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(1999–2006)

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2005

5 Jan. 2005
Faith-Based Initiative
On the same day that an anti-gay-marriage amendment is attached to the federal budget, an Internet rumor surfaces that C.J. is a lesbian. Josh and Toby attempt to kill the amendment without forcing the President to publicly take a position on this unwinnable issue. Congressman Santos considers Josh's proposition that he run for President despite having told his wife that he's done with politics. Donna begins her new job while Josh struggles to cope with her difficult replacement. Abby and C.J. meet with the President's doctors to decide how to adapt his schedule to ...
 
12 Jan. 2005
Opposition Research
Josh and Santos visit New Hampshire to launch the presidential campaign. Josh has experience running national campaigns and has a clear idea about what candidates should and shouldn't do to get elected, but Santos's approach differs dramatically: he believes in talking about big ideas rather than saying whatever he needs to do in order to win votes. This difference in opinion combined with conventional wisdom that says Santos has no chance of winning threaten to sink the campaign before it has begun. Will and Donna are also in New Hampshire, running Vice President Bob...
 
19 Jan. 2005
365 Days
Leo returns to the White House to help bolster the administration, which is suffering from the loss of Josh, Donna, Will, and the Vice President to the next election campaign. Leo's first day back follows President Bartlet's last State of the Union address, and unlike in previous years there appears to be little momentum on bold, large-scale initiatives. Amidst numerous distractions that dilute the focus of the staff (kidnappings in Colombia, the First Lady's appearance at a NASCAR race, and petulant Congressmen), he challenges the administration on their agenda for ...
 
26 Jan. 2005
King Corn
A day in the lives of presidential candidates Bob Russell, Matt Santos, and Arnold Vinick, who are in Iowa trying to gain support for their campaigns. Iowa is the first state in the nation to hold their presidential caucuses, and issues affecting farmers and rural areas are the focus. The most important issue on the table is the large federal subsidies for ethanol fuel given to corn growers, which is supported by Iowa residents but seen as naked pandering by the rest of the country. Josh continues to clash with Santos over winning votes instead of proposing radical ...
 
9 Feb. 2005
The Wake Up Call
A rapidly-escalating international crisis involving Iran and the UK requires C.J. to wake the President, triggering a confrontation with Abbey about allowing him enough rest to properly manage his MS. British Ambassador Lord John Marbury is summoned, and proceeds to wander the halls looking for "Gerald" while threatening to bomb Iran. Toby and Professor Lawrence Lessig meet with a delegation from Belarus to discuss a new constitution, and disagree on whether to base it on a parliamentary or presidential system. The latest Miss World makes a traditional visit to the ...
 
16 Feb. 2005
Freedonia
Five days before the New Hampshire Democratic primary, the Santos campaign risks extinction as Matt has not been invited to the last debate. Josh proposes a number of strategies to get Santos into the debate, including deal-making, legal challenges, attack ads, and publicity stunts - but the Congressman is reluctant to play along. With Josh scrambling to keep the campaign alive, Santos calls in help from Washington to tune his message. Hoynes and Russell launch attack ads on each other's records, and Josh realizes that a desperate long-shot is needed to keep Santos in...
 
23 Feb. 2005
Drought Conditions
Back in Washington briefly, Josh visits the White House and is surprised to discover that as a campaign manager he is no longer part of the inner circle in an administration that wants to remain neutral in the Democratic primary. Toby is the focus of some concern after being more withdrawn than usual and also because he is nursing a cut on his face that he doesn't want to talk about. Charlie tells Kate that a guy at his gym has been asking about her, but she's unsure if she's ready to date again. A multi-state water rights fight pitches C.J. against lobbyist Cliff ...
 
2 Mar. 2005
A Good Day
The Speaker of the House deliberately calls a vote on stem cell research when he knows that Democrats will be away from Washington; Donna, Cliff, Matt, and Josh must put aside their differences to foil the plan. Kate is shocked when a minor hunting mishap on the Canadian border threatens to become a major international incident. A Japanese economist who has been President Bartlet's arch-rival since college is attending a formal dinner at the White House, creating a potentially explosive situation. Toby tries to avoid meeting with a group of middle school children who ...
 
9 Mar. 2005
La Palabra
Hoynes and Russell are campaigning in New York, confident of their prospects in the California primary. Santos needs to do unexpectedly well in California in order to stay financially afloat; another third place finish will see his donors shift their money elsewhere, finishing his campaign. Santos's message of education and health care is overshadowed when California passes a law prohibiting drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Despite the bill being widely supported by most voters, Matt cannot publicly endorse it as he's counting on the support of Latino voters, ...
 
16 Mar. 2005
Ninety Miles Away
Rumors circulate in Washington yet again about the state of Fidel Castro's health. As C.J. begins to look into the issue she uncovers some dark secrets regarding the United States' relationship with Cuba which appear to involve Leo, the President, and Kate Harper. Despite how closely guarded and potentially explosive this information is, a startlingly large number of government agencies and officials appear to know bits and pieces of the story. This results in undercover political maneuvering to avoid what is expected to be an enormous political disaster. Meanwhile, ...
 
23 Mar. 2005
In God We Trust
Senator Arnold Vinick easily wins the Republican nomination on the night of the New Jersey primary, but has difficulty picking a running mate. Choosing Reverend Don Butler would virtually guarantee him the presidency, but their differing views on abortion and religion would make it a political union rather than one based on shared ideology. The Democratic nomination is a toss-up between Santos and Russell; Hoynes is running a distant third. With no clear nominee going into the convention, the Democratic party risks appearing unsure about both Santos and Russell - a ...
 
30 Mar. 2005
Things Fall Apart
While Vinick and the Republicans deliver a flawless albeit predictable convention, the Democratic convention looks to be more like a pie fight as there is no clear favorite. Russell tries to preempt the floor vote by hinting offers of the vice presidential nomination to both Santos and Governor Baker of Pennsylvania. Charlie and Zoey's relationship is becoming more serious, resulting in different reactions from the President and the First Lady. An air leak on the International Space Station will kill all three astronauts unless a rescue mission can be launched. NASA ...
 
6 Apr. 2005
2162 Votes
WHO WILL BE THE DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? - It's the Democratic National Convention and the race to become the Democratic Presidential candidate has narrowed to three candidates: Russell, Baker and Santos. Also, Bartlet must wrestle with the decision to launch the super-secret defense shuttle to rescue the astronauts trapped at the space station and risk national security or let them die.
 
25 Sep. 2005
The Ticket
Four days after the Democratic convention, Josh begins to staff up the Santos campaign. With Santos and Leo effectively strangers - and Leo not an experienced campaigner - adjustments of roles and responsibilities are required in order to deliver a strong and consistent message. The White House prepares to launch the military Space Shuttle on its rescue mission to the Space Station amidst growing suspicion that proof of its existence was deliberately leaked by someone in the Administration. The Republicans offer Bartlet a concession on an education bill in an attempt ...
 
2 Oct. 2005
The Mommy Problem
Despite vigorous campaigning, the Santos campaign still struggles to articulate its message and keep the focus on domestic issues rather than gossip and trivia. Although Santos served decades in the military and remains in the reserves, Vinick still appears the stronger candidate on national security issues due to stereotypes about Republicans and Democrats. The White House's decision to halt their own investigation into the leak is a savvy legal move, however it could prove to be costly politically: while Vinick can slam the President for this decision, it's not so ...
 
9 Oct. 2005
Message of the Week
With Santos gaining momentum, the Vinick campaign devises a strategy to catch them off-guard by focusing on immigration issues: by taking a pro-immigration stance, they force Santos to spend time courting the Latino vote. A powerful Christian group is nervous about supporting a Republican presidential candidate who is pro-choice, and demands a guarantee that Vinick only appoint pro-life judges. Vinick hopes that the strong religious credentials of his running mate Sullivan will be enough to satisfy the Christian base, but inevitably finds himself in a difficult ...
 
16 Oct. 2005
Mr. Frost
The Santos campaign faces questions on intelligent design and evolution during a campaign stop focusing on education in Pennsylvania. Margaret testifies before the committee investigating the leak, which has also served most current and former members of the Bartlet administration with subpoenas. A suicide bombing in the Middle East throws the region into chaos and threatens to postpone all campaigning. An intelligence analyst assigned to brief the Vinick campaign demands to speak with CJ.
 
23 Oct. 2005
Here Today
Toby's confession sends shock waves through the White House; Kate tracks developments following the assassination in Kazakhstan; the Santos campaign appears stalled.
 
30 Oct. 2005
The Al Smith Dinner
A pro-life special interest group launches an ad attacking Santos for his abortion stance, but Vinick also sees it as trouble since he's also pro-choice and doesn't want to draw attention to the issue. With Vinick ahead in the polls, he has no incentive to debate Santos and thus continues to drag his feet over negotiations. Back at the White House, C.J. orders new Communications Director Will Bailey to not answer questions from the press about the leak investigation.
 
6 Nov. 2005
The Debate
A live debate between Santos and Vinick, performed once for the east coast and once for the west.
 
4 Dec. 2005
Undecideds
The Santos campaign's difficulties with the black community continue when a Latino police officer shoots a black child; C.J. offloads preparations for Ellie's wedding to Will when Kate needs her help with Kazakhstan; Josh visits Toby.
 
11 Dec. 2005
The Wedding
President Bartlet's plan to attend his daughter Ellie's White House wedding is jeopardized when Russia and China mobilize troops over growing chaos in Kazakhstan. The Santos campaign has gained ground on Vinick over the last few weeks, but with less than two months until the election it's not clear that the gap can be closed. As Josh obsesses over the electoral math, tracking polls, and decisions on where to spend advertising money, some Democrats are nervous that the election is slipping away, and urge Santos to fire Josh as campaign manager.
 

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Episode Cast | Rated Episodes (by date / vote)| TV Schedule

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