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The Mommy Problem

Original Airdate 10-02-05

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Janeane Garofalo signs on as a tough-as-nails media consultant Louise ("Lou") Thornton, whom Santos hires at Josh's request even though she and Josh are hardly friends. The campaign could use a jolt, having taken, as Lou puts it, "body blow after body blow" from Vinick and the press in the days following the convention. The biggest problem: Santos's silence on Bartlet's decision not to investigate the NASA security leak.
From NBC:
As a Grand Jury is convened to investigate the military shuttle leak from the White House, the campaign's focus changes to national security. Vinick (Alan Alda) deftly handles the issue while Santos (Jimmy Smits) is bound by his party loyalty to align himself with the Bartlet administration.


Alan Alda as Arnold Vinick Republican Candidate for President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Chief of Staff
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Santos / McGarry Campaign Manager
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Democratic Candidate for President
Special Guest Stars    
Janeane Garofalo as Louise "Lou" Thornton Media Consultant
Marlee Matlin as
Joey (Josephine) Lucas Pollster
Guest Starring    
Sam Robards as Greg Brock Reporter
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Renée Estevez as Nancy Aide
Matthew Del Negro as Bram (Howard) Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Karis Campbell as Ronna (Beckman) Santos' Aide
Evan Arnold as Ned Carlson Santos' Aide
Diana-Maria Riva as Edie (Edith) Ortega Deputy Campaign Manager for Strategic Planning
Ramón De Ocampo as Otto Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Bill O'Brien as Kenny Thurman Sign Language Interpreter
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Ivan Allen as Anchor Roger Salier
John Bobek as Bill Telephone Technician
Ken Meseroll as Pundit #1  
Liann Pattison as Consultant #1  
Michael McCafferty as Consultant #2  
William Charlton as Consultant #3  
Vivianne Collins as Pebble Beach Reporter  
Broocks Willich as Naval Base Reporter  
Rebecca Avery as Reporter #1 Anna
Tom W. Chick as Reporter #2 Gordon
David Brownstein as Reporter #3  
Joyce Guy as Reporter #4 Charlayne
Ron Ostrow as Reporter #5 John

Information Links


Media Quotes

Janeane Garofalo, who's not shy about airing her real-life political views, will enter the fictional political world of "The West Wing" this fall.

The "Reality Bites" star will appear in three episodes of the NBC drama this season, playing a media strategist hired by Democratic presidential hopeful Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits). Her advice to move away from political gamesmanship and start speaking directly to voters ruffles feathers within the Santos campaign, including those of Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford).

"Garofalo Joins 'West Wing' Campaign"
August 17, 2005

Josh (Bradley Whitford) has decamped to the Santos campaign, and Janeane Garofalo joins him for eight episodes as a communications consultant.

"Fall Preview"
September 5, 2005
Entertainment Weekly

Actor Jimmy Smits, who portrays Matthew Santos, arrived with an entourage of trucks and equipment to film a few scenes for an Oct. 2 episode in which Santos, a Marine Corps Reserve F/A-18 pilot, reports to the air station for drill duty.

"As Santos is campaigning for the presidency on the show, he is called to active duty to fulfill his obligation," said Monica Ochoa, script supervisor for the show. "We needed to shoot somewhere where he could be seen in a jet because he is a reserve pilot on the show."

Ochoa added that the location could not have been better.

"Why not shoot in San Diego?" she said. "We could not have chosen a better spot."

The Marines involved in the scenes were from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 134, Marine Aircraft Group 46, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, a reserve squadron based at MCAS Miramar. Corporal Jason C. Marshall helped the crew with various activities.

"I helped move the aircraft between sets and helped explain the aircraft to the crew and cast," said the 21-year-old Danville, Ky., native. "I thought their visit was unique and it will bring more exposure to the military and let people know what we do."


"I am very honored to be here," Smits said. "You see things like this on television and in the movies, but you never learn to appreciate it until you have seen it first hand. The character I play is a reservist and being around a reserve squadron helped me better understand my role."

Another Marine involved was amazed at how down to earth and inquisitive Smits was.

"Jimmy Smits and the entire crew were very excited and enthusiastic about the shoot and Marine aviation in general. Mr. Smits was very down-to-earth and quite friendly," said Maj. John Moore, officer-in-charge, VMFA-134.

Moore, a 40-year-old Huntington Beach, Calif., native, added that any time a big name comes aboard the air station it helps highlight the military in a positive way.


Sergeant Randy L. Riles, plane captain, VMFA-134, enjoyed his opportunity to embrace the television screen by assisting Smits with his safety equipment in the aircraft.

"It was great to be a part of a big show like this one knowing that a lot of people would see how Marine aviation works, and see how we conduct our jobs in the Marine Corps," said Riles, a 27-year-old Kent, Wash., native. "They said it was great to have me working with them and that I did a great job for never acting before."

"'West Wing' crew films at Miramar"
by Sgt. J.L. Zimmer III
September 21, 2005
MCAS Miramar

ave you learned anything about politics from working on "The West Wing"? Um, no. Not things that I didn't already know. Actually, "The West Wing," the writers have far more integrity and soul than your average Washington politician. What I mean by that is mostly right-wing politicians tend to be amoral and nihilistic. The writers give the politicians far more credit than they really should, because the politicos, if you will, on "The West Wing" have great epiphanies, and moments of clarity, and struggles with their conscience, whereas I haven't seen any evidence of that in the Bush administration or lobbyists in general. - Janeane Garofalo

"Five Minutes With: Janeane Garofalo"
October 27, 2005
Campus Progress

Consulting with legal experts, the "West Wing" team concluded that the real-life special prosecutor in the leak case, Patrick Fitzgerald, would probably demand notes from reporters who learned the classified identity of the C.I.A. officer; that reporters would probably resist; and that the inquiry would take time.

"A Fictional Presidency Confronts a Leak, Too"
by Patrick D. Healy
October 29, 2005
New York Times

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