"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Leo

20 Hours in L.A. is the sixteenth episode of the first season of the West Wing.

President Bartlet and several of his staff head to Los Angeles for a whirlwind visit that is topped off by a star-studded fundraiser hosted by a wealthy film honcho who threatens to cancel the bash unless Bartlet announces his opposition to a congressional bill banning gays in the military. Back in Washington, Leo tries to convince a stubborn Vice President Hoynes to break the Senate voting deadlock over an ethanol tax credit favored by the White House. Elsewhere, Josh learns that feisty campaign manager Joey Lucas is staying in his Los Angeles hotel and he eagerly anticipates seeing her again. The President takes a meeting where he is warned about not supporting an amendment banning flag-burning and later checks up on Secret Service security for his daughter Zoey -- and is unafraid to close down a celebrity-filled restaurant where she's lunching. [1]

Summary Edit

As the episode opens, Leo and President Bartlet are in the limo on the way to Andrews Air Force Base. The President is off to Los Angeles, California for a fund raiser and Leo cautions the President to be careful and not to get tired. Leo and the President discuss how the ethanol vote in the Senate is going to be a tie 50-50 and they are going to need the Vice President to break the tie. Josh and Toby are concerned about the President meeting with Al Kiefer in Los Angeles. On the plane, the President meets with Gina Toscano, Zoey's new secret service detail agent. Back at the White House, Leo takes a call from Sam and he asks Margaret to have the Vice President come to his office. On the plane, as they begin their descent into Los Angeles, C.J. goes over the itinerary with the press.

At the hotel, Donna tells Josh that Joey Lucas is in the hotel and wanted him to know. She urges him to "gather ye rosebuds while ye may," and that he has a crush on Joey and he should do something about it. Ted Marcus (Bob Balaban), the Hollywood bigwig who is hosting the fundraiser has a problem with a bill coming up in Congress about gays in the military. Marcus threatens Josh with canceling the fund raiser and Josh promises the President will not let the bill get passed. Back at the White House, Leo meets with Hoynes and Leo asks him to break the tie in the Senate and vote for the Ethanol bill, even though Hoynes doesn't want to vote for it. Hoynes asks Leo to get him off the hook, because he can't in good conscience vote for it.

In Los Angeles, President Bartlet is in a town hall meeting on flag desecration, when Josh comes and talks with Toby and Sam. He talks to them about Ted Marcus and the three of them decide to try and sell it to the President. Josh asks how the President is doing and Sam replies that "he has that look on his face - like he's thinking of ways to kill himself." The i want to cry town hall meeting concludes and the President decides to have lunch where Zoey was planning to have lunch, sure to bother Zoey, and also to have lunch there with Al Kiefer, which irks Toby.

The President and Zoey have lunch in a now cleared out restaurant, while C.J., Toby, Sam, and Josh eat with Al Kiefer at the next table. The President asks C.J. if Kiefer has said anything worth hearing yet. Kiefer urges the president to support the flag desecration and his reelection would be guaranteed. Leaving the restaurant, Bartlet agrees to talk about it later (flag desecration). As Gina walks out with Zoey, she sees a few individuals and asks Zoey to walk on the other side of her.

At the party, C.J. is cornered by a Hollywood producer, who offers her a "development job," which she doesn't quite understand and latches on to Sam to get out of it. Josh and Donna are talking and when she walks away, he turns around and is face to face with Joey (and Kenny). The Senior staff continue to mingle (including a conversation C.J. has with Jay Leno). Josh and Joey have an extended conversation about the flag burning issue and Toby, Sam, and C.J. come over and Joey gives Toby some information from another poll that she took on the issue, and provides numbers that are different from Kiefer's.

In Washington, Leo and Hoynes continue to discuss the Ethanol issue. Leo gets on the phone with the President and they decide to let three Senators vote the other way, they'll lose the vote, and let Hoynes off the hook. The President and Ted Marcus talk about the gays in the military bill and they argue about how the President can't put the issue on the debate table. Back at the hotel, Donna and Josh talk about Joey and she convinces him to go and see Joey. He goes down to her room and Al Kiefer opens the door in a robe - Joey comes out of the bathroom also in a robe. Josh leaves clearly disappointed.

On the plane ride home, most people are asleep, but Bartlet, who is very tired, is on the phone with the Vice President congratulating him on holding firm on Ethanol. Bartlet tries to sleep, but he cannot.

Trivia Edit

  • When Josh is checking into his room at the hotel, he has trouble with the key card. Donna helps him open the door. In the final season, Josh will have similar issues and once again Donna will help him out with the key.
  • At the party, Donna is transfixed by the celebrities. When Josh takes away her champagne and tells her to calm down - she says that she sees Matthew Perry and walks away. Perry will join the cast of the West Wing toward the end of the fourth season.

Quotes Edit

Vice-President Hoynes: I think the President of the United States can do pretty much whatever he wants.
Leo McGarry: You're wrong.

President Josiah Bartlet: Chief of Staff. He's not one of your associate producers.
Ted Marcus: You're right.
President Josiah Bartlet: Don't screw around with me now, Ted. I'm really not in the mood.
Ted Marcus: I mean it. You're right.

Cast Edit


Special Appearances byEdit

Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit


References Edit

"The West Wing" 20 Hours in L.A. (2000)