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In God We Trust

Original Airdate 03-23-05

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Ron Silver returns as political operative Bruno Gianelli---and he's advising Vinick (Alan Alda), who's now ths presumptive GOP nominee. The Democrats, however are in disarray following an indecisive primary season. Meanwhile, the adminstration still in office must wrestle with the debt ceiling. And so, as it happens, must Vinick.
From NBC:
Vinick (Alan Alda) wins the Republican nomination for presidency and begins working on his campaign. He gets political advice from Bruno (Ron Silver) about choosing a vice president and how to deal with the latest controversy of Vinick's church attendance, or lack thereof. Meanwhile the Democrats are stuck in a three-way race for enough delegates to win the Democratic nominations; Russell (Gary Cole) barely leads Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Hoynes (Tim Matheson) is a distant third. Bartlet (Martin Sheen) tries to show unity in the party by wrangling the candidates.
From Warner Bros.:
After winning the Republican nomination for presidency, Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) begins working on his campaign. Bruno Gianelli (Ron Silver), a political strategist, gives the Republican candidate advice about choosing a vice president and handling Vinick's latest controversy--his failure to attend church. Meanwhile, the Democrats are stuck in a three-way race for enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination; Russell (Gary Cole) barely leads Santos (Jimmy Smits); and Hoynes (Tim Matheson) is now a distant third. Bartlet tries to show unity in the party by wrangling the candidates.


Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick Republican Candidate for President
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
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
Gary Cole as Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell Vice President
Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli Vinick Campaign Strategist
Patricia Richardson as Sheila Brooks Vinick Campaign Manager
Guest Starring    
H. Richard Greene as Robert Royce Senate Majority Leader / R-Penn
Stephen Root as Bob Mayer Vinick Campaign Speechwriter
Don S. Davis as Reverend Don Bulter  
Brett Cullen as Ray Sullivan Governor of West Virginia
Penny Griego as Anchorwoman  
Deven Streeton as Tina Sheila Brooks' Daughter
Annie Morgan as Vinick Staffer Anne
Kent Shocknek as Anchorman  
Ben Siegler as Reporter #6 George
Andrew Caple-Shaw as Sean Vinick Campaign Staffer
Paul Webster as Pundit  
Livia Treviño as Reporter #2  
Terri Cavanaugh as Reporter #7  
Eric Cazenave as Reporter #3  

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nomination by
Alan Alda
Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Drama Series Nomination

Media Quotes

[Allison] Janney, who turns 45 next week, actually has a 25-year-old connection with [Alan] Alda. She was a classmate and friend of his daughter while the two were at Ohio's Kenyon College.

"Later we were in 'Object of My Affection' (a 1998 made-for-cable movie) together where I played his wife. I had to call him 'sweetie,' so it was very awkward," Janney laughed. "I'm excited about him joining the cast."

"C.J. reluctantly moves up"
by Rick Bird
November 11, 2004
Cincinnati Post

... one of the show's constant themes - the choice candidates make between expressing their honest feelings and telling the public what they want to hear to get votes.

"That is the central issue for campaigns," said Wells. "What are you willing to sacrifice? What of your integrity? What do you have to do to be politically expedient? The political professionals are telling you: "It doesn't really matter what you say. You are just trying to get votes and make a difference when you get elected.' That's a recurring theme.

"The disturbing thing about spending a lot of time with our political consultants about this, is the fact that you would even ask that question of them makes you an idiot."

"Alda, Smits hit campaign trail"
by Alan Pergament
January 26, 2005
Buffalo News

Executive producer John Wells says, "We want to keep in the audience's mind this question of not only who do you think would make the best president, but who are the people around that person who would make for the best administration? We're also trying to see all the questions that you have to answer for yourself as a candidate. Who are you going to be? What are you willing to sacrifice to do it? What are the people around you asking you to do?

"So we're hoping by the time we get into the fall, that there will be a real question in the viewer's mind as to who would make the better president. They both have strengths and weaknesses."


"It's giving us an opportunity to explore different points of view," he says, "and express in two actors different ideas that might have been a little bit difficult to express on the show over the years, because we are in a Democratic administration, the Bartlet administration, and so the Republicans are usually the enemy. No matter how favorably or with how much compassion you try to present that other point of view, you're trying to defeat them.

"In this, we now have a contest in which there's a discussion going on in which both points of view are presented. Oftentimes the Republican point of view sounds very, very compelling, particularly coming out of Alan's mouth."

"'West Wing' Hits Campaign Trail"
by Kate O'Hare
February 20, 2005

Good news for 'The West Wing,' which, it was announced last week, has been renewed for its 7th season. Now if the troupe can only struggle through to the end of this one!

'You walk into the show and what you see is a lot of really exhausted people,' reports Pat Richardson, who pops back up on the political drama tomorrow (3/23) as Alan Alda's Chief of Staff. She explains that 'because they got backed up and behind schedule, they were shooting at least two or three episodes simultaneously. They had two complete companies out shooting, two directors, two complete camera units. You've never seen so many trailers, makeup people, hair people?everybody running in two different directions everywhere.'

The actress, who starred in 'Home Improvement' and 'Strong Medicine,' notes 'I've been around some long running shows and by the time you get to the 20th episode of every year, everyone's strung out, everyone's exhausted, and everyone's ill. Richard Schiff had a staph infection of his throat, Allison Janney was sick with the flu.. and everyone's sort of walking around going 'How many episodes do we have before we're done?"

Despite all that, Richardson says, 'I'm just having a ball working with these incredible actors.' She holds her highest praise for Alda, however. 'I've been in this business for so long and been around my share of narcissistic a-----s and he is not. He's the most humble, down-to-earth and generous person.'

" 'West Wing' Troupe Exhausted as Show Goes Triple-Time"
by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
March 22, 2005

White House and GOP insiders say they feel like suckers after falsely believing President Bush 's re-election would be met with acceptance from Hollywood. Their tip: Last month's West Wing episode in which the Alan Alda character blasted pols who use religion for political advantage. "Just when Hollywood was trying to get back in our good graces," said one insider, "they used that offensive script." Bushies think the script was targeting their boss. But Lawrence O'Donnell, a former Democratic Hill staffer, tells us he was just writing a good story, and he adds that the Alda character is a Republican presidential candidate. Then he let Bush have it. "If the White House worries that when that subject comes up it is somehow aimed at the president, well, you know, who told them to use religion in campaigning so much?" asks O'Donnell. "There's no one in our modern political history who has used his religiosity more deliberately and actively and falsely in campaigning than George Bush, second only to . . . Bill Clinton ."

"Bush Team, West Wing at War Again"
April 11, 2005
U.S.News & World Report

O'Donnell, who was charged with writing Vinick, called it "my greatest pleasure on 'The West Wing,' especially since I once said that it would never be a Republican political show."

He said his mind was changed after attending the 2004 GOP convention in New York and seeing the party's future in people like former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman, mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: politicians who are liberal on some issues, conservative on others.

"Sun sets on 'West Wing'"
by Aaron Barnhart
May 14, 2006
Kansas City Star

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