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Constituency of One

Original Airdate 10-29-03

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It's Josh's birthday, but Will receives what could be a gift: an offer to be the new VP's top aide. "You can shape the next presidency from the ground up," Russell (Gary Cole) tells him. Meanwhile, Toby's determined to push his "message calendar"; Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) does some skillful (perhaps too skillful) lobbying on appropriations for domestic-violence prevention; a conservative Democratic senator (Tom Skerritt) is holding up military promotions and Josh is having difficulty getting him to change his mind; CJ and Leo clash over coal.
From NBC:
After Josh (Bradley Whitford) is hailed as the "101st Senator" in a newspaper profile, he butts heads with a conservative Idaho Democratic Senator (Tom Skerritt) who withholds his approval of a backlog of military promotions to secure an expensive but faulty missile launcher to be built in his home state. In the back corridors, Will (Joshua Malina) gets a flattering offer from the newly approved Vice President (Gary Cole) while CJ (Allison Janney) runs afoul of Leo's (John Spencer) temper when she does not stick to the administration's scripted line on an EPA report on coal-based energy. Likewise, Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) earns the President's (Martin Sheen) wrath when she pushes for funding of the First Lady's agenda on violence prevention while Toby (Richard Schiff) pieces together a message calendar to stay on point during Bartlet's second term.
From Warner Bros.:
After Josh is hailed as the "101st Senator" in a newspaper profile, he clashes with conservative Senator Carrick (Tom Skerritt), a Democrat from Idaho. Carrick withholds his approval of a backlog of military promotions so he can secure an expensive but faulty missile launcher to be built in his home state. Will gets a flattering offer from the newly approved Vice President, Robert Russell (Gary Cole), while C.J. runs afoul of Leo's temper when she deviates from the administration's scripted line regarding an Environmental Protection Agency report on coal-based energy. Likewise, Amy (Mary-Louise Parker) earns the President's wrath when she aggressively pushes for funding of the first lady's agenda on violence prevention. Meanwhile, Toby creates a message calendar to maintain focus during Bartlet's second term.


Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Deputy Communications Director
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
Special Guest Stars    
Mary-Louise Parker as Amy (Amelia) Gardner FLOTUS' Chief of Staff
Jesse Bradford as Ryan Pierce Intern
Gary Cole as Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell Vice President
Tom Skerritt as Chris Carrick Senator from Idaho
Guest Starring    
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Renée Estevez as Nancy Aide
Erinn Carter as Laura Aide to Vice President
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Peter James Smith as Ed Congressional Liaison
William Duffy as Larry Congressional Liaison
David O. Katz as Staffer #1  
Jamie Millhoff as Staffer #2  
Tom W. Chick as Gordon Reporter
Joyce Guy as Charlayne Reporter
Becky Meister as Sally Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Teresa Huang as Holly Aide to Vice President
Matthew Lang as Staff Assistant  
Eric Lemler as Nat Intern
Karen Goberman as Researcher  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Drama Series Nomination

Media Quotes

"I love the personal-relationship side of C.J.," she [Allison Janney] says with a chuckle. "I think I've got the press briefings down pretty much, and I'd love to get into some complicated relationship scenarios."

"Allison Janney is the softer side of C.J. Cregg"
by Jay Boyar
July 29, 2003
Orlando Sentinel

Adding to the realism, the new vice president, played by Gary Cole, will be in place by episode four or five, and around more than predecessor Tim Matheson.

"He needs to be brought up to speed," Wells says of the character. "He's also very ambitious."

"'West Wing's' fifth season: Politics NOT as usual "
by Jill Vejnoska
September 24, 2003
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Richard Schiff was even more effusive about the show's direction. The absence of Sorkin's "romantic lyricism," he said, has paralleled the post-honeymoon phase of "the real White House." He called the series a "reality-driven drama now," explaining that "this is why Leo isn't as attractive a character as he might have been last year and why Josh and Toby get into fights."

"'West Wing' cast is upbeat"
by Matthew Gilbert
January 16, 2004
Boston Globe

And one of the main reasons is Leo McGarry, whose character lately has shown signs of being more the tough, demanding boss and aide that he was when "The West Wing" premiered.


And now I'm thinking that the "new" Leo makes a lot more sense than the old one, who'd had his edges softened over the years in ways that sometimes strained credulity.

"You're not the only person who's said this," Spencer said recently when I asked about the pricklier Leo during a "West Wing" press session in Hollywood. A visitor to the set had told Spencer, " 'Leo's gotten so mean,' " he said.

"And you know, mean and nice and all of that is in the eye of the beholder. But I think you have to look to Qumar" and the plot line last season in which Leo helped talk President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) into assassinating a leader of that fictional Middle Eastern country.

"Things were not easy in the White House at the beginning of this season. I mean, fictionally," he said. "And a lot of it fell on Leo's head, an unhappy staff, a president that was miserable and had lost his daughter, and a first lady who could no longer communicate with me and said that she didn't want me in the house any longer. So Leo's been going through a lot of stuff."


But isn't it a bit more realistic for Leo, as a chief of staff, to be a tougher guy?

"I think so," he said. "I feel the Leo of today is closer to the Leo of the first half of the first season when [producers Tommy Schlamme and Sorkin] said my characterization of Leo McGarry was like if Casey Stengel was the chief of staff of the White House," he said. So, "yeah, it's a big responsibility, and he's gruff."

"It's good to have irascible Leo back"
by Ellen Gray
February 11, 2004
Philadelphia Daily News

Bailey's move to the VP's office, where his opinions stand out more succinctly, was made, [Alex] Graves says, "because part of the genesis of the character is he's not to be kept out of a room, he's too valuable."

"Josh Malina has been clever add to West Wing"
by Bridget Bynre
April 19, 2004
Canadian Press

Parker was asked why her character, lobbyist Amy Gardner, seemed to disappear from "The West Wing." Parker's last appearance on the show was in October 2003, when she incurred the anger of President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) over a domestic-violence bill.

Her departure had as much to do with her pregnancy (she gave birth to son William Atticus in January 2004) as anything else, the "Angels in America" Emmy winner says. "At a certain point, I couldn't, like, stand behind a desk anymore and hold a file. You know, it just got to be ludicrous."

"Parker Returning to 'West Wing'"
January 8, 2005

Dirty little secret: Personally, [Bradley] Whitford wanted his character to end up with Amy Gardner (Mary-Louise Parker) rather than Donna Moss (Janel Moloney).

May 14, 2006
Washington Post

People were always like, "You stole Josh from Donna!" [Laughs] The only person who doesn't feel that way, actually, is Brad[ley Whitford], who is like, "I should have ended up with you." But I loved doing that part. It was supposed to be just one episode, but it turned into more. - Mary-Louise Parker

" Weeds' Mary-Louise Parker Makes a Killer Bride"
by Matt Webb Mitovich
March 2, 2007
TV Guide Online

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