The West Wing (1999–2006)
2 user 1 critic

In the Room 

Magicians Penn and Teller give a controversial performance at Zoey's birthday party in the White House that threatens to drown out the news of the impending China trip. President Bartlet ... See full summary »


Alex Graves


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Lawrence O'Donnell | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stockard Channing ... Abbey Bartlet (credit only)
Dulé Hill ... Charlie Young
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Joshua Malina ... Will Bailey
Mary McCormack ... Kate Harper
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... President Josiah Bartlet
Alan Alda ... Senator Arnold Vinick
Kristin Chenoweth ... Annabeth Schott
Gary Cole ... Vice President Bob Russell
Ed O'Neill ... Governor Eric Baker D-PA
Penn Jillette ... Penn Jilette (as Penn & Teller)


Magicians Penn and Teller give a controversial performance at Zoey's birthday party in the White House that threatens to drown out the news of the impending China trip. President Bartlet goes to New Orleans on his way to China after unexpectedly requesting briefings be postponed until they are in the air. Josh tries to decide which Democratic presidential candidate he wants to support, and is alarmed that Bartlet wants to appoint California Republican Senator Arnold Vinick to be Ambassador to the United Nations. Written by Murray Chapman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

polishing a shoe | See All (1) »





Did You Know?


The title comes from the question that many people were asking: Was the President (Martin Sheen) in the room at the time of the flag incident. See more »


Jed Bartlet says, "a touch too technical for someone who almost flunked organic chemistry," and Millicent Griffith remarks that he got a B+ in organic chemistry.

In The West Wing: Shibboleth, Bartlet says to Leo "I never actually studied chemistry." Furthermore, it would be extremely odd for an American-studies major to take organic chemistry as it is typically a course only taken by, chemistry, biology, pre-med, and nursing students. See more »


Jed Bartlet: This plane is going to China. That's a direct order from your Commander in Chief.
See more »


References Entertainment Tonight (1981) See more »


West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
See more »

User Reviews

We've Got No One Who Can Beat Him!
29 April 2020 | by Sonatine97See all my reviews

This ranks as one of my favourite episodes for the rather uneven season 6. And what makes it special is the arrival of Senator Arnold Vinick as the presumptive Republican presidential candidate.

Unlike the presidential campaign in season 3, where the Republican candidate (the right-wing Richie) was barely seen, seasons 6 & 7 change all that by giving some respectable airtime for the feared/revered Vinick character.

The writers also made the senator as a far more appealing moderate conservative, which only makes him far more dangerous in the eyes of the White House, especially when Leo tells Josh how Vinick has such a broad appeal when on the lecture circuit that he could bring in wavering Democrats during the campaign, especially since their own candidates - VP Russell and untrustworthy Hoynes - are not particularly likable and certainly don't have the same intellectual gravitas as Vinick or Bartlet.

Alan Alda, was a great choice as Vinick - tall, imposing, fatherly, self-aware and barely any malice in his observations of the Democratic party. So it was a pleasure to watch Leo & Josh visibly unsettled at how they were going to confront and challenge Vinick should he win the candidacy for the Republicans, and go on to challenge in the presidential campaign.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

8 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed