Two Cathedrals (2.22)
Mrs. Landingham: Look at you, you're a boy king. You're a foot smarter than the smartest kid in the class. You're blessed with inspiration. You must know this by now, you must have sensed it. Look, if you think we're wrong, if you think Mr. Hopkins should honestly get paid more than Mrs. Chadwick, then I respect that. But if you think we're right, and won't speak up because you can't be bothered, well, god, Jed, I don't even want to know you.
Jed: Mrs. Mueller gets half as much to teach band as Mr. Ryan does to coach crew?
Mrs. Landingham: You're going to do it.
Jed: Well, I didn't say that.
Mrs. Landingham: Yes, you did.
Mrs. Landingham: Just then. You stuck your hands in your pockets. You looked away and smiled. That means you made up your mind.
Bartlet's Third State of the Union
Ainsley: Have you been watching?
Ainsley: Aren't I delightful?
Sam: Yes. You know what I'd like? I'd like it if you didn't say you weren't a hundred percent sure that the President's proposal is constitutional.
Ainsley: The ACLU has a reasonable case to make against the President
Sam: They do a fine job of making it without the help of the President's lawyer.
Ainsley: That's a fair point.
The Drop-In (2.12)
Bartlet: Where are you on the missile shield?
Lord John Marbury: Well, I think it's dangerous, illegal, fiscally irresponsible, technologically unsound, and a threat to all people everywhere.
Leo: I think the world invented a nuclear weapon. I think the world owes it to itself to see if it can't invent something that would make it irrelevant.
Marbury: Well, that's the right sentiment, and certainly a credible one from a man who's fought in a war. You think you can make it stop? Well, you can't. We build a shield, and somebody will build a better missile.
Josh: Leo, ask me how long a Martian day is.
Leo: No, I don't think that I will.
100,000 Airplanes (3.11)
Bartlet: A President stood up. He said we will land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. You know what we knew when he said that? Nothing. We didn't know anything. We didn't know about the lunar surface. We didn't know how to land one of these things. All we'd ever done is crash it into the ocean. And God knows we could figure out how to land soft. We didn't know how to blast off again, but a President said we're gonna do it, and we did it. So I ask you, why shouldn't I stand up and say we are going to cure cancer in ten years? I'm really asking.
Josh: Well, how close are we to really being able to do this?
Bartlet: Nobody knows.
Josh: Then -
Toby: It'll be seen as a political ploy.
CJ: It can be seen - excuse me - it can be seen as self-serving.
CJ: Using cancer to deflect attention from MS.
Bartlet: You think people with cancer care what my motives are? You think their families do?
CJ: I'm saying -
Joey: I agree with everything that's been said, except, I don't think they'll see it as deflecting the MS. I think they'll see it as deflecting the censure.
Bartlet: Once again, why would somebody...?
Joey: Everybody cares about motive, Mr. President.
Bartlet: I didn't -
Kenny: She said, "Everybody cares about motive," sir.
Sam: Yes sir?
Bartlet: Why shouldn't I do it?
Sam: I think you should. I think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good. I think giving people a vision of government that's more than Social Security checks and debt reduction is good. I think government should be optimistic.
Take This Sabbath Day (1.14)
Toby: I had a strange experience this weekend. One of the PD's on the Cruz case, I guess trying the things you do when you're desperate, he went and spoke to my rabbi.
Bartlet: Jewish law doesn't prohibit -
Toby: I know.
Bartlet: The commandment does not say "Thou shalt not kill." It says "Thou shalt not murder."
Toby: I know. But the fact is that, even two thousand years ago, the rabbis of the Talmud couldn't stomach it. I mean, they weren't about to rewrite the Torah, but they came up with another way. They came up with legal restrictions, which make our criminal justice system look... They made it impossible for the state to punish someone by killing them.
Bartlet: We make it very hard to kill anybody in this country, Toby.
Toby: It should be impossible.
Bartlet: But it's not.
Toby: But it should be.
He Shall, From Time to Time (1.12)
Bartlet: Oh, Roger, if anything happened, you know what to do, right?
Agriculture Secretary Tribby: I honestly hadn't thought about it, sir.
Bartlet: First thing always is national security - get your commanders together, appoint Joint Chiefs, appoint a Chairman, take us to Defcon 4. Have the governors send emergency delegates to Washington. Your assistant attorney general is going to be the acting AG - if he tells you he wants to bring up the National Guard, do what he tells you. Oh, you have a best friend?
Tribby: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Tribby: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Tribby: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: That's your chief of staff.
Five Votes Down (1.4)
Josh: I put you in your seat. I got you elected to the House of Representatives.
Congressman Wick: Yeah, and now you think I'm on the leash. Look, I get taken for granted, Josh. I've had one photo op with the president. Me and sixteen other freshmen. That makes me weak.
Josh: You're not serious.
Wick: I've been here over a year. Where's the courtship? This isn't ego - a relationship with the White House is currency around here and I need some.
Josh: You're voting down a measure that would restrict the sale of deadly weapons because no one invited you to the cool kids' table?
Wick: Got your attention.
Josh: You know, I'm so sick of Congress I could vomit.
Josh: Millicent, what were you thinking about?
Dr. Griffith: I was asked a question, Josh.
Josh: I understand, but your answers -
Dr. Griffith: My answers were correct. Is anyone challenging me on the facts?
Josh: Not yet.
Dr. Griffith: Well, they won't. As a doctor, I have an obligation to tell the truth. Come to think of it, as a person I have that obligation as well.
Josh: The truth is different if you're a GP or a member of the Stanford Faculty Club than if you're the country's chief medical practitioner.
Dr. Griffith: Well, no, I think truth is pretty much truth across the board, never more so than if you're the country's chief medical practitioner.
Josh: Did you know that 69% of Americans oppose legalization? Only 23% support it.
Dr. Griffith: The number gets a lot higher than that if you ask people under 30.
Josh: Well, that's a shock. Did you know that the number gets even higher than that if you limit the polling sample to Bob Marley and the Whalers?
Mandatory Minimums (1.20)
Bartlet: I get nervous around laws that fundamentally assume that Americans can't be trusted. We'd better have mandatory sentencing, because judges can't be trusted to disperse even-handed justice. We'd better have term limits 'cause voters can't be trusted to recognize corruption. Oh, and by the way...I say, by the way, when the playing field is leveled and the process is fair and open, it turns out we have term limits. They're called elections.