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On the Day Before

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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Sam

As a State Department dinner nears, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) boldly vetoes a repeal of the estate tax but his staff must hustle when they are surprised to learn that the House of Representatives have enough votes to immediately override the veto.

Meanwhile, as some important Democratic congressmen are holding out for some compromising political favors that incense Bartlet and Leo (John Spencer), Josh (Bradley Whitford) tries to smooth-talk a promising governor (Kevin Tighe) who is considering running against Bartlet. Although he doesn't have the money to present a serious challenge, he is extremely vital and energetic, which worries the staff when compared to the President's recent admission regarding his health.

On the fringes, C.J. (Allison Janney) singles out an overmatched entertainment reporter (Mary Mara) for retribution after the reporter makes inapproprite comments about CJ during a broadcast and Charlie (Dulé Hill) is strongly urged by his fellow White House teammates to ask for immunity in his upcoming testimony into the President's non-disclosure of his illness. A suicide bombing takes place in Israel, apparently aimed at two U.S. students.

SummaryEdit

OpeningEdit

The Clerk of the House of Representatives brings the bill repealing the Estate Tax to the Office of the Executive Clerk.  It is to be delivered to the President for his signature or veto.

Josh and Donna are talking about the State Dinner that is taking place tonight.  Josh is going to sit with Governor Buckland to talk about his possible plans to challenge Bartlet for the nomination.  Donna tells Josh that she needs to talk to him about something.  Josh's phone rings and she tells him, "it's [the bill] here."  Toby and C.J. are talking in her office and Carol tells them the bill is here.

The Senior Staff gather in the Oval Office to await the bill.  The President and Leo arrive - Leo is increasingly concerned the Republicans may have the votes to override the veto.  They discuss whether or not to wait or veto the bill and take their chances.

Act IEdit

C.J. briefs the press, telling them the President has issued his first veto.  She takes a few questions, including one from an entertainment reporter, there to cover the State Dinner.

Toby and Sam are working the phones, trying to see if the votes are there.  The override vote has been scheduled for 90 minutes and the staff are realizing they don't have the votes to sustain the veto.  Toby gets a call from Congressman Kimball, who tells him he's not voting to sustain.  Leo takes the phone and asks the Congressman to come to the White House right away.  Leo talks with Toby and Sam and tells them to work with Kimball - but not to give away the store.

Sam sees Charlie in the hall and talks to him about if he is offered immunity for his testimony in the MS hearings - he should take it.  Charlie says he can't talk about it.

Nancy McNally is in Leo's office - there's been a suicide bombing in Israel and 2 Americans are among the dead - Nancy believes they may have been targeted.  The two head for the Situation Room.

Act IIEdit

The President gets a briefing on the bombing.  He wants additional information before deciding what to do.  Leo meets with C.J. in her office to give her some talking points for the press.  C.J. meets up with Charlie to have the same conversation that Sam had with Charlie.  Later, Toby has the same conversation with Charlie as well.

Josh comes into the Roosevelt Room for an update on the veto override vote.  Sam tells him they are down four votes.  Toby is waiting for Congressman Kimball to try and get him back.  Three other Congressmen are on planes are cannot be reached.  Kimball arrives for his meeting with Toby, telling him that he has four proxy votes and a shopping list.  Kimball starts with grazing rights for cattle farmers and continues with his demands - Sam gets Donna to ask Josh for something that can be done to delay the vote.

Josh goes into his meeting with Jack Buckland, the Governor of Indiana.  Buckland knows what Josh wants to talk about - and he sends his staff out of the room.  Josh and the Governor have a talk about what Buckland wants in exchange for not challenging the President.  Josh continues his talk with the Governor - and Josh admits they are afraid of his health.

C.J. holds another briefing about the bombing.  Leo comes to tell the President they have identified a Palestinian splinter group as the ones responsible for the bombing.  They discuss whether they can get Israel to hold off.  In the Situation Room - Leo is informed about the Israeli reaction - and Nancy tells him there may be a connection between the C-4 and a known terrorist.

Toby and Sam brief Leo on what is happening with Congressman Kimball and Josh comes in to discuss his meeting with Buckland.  Leo decides it's "time to throw an elbow" and get past this.  Heading back to the meeting with Kimball - Sam tells Toby they could offer the same things that Kimball wants to farm district Republicans and guarantee the veto is sustained - and they will have thrown an elbow on national TV.  They go back to Kimball to tell him that there's no deal.  Once he leaves, they contact senator Robert Royce (R-PA) to see if Sam's plan will work.

The President comes to see Abbey who is in bed in the residence - she is sick.  He tells her about the boys who were killed in Jerusalem.  He wants Zoey to call everyday.

Act IIIEdit

Leo tells the President about the connection to Abdul Majib and the President agrees to make a call to the Chairman of the PLO to hand Mujib over to the Israelis.

Josh finishes his conversation with Buckland and tells him that he would make a great Labor Secretary, and that the position may be coming open in a few months.

Congressman Royce meets with Toby and Sam - who initially turns down the offer, he instead wants to insure that he will not be seriously challenged in the next election.  Toby says that can be possible - and Royce promises to deliver seven votes to sustain.

Leo finds Charlie and pulls him into his office to talk about an immunity deal.  Nancy comes to see Leo to tell him that Palestinian authorities picked up Mujib at his home in Gaza.

Josh comes back to see Donna - he tells her that she can go home - she tells him about her date with Cliff Calley.  Josh tells her that she can't see him anymore.  She knows she can't.  He is very angry with her.

C.J. comes out for her final briefing on the bombing and the veto override vote.  She takes the opportunity to make quick work of the entertainment reporter, who had mocked her earlier.

Act IVEdit

In the Oval Office, the Senior Staff are talking with the President about what he can say to the parents of the two brothers.  The President sends everyone home to talk with the parents.

QuotesEdit

President Bartlet:  NaCl, C.J.
C.J.:  I'm sorry, sir?
President Bartlet:  Table Salt, NaCl  -- Send it back [the bill]
Leo:  Bill Russell was getting eaten alive cuz they could never get him to throw an elbow.  He didn't want to do it.  So Red Auerbach told him to do it, one time, throw an elbow on a nationally televised game, you'll never have to do it again.  You bet your ass they'll know the leak came from us.
Charlie:  Doesn't immunity imply guilt?  . . .  If someone in my position took a deal to protect themself, what would that person be saying to his employer?  That they were wrong to trust him? . . . I'll stay with my team.  People should stop trying to get me to do that.  Anyway, I'm not supposed to talk about it.

Cast Edit

StarringEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Co-StarringEdit

Notes Edit

  • This episode's title refers to the day before Yom Kippur.