After being offered "a proportional response" to the Syrian military's downing of a U.S. military plane on a medical mission (and carrying his newly named personal physician), the president demands an option that will have greater impact. Leo gradually must talk him down, while Bartlet snipes at everyone, including Abby. The president ultimately agrees to the initial option, but is not happy about it. Charlie Young is introduced as an applicant for a messenger job whom Josh decides to hire as Bartler's personal aide (note: he mentions being sent to Josh by Mrs. De La Guardia, who is later introduced in season four as Debbie Fiderer, who becomes Mrs. Landingham's replacement). Written by
Did You Know?
In the movie The American President
(1995) (also written by Aaron Sorkin
and considered the catalyst for creating this show), the president must deal with a very similar situation. In the movie, Libya bombs a US missile defense system and the president is pushed to make a "proportional response", at the end of which he ruminates "Someday someone's going to have to explain to me the virtue of a proportional response". The events are very similar to those in this episode, including that line, mirrored almost word for word by President Bartlett. See more
It is mentioned that one of the weapons used in the strike on Syria is the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. This is an air-to-air missile and no person in the episode mentions any aerial engagements with the Syrian Air Force, therefore this missile would not of been used. There is no reason for the President to mention it in his speech. See more
[Charlie's first line
I-I beg your pardon?
References Hard Copy
West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony See more