CAN PRESIDENT RAMROD A TEST-BAN TREATY THROUGH BEFORE NEW SENATE IS SEATED? -- A wily President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) considers the extraordinary option of recalling the Senate from a winter holiday to push through a ratification of a new nuclear test-ban treaty -- despite the lame-duck status of many Senators who will not return in the next session -- while the drunken Ukrainian leader (guest star Eugene Lazarev) thunders through the White House demanding to see the President. Elsewhere: Toby (Richard Schiff) is shocked to hear that even if the Senate returns, the White House might still lack the necessary votes; Sam (Rob Lowe) learns something when he grudgingly works with new Republican assistant counsel Ainsley Hayes (guest star Emily Procter); a stubborn C.J. (Allison Janney) argues against allowing reporter Danny (guest star Timothy Busfield) private access to the President for a series of exclusive stories; and Donna (Janel Moloney) is on a mission to get the President to back legislation on repetitive stress injuries.
C.J. is in the middle of a press briefing when Danny asks her a question if the President has considered calling a Lame Duck session of Congress to pass a Test-Ban Treaty before the new Congress is seated. She navigates the question and then talks with Sam and Josh about if the President has considered it (which if she asks the President, then he will have considered it). Sam thinks the President should do it - Josh thinks its a bad idea. Toby joins the discussion and they talk about the shuffling of committee chairs in the new Congress and they realize that calling a Lame Duck session may be the only way to go. They decide to take it to Leo and the President.
The Senior Staff meets with Leo and the President in the Oval Office and Toby pitches the plan to the President. Leo and the President decide to take to the Senate Leadership's temperature on the idea. Toby will get a count of how the vote might go and C.J. will leak to the press the President is considering the idea but nothing more. Leo sends the Senior Staff to his office. The President and Leo discuss the impending arrival of the Ukrainian diplomat and their plans on how to work with him. Leo cautions him about the dangers of the Lame Duck session. The President wants to go ahead with it for now.
Leo meets with Senior Staff in his office and chides them for their actions (based on an editorial that will be coming out in the Washington Post). He wants them to run things through him before they get in to see the President first. Leo gives them their marching orders for the day and sends them off. He cautions them that if they see Konanov in the halls to walk the other way).
Toby, Sam, and Josh work on their plans for the day. Toby wants to be able to tell the President by the end of the day that they are within striking distance of getting it done. Sam has a briefing paper that he needs to finish - Josh tells him to staff it out to Ainsley Hayes. As C.J. walks back to her office, she encounters Danny who asks if the President has considered the session. She is mad at him (and his paper) for the editorial that is coming out. While he stands in her office, she asks Carol to get the Majority Leader's Office on the phone, which Danny understands is C.J. leaking the idea of a Lame Duck session. He asks how to identify the source and leaves.
Donna is on Josh about repetitive stress injuries and how OSHA should be doing more about them. Charlie comes to Josh's office to tell him that Vasily Konanov is here, in the driveway demanding to see the President. Secret Service says he's drunk.
Ainsley comes to Sam's office and he asks her to help. In return, she asks him to take her to the meetings on the Hill. He reluctantly agrees. Josh comes to Leo's office to tell him about Konanov being in the driveway. Leo tells Josh to get him into the White House - dry him out - and explain to him why he cannot see the President.
Toby has lunch with Bob Fowler and Joseph Fox about getting them to vote for the Test-Ban treaty. They tell him that he should "check his own backyard" that they have lost votes and they don't have the number they think they have. Back at the White House, Charlie talks with Leo about how it is that a member of the Ukrainian Parliament can show up at the White House. Donna then accosts Leo about OSHA wanting to deal with repetitive stress injuries. Next up is C.J. who talks to Leo about the State Department's desire to change "rogue nations" to "nations of concern." He sees no downside (other than C.J. feeling stupid). He tells her to talk to the President at the end of the day - as Danny wants some exclusive time with the President - to which C.J. strenuously objects based on the editorials the Post has put out about the White House and the President. Leo says to think about it and talk to the President at the end of the day.
Toby comes back and tells Leo that we lost a vote - He tells Leo to call Tony Marino and set up a meeting to see who it is that they lost. Toby walks over to his office and questions why the blinds are closed. He opens the door to find Konanov sitting at his desk, who begins to yell at him in Ukrainian. Josh appears and says, "yeah, that needs an explanation."
Josh moves Konanov and his "escort" to his office and tells him there are protocols and that he cannot just arrive and expect to see the President. He tells Donna to put two uniformed officers outside his door and goes to see Leo. Sam and Ainsley are meeting with staff on the Hill and they get nowhere.
Josh comes to see Leo and Leo suggests a "Dalai Lama" type meeting for Konanov and the President to "accidentally" meet. Josh grabs Donna and tells her to stop with the "organized work slowdowns" over the OSHA issue. Leo and Josh tell Donna that the White House and Congress are exempt from OSHA guidelines so her efforts would be for naught in her case anyway.
Sam and Ainsley come back to the White House and the two of them discuss how the meeting went. C.J. meets up with them and thinks there are three Senators that can be counted because Tony Marino will tell them to vote for it. As an aside, she asks Sam if Danny should be given an exclusive, he agrees, and she tells him he's wrong. Sam reads the summary paper that Ainsley wrote for him and he discovers that she reversed his position on it.
Toby meets with Senator Marino and he tells Toby that he is the one that won't vote for the Test-Ban treaty. He was voted out and cannot support the treaty because he lost and the person that will replace him wouldn't vote for it - so he will abstain if the Lame Duck session is called. Bonnie is giving a tour to White House visitors when Toby returns from his meeting and rants at her (and the tourists).
Ainsley and Sam are going back and forth and he decides to give her the opportunity to change his mind. Outside the Oval Office, C.J. and Danny wait to go in and see the President - while C.J. still thinks it is a bad idea. C.J. says as much to the President who tells her that he is going to do it anyway. He calls Danny in and tells him that the Washington Post needs to lighten up and, as a symbolic gesture, he is canceling his subscription. He leaves C.J. and Danny in the Oval Office. C.J. tells Danny that she knows about the job offer and wants to know why he isn't going to accept. Danny says he is a White House reporter and he doesn't have a problem with the Press Secretary dating a reporter - but she does.
Donna is sitting with Konanov, rambling at him about repetitive stress injuries when the President shows up. He tells him that he will work with him when he becomes President, but until then, the State Department only deals with the Ukrainian Government. Ainsley and Sam go to see Leo and he pitches the idea about the Commerce Department issue that Ainsley has convinced him is right to support. Leo questions that he got turned around on this and agrees to take it to the President. Ainsley starts to talk, but Sam takes her out. She can't believe that her persuasion of Sam led to the President agreeing to support the memo.
Toby comes to see the President and they talk about Marino. They agree that calling the session won't work and they will just have to move on. The President asks Toby up to the residence and they walk out of the Oval Office.
- 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
- ❝You have enormous value to me; you have no value to Eastern Europe❞
- —Josh to Donna