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A Good Day

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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Toby

Santos masterminds a plot to pass the president's stem cell bill while the Republicans aren't looking. A group of middle school children who are part of the Future Leaders for Democracy visit the White House and seek out Toby to discuss the voting age. Kate has to deal with an impending invasion of Canada.

Summary Edit


As an older Japanese gentlemen sits outside C.J.'s office, Annabeth and Cliff arrive to meet with C.J.  They talk about the current status of what's going on.  Cliff, the new Legislative Affairs liaison, tells C.J. that the Speaker has scheduled a vote on stem cell research and they are going to need every democratic vote they can to get the bill through.  He heads off to corral the Democratic caucus back to DC.  Toby and C.J. talk about their respective days and she gives him a meeting with middle school kids on a visit to the White House.

Cliff meets Congressman Santos in the halls of the Capitol.  He has come back to vote on the stem cell bill.  However, when Speaker Haffley sees how many Democrats returned for the vote, he pulls the vote.

Act IEdit

C.J. comes to the Oval Office to find the President and First Lady talking about the Nobel Laureate's dinner that evening.  She tells the President the Speaker killed the vote.  She then proceeds to ask him about the economist that he shares the Nobel Prize in Economics with.  Bartlet doesn't like him and points out that the Prize was "split" and not "shared."  Abbey points out that the economist won't be coming to the dinner so there's no need to worry about it, but C.J. points out that he is coming and he's sitting in her outer office.

Toby manages to push the middle school kids off onto Annabeth, because he really didn't want to do it.  Back in Congress, Cliff is trying to keep several fingers in the dike, begging Democratic congressmen to stay close.  They all tell him that Haffley will never hold the vote if they stay.  Cliff runs into the Speaker and the two talk.  Cliff plays racquetball with the Speaker and they have a congenial conversation.  Cliff then meets a conservative Democratic Congressman, who has no plans to leave town, but also has concerns over stem cell research.  Cliff comes to the Legislative Affairs Office in the Capitol, where Donna is on the phone with campaign staff.  The two talk about things from the past and how the two of them should have dinner soon. 

In the Situation Room, Kate is getting updates on events around the globe, when someone speaks up and offers an update on the "Canada Situation."  The official (from Fish and Wildlife) tells the room that several American hunters have been surrounded on Canadian land, by Canadians and it's not clear, but they might have been taken hostage.

C.J. brings Dr. Takahashi (the economist) into the Oval Office to pay his respects to the President.  The two exchange small talk and Abbey leads Dr. Takahashi out of the Oval Office and C.J. and the President talk about him after he leaves.  Leaving the Capitol, Cliff runs into Santos, who pulls him aside and tells him he wants to meet with him privately, as he has an idea.

Act IIEdit

Will finds Kate on her way to the Situation Room.  He expresses to her the Vice President's desire to "take a hardline on the "Canada situation."  Kate dismisses Will on her way into the Situation Room.  Annabeth is leading the school group through the White House, and while pausing in the Communications bullpen, Toby appears behind the group and quickly sneaks away.  One of the students is upset at the "glorified field trip" they are being given rather than the chance to talk to an actual White House Senior Staff person.

Cliff comes to his office to find Josh (it is Josh's old office).  Josh tells Cliff this is a waste of time, but Santos walks in and tells Cliff that he has a strategy to sneak the Democrats back into DC and then come to the floor to vote, before Haffley can know what's happened, but Santos needs Josh to work out the details with Cliff.

In the Situation Room, Kate is reviewing a military plan drawn up to extract the hunters "from foreign soil."  She tells the General to not show it to anyone, including her.  The Fish and Wildlife rep comes in and tells her the Canadians are making a statement.  Later, Kate and the other military advisors are conferencing with Canadian officials.  The Canadians tell Kate and the others the ranchers have declared war on the US.  Kate tells the Canadians there is no plan to invade Canada, at which the General looks at Kate.  They get off the phone and the general tells Kate, actually there is a plan to invade Canada.

Annabeth is wrapping up the tour when Toby comes by to be introduced to the school group.  When Toby tries to make his exit, Cody, one of the students questions Toby as to why they are getting the brush off instead of actually listening to their issue(s).  Toby relents, brings them into the Roosevelt Room and tells him and the other students, "It's your meeting."  At the reception for the Nobel Laureates, the President is holding forth, while his "adversary," Dr. Takahashi questions the President over economic issues.

Santos comes out of Cliff's office and tells Cliff to work things out with Josh.  Cliff and Josh talk and Josh tells him that Congressman Santos is going to Hartford and then will come immediately back to DC, and they just need a place to stash him until Haffley calls the vote and all the Democrats can come in.

Act IIIEdit

Cliff returns to Capitol Hill and visits with the Arkansas Congressman and gets him on board with the plan to make it look like there are no Democrats around, so that Haffley will schedule the vote.  Back at the White House, Toby is now engaged with the middle schoolers and talking with them about their issues of concern.  Toby arranges for pizza delivery so they can continue their discussions.  Kate comes to Margaret to tell her that she needs the Mural Room for a meeting.  In the Oval Office, Dr. Takahashi is carried into the room, after hurting himself dancing.  He is followed by the President and the First Lady.  The President and Takahashi have another verbal joust.

On Capitol Hill, Speaker Haffley is walking the halls, and stops by Congressman Santos' office and verifies that Santos has left the city (by overhearing an aide on the phone).  After Haffley leaves, the same aide picks up the phone again and tells the person on the other end, "Elvis has left the building."  With that, the Arkansas Congressman escorts Santos to the VP's office in the Capitol.  Cliff meets them there and then leaves to go arrange for the other Democrats to make their way back to the Capitol.  The Arkansas Congressman goes to get another Congressman who needs to be brought up to the room.  Santos goes into the next office, sits on the couch, only to realize that Donna is on the couch, sleeping.  She screams and Santos calms her down and explains what he is doing there.

Back at the White House, Bartlet and Takahashi continue to spar over economic matters.  In the Mural Room, Kate and Will meet with the Canadian Ambassador, who tells them things are settling down.  The Ambassador recounts his conversation with the Vice President, but Will points out that it was the VP who called the Ambassador.  The Ambassador suggests a deal, but Kate responds that there will be no deal, and if he continues to press for concessions, she might put the plan to invade Canada into action!  In the Roosevelt Room, Toby continues his discussions.  Cody, one of the children, asks if Toby will talk to the President.  Toby tells him he will do better than that.

On Capitol Hill, the Arkansas Congressman continues to bring Democrats secretly to the VP's Office.  There are now more than 30 or so Congressmen in the office and they are passing the time in various means.  Santos and the Arkansas Congressman get into a discussion about the Congressman's objections to Stem Cell Research.

Act IVEdit

C.J. comes back from the Nobel Laureate's party and finds Cliff.  They talk about "Operation Sleepover" and how he plans to pull it off.  Cliff tells C.J. that he is scheduled to play squash with the Speaker in the morning and he'll push the issue.  On Capitol Hill, Santos and the Arkansas Congressman continue to talk about stem cells and the congressman's morality questions. 

In the Situation Room, Kate comes in and questions what she has learned:  that a helicopter has landed near the standoff site and it's not clear if the helicopter is military or civilian.  She decides to have the senior official onsite to declare the end of hunting season and that any discharge of firearms will result in the loss of one's hunting license.  In the residence, Jed is still agitated over his conversation with Takahashi.  Abbey is trying to sleep but is also listening to Jed rant.

As morning breaks, the cloistered Democrats await word that the Speaker has called the vote.  So far, he hasn't called the vote on stem cell.  At the White House, the President is about to start his press conference.  Toby brings Cody into the room and puts him in a chair.  Toby goes up to the President and tells him if he is so inclined, there is a young man in the back of the room whom he may want to call on.  As the Press Conference gets underway, Bartlet is asked if he has any regrets.  He answers that he wishes he could have done more about the blooming deficit and that he plans to use his remaining days to try and get it under control.  Bartlet calls on Cody, who asks his question about child suffrage.  Bartlet tells him the issue is worthy of consideration.

Back at the Capitol, Donna comes in and tells the group that Haffley has just called the vote.  The group, led by Santos, begins to make their way to the floor to cast their votes.  The Arkansas Congressman comes out after voting and is greeted by Haffley, who tells him that he had hoped they might join the Republicans on this issue.  As they talk, the Democrats round the corner and proceed past the Speaker to go and vote.  Haffley realizes he's been had.  Cliff, standing off to the side, smiles and walks away.

That evening, C.J. compliments Kate on defusing the "Canadian Crisis."  C.J. then goes to see Cliff and congratulates him on a nice job on the stem cell vote.  Cliff points out that is was Santos and the rest of the Democrats that pulled it off.

Quotes Edit

C.J. Cregg: Future Leaders for Democracy.
Toby Ziegler: Near future? Distant future?
C.J. Cregg: Middle schoolers, in fact.
Toby Ziegler: Not that. I'm wall-to-wall today.
C.J. Cregg: They won a commendation for some Internet voting thing. Give them 10 minutes.
Toby Ziegler: My whole day's been divvied up. I never get to anything
C.J. Cregg: They were bumped off the president's schedule, bumped from mine. They're on yours for 6.
Toby Ziegler: Why?
C.J. Cregg: It's their last day in town.
Toby Ziegler: I meant, why me?
C.J. Cregg: Because you're so good with kids.
C.J. Cregg: He is a bit conservative.
President Bartlet: He makes Milton Friedman look middle-of-the-road.
President Bartlet: Smug son of a bitch. "Rational expectation."
C.J. Cregg: What?
President Bartlet: Territory he claims to have pioneered. Footnote, my ass.
C.J. Cregg: I don't think he was -
President Bartlet: As if his work would still be read if he hadn't been assigning it to undergrads.
C.J. Cregg: All due respect, sir, you sit in this office. You're pretty much not allowed to harbor professional jealousies.
President Bartlet: He started it.
Will Bailey: The Vice President advocates a hard line.
Kate Harper: Permanent lockout in the NHL? Maple syrup embargo? Turn off Niagara Falls?
Cliff Calley: Take your time. My office is your office.
Josh Lyman: It was, in fact.

Trivia / Goofs Edit

  • The US military's most recent contingency plan for invading Canada is actually from 1924, not 1815. "War Plan Red" was developed as an academic exercise by the Army War College. Its premise was the US going to war with the United Kingdom, and invading Canada since it was part of the British Empire. [1]
  • The plan used in this episode by Matt Santos was later copied by the British Conservative Party in real life on January 31, 2006.[2]

Cast Edit


Special Guest StarsEdit

Guest StarringEdit



"The West Wing" A Good Day (2005)
The West Wing: A Good Day