The State Dinner (1.7)
Donna: If you can't explain what you're doing now, the assumption is that you're a sorcerer. If you try to run, the assumption is that you're a sorcerer. Okay? So if anything happens, the prudent thing is to stand still and calmly explain your business.
Josh: Well, prudent or not, once the scythe comes out, I'm probably going to haul ass.
17 People (2.18)
Josh: I’m just saying, if you were in an accident, I wouldn’t stop for a beer.
Donna: If you were in an accident, I wouldn’t stop for red lights. Thanks for taking me back.
He Shall, From Time To Time... (1.12)
Congressman Burns: Now, the President's proposing in his speech that the budget for the NEA be increased by fifty percent?
Toby: The National Endowment amounts to less than 1/100th of one percent of the total budget for the federal government. It costs taxpayers 39 cents a year. The arts budget for the US is equivalent to the arts budget of Sweden.
Burns: That is such a big deal being made out of the performance arts, of the
Mapplethorpe photographs -
Toby: You gay bashing, Raymond?
Burns: Well, once again, all we'd like is for you to not mention the NEA.
Other Congressman: Personally, I don't know what to say to people who argue that the NEA is there to support art that nobody wants to pay for in the first place. I don't know what to tell people when they say Rogers and Hart didn't need the NEA to write Oklahoma, and Arthur Murray didn't need the NEA to write Death of a Salesman.
Toby: I'd start by telling them that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote Oklahoma, and Arthur Murray taught ballroom dance, and Arthur Miller did need the NEA to write Death of a Salesman, but it wasn't called the NEA back then, it was called the WPA.
He Shall, From Time To Time... (1.12)
Donna: Margaret came by.
Donna: She said Leo said to remind you you need to pick a guy.
Donna: She said you'd know what that means.
Donna: Do you know what that means?
Donna: I don't know what that means.
Josh: Someone from the line of succession is required to be absent from the State of the Union.
Donna: Wait. I know why. So if somebody blows up the building, nobody's -
Donna: Who are you gonna pick?
Josh: Who do you think I should pick?
Donna: I think you should pick me.
Josh: You think so?
Donna: Yeah. I'll be good.
Josh: And where exactly do you fall in the line of succession?
Donna: If somebody blows up the Capitol Building, I'd imagine I'd move up a few slots.
100,000 Airplanes (3.11)
CJ: Should we postpone the State of the Union? What are the rules on that?
Toby: He's required to give Congress information on the State of the Union. If he buys Congress a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, he's fulfilled his constitutional obligation.
Abu El Banat (5.9)
Donna: The President's introducing Gus to the Three Tenors. "Hallelujah Chorus" in the Blue Room.
Josh: Why's a five-year-old want to meet the Three Tenors?
Donna: I'm pretty sure he doesn't.
Speaker of the House Haffley: A billion here, a billion there. We dole it out like candy to children. Welfare paternalism, regulation, taxes, and quotas are why people can't find jobs.
Bartlet: This administration has created the greatest amount of wealth in history.
Haffley: Which is a testament to the resilience of the American spirit, not Washington bureaucrats.
Bartlet: Not everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, Mr. Speaker.
Separation of Powers (5.7)
Donna: What happens if we don't get a budget deal?
Josh: Get another continuing resolution.
Donna: See, here's what I don't get. Every year we take these continuing resolutions like the dog ate our homework.
Josh: The Republican majority, but you're close.
Donna: How come people aren't outraged? The rest of the country can't take endless amounts of time to finish their work.
Josh: Well, you're forgetting the beauty of the federal budget process.
Donna: What's that?
Josh: No one understands it.
Disaster Relief (5.6)
Bartlet: Hi. You need any help?
Woman: No, thank you, sir. I-I'm almost done.
Bartlet: I'm pretty good with a scouring pad.
Woman: That'd just be embarrassing for both of us, Mr. President.
Bartlet: You're with the Red Cross?
Woman: I'm a volunteer. And I drive a school bus for the district.
Bartlet: That must be very rewarding - getting to know all the children, watching them grow.
Woman: I'm sorry. I lost four kids on my route yesterday. Yeah, at first you're just glad it's not your kids. But you got to wonder, what kind of a god would do such a terrible thing? We go to church every Sunday. We try to do the right thing. What kind of plan could this possibly be?
Constituency of One (5.5)
Toby: I didn't know you lived with a guy named Ben.
CJ: There's a lot you don't know about me.
Toby: Like what?
CJ: Well that's about it, really.
Toby: You don't want his calls?
CJ: Well, if I take his call, of course it would be great to hear his voice - he has this low, husky radio voice - and we'd be swapping memories and old jokes and pet names and then it's the frisky little emails and pretty soon it's, you know, the weekend in Little Washington and the late night phone calls and that's when we begin to get on each other's nerves, 'cause we get on each other's nerves. He has this thing where he twirls his hair and - anyway, the bloom's off the rose and I don't call as much and it's the guilt and cherchez la femme and why-didn't-it-work-out-the-first-time and it's ten years til we talk again.
Toby: That was like a bad romantic comedy in fifteen seconds.
In This White House (2.4)
Sam Seaborn: But for a brilliant surgical team and two centimeters of a miracle, this guy’s dead right now. From bullets fired from a gun bought legally. They bought guns, they loaded ‘em, they drove from Wheeling to Rosslyn, and until they pulled the trigger they had yet to commit a crime. I am so off the charts tired of the gun lobby tossing around words like personal freedom and nobody calling ‘em on it. It’s not about personal freedom. And it certainly has nothing to do with public safety. It’s just that some people like guns.
In the Shadow of Two Gunmen Part II (2.2)
CJ Cregg: This is our 5th press briefing since midnight. Obviously, there’s one story that’s going to dominate news around the world for the next few days, and it would be easy to think that President Bartlet, Joshua Lyman, and Stephanie Abbott were the only victims of a gun crime last night. They weren’t. Mark Davis and Sheila Evans of Philadelphia were killed by a gun last night. He was a Biology Teacher and she was a Nursing student. Tina Bishop and Linda Larkin were killed with a gun last night. They were 12. There were 36 homicides last night. 480 sexual assaults, 3,411 robberies, 3,685 aggravated assaults, all at gunpoint. And if anyone thinks those crimes could have been prevented if the victims themselves had been carrying guns, I’d only remind you that the President of the United States was shot last night while surrounded by the best trained armed guards in the history of the world. Back to the briefing.
Bartlet's Third State of the Union (2.13)
Shallick: This White House uses the First Amendment to protect flag burning, to protect pornography, to ban school prayer. Why, when the Second Amendment clearly says that the government will not infringe upon a citizens right to bear arms -
Toby: It doesn't say that.
Toby: In fact it doesn't say that at all. It only says that if you remove some words from it. It says "A well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the government shall not infringe." The words "regulated" and "militia" are in the first sentence. I don't think the framers were thinking of three guys and a Dodge Durango.
Shallick: You don't really know what the framers were thinking, do you?
Toby: No. But I do know that if you combine the populations of Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia, you'll get a population roughly the size of the United States. We had 32,000 gun deaths last year; they had 112. You think it's because Americans are more homicidal by nature? Or do you think it's because those guys have gun control laws?
Donna: So if I tell you something could you try not to be so you about it?
Josh: Yeah. What's going on?
Donna: I'm taking my aunt and uncle from Wisconsin, who are perfectly nice people, on a tour of the White House later today, and I'd rather not go through an entire morning of cheesehead jokes, which are beneath you anyway -
Josh: You know what's the state bird of Wisconsin? The Munster. The state motto? Live brie or die. It narrowly beat out you can have my wheel of cheddar when you pry it out of my cold, dead, stinky fingers.
Jefferson Lives (5.3)
Josh: Berryhill's already been through this as Secretary.
Toby: He was confirmed by the Senate, not by the House. We've got 24 hours to make this happen. Right out of the gate, even a whiff of a whiff of a rumor, we're ready to bat it down.
CJ: Smart offense.
Will: Error-free ball.
Josh: Knock yourselves out, but he's a slam-dunk.
Toby: Okay, that's one too many sports metaphors.
The Dogs of War (5.2)
President Walken: This is a weird-looking room.
Debbie: Truman called it "the crown jewel of the federal penal system."
Walken: You a Truman fan?
Debbie: Yes, sir.
Walken: Me too.
Debbie: I would have taken you for an Eisenhower man, sir.
Walken: If Truman were alive today, he'd be a Republican.
Debbie: Oh, I doubt that very much.
Walken: You know, it's funny. This was never an ambition of mine. I never wanted to be President of the United States.
Debbie: Neither did Mr. Truman.
7A WF 83429 (5.1)
Bartlet: I thought I sent you home.
Charlie: You need something, sir?
Bartlet: Nah, we're good. Sit down. Jean Paul gave the FBI the name of his dealer. Yeah, I want to kill him, too. You really should go home. You work for the President. He's going to need you down there.
Charlie: I work for you. Someone else can show him where the Xerox paper is.
Bartlet: You do a lot more than that.
Charlie: Thank you, sir, but I'd prefer to stay here with you.