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On the Day Before

Original Airdate 10-31-01 Rerun 03-13-02

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On a busy night at the White House, the President vetoes the estate-tax repeal and staffers scramble to counter the GOP's override threat. Meanwhile, Josh stares down a Democratic governor (Kevin Tighe) who's threatening to challenge Bartlet in the primaries; Charlie has been offered legal immunity in the MS matter and everyone urges him to take it; and C.J. has a difficult time with a local-TV reporter (Mary Mara) who isn't nearly as smart as she is aggressive.
From NBC:
As a State Department dinner nears, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) boldly vetoes the "death tax" bill but his staff must hustle when they are surprised to learn that the House of Representatives have enough votes to immediately override the veto. Meanwhile, as some important Democratic congressmen are holding out for some compromising political favors that incense Bartlet and Leo (John Spencer), Josh (Bradley Whitford) tries to smooth-talk a promising governor (Kevin Tighe) who is considering running against Bartlet. On the fringes, C.J. (Allison Janney) singles out an overmatched entertainment reporter (Mary Mara) for retribution and Charlie (Dulé Hill) is strongly urged by his fellow White House teammates to ask for immunity in his upcoming testimony into the President's non-disclosure of his illness.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
Stockard Channing as Abbey (Abigail Ann) Bartlet M.D. First Lady
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
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
Guest Starring    
Anna Deavere Smith as Dr. Nancy McNally National Security Advisor
Kevin Tighe as Jack Buckland Governor of Indiana
H. Richard Greene as Robert Royce Rep. R-Penn
Cliff DeYoung as Congressman Kimball Rep. D-Tenn
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Scott Michael Campbell as Donald Dolan Executive Clerk
John F. O'Donohue as Mr. Koveleski Clerk of the House
Mary Mara as Sherri Wexler Entertainment Reporter
Thomas Kopache as Assisant Secretary of State Bob "Bobby" Slatterly
Kim Webster as Ginger Assistant to Communications' Director
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
William Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Jeff Mooring as Phil Reporter
Steven J. Levy as Jonathan  
Rick Cramer as Officer  
Ralph Meyering Jr. as Civilian Tom
Ana Mercedes as Sally Military Aide
Elizabeth Taheri as Pam Wachtel (last name)
Randolph Brooks as Civilian Arthur Leeds / Reporter
Richard Saxton as Alan  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Nomination by
Janel Moloney

Media Quotes

A bombing in Tel Aviv with one American killed -- that's the storyline on which the "West Wing" troupe had just done a cold reading for the fourth episode of the new season.

The company emerged from the reading to be told of the suicide bombing in Jerusalem in which an American had been killed. "It was mind-blowing," said Richard Schiff (he plays Toby Ziegler), one of the series' eight Emmy-Nominated thesps (that tally includes guest actor Oliver Platt).

"Hopefully," Schiff told me, "this is the last time our nonfiction reflects the fiction." But he praised Aaron Sorkin's "profound understanding of the foibles of humans -- that people sometimes force themselves into thinking certain things. His understanding of that phenomenon is amazing!"

""West Wing" takes Middle East angle"
by Army Archerd
August 17, 2001
Daily Variety

At the time of the attack [September 11, 2001], Aaron was in the middle of writing the 6th episode of the season. A Halloween ep. He immediately stopped writing and tossed the script. He said that it didn't feel right to write. That all of a sudden what artists and writers did seemed "despicably silly."

Posted at
by Kel
October 6, 2001
Message 9150
Notes from Sublime Primetime : An Evening with Emmy-Nominated Writers

It felt all right to me 'cause Arafat's been around forever and he'll be around forever. Like the way we reference Phyllis Schlafly. It felt strange to only refer to him as the Chairman. The rule is do what feels right and then trust yourself. - Aaron Sorkin

Posted at
by List Owner
November 1, 2001
Message 10797

I was in the middle of writing our sixth episode on September 11. I was about halfway through. These scripts are written very close to production. There isn't a bank of scripts. In other words, we were in the middle of shooting the fifth episode while I was in the middle of writing the sixth episode. And I threw it out immediately. It wasn't that there was anything objectionable. There weren't any bombs. It was just wrong. It was a Halloween episode and everybody was yukking it up a little bit. And I was kind of paralyzed. I was like everybody. I didn't know what to write. It didn't feel right to write.

"Sorkin On 9/11"
by Aaron Sorkin
November 2001
Written by

"When we started, Washington was a gridlocked, partisan place. The public enjoyed a show like ours with idealized people, who want to get things done. Now everyone in Washington has come together for a war of good vs. evil and we're talking about a repeal of the estate tax [on the show]. That doesn't work." - Aaron Sorkin

"Reality intrudes on West Wing"
by Tom Jicha
January 21 2002
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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