Bartlet for America
|"Bartlet for America"|
|The West Wing episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Thomas Schlamme|
|Written by||Aaron Sorkin|
|Original air date||December 12, 2001|
|Season 3 episodes|
"Bartlet for America" is the 53rd episode of The West Wing.
It is December 23, but no one at the White House is feeling much in the Christmas spirit. Indeed, the most pressing holiday matter is a threat to firebomb black churches in Tennessee on Christmas Eve. As for Leo, he and his new $650-an-hour lawyer are on Capitol Hill, where he's about to testify before the House committee probing the MS matter. Josh and Sam try but fail to find someone to help delay the hearings before Leo is forced to reveal a secret about the final pre-election debate when Jed Bartlet suffered an MS-related attack. It is revealed that, while attempting to get campaign funds from former Republican contributors, Leo relapsed. That night, Bartlet had an MS attack and Leo revealed this while drunk to Darren Gibson, one of the contributors. Gibson is now one of the congressman interrogating him and, under the auspice of the MS investigation, wants to embarrass Leo publicly. However, the chair of the committee, at the suggestion of Republican Majority Counsel Cliff Calley, calls a recess of the investigation until after the holidays.
Upon returning to the White House, Bartlet gives Leo a pre-Christmas gift: the napkin on which Leo had written 'Bartlet for America', a vision that had, against all odds, become reality.
The napkin given to Leo in the final scene of the episode later becomes the focal point of the final scene of the series.
In the flashback to a meeting between Leo and then-Governor Bartlet, Bartlet mentions an Illinois Senate seat that will be up for election in two years from the time of the flashback. One of Illinois' real-world Senate seats was indeed up for election in that year (2002).
In a flashback CJ is shown to lack basic basketball skills, yet later in Faith Based Initiative much of the cause for the rumours about CJ's sexuality stem from the fact that she was the best female basketball player in her county's history.
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