The West Wing: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet   Rewatch 
September 2, 2014 1:58 PM - Season 1, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Problems facing the staff include a memo criticizing the President that Mandy wrote while working for the opposition, plus meetings about gays in the military and campaign funding.

Rumors percolate about a scathing memo that outlines the weaknesses of President Bartlet's administration for his political rival and grip the White House, until C.J. learns it came from one of the trusted staff. Now in someone else's possession, C.J. finally tracks it down to one reporter and tries to dissuade him from publishing it. Meanwhile, Sam and Toby meet with opposing military officers and congressmen to discuss amending the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy towards gays in the armed forces. When two members of the Federal Election Commission resign, Josh sees opportunity and moves fast to meet with contentious senator's staffers to suggest that the President appoint two campaign finance reformers as replacements instead of those wanted by the Senate leadership. Leo not only has trouble with the White House's faulty e-mail system, he confronts the President and issues a challenge that could define or destroy his administration.

Airdate: April 26, 2000
Director: Laura Innes(!)
Written by Aaron Sorkin; Story by Peter Parnell & Patrick Caddell
Yeah Count: 53
And Mandy is brought down by her own incompetence (I think, rather unfairly - but consistent with Sorkin's ham-fisted depiction of her.)
posted by ApathyGirl (3 comments total)
Things I love:

- CJ being 'delightful and delicious'.
- The DOD not liking Toby's sense of humor and Toby's total lack of surprise.
- Leo's Boston Irish slipping out at the end.
In fact, Leo's whole last five minutes...

Leo, if I ever told you to get aggressive about campaign finance or gays in
the military, you would tell me, 'Don't run too fast or go to far.'

If you ever told me to get aggressive about anything, I'd say I serve at
the pleasure of the President. [pause] But we'll never know, sir, because I don't think
you're ever gonna say it.

I have said it, and nothing's every happened!

You want to see me orchestrate this right now? You want to see me mobilize
these people?These people who would walk into fire if you told them to. These people who
showed up to lead. These people who showed up to fight. [points at Charlie] That guy gets
death threats because he's black and he dates your daughter. He was warned: 'Do
not show up to this place. You're life will be in danger.' He said, 'To hell with that,
I'm going anyway.' You said, 'No.' Prudent, or not prudent, this 21 year old for 600
dollars a week says, 'I'm going where I want to because a man stands up.'
[pause] Everyone's waiting for you. I don't know how much longer.


LEO (to the staff)
And we're gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White
House, but we're not gonna be threatened by issues. We're gonna put them front and
center. We're gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy.

And then the accent slips out and I go all SQUEEEE at a 60 year old man.

posted by ApathyGirl at 2:15 PM on September 2, 2014

Yeah, I love Leo's bit at the end of this. Especially because Charlie is relatively hidden in plain sight (as I suppose it's his job to be) until Leo calls him out. Plus the look on the President's face as Leo is giving him the business cuts right into Bartlet as a man. Great scene all around.
posted by dogwalker at 7:49 PM on September 2, 2014

Also, when Fitzwallace hops into Sam and Toby's meeting is pretty much my favorite scene with Fitzwallace ever.
posted by dogwalker at 7:50 PM on September 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

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