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Hartsfield's Landing

Original Airdate 02-27-02 Rerun 07-17-02 and 12-04-02

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On the day before the New Hampshire primary the President plays a game of diplomatic and military chess with the Chinese government over Taiwan while playing games of actual chess with Toby and Sam (on chessboards given him by the Prime Minister of India). Up in New Hampshire, the small town of Hartsfield's Landing will vote at midnight and Josh is determined that Bartlet not lose there. So Donna draws an assignment that gives new meaning to the phrase "retail politics."
From NBC:
The President (Martin Sheen) engages both Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) in intricate chess matches that underscore the wily game of brinkmanship Bartlet is playing with the Chinese who threaten to turn their war games in the Taiwan Strait into the real thing if Taiwan begins test-firing their new U.S. Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is edgy about every vote out of the 42 cast in a remote New Hampshire burg that are counted immediately and always predict the winner of the day's crucial state primary. Elsewhere, a mischievous C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to upset Charlie (Dulé Hill) by not accounting for her copy of the President's top-secret daily schedule -- prompting a war of mischievous games and tricks.
From Warner Bros.:
Bartlet engages both Sam and Toby in intricate chess matches that mirror the wily game of brinksmanship that Bartlet is playing with the Chinese, who are conducting war games in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese threaten real war if Taiwan begins test firing its new U.S.-made Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh is nervous about the 42 votes in a remote New Hampshire town's election, which are counted immediately and always predict the winner of that state's primary. Mischievous C.J. tries to upset Charlie by hiding his copy of the President's top-secret daily schedule--prompting a spate of playful tricks.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Deputy Communications Director
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
James Hong as David Chinese Ambassador
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
James Keane as Registrar  
Gregalan Williams as Robbie Mosley Military Officer
Thomas Kopache as Assisant Secretary of State Bob "Bobby" Slatterly
Dennis Cockrum as Military Officer  
William Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Mindy Seeger as Chris Reporter
Charles Noland as Steve Reporter
Lionel D. Carson as Security Guard Tommy
Rick Cramer as Officer  
Matthew Yang King as Staffer  
Jeff Mooring as Phil Reporter
Dan Sachoff as Reporter Todd Hawthorne
Teddy Lane Jr. as Agent  
J.P. Hubbell as Agent  
Jack Choy as Civilian  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nomination by
Dulé Hill
Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nomination by
Richard Schiff
Submitted for consideration for Outstanding Drama Series Win

Media Quotes

In [this] episode ... Toby Ziegler--Bartlet's communications director, and the conscience of Sorkin's White House--"is going to continue his conversation with the President, 'Your father hated your guts because you were smarter than he was. In fact, he hit you because of it, and as a result you are scared to get people mad at you with your brains. You don't want to lose as the smartest kid in class who's running against an everyman. But I'm telling you, be the smartest kid in your class. Be the reason why your father hated you. Make this an election about smart and stupid, about engaged and not, qualified and not.'" - Aaron Sorkin

by Tad Friend
March 4, 2002
The New Yorker

AS "The West Wing" gears up for a re-election battle next season, the show's creator is preparing fictional President Bartlet to run against a character that sounds an awful lot like President George Bush.

"I want to have two characters in which I can dramatize that conflict [between] the know-it-all and the guy without gravitas who somehow relates to the everyman," says creator Aaron Sorkin.

"Isn't That George W. in 'West Wing' Plot?"
April 24, 2002
New York Post

"I won't pretend that I don't know who Bush is," says [Aaron] Sorkin, "but I was interested in writing about a demonization of intellect. Which didn't start with Bush-Gore -- it didn't even start with Eisenhower-Stevenson. It's peculiarly American: Being tagged as the smartest kid in your class turns into both a sense of arrogance and a sense of weakness -- that an 'egghead' [can't] see us through a world war."

"How the 'West' Was Undone"
by Ken Tucker
November 8, 2002
Entertainment Weekly

Q: Characters on The West Wing are always playing elaborate practical jokes on each other. Is that something that happens on the set, too?

A: Yeah, it definitely does. I'm usually the instigator, and it's usually something sophomoric involving some sort of ointment on someone's trailer door. We did have a really good one on Valentine's Day, though. Janel [Maloney, who plays Donna on the show] and I swiped some of Bradley Whitford's [who portrays Deputy Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman] personal stationery, and then ordered a gigantic bouquet of flowers to be delivered to Jimmy Smits's trailer. We included a note on the stationery that read "Every day on the set with you is a joy. Be My Valentine Brad."

Q: Did Bradley find out what you had done?

A: No, but I think he was pretty surprised when Jimmy came up and gave him a big kiss on the set the next day.

"A West Wing-er's Washington"
by Monica Hesse
March 2005
On Tap

About those Valentine flowers ... : Call Smits a sap, but he thought Whitford was being genuine, albeit a little "intimate." He wasn't clued in for nine months. "I think that's what really got me hot under the collar," Smits says. "We're all working together and it takes nine months to admit it? But they were great flowers."

May 14, 2006
Washington Post

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