like us to be statesmen while we are still alive.