Leo McGarry
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Quotes for
Leo McGarry (Character)
from "The West Wing" (1999)

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"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.

Ainsley Hayes: Yes, sir. I've been thinking about that ever since your office called me on Tuesday, and I have something to say on my own behalf, if you'll permit me a moment to say it, and I understand if you won't, but I would really appreciate it if you did.
Leo McGarry: I... didn't really follow that, but whatever.
Ainsley Hayes: I think that it is wrong for a man in your position to summon someone to the White House to reprimand them for voicing opposition. I think that that is wrong, and it is inappropriate. It's inappropriate, and I'll tell you what else.
Leo McGarry: It's wrong?
Ainsley Hayes: Yes.

Leo McGarry: You have an interesting conversational style, do you know that?
Ainsley Hayes: It's a nervous condition.
Leo McGarry: I used to have a nervous condition.
Ainsley Hayes: How did yours manifest itself?
Leo McGarry: I drank a lot of scotch.
Ainsley Hayes: I get sick when I drink too much.
Leo McGarry: I get drunk when I drink too much.

Leo McGarry: Yeah, Ainsley, even if you hadn't already told me all of this - you know, many, many times - I would know it anyway, 'cause I have this FBI file.
Ainsley Hayes: You have my FBI file?
Leo McGarry: Yes.
Ainsley Hayes: I can't believe that! You have my FBI file?
Leo McGarry: Yes.
Ainsley Hayes: I *have* an FBI file?

Ainsley Hayes: I find this administration smug and patronizing, and under the impression that those who disagree with them are less than they are, and with colder hearts.
Leo McGarry: I don't think that's true.
Ainsley Hayes: How many people on your staff assumed that I was ambitious, mean, and stupid?
Leo McGarry: None... C.J. Cregg thinks you kill your pets. You don't do that, do you?
Ainsley Hayes: No, I don't kill my pets. I don't have any pets. I was thinking about getting a pet, but - that doesn't matter. The point is...

Leo McGarry: Ainsley.
Ainsley Hayes: Yes, sir?
Leo McGarry: Don't you want to work in the White House?
Ainsley Hayes: Oh, only since I was two.

Leo McGarry: [Leo is trying to convince Ainsley Hayes to work for President Bartlet, who has requested that she be hired, but she is reluctant] The President likes smart people who disagree with him. He wants to hear from you.

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.

Ainsley Hayes: I'll ask again: for what purpose was I brought here today?
Leo McGarry: So I could offer you a job.
Ainsley Hayes: I'm asking because I do not think that it is fair that I be expected to play the role of the mouse to the White House's cat in the game of... you know the game?
Leo McGarry: Cat and mouse?
Ainsley Hayes: Yes. And it's not like I'm not, you know. The fact that I may not look like some of the other Republicans who have crossed your path does not mean that I'm any less inclined toward...
Leo McGarry: Here it comes.
Ainsley Hayes: Did you say offer me a job?

[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.

Ainsley Hayes: [about Margaret] She seems like a very good secretary.
Leo McGarry: Well, she'll be happy to hear that. She's standing right outside the door.
Margaret Hooper: [Leo hits the closed door] Ow.


"The West Wing: Pilot (#1.1)" (1999)
Agent #1: It's a nice morning, Mr. McGarry.
Leo McGarry: We'll take care of that in a hurry, won't we, Mike?
Agent #1: Yes sir.

Leo McGarry: He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham, your president's a geek.

[after the President is injured in a bike accident]
Mrs. Landingham: Oh, Mr. McGarry, have they done an X-ray?
Leo McGarry: Yup.
Mrs. Landingham: Is anything broken?
Leo McGarry: A four-thousand-dollar "Lynex Titanium" touring bike that I swore I'd never lend anyone.

Leo McGarry: Luther, ballpark, one year from today, where's the Dow?
Economist #1: Tremendous. Up a thousand.
Leo McGarry: Fred, one year from today?
Economist #2: Not good. Down a thousand.
Leo McGarry: A year from today at least one of you's gonna look pretty stupid.

Leo McGarry: [on the phone with the New York Times] 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how...
C.J. Cregg: Leo.
Leo McGarry: They hang up on me every time.

C.J. Cregg: Is there anything I can say other than the President rode his bicycle into a tree?
Leo McGarry: He hopes never to do it again.
C.J. Cregg: Seriously, they're laughing pretty hard.
Leo McGarry: He rode his bicycle into a tree, C.J., what do you want me - the President, while riding his bicycle, came to a sudden arboreal stop.

Leo McGarry: Margaret, please call the editor of the New York Times crossword and tell him that Khaddafi is spelled with an H and two D's and isn't a seven-letter word for anything.

[talking about the President's bike accident]
Donna Moss: And what was the cause of the accident?
Leo McGarry: What are you, from State Farm?

[discussing a large group of Cubans currently floating from Havana to Miami on rafts]
Leo McGarry: How many are there?
Josh Lyman: We don't know.
Leo McGarry: What time exactly did they leave?
Josh Lyman: We don't know.
Leo McGarry: Do we know when they get here?
Josh Lyman: No.
Leo McGarry: True or false: If I were to stand on high ground in Key West with a good pair of binoculars, I'd be as informed as I am right now.
Josh Lyman: That's true.
Leo McGarry: The Intelligence budget's money well spent.

[Leo's first line]
Leo McGarry: 17 across is wrong, it's just wrong. Do you believe that, Ruth?


"The West Wing: The Drop In (#2.12)" (2001)
Dolores Landingham: You're testing that preposterous contraption again.
Leo McGarry: It's not preposterous, it's not a contraption, and mind your own business.
Dolores Landingham: In my day we knew how to protect ourselves.
Leo McGarry: In your day you could pretty much turn back the Indians with a Daniel Boone musket, couldn't you?
Dolores Landingham: Ah, sarcasm - the grumpy man's wit.
Leo McGarry: Sharpen a pencil, would ya?

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.

Donna Moss: Ambassador Marbury was just telling me about how royal men are schooled in the ways of courtship. King George III, for example, sailed his bride up the river Thames to music that was specially composed.
Leo McGarry: Yeah. That was just a few years before we opened up a big can of whoop-ass on him at Yorktown.

Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Your assistant, Margaret, is looking positively buxom.
Leo McGarry: [awkwardly] Thank you. I'll tell her.
Margaret: [from outer office] Thank you!
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: Oh, yes! Well done!

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.

Leo McGarry: Is he still holding you responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire?
Peter Hans: Oh, yes.
Leo McGarry: Welcome to my world.

Leo McGarry: You're an expert in the field, and I hope I can count on your support.
Brit. Ambassador Lord John Marbury: You may hope for it but you'll not have it.


"The West Wing: And It's Surely to Their Credit (#2.5)" (2000)
Ainsley Hayes: [disbelieving] Lionel Tribbey thinks hiring me was a great idea.
Leo McGarry: Why are you surprised?
Ainsley Hayes: Well, because I'm a Republican, and Lionel Tribbey is... incredibly not.

Ainsley Hayes: So you lied to me just then.
Leo McGarry: I'm a politician, Ainsley. Of course I lied to you just then.
Ainsley Hayes: My first day is getting off to a great start.

Leo McGarry: I'll be honest with you. I didn't even know we had offices down here.
Ainsley Hayes: That bodes well for me.
Leo McGarry: I wonder what else we got down here.
Ainsley Hayes: Bats, probably?

Leo McGarry: It's written down here. This is the steam pipe trunk distribution venue.
Ainsley Hayes: I'm working in the steam pipe trunk distribution venue?
Leo McGarry: No, you're working in your office.
Ainsley Hayes: Well... Thank you for the help.
Leo McGarry: Ainsley, don't worry about Sam or Josh and Toby or C.J. or the Democrats on the hill or Republicans on TV. You're here to serve the President. Anyway... welcome to the White House.

Lionel Tribbey: Who is this?
Leo McGarry: This is Ainsley Hayes. She's scared of meeting you, so be nice.
Lionel Tribbey: Ah, the girl who's been writing the columns.
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
Lionel Tribbey: [to Ainsley] You're an idiot.
Ainsley Hayes: Leo...
Leo McGarry: She's not an idiot, Lionel. She clerked for Dreifort.
Lionel Tribbey: Well, Dreifort's an idiot.
Leo McGarry: Dreifort's a Supreme Court Justice, Lionel, so let's speak of him with respect and practice some tolerance for those who disagree with us.
Lionel Tribbey: I believe, as long as Justice Dreifort is intolerant toward gays, lesbians, blacks, unions, women, poor people, and the first, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments, I will remain intolerant toward him.
[grins at Ainsley]
Lionel Tribbey: Nice to meet you.

Leo McGarry: Sam Seaborn had this innocent relationship with a girl - bam. Here comes the enemy. I'm a recovering alcoholic. Bam. Radio, TV, magazines, cameras in front of my house, people shouting at my daughter at the ballgame, editorials, op-eds. "He's a drunk. He's dangerous. He should resign."
Ainsley Hayes: I wrote one of those op-ed pieces.
Leo McGarry: I know.

[Ainsley Hayes is about to meet her new boss, White House counsel Lionel Tribbey]
Leo McGarry: You're going to meet him right now. It's going to be fine...
Ainsley Hayes: It's not going to be fine. He's gonna yell, and scream, I've seen him on TV...
Leo McGarry: Well, that's TV. He's making a full-throated defense of the President. That's what we do. Believe me, in real life, when the cameras are off...
[Lionel Tribbey storms into the office, smacking a cricket bat against the walls with great fury]
Lionel Tribbey: [screaming] Leo! I will kill people today, Leo. I will kill people with this cricket bat, which was given to me by Her Royal Majesty Elizabeth Windsor, and then I will kill them again with my own hands.


"The West Wing: We Killed Yamamoto (#3.21)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: This is always when you say something.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: Nah. nah. Have you changed shampoo? You have, I can tell. 'Cause your hair seems bouncy and more manageable.
Leo McGarry: I like to look good for you.

Leo McGarry: Toby, an encouraging word from you to Sam wouldn't be totally out-of-line.
Toby Ziegler: Sam doesn't need to be patronized. He'll shake it off.
Leo McGarry: It'll make him feel better.
Toby Ziegler: I don't want him feeling better. I want him feeling mad. Is there anyone you'd rather have as a blood enemy less than Sam? That's how I want him.
Leo McGarry: You know, it was a screw-up. But I gotta say, I love the way he did it full-speed, bam. Like there's a Sam Seaborn-shaped hole in the wall.

Leo McGarry: We spent millions of dollars developing a pen for the astronauts that would work in zero gravity. Know what the Russians did?
Toby Ziegler: Used a pencil?
Leo McGarry: They used a pencil.

Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: Can you tell when it's peacetime and wartime anymore?
Leo McGarry: No.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: I don't know who the world's leading expert on warfare is, but any list of the top has got to include me, and I can't tell when it's peacetime and wartime anymore.

Leo McGarry: Josh, is there nothing you can do to tame that woman?


"The West Wing: The Midterms (#2.3)" (2000)
Charlie Young: Zoey and I are going out. I'll be on my pager.
Leo McGarry: You're going out?
Charlie Young: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: Charlie, you're taking extra protection, right?
Charlie Young: [taken aback] Hey, Leo, I...
Leo McGarry: Secret Service protection, Charlie, but thanks for loading me up with that image.
Charlie Young: Yeah, we'll have extra protection.

Leo McGarry: I can't believe I didn't commit that piece of arcane information to memory.

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.

Leo McGarry: We can't afford all the things we want, Sam.


"The West Wing: Inauguration: Part 2 - Over There (#4.15)" (2003)
Leo McGarry: It is so ordered.

Leo McGarry: Ah, that tastes like... nothing at all. It has no taste or properties of any kind.

Leo McGarry: You know what the decision directives say? That diplomats and leaders aren't immune from being targets when they're connected to terrorist activities that threaten the U.S. or its citizens. I don't think it's an unusual directive.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: That it was given hours before Shareef's plane disappeared. Just a reminder: The more I know, the more I can help you. And don't be concerned with my exposure. I'm not your daughter. I'm the White House Press Secretary.

Leo McGarry: A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships were built for.


"The West Wing: In Excelsis Deo (#1.10)" (1999)
Leo McGarry: [Signing Christmas cards] Who the hell is this guy and why do I care if he has a merry Christmas?
Margaret: Just sign the damn thing.

Leo McGarry: You saw Sam's friend?
Sam Seaborn: How did you know?
Leo McGarry: I had you tailed.
Josh Lyman: You had us tailed?
Leo McGarry: Yes.
Sam Seaborn: Why did you have us tailed?
Leo McGarry: On the off chance that you're as stupid as you look.

[signing Christmas cards]
Leo McGarry: Who's Elizabeth?
Margaret: Your sister.

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: Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (#1.19)" (2000)
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.

[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.

Leo McGarry: Listen up - our ground game isn't working. We're gonna put the ball in the air. If we're gonna walk into walls, I want us running into 'em full speed.


"The West Wing: The Lame Duck Congress (#2.6)" (2000)
Sam Seaborn: I'm going to take Ainsley to the Hill with me for the meetings.
Leo McGarry: Good.
Sam Seaborn: She wants me to teach her a couple things.
Leo McGarry: Good.
Sam Seaborn: She called me the master.
Leo McGarry: Get out.
Sam Seaborn: Okay.

Leo McGarry: I'm getting older over here, C.J.

Leo McGarry: Any downside?
C.J. Cregg: I'll feel stupid.
Leo McGarry: I can live with that.

Leo McGarry: Can you keep your people in line?
Josh Lyman: Well, there's been no evidence of it so far.


"The West Wing: Celestial Navigation (#1.15)" (2000)
Josh Lyman: [Leo has to meet with the President in the morning to discuss a series of mishaps involving the staff] Can I say something?
Leo McGarry: What?
Josh Lyman: A lot of this is our fault. And the President probably isn't going to take this very well and we just want you to know that we will be there with you in spirit tomorrow morning.
Leo McGarry: You're gonna be there with me in every way imaginable, Josh.
Josh Lyman: You bet.

Leo McGarry: Mr. President, we experienced a few public relations - what's the word?
Toby Ziegler: Catastrophes.
Leo McGarry: ...incidents, in the few hours you were away last night.

Deborah O'Leary, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development: Leo, If I've got to go and ask Wooden for forgiveness, he's going to lord it over me from now until the end of time.
Leo McGarry: It's the cost of doing business.


"The West Wing: Disaster Relief (#5.6)" (2003)
Leo McGarry: I've got a cap gains tax cut tacked on to an appropriations bill, two Bronze Age civilizations threatening to blow each other up over some goats and a major ally that's gonna to be in the lobby leafing through dog-eared copies of Congressional Quarterly while the President is singing "Kumbaya"! I want the President back here now, C.J! This was your idea, fix it!

Leo McGarry: Anything new on Carrick?
Josh Lyman: Yeah. He's a Republican.
Leo McGarry: Newer?

Leo McGarry: Nobody's happy you lost Carrick, but we're all about moving forward, and we can't do that without you. I do, however, have to take you out to the woodshed and whack you with a 2x4.
Josh Lyman: Carrick was never really a Democrat. Word is he was working the Republicans...
[Leo leans back in his chair in disinterest]
Josh Lyman: I'm sorry. Whack away.
Leo McGarry: [sitting up straight] Maybe the camel's back was already broken, but you gave him the straw. And then you drove over him with a tank.


"The West Wing: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (#2.16)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: Andrew Jackson in the main foyer of the White House had a two-ton block of cheese.
Josh Lyman: And a Wheat Thin the size of Lake Tahoe.

Leo McGarry: [to Josh] I can't tell you how relieved I am to have your approval on that.

Leo McGarry: Little thing called team morale, Josh. You gotta make people feel good about themselves.
Leo McGarry: [walks into conference room where the staff is waiting to begin Big Block Of Cheese Day] All right! Shut the hell up everybody. I've fired more people than you before breakfast.


"The West Wing: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I (#2.1)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: [regarding Bartlet having been undefeated in all his previous elections] No, seriously, that's a real political accomplishment considering your family founded this state. Were you even opposed in any of those elections?

Josh Lyman: Leo, the-the Democrats aren't gonna nominate another liberal, academic former governor from New England. I mean, we're dumb, but we're not that dumb.
Leo McGarry: Nah-I think we're exactly that dumb.

Leo McGarry: Don't mess with us tonight.


"The West Wing: Galileo (#2.9)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee has a...
Josh Lyman: There's a Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee?
Leo McGarry: Yes.
Josh Lyman: Made up of members of the "There But For the Grace of God Go I" club.
Leo McGarry: You wanna mock people or you wanna let me talk to Toby?
Josh Lyman: I wanna mock people.

Leo McGarry: What are you smiling at?
Josh Lyman: Nothing, I just... Toby got the stamp assignment.
Toby Ziegler: Leo, I might need some help.
Leo McGarry: Take Josh.
Toby Ziegler: Thanks. Congratulations, you're choosing the next stamp.
Josh Lyman: Wow, that happened fast.

Josh Lyman: Leo, ask me how long a Martian day is.
Leo McGarry: No, I don't think I will.


"The West Wing: The White House Pro-Am (#1.17)" (2000)
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.

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 West Wing: The Leadership Breakfast (#2.11)" (2001)
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.

Leo McGarry: I keep meaning to fire you.

Toby Ziegler: Leo, Ann Stark's a wartime consigliere. That's why she was bumped up.
Leo McGarry: I'm a wartime consigliere, too, Toby.
Toby Ziegler: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: I was just hoping it's be peacetime a little longer.
Toby Ziegler: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: Son of a bitch.
Toby Ziegler: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: Shake my hand.
[Toby and Leo shake hands]
Leo McGarry: We just formed it.
Toby Ziegler: Formed what?
Leo McGarry: The committee to re-elect the president.


"The West Wing: Take Out the Trash Day (#1.13)" (2000)
Sam Seaborn: Leo, did you know that there's a town in Alabama that wants
[to make the Ten Commandments into law]
Sam Seaborn: ...
Leo McGarry: Yes.
Sam Seaborn: What do you think about that?
Leo McGarry: Coveting thy neighbor's wife is going to cause some problems.
Sam Seaborn: That's what I said. Plus, if I were arrested for coveting my neighbor's wife, when asked about it, I'd probably bear false witness.

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: The Crackpots and These Women (#1.5)" (1999)
Economist: [speaking to the President] You knew those numbers in your head?
Leo McGarry: The President's startlingly freakish that way.

Leo McGarry: Andrew Jackson, in the main foyer of his White House had a big block of cheese.
Toby Ziegler: Huh.
Leo McGarry: I am making a mental list of those who are snickering, and even as I speak I am preparing appropriate retribution. The block of cheese was huge - over two tons. And it was there for any and all who might be hungry.
Toby Ziegler: Leo, wouldn't this time be better spent plotting a war against a country that can't possibly defend itself against us?
Leo McGarry: We can do that later, Toby. Right now I'm talking about President Andrew Jackson.
Sam Seaborn: Actually, right now, you're talking about a big block of cheese.
Leo McGarry: And Sam goes on my list!
Sam Seaborn: And what about Toby?
Leo McGarry: I'm unpredictable. Jackson wanted the White House to belong to the people, so from time to time, he opened his doors to those who wished an audience.
Mandy Hampton: And then he locked the doors behind them and made them eat two tons of cheese.


"The West Wing: Shibboleth (#2.8)" (2000)
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.

Leo McGarry: Now, we have laws, and they are difficult and they have to be enforced and it's right that they're enforced. But we do not *strut* ever.


"The West Wing: He Shall, from Time to Time... (#1.12)" (2000)
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.

Lord John Marbury: When we had a particular problem with someone, one solution we would try is to make him a maharajah. That's a kind of a regional king. We would pay him off with an annual tribute and in return he would be loyal to the crown.
Leo McGarry: Lord Marbury, under our constitution the President is not empowered to create maharajahs.
Lord John Marbury: Yes, thank you for clearing that up, Leo. Having been educated at Cambridge and the Sorbonne I am, as you know, exceedingly stupid.


"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.

Leo McGarry: [after listening to the President's statement on his MS] What do you think?
White House Counsel Oliver Babish: I am nowhere close to being able to answer that.


"The West Wing: The Black Vera Wang (#3.20)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: You may not get an answer today, okay? I don't want to give him too much knucklehead stuff.
Bruno Gianelli: Every time you say something like that, I buy canned goods.

Leo McGarry: The CEQ is waiting for me down the hall
Bruno Gianelli: Two precinct captains in Iowa want jobs in Commerce
Leo McGarry: What do you think?
Bruno Gianelli: I don't care, but, Andrew Jackson said, If there's a job that can't be done by a democrat, let's abolish the job.
Leo McGarry: Okay.


"The West Wing: Two Cathedrals (#2.22)" (2001)
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...

Leo McGarry: [about Mrs. Landingham] She was a real dame, old friend, a real broad.


"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

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.


"The West Wing: 7A WF 83429 (#5.1)" (2003)
Leo McGarry: ...I'm not prepared to think about politics while we're under terrorist attack. The Republic comes first.

Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Danny Concannon is doing a story alleging we assassinated Abdul Sheriff.
Glenallen Walken: How are his sources?
Leo McGarry: He's got it.
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: He's looking for a comment
Glenallen Walken: I suppose throwing him in leg irons and locking him in the basement of the Capitol wouldn't do any good.
Leo McGarry: We shouldn't comment, sir, not while Zoey Bartlett is missing.
Steve Atwood: No, we need to get out in front of it, release it before it breaks in the Post.
Toby Ziegler: Release what? That we violated The Neutrality Act to covertly assassinate an official of a friendly government?
Steve Atwood: He must not have been too friendly if you decided to shoot him.
Will Bailey: Sir, acknowledging the assassination destroys a century's worth of progress towards international law.
Steve Atwood: You guys didn't think about that before you did it?
Josh Lyman: It wasn't supposed to become public.
Steve Atwood: Yeah well you tried that before. How did it work out on MS?


"The West Wing: Six Meetings Before Lunch (#1.18)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: [to Sam] I don't mind you dating my only daughter, but you can't expect me not to have some fun along the way.

Sam Seaborn: I thought you were trying to drive a wedge between us.
Leo McGarry: Yeah, but now you're just boring the crap out of me.


"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.

Leo McGarry: I've got to keep the knucklehead stuff off his desk, and this is worse. This is actually hot-button knucklehead...


"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.

Leo McGarry: The President's personal aide. They're looking at a kid. You have any problem with a young black man waiting on the President?
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: I'm an old black man and I wait on the President.
Leo McGarry: The kid's got to carry his bags and...
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: You going to pay him a decent wage?
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: You going to treat him with respect in the workplace?
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: Then why the hell should I care?
Leo McGarry: That's what I thought.
Admiral Percy Fitzwallace: I got some real honest-to-god battles to fight, Leo. I don't have time for the cosmetic ones.


"The West Wing: Mandatory Minimums (#1.20)" (2000)
Josh Lyman: I'd like to clear up that I don't have suits for days of the week. This is just a regular suit.
Sam Seaborn: It's a nice suit.
Donna Moss: Sure it's a nice suit, it's his Joey Lucas suit.
Josh Lyman: Donna!
Donna Moss: I'm beginning to regret not getting the waffles.
Leo McGarry: I am beginning to regret having hired any of you! We have a 42% job approval and you're talking about waffles and something with Josh I don't understand.
Donna Moss: He's wearing a special suit for Joey Lucas.
Leo McGarry: You got dressed up for a guy named Joey?

Leo McGarry: We play the full nine innings at this level, Stuart. Tell your friends about it.


"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.


"The West Wing: In the Room (#6.8)" (2004)
Leo McGarry: [to Josh on Arnie Vinick running for President] You ever see Arnie Vinick campaign up close? He'll go into those high school gymnasiums in Iowa and New Hampshire and blow them all away. He'll shake every hand in the joint, kiss every baby, hug every widow on Social Security, and sound smarter and more honest than any Republican they've ever seen. Because he is.


"The West Wing: 18th and Potomac (#2.21)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: We're not going to stop, soften, detour, postpone, circumvent, obfuscate or trade a single one of our goals to allow for whatever extracurricular nonsense is coming our way in the next few days, weeks and months.
Toby Ziegler: When did we decide this?
Leo McGarry: Just now.


"The West Wing: Guns Not Butter (#4.12)" (2003)
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: First of all, that's not a cow. It's not! It's a goat. Yeah, I may have agreed to something about a goat.
Leo McGarry: Did the First Lady get you drunk and take you shopping?
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Leo... yes.


"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.


"The West Wing: The Two Bartlets (#3.13)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: I hear things. I try to forget them quickly, but...


"The West Wing: Manchester: Part 2 (#3.3)" (2001)
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.


"The West Wing: The Warfare of Genghis Khan (#5.13)" (2004)
Leo McGarry: My generation never got the future it was promised... Thirty-five years later, cars, air travel is exactly the same. We don't even have the Concorde anymore. Technology stopped.
Josh Lyman: The personal computer...
Leo McGarry: A more efficient delivery system for gossip and pornography? Where's my jet pack, my colonies on the Moon?


"The West Wing: Ways and Means (#3.4)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: What have you got?
C.J. Cregg: Nothing. You know why?
Leo McGarry: Rollins likes us.
C.J. Cregg: I don't know if he likes us, but he doesn't hate us.
Leo McGarry: Well, that's just 'cause he doesn't know us.
C.J. Cregg: Leo, we need to be investigated by someone who wants to kill us just to watch us die. We need someone perceived by the American people to be irresponsible, untrustworthy, partisan, ambitious, and thirsty for the limelight. Am I crazy, or is this not a job for the U. S. House of Representatives?
Leo McGarry: Well, they'll get around to it sooner or later.
C.J. Cregg: So let's make it sooner - let's make it now. Rollins is driving them crazy. He's moving too slow. He won't talk to the press. They're ready to jump. I swear to God, Leo, I think we can move the show.
Leo McGarry: You got a briefing now?
C.J. Cregg: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: Show me what you're starting with.
C.J. Cregg: Yeah.


"The West Wing: Swiss Diplomacy (#4.9)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: Are we sure about Japan? I mean, one of these days they're going to find the fairway, right?


"The West Wing: Dead Irish Writers (#3.16)" (2002)
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: The Women of Qumar (#3.9)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: Somebody needs to teach me about this.


"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: The Indians in the Lobby (#3.8)" (2001)
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: Holy Night (#4.11)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: ...this is big-boy school, Mr. Bailey.


"The West Wing: The Stackhouse Filibuster (#2.17)" (2001)
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: Five Votes Down (#1.4)" (1999)
Leo McGarry: There are two things in the world you never want to let people see how you make 'em - laws and sausages.


"The West Wing: Enemies (#1.8)" (1999)
Sam Seaborn: Say, you mind if I skip the coffee? I wanna nail this thing.
Leo McGarry: Oh, forget it. Your first draft was fine.
Sam Seaborn: I wanna nail it, Leo
Mallory O'Brian: Sam, the President was in on it. Your first draft was fine.
Sam Seaborn: Yeah, but still...
Mallory O'Brian: You wanna nail it
Sam Seaborn: I do
Mallory O'Brian: [to Sam about Leo] You're so exactly like him
Sam Seaborn: Well, that is the nicest thing you've ever said to me. Thank you.


"The West Wing: Bartlet for America (#3.10)" (2001)
Atty. Jordon Kendall: I don't understand how you could have a drink. I don't understand how after everything you worked for - how, on that day of all days, you could be so stupid.
Leo McGarry: That's because you think it has something to do with smart and stupid. Do you have any idea how many alcoholics are in Mensa? You think it's a lack of willpower? That's like thinking somebody with anorexia nervosa has an overdeveloped sense of vanity...


"The West Wing: Drought Conditions (#6.16)" (2005)
Leo McGarry: You are no longer the guy who picks losing candidates and ushers them to their principled end. You're the guy who takes good men and makes them great. You and Josh, you still think you're terriers barking at the heels of the party. You are the party. Rafferty's a spoiler, shouldn't be in the race.
Toby Ziegler: I'm not sitting this one out, Leo.
Leo McGarry: Don't. But don't pretend you're still an outsider with a ponytail and a dream, you work in the White House... Your brother didn't have any more fight in him. You still do.


"The West Wing: Debate Camp (#4.5)" (2002)
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.


"The West Wing: 20 Hours in L.A. (#1.16)" (2000)
[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?


"The West Wing: The State Dinner (#1.7)" (1999)
Leo McGarry: You got to work with Toby on the toast.
Toby Ziegler: Don't need him.
Leo McGarry: Yes, you do.
Sam Seaborn: It takes two people to write a toast?
Leo McGarry: The State Department is very particular about these toasts.
Josh Lyman: I'll assign someone from my office.
Mandy Hampton: I can do it.
Josh Lyman: No, you can't.
Mandy Hampton: Why not?
Josh Lyman: Because you're a political consultant and this is an actual, you know, thing.
Mandy Hampton: Leo, please tell Josh that I can play a role in issues and it's not going to be the end to this administration.
Josh Lyman: I don't think it will be the end of this administration, Leo. I think it's going to be the end of this republic.


"The West Wing: H. Con-172 (#3.11)" (2002)
Leo McGarry: I take a bullet for the President. He doesn't take one for me. Is that all you got?


"The West Wing: Life on Mars (#4.21)" (2003)
Leo McGarry: You can't be taken down by this cheap person.


"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 War at Home (#2.14)" (2001)
Leo McGarry: I fought a jungle war. I'm not doing it again. If I could put myself anywhere in time, it would be the Cabinet room, on August 4, 1964. When our ships were attacked by North Vietnam in the Tonkin Gulf. I'd say, "Mr. President... don't do it. Don't consider authorizing a massive commitment of troops and throwing in our lot with torturers and panderers, leaders without principle and soldiers without conviction; no clear mission, and no end in sight." This war is at home. The casualties are in our prisons, and not our hospitals. The amount of money the American government is spending in Colombia is the exact same amount American consumers are spending buying drugs from Colombia, we're funding both sides of this war and we'll never win it that way.


"The West Wing: 17 People (#2.18)" (2001)
Toby Ziegler: It's never happened before, right?
Leo McGarry: No.
Toby Ziegler: The Vice President would never challenge a sitting President for the nomination.
Leo McGarry: 'Course not.
Toby Ziegler: You see his itinerary for the weekend?
Leo McGarry: Who?
Toby Ziegler: The Vice President.
Leo McGarry: I don't keep tabs on John.
Toby Ziegler: He's giving a speech at a semiconductor plant. The title of the speech is, "Clean Air Industry in the High-tech Corridor of the Industrial Northeast."
Leo McGarry: Where?
Toby Ziegler: Nashua... New Hampshire.
Leo McGarry: Toby, nobody, and particularly not Hoynes would be naive enough... what I mean to say is if he's going to New Hampshire for the reason you're thinking he would mask it with something. It wouldn't be an official trip. He'd make up a benign excuse to be up there.
Toby Ziegler: I know.
Leo McGarry: So why worry?
Toby Ziegler: Because it comes in the middle of a three-day camping trip to Killington.
[pause]
Toby Ziegler: Why does Hoynes think the President isn't going to run again? What's going on, Leo?


"The West Wing: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part II (#2.2)" (2000)
[the President neglected a formality transferring executive power before going into surgery]
Margaret: Can - can I just say something, you know, for the future?
Leo McGarry: Yeah.
Margaret: *I* can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good.
Leo McGarry: You can sign the President's name?
Margaret: Yeah.
Leo McGarry: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?
Margaret: Yeah. Or, do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea?
Leo McGarry: I think the White House Counsel would say that's a coup d'etat.
Margaret: I'd probably end up doing some time for that.
Leo McGarry: I would think. And what the hell are you doing practicing the President's signature?
Margaret: It's just for fun.
Leo McGarry: We've got separation of powers, checks and balances, and Margaret, vetoing things and sending them back to the hill.


"The West Wing: Noël (#2.10)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: [after Josh finishes an intensive therapy session set up by Leo with a trauma therapist, Josh walks past Leo in a nearby hallway of the White House] How'd it go?
Josh Lyman: Did you wait around for me?
Leo McGarry: How'd it go?
Josh Lyman: He thinks I may have an eating disorder...
Leo McGarry: [bemused] Josh...
Josh Lyman: ...and a fear of rectangles. That's not weird, is it?
[pause]
Josh Lyman: I didn't cut my hand on a glass. I broke a window in my apartment.
Leo McGarry: This guy's walking down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up, "Hey you, can you help me out?" The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along, and the guy shouts up "Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. "Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?" And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here." The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out."
[pause]
Leo McGarry: Long as I got a job, you got a job, you understand?


"The West Wing: Things Fall Apart (#6.21)" (2005)
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: War Crimes (#3.6)" (2001)
[Leo has just been told that a target he bombed while in Vietnam was civilian]
Leo McGarry: Why did you tell me that?
USAF Gen. Alan Adamle: Because you could be charged and tried for a war crime.
Leo McGarry: [long pause, very distraught] WHY did you tell me that?
USAF Gen. Alan Adamle: All wars are crimes.


"The West Wing: The Portland Trip (#2.7)" (2000)
Leo McGarry: My divorce papers came today. She thinks I'm going to drink.
Josh Lyman: Sounds like a pretty good reason to.
Leo McGarry: I'm an alcoholic. I don't need a good reason to.


"The West Wing: Evidence of Things Not Seen (#4.20)" (2003)
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: Eppur Si Muove (#5.16)" (2004)
Leo McGarry: I'm sorry, but can we really justify spending $800,000 on "A Bioculutural Approach to Female Sexual Fantasy and Genital Arousal"?
Toby Ziegler: How can we afford not to?


"The West Wing: The Al Smith Dinner (#7.6)" (2005)
Louise Thornton: Let this attack stand and we strip away what's different about Santos: he's a religious Catholic, not another secular Democrat who can be portrayed as hostile to heartland values.
Matthew Santos: Leo?
Leo McGarry: I worry about elevating this, but if the charge sticks it could kill us with values voters and that puts Vinick's nine-point lead in the bank.
Matthew Santos: We hit Vinick and we hit him hard!