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Mandatory Minimums

Original Airdate 05-03-00 Rerun 08-09-00 10 p.m.

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Bartlet makes two nominations; Josh clashes with a senator; Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin) arrives to work on a special project.
From NBC:
A newly energized President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) bucks tradition and throws down the gauntlet when he names two campaign finance reformers to the Federal Election Commission despite threats from his political opponents to introduce embarrassing legislation that would dare him not to sign. But the President wants to go further and floats a controversial new drug enforcement policy. In the meantime, the early reactions to his first announcement are not encouraging, especially from top-notch pollster Al Kiefer (John de Lancie) who is hired to take the public's "temperature". Kiefer's arrival means his attractive cohort, Joey Lucas (Marlee Matlin), accompanies him, and she again draws a smitten Josh's (Bradley Whitford) attention. Toby (Richard Schiff) agrees to seek out his ex-wife (Kathleen York), a breezy congresswoman, to gauge her response to any future narcotics legislation that would emphasize prevention over enforcement. Leo (John Spencer) -- uncomfortably aware of his own brush with drugs -- agrees to be the Chief Executive's front man for positioning the high-voltage issue of revising the drug laws.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Moira Kelly as Mandy (Madeline) Hampton Public Relations Consultant
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Star
Marlee Matlin as
Joey (Josephine) Lucas Pollster
Guest Starring    
Timothy Busfield as Danny (Daniel) Concannon (Washington Post) Reporter
John de Lancie as Al Kiefer Pollster
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Suzy Nakamura as Cathy Assistant to Deputy Communications Director
Bruce Weitz as Senator Senate Majority Leader
Kathleen York as Rep. Andy (Andrea) Wyatt Congresswoman
Bill O'Brien as Kenny Thurman Sign Language Interpreter
Paul Provenza as Steve Onorato Works for Senate Majority Leader
Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. Landingham President's Secretary /
Delores (first name)
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Chris Conner as Jack Reporter
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications Director
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Charles Noland as Steve Reporter
Mindy Seeger as Chris Reporter
J.P. Stevenson as Jonathan Reporter
Diana Morgan as Jesse Reporter
Michael Luckerman as Aide #1 Stuart
Paul Ehrmann as Aide #2 Dick
Diane Nadeau as Aide Works for Senate Majority Leader
Karolyn Nishioka as Waitress Celia

Information Links



Prism Awards

TV Prime Time Drama Series Episode Commendation

Media Quotes

"They wanted to know my opinion on who they ought to cast . . . and they said it would be either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Woody Allen. Now, which do you think I picked?"

-- House Majority Whip Tom DeLay yesterday, telling a National Press Club audience, including The Post's Juliet Eilperin, about NBC's plans to put a DeLay-like character on The West Wing.

"The Reliable Source"
by Lloyd Grove with Beth Berselli
May 5, 2000
Washington Post

Sorkin needs only to point to the night Sheen delivered a rousing speech to a banquet room filled with gussied-up extras - for 11 heady takes. "He kept saying, 'Let's do it one more time."'

"Hail to the Chief of The West Wing"
by Frazier Moore
May 8, 2000
Associated Press

An unseen yet key character on recent episodes of NBC's The West Wing has been a woman named Patricia (second reference Patty) Calhoun, President Josiah Bartlet's (Martin Sheen) nominee for the Federal Election Commission.

Bartlet wants Calhoun on the commission because she'd be a key supporter of campaign finance reform.

Denver, of course, has a notable Patricia (Patty) Calhoun, the editor of Westword.

So did The West Wing use the name Patty Calhoun out of familiarity? Co-producer John Wells is a Denver native, and Aaron Sorkin, the series' creator and head writer recently was featured in an article in the journalism monthly, Brill's Content, as was Calhoun.

An NBC spokesman called the naming of The West Wing character "a remarkable coincidence."

So what would Denver's Patty Calhoun do if she were appointed to the Federal Election Commission?

"I would condense the presidential campaign to about a day," Calhoun says, adding that she'd also advocate some sort of televised, winner-take-all mud-wrestling event, with advertising revenues going to a worthy cause.

"Channel 9 studies 10 p.m. audience loss"
by Dusty Saunders
May 15, 2000
Rocky Mountain News

The biggest endorsement for "West Wing" as civics lesson may have come from Robert Stutman, a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who participated in a PBS panel this summer for the "Frontline" special "Drug Wars." "The most intelligent discussion I've heard among politicians concerning the drug issue ... was on 'The West Wing,' and it was President Josiah Bartlet," Stutman volunteered.

"Hail to "The West Wing""
by Gail Pennington
October 4, 2000
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The actor [Richard Schiff] created his own back story for Toby. He even had the character wearing a wedding ring -- which Sorkin and fellow executive producer Thomas Schlamme failed to notice until about the eighth episode. "They came up to me and said, 'Are you [Toby] married?' And I said, 'No.' And they said, 'Well, why are you wearing the wedding ring?' I explained that it was a private thing. They said, 'Good, because we want to give him an ex-wife.'

"I said, 'I think Toby has more than one ex-wife.' The ring -- I had always imagined that his first wife had died, which accounts for his sadness, and why someone would devote himself to public service and be so singular about it." Schiff laughs. "But then, Aaron and Tommy threw that right out the window."

Last season, Toby's ex-wife, a congresswoman, turned up. Schiff doesn't know if she'll be back, but Sorkin would like to "bring a female into my life," he says. "...I love that his personal life is not open to the public. He seems to me such a private individual."

"'West Wing' player keeps a cool head"
by Virginia Rohan
October 4, 2000
Bergen Record

"We [she and Toby] do have some similarities," though, she said. "We're both big Yankee fans." - Loretta Ucelli [former White House communications director for President Clinton]

"'West Wing' not unlike real thing?"
by Bob Deans
October 4, 2000
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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