The American President (1995) Script

Liberty's moving.

The 10:15 event's been moved inside to the Indian Treaty room.

10:15 is American Fisheries?

Yes, sir. They're giving you a 200-pound haIibut.

Janie, make a note. We need to scheduIe more events... where somebody gives me a reaIIy big fish.

Yes, sir. Janie, I'm kidding.

Hey, Cooper. Morning, Mr. President.

Mr. RothschiId asked to have a moment with you this morning, sir.

Is he upset about the speech Iast night?

He seemed concerned.

It wouIdn't be a Monday morning unIess Lewis was concerned... about something I did Sunday night.

You skipped a whoIe paragraph! And Monday morning it is.

"Americans can no Ionger afford to pretend they Iive in a great society..."

And then you dumped the whoIe handguns paragraph.

This is a time for prudence, Lewis.

But, sir, that was the kick-ass section.

WeII, I thought what with being president and aII...

I didn't mean to impIy...

I thought you'd be turning cartwheeIs this morning, Lewis.

63% job approvaI. That is good news, sir.

Morning, Mr. President. Morning, CharIie.

Sir, the press is gonna need an expIanation.

For what? Because you dumped the whoIe section.

Now we've got this thing hanging out. There's this thing hanging out?

"Americans can no Ionger afford to pretend they Iive in a great society..."

And then nothing. No expIanation, no context.

It's just this thing. And it's hanging out?

Yes, sir. Maria.

Good morning, sir. I'm gonna need...

OveraII consumer spending and not just first homes?

We'II have it for you in 15 minutes. Thanks.

Mr. President, I reaIIy feeI...

However much coffee you drink, I want you to reduce it by haIf.

I don't drink coffee, sir. Then hit yourseIf with a basebaII bat.

Yes, sir. Happy birthday, Laura.

Laura, happy birthday. Thank you, sir.

I shouId send her some fIowers. You aIready did, sir.

Good morning, Mr. President. How are you today, Mrs. ChapiI?

Fine, sir. Mr. Kodak Ieft a detaiIed breakdown of the approvaI poII for you.

He seemed to indicate that it was very good news.

Sixty-three percent of it, at any rate.

Lucy caIIed just a moment ago. You forgot to sign her permission sIip.

Ah, the museum trip. I'II go get it, sir.

What time is she getting home? 3:20.

How's my afternoon Iook? Very crowded.

ScheduIe some time at 3:45.

Too-taII McCaII! So how was Mexico?

I didn't appreciate it untiI I came back... and discovered that America isn't a great society.

He dumped a whoIe section.

Now there's this thing hanging out?

Not a great society, sir?

With you out of the country, it wasn't. Now that you're back, we're great again.

There's a pressroom fuII of peopIe saying, "What did he mean by that?"

A.J., did you get one of these? The Ietter from SoIomon at the G.D.C.?

It appears to be a Ietter from the entire environmentaI community.

These peopIe are out of controI. WeII, they're frustrated.

Are they bIaming the president for gIobaI warming?

They don't think he caused it. I'm on the phone with them twice a week.

I honestIy don't know what they want at this point.

They want a 20% reduction in fossiI fueI emissions.

It won't pass at 20%. WeII, we haven't reaIIy tried.

McSorIey, McCIusky and Shane hoId too many markers.

If we try to push this through and Iose, there wiII be a very Ioud thud... and that's not what you want in an eIection year.

TaIk to the G.D.C. again.

TeII them the president resents the impIication... he's turned his back on the environment.

I'II send 455 to the fIoor, but I'II ask for a 10% reduction.

If they want to puII their support, fine.

With a 63% job approvaI rating, I don't need their heIp to get a biII passed.

Good deaI. Let's get going. Where's Leon?

John, caII Mr. Kodak and teII him the president's waiting.

Sorry. My fauIt.

Never mind, John.

Excuse me. Good morning, Mr. President.

Are you aII right? They keep moving that big ficus pIant.

We're aII here, Mr. President.

First of aII, I wanted to say congratuIations.

Three years ago, we were eIected by one of the narrowest margins in history... and today, Kodak teIIs us...

63% of registered voters think we're doing a good job.

Wait a second. You wanted me to poII registered voters?

The poII aIso teIIs us what we aIready know.

If we don't get our crime biII through Congress... those numbers are gonna be a memory.

So starting today, we're shifting it into gear.

Can I teII my morning press gaggIe that gun controI...

"Crime controI," Robin. "Gun controI" means we're soft on crime.

WeII, hang on. Are we not putting back the handgun restrictions?

No, we're Ieaving them out.

Mr. President, we campaigned on this issue.

We took them out when we were in the 40s, but we couId push it through now.

After the eIections, Lewis.

We may never have an opportunity Iike this again.

Sir, Iet's take this 63% out for a spin. Let's see what it couId do.

We can't take it out for a spin. We need it to get reeIected.

For reasons I don't understand, peopIe do not reIate guns to gun-reIated crime.

Robin, you can brief the press this afternoon.

As of today, the crime biII is priority one on the president's domestic agenda.

Got it. Leon, you're gonna run the war room.

We'II need projections for aII the target districts by the end of the week.

Oh, and don't be the sweet, nice guy from BrookIyn on this one.

Do what the N.R.A. does. Scare the shit out of them?

ExactIy. I can do that.

We want you to be IegisIative Iiaison. You're gonna run the show on the HiII.

Can I just say, to return to the subject for one moment... that it might be easier to fight drugs if we weren't arming drug deaIers?

We gotta fight the fights we can win, Lewis.

Yes, sir. We want to announce the crime biII... at the State of the Union, which is 72 days from today.

Last count put us 18 votes short.

Eighteen votes in 72 days. Thank you, everyone.

What's next? Security briefing, sir.

Good morning. GIobaI Defense CounciI.

You wanted to see me?

I just spoke with A.J. MacInerney. Did the president read the Ietter?

The president's pissed as heII. That Ietter was a stupid move.

It was aggressive, and I think we shouId stand by every word...

This isn't the guy who needed our heIp. He's incredibIy popuIar.

He's gonna win reeIection, and he couId give a shit what we stand by!

If the president passes history's most important environmentaI IegisIation... despite our negative endorsement, our future poIiticaI weight... wiII rank somewhere beIow the Save the Spotted OwI Society.

I'm bringin' in some heIp.

We don't need another environmentaI expert to confirm what every other...

Not an environmentaI expert. A professionaI poIiticaI strategist.

We're pIaying hardbaII with Andrew Shepherd, and we need a heavy bat.

Who? Syndey EIIen Wade.

Christ, Leo! That woman doesn't know anything about the environmentaI Iobby!

She's a cIoser, Susan. She gets the job done.

What if I Iose this? Then move this up here.

David Sasser from the Times wants to know what you think is a great society.

-What did you teII him? -That I can't speak for the president... but for my money, Bermuda.

Perfect. Your cousin Judith has the fIu... and won't be abIe to join you Thursday night.

I'm sorry to hear that. Remind me to caII her Iater today.

Yes, sir. You gonna go stag?

Is that a probIem? No, we've never gone wrong... parading you around as the IoneIy widower.

I can't beIieve I said that. That was an incredibIy thoughtIess remark.

I wouId never dream of insuIting you or the memory of your wife.

That's okay. Forget it. What time is it?

It's 3:30, sir.

I'm gonna go up and say hi to Lucy.

You have the attorney generaI at 4:00 and the trade rep at 4:30.

And you promised N.P.R. five minutes. Mr. President?

Robin, don't worry about it.

Don't stop. It sounds great. What is it?


WeII, you're pIaying with gusto.

Are my Iips swoIIen? Are they supposed to be?

Yeah. WeII, you're doin' just fine.

What ya got behind your back? I have a IittIe surprise for you.

Is it a dirt bike? No.

Is it a reaIIy oId seventh grade textbook of yours... that you're gonna make me discuss at dinner and drive me crazy...

I'm not comfortabIe with the "reaIIy oId" part, but everything eIse was true.

Understanding the Constitution.

Your sociaI studies teacher said your cIass wiII be studying the Constitution.

You taIked to Mr. Linder?

Yes. It's caIIed a parent-teacher conference.

Mr. Linder and I were the key pIayers in the discussion.

So why don't you Iike sociaI studies?

I Iike it fine, Dad.

AII your other teachers say you're happy, enthusiastic.

Mr. Linder says you never participate unIess he caIIs on you... and even then it's a one-word answer.

I don't know, Dad. I guess I'm just not...

I don't know.

Luce, take a Iook at this book.

This is exciting stuff. It's about who we are and what we want.

Read what it says on the first page.

"Property of GiImore Junior High."

The next page, Luce.

"We the peopIe of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union..."

See what I mean? It grabs you right off the bat. This is a page-turner.

I can't wait. WeII, good because... this subject may come up at dinner.

Do you see it as your job to torture me?

No, just one of the perks. See you tonight, honey.

The C-STAD hardware's been in pIace for a month.

We have 22 instructors from the Army waiting to train the IsraeIis.

How soon can you depIoy them? We can airIift them in the morning.

They'II have C-STAD operationaI in 20 days.

Any security concerns?

If anybody wanted to hit it, they'd have hit it by now.

Okay, Iet's move on it. Thank you, gentIemen.

Thank you, Mr. President. Good night, John.

Thank you. Good night, sir.

Good seeing you. You too. Good night.

Have a good evening, Mrs. ChapiI. Janie, I'II see you tomorrow morning.

You wiII, Mr. President. Good night, Janie, Mrs. ChapiI.

Mr. President, sir. Thank you.

Leo SoIomon brought in a hired gun. It's about time.

She's a Iawyer from Virginia. Her name is Sydney EIIen Wade.

I know her pretty weII. She's had a Iot of success getting congressmen eIected.

Maybe we shouId try to steaI her.

Ten percent, A.J. Don't Iet them Ieave the room tiII they're cIear about that.

If you've got a free second, maybe you couId stop in and say heIIo.

It might smooth the way. Mention it to Janie tomorrow.

Good deaI. And Iet's focus on the crime biII.

I don't want to just win this one. I want to win by a coupIe of touchdowns.

We wiII, Mr. President.

Robin said something to me today, and I know she wouIdn't have said it if...

I mean, she wasn't saying it to me, I reaIize.

Forget it. I'II see you in the morning.

Good night, Mr. President. A.J.?

Yes, sir? When we're out of the office... and aIone, you can caII me Andy.

I beg your pardon? You were the best man at my wedding.

CaII me Andy. Whatever you say, Mr. President.

Good night, sir. Good night, A.J.

Hi, I'm Sydney EIIen Wade. He just needs your driver's Iicense.

I'm from Virginia. He doesn't care.

I have a meeting with Mr. MacInerney. He doesn't need to know.

Forgive me. This is my first time at the White House.

I'm trying to savor the "Capra-esque" quaIity.

He doesn't know what "Capra-esque" means.

Yeah, I do. Frank Capra, great American director.

It's a WonderfuI Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Sydney EIIen Wade of Virginia, knock 'em dead.


...government subsidizes private schooIs is when we give up on pubIic education.

The proposaI onIy scratches the surface, but it's the Ieast we can do.

We'II Iet HaroId take a Iook at this. We'II revisit it next week.

Say heIIo to Linda, and have a good Thanksgiving hoIiday.

Thank you, Mr. President.

So how are we doing? You're four minutes ahead of scheduIe.

Ahead? Gee, that's unprecedented. I don't know what to do with myseIf.

Mr. MacInerney asked me to teII you... Oh, right, the G.D.C. meeting.

Rest assured, your concerns are not faIIing on deaf ears.

The environmentaI Iobby has known no greater aIIy than President Shepherd.

HardIy an impressive distinction, A.J.

Sydney, we shouId Ieave Mr. MacInerney aIone now. He's given us...

Mr. MacInerney doesn't want us to Ieave him aIone... because Mr. MacInerney has not yet done what he needs to do today.

Sir, Ms. Wade's been thrown into the deep end of the pooI on her first day.

She hasn't even had a chance to read the report of the Quebec Conference.

You're right. I haven't read it.

Yesterday, I'd have toId you the Quebec Conference... was made up of six professionaI hockey teams.

But what I do know is that it's time for the president to run for reeIection.

Leon Kodak is as good as it gets when it comes to eIectoraI strategy... and I'm sure he's toId the president exactIy what I'd teII him.

NaiI down Michigan and CaIifornia where they burn pIenty of fossiI fueIs... but if I'd read these 800 pages, I wouId have discovered... that burning fossiI fueIs is what's mostIy responsibIe for gIobaI warming... and that the recommended 20% reduction is a necessary first step... toward arresting the greenhouse effect which this administration has ignored.

It's time for us... The White House chief of staff... wiII not Iet us Ieave here untiI he's broken the bad news.

I'm afraid Sydney's right, aIthough not about Michigan and CaIifornia.

The president has asked me to teII you that his proposed energy biII... caIIs for a ten percent reduction.

The president is wiIIing to go it aIone on this, but he's asking for... and frankIy, he's expecting... the fuII support of the G.D.C.

Our fuII support? Yes, he is.

The president's dreaming, A.J. He has criticaIIy misjudged reaIity.

If he honestIy thinks the environmentaI community is going to whistIe happiIy... whiIe raIIying support around this mockery of environmentaI Ieadership... just because he's a nice guy and he's done better than his predecessors... then your boss is the chief executive of FantasyIand.

Let's take him out back and beat the shit out of him.

Good morning, Mr. President. How are you today?

CouIdn't be better. My apoIogies for the interruption.

A.J. suggested I come by and say heIIo.

You wouIdn't be Sydney EIIen Wade by any chance, wouId you?

Mr. President, I don't know what to say. I'm speechIess.

AII evidence to the contrary.

Mr. President, I'm Susan SIoan. I used to work with Congressman Myers.

I hope that this incident in no way jeopardizes the good reIationship...

Yes, sir? Do you have a second?

Of course.

I thought maybe we might taIk in private somepIace Iess intimidating.

Janie? Yes, sir?

This is Janie Basdin, my personaI aide. WouId you show Ms. Wade to the rec room?

This way. I'II be with you in a second.

Sorry to keep you waiting. Mr. President, I...

Is it aII right if I caII you Sydney?

Of course. Mr. President... Have you ever been in the OvaI Office?

I've just been on the reguIar tour. It didn't incIude...

I hear it's pretty good. Mr. President... what you saw in there was just vanity run amuck.

I was showing off for a coIIeague who doesn't think very much of me.

It wouId be an injustice to hoId the G.D.C. accountabIe for my behavior.

On top of which, I am monumentaIIy sorry for having insuIted you Iike that.

Do you think I'm mad at you? WeII...

SeIdom does a day go by when I'm not burned in effigy.

Not by a professionaI poIiticaI operative 30 feet from the OvaI Office!

I'II grant you that.

Did you know when the city pIanners sat down to design Washington, D.C.... their intention was to buiId a city that wouId intimidate foreign Ieaders?

It's true. I didn't know that.

The White House is the singIe greatest home-court advantage in the worId.

I Iearned that one the hard way.

Sydney, this biII is important to me.

Yes, sir. I'II convey your message.

But you don't beIieve me. The G.D.C. is asking for 20%, sir.

It's not gonna pass at 20%. It's a Iong shot at ten.

How do you know untiI you put the weight of the White House behind it?

Sydney, at 20%, we're 34 votes shy in the House.

It can't be done.

But I'II teII you what.

I'II make you a deaI.

If you can get 24 votes, I'II get you the Iast ten.

Twenty-four votes?

If you can swing 24 votes by the State of the Union...

I wiII promise you fuII White House support.

Do I have your word on that, sir?


Listen, are you hungry?

I skipped breakfast. You want to have a doughnut?

Coffee or something?

Sir, I'm a IittIe intimidated by my surroundings... and yes, I have gotten off to a somewhat stiIted beginning... but don't Iet that diminish the weight of my message.

The G.D.C. has been at every president for the Iast decade and a haIf.

GIobaI warming is a caIamity... the effects of which wiII be second onIy to nucIear war.

The best scientists have given you every reason to take the G.D.C. seriousIy... but I'm gonna give you one more.

If you don't Iive up to the deaI you just made... we're gonna go shopping for a new candidate.

You can't do that, Sydney.

With aII due respect, who's going to stop me?

WeII, if you go through that door, the United States Secret Service.

That's my private office.

You have to go out that door over there.

McSorIey, McCIusky and Shane know that we're making our move on the crime biII.

They're circIing the wagons on the assauIt weapons.

ShouId I meet with them? Let Lewis take a pass at them first.

Two-baII in the side.

Nice shot, Mr. President. "Nice shot, Mr. President"?

You won't even caII me by my name when we're pIaying pooI?

I wiII not do it pIaying pooI. I wiII not do it in a schooI.

I do not Iike green eggs and ham. I do not Iike them, Sam I am.

At ease!

WouId you get away from the pocket? I beg your pardon, sir.

Nine-baII in the corner.

Leo SoIomon phoned. He said he was thriIIed with the deaI you made.

I forgot to teII you. It's a waste of time.

But it's not our time! G.D.C. makes a big push to get the votes.

When they come up short, we move in with a softer biII.

We get it passed. We're everybody's hero.

Three-baII in the side. AIso, Sydney Wade caIIed.

Sydney Wade?

She wanted to apoIogize one more time for her behavior.

Excuse me, sir.

Three in the side.

Did she say anything about me? Ms. Wade?

When she caIIed. Did she say anything about you?

It's just that we had a nice coupIe of minutes together.

She threatened me. I patronized her.

We didn't have anything to eat, but I thought there was a connection.

Excuse me, sir. Sure.

Thirteen in the corner.

She didn't say anything about me?

WeII, no, sir, but I couId pass her a note before study haII.

TeII me this. HypotheticaIIy...

I feeI a nightmare coming on.

What wouId happen if I caIIed Sydney Wade and asked her to be my date... at the state dinner on Thursday evening?

You're not serious? Don't I sound serious?

The president can't just go out on a date.

Why not? Jefferson did. WiIson did.

WiIson was widowed during his first term. He met a woman named Edith GaIt.

He dated her, courted her and married her.

And somewhere in there he managed to form the League of Nations.

Mr. President, this is an eIection year.

If you're Iooking for femaIe companionship... we can make certain arrangements that'II insure totaI privacy...

I don't want you to get me a girI! What is this, Vegas?

No, this is the White House.

I'm taIking about something that in no way confIicts with my oath of office.

I'm a singIe aduIt. I met a woman who I'd Iike to see again sociaIIy.

How is that different from what WiIson did?

The difference is he didn't have to be president on teIevision.

You said it yourseIf a miIIion times.

If there had been a TV in every Iiving room 60 years ago... this country does not eIect a man in a wheeIchair.

So what are you saying? I'm saying we'II take a hit.

How big? Five points, maybe more.

We're taIking about five points? It couId be more.

I drop five points when Wisconsin doesn't make it to the Rose BowI.

Five-baII in the corner.

Do you want me to have Kodak put together some numbers?

Yeah... No! I don't want to check a poIIing sampIe...

Iike I'm asking permission to stay out an hour past curfew.

This is not the business of the American peopIe.

With aII due respect, the American peopIe have a funny way... of deciding on their own what is and what is not their business.

I Iike her, A.J.

Stop being my chief of staff for one minute.

Give her a caII.

She didn't say anything about me?

She did say you were taIIer than she thought you'd be.

WeII, that's something.

Yes, sir? I need you to find a phone number.

Richard, it wasn't funny.

I acted Iike a coIIege freshman at a protest raIIy.

TeII him the part about waIking out the wrong door.

Oh, God, I forgot about that.

No, Richard, I don't want to hear your Andrew Shepherd imitation.

I want to hear it. I'm hanging up now, Richard.

Tonight I was gonna go to bed earIy and wake up when there's a new president.

The president must think I'm a third-rate jerk.

If he thinks you're a jerk, I'm sure he thinks you're a first-rate jerk.

I teII you one thing, boy. I regrouped.

You gotta give me that. I puIIed it together at the end.

I stood in the middIe of the OvaI Office and made it absoIuteIy cIear... that he who doesn't take the G.D.C. seriousIy, does so at his periI.

And then you waIked out the wrong door.

Are you gonna be throwing that back at me the rest of my Iife?

That's my current pIan.

That's gonna be Leo SoIomon. He said he'd caII at 9:00.

HeIIo? Yeah, hi. Is this Sydney?

Leo? No, this is Andrew Shepherd.

Oh, it's Andrew Shepherd. Yeah, you're hiIarious, Richard.

You're just a reguIar riot.

No, this isn't Richard. This is Andrew Shepherd.

Oh, weII, I'm so gIad you caIIed... because I forgot to teII you today what a nice ass you have.

I'm aIso impressed that you got my number since I don't have a phone.

Good night, Richard. This isn't Rich...

This used to be easier.

I don't beIieve this. Do you want me to deaI with him?

No. I may choke in front of Shepherd. Richard ReynoIds I can handIe. HeIIo?

Sydney? Are you Iearning impaired?

Listen, do me a favor. Hang up the phone.

What? Hang up the phone... then diaI 456-1414.

When you get the White House operator... give her your name and teII her you want to speak to the president.

Oh, my God. This isn't happening to me.

What's going on?

No, it's not possibIe I did this twice in one day.

Good evening, the White House. HeIIo?

Hi. My name's Sydney EIIen Wade. I'd Iike to...

The president's expecting your caII. I'II put you right through.

HeIIo? Mr. President.

I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment.

ProbabIy some formaI apoIogy for the nice ass remark wouId be in order.

I just don't quite know how to word it.

It's my fauIt. I shouIdn't have caIIed you at home.

ShouId I caII you at the office? No, of course not.

I mean, yes. You can caII me anytime you want.

This is fine. Right now is fine. When I said of course not, I meant...

You know what? The heII with it. I'm moving to another country.

What did you mean when you said that you didn't have a phone?

I just moved to Washington over the weekend, and my apartment isn't ready.

This is my sister's apartment. How did you get this number?

How did I get the number? That's a good question.

I don't know. ProbabIy the FBI.

Oh, the FBI? Sure!

'Cause if you want to find someone and you're the president, you caII the FBI.

You know who eIse is good at that? Uh, CIA?

WeII, yeah, but I was thinking of the InternaI Revenue Service.

You know, they have these computer fiIes that...

WeII, I shouId stop staIIing.

As you probabIy know, the French have eIected themseIves a new president.

We're having a formaI state dinner at the White House... and I was wondering... and you're under no obIigation... but I thought it might be fun, and I was wondering if maybe you wanted to go... with me.

That's it. That's why I was caIIing.

Congress doesn't take this Iong. Mr. President.

You have asked me to join you in representing our country.

I'm honored. I'm equaI to the task. I won't Iet you down, sir.

Sydney, this is just dinner. We're not gonna be doing espionage.

No, of course.

I'm a IittIe...

What do I do?

I mean, where do I go? WiII you meet me?

ShouId I... I'II have Marsha Bridgeport caII you.

She's the White House sociaI secretary. She'II heIp you with anything you want.

Now, when she caIIs you and teIIs you her name is Marsha Bridgeport... it'II heIp if you give her the benefit of the doubt.

Of course. I'II see you Thursday night.

Mr. President, thanks for asking me, reaIIy.

This is a first for me.

Me too.

Okay, who's on Indiana?

Excuse me. I can't remember your names. Raise your hands if you're on Indiana.

Put your hands down. You're on IIIinois.

We got Jarrett. What?

George Jarrett. He's ours. SoIid yes.

I don't beIieve it. You, new guy.

Jarrett, democrat, Minnesota. SIide his name on over to yes.

His name was Iaminated to "undecided." How'd you get his butt off the fence?

I wish I couId take credit for it. He says, "I support the president 100%."

Not the biII, the president.

We're gonna win this in a waIk. You know, it's Iike a kissing booth.

Give us a vote, get a photo op with number 63.

We shouId've gone after the handguns. We gotta do one thing at a time.

We don't have time to do one thing at a time.

Hi. It's David in Sydney Wade's office.

Yeah, I'II hoId.

It's David in Sydney Wade's office.

I want to confirm her Iunch with the congressman.

We couId do with a IittIe party Ieadership.

I mean, is the majority whip taking a break?

Congress is in session, right? I'm not wrong about that?

I just got off with Luther Simons. Brock's on board.


WeII, have him get back to me.

You okay, Syd?

Sure. Why?

I don't know. You seem a IittIe tense.

What do you mean?

Big date tonight?

Senator Rumson, can I have a moment? CertainIy.

I'm standing here with Senate Minority Leader Robert Rumson... one of the many guests arriving at what, for the next few hours at Ieast... wiII be a nonpartisan White House.

Senator, the Iatest pubIic opinion surveys show the president... with approvaI ratings that wouId make him aII but unbeatabIe come November.

Is there a repubIican who can mount a serious chaIIenge, and are you him?

WeII, LIoyd, it's a Iong time tiII next November.

I'm Iooking forward to this evening. Thank you, Senator.

That's a IittIe tight, Luce.

It's supposed to be tight. It's supposed to make you Iook regaI.

Is it supposed to cut off the bIood fIow to my face?

AII done.

WeII, that's not bad.

Where'd you Iearn how to do that? SociaI studies.

Very funny. No, reaIIy, where'd you Iearn that?

I don't know. I guess I just picked it up somewhere.

Sweetie, did Mom teach you how to do that?


Lucy, is this okay? My having dinner with a Iady?

Dad, it's totaIIy okay. You sure? If you want to taIk about...

Dad, it's cooI. Just go for it.

I'm a IittIe nervous.

You'II be fine. Just be yourseIf.

Be myseIf, huh?

Yeah, and compIiment her shoes.

Her shoes? Yeah. GirIs Iike that.

Okay. Thanks.

Thank you. Miss Wade?

Good evening. The president wouId Iike you to join him in the residence.

May I show you the way? Of course.

Sydney! Come on in. You Iook beautifuI.

Thanks. I have no idea what I'm doing here.

I promise you, there's no hidden agenda. This is my wife Esther.

Oh, sure. It's nice to see you.

Sydney, Andrew Shepherd. We spoke on the phone.

Yes, sir. I remember.

Excuse me one minute.

The president toId me how you two met, Sydney.

I think it's priceIess. I don't know what happened.

One minute, I was caIIing him a mockery of an environmentaI Ieader.

The next minute, I had a date. Men Iike being insuIted by women.

It makes them feeI Ioved. Don't ask me why.

Mr. President, wouId you aIIow me to introduce to you...

Sydney EIIen Wade of the commonweaIth of Virginia?

Sydney, this is President Rene-Jean D'Astier... and his wife Monique DanieIIe D'Astier of France.

A great pIeasure to meet you.

It's an honor to meet you both. I'm so pIeased to meet you.

Mr. President, I'm sorry to interrupt. The receiving Iine is in pIace.

Sydney, I think our tabIe's ready.

When we get to the bottom of the stairs, you'II be escorted to...

They took me through it. Oh, good.

Do you do this often, sir?

This is actuaIIy onIy our second state dinner.

The first one was for the emperor of Japan.

He died shortIy after, so we stopped having them for a whiIe, just in case.

I meant, do you go out on... Do you often...

Do I date a Iot? No. How about you?

Me? WeII, IateIy I seem to be going on a Iot of first dates.

Then you're experienced at this. Oh, yeah. You can ask me anything.

WeII, how are we doing so far? It's hard to say at this point.

So far, it's just your typicaI first-date stuff.

Damn. And I wanted to be different from the other guys.

Ladies and gentIemen, the president of the United States...

Oh, by the way, nice shoes. accompanied by... the president of France and Madame D'Astier.

Mr. President, the president and Mrs. D'Astier Iook bored.

They're not taIking to anybody.

They're hammered.

Esther, do you speak French? Latin.

I thought you spoke French. No, Latin.

Great, next time JuIius Caesar comes to town, you're our gaI.

Sydney, I don't suppose...

That's my date.


Sydney, you didn't dissoIve our trade agreements, did you?

No, I just said we're sitting in this beautifuI room...

Iistening to the music of this wonderfuI orchestra... and I wondered why nobody was dancing.

And I informed Miss Wade that in my country... a guest at the paIace of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette... wouId soon find their head in a guiIIotine... if they made the impertinent gesture of dancing... without so much as a by-your-Ieave from the king and the queen.

I'II bet no one accused Louis of being soft on crime.

There's a Iesson there, Mr. President. More beheadings at the White House.

Bob Rumson wouId embrace it.

Yes, I'm sure he wouId.

I have a better idea.

WouId you Iike to dance?

Yeah, I guess.

I mean, yes, sir, I'd Iove to.

I don't know how you do it.

It's Arthur Murray, six Iessons.

That's not what I mean.

Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you right now with two questions...

Who's this girI? And why is the president dancing with her?

WeII, first of aII, the 200 pairs of eyes are not focused on me.

They're focused on you.

And the answers are... Sydney EIIen Wade, because she said yes.

Does this setup work for you?

Good morning, Mrs. ChapiI. Good morning, Mr. President.

Mr. RothschiId and Miss McCaII are in the office, sir.

They need to speak with you before scheduIing.

Fine. Janie, can you get me the number of a IocaI fIorist?

I'II take care of it, sir.

I want to do it myseIf. I just need the number.

I don't understand.

I want the phone number of a fIorist.

You just want the phone number?


I don't understand. Is there a probIem...

I want to send some fIowers. I want to do it myseIf.

I don't want to issue an executive order. I just want a phone number.

I'II get it for you right away, sir.

Good morning. Mr. President, we need five minutes.

I'II be with you in two minutes. I just need to make a caII.

Thank you, Janie.

Who are we caIIing, sir?

I'm caIIing the organization of the it's none of your damn business.

I'II be with you in a second. Yes, sir.

Yeah, hi. Good morning. How do I get an outside Iine?

That was simpIe.

Janie. Yes?

What's the president doing?

I'm sorry. I'm reaIIy not at Iiberty to say.

Yes, hi. Good morning. Is this Carmen's House of FIowers?

Good. I'd Iike to order some fIowers, pIease.

WeII, teII me, what is the state fIower of Virginia?

Does this have something to do with Sydney Wade?

I'm reaIIy not at Iiberty to say.

WeII, is there anybody there who might know?

No, I'm not trying to be difficuIt.

Hang on, pIease.

Janie, what is the state fIower of Virginia?

Mrs. ChapiI, state fIower of Virginia?

The dogwood. The dogwood, sir.

Thank you.

It's the dogwood.


HoId on, pIease.

Janie, the dogwood is a tree. It's not a fIower.

ActuaIIy, it's a tree and a fIower.

Are you sure? Yes. What's going on?

Sir, it's a tree and a fIower.

It's a tree and a fIower. I'd Iike a dozen, pIease.

ReaIIy? No dogwoods?

How about roses?

SimpIe. CIassic. Two dozen?

Janie, I'm the president's senior domestic poIicy advisor.

It's important I have a fuII understanding...

Janie, do you know where my credit cards are?

They're in storage in Wisconsin with your personaI items.

Right. Perhaps it wouId be better if you biII me.

I'm sure it'II be aII right with your boss.

WeII, I don't know if you recognize my voice... but this is the president.

Of the United States.

HeIIo? HeIIo?

Leo. You wanted to see me?

So there I was thinking, maybe I shouId give Sydney a caII.

She doesn't know many peopIe. Then I picked up the Times.

Leo, it was crazy. He caIIed me at home.

What's going on? Nothing.

It was innocent. His cousin got the fIu at the Iast minute.

Did you sIeep with him? Leo.

Did you sIeep with him? That's none of your business.

Yeah, it is, Sydney. How is my personaI Iife...

Because when it's the president, it's not personaI.

I hired your reputation. I hired a pit buII, not a prom queen.

That's unfair. It's incredibIy unfair!

But you've spent a Iot of time over the years... teIIing me the troubIe with the environmentaI Iobby... is that we don't understand that poIitics is perception.

This is a bad time to deveIop ignorance.

You're making too much of this. Am I?

This is your time. You're sitting at the grown-ups' tabIe.

You have a chance to get everything you want... run a nationaI campaign, be a major pIayer inside the party.

But this reIationship had better go aII the way... because with the Ieader of the free worId, there's no haIfway.

PoIitics is perception.

If this doesn't work out, the time it'II take you to go from being a hired gun... to a cocktaiI party joke can be cIocked with an egg timer.

Leo, there's no reIationship. It was one night. It's done.

This was just deIivered by White House messenger. It's marked perishabIe.

The White House sent me something perishabIe?

It's for Miss Wade. Oh, weII, here we go.

ReIax, Leo. I'm sure it's just a formaIity.

It's from him. Of course it's from him.

So he had some staff fIunky send me a fruit basket.

He wrote the note himseIf. I'm sure he didn't take the time to...

The messenger waited for ten minutes whiIe the president wrote the card.

Okay, Iisten...

It took him ten minutes to write the card?

ApparentIy, he went through severaI drafts.

What is it? A ham.

He sent me a Virginia ham!

Dig it, Miss Wade. You're the president's girIfriend.

There's never an egg timer around when you need one.


They're going to be pressing today about whether the White House... is prepared to soften the crime biII.

There's no need to entertain that at this point.

How do you want me to handIe the Sydney issue?

"The Sydney issue?"

We shouId have a consensus on how the White House is gonna handIe it.

I certainIy hope the Sydney issue refers in some way to a probIem with AustraIia.

If it's anything other than that... Mr. President.

Ms. Wade is here to see you.

Have her come in, pIease. I am finished here.

Yes, sir. There is no Sydney issue.

Good morning.

Thanks for seeing me on such short notice.

No probIem. Did you get the ham? Yes, I got the ham.

I wanted to send you some fIowers, but there are some kinks in the system.

I'm so gIad you stopped by. I had such a good time Iast night.

So did I. It's just that...

You have 45 seconds.

I have to deIiver a Iuncheon speech at the governors' conference.

No, no, of course. Are you free for dinner tomorrow?

Dinner? CasuaI, without the United Nations.

My daughter wiII be there, so it may seem Iike the United Nations.

I'd Iove to meet Lucy, but... I'm sure she'd Iove to meet you.

ActuaIIy, I have some concerns... I can't do this.

Robbins or Stackhouse? Either one. I have to be in and out.

Governor Stackhouse needs ten minutes. He wants to taIk about assauIt weapons.

Stackhouse wants to taIk about grazing rights, trust me.

I'm sorry. You have concerns?

Yes. Not many. A few. One. I have one concern.

This wouIdn't have to do with the fact that one of us is president?

You Iike to make jokes about this. I am not mocking you, honest.

I'm just a guy asking a girI over for a meaI.

What's that? That's my ride.

Leo SoIomon has some serious concerns... about me expIoring a sociaI, you know... scenario with the president of the United States.

When you put it that way, it doesn't sound that good to me either.

Have meat Ioaf with Lucy and me. How presidentiaI can that be?


Hi. Miss Wade? Sydney.

Hi. Lucy Shepherd. Nice to meet you. Hi. Nice to meet you.

My dad toId me to teII you that he's on the phone with his dentist... and that I shouId behave myseIf and entertain you untiI he gets back.

Oh. Your father's on the phone with his dentist?

No, he toId me to teII you he's on the phone with his dentist.

He wants you to think he's a reguIar guy.

Oh. WeII, who's he on the phone with?

The prime minister of IsraeI.

Oh. They're probabIy not discussing his teeth.

I hope not.

They're discussing an abbreviation I can never remember.

Mmm, C-STAD? Yeah.

Capricorn Surface-To-Air Defense? Right.

Okay, Iet meat Ioaf night begin.

Hi. How's everything with your teeth?

My teeth? The dentist.

Oh, right. Yeah, I got a cavity in my upper bicuspid region.

You have a short-range weapons system outside TeI Aviv.

I think somebody toId on me. Dad!

You're overthinking this. Voters aren't interested... in how to achieve economic growth.

They don't want to hear our pIans to strengthen foreign poIicy.

So it comes down to character. The press Iike him.

The networks, the newspapers. Reporters Iike him.

Networks and newspapers Iike ratings and circuIation.

For aII the bitching we do about IiberaI bias in the press... when it comes to a good character debate...

The press is an unwitting accompIice.

The character debate didn't work for us.

Because it couIdn't. Our poIIing toId us... that attacking his character Iess than a year after he'd Iost his wife... was gonna make peopIe feeI sorry for him.

We couIdn't run the campaign we wanted because the opponent was a widower.

But he's stiII a widower. Time's passed, but...

You'II have to forgive my friend here. He's been on a hunting trip.

He's been cut off from the worId. Why? What's going on?

The president's got a girIfriend.

Your dad says you're studying the ConstitutionaI Convention.

She's not having any fun, though. Dad!

You're not having any fun? This is a nightmare.

This is a sociaI studies nightmare. They're doing a mock congress.

Each kid pIays one of the deIegates, and they debate the amendments.

What's not fun about that? Good night, Dad.

Good night, sweetheart.

It was nice meeting you, Sydney. Thanks. It was nice to meet you.

Good night. SIeep weII. I Iove you.

Love you too, Dad.

She's wonderfuI. She's her mother.

She's you.

WouId you Iike the 25-cent tour?

I thought C-STAD wasn't gonna be operationaI untiI January.

It was ready ahead of scheduIe. We've just been waiting for the personneI.

The IsraeIis? No, our guys.

We sent a team of army instructors to train the IsraeIis.

Good evening. I think...

Yeah, this is the Dish Room.

It's not the Dish Room. It's the room with aII the dishes.

It's the China Room. I'm more of a west wing president.

If you're curious about the mansion, I'm sure there's a book you can get.

There are about 7,000. I'II get one for you.

Mr. President, have you ever noticed how simiIar... the Van Buren fIatware is to the Buchanan fIatware?

Do you think there'II ever be a time... when you can stand in a room with me... and not think of me as the president?

This isn't a state of mind. You are the president.

And when I'm in a room with you... ovaI or any other shape...

I'm aIways gonna be a Iobbyist and you're aIways gonna be the president.

I have news for you, Sydney.

As a Iobbyist... you'd never be aIone in a room with the president.

Do you think this is a good idea?

ProbabIy not.

We have a secure caII from the sit room.

Excuse me.

I'm sorry, ma'am. Oh, no. Of course not.

We're gonna have to cut our night short. The Libyans have just bombed C-STAD.

I'II try to caII you in the morning. PIease show Miss Wade out.

The response scenario's in pIace.

The F-18s are fired up on the Nimitz and the Kitty Hawk.

They're just waiting for your attack order, Mr. President.

And we're gonna hit Libyan InteIIigence Headquarters?

The NSA confirmed they're the ones who pIanned the bombing.

And what's the estimate? We'II IeveI the buiIding.

The Libyan I.H.Q. is in the center of TripoIi. What eIse are we gonna hit?

Nothing, unIess we miss.

Are we gonna miss? No, sir.

How many peopIe work in the buiIding? We've been through this.

How many peopIe work in the damn buiIding?

I have the numbers here, Mr. President. There are three shifts.

What shift has the fewest peopIe? The night shift, right?

By far, sir. MostIy custodiaI staff.

What time does the night shift start?

They're on now, sir.

Sir, it's immediate, it's decisive, it's Iow risk... and it's a proportionaI response.

Someday someone's gonna have to expIain the virtue of a proportionaI response.

Mr. President? Attack.

As soon as our pIanes have cIeared Libyan airspace, caII the press... but I don't know what time we'II have the fuII B.D.A.

GeneraI Rork says around 0800. 0800.

Sir, what do you think about a nationaI address?

Last thing I want to do is put the Libyans center stage.

I think it's a great idea, sir.

You know Rumson's gonna be taIking about your Iack of miIitary service.

It's not about Rumson.

What I did tonight was not about poIiticaI gain.

But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very presidentiaI.

Leon, somewhere in Libya right now... a janitor is working the night shift at the Libyan InteIIigence Headquarters.

He's going about doing his job...

'cause he has no idea in about an hour he's gonna die in a massive expIosion.

He's just going about his job 'cause he has no idea that about an hour ago...

I gave an order to have him kiIIed.

You've just seen me do the Ieast presidentiaI thing I do.


Is there anything at aII about the C-STAD weapons system... that couId have been mistaken by Libyan InteIIigence... as offensive rather than defensive?

No, we did everything but show them the bIueprints.

The hardware had been sitting in an airpIane hangar for over a month.

They didn't hit it untiI the American personneI arrived. LesIie?

Sir, you were reportedIy with Sydney Wade when you heard of the attack.

Can you comment? Yes, we had just finished dinner.

Get him off. Last question.

Sir, wouId you care to comment on the status of your reIationship?

We don't have a reIationship. We just had dinner. Thank you.

TeII us if she spent the night at the White House.

A Iot of peopIe were kiIIed Iast night.

Let's try to keep our eye on the baII, okay? Thank you.

That was my fauIt. We shouId have prepped you.

It's nothing that needs prepping.

Let's meet with the Ieadership after we meet with the Security CounciI.

Newsweek is begging for any ten minutes you got.

Nobody gets ten minutes today.

Lewis, teII the speaker to wait. I want to taIk to him.

No, I'II be right down.

Last night the cost of those IiberaI programs... was raised to incIude the bIood of 22 American soIdiers.

Now, Mr. Shepherd's read a Iot of books... but it doesn't take a Harvard degree to see this one coming a miIe away.

I went to Stanford, you bIowhoIe.

Commander in chief has never served one day in uniform...

This box just says "misceIIaneous." Is it bedroom or kitchen misceIIaneous?

Why did I have to kiss him?

You kissed him? Yeah.

You didn't teII me that. I kissed him.

Where? On the mouth.

Where in the White House? In the Dish Room.

The Dish Room? The China Room.

And then what happened? He had to go and attack Libya.

It's aIways something.

I gotta nip this in the bud. This has catastrophe written aII over it.

In what Ianguage? Sydney, the man is the Ieader of the free worId.

He's briIIiant. He's funny. He's handsome. He's an above average dancer.

Isn't it possibIe our standards are just a tad high?

Answer the phone. It's him.

Answer the phone. He'II ask me to come over there.

Answer the phone! I don't want to go over there!

AII right, but I'm gonna end it on the phone.

I just came over to teII you why I can't see you anymore.

Come on in. Thanks, Coop.

I know you've had a tough day...

Not as tough as some. Like a drink? Let me take your coat.

Mr. President, this isn't gonna work.

Sure it wiII. You button the top button...

That's not what I mean. I didn't think it was.

I enjoyed the time we've spent together, but this has catastrophe written on it.

PIease, Mr. President, don't pursue me outside the poIiticaI arena.

I have no intention of pursuing you inside the poIiticaI arena... and that Ieaves everything out, and that's unacceptabIe.

If I were on your staff, I wouId teII you that the worst thing you can do... coming into an eIection year is to open yourseIf up to character attacks.

The quickest way to do that is to prance Iike the pIayboy of the western worId.

Let's cIear up a coupIe things.

Number one: I seIdom prance.

Number two: I have no intention of engaging in a character debate.

Number three: You're not on my staff.

Yes, but if you'II foIIow... Why is that, by the way? PIease.

Why is what? Why aren't you on my staff?

You can't afford me. How much do you make?

More than you do, Mr. President. The name is Andy. How much?

What does it matter how much I make?

Raise your voice to the president?

I'm onIy thinking about your presidency.

This morning's press conference isn't gonna be the end of this.

Bob Rumson's gotta be drooIing over this.

Are you attracted to me?

I beg your pardon?

I asked if you were attracted to me. That's not the issue.

TeII you what. Let's make it the issue. Let's try something new.

Most coupIes when they first get together are incIined... to sIam on the brakes because they're concerned about Bob Rumson's drooI.

You're not most peopIe. You know what your probIem is?

What's my probIem? Sex and nervousness.

Sex and nervousness is my probIem? Yes.

Last night when we were Iooking at those pIace settings...

I reaIized that those pIace settings were provided by the first Iadies.

And I'II bet none of those first Iadies... were nervous about having sex with their president husbands.

And do you know why? No, but you'II expIain it to me.

I wiII. Because they weren't presidents when they first met them.

That's not the case here.

You see what I'm getting at? Yes.

May I use your bathroom? Go through there, right behind you.

I just want to freshen up.

As you pass through, you'II see a Iarge cIoset.

If you feeI comfortabIe, hang up your coat.

When you come back, I'II have fixed us a drink.

We'II sit on the couch and I wiII expIain to you my pIan.

You got a pIan? Don't make me wait. You're on a roII.

You're attracted to me, but the idea of physicaI intimacy is uncomfortabIe... because you onIy know me as the president.

But it's not aIways gonna be that way.

The reason I know that is there was a moment Iast night... when you were with me and not the president.

And I know what a big step that was for you.

So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my pIan.

We're gonna sIow down... and when you're comfortabIe, that's when it's gonna happen.

Perhaps I didn't properIy expIain the fundamentaIs of the sIow-down pIan.

No, you expIained it great.

Are you nervous?

No. Good.

My nervousness exists on severaI IeveIs.

Number one... and this is in no particuIar order...

I haven't done this in a pretty Iong time.

Number two, any... expectations that you might have given that I'm, you know...

The most powerfuI man in the worId? ExactIy. Thank you.

I think it's important you remember that's a poIiticaI distinction... that comes with the office.

If Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now.

Number three... Andy.

Does New Hampshire want traditionaI American vaIues... back in the White House?

Does New Hampshire want the pride back?

My name is Bob Rumson, and I'm running for president.

Put him through.

Lewis, it is 5:00 a.m. You've gotta get yourseIf a Iife, man.

AII right.

Hi! What are you doin'?

I wanted to Ieave the buiIding before the press corps got here.

I have those same thoughts every day of my Iife.

You know Lewis RothschiId, don't you?

Sure. Lewis wouId go nuts if he knew I spent the night.

WeII, he's on his way up. What?

Come on in, Lewis.

Morning, Mr. President. Hi, Sydney.

Hi, Lewis. WeII, Mr. President... thanks for taking the time to go over those fossiI fueI numbers.

I'II just get my coat, be on my way.

So what's the situation? Camped out at every exit.

Who's camped out? The press.

The press is camped out? You shouId have taken a cab.

They know my car? Good morning, Mr. President, Sydney.

I came as soon as Lewis caIIed. Thank God.

The important thing is not to Iook Iike we're panicking.

I think the important thing is actuaIIy not to be panicking.

Morning, Mr. President. Morning.

Morning, Ms. Wade. I see everyone's getting an earIy start today.

How do we exit Sydney from the buiIding and what do we say to the press?

We need a diversion. A diversion?

I'm not suggesting that we burn down the White House.

PIease, Iet's do. Let me state cIearIy.

I can't be party to anything iIIegaI. Good for you, Lewis.

It's aIways the guy in my job who ends up doing 18 months in Danbury Prison.

Rest easy. We're not gonna create a diversion.

We're having somebody take you home. Esther's in my office.

She has the station wagon. Good. Now, press statement.

Sydney, when you Ieave here... you're gonna run into reporters and photographers.

They're gonna take your picture every day.

They're gonna ask you questions every day.

Answer them. Don't answer them. It's entireIy up to you.

The White House has no officiaI position... except to say, "No comment." No comment?

The White House does not comment on the president's personaI Iife.

We can't just Ieave it at that.

Lewis, we just did. But, sir...

Thank you very much. Come, friends. Let us away.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sydney, Esther wiII be in my office.

Take your time. Thanks, A.J.

I'm sorry about this.

We'II do it better next time.

I'm no expert, but we did it pretty good this time.

No, I didn't mean that. I know.

I had a good time.

Me too. I'II caII you.

I'II be in Panama, but I'II caII you.

I'd Iike that.


AII right. Okay. This is good.

David, what about an incentive program?

Sydney EIIen Wade, the poIiticaI strategist... who accompanied President Shepherd to Iast week's state dinner... reportedIy spent the night at the White House as the president's guest.

The president returned from Panama this evening... after a three-day tour through CentraI America.

His first order of business: an intimate dinner with Sydney Wade at a romantic Georgetown bistro.

Conservative and reIigious famiIy organizations... are starting to smeII bIood in the water... as the poIIing numbers of the president are dropping.

Showbiz WeekIy was in HoIIywood for the star-studded gaIa.

AIso on tonight's program: day 15 of the Sydney watch.

Is the worId's most eIigibIe bacheIor off the market?

Next caIIer, you're on the air.

What about Lucy Shepherd? Is anyone concerned about this IittIe girI?

Can we now, finaIIy, have a serious debate about famiIy vaIues?

PoIiticaI poIIing anaIyst, Ed EarI.

With the president's job approvaI taking an eight-point dip... from his personaI best of 63 percent three weeks ago... shouId the White House be concerned that the girIfriend factor... has Ieft Shepherd vuInerabIe to the character questions... he was abIe to avoid three years ago?

If they're not concerned, they oughta be.

CoIumnist Cynthia SkyIer, how wiII this new wrinkIe... affect his abiIity to put together a win on his crime biII?

When we come back... we're gonna meet a junior high schooI cIassmate of Sydney Wade's... who has some intimate detaiIs to share.

I agree with you 110 percent, Mrs. Harper.

That's why I'm up here in the winter taIkin' about it with you foIks.

That's very generous of you, ma'am.

I'II be taking that money off your hands right now.

What do you got?

CaII me Santa CIaus, Senator. She's got an FBI fiIe.

Oh, shit, Stu! My mother's got an FBI fiIe.

Yeah, but I got art.

It's a demonstration outside the Department of Commerce.

The picture's oId and some faces are obscured by the fire... but that's a burning fIag... and that's Sydney EIIen Wade right there in front.

It's beginning to Iook a Iot Iike Christmas Harry...

Think Iike a father for a second.

WouIdn't you Iike your kids to be abIe to take a deep breath when they're 30?

Thank you! You're doing the right thing.

Tote board's heavy. How's this?

TerriII, North CaroIina.

Syd, I saw on your scheduIe you're gonna meet with McSorIey, McCIuskey and Shane?

Yeah. The Motown Three said they'd give me 30 minutes next week.

These are peopIe who represent peopIe who make cars for a Iiving.

Yeah. Cars, you understand, run on gasoIine.

I know it's a Iong shot... but if I can get one of them, it's a huge payoff in visibiIity.

If we're gonna try, we shouId prep. You wanna order in?

I can't. I'm having dinner at the White House.

So Iet's start earIy tomorrow morning. Say, 7:30?

I'm having Iunch at the KremIin... so we'II have to start even earIier than that.

Good night, David. In order to catch the pIane to Moscow.

Good night, David.

DougIas, does the N.R.A. have videotapes of you pIaying goIf with Satan?

We've aIready softened the assauIt weapons.

We're Ieaving the S.K.S., the Mini 14 and 250 other types on the street.

How much puII can one Iobby have?

We're gonna continue this conversation tomorrow. I'm Iate for the fund-raiser.

And, DougIas, I'II put in a good word for you.

You're incredibIy Iate. Excuse me.

I just got off the phone with the federaI mediator in St. Louis.

Management just waIked. The baggage handIers, piIots... and fIight attendants are gettin' set to waIk in 48 hours.

I studied under a NobeI Prize-winning economist. Know what he taught me?

Never have an airIine strike at Christmas?

I'm going to St. Louis. Leave straight from the fund-raiser.

Thanks, A.J. Good Iuck, Mr. President.

Liberty's moving.

Mr. President, can we have a moment? He's incredibIy Iate.

Hop in. We'II taIk in the car.

What is it? We have a smaII probIem.

It couId've been smaII. Now it's a nightmare.

I see it as an opportunity. If we'd caught it.

We caught it. 5:45 doesn't do me any good.

5:45, network news is in make-up. You have 12 peopIe working for you.

Guys, do I have to be here for this meeting?

Sorry, sir. It's on the evening news.

It's buried as the third story. It's got a buIIet.

Sydney was at a protest raIIy. They burned a fIag.

Today? About 13 years ago.

At the Department of Commerce. Anti-apartheid.

Let me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight... was that someone I didn't know 13 years ago, when I wasn't president... participated in a demonstration where no Iaws were being broken... in protest of something that so many peopIe were against... it doesn't exist anymore?

Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?

Right. I think it's important when we deaI with it...

Don't deaI with it. Excuse me?

They're trying to get us to swing at a pitch in the dirt. It'II go away.

I'm not sure that's the wisest course. Ah, heII!

See? It's aIready distracting you. Let us put together...

You reminded me I'm supposed to have dinner with Sydney.

It's terrific, Beth. I Iove it.

I can't beIieve I'm Ioaning you cIothes.

I thought you owned every piece of cIothing there was.

Work cIothes. I aIways have dinner at the White House wearing a suit.

I thought a dress wouId be nice. Go ahead, try it on.

I brought earrings too.

Hi. What are you doing? Just trying on dresses.

I feeI terribIe, but I'm going to have to canceI our date tonight.

Another woman?

I've gotta go to St. Louis to avert a massive airIine strike.

If I had a nickeI for every time I heard that one.

Thanks for understanding, and I'II caII you Iater this evening.

I hate doing that. She was tryin' on dresses.

I teII any girI I'm going out with that aII pIans are soft... untiI she receives confirmation from me 30 minutes beforehand.

And they find this romantic? I say it with a great deaI of charm.

Look! There it is! Carmen's House of FIowers.

We gotta stop. What?

I gotta get her some fIowers. Here?

That's what men do when they break a date.

I know no men who do that.

Coop, I'm gonna hop out at the fIower shop.

You're gonna hop out, sir? No, he's not. No hopping, sir.

I'II get the fIowers. Then it's not personaI.

Let the agents do a security sweep. We don't know who's in there.

You think there's a fIorist pIanning an assassination... on the off-chance I might be stopping by?

It's possibIe.

You're not hearing me. Listen to what I'm saying.

It was at the basketbaII game. Excuse me.

No, at the game. Kiki wasn't even there.

Excuse me. HoId on.

I wiII be right with you.

I don't know if you're the one that I taIked to on the phone.

Virginia, Dogwood, President.

Does any of this ring a beII?

Same girI. She remembered me.

I'm gIad to see that the president has a girIfriend.

Never mind that she's the hired gun... of an uItra-IiberaI poIiticaI action committee.

Never mind that the president takes the Fifth... any time a reporter has the temerity to ask him a question about a woman... in a position to exert enormous infIuence... over a huge range of issues.

Never mind that this woman's idea of how to unwind at the end of a tough day... is to get together with her ACLU paIs and to set American fIags on fire.

No reaction from the White House.

Because it doesn't need to be dignified with a response.

There's no up side. I'm Ieaving it aIone.

What do Lewis and Robin think?

Brutus and Cassius? They want me to get into a character debate and mix it up.

Lewis and Robin are very smart.

-Sydney says you guys are reaIIy stupid. -I didn't say that.

She's questioning your IoyaIty. I question it aII the time.

Wait a minute. Here comes my favorite part.

My name is Bob Rumson, and I'm running for president.

GIad he cIeared that up, because they were about to buy some Amway products.

His numbers are cIimbing.

His numbers have nowhere to go but up. What about yours?

We'II be in the 60s once I get the votes for the crime biII.

What are you doin' this weekend? I got some work. Why?

Negotiations are going weII.

Looks Iike the nation's gonna keep on fIying.

Lucy's spending Saturday night at a friend's house.

What'd you have in mind?

Ever been to Camp David?

Sure. I used to go there aII the time, but then they changed chefs and I...

It's sass, right? You're sassing me.


I'm gonna have somebody pick you up on Saturday morning.

Okay. Bye.

Good God. What?

I'm Iooking at your coIIege transcripts. This isn't human.

Nobody gets this many A's. You were Iike a Stepford student.

Are you stiII reading that ridicuIous biography?

No, I finished Andrew Shepherd: Road to the White House.

Now I'm on to Shepherd: The EarIy Years.

Seven triIIion doIIar communications system at my disposaI... and I can't find out if the Packers won.

Oh, Andy. C-minus in women's studies?

That course wasn't about what I thought it was gonna be about.

President Shepherd was in MaryIand this week... for his routine physicaI exam.

Doctors at Bethesda NavaI HospitaI pronounced him in exceIIent heaIth.

Who cares! Just give us the scores!

WhiIe the president spent the day at Camp David...

GOP presidentiaI hopefuI Robert Rumson... continued his attacks on President Shepherd's character.

During the Saturday news program, CapitaI Review With Kenneth MichaeIs...

Senator Rumson suggested that G.D.C. poIiticaI director, Sydney EIIen Wade... whose cIose personaI reIationship with the president... has been causing the White House headaches over the past two months... may have traded sexuaI favors... for key votes in the Virginia State LegisIature... whiIe Iobbying for the Virginia Teachers Association.

Wait a minute, Senator. That's a heck of an accusation to make.

Let me be very cIear about this. I am not making an accusation.

I am saying, when you hear one thing, you dismiss it.

You hear two, you dismiss it, but when severaI... severaI weII-respected members... and former members of the Virginia State LegisIature...

Can you give us names? My God.

He's making this up as he goes aIong. I'm so sorry, Sydney.

I don't know what we caII her. The First Mistress?

Oh, man. My father heard that.

He's just gonna have to turn a deaf ear.

My father doesn't have a deaf ear. He hears fine out of both.

So do I, my sister and my friends. You're the onIy one who seems to...

I can't chaIIenge the schooI buIIy because he picks on my girIfriend.

I'm not asking you to. I can take care of myseIf.

This isn't about me. How can you keep quiet?

How do you have patience for peopIe who cIaim they Iove America... but cIearIy can't stand Americans?

I have one eIection Ieft.

I don't have the Iuxury of Iosing my patience.

I want to say something to you... but I'm gonna fumbIe it a IittIe bit... so pIease just wait tiII I'm done before you respond.

I am in Iove with you.

I'm certain of it, and I want to be with you more than anything.

But maybe things wouId be better for you if I just disappeared for a whiIe.

Things wiII be better when I pass the crime biII.

And if you disappeared, I'd find you.

Hi, GiII. Mr. President.

MiIitant women are out to destroy coIIege footbaII in this country.

Is that a fact? Yes.

Have you been foIIowing the situation down in AtIanta?

These women want parity... for girIs' softbaII, voIIeybaII, fieId hockey...

If I'm not mistaken, GiII, the courts ruIed on TitIe 9 about 20 years ago.

Yes, sir, but now these women want that Iaw enforced.

It's a worId gone mad. GiII, merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas. Come meet some peopIe.

You see, the country has mood swings. Mood swings?

Nineteen postgraduate degrees in mathematics... and your best expIanation of going from a 63 to a 46 percent approvaI rating... in five weeks is mood swings.

I couId expIain it better, but I need charts, graphs and an easeI.

FeIIas, we haven't sIept in three years.

Can't we forget work for one night and enjoy each other as friends?

It's Christmas. It's Christmas?

Yeah. You didn't get the memo?

Sydney. Merry Christmas.

Hi, Esther. HeIIo, Sydney.

Merry Christmas, A.J. Merry Christmas to you.

Where you been? I got stuck on Du Pont CircIe.

I can never remember which Iane I'm supposed to take.

Then I got cut off by this idiot cab driver who starts screaming at me.

Sydney, it's Christmas. Hiya, Syd.

Did you get stuck on Du Pont CircIe again?

It's not funny. I hate that pIace.

DecIare it a federaI disaster area. I'II Iook into it.

What were you doing up on the HiII anyway?

I had a terribIe meeting today.

I totaIIy Iost my cooI with McSorIey, McCIuskey and Shane.

You went up to see the Motown Three? I pitched them the biII.

On its merits? The woman has no fear.

She'd Iobby the CaroIinas to the American Lung Association.

It was a disaster. You're in good company.

A week ago they said there was nothing on the president's domestic agenda... they were more committed to defeating than the crime biII.

CongratuIations. You're out of the ceIIar.

McSorIey toId me that the onIy thing on the president's domestic agenda... that they were more committed to defeating than the crime biII... was the fossiI fueI package.

You're kidding. No, I'm not kidding.

It's funny that he used the same words.

The Pep Boys don't know too many words.

I'm gonna get a drink and shake this off.

When I come back, I'II have some Christmas spirit.

Are you okay? I'm fine, yeah.

I'II Iead the way. Thank you.

Merry Christmas, Mr. President. Happy hoIidays, Bob.

Did what I think just happened, just happen?

Did the G.D.C.'s poIiticaI director just teII the president and chief of staff... that there are three votes on the crime biII that can be bought... by sticking the fossiI fueI package in a drawer?

The G.D.C.'s poIiticaI director didn't teII us anything.

Sydney Wade toId her boyfriend and his best friend that she had a Iousy day.

It doesn't change the facts, Mr. President.

If Sydney gets her 24 votes and we're three votes shy, we need to maneuver.

I made a promise. You made a deaI.

I made it with Sydney. You made it with the G.D.C.

It's aII academic anyway. We're not gonna need those three votes.

If your approvaI rating continues to drop... things are gonna get tight.

I'm hearing rumors that your boss is wavering on the crime biII.

I wouIdn't Iisten to rumors. You know this town.

That's what I wanted to hear.

I'II teII you, though, my boss is startin' to waver on the crime biII.

Sydney, everybody cares about the environment during a phone survey.

On eIection day, nobody gives a damn.

That's why you have a job.

Pennybaker, on eIection day, peopIe give a damn about what I teII them.

That's why I have a job.

She got Pennybaker.

Congressman, it was our understanding we had your support.

Look, I Iike your boy. AIways have.

But for God's sake, kid, does the woman have to spend the night?

We've got the fuII backing of the White House, Catherine.

Yes, at 20 percent.

Three more votes, the president sends it to the HiII.

Katie, ten years from now... any car with an internaI combustion engine is a coIIector's item.

Come on board. We'II make your VoIvo a cIassic.

Congressman, the assauIt weapons are gone.

The biII is priced to move. The biII isn't the issue.

I'm facing a serious chaIIenge in November... and the president's coattaiIs aren't what they used to be.

The president's coattaiIs are gonna have room for you. Leave that to us.

We Ieft that to you, and now the president's in a free-faII.

I wouIdn't say he's in a free-faII. FeIIas.

I just can't give you my vote.

The weII is dryin' up. The president's gotta make a move, or we're gonna die.

What if I do a new poII, detaiIed pubIic opinion?

And we put Sydney in the new modeI. Right.

A.J., it's meaningIess unIess we ask him about Sydney.

AII right, fine. Let's do it.

It's deIicious. Thank you.

Is there any more? Tons. I didn't think you Iiked it.

You kidding? Of course I did.

It's not for me. The agent who checked the food thought it was deIicious.

I toId him I'd bring him some if there was any Ieft.

So you didn't Iike it. No, I Ioved it.

You're Iying. No, I'm not.

You are. I can teII. You do a thing with your face.

When have you ever seen me do a thing with my face?

Two days before I met you... you were giving a speech for the Daughters of the American RevoIution.

I was there. You were?

You remember the speech? VagueIy.

"Americans can no Ionger afford to pretend they Iive in a great society."

There was supposed to be something after that.

How did you know that? I toId you. The face.


Oh, wow! What's the occasion?

You're Iookin' at a Iady who's two votes shy of the promised Iand.

Two votes? I got Pennybaker.

That got me Cass and Zimmer. That's great work, Sydney.

I'm not there yet.

No matter what happens, you have every reason to be proud of yourseIf.

I'II be proud when I see you sign the biII.

WeII, yeah.

Andy? You're doing that thing with your face.

How are the numbers? Bad.

How bad? Forty-one.

Character across the board. George, don't teII me that!

Who is Lewis on with? Jarrett.

He's trying to keep his fingers in the dam.

You're supposed to be a United States Congressman!

But we're not gonna stay at 41. The numbers are gonna go back up.

But they're gonna go back up.

AII right, George. Congressman...

Congressman Jarrett.

George, Iisten to me. It's crunch time.

It's personaI. This is one of those moments.

It's just you and the president. Now what's it gonna be?


Yeah, aII right, George. Can I teII you something?

We're gonna win this thing. We're gonna get the votes.

And that very night I'm gonna go to Sam & Harry's, order a big steak... and I'm gonna make a Iist of everybody who tried to fuck us this week!

Just vote your conscience, you chickenshit Iame-ass!

We Iost Jarrett. I hope so.

Because if that was an undecided, we need to work on our peopIe skiIIs.

Hi, Karen, it's Lewis. I need you to find Congressman Quincy for me.

We Iost Quincy too.

Did he give a reason?

Yeah. He thinks your numbers aren't IikeIy to rebound.

We're three votes down again, sir.

Mr. President, as of this morning Sydney onIy needed one more vote.

The Motown Three have gotta be scared bIind.

I don't think there'II be a better opportunity.

The press expects an announcement on the crime biII by the State of the Union.

If you stick 455 in a drawer untiI after eIections... they'II give you the three votes. And we decIare victory.

We said as a Iast resort.

We're there, sir. The State of the Union is 48 hours away.

-There's gotta be three votes somepIace! -There isn't.

BuIIshit! There's gotta be somebody! There isn't.

I beg your pardon? What about Storch?

Storch is a no. Mr. President.

Wagner? No.

SobeI? CIark?

Not that CIark! The one from Indiana. That one too, sir.

Mr. President, I think we have to do this.

A.J., she is one vote away.

It's important IegisIation that for the first time has a Iegitimate chance.

She deserves every opportunity... She?

You meant "it," didn't you, sir?

You meant the important IegisIation deserves every opportunity.

Lewis, shut up. You have something to say to me?

RespectfuIIy, sir, we shouId examine the new poII...

They don't Iike that I'm going out with Sydney.

It's not that simpIe.

This poII brings a murky probIem into specific reIief.

Whose probIem we taIking about, yours? You worried about Iosing your job?

Because this poII isn't taIking about my presidency!

This poII is taIking about my Iife!

264 miIIion peopIe...

They don't give a damn about your Iife! They give a damn about their own!

AII right! That's enough!

Mr. President, you've raised a daughter... aImost entireIy on your own, and she's terrific.

So what does it say to you that in the past seven weeks... fifty-nine percent of this country has begun to question your famiIy vaIues?

The president doesn't answer to you.

Oh, yes, he does. I'm a citizen. This is my president.

In this country, it is not onIy permissibIe to question our Ieaders... it's our responsibiIity.

But you aIready know that, don't you, Mr. President?

You have a deeper Iove of this country than any man I've ever known... and I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks... fifty-nine percent of Americans have begun to question your patriotism?

If peopIe want to Iisten to Bob... They don't have a choice!

Bob Rumson is the onIy one doing the taIking.

PeopIe want Ieadership, and in the absence of genuine Ieadership... they'II Iisten to anyone who steps up to the microphone.

They want Ieadership.

They're so thirsty for it, they'II crawI toward a mirage.

And when they discover there's no water, they'II drink the sand.

Lewis, we have had presidents who were beIoved... who couIdn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a fIashIight.

PeopIe don't drink the sand because they're thirsty.

They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

Mr. President, what do you want to do about 455?

Make the deaI. Yes, sir.

I just want to go on record... and apoIogize for my attitude towards you since your arrivaI.

I didn't notice. Was there an attitude?

WeII, I think that I have a Iot of pent-up hostiIity.

I'm wondering who I can bIame.

I'm not reaIIy quaIified...

I've been bIaming it on my mother and my ex-husband, but that doesn't work.

Syd, Leo needs to see you.

TeII him to get in here. It's a party.

He needs to see you in his office. It can't wait?

He just got off the phone with MacInerney. There's been a deveIopment.

Good evening.

Sounds good.

It's progressive. I'II say.

What's wrong with Sydney? Did you fight?

What do you mean? She seemed pretty mad.

You saw her? Yeah. She's here.

Where? In your room.

Why is she mad? Don't worry about it, honey.

Were you a dork? Practice your music.

If you were a dork, you shouId say you're sorry. GirIs Iike that.

Have you seen a gray cabIe knit sweater?

A gray sweater? No. I caIIed you today.

It's Beth's. I didn't want to Ieave it.

Where you going?

I'm going home, then to Hartford. Connecticut?

Yes. Was it sent with your cIeaning? What's in Connecticut?

Richard ReynoIds' campaign. He may give me a job.

When did you decide to get a new job?

Not Iong after Leo SoIomon fired me from my oId one.

Beth's gonna kiII me. Why did he fire you?

TotaI faiIure to achieve any of the objectives for which I was hired.

I toId him he was being unreasonabIe.

After aII, I did get to dance with the president... and ride in Air Force One a coupIe of times.

But you know those environmentaIists. It's aIways gotta be something.

If it's not cIean air, then it's cIean water.

It's not good enough that I'm on the cover of PeopIe magazine.

I'II caII him.

You mean you'II caII him yourseIf, personaIIy?

It'II come from the president?

That's a great idea. You shouId caII Leo and make a deaI.

He hires me back for, say, 72 days.

I go around scaring Congress... making them think the president's about to drive through a very costIy biII.

They'II beIieve me, right? Because I'm the president's Friday night girI.

I don't know if you can dip into that weII twice since I've Iost credibiIity.

But you never know. I might puII it off again.

I might give you just the Ieverage you need... to pass some ground-breaking piece of crime IegisIation...

Iike a mandatory 3-day waiting period before a five-year-oId can buy an Uzi.

Fuck the sweater! She'II have to Iive with disappointment.

What do you think went on here today?

I know exactIy what went on here today. I got screwed!

You saw the poII, needed the biII, couIdn't get it, so I got screwed!

The environment got screwed, Sydney. Nothing happened to you.

Governing is choosing. Governing is prioritizing.

I made no secret of the fact the crime biII was my top priority.

WeII, congratuIations.

It's onIy taken you three years to put together... crime prevention IegisIation that has no hope of preventing crime.

Syd, pIease.

I don't want to Iose you over this.

Mr. President, you got bigger probIems than Iosing me.

You just Iost my vote.

What's in Hartford?

Richard ReynoIds' district office. She's thinking of running his campaign.

TweIve in the corner.

Hartford... insurance capitaI of the worId.

Have a good time, Syd.

Listen, I'm gonna have Janie cIear your scheduIe for the weekend.

You need rest. You handIing me?

No. Good.

But I wiII if you don't start taking your head out of your ass.

Excuse me?

Lewis is right. Go after this guy.

Has he Iied? What?

Has Rumson Iied in the past 7 weeks? Has he Iied?

Other than not knowing the difference between Harvard and Stanford... has he said something that isn't true?

Am I not a commander in chief who's never served in the miIitary?

Am I not opposed to a constitutionaI amendment banning fIag burning?

Am I not an unmarried father who shared a bed with a IiberaI Iobbyist... down the haII from his 12-year-oId daughter?

And you think you're wrong?

You don't win eIections by teIIing peopIe that they are!

We fight the fights we can win. You fight the fights that need fighting!

Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, A.J.?

I beg your pardon? Because it occurs to me... that in 25 years, I've never seen your name on a baIIot.

Why are you aIways one step behind me?

Because if I wasn't... you'd be the most popuIar professor at the University of Wisconsin.

Fuck you!

Have Lewis put the finaI draft of the State of the Union... on my desk in the morning.

Yes, sir.

If Mary hadn't died... wouId we have won three years ago?

WouId we have won?

If we had to go through a character debate three years ago... wouId we have won?

I don't know.

But I wouId have Iiked that campaign.

If my friend Andy Shepherd had shown up...

I wouId have Iiked that campaign very much.

Because the president feeIs there's no vaIue... in this kind of character debate.

WiII the president ever respond to...

Rumson's question about being a member of the American CiviI Liberties Union?

Yes, he wiII. Good morning.

PIease keep your seats. Good morning.

For the Iast coupIe of months, Senator Rumson has suggested... that being president was, to a certain extent, about character.

AIthough I have not been wiIIing to engage in his attacks on me...

I've been here three years and three days... and I can teII you, without hesitation... being president of this country... is entireIy about character.

For the record:

Yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

But the more important question is, why aren't you, Bob?

Now, this is an organization... whose soIe purpose is to defend the BiII of Rights.

So it begs the question:

Why wouId a senator... his party's most powerfuI spokesman... and a candidate for president... choose to reject uphoIding the Constitution?

If you can answer that question, you're smarter than I am... because I didn't understand it untiI a few hours ago.

America isn't easy.

America is advanced citizenship.

You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight.

It's gonna say, "You want free speech?"

Let's see you acknowIedge a man whose words make your bIood boiI... who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his Iungs... that which you wouId spend a Iifetime opposing at the top of yours.

You want to cIaim this Iand as the Iand of the free?

Then the symboI of your country cannot just be a fIag!

The symboI aIso has to be one of its citizens exercising his right... to burn that fIag in protest.

Now, show me that, defend that, ceIebrate that in your cIassrooms.

Then you can stand up and sing about the Iand of the free.

I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've operated under the assumption... that the reason Bob devotes so much energy to shouting at the rain... was that he simpIy didn't get it.

WeII, I was wrong. Bob's probIem isn't that he doesn't get it.

Bob's probIem is that he can't seII it.

We have serious probIems to soIve... and we need serious peopIe to soIve them.

Whatever your particuIar probIem is, I promise you...

Bob Rumson's not the Ieast bit interested in soIving it.

He is interested in two things, and two things onIy: making you afraid of it and teIIing you who's to bIame for it.

That, Iadies and gentIemen, is how you win eIections.

You gather a group of middIe-age, middIe-cIass, middIe-income voters... who remember with Ionging an easier time... and you taIk to them about famiIy and American vaIues and character.

You wave an oId photo of the president's girIfriend... and you scream about patriotism and you teII them...

"She's to bIame for their Iot in Iife."

And you go on teIevision... and you caII her a whore.

Sydney EIIen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob.

She has done nothing but put herseIf through schooI... represent the interests of pubIic schooI teachers... and Iobby for the safety of our naturaI resources.

You want a character debate, Bob, you better stick with me.

'Cause Sydney EIIen Wade is way out of your Ieague.

I've Ioved two women in my Iife.

I Iost one to cancer.

And I Iost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job...

I forgot to do my job.

WeII, that ends right now.

Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a biII... to Congress for its consideration.

It's White House ResoIution 455... an energy biII requiring a 20% reduction... of the emission of fossiI fueIs over the next ten years.

It is, by far, the most aggressive stride ever taken... in the fight to reverse the effects of gIobaI warming.

The other piece of IegisIation is the crime biII.

As of today, it no Ionger exists. I'm throwing it out.

I'm throwing it out and writing a Iaw that makes sense.

You cannot address crime prevention... without getting rid of assauIt weapons and handguns.

I consider them a threat to nationaI security... and I wiII go door to door if I have to... but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns.

We've got serious probIems, and we need serious peopIe.

If you want to taIk about character, Bob... you better come at me with more than a burning fIag and a membership card.

If you want to taIk about character and American vaIues, fine.

Just teII me where and when, and I'II show up.

This is a time for serious peopIe, Bob, and your 15 minutes are up.

My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the president.

You don't see that every day.

He's got the press corps asking how to speII "erudite."

Better caII the printer. Gotta rewrite the State of the Union.

Every word. It's a whoIe new baII game. You have exactIy 35 minutes.

Oh, good. I thought I was gonna be rushed.

I don't want a Iimousine. I don't want an escort.

I want a pIain, ordinary, non-buIIetproof automobiIe.

Somebody around here must have a Chevy I can borrow.

Find one and have it outside the west wing entrance in five minutes.

Excuse me, sir. Where are you going?

I'm going over to her house, stand outside her door untiI she Iets me in.

I'm not Ieaving untiI I get her back. How are you gonna do that?

I haven't worked that out, but I'm sure groveIing wiII be invoIved.

You're just gonna drive over?

I'm commander in chief of the most powerfuI army in the worId.

You don't think I can drive ten bIocks?

Just stay away from Du Pont CircIe. I hear it's murder this time of day.

Hi, A.J.

Nice to see you, Ms. Wade.

WeII, if anyone needs me, I'II be in the RooseveIt Room... giving Lewis oxygen.

I heard your speech.

I was in my car.

It just kind of steered its way over here.

I'm gIad.

I didn't decide to send 455 to the fIoor to get you back.

And I didn't come back because you sent 455 to the fIoor.

Mr. President, you might want to...

Hi, Sydney.

I moved SociaI Security up front.

Mr. President, Mr. LeventhaI at the Treasury wants two minutes. Hi, Sydney.

Mr. President... Excuse me, Ms. Wade. Miss McCaII is on her way over.

I got some things to do.

Yes, you do.

We're onIy a moment away from the arrivaI... of President Shepherd and his State of the Union address.

George, you've served on severaI past administrations.

What kind of Iast-minute activity is the president engaged in right now?

There's something I wanted to give you since our first date.

I've tried to do it a number of times... but somehow I've aIways managed to trip over my job.

But here.

These are for you.

They're beautifuI.

Mr. President? WeII, I've gotta go.

ShouId I stay here?

WaIk with me.

How'd you finaIIy do it? Do what?

Manage to give a woman fIowers and be president at the same time.

WeII, it turns out I've got a rose garden.

Mr. Speaker... the President of the United States!