President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet
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Quotes for
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet (Character)
from "The West Wing" (1999)

The content of this page was created by users. It has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
"The West Wing: The Drop In (#2.12)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You know what you are? You're the Charlie Brown of missile defense. The Pentagon is Lucy.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Leo, seriously, when they were telling you that on the phone, how stupid did you think you'd sound saying it to me?
Leo McGarry: This project needs money.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: It doesn't work.
Leo McGarry: Neither did several phases of Apollo 11, but Neil Armstrong claims it was a success.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm victim to my own purity of character.
Leo McGarry: Whatever.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: The number of different words they had for "manipulative," Leo, there's no way they didn't have a thesaurus in front of them.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Where are you on the missile shield?
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Well, I think its dangerous, illegal, fiscally irresponsible, technologically unsound, and a threat to all people everywhere.

President Josiah Bartlet: 2,000 environmentalists are going to try to kill me tomorrow night.
Charlie Young: We should go, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: They're going to come after me with vegan food and pitchforks.
Charlie Young: That doesn't really sound like something people do.
President Josiah Bartlet: Still, I'd like you to get between me and any boiled seaweed you see coming my way.

President Josiah Bartlet: [following the appointment of Marbury to be the British Ambassador to the United States] What made you agree to take the post?
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: I don't know, I suppose it's possible I was drunk.
Josh Lyman: Reasonable bet.

Josh Lyman: You know, can I say this? Why don't we just give the $60 billion to North Korea in exchange for not bombing us?
President Josiah Bartlet: It's almost hard to believe that you're not on the National Security Council.
Josh Lyman: I know, I feel like they're missing an important voice.

President Josiah Bartlet: I want to know, when you're pushing me toward the missile shield, it's not 'cause you want me to look strong on defense?
Leo McGarry: I'm not.
President Josiah Bartlet: Don't.
Leo McGarry: I'm pushing you toward the shield 'cause I think it works.
President Josiah Bartlet: Based on what?
Leo McGarry: Confidence. And the understanding that there has been a time in the evolution of everything that works when it didn't work.

President Josiah Bartlet: Sweden has a 100% literacy rate, Leo. 100%! How do they do that?
Leo McGarry: Well, maybe they don't and they also can't count.

President Josiah Bartlet: It's good to have you here.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Your servant, as always.

Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: I'm required to attend the State of the Union?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes!
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Oh, well, then attend it I shall.

President Josiah Bartlet: Mr. Sumatra, I understand you're a sports fan.
Tada Sumatra: Yes sir, golf.
President Josiah Bartlet: Okay, well, golf's not a sport.

Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: [to Leo:] You think you can make it stop? Well, you can't. We build a shield, and somebody'll build a better missile.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, it's a discussion for serious men. They say a statesman is a politician who's been dead for fifteen years. I'd like us to be statesmen while we're still alive.

Leo McGarry: By how much did it miss the target? Colonel?
Colonel Chase: One three seven.
Leo McGarry: We missed it by a hundred and thirty-seven feet.
Colonel Chase: Miles.
Leo McGarry: We missed it by a hundred and thirty-seven miles?
President Josiah Bartlet: When you consider the size of outer space, Leo, that's not so bad.


"The West Wing: Lord John Marbury (#1.11)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: [on Marbury] You're really gonna let him loose in the White House, where there's liquor and women?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: We can hide the women. But the man deserves a drink

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: All I'm trying to do right now? I'm trying to avoid making eye contact with the CIA Director.
George Rollie: Mr. President...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Three hundred thousand troops? I can't move my motorcade from K Street to Connecticut without it showing up on a weather satellite!
George Rollie: We dropped the ball, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Pick it up again - would you please?
George Rollie: Yes, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Any chance this is an exercise?
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: No, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: A threat gesture?
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: Possibly.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Any nuclear activity?
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: We don't know, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Oh, I wouldn't worry about that. That's probably not important information.

[Charlie seeks and obtains the President's permission to date his daughter]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Just remember these two things: she's nineteen years old, and the 82nd Airborne works for me.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Toby, how much do you know about India and Pakistan?
Toby Ziegler: I know that any war between these two countries that begins with conventional weapons isn't going to end that way.

Indian ambassador: You look well, Mr. President.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I was looking a lot better before your country breached about 14 ceasefire conditions without so much as a phone call.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: My daughter asked you out?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I should've locked her in the dungeon.
Charlie Young: I don't think you've got one, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I could've built one.

Charlie Young: Mr. President?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'll take the Indian ambassador in the Oval Office.
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: And then if you could just ask the Secret Service to step in and kill me, please.
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.

Leo McGarry: [on Lord John Marbury] He thinks I'm the butler.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: For the first couple of weeks, so did I.

Lord John Marbury: You're all frightened... as well you should be. Not since the Protestant-Catholic wars in the 16th Century has Western society known anything remotely comparable to the subcontinent's religious malevolence. Uh, to a lesser observer, the intensity of the emotional frenzy is so illogical as to border on mass psychosis. but, as has been said by kings and queens, I am not a lesser observer.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: John, there's a quote from Revelations I...
Lord John Marbury: [Cutting Bartlet off mid-sentence] "And I looked and I beheld a pale horse, and the name that sat on him was Death and, Hell followed with him."

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: He
[Charlie]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: wants to go out with Zoey.
[Leo cracks a huge smirk]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Shut up.


"The West Wing: The Crackpots and These Women (#1.5)" (1999)
President Josiah Bartlet: What will be the next thing that challenges us, Toby? That makes us go farther and work harder? Do you know that when smallpox was eradicated, it was considered the single greatest humanitarian achievement of this century? Surely we can do it again, as we did in the times when our eyes looked towards the heavens and, with outstretched fingers, we touched the face of God. Here's to absent friends and the ones that are here now. Cheers.

President Josiah Bartlet: 'Cause I'm weak-willed and stupid.

President Josiah Bartlet: [during a basketball game with Toby, Josh, and Charlie] Let the poets write about that *there*, Byron!

[the Senior Staff are playing a pick-up basketball game with the President]
Josh Lyman: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Who's this?
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm making a substitution.
Toby Ziegler: Who is this guy?
President Josiah Bartlet: Mr. Grant's a new member of my team.
Toby Ziegler: A ringer, perhaps?
President Josiah Bartlet: Mr. Grant is a federal employee.
[Mr. Grant is played by real-life NBA forward Juwan Howard]
Toby Ziegler: You know the thing about you, Mr. President? It isn't so much that you cheat. It's how brazenly bad you are at it.
President Josiah Bartlet: I beg your pardon?
Josh Lyman: Toby's got a point there, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: When have I ever cheated?
Toby Ziegler: Up in Florida, playing mixed doubles with me and C.J. You tried to tell us that your partner worked at the American consulate in Vienna.
President Josiah Bartlet: And she did.
Toby Ziegler: It was Steffi Graf, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, I will admit that the woman bore a striking resemblance...
Toby Ziegler: It was Steffi Graf, you crazy lunatic! You think I'm not going to recognize Steffi Graf when she's serving a tennis ball at me?

Mandy Hampton: Yes, so, Mr. President, if you could further see clear to not answer that question like an economics professor with a big ole stick up his butt, that would be good too.
President Josiah Bartlet: I *am* an economics professor with a big ole stick up my butt, but I'll do my best for you there, Mandy.

President Josiah Bartlet: Is it time for my 10:00 a.m. scolding?

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm sorry, but some of my staff has been waiting and they haven't had the chance to bother me for a couple hours.

Toby Ziegler: ...If I were an actor or a writer or uh, uh, uh, a producer in Hollywood and someone were to start coming at me with lists of things that were American and un-American I'd start to think that this was sounding eerily familiar.
President Josiah Bartlet: Do I look like Joe McCarthy to you, Toby?
Toby Ziegler: No, sir. Nobody ever looks like Joe McCarthy. That's how they get in the door in the first place.

C.J. Cregg: Good morning, Mrs. Landingham. Where are we in the saga of Toby and the President?
Dolores Landingham: They seem to be having a disagreement.
C.J. Cregg: A disagreement or a fight?
Dolores Landingham: Well, it certainly has potential...
President Josiah Bartlet: [Yelling from the next room] Oh for God's sakes, Toby!
Dolores Landingham: There we go.


"The West Wing: The Midterms (#2.3)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.
President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important 'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm sorry. Uh, you're Dr. Jenna Jacobs, right?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: Yes, Sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: It's good to have you here.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: Thank you.
President Josiah Bartlet: The awesome impact of the airwaves and how that translates into the furthering of our national discussions, but also obviously how it can... Forgive me, Dr. Jacobs. Are you an M.D.?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: A Ph.D.
President Josiah Bartlet: A Ph.D.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: Yes, Sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: In psychology?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: No, Sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Theology?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: No.
President Josiah Bartlet: Social work?
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I have a Ph.D. in English literature.
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm asking 'cause on your show, people call in for advice and you go by the name Dr. Jacobs on your show, and I didn't know if maybe your listeners were confused by that and assumed you had advanced training in psychology, theology or health care.
Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don't believe they are confused. No, Sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: And can you believe I'm on hold?
C.J. Cregg: You're not, sir. You finished the call.
President Josiah Bartlet: I did?
C.J. Cregg: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: How'd it go?
C.J. Cregg: Very well.

President Josiah Bartlet: [addressing a radio personality party in the White House, entering room to applause] Thank you. Thank you very much. Thanks a lot. I wish I could spend more than a few minutes with you, but the polls don't close in the east for another hour, and there are plenty of election results still left to falsify.
[everyone laughs]

President Josiah Bartlet: I don't need to wait another week.
Leo McGarry: Sir, let's play a game of "Who Do You Think I'm Going to Agree With?" Fourteen doctors say you should wait another week before assuming a campaign schedule. Who do you think I'm going to agree with?
President Josiah Bartlet: Get away from me.
Leo McGarry: Yes, sir.

Toby Ziegler: Why does it feel like this? I've seen shootings before.
President Josiah Bartlet: It wasn't a shooting, Toby. It was a lynching. They tried to lynch Charlie right in front of us, can you believe that?

President Josiah Bartlet: Anybody know what the word "acalculia" means?
Sam Seaborn: It's an inability to perform arithmetic functions. I'm sorry, Mr. President; you wanted to answer your own question, didn't you?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, but I'll get over it.
Sam Seaborn: Good for you, sir, that's very mature.
President Josiah Bartlet: Shut up.

Sam Seaborn: When asked whose approach on important national problems do you think is generally best, President Bartlet or the Republican leaders of Congress, Bartlet gets 61 percent.
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, 19 percent of the country has clearly made up their minds about me, 20 percent just feels sorry for me. This is what you want if you're the leader of the free world.

President Josiah Bartlet: Now, you don't take these people seriously 'cause they don't get anywhere nationally, but they don't have to. All they have to do is bit by little bit, get themselves on the boards of education and city councils; 'cause that's where all the governing that really matters to anybody really happens.
C.J. Cregg: We do a little governing here, Mr. President.


"The West Wing: And It's Surely to Their Credit (#2.5)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: You know what I did, just then, that was stupid? I minimized the importance of the statue that was dedicated to Nellie Bly, an extraordinary woman to whom we all owe a great deal.
Abbey Bartlet: You don't know who she is, do you?
President Josiah Bartlet: [to himself] This isn't happening to me.
Abbey Bartlet: She pioneered investigative journalism.
President Josiah Bartlet: Then she's the one I want to beat the crap out of.
Abbey Bartlet: She risked her life by having herself committed to a mental institution for ten days so she could write about it. She changed entirely the way we treat the mentally ill in this country.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes. Abigail...
Abbey Bartlet: In 1890, she traveled around the world in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds, besting by more than one week, Jules Verne's 80 days.
President Josiah Bartlet: She sounds like an incredible woman, Abbey. I'm particularly impressed that she beat a fictional record. If she goes down 21,000 leagues under the sea, I'll name a damn school after her! Let's have sex.
Abbey Bartlet: When it comes to historical figures being memorialized in this country, women have been largely overlooked. Nellie Bly is just the tip of the iceberg.
President Josiah Bartlet: I couldn't possibly hear about the rest of the iceberg right now.
Abbey Bartlet: Elizabeth Blackwell was the first American woman to be awarded an MD. She founded the Women's Medical College...
President Josiah Bartlet: Keep talking. I'm just gonna sit here and think about plutonium and the things I can do with it.

Lionel Tribbey, White House Counsel: [about Ainsley] Well, forgive me, sir, but when you have a few moments, I would like to discuss the hiring of blonde and leggy fascists whose knowledge does not include the proper order of the alphabet for positions of the White House Counsel's office.
President Josiah Bartlet: And we will, Lionel, but right now I don't know if you've noticed but there are thirty or forty other people in the room, many of whom have donated significant amounts of money to the Democratic Party, so perhaps you could get a tighter grip on your horses and we will talk about it later.
Lionel Tribbey, White House Counsel: Yes. Well. Good morning, everyone! Thank you, Mr. President.
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, obviously, Lionel Tribbey is a brilliant lawyer whom we cannot live without, or there would be very little reason not to put him in prison.

[the President is trying to tape the Saturday morning radio address, but can't get it right]
Engineer: Okay, let's cut.
President Josiah Bartlet: Sorry, everybody. This is gonna be it. Four is my lucky number.
Donna Moss: This is take five, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Five is my lucky number. "Fifth-take Bartlet" - that's what Jack Warner used to call me.
Donna Moss: Did you really know Jack Warner, Mr. President?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, because I used to be a contract player in Hollywood and I'm 97 years old.

Engineer: Saturday morning radio address, take 21.
Donna Moss: I have a really good feeling about this one, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Is this still my first term?

[the President and the First Lady can finally have sex after a long time; they are in the Oval office]
Abbey Bartlet: BP 120 over 80.
President Josiah Bartlet: Who cares? It's been 14 weeks. Do these curtains close?
Abbey Bartlet: Not here, Jed.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes. You're right... where?
Abbey Bartlet: How about our bedroom?
President Josiah Bartlet: New Hampshire is an hour and a half by plane. I don't have that kind of time.
Abbey Bartlet: How about our bedroom in the residence?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes. We have a bedroom right here in the building. That was so smart.
Abbey Bartlet: Yes.
President Josiah Bartlet: Let's go.
Abbey Bartlet: Jed.
President Josiah Bartlet: What?
Abbey Bartlet: Korea? Plutonium?
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh God... I hate plutonium.

President Josiah Bartlet: [to the Secret Service agents] Guys, it's very important that nobody tries to kill me in the next hour or so.

President Josiah Bartlet: Take your clothes off.
Abbey Bartlet: Whatever happened to romance? A couple of cocktails, Mel Torme...
President Josiah Bartlet: Get 'em off.
Abbey Bartlet: Okay, I'm going to the bathroom.

Charlie Young: Mr. President...
President Josiah Bartlet: Take a break, Charlie.
Charlie Young: She's not there, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm going to a special meeting...
Charlie Young: ...of the government, yes sir. She had to go to Pennsylvania early. Would you like to come back inside and take another swing at the radio address?
President Josiah Bartlet: Sure. Would you like to get that smile off your face before I send you on special assignment to the Yukon?

President Josiah Bartlet: By the way, sweet knees: The Statue of Liberty.
Abbey Bartlet: Get upstairs.
President Josiah Bartlet: Right there at the front door to the country.
Abbey Bartlet: Get upstairs.
President Josiah Bartlet: Like a lawn jockey.


"The West Wing: Inauguration: Part 2 - Over There (#4.15)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Charlie, I'm gonna change my mind again on the Bible.
Charlie Young: Mr. President, you have to imagine my utter surprise.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Aren't you afraid that one day I'm just gonna kick your ass like it's never been kicked?

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: We're for freedom of speech everywhere. We're for freedom to worship everywhere. We're for freedom to learn... for everybody. And because in our time, you can build a bomb in your country and bring it to my country, what goes on in your country is very much my business. And so we are for freedom from tyranny, everywhere, whether in the guise of political oppression, Toby, or economic slavery, Josh, or religious fanaticism, C.J. That most fundamental idea cannot be met with merely our support. It has to be met with our strength. Diplomatically, economically, materially. And, if Pharaoh still don't free the slaves, then he gets the plagues or my cavalry, whichever gets there first. The USTR will go crazy and say that we're not considering global trade. Committee members will go crazy and say I haven't consulted enough. And the Arab world will just go indiscriminately crazy. No country has ever had a doctrine of intervention when only humanitarian interests were at stake. That streak's gonna end Sunday at noon.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I walked to school every morning in weather colder than this.
Abbey Bartlet: From the headmaster's house to your classroom.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: That's right, baby. Just a camel hair coat, leather gloves, a varsity scarf, and these wits.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: They're saying I'm rewriting the Constitution on the back of a napkin. They're saying on Fox that a guy who couldn't run a local sheriff's department wants to send troops around the world. They're saying it's liberalism with a grenade launcher. But they're not saying it was badly written, so that's something. And they sure as hell know I was serious, so that's something else. Congratulations, folks, we've got ourselves a doctrine.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Mothers are standing in front of tanks. And we're going to go get their backs.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [frustrated at not being able to get a Bible he likes for his swearing in] Okay, you know what? Washington didn't bring his own Bible, he just assumed one would be provided, which, frankly, isn't unreasonable. Guy wants you to swear an oath on a Bible, he ought to be packing a Bible. Washington didn't bring one; he just assumed one would be provided. Just common courtesy, I think. "Place your hand on this Bible. And, oh, can I borrow your Bible?" That's not right.

President Josiah Bartlet: There's a promise that I ask everyone who works here to make: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?
Will Bailey: Because it's the only thing that ever has.

President Josiah Bartlet: [trying to wake up his wife] Abbey... Abigail... Abbey, the kids are eating sugar.
Abbey Bartlet: Uh...
[wakes up]
Abbey Bartlet: Oh!
President Josiah Bartlet: How you doing? You know I gave the kids candy all the time, right?
Abbey Bartlet: Behind my back?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes.
Abbey Bartlet: You bought their love.
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, it was for sale, and I wanted it.

Abbey Bartlet: [the President has decided to change the Use of Force Doctrine after watching a Laurel & Hardy movie] Because of Laurel and Hardy?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Not because, no. Not *because* of Laurel and Hardy. That was simply the confluence of the final... you know, and also, by the way, from the mouths of babes... like yourself... Seriously, from the mouths of babes and clowns comes... Listen, there's no reason why anyone needs to know about Laurel and Hardy.
Abbey Bartlet: Sounds like that's going to depend a lot on my general mood.


"The West Wing: He Shall, from Time to Time... (#1.12)" (2000)
[with the cabinet member who stays behind during a State of the Union address]
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh, Roger. If anything happened, you know what to do, right?
Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey: I honestly hadn't thought about it, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: First thing always is national security. Get your commanders together. Appoint Joint Chiefs, appoint a chairman. Take us to defcon 4. Have the governors send emergency delegates to Washington. The assistant Attorney General is going to be the Acting A.G. If he tells you he wants to bring out the National Guard, do what he tells you. You got a best friend?
Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: That's your chief of staff.

President Josiah Bartlet: I came to this hallowed chamber one year ago on a mission, to restore the American dream for all our people as we gaze at the vast horizon of possibilities open to us... in the 321st century. Wow, that was ambitious of me, wasn't it?
Sam Seaborn: Leo.
Leo McGarry: Let's take a break.
President Josiah Bartlet: We meant stronger here right?
Sam Seaborn: What's it say?
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm proud to report our country's stranger than it was a year ago.
Sam Seaborn: That's a typo.
President Josiah Bartlet: Could go either way.

C.J. Cregg: What are you taking?
President Josiah Bartlet: I don't know. My wife hands me pills, I swallow them with water.
Sam Seaborn: Sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: Vitamin C, Vitamin B. Is it possible I'm taking something called euthanasia?
Sam Seaborn: Echinacea?
President Josiah Bartlet: Ah, that sounds more like it.

President Josiah Bartlet: I could jump you right now.
Abbey Bartlet: I could kill you right now.
President Josiah Bartlet: My thing's more fun.

President Josiah Bartlet: I was watching a television program before, with a sort of a roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends - apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends' mothers. Then they brought the boyfriends out, and they all fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don't vote, do they?

President Josiah Bartlet: What do you think, Josh?
Josh Lyman: I make it a point never to disagree with Toby when he's right, Mr. President.

Charlie Young: How are you feeling, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm feeling roughly the same as I was feeling when you asked me four minutes ago.

[Abigail Bartlet is examining her husband]
President Josiah Bartlet: Here's the thing, though: I never really saw you study while you were in med school.
Abbey Bartlet: Deep breath.
President Josiah Bartlet: Do you even know what you're listening for right now?
Abbey Bartlet: Do you know how many other people I could have married?

President Josiah Bartlet: [Bartlet is in bed, watching a soap opera] I don't understand. Don't any of these characters have jobs?
Charlie Young: I don't know, Mr. President. I think one of them is a surgeon.
President Josiah Bartlet: They seem to have a lot of free time in the middle of the day.


"The West Wing: The War at Home (#2.14)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You really gotta ask yourself, what's the point in being a superpower anymore.

President Josiah Bartlet: What are you, my Zen master? Can I be in charge of my own mind?

President Josiah Bartlet: We didn't get a chance to talk again last night.
Abbey Bartlet: I don't think we should.
President Josiah Bartlet: Talk?
Abbey Bartlet: No.
President Josiah Bartlet: Ever?
Abbey Bartlet: Oh, if wishing made it so, Jed.

Abbey Bartlet: We had a deal!
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yes, we had a deal.
Abbey Bartlet: Yes, Jed. Look at me! Do you get that you have M.S.?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Abbey...
Abbey Bartlet: Do you get that your own immune system is shredding your brain? And I can't tell you why. Do you have any idea how good a doctor I am and that I can't tell you why?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I've had one episode in two years.
Abbey Bartlet: Yes, but relapsing-remitting M.S. can turn into secondary-progressive M.S. oftentimes ten years after the initial diagnosis which is exactly where we'll be in two years! Do you know what that's going to look like if it happens?

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: They won't let me smoke inside, but you can pee in Leo's closet?

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: We weren't prepared for someone to try and outfox us with a stratagem so sophisticated, it's an entire generation beyond "Hey, look! Your shoelaces are untied!"? Is that how I just lost nine guys to a damn street gang with a ham radio? They lured us there so that they could kill nine American soldiers!

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I tell you something, Leo, after heroin and cocaine, tobacco is next.
Leo McGarry: Great. Another criminal empire we can give birth to. There's be speakeasies all over Chicago where you can get smuggled cartons of Marlboro Lights.

Mickey Troop: Mr. President, for the kind of victory Americans are used to, for the kind of victory Americans demand from a war, you need a ten-to-one ratio.
[... ]
Mickey Troop: We need to put 200 to 300,000 men into a jungle war, and I think we'd lose as many as half.
[... ]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You really gotta ask yourself what's the point of being a superpower anymore.


"The West Wing: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc (#1.2)" (1999)
President Josiah Bartlet: 27 lawyers in the room. Anybody know "Post hoc, ergo propter hoc"? Josh?
Josh Lyman: Uh, uh, "post" - after, after hoc, "ergo" - therefore, "After hoc, therefore" something else hoc.
President Josiah Bartlet: Thank you. Next?
Josh Lyman: Well, if I had gotten more credit on the 443...
President Josiah Bartlet: Leo?
Leo McGarry: "After it therefore because of it."
President Josiah Bartlet: "After it therefore because of it." It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it's not always true. In fact, it's hardly ever true.

[a Navy doctor is checking the president's pulse]
President Josiah Bartlet: So, how's my pulse?
Morris Tolliver: Have you been running up and down the stairs at the Rose Bowl in the past few minutes?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
Morris Tolliver: Then it's not that good.

President Josiah Bartlet: What is that?
Morris Tolliver: It's a flu shot.
President Josiah Bartlet: I don't need a flu shot.
Morris Tolliver: You do need a flu shot.
President Josiah Bartlet: How do I know this isn't the start of a military coup?
Morris Tolliver: Sir...
President Josiah Bartlet: I want the Secret Service in here right away.
Morris Tolliver: In the event of a military coup, sir, what makes you think the Secret Service is going to be on your side?
President Josiah Bartlet: [pause] Now that's a thought that's going to fester.

President Josiah Bartlet: Jokes like that are part of my folksy charm, Morris. It's at the very heart of my popularity.
Morris Tolliver: Don't you have a job approval rating of like 3% or something?
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, we're having some difficulty getting the word out.

President Josiah Bartlet: It's not like I'm totally without experience, you know.
Morris Tolliver: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: You're talking to a former governor. I was commander-in-chief of the New Hampshire National Guard.
Morris Tolliver: You guys get into a lot of tough scrapes, did ya?
President Josiah Bartlet: We didn't have to. We'd just stand on the border and stare you down. Then we'd all go for pancakes.

C.J. Cregg: Sir, this may be a good time to talk about your sense of humor.
President Josiah Bartlet: I've got an intelligence briefing, a security briefing and a 90-minute budget meeting all scheduled for the same 45 minutes. Are you sure this is a good time to talk about my sense of humor?
C.J. Cregg: No.
President Josiah Bartlet: Me, neither.

President Josiah Bartlet: Your wife's beautiful, too. How'd you get her to marry you? Did you trick her or something?


"The West Wing: Shibboleth (#2.8)" (2000)
C.J. Cregg: They sent me two turkeys. The more photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children's zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.
President Josiah Bartlet: If the Oscars were like that, I'd watch.

President Josiah Bartlet: There was a while there I waned to be a chemistry professor.
Leo McGarry: What happened?
President Josiah Bartlet: I never actually studied chemistry.
Leo McGarry: A lot of these college chemistry departments are really demanding that way.

Josh Lyman: Excuse me, Mr. President, what are you going to ask the Chinese refugee?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm going to ask him to say "Shibboleth."

Jhin Wei: ...faith is the true shibboleth.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yes, it is. And you, sir, just said the magic word in more ways than one.

Josh Lyman: [Josh and Sam enter the oval office] You've heard?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: About the Chinese refugees?
Josh Lyman: They escaped.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I know, can you believe it?
Josh Lyman: No. As a matter of fact neither one of us can believe it, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: That detention center was being guarded by the 22nd Division of the California National Guard. Now what does it say about our reserve army?
Sam Seaborn: That 83 men, women, and children, who haven't eaten in two months, staged a prison break?

Charlie Young: Okay, Mr. President. I say this with all possible respect, but each of these knives cuts, you know, meat. Why is it important?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: 'Cause it is something we pass on. It's something with a history, so we can say, "My father gave this to me, and his father gave it to him, and now I'm giving it to you."
Charlie Young: Well, OK, sir. But if that's true then why don't you already have one?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I do have one.
Charlie Young: Why do you need a new one?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm giving mine away.
Charlie Young: To who?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Whom.
Charlie Young: To whom?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Funny you should ask.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [Reaches into his desk and takes out a case]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Charlie, my father gave this to me, and his father gave it to him, and now I'm giving it to you.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [Hands Charlie the box]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Take a look.
Charlie Young: [Opens the box]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: The fully tapered bolster allows for sharpening the entire edge of the blade.
Charlie Young: It says "PR" I thought I knew them all but I don't recognize the manufacturer.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: This was made for my family by a Boston silversmith named Paul Revere. I'm proud of you, Charlie.
Charlie Young: [overwhelmed] Thank you, sir.

Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Mr. President.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: We're all set.
President Josiah Bartlet: What am I doing?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Pardoning a turkey.
President Josiah Bartlet: Okay.


"The West Wing: The White House Pro-Am (#1.17)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, you put me in a bit of a spot there, Abigail. I name Ron Erlich now, which I was going to do anyway, and it makes it look like I'm taking instructions from my wife!
Abbey Bartlet: Still it was wrong!
President Josiah Bartlet: Are you talking about you or me?
Abbey Bartlet: I'm talking about you. I'm talking about you sending people to me, and I'll tell you what else I'm talking about. I'm talking about you waiting a day to name a new Fed Chair, because thirty years ago the new Fed Chair was my boyfriend for six months.
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm talking about sending me messages through the press, and staking out agendas on morning shows. We are not going to be these people, Abbey. I'm not gonna do it! I'll walk up to the Hill right now, and I will give the Speaker of the House my resignation.
Abbey Bartlet: The House isn't in session.
President Josiah Bartlet: You want to see me get on the phone and put it in session?
Abbey Bartlet: Don't raise your voice to me.
President Josiah Bartlet: It was nine months, Abbey, not six months. And I waited a day on Skippy, because the Fed Chair is a fairly important position, and I wanted to make damn sure my decision was right.
Abbey Bartlet: You already made your decision!
President Josiah Bartlet: How the hell do you know?
Abbey Bartlet: You just said so. "I name Ron Erlich now, which I was gonna do anyway, it looks like I'm taking instructions... from... my... wife!"
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes.
Abbey Bartlet: Yes.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes.

Abbey Bartlet: Okay. So just ease up on the high ground.
President Josiah Bartlet: On that point I concede the high ground.
Abbey Bartlet: And I concede I was wrong about the thing.
President Josiah Bartlet: Good.
Abbey Bartlet: However...
President Josiah Bartlet: No. No "however". Just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it.

Leo McGarry: You know, sometimes, I don't even know what you're talking about.
President Josiah Bartlet: Sometimes I'm just making it up.

Danny Concannon: Also, I'd get in trouble with the First Lady.
President Josiah Bartlet: Welcome to the club, Danny... we had some jackets made.

President Josiah Bartlet: Leo, the intelligence briefings...
Leo McGarry: I know.
President Josiah Bartlet: There are mornings I'm just nodding my head, and that can't be good for anybody.

President Josiah Bartlet: But try to find out who those friends of my wife's are in the wire piece, then take 'em out back and have 'en shot. Can I do that?
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, Leo says I can do that.

[the President and Zoey discuss her college courses]
President Josiah Bartlet: On the other hand, I would definitely put my shoulder into "Intro to Cinema". "Intro to Cinema" is what got me where I am today.
Zoey Bartlet: Did you call me over to make fun of me?
President Josiah Bartlet: That was going to be a big part of my day.


"The West Wing: Celestial Navigation (#1.15)" (2000)
Josh Lyman: Uh, long story short - you're going to be reading a bit today about your secret plan to fight inflation.
President Josiah Bartlet: I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh Lyman: No.
President Josiah Bartlet: Why am I going to be reading that I do?
Josh Lyman: It was suggested in the press room that you did.
President Josiah Bartlet: By who?
Josh Lyman: By me.
President Josiah Bartlet: You told the press I have a secret plan to fight inflation?
Josh Lyman: No, I did not. Let me be absolutely clear I did not do that. Except yes, I did that.
President Josiah Bartlet: Josh, I'm a little confused.
Josh Lyman: Sir, there was this idiotic round robin. It was sarcastic! There's no way they didn't know that. They were just mad at me for imposing discipline and calling them stupid.

Josh Lyman: First, I'm happy to tell you that the incident involving Secretary O'Leary and Congressman Wooden has been dispensed with... though not really, and I'll get to that at the end. Sam asked C.J. to move the briefing to two o'clock so that we could fold in the teachers. C.J. had emergency root canal surgery at noon and so was unable to brief.
President Josiah Bartlet: Who did?
Josh Lyman: I did.
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh, God.

President Josiah Bartlet: Okay, before we go on - C.J., if blood is gushing from the head wound you just received from a stampeding herd of bison, you'll do the press briefing.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Yes sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm tired, I'm cranky, and my wife's in Argentina. Let's get this over with.

Danny Concannon: I'm sorry, Mr. President. You didn't answer the question.
President Josiah Bartlet: I was hoping you weren't going to notice that, Danny.

Josh Lyman: We decided to move the press briefing to 2 to cover the teachers. But C.J. had emergency Root Canal at noon and was unable to do the briefing.
President Josiah Bartlet: Who did the briefing?
Josh Lyman: I did.
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh, God.


"The West Wing: What Kind of Day Has It Been (#1.22)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: You're not going to spoil my good time for me.
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, sir, I think we both know from experience that's not true.

President Josiah Bartlet: "We hold these truths to be self-evident," they said, "that all men are created equal." Strange as it may seem, that was the first time in history that anyone had ever bothered to write that down. Decisions are made by those who show up.

President Josiah Bartlet: Phil, if it ends up Fitzwallace has to call this kid's parents, I swear to God I'm invading Baghdad.

President Josiah Bartlet: Now, I am an educated man, Charlie, but when somebody tries to explain Cricket to me, all I want to do is hit him in the head with a teapot.

[President Bartlet walks through the halls talking with Charlie and occasionally wishing "Good morning" to various White House employees]
President Josiah Bartlet: Listen, have I gotten any of the names right so far?
Charlie Young: No sir, but you came damn close on a couple of them.

President Josiah Bartlet: You come to the end of a long day, you sit back, you open a beer, you watch a sporting event; that's what men do.
Charlie Young: They watch girls' softball?
President Josiah Bartlet: When that's what's on, that's what they watch. It's that, or a cricket match between Scotland and Bermuda. Now, I'm an educated man, Charlie, but when someone tries to explain cricket to me, all I wanna do is hit him in the head with a teapot.


"The West Wing: Dead Irish Writers (#3.16)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Look, obviously we knew that this was going to be a thing, but it doesn't have to be tonight, right?
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: No, absolutely not. I shall take it up with Gerald.
Abbey Bartlet: Who's Gerald?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm pretty sure he means Leo.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Hmm. Oh, do you have a new Chief of Staff?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: No.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Well, then Gerald it is!

[Canadian National Anthem is playing with two Canadian flags raised in front of the party]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [yells] What the hell is going on?
Abbey Bartlet: Shh.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I was gone for 45 minutes. They were all Americans when I left.
Donna Moss: I know exactly how you feel, Mr. President.

Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: [Lord Marbury is drunk] Abigail, may I grasp your breasts?
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm standing right here!
Abbey Bartlet: You may kiss my cheek.

[British Ambassador Lord John Marbury joins the President and First Lady at her birthday gala celebration]
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Abigail!
President Josiah Bartlet: Now it's a party.
Abbey Bartlet: Oh. Yes, your lordship.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Your breasts are magnificent.
Abbey Bartlet: Oh. Um... thank you, John.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: May I inquire, Mr. President - the first thing that attracted you to Abigail - was it her magnificent breasts?
Abbey Bartlet: It was.
President Josiah Bartlet: You know John, there are places in the world where it might be considered rude to talk about the physical attributes of another man's wife.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: My god. Really?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Can you leave me alone? I'm trying to be a husband and your mojo is getting all over me.

Leo McGarry: What's gonna happen?
President Josiah Bartlet: They're gonna suspend her license for a year.
Leo McGarry: We just talked for a little bit.
President Josiah Bartlet: And?
Leo McGarry: I don't think you need to be concerned about her leaving you for me.
President Josiah Bartlet: I was pretty concerned about that.
Leo McGarry: She's definitely leaving you for somebody, so don't be so...
President Josiah Bartlet: Can you leave me alone? I'm trying to be a husband, and your mojo's getting all over me.


"The West Wing: Pilot (#1.1)" (1999)
John Van Dyke: If our children can buy pornography on any street corner for five dollars, isn't that too high a price to pay for free speech?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
John Van Dyke: Really?
President Josiah Bartlet: On the other hand, I think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for pornography.

[President Bartlet's first line]
President Josiah Bartlet: "I am the Lord your God, thou shalt worship no other god before me." Boy, those were the days, huh?

President Josiah Bartlet: Mrs. Landingham, what's next?

President Josiah Bartlet: With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And those that didn't die want a better life. And they want it here. Talk about impressive. My point is this: break's over.

John Van Dyke: The First Commandment says "Honor thy father."
Toby Ziegler: No it doesn't.
Josh Lyman: Toby...
Toby Ziegler: It doesn't!
Josh Lyman: Listen...
Toby Ziegler: No! If I'm going to make you sit through this preposterous exercise, we're going to get the names of the damn commandments right.
Mary Marsh: Okay. Here we go.
Toby Ziegler: "Honor thy father" is the Third Commandment.
John Van Dyke: Then what's the First Commandment?
President Josiah Bartlet: "I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt worship no other god before me." Boy, those were the days, huh?

President Josiah Bartlet: May I have some coffee, Mr. Louis? Al, how many times have I asked you to denounce the practices of a fringe group that calls itself the Lambs of God?
Rev. Al Caldwell: Sir, that's not up to me.
President Josiah Bartlet: Crap! It is up to you, Al. You know, my wife Abby, she never wants me to do anything when I'm upset.
[takes coffee]
President Josiah Bartlet: Thank you, Mr. Louis. Twenty-eight years ago, I came home from a very bad day at the statehouse, I tell Abby I'm going out for a drive. I get in the station wagon, put it in reverse, and pulled out of the garage full speed. Except, I forgot to open the garage door! Abby told me not to drive while I was upset, and she was right. She was right yesterday when she told me not to get on that damned bicycle while I was upset, but I did it anyway. And I guess I was just about as angry as I've ever been in my life. Seems my granddaughter Annie had given an interview to one of those teen magazines, and somewhere between movie stars and make-up tips, she talked about her feelings on a woman's right to choose. Now Annie, all of twelve, has always had a good head on her shoulders, and I like it when she uses it. So I couldn't understand it when her mother called me in tears yesterday. I said "Elizabeth, what's wrong?" She said "It's Annie." Now, I love my family, and I've read my Bible from cover to cover, so I want you to tell me, from what part of Holy Scripture do you suppose the Lambs of God drew their divine inspiration when they sent my twelve-year-old granddaughter a Raggedy Anne Doll with a knife stuck through its throat?
[Faces Al Caldwell]
President Josiah Bartlet: You'll denounce these people, Al, you'll do it publicly, and until you do, you can all get your fat asses out of my White House. C.J., show these people out.
Mary Marsh: I believe we can find the door.
President Josiah Bartlet: Find it now.


"The West Wing: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (#1.19)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Is Toby on his way?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: C.J.?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Why aren't they here right now?
Charlie Young: They didn't know that it was raining, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Nothing like surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest, Charlie.

President Josiah Bartlet: We've heard it all before, Leo. You drive me to the political safe ground. It's not true.
Leo McGarry: I know it's not true.
President Josiah Bartlet: Good.
Leo McGarry: You drive me there.
President Josiah Bartlet: What the hell did you say?
Leo McGarry: We're stuck in neutral because that's where you tell me to stay.

Leo McGarry: Say it out loud. Say it to me.
President Josiah Bartlet: This is more important than re-election. I want to speak now.
Leo McGarry: Now we're in business.

President Josiah Bartlet: Can we get this god-forsaken event over with so I can get back to presiding over a civilization gone to hell in a hand cart?
Mrs. Landingham: Nice talk for a president.
President Josiah Bartlet: Leave me alone.
Mrs. Landingham: You know what this is, don't you, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: What what is?
Mrs. Landingham: Your mood, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Nothing wrong with my mood.
Mrs. Landingham: It's your diet.
President Josiah Bartlet: Will you get off me with that?
Mrs. Landingham: You don't get enough roughage in your diet. You know I'm right about that.
President Josiah Bartlet: I know I'd like to beat you senseless with a head of cabbage. I know that for damn sure.

[Prior to the president's speech at the American Association of Trout Fishermen convention]
Leo McGarry: Are you going to concentrate on this now, or is your head going to be on changing the nature of democracy?
President Josiah Bartlet: No, I'm definitely going to be thinking about the trout fishermen, Leo, 'cause that's where my focus should be.

President Josiah Bartlet: You didn't know it was raining?
Toby Ziegler: To our credit, sir, we knew it was raining once it started to rain.


"The West Wing: Galileo (#2.9)" (2000)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yes, God forbid that while talking to 60,000 public school students the President should appear smart.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: That's fine. Just don't show off.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I don't show off. Stevie, 4th grader, P.S. 31 Manhattan, asks, "What is the temperature on Mars?" Well Stevie, if one of our expert panelists were here, they would tell you the average temperature ranges from 15 degrees to minus 140.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: That happens to be wrong. It ranges from 60 to minus 225.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I converted it to Celsius in my head.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Where's Sam?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: He's inside hiding from Mallory.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Why is he hiding from Mallory?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Do you really wanna know?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Not at all.

President Josiah Bartlet: [to the Russian ambassador] Your paranoia was a lot sexier back when you guys were communists, Nadia.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'll give you a thousand dollars if you don't make me go.
[to the Reykjavik Symphony concert of modern classical music]
Leo McGarry: Think of the whales.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Do they vote?

Charlie Young: Modern music is cool.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Modern music sucks. Anything written after 1860 sucks.
Charlie Young: Samuel Barber's Symphony Number Two.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Sucks.
Charlie Young: Stravinsky, Variations on a Theme.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Sucks.
Charlie Young: Schoenberg, Light and Life for String Orchestra.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Totally blows.
Charlie Young: After intermission, they'll be performing the world premiere of a piece...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Played on teapots and gefilte fish.

Charlie Young: Modern music is cool.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Modern music sucks. Anything written after 1860 sucks.
Charlie Young: Samuel Barber's Symphony No. 2.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Sucks.
Charlie Young: Stravinsky, Variations on a Theme.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Sucks.
Charlie Young: Shoenberg, Light and Life for String Orchestra.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Totally blows.
Charlie Young: After intermission, they'll be performing the world premiere of a piece...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Played on teapots and gefilte fish.


"The West Wing: The Indians in the Lobby (#3.8)" (2001)
[On neighborhood watch cell phone funding]
President Josiah Bartlet: There's nothing wrong with this policy. It's just too small. I could fund this initiative out of my pocket.
Toby Ziegler: It's $10 million.
President Josiah Bartlet: Leo could fund it out of his pocket.

[the President is asking the Butterball hotline how to cook stuffing]
President Josiah Bartlet: If I cook it inside the turkey, is there a chance I could kill my guests? I'm not saying that's necessarily a deal-breaker.

[the President is pretending to be Joe Bethersontin from Fargo, and trying to find the best way to cook stuffing]
Butterball Hotline: Do you have an accurate thermometer?
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh, yeah. It was presented to me as a gift from the personal sous chef to the king of... auto sales in...
Toby Ziegler: Fargo.
President Josiah Bartlet: Fargo. Phil Baharnd. The man can sell a car like, well, like anything.
Butterball Hotline: Very good, sir. You have a good Thanksgiving.
President Josiah Bartlet: And you do too. Thanks a lot.

President Josiah Bartlet: You know that line you're not supposed to cross with the President?
C.J. Cregg: I'm coming up on it?
President Josiah Bartlet: No, no. Look behind you

Leo McGarry: You gave Rene a firm talking-to.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, and while he didn't deserve it, he will someday soon.


"The West Wing: Posse Comitatus (#3.22)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Why did you leave the White House?
Deborah Fiderer: Well, Mr. President, if you wanna talk about getting screwed with your pants on...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Charlie!
Deborah Fiderer: ...I guess I... I got pretty... pretty well doinked.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [Charlie has brought an obviously high woman to interview with the President] Is this a joke? If it's a joke, it's both funny and well-executed. But I think you and I both know that it's not.

President Josiah Bartlet: [to Governor Richie] In the future, if you're wondering: "Crime. Boy, I don't know," is when I decided to kick your ass.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: The things we choose to care about.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Let me ask you something. Is there a crime, which if it wasn't illegal, you'd do?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I'd park anywhere I wanted to.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Right, but you wouldn't rob a bank?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: No.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Connecticut had a law prohibiting the use of contraceptives. It was written out of rage against adultery. But in the age of AIDS, don't Connecticut residents do more for the general welfare by flagrantly breaking the law?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: There was a law against... contraceptives?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yeah.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: Can I ask, sir, how somebody used to get caught?


"The West Wing: The Portland Trip (#2.7)" (2000)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: The Assistant Energy Secretary is flying to Portland in the middle of the night so he can meet with me on Air Force One on the way back?
Charlie Young: Yes sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: The day-to-day experience of my life has changed in many ways since taking this job.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: A long flight across the night. You know why late flights are good? Because we cease to be earthbound and burdened with practicality. Ask the impertinent question. Talk about the idea that nobody has thought about yet. Put it a different way...
Sam Seaborn: Be poets.

Charlie Young: Mr. President, if this was an idea, somebody would've had it already.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I find fault with that formula.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: If I'm gonna sign it in January, why am I vetoing it now?
Josh Lyman: A symbolic gesture to the gay community.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm sure the gay community can't wait to thank me.
Leo McGarry: Mr. President...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: This is just wrong.
Josh Lyman: Yeah...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You can look at the polling numbers and Article Four and Social Security benefits, it doesn't matter - it's just wrong. We shouldn't be defining love, and we certainly shouldn't be ill-defining it.

Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: For a sidebar on the game tomorrow: Why'd you go to Notre Dame?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Why not?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Bearing in mind I'm just repeating someone else's question. You were accepted at Harvard, Yale, and Williams; why'd you go to Notre Dame?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: 'Cause I was thinking about becoming a priest.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Really?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yeah.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: What happened?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I met Abbey.


"The West Wing: Inauguration: Part 1 (#4.14)" (2003)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I can't remember your name, but are you asking me out on a date?

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Why is a Kundunese life worth less to me than an American life?
Will Bailey: I don't know, sir, but it is.

Archbishop Zake Kintaka: Patrick, you may pray all you wish, but thousands upon thousands of African children will die unless the U.S. intervenes. Tens of thousands of Kundunese children and their parents slaughtered.
Cardinal: Well, I don't control the armed forces Zake.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: No he was talking to me, Your Eminence. Your Excellency, I got a very sketchy intelligence report on the violence in the capital about an hour ago.
Archbishop Zake Kintaka: The violence isn't limited to Batang sir, it has spread to the countryside.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I didn't know that.
Archbishop Zake Kintaka: May I ask you something, sir, with all due respect.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Yes.
Archbishop Zake Kintaka: If mass genocide had broken out in a small European country, would your intelligence briefing this morning have been quite so "sketchy"?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: No.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Some of which have my name on them. So tell Jeff Tomlison and Baby Bob to take a deep knee bend, would you? I'm just as big a cotton candy ass as they are.
Josh Lyman: Yes, sir.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: You're just going to let that hang in the air?
Josh Lyman: Of course not, sir. You're a much bigger cotton candy ass than they are.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Damn right.


"The West Wing: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics (#1.21)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Toby, are you in here sticking up for Sam?
Toby Ziegler: I know it's strange, sir. But I'm feeling a... a certain... big brotherly connection right now. You know, obviously, I'd like that feeling to go away as soon as possible, but for the moment I think there's no danger in the White House standing by Sam and aggressively going after the people who set him up.

President Josiah Bartlet: We agree on nothing, Max.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Education, guns, drugs, school prayer, gays, defense spending, taxes - you name it, we disagree.
Senator Lobell: You know why?
President Josiah Bartlet: Because I'm a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir. And I'm a gun-toting, redneck son-of-a-bitch.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, you are.
Senator Lobell: We agree on that.

President Josiah Bartlet: Let me just tell you that I need a favor.
Ted Mitchell: Oh, of course, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: I need you to hire a guy.
Ted Mitchell: Who, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: The former ambassador to Bulgaria.
Ted Mitchell: Who is that, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: Ken Cochran.
Ted Mitchell: Well, isn't Ken Cochran the current ambassador to Bulgaria?
President Josiah Bartlet: Not for long. Look, he's a good man, a smart man. I think he'd make a very good corporate officer.
Ted Mitchell: Why is he being fired, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: Gross incompetence. I'll be right back.

Ambassador Ken Cochran: I think it would be appropriate at this time, Mr. President, to make a confession.
President Josiah Bartlet: What's that?
Ambassador Ken Cochran: I never voted for you.
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, thanks for trying, but here I am, anyway. Gotta go.


"The West Wing: Ellie (#2.15)" (2001)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [to Ellie] The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at the end of the day.

President Josiah Bartlet: You know, we're coming up to the good part.
Ellie Bartlet: Dad, people are trying to watch the movie.
President Josiah Bartlet: You want to bet me your tuition no one in this room is going to shush me?

President Josiah Bartlet: Charlie, would you arrange for my middle daughter to come see me at her earliest possible convenience?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Ah, screw her convenience. Get her ass down here.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Retaliatory tariffs on steel imports are a disaster. Anyone wants to check my math they're more than welcome to. Anybody wants to shove the Golden Gate Bridge up Japan's ass they're more than welcome to do that too.


"The West Wing: Swiss Diplomacy (#4.9)" (2002)
President Josiah Bartlet: You going to campaign on prescription drugs?
Sam Seaborn: Our prescription drug bill - yes, sir - and our Medicare reforms and the Bartlet Energy Plan.
President Josiah Bartlet: Sam...
Sam Seaborn: Yes Sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: It's okay to run away from me when you need to.
Sam Seaborn: I would never, Mr. President. I simply would never do that. That's not how I'm getting votes.
President Josiah Bartlet: I appreciate that, but that's not what I'm talking about. You disagreed with me on Medicare. I remember the meeting right here. Then you wrote a five page memo. Run towards yourself. I'm wrong about that. Walk. You're not going to be used to your surroundings.
Sam Seaborn: Yes Sir
President Josiah Bartlet: If you lose, you lose. But if you waste this, I'll kill you. I'll just kill you, Sam.

Charlie Young: More thank-you notes?
President Josiah Bartlet: You know what? Why don't you tell Debbie we're gonna do some calls.
Charlie Young: Calls?
President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, calls. "Calls". Mr. Sarcasm with your dry "calls". I was this close to renaming one of the oceans after you, but no way. Maybe, maybe one of the species of fish. Like trout. Trout is now Charlie. Went out to the lake, pulled out a couple of nice Charlie for dinner.
Charlie Young: Anything else, s...
President Josiah Bartlet: [cutting him off] Look at the size of that Charlie you've got mounted on your wall.
Charlie Young: Thank you sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: That's just greedy. Real power is knowing when to leave a little something on the table.

President Josiah Bartlet: Have her beheaded for my birthday.


"The West Wing: Bad Moon Rising (#2.19)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: You're scared of Babish.
President Josiah Bartlet: Oh, like you're not.
President Josiah Bartlet: [later] He looks down his nose at me 'cause I'm not a lawyer.
Leo McGarry: Yes.
President Josiah Bartlet: I didn't go to law school. I got a PhD in economics instead.
Leo McGarry: Your parents were very proud.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, and all that happened was I won a Nobel Prize and got elected President so I guess that decision didn't really pay off.
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
President Josiah Bartlet: Should I run back and get my Nobel Prize?
Leo McGarry: I think he knows you've got one.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm confident in your loyalty to me; I'm confident in your love for me. If you lie to protect me, if you lie just once, if you lie just a little, if you lie 'cause you can't stand what's happening to me and the people making it happen, if you ever, ever lie, you're finished with me. You understand?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Say you understand.
Charlie Young: I understand, sir.

Oliver Babish: If I stay, will you do exactly what I tell you to do?
President Josiah Bartlet: I guess it depends.
Oliver Babish: I'm afraid it can't depend, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: [pauses and thinks] What would my first step be?
Oliver Babish: First tell your staff.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah.
Oliver Babish: Then, decide how to make a public announcement.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah.
Oliver Babish: Then, order the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor. Not just any special prosecutor, the most blood-spitting, Bartlet-hating Republican in the Bar. He's gonna have an unlimited budget and a staff like an army. The new slogan around here is gonna be "Bring it on!" He's gonna have access to every piece of paper you ever touched. If you invoke executive privilege one time, I'm gone. An assistant D.A in Ducksworth wants to take your deposition, you're on the next plane. A freshman Congressman wants your testimony, you'll sit in his kitchen. They wanna drag you to The Hague and charge you with war crimes, what'll we say?
President Josiah Bartlet: Bring it on.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm going to tell you a story and I want you to tell me if I've engaged 16 people in a conspiracy to defraud the public in order to win a Presidential election.
White House Counsel Oliver Babish: [Looks down at his broken dictaphone, picks up his gavel and destroys it] Okay.


"The West Wing: Tomorrow (#7.22)" (2006)
[last lines]
Abbey Bartlet: What are you thinking about?
President Josiah Bartlet: Tomorrow.

President Josiah Bartlet: Make me proud, Mr. President.
President Matthew Santos: I'll do my best, Mr. President.

Deborah Fiderer: Good morning, Mr. President.
President Josiah Bartlet: Morning.
Deborah Fiderer: How do you feel this morning?
President Josiah Bartlet: Unemployed.
Deborah Fiderer: A lot of that going around the building.

President Josiah Bartlet: [On the Series finale, President Bartlett says goodbye to his staff on his final day in office] Nancy, How's your mother doing?
Nancy: She's fine now, Mr.President.
President Josiah Bartlet: Tell her I'm looking forward to seeing her again soon. Will you Please?
[the actors are father and daughter in real life]


"The West Wing: The Women of Qumar (#3.9)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm a master of modern history. You can ask me anything.
Charlie Young: What year did we pass the Clean Water Act?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I don't know.

President Josiah Bartlet: Did the Celtics win last night?
Charlie Young: No - they got crushed.
President Josiah Bartlet: Okay. When I say, "Did they win?" you can just say "yes" or "no".
Charlie Young: They got pretty well crushed.

President Josiah Bartlet: You know, after the Civil War, veterans had to come to D.C. to get their pensions? They had to visit the office personally. They waited for a clerk to look through all the Civil War records until their papers were found. You know what the papers were bound with?
Toby Ziegler: No.
President Josiah Bartlet: Red tape. That's where it comes from.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You know, Charlie, history cannot be reduced down to names and dates on a piece of paper.
Charlie Young: Yeah, but I'm pretty sure this final can.


"The West Wing: In Excelsis Deo (#1.10)" (1999)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [Toby has just arranged for an honor guard at the funeral of a homeless vet] Toby, If we start pulling strings like this don't you think every homeless veteran will come out of the woodwork?
Toby Ziegler: I can only hope so, sir.

Josh Lyman: Where are you going?
President Josiah Bartlet: To a place called "Rare books." You know what they sell?
Josh Lyman: Fishing tackle?

President Josiah Bartlet: You know, Zoey is starting Georgetown in two weeks. I was thinking about getting this for her - "The Nature of Things, a Didascalic Poem" translated from the Latin of Titus Lucretius Carus. What do you think?
Charlie Young: I think she would like that better than a new stereo, sir.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Ooh... The Fables of Phaedrus... 1886... first edition, red leather label, gilt leathering, engraved frontis. Phaedrus, you know, who was a slave, but later granted his freedom by Augustus, wrote his animal fables in iambic verse.
Leo McGarry: Well, nothing says Christmas like animal fables in iambic verse.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: That's what I say.


"The West Wing: Game On (#4.6)" (2002)
Governor Robert Ritchie, R-FL: My view of this is simple: we don't need a Federal Department of Education telling us our children have to learn Esperanto, they have to learn Eskimo poetry. Let the states decide, let the communities decide on health care, on education, on lower taxes, not higher taxes. Now, he's going to throw a big word at you - "unfunded mandate." He's going to say if Washington lets the states do it, it's an unfunded mandate. But what he doesn't like is the federal government losing power. But I call it the ingenuity of the American people.
Moderator: President Bartlet, you have 60 seconds for a question and an answer.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, first of all, let's clear up a couple of things. "Unfunded mandate" is two words, not one big word. There are times when we're fifty states and there are times when we're one country, and have national needs. And the way I know this is that Florida didn't fight Germany in World War II or establish civil rights. You think states should do the governing wall-to-wall. That's a perfectly valid opinion. But your state of Florida got $12.6 billion in federal money last year - from Nebraskans, and Virginians, and New Yorkers, and Alaskans, with their Eskimo poetry. 12.6 out of a state budget of $50 billion. I'm supposed to be using this time for a question, so here it is: Can we have it back, please?

Moderator: Governor Ritchie, many economists have stated that the tax cut, which is the centrepiece of your economic agenda, could actually harm the economy. Is now really the time to cut taxes?
Governor Robert Ritchie, R-FL: You bet it is. We need to cut taxes for one reason - the American people know how to spend their money better than the federal government does.
Moderator: Mr. President, your rebuttal.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: There it is. That's the ten word answer my staff's been looking for for two weeks. There it is. Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They're the tip of the sword. Here's my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it? Give me ten after that, I'll drop out of the race right now. Every once in a while... every once in a while, there's a day with an absolute right and an absolute wrong, but those days almost always include body counts. Other than that, there aren't very many unnuanced moments in leading a country that's way too big for ten words. I'm the President of the United States, not the President of the people who agree with me. And by the way, if the left has a problem with that, they should vote for somebody else.

Governor Robert Ritchie, R-FL: [after the debate] It's over.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You'll be back.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: My daughters are here?
Abbey Bartlet: Are you kidding? Ellie's wearing makeup.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, I don't approve of that.
Abbey Bartlet: You understand she's 27, right?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I don't approve of that, either.


"The West Wing: 20 Hours in America: Part I (#4.1)" (2002)
President Josiah Bartlet: More than any time in recent history, America's destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedom and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people's strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive. 44 people were killed a couple of hours ago at Kennison State University. Three swimmers from the men's team were killed and two others are in critical condition. When, after having heard the explosion from their practice facility, they ran into the fire to help get people out. Ran *in* to the fire. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars. God bless their memory, God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

President Josiah Bartlet: I didn't know you were superstitious.
Charlie Young: I'm not. Plus, there are tribes in South America who don't think a photograph's a good idea to begin with.
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah...
Charlie Young: You ever see any pictures on my desk?
President Josiah Bartlet: No.
Charlie Young: You ever wonder why?
President Josiah Bartlet: Charlie, just out of curiosity, in your mind, how much time do I spend thinking about your desk?
Charlie Young: Fair point, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: How long have we been talking about this now?
Charlie Young: A couple of minutes...
President Josiah Bartlet: OK, let's not tell anybody that.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm going to find out anyway. What I lack in memory, I more than make up for with exceptional powers of deductive reasoning.

President Josiah Bartlet: My powers of deduction are not to be mocked.


"The West Wing: Debate Camp (#4.5)" (2002)
President Josiah Bartlet: [practicing for a debate] I don't support racial profiling.
Sam Seaborn: [playing the part of a debate challenger] Your nominee for Attorney General did. Can you tell us why you nominated him?
President Josiah Bartlet: Why?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
President Josiah Bartlet: 'Cause bite me, that's why.
C.J. Cregg: It's a legitimate question.
President Josiah Bartlet: It's been almost four years, Sam. How long do you want to say "I told you so?"
Josh Lyman: He wasn't saying "I told you so," sir. We need an answer on Rooker.
President Josiah Bartlet: What's wrong with "Bite me"?
Josh Lyman: I think we'd lose.
Toby Ziegler: Not in New Jersey.

President Josiah Bartlet: I agreed to be locked up with you people for forty-eight hours. How much time do I have left?
Leo McGarry: Forty-seven hours, forty-one minutes.

President Josiah Bartlet: [to Leo] Honey, if we're going to have this fight, can we not do it front of the Joint Chiefs? It just scares the Hell out of them.

President Josiah Bartlet: Apparently, eight Israeli Thunder fighters - these are also known as American-made Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles - have hit two terrorist bases in the north and south of Qumar, and while no Qumari government personnel or institutions were destroyed, Qumar, of course, considers an attack on its soil to be an act of war. So we are, as always, one bad bottle of tequila away from all-out war in West Asia.
[pauses, turns to Sam]
President Josiah Bartlet: Would you like to get this one, or shall I?
Sam Seaborn: Why don't you get this one, and I'll get... the next one.
President Josiah Bartlet: Okay.


"The West Wing: The California 47th (#4.16)" (2003)
Deborah Fiderer: Mr. President?
President Josiah Bartlet: Mrs. Hottentot?
Deborah Fiderer: Toby and Charlie...
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, where are they?
Deborah Fiderer: They're being held.
President Josiah Bartlet: What do you mean?
Deborah Fiderer: Toby and Charlie are under arrest. There was an incident at a bar.
President Josiah Bartlet: They're under arrest?
Deborah Fiderer: Yes sir
President Josiah Bartlet: Did they rob the bar?
Deborah Fiderer: No, sir. A patron was jostling Congresswoman Wyatt and Toby tried to get him to step back, and the man slipped on the floor. And then the man's friend lunged for Toby.
President Josiah Bartlet: Uh-huh. And what did Charlie do?
Deborah Fiderer: He hit him.
Josh Lyman: Sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Toby and Charlie were arrested in a bar fight.
Josh Lyman: Yes, sir, it's not going to be a problem. C.J.'s taking care of it.
President Josiah Bartlet: Really?
Josh Lyman: It's going to be a little bit of a problem.
President Josiah Bartlet: Everytime we come to Southern California we are absolutely the Clampetts.

President Josiah Bartlet: [on phone] Leo, tell those pouncy little hairdressers I'm gonna shove a loaf of bread up their ass...
Sam Seaborn: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States!

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm not an economist, but no, wait, I AM an economist. So, their plan will do what, C.J.?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Explode the...
President Josiah Bartlet: [cutting her off] Explode the deficit. Will it stimulate the economy, Josh?
Josh Lyman: It'll stimulate the Swiss economy.
President Josiah Bartlet: Josh gets extra points for being funny and right at the same time.

President Josiah Bartlet: I skipped breakfast. Anyone want coffee?


"The West Wing: Commencement (#4.22)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Yeah, listen, I don't think this is going to come as a galloping shock to anyone here, but last May, I ordered a Special Ops Unit to kill Abdul Shareef, and that's what they did, and we made it look like what got reported.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, here's my question: These guys look pretty young to me, and I'm looking for something very specific with this detail. This is a father-daughter situation, and so, I think what I'm looking for in terms of protection would best be characterized as... well, overwhelming force.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [to Wesley] Before I forget: if something comes up, and you're faced with the choice of killing the boyfriend or not killing the boyfriend... kill the boyfriend.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Look at you! There is no way you have three adult children.
Abbey Bartlet: You like the suit.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I do, but the neck... eh, it seems empty to me. Attention should be drawn to it.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [whips out a jewelery box]
Abbey Bartlet: Ohhhh...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Nice job with the, you know, raising of the kid.


"The West Wing: In This White House (#2.4)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Hey, did you see Sam get pureed last night on Capital Beat?
Leo McGarry: I didn't see it, but I have heard tell.
President Josiah Bartlet: He got diced and sliced by a woman named Ainsley Hayes.

President Josiah Bartlet: Leo, hard as you might try, the Republican party isn't going anywhere.
Leo McGarry: We don't know that for sure, sir. They could all end up moving to Vancouver.
President Josiah Bartlet: I don't think so.
Leo McGarry: Me neither, but being in power means everybody else can take a seat for four years.

[about Ainsley Hayes]
President Josiah Bartlet: We should hire her.
Leo McGarry: That'd be funny.
President Josiah Bartlet: No, I mean it.
Leo McGarry: Mean what?
President Josiah Bartlet: We should hire her.
Leo McGarry: Well, you mean as a joke on Sam?
President Josiah Bartlet: No, not as a joke, I mean we should hire her as a reality. We should hire her.
Leo McGarry: She's a Republican.
President Josiah Bartlet: So are half of the people in this country.
Leo McGarry: Well, that half lost.

President Josiah Bartlet: When they close the book on me and you, it will say that at this moment you were not there for me. And for that, obviously, there will be some kind of punishment.
Charlie Young: Well, you could sing Puccini for me again, Mr. President. We'll call it even.


"The West Wing: Stirred (#3.18)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Can I tell you what's messed up about James Bond?
Charlie Young: Nothing.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: If only technology could invent some way to get in touch with you in an emergency. Some sort of telephonic device with a personalized number we could call to let you know that we needed you. Perhaps it would look something
[Bartlet grabs Leo's pager from its belt case]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: like *this*, Mr. Moto!

Donna Moss: [Donna is on the phone with her former high school teacher who is retiring] I just wanted to say... I don't know, I just... I just wanted to say... I don't know
Mrs. Morello: Are you sure everything's alright?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Tell her where you are.
Donna Moss: Mrs. Morello, I'm in the Oval Office with the President of the United States and it's because of you.


"The West Wing: Manchester: Part 2 (#3.3)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: There's a new book, and we're gonna write it. You can win if you run a smart, disciplined campaign. If you studiously say nothing - nothing that causes you trouble, nothing that's a gaffe, nothing that shows you might think the wrong thing, nothing that shows you think. But it just isn't worthy of us, is it Toby?
Toby Ziegler: No, sir.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: But I am not satisfied. Indeed, Leo, I am close to taking my own life with a wheat thresher
Leo McGarry: Bruno.
Bruno Gianelli: Yeah, uh, listen up. I-I've been thinking. It might not be such a bad idea to lock you all in here and set the place on fire. We have forty-eight hours before we kick off this campaign. We will all work Hard, we will all work well, and we will all work together, or, so help me, Mother of God, I will stick a pitchfork so far up your asses, you will quite simply be dead.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: And so, with pride and purpose, I hereby announce my candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Did you know that hardly any of the guys who landed on the moon are married to the same people they were married to before they went there?
Abbey Bartlet: What?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm just saying that it could be worse. I could have been an astronaut.
Abbey Bartlet: You could not have been an astronaut.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'd have been a great astronaut!
Abbey Bartlet: You're afraid of heights, speed, fire and small places!
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'd have overcome it to go to the moon.
Abbey Bartlet: I know you would have.
[pauses]
Abbey Bartlet: There's something important I have to say.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Say it.
Abbey Bartlet: I haven't really made up my mind yet, but at the moment, I'm leaning towards voting for you.


"The West Wing: Five Votes Down (#1.4)" (1999)
President Josiah Bartlet: [after changing Toby's speech without telling him] I looked to the side at one point, you know, I half expected to see you coming at me with a salad fork.
Toby Ziegler: Well, but for the Secret Service agents restraining me, sir...
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah. Thank God for the Secret Service.
Toby Ziegler: [under his breath] Oh, bless their hearts.

President Josiah Bartlet: You know what Toby?
Toby Ziegler: Sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: You're what my mother calls a pain in the ass.
Toby Ziegler: Well, that's what my mother calls it, too, sir.

[to an affectionate couple as he passes them in a hallway]
President Josiah Bartlet: Hey there, fella. She deserves a nice room and some supper.


"The West Wing: Two Cathedrals (#2.22)" (2001)
President Josiah Bartlet: You're a son of a bitch, You know that? She bought her first new car and You hit her with a drunk driver. What? Was that supposed to be funny? "You can't conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God," says Graham Greene. I don't know whose ass he was kissing there, 'cause I think You're just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman - a warning shot? That was my son. What did I ever do to Yours but praise His glory and praise His Name? There's a tropical storm that's gaining speed and power. They say we haven't had a storm this bad since You took out that tender ship of mine in the North Atlantic last year. Sixty-eight crew. You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. It doesn't even carry guns. It just goes around, fixes the other ships and delivers the mail. That's all it can do. Gratias tibi ago, Domine. Yes, I lied. It was a sin. I've committed many sins. Have I displeased You, You feckless thug? 3.8 million new jobs, that wasn't good?
[scoffs]
President Josiah Bartlet: Bailed out Mexico. Increased foreign trade. Thirty million new acres of land for conservation. Put Mendoza on the bench. We're not fighting a war. I've raised three children. That's not enough to buy me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a Deo pio, a Deo iusto, a Deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem. Trus in terra servus, nuntius fui, officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem.
President Josiah Bartlet: [deliberately lights a cigarette and grinds it out on the Cathedral floor] You get Hoynes.

President Josiah Bartlet: Yes... Sandy.
Reporter Sandy: Mr. President, can you tell us right now if you'll be seeking a second term?
President Josiah Bartlet: I'm sorry, Sandy, there was a bit of noise there. Could you repeat the question?
Reporter Sandy: Can you tell us right now if you'll be seeking a second term?
[Bartlet puts his hands in his pockets, looks to the side then looks back at the pool of reporters]
Leo McGarry: Watch this...

Dolores Landingham: You don't know how to use the intercom.
President Josiah Bartlet: It's not that I don't know how to use it. It's just that I haven't learned yet.


"The West Wing: The Wedding (#7.9)" (2005)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [Deborah has told the President he only has 15 minutes] DEBBIE!
Deborah Fiderer: 38 seconds. Not bad commander.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I'm going to need the Russian Ambassador, the Chinese Ambassador, and my wife. Probably not in that order.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Just tell me you decided to marry her before you got her pregnant.
Vic Faison - Ellie's Fiancé: Eleven months, two weeks, and three days.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Excuse me?
Vic Faison - Ellie's Fiancé: That's when I decided to marry her. A year ago, on our third date.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: What was the matter with the first two?

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [Bartlet slams his fist on the desk and stands] Damn it, Lian, will you shut up already!
[the translator says nothing, indicating that Lian is silent as well]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Is your daughter married?
Translator: Excuse me, Mr. President?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Your daughter, the one I met when we were in Beijing, is she married?
Translator: Yes. She was married two years ago, last spring.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Then you will understand me when I tell you that my daughter's wedding is this afternoon and that she has been waiting for 46 minutes for me to give her away because I can't put down this damned phone until you tell me that you're not going to start World War III today! Now, for the love of God, Lian, will you give me just one half hour so I can go and walk my little girl down the aisle?
Translator: [There is silence for a moment or two. Then we hear Lian speak] Mr. President, we can continue this discussion in one hour.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: And your troops will hold their position until then?
Translator: Yes, Mr. President.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Thank you, Lian.
[He hangs up. Debbie gets his jacket and helps him put it on]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: You've got one hour.


"The West Wing: 20 Hours in L.A. (#1.16)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: [talking about Josh] And don't you ever slap Josh Lyman around again. That guy is the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. He's not one of your associate producers.
Ted Marcus: You're right.
President Josiah Bartlet: Don't screw around with me now, Ted. I'm really not in the mood.
Ted Marcus: I mean it. You're right.

[Leo is exasperated that the President is pushing himself too hard]
Leo McGarry: Be that way.
President Josiah Bartlet: Your impersonation of my mother is getting sharper and sharper, you know that?

President Josiah Bartlet: This is a debate that is obviously going to continue in town halls and city halls and state legislatures and the US House of Representatives. There is a population of this country that seems to focus a great deal of time and energy on this conversation, so much so that I am moved to ask this question: Is there an epidemic of flag-burning going on that I'm not aware of?


"The West Wing: Election Day: Part 2 (#7.17)" (2006)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [President Bartlet is on the phone with his wife when CJ walks in crying] When?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Just a few minutes ago. Donna just called me.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [He walks over to hug her] Thank you, CJ.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Mr. President.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [He picks the phone back up] Sweetheart, I'm sorry. I have some very bad news.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: It's odd, really, watching yourself being replaced on national television. Planned obsolescence. Presidents and mid sized family sedans.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Yes, sir. Would you have run again if you could sir?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I think Mrs. Bartlet would have had something to say about that, don't you?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Well the electorate can be very persuasive when they want something badly enough.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: In the service of two mistresses these last eight years has been my fate. Thank God for the 22nd Amendment, I'm spared that particular conversation with Abbey.

Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: [CJ has just woken up President Bartlet] You wanted me to wake you when we had a result.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Do we have a winner?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: [smiling] Yes, Sir. We do.


"The West Wing: Process Stories (#4.8)" (2002)
Abbey Bartlet: Hon, is this, like, nerd hot talk?
President Josiah Bartlet: Who's your Commander-in-Chief?
Abbey Bartlet: You are.

Sam Seaborn: You might be asked first thing tomorrow if you're endorsing me.
President Josiah Bartlet: Am I?
Sam Seaborn: Well, I'm not really running.
President Josiah Bartlet: Then I'm behind you 100%.

President Josiah Bartlet: Eyes front, mister.


"The West Wing: Night Five (#3.14)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm saying it's not stress. I was feeling stressed five nights ago too, and I slept just fine.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: So what happened four nights ago?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I want my money back.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: [pauses] This is a very unusual conversation.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I get that a lot.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I'd imagine.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: So, what do you charge?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: $375 an hour.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: For $375 an hour, you ought to bring your own damn lingerie.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I do.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: There's a great story about Arthur Miller. Death of a Salesman had just opened on Broadway the night before, and he was walking around his old neighborhood in Brooklyn, and he sees a hot dog vendor that he went to high school with, and he says, 'Hey Jimmy, it's me, Arthur Miller'. And the hot dog vendor says, 'Artie, how you doing? What you been up to?' And Miller says, 'I'm, you know, I'm a playwright'. The hot dog vendor says, 'Hmm, play writing... I should've gone into that'.
[chuckles]
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: $375 an hour.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: Yes, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: For what?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I don't really know.

Dr. Stanley Keyworth: It can't be easy being you
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I told you...
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I don't mean the job. I meant, you know, being inside your head.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: What's wrong with my head?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: I don't know.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Of course not, that would be $385 an hour.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: They keep moving the goalposts on you, don't they? Get A's, good college, Latin honours. Get into the London School of Economics. Get a good teaching job. Ivy League school, tenure. Now you gotta publish, now you gotta go to Stockholm.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: It's not good for a person to keep setting goals?
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: It probably is, but it's tricky for somebody who's still trying to get his father to stop hitting him.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, I'm told that most men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Dr. Stanley Keyworth: Yeah, but that's most men. That's not you. That's the other people, the ones who feel stress. You're destined for something else.


"The West Wing: The Lame Duck Congress (#2.6)" (2000)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Charlie!
Charlie Young: Yes, sir?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Could I have a couple of aspirin, or a weapon of some kind to kill people with?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I hear things. I don't understand most of it, but I hear it.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You know, we forget sometimes. In all the talk about democracy, we forget it's not a democracy. It's a republic. People don't make the decisions. They *choose* the people who make the decisions. Could they do a better job choosing? Yeah, but when you consider the alternatives...


"The West Wing: Twenty Five (#4.23)" (2003)
Glenallen Walken: Now I thought you all had some good ideas. But someone should make it clear to the people in this room that someone is in charge.
President Josiah Bartlet: Glenn, they've been up all night...
Glenallen Walken: You're relieved, Mr. President.
Leo McGarry: [pause] You're relieved, sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: So, what do you know now that you didn't know before?
Toby Ziegler: Babies come with hats.


"The West Wing: Talking Points (#5.19)" (2004)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: There was a man named Canute, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th Century. Wanted his people to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded that the tide roll out. It didn't. Who gave us the notion that Presidents can move the economy like a play-toy? That we can do more than talk it up or smooth over the rough spots? It's a lie. What we really owe that union is the truth.

Josh Lyman: We made a promise.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: There was a man named Canute, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th Century. Wanted his people to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded that the tide roll out. It didn't. Who gave us the notion that Presidents can move the economy like a play-toy? That we can do more than talk it up or smooth over the rough spots? It's a lie. What we really owe that union is the truth.
Josh Lyman: We run around saying free trade creates high-paying jobs.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: And it will. But I've been trying to tell you it's not that simple.
Leo McGarry: I'll set up a call with Bill Parsons.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [to Josh] It'd be nice to roll back that tide, wouldn't it?
Josh Lyman: Yes, Mr. President, it sure would.


"The West Wing: The Stackhouse Filibuster (#2.17)" (2001)
President Josiah Bartlet: I want to call senators. We'll start with our friends. When we're done with those two, we'll go on to the other 98.

President Josiah Bartlet: CJ, let me tell you something, don't ever, ever underestimate the will of a Grandfather. We're madmen, we don't give a damn; we got here before you and they will be here after you. We'll make enemies, we'll break laws, we'll break bones, but you will not mess with the grandchildren!
Leo McGarry: There was quite a bit of sugar in the crème de caramel.


"The West Wing: Gone Quiet (#3.7)" (2001)
Nancy McNally: Mr. President, submariners understand that if they sink it won't be a rescue, it'll be a recovery. They measure risk and rewards not just in terms of their own lives, but in terms of national interest.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Well, that's great. I assess the national interest by the number of people alive, not dead.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Hey, Bruno, can you devise a campaign strategy that involves beating the crap out of Leo?


"The West Wing: Enemies (#1.8)" (1999)
Josh Lyman: You're quite a nerd, Mr. President.
President Josiah Bartlet: Really?
Josh Lyman: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: I assume that was said with all due respect?
Josh Lyman: Yes, sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: [the President is telling an unenthusiastic Josh about National Parks] Shenandoah National Park. Right here in Virginia. We should organize a staff field trip to Shenandoah. I can even act as the guide. What do you think?
Josh Lyman: [audibly but under his breath] Good a place as any to dump your body.
President Josiah Bartlet: What was that?
Josh Lyman: Did I say that out loud?
President Josiah Bartlet: See? And I was going to let you go home.
Josh Lyman: But instead?
President Josiah Bartlet: We're going to talk about Yosemite.


"The West Wing: Bartlet for America (#3.10)" (2001)
Abbie Bartlet: Sam Seaborn's very funny.
President Josiah Bartlet: Which one's he?
Abbie Bartlet: The young one.
President Josiah Bartlet: They're all young.

[the FBI have arrested a member of a group which has been bombing black churches in Tennessee]
President Josiah Bartlet: How'd you get him?
FBI Special Agent Michael Casper: He was pulled over for a bad brake light and he thought it was something else.
President Josiah Bartlet: Two-year investigation gets its first crack from a broken taillight.
FBI Special Agent Michael Casper: In thirteen years with the Bureau, I've discovered that there's no amount of money, manpower or knowledge that can equal the person you're looking for being stupid.
President Josiah Bartlet: God, well... Some of the stupidest criminals in the world are working right here in America. I've always been very proud of that.


"The West Wing: H. Con-172 (#3.11)" (2002)
President Josiah Bartlet: Look, I'm really not going to talk to you about my underwear.
Sam Seaborn: That's... disappointing, Mr. President.

President Josiah Bartlet: I was wrong. I was, I was just... I was wrong. Come on, we know that. Lots of times we don't know what right or wrong is, but lots of times we do, and come on... this is one. I may not have had sinister intent at the outset, but there were plenty of opportunities for me to make it right. No one in government takes responsibility for anything any more. We foster, we obfuscate, we rationalize. "Everybody does it", that's what we say. So we come to occupy a moral safe house where everyone's to blame, so no one's guilty.
[sigh]
President Josiah Bartlet: *I'm to blame.* I was wrong.


"The West Wing: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I (#2.1)" (2000)
[at a Q&A in Nashua, NH; a dairy farmer complained that Bartlett voted against a bill that hurt the farmer's pocketbook "to the tune" of 10 cents a gallon]
President Josiah Bartlet: Yeah, I screwed you on that one.
Questioner #2: I'm sorry?
President Josiah Bartlet: I screwed you. You got hosed.
Questioner #2: Sir, I...
President Josiah Bartlet: And not just you. A lot of my constituents. I put the hammer to farms in Concord, Salem, Laconia, Pelham, Hampton, Hudson. You guys got rogered but good. Today for the first time in history, the largest group of Americans living in poverty are children. 1 in 5 children live in the most abject, dangerous, hopeless, back-breaking, gut-wrenching poverty any of us could imagine. 1 in 5, and they're children. If fidelity to freedom of democracy is the code of our civic religion then surely the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we shall give our children better than we ourselves received. Let me put it this way: I voted against the bill because I didn't want to make it harder for people to buy milk. I stopped some money from flowing into your pocket. If that angers you, if you resent me, I completely respect that. But if you expect anything different from the President of the United States, you should vote for someone else.

Dr. Whitaker: I need to ask you some questions, Sir. Do you have any medical conditions?
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, I've been shot.


"The West Wing: College Kids (#4.3)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: ...'Joy cometh in the morning,' scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure, all I know for certain, is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world, there'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture, and we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms; there aren't enough teachers in our classrooms. There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well, and we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better, and we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: All this posturing is a preamble to something.


"The West Wing: 17 People (#2.18)" (2001)
Toby Ziegler: No, I don't think you did either, sir. I meant that during a night of extreme chaos and fear, when we didn't yet know if we'd been the victims of domestic or foreign terrorism, or even an act of war, there was uncertainty as to who was giving the national security orders and it was because you never signed a letter. So I'm led to wonder, given your condition and it's lack of predictability, why there isn't simply a signed letter sitting in a file someplace. And the answer, of course, is that if there was a signed letter sitting in a file someplace, somebody would ask why. The Commander-in-Chief had just been attacked, he was under a general anesthetic, a fugitive was at large, the manhunt included every federal, state, and local law enforcement agency. The Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware National Guard units were federalized. The KH-10s showed Republican Guard movement in southern Iraq. And twelve hours earlier, an F-117 was shot down in the no-fly, and the Vice President's authority was murky, at best! The National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State didn't know who they were taking their orders from! I wasn't in the Situation Room that night, but I'll bet all the money in my pockets against all the money in your pockets, that it was Leo, WHO NO ONE ELECTED. For ninety minutes that night there was a coup d'etat in this country.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: And the walls came tumbling down.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [having divulged his medical condition to Toby] Are you pissed because I didn't tell you, or are you pissed because fifteen people knew before you did?


"The West Wing: Arctic Radar (#4.10)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: Now, please, don't leap into it. Don't...
[Bartlett answers the phone]
President Josiah Bartlet: There are BIG SIGNS. You CAN'T park there. They *should* get towed. I hope they get towed to Queens, and the Triboro is closed, and there's a big craft show at Shea, a flea market or a tractor show.
[Bartlett hangs up]
Charlie Young: Well, that was probably his secretary.
President Josiah Bartlet: Damn it.
Charlie Young: You can bet she'll be parking in a garage though.

President Josiah Bartlet: I don't know what's worse: being stupid, or pretending to be stupid.


"The West Wing: The Leadership Breakfast (#2.11)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Who was the idiot who set off the smoke alarm last night?
Josh Lyman: Well, it sounds a lot like you're talking about Sam, Mr. President.
Sam Seaborn: Were you inconvenienced, sir?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: They had me on the Truman balcony for 6 minutes in my underwear.
Sam Seaborn: Was it cold?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: In January? No. Why do you ask?

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Donna wants me to call Karen Cahill and make it clear she wasn't hitting on her when she gave her her underwear.
Leo McGarry: Yeah. That's 'cause I made fun of her shoes and then Sam said there were nuclear weapons in Kyrgyzstan and Donna went to clear up the mix-up and accidentally left her underwear.


"The West Wing: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part II (#2.2)" (2000)
President Josiah Bartlet: Tonight, what began at the Commons in Concord, Massachusetts as an alliance of farmers and workers, of cobblers and tinsmiths, of statesmen and students, of mothers and wives, of men and boys, lives two centuries later as America! My name is Josiah Bartlet, and I accept your nomination for the Presidency of the United States!

Josh Lyman: [Josh's father has died] At least his friends and neighbors will be spared the all the, you know...
President Josiah Bartlet: He'd have been doing some bragging right now?
Josh Lyman: Yeah. Your name wouldn't have come up, by the way. "My son won the Illinois primary."


"The West Wing: The Benign Prerogative (#5.11)" (2004)
Josh Lyman: If you wanna throw light on how minimums and guidelines conspire to produce disproportionate punishments...
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: ... and worse: leave judges impotent! Our judicial system is predicated on an individual's right to a fair trial. But how individual is that process, if a 258 box grid seales your fate before you ever step foot in front of a judge, a FEDERAL judge, that my office has invested considerable effort in selecting, who is then constrained from exercising basic common sense, while twenty-nine year old prosecutors, who make their bones on their win-loss record hold the only discretion in the whole system?

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [trying to pick a necktie] Which one of these screams "dominance?"
Abbey Bartlet: Do I get to wear it afterwards?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: No comment.


"The West Wing: Privateers (#4.18)" (2003)
Abbey Bartlet: So we're for freedom of speech everywhere but poor countries, where they can have our help, but only if they live up to Clancy Bangert's moral standards? What the hell kind of free world are you running?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I really don't know, Abbey. The day hasn't started yet.

President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: German thinker Max Weber said that politics is the "slow boring of hard boards and that anyone who seeks to do it must risk his own soul". You know what that means?
Abbey Bartlet: I like how you think that patronizing me is going to make me feel better. It's sweet.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: It means that change comes in excruciating increments for those who want it. You're trying to move mountains. It takes lifetimes. But Zoey Bartlet is the newest Daughter of the American Revolution so I like our chances for the long run.


"The West Wing: Abu el Banat (#5.9)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You know, 15 years ago, we took a trip to Egypt, all five of us, saw the pyramids and Luxor, then headed up into the Sinai. We had a guide, a Bedouin man, who called me "Abu el Banat." Whenever we'd meet another Bedouin, he'd introduce me as "Abu el Banat." The Bedouin would laugh and laugh and then offer me a cup of tea. And I'd go and pay them for the tea, and they wouldn't let me. "Abu el Banat" means "father of daughters." They thought the tea was the least they could do.

President Josiah Bartlet: I'm not dwelling. I think it's fine. I think we should all spend Christmas at Liz's in-laws.
Abbey Bartlet: We're invited.
President Josiah Bartlet: Never again. I still have flashbacks


"The West Wing: Things Fall Apart (#6.21)" (2005)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Werner Von Braun's autobiography was titled 'I Aim for the Stars.' Mort Sahl joked, he should have added 'Only Sometimes I Hit London'.

President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [speaking about the Democratic convention] We need someone strong enough to organize the damn thing.
Leo McGarry: [resignedly] Wonder who we can get?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: If it helps, it gives me no pleasure dumping this damn thing on you.
Leo McGarry: There's the pleasure of not having to do it yourself.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Which is not inconsiderable.


"The West Wing: Here Today (#7.5)" (2005)
President Josiah Bartlet: Toby...
Toby Ziegler: Yes, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: When you walk out of here, there'll be people out there, perhaps a great many, who'll think of you as a hero. I just don't for a moment want you thinking I'll be one of them.

President Josiah Bartlet: Toby? Is it possible to be astonished and, at the same time, not surprised?


"The West Wing: War Crimes (#3.6)" (2001)
Abbey Bartlet: I'm going to the Residence. I'm taking a bath. I'm turning on Sinatra.
President Josiah Bartlet: How does Mrs. Sinatra feel about that?

Vice President John Hoynes: You know, last month in Idaho, a man killed 6 members of his family, including his pregnant wife. And you know why the liberal intelligensia didn't go crazy? Because he did it with an axe. You think we need axe control?
President Josiah Bartlet: Well, that is an excellent point. I never saw it that way.
Vice President John Hoynes: I'm playing devil's advocate.
President Josiah Bartlet: [sarcastically] Tighter axe control.


"The West Wing: The Short List (#1.9)" (1999)
President Josiah Bartlet: This is huge. Which one of you is the man?
Toby Ziegler: On this one, we'd like to think of ourselves collectively as the men, sir.

President Josiah Bartlet: You know, I imagine the view from your largely unscrutinized place in history must be very different from mine. But I'd remind you, sir, that I have the following things to negotiate: an opposition Congress, special interests with power beyond belief, and a bitchy media.


"The West Wing: Evidence of Things Not Seen (#4.20)" (2003)
President Josiah Bartlet: [after the white house has been fired on] Will, how many fingers am I holding up?
Will Bailey: Who's Will, sir?

Leo McGarry: We weren't spying on Russia. We were spying *for* Russia.
President Josiah Bartlet: We were spying *for* him?
Leo McGarry: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Okay. This phone call you're going to set up with Chigorin - it's, like, for a White House bloopers reel or something?


"The West Wing: Take This Sabbath Day (#1.14)" (2000)
Josephine "Joey" Lucas: I want to speak to the President!
Josh Lyman: Hey, lunatic lady, trust me when I tell you there is absolutely no way that you are going to see the president.
President Josiah Bartlet: [the President walks through the door] Hey, Josh.
Josh Lyman: Hello, Mr. President. Welcome back.
President Josiah Bartlet: How are you?
Josh Lyman: Well, I'd like this day to be over pretty bad.

President Josiah Bartlet: Charlie, I'm going to ask you a question. And this is one of those times that it's OK to tell me I've stepped over the line, and I should shut my mouth, okay?
Charlie Young: Okay.
President Josiah Bartlet: What happened to the guy who shot your mother?
Charlie Young: They haven't found him yet, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: If they did, would you want to see him executed? Killing a police officer is a capital crime. I figured you must have thought about it.
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: And?
Charlie Young: I wouldn't want to see him executed, Mr. President.
[pause]
Charlie Young: I'd want to do it myself.


"The West Wing: Memorial Day (#5.22)" (2004)
Charlie Young: [telling the President that he has to practice throwing a baseball with a bullet proof vest on before throwing the first pitch out at a baseball game] Sir, everyone agrees.
President Josiah Bartlet: Like who?
Charlie Young: Leo, Josh, CJ, your wife, the Notre Dame athletic department...


"The West Wing: Take Out the Trash Day (#1.13)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: He's been a good friend to me.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: In good times, Leo. It's not hard to like a guy when he's doing well. The measure of a man is how does he behave when things are otherwise?


"The West Wing: Enemies Foreign and Domestic (#3.19)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You're going to get secret service protection, but I can't order it unless you sign this piece of paper; so sign this piece of paper.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Sir, can I ask why you feel it's necessary?
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Because Ron says it is; and around here we do whatever Ron says.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: [C.J. continues to object to Secret Service protection, and President Bartlet interrupts] I don't care. I don't care. You're part of my family and this thing is happening and I simply won't permit it. Sign the piece of paper. Let me tell you something: The last time a member of my staff got a death threat, they missed him and hit me.


"The West Wing: Hartsfield's Landing (#3.15)" (2002)
Sam Seaborn: I don't know how you do it.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: You have a lot of help. You listen to everybody and then you call the play.
[beat]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Sam, you're going to run for President one day. Don't be scared. You can do it. I believe in you.
[moves chess piece]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: That's checkmate.


"The West Wing: Guns Not Butter (#4.12)" (2003)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [to Josh] You know what the difference is between you and me? I want to be the guy. You want to be the guy the guy counts on.


"The West Wing: Bartlet's Third State of the Union (#2.13)" (2001)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [upon meeting Ainsley for the first time in her office, there is loud music playing]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: What's up?
Ainsley Hayes: [wearing a robe, throws her drink across the room]
Ainsley Hayes: Oh, Mr. President!
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I never even knew we had a night club down here.
Ainsley Hayes: Oh, my gosh!
Sam Seaborn: Mr. President, I don't believe you have met Ainsley Hayes.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Yeah Ainsley, I wanted to say hello, and to mention, you know, uh, a lot of people assumed you were hired because you were a blonde Republican sex kitten, and well they're obviously wrong. Keep up the good work.
Ainsley Hayes: Yes, sir.
Sam Seaborn: [after Bartlet leaves] That could have been worse.
[sees she's on the verge of tears]
Sam Seaborn: No. Prob'ly not.


"The West Wing: The Stormy Present (#5.10)" (2004)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: When we were elected, I really thought we were going to own the place, do it differently, better. Now I realize the men on this plane are the only others who have been there before, who really know.


"The West Wing: Constituency of One (#5.5)" (2003)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: She
[Abby Bartlet]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: has to be here to want things... and you don't have to be here at all!


"The West Wing: Ways and Means (#3.4)" (2001)
Sam Seaborn: So, listen, there's a fire in Yellowstone Park.
Josh Lyman: Well, put it out.
Sam Seaborn: Technically, I'm not a professional firefighter, though there was a time I wanted to be.
Josh Lyman: When?
Sam Seaborn: When I was four.
Josh Lyman: When I was four, I wanted to be a ballerina.
Sam Seaborn: Yeah?
Josh Lyman: I don't like to talk about it.
Sam Seaborn: Ballerina?
Josh Lyman: I'd kinda like that not to get around.
Sam Seaborn: Yeah. No chance of that.
President Josiah Bartlet: [Later, that same day] Josh?
Josh Lyman: Yes, sir?
President Josiah Bartlet: A ballerina?
Josh Lyman: Yeah, I didn't... I didn't know what it was at the time. I liked the word.
President Josiah Bartlet: We'll go with that for now.


"The West Wing: The Dogs of War (#5.2)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.'"
Leo McGarry: Dr. King.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: I'm part of that darkness now, Leo. When did that happen?
Leo McGarry: Dr. King wasn't wrong. He just didn't have your job.


"The West Wing: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (#2.16)" (2001)
President Josiah Bartlet: What plaid-flannel-wearing cheese-eating yahoo of a milkman governor signed that idiot bill into state law?
Charlie Young: [looks uncomfortable and doesn't answer]
President Josiah Bartlet: It was me, wasn't it?
Charlie Young: Yes, sir.


"The West Wing: On the Day Before (#3.5)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You know what we're starting with tonight?
Josh Lyman: No, sir.
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Hot pumpkin soup with cheese gnocchi and a chèvre brioche.
Josh Lyman: Was anything you just said food?


"The West Wing: Han (#5.4)" (2003)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: There's a Korean word, Han. I looked it up. There is no literal English translation, it's a state of mind, of soul really. A sadness. A sadness so deep no tears will come, and yet still, there's hope.


"The West Wing: 2162 Votes (#6.22)" (2005)
President Josiah Bartlet: [addressing the DNC] Thank you, its been an honor to serve you the past eight years. And now it gives me a great pleasure to introduce to you the leaders of our party and the next President and Vice President of these United States, Matthew Vincente Santos and Leo Thomas McGarry.


"The West Wing: Third-Day Story (#6.3)" (2004)
[last lines]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: C.J., I need you to do something for me.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: What's that?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Jump off a cliff. We'll talk about it on the ride back.


"The West Wing: The Cold (#7.13)" (2006)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Gentlemen
[Santos, Vinick]
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: , let's talk about what we're talking about. You're worried that I'm going to announce I'm deploying 150,000 American soldiers three weeks before the election and suddenly your race is about my war.


"The West Wing: 7A WF 83429 (#5.1)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: You work for the President. He's going to need you down there.
Charlie Young: I work for you, sir. Someone else can show him where the Xerox paper is.


"The West Wing: The West Wing: Isaac and Ishmael (#3.1)" (2001)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: We don't need martyrs right now. We need heroes. A hero would die for his country, but he'd much rather live for it.


"The West Wing: 20 Hours in America: Part II (#4.2)" (2002)
Josiah Bartlet: The happy fun group.
Leo McGarry: We have reason to believe that in the next 48 hours the Qumari rescue team will announce that they've recovered a military-issue Israeli-made parachute.
Josiah Bartlet: They're just allowed to make things up now?
Nancy McNally: As long as we won't step up and say it was us, they do.
Josiah Bartlet: They know it was us, right?
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
Josiah Bartlet: Is that what you think we should do?
Nancy McNally: Me?
Josiah Bartlet: Yeah.
Nancy McNally: No, I don't. I am, however, beginning to lean towards reducing our nuclear arsenal one at a time if you know what I mean, sir.
Josiah Bartlet: What about you?
Percy Fitzwallace: Well, I'm with Dr. Strangelove on keeping our military secrets secret.


"The West Wing: N.S.F. Thurmont (#6.1)" (2004)
Leo McGarry: Mr President, please; Congress, the Joint Chiefs, the American Public, your own staff, everyone disagrees with your assessment of the situation.
President Josiah Bartlet: Killing Palestinians isn't going to make us feel safer. They'll kill more of us and we'll have to kill more of them. It's Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun.
Leo McGarry: We can't allow terrorists to murder our citizens without...
President Josiah Bartlet: -Why would Palestinians murder American government officials? They never have before. They're deliberately provoking us, Leo. They know that we have to retaliate. They've studied us, they want us to overreact.
Leo McGarry: This isn't overreacting, this is the appropriate, balanced...
President Josiah Bartlet: [shouting] Tell me how this ends, Leo! You want me to start something that may have serious repercussions on American foreign policy for decades, but you don't know how this ends!
Leo McGarry: [shouting] We don't always know how it ends!
[pause]
Leo McGarry: The Lincoln will be in position in a few hours, and then you're going to have to give the go ahead for the bombings.
President Josiah Bartlet: Or what?


"The West Wing: The Red Mass (#4.4)" (2002)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Mike, pick yourself out a daughter. My oldest is married, but I can have it annulled. The Pope said he'd do it, I swear to God.


"The West Wing: A Proportional Response (#1.3)" (1999)
[the President wants a disproportionate response to an American plane being shot down]
Leo McGarry: And do you think ratcheting up the body count is going to act as a deterrent?
President Josiah Bartlet: You're damn right I do.
Leo McGarry: Oh, well then you're just as stupid as these guys who think that capital punishment is going to be a deterrent for drug kingpins. As if drug kingpins didn't live their day-to-day lives under the possibility of execution. And their executions are a lot less dainty than ours, and tend to take place without the bother and expense of due process. So, my friend, if you want to start using American military strength as the arm of the Lord, you can do that. We're the only superpower left. You can conquer the world, like Charlemagne. But you'd better be prepared to kill everyone. And you had better start with me because I will raise up an army against you and *I* will beat you.


"The West Wing: Mr. Willis of Ohio (#1.6)" (1999)
[the President's daughter chafes at her Secret Service protection]
President Josiah Bartlet: My getting killed would be bad enough, but that is not the nightmare scenario. The nightmare scenario, sweetheart, is *you* getting kidnapped. You go out to a bar or a party in some club and you get up to go to the restroom and somebody comes from behind and puts their hand across your mouth and whisks you out the back door. You're so petrified you don't even notice the bodies of a few Secret Service agents lying on the ground with bullet holes in their heads. Then you're whisked away in a car. It's a big party with lots of noise and lots of people coming and going, and it's a half hour before someone says, "Hey, where's Zoey?" Another fifteen minutes before the first phone call. It's another hour and a half before anyone even *thinks* to shut down all the airports. Now we're off to the races. You're tied to a chair in a cargo shack somewhere in the middle of Uganda and I am told that I have 72 hours to get Israel to free 460 terrorist prisoners. So I'm on the phone pleading with Be Yabin and he's saying: "I'm sorry, Mr. President, but Israel simply does not negotiate with terrorists, period. It's the only way we can survive." So now we got a new problem because this country no longer has a Commander-in-chief, it has a father who's out of his mind because his little girl is in a shack somewhere in Uganda with a gun to her head. Do you get it?
Zoey Bartlet: Yes.


"The West Wing: Separation of Powers (#5.7)" (2003)
[last lines; Haffley is asking for a three percent cut in the federal budget]
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: There is no next, sir. I mean, not to get too technical, but this government runs out of money at midnight, and my guys have gone home. This is it.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: No.
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: There is no altering this offer, Mr. President.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [standing up] And I said "no".
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: Let's be clear, sir. We cannot... We *will* not vote to keep on footing the bill. You will be held responsible for shutting down the federal government.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Then shut it down.


"The West Wing: Noël (#2.10)" (2000)
Charlie Young: Christmas cards.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: How many am I sending out?
Charlie Young: One million, one hundred and ten thousand.
[... ]
Charlie Young: There are about a thousand names on the First Family's list, then there are about a hundred thousand campaign workers and contributors.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Who are the other million?
Charlie Young: You send a Christmas card to everyone who writes a letter to the White House.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I do?
Charlie Young: Yes sir. And somewhere around a million people wrote you letters this year.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Okay, but some of those were death threats.
Charlie Young: They've weeded those out.


"The West Wing: Impact Winter (#6.9)" (2004)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: I'm in one meeting the whole day. All they did was feed me tea made with Tienchi Ginseng and deer horn glue. You see, it's the thing for the nerve damage. But that meant I had to piss every twelve minutes, which is more of an ordeal than it was when I could stand without assistance. The new kid, Curtis, and I are becoming very close.


"The West Wing: The Supremes (#5.17)" (2004)
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Thanks for coming in.
Justice Christopher Mulready: It's an honor, Sir.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [gesturing for Mulready to have a seat] Please. I understand you and Judge Lang had a bit of a knock down, drag out.
Justice Christopher Mulready: She wants to federalize law enforcement. I thought it was hasty.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Not your brand of judge.
Justice Christopher Mulready: Quite the opposite. I have not had that much fun in months.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [surprised] Really?
Justice Christopher Mulready: Use her if you can. I'm not sure what all this is about. I suppose a number of people are placated by a glimpse of someone like her, or someone like me in these halls. I'm most certainly here for that. But if there is any way that you can use her...
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: It's unlikely.
Justice Christopher Mulready: Who's at the top of the list?
[sees Bartlets hesitation]
Justice Christopher Mulready: If I leaked it, would they believe me?
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Brad Shelton.
Justice Christopher Mulready: [hesitant] Really.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: You don't like him?
Justice Christopher Mulready: He's a fine jurist. And in the event that Carmine, Lafayette, Hoyt, Clark, and Brannagan all dropped dead, the middle would still be well tended.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [Chuckling] You want another Brady.
Justice Christopher Mulready: Sure. Just like you'd like another Ashland, who wouldn't? The court was at it's best when Brady was fighting Ashland.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Plenty of good law written by the voices of moderation.
Justice Christopher Mulready: Who writes the extraordinary dissent? The one man minority decision whose time hasn't come but 20 years later, some circuit court clerk digs it up at 3 in the morning. Brennan rallying against censorship, Harlains jeremiad on Jim Crow.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [half serious] Maybe you someday.
Justice Christopher Mulready: [mildly dismissive] Hm. They can't put me on The Court. Just like you can't put Evelyn Lang on The Court. It's Sheltons from here on in.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: There are 4000 protesters outside this building, worried about who is going to land in that seat. We can't afford to alienate all of them.
Justice Christopher Mulready: We all have our roles to play, Sir. Yours is to nominate someone who doesn't alienate people.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [convinced]


"The West Wing: Shutdown (#5.8)" (2003)
President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet: Well, I'm not going to negotiate with anyone who holds a gun to my head. We had a deal. I don't care if my approval ratings drop into single digits. I am the President of the United States, and I will leave the government shut down until we come to an equitable agreement.


"The West Wing: Manchester: Part 1 (#3.2)" (2001)
Abbey Bartlet: You missed it. It was incredible.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Look...
Abbey Bartlet: It was all over the news.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Abbey...
Abbey Bartlet: This crazy man got in front of millions of people and totally screwed his wife.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: That's funny, 'cause that's sort of what I did.