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West Wing Quotes


From Indians In The Lobby:  

CJ - How many treaties have we signed with the Munsee Indians?
Maggie - Six.
CJ - How many have we revoked?
Maggies - Six.
CJ -  What were the Munsees doing in 1778?
Maggie - Fighting in George Washington's army.
CJ -  And why aren't you in New York anymore?
Maggie - Because he marched us to Wisconsin.


And, from The Stormy Present:

Lassiter - Go see Lincoln and listen.  

Edited by PeterPirate
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West Wing Quote:

From He Shall From Time To Time:  

Sam - You know, here's the thing.  We haven't been invited yet.
Toby - What do you mean?
Sam - Technically, the Speaker of the House invites the President to deliver the State of the Union.
Toby - And we haven't been invited yet?
Sam - Not yet.

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I really don’t like Two Cathedrals. Bartlet’s speech to God drives me crazy- I should not have to look up Latin on the internet to figure out what was said during an episode. Also, he comes across as such an arrogant prick in so much of the MS storyline, especially then. And I get he’s grieving, but smoking and dropping his cigarette butt in the National Cathedral? So so wrong. But the line where he looks back at “God” and tells Him “you get Hoynes!” like a threat is just laughably dumb.

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I really don’t like Two Cathedrals.

Also not one of my favorites...but you know who loves it, Aaron Sorkin.

Sorkin was on the Bill Simmons podcast last week (very good listen) and Bill said The West Wing was full of lots of "moments" and asked AS what was his favorite moment and the one he came up with was the "moment" in Two Cathedrals during the "Brothers in Arms" sequence. AS said that he heard the music while driving around trying to clear his head and realized it was the perfect way to end the episode.

By the way, he spends much of the episode praising the acting and the directing and especially Tommy Schlamme.

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12 hours ago, deaja said:

I really don’t like Two Cathedrals. Bartlet’s speech to God drives me crazy

That one of my favorite episodes, and I love that scene - what other show would have the audacity to have its lead character curse at God, in Latin, in the middle of a cathedral?


12 hours ago, deaja said:

And I get he’s grieving, but smoking and dropping his cigarette butt in the National Cathedral?

That's a call to the flashback scene with his father earlier in the episode:


DR. BARTLET Mr. Spence found this cigarette butt on the floor in the aisle of the chapel.

JED People shouldn't put their cigarettes out in the chapel, Mr. Spence.

DR. BARTLET Well, people shouldn't be smoking in the chapel, I think is my point, Jed. Do you understand what I'm saying?


It's an act of defiance against his father, not an insult aimed at the National Cathedral.

Edited by Moose135
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1 hour ago, Moose135 said:


It's an act of defiance against his father, not an insult aimed at the National Cathedral.

I get that but it is still disrespectful no matter his intent. Like I said, I find him to be an arrogant tool in much of the MS storyline and in that episode in particular, I find him to be insufferable.

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46 minutes ago, PeterPirate said:

I don't like the whole hands-in-the-pockets thing that appears out of nowhere in this episode, never to be seen again.


Season 2 should have ended with "Yeah, I'm going to run, and I'm going to win."

I agree that the hands-in-pockets gesture being this huge tell of his yet having never been shown to us before (and never incorporating it again) was a stretch, but disagree on some anvil-icious "I'm going to run and win" ending being better than stating his intention via that gesture.  It was more powerful visually, and nice for us to know the answer when the press - and all but "our" characters - didn't.  And, most of all, I liked that they answered the question for us, rather than making it a cliffhanger (not much of one, since there's no show if he doesn't run, but still), and just left us to wait and see how he phrased it and what the reaction/fallout was.

As for Bartlet's rant in the church, I'm neither bothered nor enthralled by it.  You can't get me invested in a storyline where someone, say, puts their faith in a benevolent unicorn and then says, "WTF, unicorn?!" when reality hits them, but his Catholic faith and his opinion of/treatment by his father (which worked together in his formative years and beyond) were always a big influence on his life, so while I'm not "OMG, how powerful/daring or how awful!" I certainly follow his thought process, given the backstory, and appreciate the emotion of the moment, even though I'm not swept away by it to the extent the show wants.

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I don't remember (and am too lazy to check) if this article was posted in the Media thread of the now-vaulted forum, but I just came across it while looking for something else -- About five years ago, The Wire ranked nearly 115 WW characters, the list consisting mostly of those who appeared in two or more episodes but including a few memorable one-offs. 

They had me at hello, ranking C.J. number one and opening with, "One of the great mysteries of Hollywood—nay, of life—is that Aaron Sorkin is a fairly condescending and certainly problematic writer of women. And yet so goes C.J."  Some key characters are ranked significantly differently than they are on the average list of WW characters, and I agree with a number of those surprising slots, so I found the list particularly interesting.  (I wouldn't have ranked Donna that low, but I enjoyed reading along and realizing, "Hey, Donna hasn't made the cut yet."  And I really like seeing so many other female characters ranked highly.  Also, the inevitable ire many will have for how highly Amy is ranked and how she's described amuses me in advance.  [I wouldn't put her that high, not even top ten, but I agree with their general sentiment about her.]) 

Here's the list, as republished in The Atlantic.

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From that list


Her entire backstory as a Hollywood publicist who doesn’t seem to know much about Hollywood or publicity never made one lick of sense.

This reminds me of a thought I had a couple weeks ago. It bugs me in the episode where we see her fired from her publicist job (ITSOTG I believe) her client asked about the Golden Globe nominations from that morning and she said she didn’t even know they were that morning- seriously? I would have fired her just for that! But I’ll never buy that a semi-competent publicist wouldn’t know and be awake for the nomination announcements. And C.J. was way more than semi-competent!

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Okay, that list is ridiculous with how low Josh is ranked. Below Nancy McNally? Ainsley? Vinick? Amy? Zoey? Fitzwallace? No way. 

So basically I agreed with the top two, maybe top 4, though I would likely swap Leo and Toby.

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That list leaves off a lot of noteworthy characters.  The most glaring omission by far is Stanley Keyworth.  

So I took an hour or so to scroll the show's IMDB list of characters and I came up with the following ones who appeared in at least two episodes that I thought worth mentioning (if only because they had enough lines to be recognizable):

Efram Zahavy 
Nizar Farad 
Matt Skinner 
Robert Royce 
Annie (Vinick campaign aide)  
Mike Gordon 
Charles Frost 
Shira Galit 
Alana Waterman 
Darren Gibson 
Lauren Shelby 
Lauren Chin 
Lauren Romano 
Steve Atwood 
Lewis Berryhill 
Max Lobell 
Roger Tribbey 
Malti Chakrabarty 
Matt Hunt 
Doran Mazar 
Anthony Marcus 
Jack Sosa 

And the following notable one-episode characters:

Morris Tolliver 
Rhonda Sachs 
Bobby Zane 
Rakim Ali 
Will Sawyer 
D.W. Newman 
Meeshel Anders 
Lisa Shureborn 
Lilli Mays 
Jules Ziegler 
Hogan Cregg 
Chris Carrick 
Rabbi Glassman 
Kevin Kahn 
Dr. Bartlet (Jed's father)
Victor Campos 
Penn Jillette 
Yosh Takahashi 
Ludmilla Koss 
Thomas Cavanaugh 
Ricky Rafferty 
Sherri Wexler 
Marion Cotesworth-Haye 
Don Butler 
Seth Gillette 
Franklin Hollis 
Abdul Shareef 
Nikolai Ivanovich 
Vassily Kononov 
Winifred Hooper 
Jack Lone Feather 
Maggie Morningstar Charles 
Tyler (Aide from 20 Hours In America)
Stephanie Gault 
Yo-Yo Ma 
Jon Bon Jovi 

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I mean I don't agree with everything on this list but it is pretty good.  And because the Josh and Donna thing was so, so, so, so not my thing I kind of like their lower placements although both should be higher than they are.  But whoever wrote this list?  My kind of people.   

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On 1/23/2019 at 1:15 PM, Moose135 said:

That one of my favorite episodes, and I love that scene - what other show would have the audacity to have its lead character curse at God, in Latin, in the middle of a cathedral?

Ditto.  That whole scene just blew me away.  It was so West Wing, no other show would do such a thing.

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from "He Shall from Time to Time:

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.

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From The Hollywood ReporterAllison Will Be Among the Presenters At This Year’s Academy Awards

The Academy Awards “tradition”, if you will, in recent years has been for the “outgoing” Best Lead/Supporting Actor to present the award to the “incoming” Best Lead/Supporting Actress & the “outgoing” Best Lead/Supporting Actress to present the award to the “incoming” Best Lead/Supporting Actor. 

Earlier in the week word was going around that Allison hadn’t been invited to do that (& apparently neither had the other 3 Oscar-winning actors from last year), because the Academy supposedly wanted to go “another way” & “get bigger names as presenters”. Allison even posted about it on her social media, saying it (presumably meaning not getting to present) broke her heart—then she quickly deleted the post.

And now it looks like the Academy has changed its mind, according to the linked article, & all 4 of last year’s Oscar winners for acting will be presenting at this year’s Oscars. What’s less clear cut is, will they continue the tradition of presenting the acting Oscars, or will they be presenting in other categories? 

At least we’ll get to see Allison. Don’t forget to watch!

Edited by BW Manilowe
To fix spacing and remove a capital letter from a word.
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9 hours ago, ProudMary said:

Why is The West Wing not appearing in the TV Show Index since the site transition?

It is - it is listed in the "Other Dramas" group in the "Dramas" category, but it is listed alphabetically under "T" for "The West Wing".


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It’s showing up now. It was a temporary thing while the database was re-indexing. 

I’m still doing my rewatch, and I’m finding season 4 to drag more than I remember.

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Unpopular opinion, I’m sure, but I really think Donna should have been fired for her actions in Inaguaration: Part 2. To call C.J. to lie about being the one to give a quote when she was hoping all along Josh would know it wasn’t her? The whole thing was bizarre but unprofessional and showed a lack of trustworthiness. I never understood why it was played like she had been mistreated there.

And sitting around in a ball gown pouting about not being at the party you decided to skip? Ugh.

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Six Degrees goes here, I guess

Kathryn Helmond died

Kathryn Helmond was in Soap with

our managing editor Robert Guillaume who was in Sports Night with

Jeremy Goodwin/Joshua Malina

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Just saw that Luke Perry died-he's not only younger than me, but when I was a "grown-up", he was still playing kids on 90210, so this is shocking.

Luke Perry was in Normal Life with

Ashley Judd who was in A Time to Kill with'

Oliver Platt

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Jan Michael Vincent was in The World's Greatest Athlete with
John Amos, aka Admiral Percy Fitzwallace

And just to throw this out there:

Kathryn Helmond was in Soap with 
Billy Crystal who was in Forget Paris with 
John Spencer  

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From Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics:

Josh - You should've been more impressed that I was able to quote Theodore Roosevelt.
Joey - I was impressed that you knew what 'polyglot' meant.
Josh - 760 S.A.T. word, baby.  

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On 3/8/2019 at 5:34 PM, Driad said:

clip involving daylight saving time.  (Donna, Toby, and Josh in Indiana.)

That whole episode never fails to crack me up.

And when that was still going on in Indiana my sister worked in one time zone and lived in another.  And their TV stations came from two different cities on different time zones. And the airport was an hour earlier than their home.  It was like living in the Twilight Zone to visit there.

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7 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

That whole episode never fails to crack me up.

Agreed.  Josh and Toby in rural Indiana is comedy gold, then toss in the time zone stuff and Toby losing the bet -- it's an awesome 2-part episode.

Sidenote: The actor that plays Tyler in that clip ended up playing Jim Harper in 'The Newsroom' (another Aaron Sorkin series) 10 years later.

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I love trivia and have a pretty wide range of trivial knowledge. That said, I am a dunce when it comes to chemistry.  Seriously, I know maybe 2 or 3 chemical abbreviations off the top of my head.   However, today I was taking a Sporcle quiz which included this question: "SCIENCE: The chemical formula NaCl represents which edible compound?"  I had no trouble providing the correct answer! 😄                                                  Thank you C.J. (and Aaron.) Being a TWW nerd sometimes has its benefits.

For the very few who won't recognize the reference:

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From In The Shadow Of Two Gunman, Part 2:

Josh - Governor, California. You have to go the ballroom and give a victory speech in primetime and go to California.

Edited by PeterPirate
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Another Six Degrees entry:

Georgia Engel was in The Mary Tyler Moore Show with
Ed Asner who was in Lou Grant with
Mason Adams and Robert Walden 

By the way, All The President's Men just arrived at Netflix, featuring Robert Walden and Hal Holbrook. 

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The West Wing Weekly this week is on Drought Conditions and is outstanding. I only made it thru the Debra Cahn portion and have not made it to the Richard Schiff conversation, but it gave GREAT insights into what I think is in the Top 5 post Sorkin episodes (still doesnt beat The Supremes, which I still think Sorkin wrote and gave to Debra Cahn to turn in!).

I even went back to the TWOP recap

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On 5/2/2019 at 1:06 PM, AriAu said:

The Supremes, which I still think Sorkin wrote and gave to Debra Cahn to turn in!

Lol, I hadn’t thought of this but suddenly think it’s plausible (and hilarious-like he just couldn’t help himself but write one more).

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In the commentary to The Supremes, Cahn gives a long explanation that her mother was in the hospital when she wrote it; in response to the stress of sitting in her mother's room, she infused the script with a lot comedy.  Perhaps the lady doth explaineth too much?  

Peter Mayhew was in Star Wars with 
Harrison Ford who was in Regarding Henry with
Annette Bening who was in The American President with
Martin Sheen 

Edited by PeterPirate
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3 hours ago, PeterPirate said:

Perhaps the lady doth explaineth too much?

Or perhaps the woman wrote a great script of which she is proud and for which she rightly received credit - both among fans and per WGA rules - and, whether or not she's even half as tired as I am of hearing it must have been written by Aaron Sorkin instead, when asked about the creative process she is happy to share details.

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Well, the idea is new to me.  I didn't start posting about this show until late in the last season, so was not exposed to such discussions.  I have to say, I don't find it totally implausible.

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