Bartlet: "Good morning! I’m speaking to you live from the West Wing of the White House. Today we have a very unique opportunity to take part live in an extremely historic event which -" Whoa, boy.
Sam: How you doing, Mr. President?
Bartlet: Who wrote this intro?
Scott Tate: I did, sir. I’m Scott Tate from NASA Public Affairs.
Bartlet: Scott, unique means “one of a kind.” Something can’t be very unique, nor can it be extremely historic.
CJ: While we’re at it, do we have to use the word “live” twice in the first two sentences like we just cracked the technology?
Tate: Look -
CJ: We’re also broadcasting in living color, right?
Bartlet: He’s gonna make some changes.
Tate: You’re going to clear them with me?
Sam: I doubt it. Write this: “Good morning. Eleven months ago a 1200 pound spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Eighteen hours ago…” Is it eighteen hours ago? We’re on the air at noon eastern.
Sam: “Eighteen hours ago it landed on the planet Mars. You, me, and 60,000 of your fellow students across the country along with astroscientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Southern California, NASA in Houston, and right here at the White House, are going to be the first to see what it sees, and to chronicle the extraordinary voyage of an unmanned ship called Galileo V.”
Bartlet: He said it right.
The Indians in the Lobby (3.7)
Charge d'affaires Fedrigotti: You stand hand in hand with no other country on this except Somalia. You know that, don't you? Even China doesn't allow children to be executed.
Josh: Well, federal law doesn't allow it, but the people in the state of Georgia do, so there's not much -
Fedrigotti: Josh, you're in a restaurant -
Fedrigotti: And there's a little girl who is really misbehaving. She runs around, she's throwing food. The father decides to punish her right there by cracking the wine bottle over her head, throwing her to the ground, and kicking her repeatedly. You sit at the next table. What do you do?
Josh: The kid wasn't throwing food.
Fedrigotti: Is there a crime that girl could commit that would justify what the father did?
Josh: See, it's problematic when others make my arguments for me.
Fedrigotti: Yes. And if the father said "This is my child, and I will punish her any way I choose," would you come to the conclusion that this father has lost all perspective and all judgement and should be removed from the equation?
Take This Sabbath Day (1.14)
Bartlet: I’m the leader of a democracy, Tom. Seventy-one percent of the people support capital punishment. People have spoken. The courts have spoken.
Father Cavanaugh: Did you call the Pope?
Father Cavanaugh: And how do you do that?
Bartlet: Oh, for crying out loud, Tom! I open my mouth and say, “Somebody get me the Pope.”
Father Cavanaugh: No, I’m sorry, Mr. President, but I was thinking - you’re just this kid from my parish and now you’re calling the Pope.
Bartlet: Anyway, I looked for a way out, I really did.
Father Cavanaugh: Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. You know what that means? God is the only one who gets to kill people.
The Fall's Gonna Kill You (2.20)
Donna: What’s so funny?
Larry: Ed just got a fax. I'm sorry. Ed just got a fax from a man named Byron Talmadge. He’s the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Office of Space Cadets.
Larry: Office of Space Flight.
Ed: The OSF.
Donna: What’d the fax say?
Larry: A huge Chinese satellite is gonna come crashing to Earth, and we don’t know where and we don’t know when.
Ed: Yeah, it’s right here in the fax.
Donna: A satellite is crashing to Earth and NASA sent us a fax?
Donna: This is for real?
Donna: A satellite is gonna crash into the Earth?
Ed and Larry: Yes.
Donna: Why are you laughing?
Ed: We thought it was funny.
Let Bartlet Be Bartlet (1.19)
Chairman Fitzwallace: We’re discussing gays in the military, huh?
Major Thompson: Yes sir.
Fitzwallace: What do you think? I said, what do you think?
Thompson: Sir, we’re here to help the White House form a possible -
Fitzwallace: I know. I’m asking you what you think.
Major Tate: Sir, we’re not prejudiced toward homosexuals.
Fitzwallace: You just don’t want to see them serving in the Armed Forces?
Tate: No, sir, I don’t.
Fitzwallace: Cause they pose a threat to unit discipline and cohesion.
Tate: Yes sir.
Fitzwallace: That’s what I think too. I also think the military wasn’t designed to be an instrument of social change.
Tate: Yes sir.
Fitzwallace: The problem with that is that's what they were saying to me fifty years ago. Blacks shouldn’t serve with whites, it would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I’m an admiral in the U.S. Navy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Beat that with a stick.
Posse Comitatus (3.21)
Josh: You have an extra billion in child care.
Amy: That's great, but the marriage incentives are terrible.
Josh: We don't like the marriage incentives either, don't be ridiculous. But independent voters -
Amy: Please, say "white men" instead of "independent voters." And if you're serious about making welfare a second chance and not a way of life, you have to give people job training.
The Portland Trip (2.7)
Sam: Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place. We should be talking about not being satisfied with past solutions, we should be talking about a permanent revolution.
Toby: Where have I heard that?
Sam: Permanent revolution?
Sam: I got it from a book.
Toby: What book?
Sam: The Little Red Book.
Toby: You think we should quote Mao Tse-Tung?
Sam: We do need a permanent revolution.
Toby: Still, I think we'll stay away from quoting Communists.
Sam: You think a Communist never wrote an elegant phrase?
Sam: How do you think they got everybody to be Communists?
Bartlet's Third State of the Union (2.13)
Sam: Okay, can I talk to you about adrenaline for a second?
Sam: Yeah. You’re feeling it right now and it’s gonna get even more cause it’s a big night and you were a hit and you’ve never experienced anything like this.
Ainsley: And you think I’m going to have a nutty.
Sam: I’m saying don’t drink until you’re off television.
Ainsley: God, thanks, Sam for that debating tip. You have a feel for nuances. You say I shouldn’t be drunk when I’m representing the White House.
Sam: Yeah. And please don't forget you’re a blonde Republican girl and that nobody likes you.
Ainsley: I’m going back on television now.
Sam: Try to remember you’re on our side.
Charlie: What the hell, CJ? He doesn’t like green beans.
CJ: We won Oregon by 10,000 votes. I don’t know how many green bean farmers they have out there, but if there are 10,001 -
CJ: This is a serious thing now.
Charlie: Well, I’m sorry I mouthed off to a reporter, but you’re out of your mind.
CJ: No, I -
Charlie: Education’s a serious thing. Crime, jobs, national security. In eighteen months, I’ve been to Oregon four times, and not a single person I’ve met there has been stupid.
CJ: Everybody’s stupid in an election year, Charlie.
Charlie: No. Everybody gets treated stupid in an election year, CJ.
Guns Not Butter (4.12)
Josh: 68% think we give too much in foreign aid, and 59% think it should be cut.
Will: You like that stat?
Josh: I do.
Josh: Because 9% think it's too high, and shouldn't be cut! 9% of respondents could not fully get their arms around the question. There should be another box you can check for "I have utterly no idea what you're talking about. Please, God, don't ask for my input."
Election Night (4.6)
Bartlet: How'd you know?
Abbey: You were off the prompter.
Bartlet: Just for a minute at the end. I couldn't see it.
Abbey: It's all right. There are going to be more days like this. It starts now. It's going to be harder this time.
Bartlet: Yeah, I know. We can still have tonight, though, right?
Abbey: You got lots of nights. Smart people who love you are going to have your back.
He Shall, From Time to Time... (1.12)
Toby: I want to change the sentiment. We’re running away from ourselves, and I know we can score points that way. I was the principle architect in that campaign strategy, right along with you, Josh. But we’re here now. Tomorrow night, we do an immense thing. We have to say what we feel. That government, no matter what its failures are in the past, and in times to come, for that matter, the government can be a place where people come together and where no one gets left behind. No one gets left behind. An instrument of good. I have no trouble understanding why the line tested well, Josh, but I don’t think that means we should say it. I think that means we should change it.