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Drought Conditions

Original Airdate 02-23-05

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Josh is annoyed that a new candidate (Mel Harris) is taking press coverage away from Santos despite his strong New Hampshire showing while reporter Greg Brock (Sam Robards) suspects that the White House is secretly backing a candidate. Meanwhile, CJ has a tough time dealing with a lobbyist on plans to deal with a Western drought; and Charlie tells Kate Harper that a man from his gym asked about her.
From NBC:
Vice President Russell (Gary Cole) appears to be the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president. However, a new contender, Senator Rafferty (Mel Harris) gives an amazing speech and has the press buzzing with her ideas. Josh (Bradley Whitford) discovers an interesting link between Senator Rafferty's health-care plan and President Barlet's original plan which only someone on the inside would be privy to. Meanwhile, C.J. (Allison Janney) is trying to get Congress to back a bill.
From Warner Bros.:
Vice President Russell (Gary Cole) appears to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President. But a new contender, Senator Rafferty (Mel Harris), gives an amazing speech and has members of the press filling their columns with her words. Josh continues to firmly support Santos (Jimmy Smits) and discovers an interesting link between Senator Rafferty's health care plan and one President Bartlet created--that only a White House insider would know. Meanwhile, C.J. tries to get Congress to support a bill.


Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Deputy Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Chief of Staff
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Vice President's Campaign Manager
Mary McCormack as Kate (Katherine) Harper Deputy National Security Advisor
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Russell Campaign Staffer
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Former Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Santos Campaign Manager
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Rep. D-TX
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
Special Guest Stars    
Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Schott Deputy Press Secretary
Mark Feuerstein as Cliff (Clifford) Calley Lobbyist
Lily Tomlin as
Debbie (Deborah) Fiderer President's Secretary
Guest Starring    
Sam Robards as Greg Brock Reporter
Mel Harris as Ricky Rafferty Senator
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Karis Campbell as Ronna (Beckman) Santos' Aide
Evan Arnold as Ned Carlson Santos' Aide
Kurt Scholler as Guard Larry (first name)
J.F. Davis as Bartender  
Rebecca Avery as Aide  

Information Links


Media Quotes

"In the evolution of the stories, politics and campaigning has been the arena least explored. We're trying to rectify that balance."

"It's a slightly unreal element on the show that we haven't had the political sharks circling the White House. That dynamic will now be added." - Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr.

"'West Wing': Is It Facing a Struggle to Survive?"
by Bernard Weinraub
August 12, 2004
New York Times

"Part of what we're playing throughout the fall is the growing unease with the leading candidates that show up for the Democratic nomination," [John] Wells says, "and should the White House try behind the scenes to get more involved in seeing if a better candidate should be put forward?"

"Season of Change for 'The West Wing'"
by Rick Porter
October 18, 2004

"What we're hoping to do is give the audience some insight into what the campaign process is about," Smits says.

"Can 'West Wing' build a bridge to the 21st century?"
by Bill Keveney
October 19, 2004
USA Today

"I think John [Wells] got what he wanted in terms of going backstage in the (primary) campaign process" this season, he [Jimmy Smits] says.

"'The West Wing' wants you"
by Bill Keveney
April 5, 2005
USA Today

I had a similar scene a couple of years later in the episode in which my brother had committed suicide and I had the scene where I break down. I remember the way it unfolded I couldn't control myself, I couldn't stop, I was so vulnerable. I went right back at her and I said 'you know what, you once said you couldn't do this particular scene [without me] well there is no one on this earth I could have done this with, except you. So that's memorable for me. - Richard Schiff

"Q&A: Richard Schiff answers your questions"
February 10, 2007
London Theatre Guide

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