ShepherdLewis, however much coffee you drink in the morning, I want you to reduce it by half.
LewisI don't drink coffee, sir.
ShepherdThen hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat, would you please?
Sydney is unaware the President is listening
SydneyYour boss is the chief executive of fantasy land!
ShepherdWell, let's take him out back and beat the shit out of him!
Sydney is looking through Shepherd's college transcripts.
SydneyOh, Andy, a C minus in Women's Studies.
ShepherdYeah, well, that class wasn't about what I thought it was about.
LewisCan I just state very clearly I can't be part of anything illegal.
A.J.Good for you, Lewis.
LewisYou can say what you want. It's always the guy in my job that ends up doing 18 months in Danbury minimum security prison.
LewisWho're we calling, sir?
ShepherdI'm calling the organization of the United Brotherhood of It's None of Your Damn Business, Lewis. I'll be with you in a second.
A.J.The President doesn't answer to you Lewis!
LewisOh, yes he does A.J. I'm a citizen, this is my President. And in this country it is not only permissible to question our leaders it's our responsibility!
ShepherdWhat I did tonight was not about political gain.
LeonYes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very presidential.
ShepherdLeon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor's working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence headquarters. He's going about doing his job... because he has no idea, in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion. He's just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You've just seen me do the least presidential thing I do.
LewisMood swings? Nineteen post-graduate degrees in mathematics, and your best explanation for going from a 63 to a 46 percent approval rating in five weeks is mood swings?
LeonWell, I could explain it better, but I'd need charts, and graphs, and an easel.
President Shepherd watches his opponent's campaign ad
ShepherdOh, wait a minute here comes my favorite part.
RumsonMy name is Bob Rumson, and I'm running for President!
ShepherdSure glad he cleared that up, because that crowd was about to buy some Amway products!
RobinI think the important thing is not to make it look like we're panicking.
ShepherdSee, and I think the important thing is actually not to BE panicking.
RobinIt's Christmas.
LewisIt's Christmas?
LeonYeah. You didn't get the memo?
A.J.Oh, you only fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!
LucyDo you see it as part of your job to torture me?
ShepherdNo, just one of the perks.
SydneyI regrouped. You have to give me that. I stood in the middle of the Oval Office and made it clear that he who doesn't take the GDC seriously does so at his peril.
Beth WadeAnd then you walked out the wrong door.
SydneyAre you going to keep throwing that back in my face for the rest of my life?
Beth WadeThat's my current plan, yes.
ShepherdWe had a nice couple of minutes together. She threatened me, I patronized her. Didn't have anything to eat, but I thought there was a connection.
ShepherdShe didn't say anything about me?
A.J.Well, she did say you were taller than she thought you'd be.
ShepherdWell, that's something.
ShepherdShe didn't say anything about me?
A.J.No, but I could always pass her a note before study hall.
ShepherdYeah, hi, is this Sydney?
ShepherdNo, this is Andrew Shepherd.
SydneyOh! It's Andrew Shepherd! Yeah, you're hilarious, Richard, you're just a regular riot!
ShepherdNo, this isn't Richard, this is Andrew Shepherd.
SydneyOh! Well, I'm so glad you called, because I forgot to tell you today what a nice ass you have. I'm also impressed that you were able to get my phone number given the fact that I don't have a phone. Good night, Richard.
ShepherdUh, this isn't Richard-
Sydney hangs up
ShepherdThis used to be easier.
SydneyMr. President... um... uh... I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment... probably some formal apology for the "nice ass" remark would be in order, I just... I don't quite know how to word it.
ShepherdNo, it's my fault. I shouldn't have called you at home. Should I call you at the office tomorrow?
SydneyNo, no, of course not... I mean, yes, you can call me anytime you want... this is fine, right now is fine, when I said, "of course not," I meant... that... You know what, to hell with it, I'm moving to another country!
After asking Sydney to join him for the state dinner. Long pause.
ShepherdSydney, Congress doesn't take this long.
ShepherdThat's a little tight, Luce.
LucyIt's supposed to be tight. It's supposed to make you look regal.
ShepherdIs it supposed to cut off the blood flow to my face?
Sydney and Shepherd are walking through to the state dinner.
SydneyDo you do this often?
ShepherdWell, we had a state dinner for the prime minister of Japan, who died shortly thereafter, so we stopped having them just in case.
SydneyNo. I mean, do you date often?
ShepherdOh. No. You?
SydneyYeah, well, lately I seem to be going out on a lot of first dates.
ShepherdOh, so you've got experience with this kind of thing.
SydneyOh yeah, you can ask me anything.
ShepherdSo, how are we doing?
SydneyOhhh you know pretty much everyday first date kind of stuff...
ShepherdDarn, and I wanted to be different than the other guys.
Sydney and President D'Astier were conversing in French
ShepherdSydney, you didn't dissolve our trade agreements, did you?
SydneyNo, I just said we're sitting in this beautiful room, listening to the music of this wonderful orchestra, and I wondered why nobody was dancing.
D'AstierAnd I informed Miss Wade that in my country, a guest at the palace of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette would soon find their head in a guillotine if they made the impertinent gesture of dancing without so much as a by-your-leave from the King and the Queen.
A.J.I bet no one accused Louis of being soft on crime.
SydneyThere's a lesson there, Mr. President.
ShepherdMore beheadings at the White House!
Sydney and Shepherd are dancing at a state dinner.
SydneyI don't know how you do it.
ShepherdIt's Arthur Murray. Six lessons.
SydneyThat's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her?
ShepherdWell, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes.
Leo's SecretaryMr. Solomon? This was just delivered by a White House messenger. It's marked perishable.
LeoThe White House has sent me something perishable?
Leo's SecretaryIt's for Ms. Wade.
LeoOh, here we go.
SydneyRelax, Leo, I'm sure it's just a formality.
Leo's SecretaryIt's from him.
LeoOf course it's from him.
SydneySo he had some staff flunky send me a fruit basket.
Leo's SecretaryWell, he wrote the note himself.
SydneyI'm sure he didn't take the time to...
Leo's SecretaryThe messenger said he waited in the Oval Office for ten minutes while the president wrote the card.
SydneyOkay, listen- it took him ten minutes to write the card?
Leo's SecretaryApparently he went through several drafts.
ShepherdYou have concerns?
SydneyYes. Not many. A few. One. I have one concern.
ShepherdThis wouldn't have to do with the fact that one of us is president?
LucyMy Dad told me to tell you that he's on the phone with his dentist, and that I should behave myself and entertain you until he gets back.
SydneyOh. Your father's on the phone with his dentist?
LucyNo, he told me to tell you he's on the phone with his dentist. He wants you to think he's a regular guy.
SydneyOh. Well, who's he on the phone with?
LucyThe prime minister of Israel.
ShepherdDo you think there will ever be a time when you can stand in a room with me and not think of me as the president?
SydneyThis isn't a state of mind. You are the president. And when I'm in a room with you, oval or any other shape, I'm always gonna be a lobbyist, and you're always gonna be the president.
ShepherdI have news for you, Sydney. As a lobbyist, you'd never be alone in a room with the president.
Right before their first kiss
SydneyDo you think this is a good idea?
ShepherdProbably not.
SydneyWhy did I have to kiss him?
Beth WadeYou kissed him? You didn't tell me that. Where did you kiss him?
SydneyOn the mouth.
Beth WadeWhere in the White House?
SydneyThe dish room.
Beth WadeThe dish room?
SydneyThe china room.
Beth WadeAnd then what happened?
SydneyHe had to go and attack Libya.
Beth WadeIt's always something.
SydneyYeah... I gotta nip this in the bud. This has catastrophe written all over it.
Beth WadeIn what language? Sydney, the man is the leader of the free world. He's brilliant, funny, handsome. He's an above-average dancer. Isn't it possible our standards are just a tad high?
ShepherdHow much do you make?
SydneyMore than you do, Mr. President.
ShepherdThe name is Andy. How much money do you make?
SydneyWhat the hell does it matter how much money I make?
ShepherdYou raise your voice to the president?
SydneyBob Rumson's gotta be drooling over this!
ShepherdAre you attracted to me?
SydneyI beg your pardon?
ShepherdI asked if you were attracted to me.
SydneyThat's not the issue.
ShepherdWell, I tell you what, let's make it the issue. Let's try something new, because I know that most couples when they first get together are inclined to slam on the brakes because they're concerned about Bob Rumson's drool.
ShepherdDo you know what your problem is?
SydneyWhat's my problem?
ShepherdSex and nervousness.
SydneySex and nervousness is my problem?
ShepherdYes. Last night when we were looking at those place settings in the Dish Room, I realized those place settings were provided by the first ladies. And I'll bet none of those first ladies were nervous about having sex with their President husbands. And do you know why?
SydneyNo, but I'm sure you'll explain it to me.
ShepherdI will. Because they weren't Presidents when they first met them. That's not the case here.
ShepherdYou're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it's not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan. We're going to slow down, and when you're comfortable, that's when it's going to happen.
Sydney emerges from the bathroom wearing nothing but one of his shirts.  Shepherd turns around, two glasses in his hand and freezes, stunned.
ShepherdPerhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the slowdown plan.
Sydney feels the bed.
SydneyNo, you explained it great.
ShepherdAre you nervous?
ShepherdGood. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...
Sydney starts walking slowly towards him. She takes the glasses from his hands and sets them down.
SydneyThe most powerful man in the world?
ShepherdExactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now... and number three...
Lewis calls the President early in the morning
ShepherdLewis, it is five a.m. You have got to get yourself a life, man.
Ushering Sydney out of the White House after spending her first night there.
ShepherdI'm sorry about this. We'll do it better next time.
SydneyWell, I'm no expert but I think we did it pretty good this time.
ShepherdLet me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight was that someone I didn't know thirteen years ago when I wasn't president participated in a demonstration where no laws were being broken in protest of something that so many people were against, it doesn't exist anymore. Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?
DavidWe should do some prep work. You wanna order in?
SydneyUh, I can't. I'm having dinner at the White House. So let's start early tomorrow morning, say 7:30?
DavidOkay. I'm having lunch at the Kremlin, so we'll have to, you know, start even earlier than that.
SydneyGood night, David.
DavidIn order for me to catch the morning plane to Moscow.
SydneyGood night, David!
ShepherdIf Mary hadn't died, would we have won three years ago?
A.J.Would we have won?
ShepherdIf we had to go through a character debate three years ago, would we have won?
A.J.I don't know. But I would have liked that campaign. If my friend Andy Shepherd had shown up, I would have liked that campaign very much.
LewisBut we're not gonna stay at 41. The numbers are gonna go back up.  ....  But they're gonna go back up.  ....  All right George...  ....  Congressman...  ....  Congressman Jarrett...  ....  Look George, listen to me... it's crunch time. It's personal. This is one of those moments. It's just you and the President. Now what's it gonna be? Yeah.  ....  Yeah.  ....  All right George, can I tell you something? We're gonna win this thing. We're gonna get the votes we need and we're gonna win this thing. And you know what I'm gonna do after that, I mean that very night, I'm gonna go to Sam & Harry's, I'm gonna order a big steak, and I'm gonna make a list of everybody who tried to fuck us this week.
LewisWell just Vote your conscience, you chicken- shit, lame-ass...
Lewis slams the phone down
LewisWe lost Jarrett.
LeonI hope so. 'Cause, you know, if that was an "undecided," then we need to work on our people skills.
LewisYou have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.
ShepherdLook, if the people want to listen to-...
LewisThey don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
ShepherdLewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.
A.J.Excuse me, Mr. President, I just got off the phone with the federal mediator in St. Louis. Management just walked away from the table; the baggage handlers, pilots and flight attendants are all getting set to walk out in forty-eight hours.
ShepherdYou know, I studied under a Nobel Prize-winning economist, and you know what he taught me?
A.J.Never have an airline strike at Christmas?
LewisI tell any girl I'm going out with to assume that all plans are soft until she receives confirmation from me thirty minutes beforehand.
RobinAnd they find this romantic?
LewisWell, I say it with a great deal of charm.
Shepherd wants to get flowers for Sydney
LewisAt least let the agents do a securtiy sweeep we don't know who's in there!
ShepherdYou think there a florist in there planing an assassination on the the off-chance that I might be stopping by?
LewisIt's possible.
ShepherdFor the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character, and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: being President of this country is entirely about character.
For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a few hours ago.
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".
I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it.
He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President's girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore. Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through school, represent the interests of public school teachers, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.
I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well, that ends right now.
Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It's White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming.
The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns.
We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up.
My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I *am* the President.
LeonWell, you don't see that every day of the week.
LewisHe's got the whole White House press corps asking each other how to spell erudite!
A.J.Better call the printer, Lewis.
LewisI know, we gotta rewrite the State of the Union.
A.J.Every word, kid. It's a whole new ballgame. You have exactly 35 minutes.
LewisOh, good, I thought I was gonna be rushed!
A.J.Excuse me, sir, where are you going?
ShepherdI'm going over to her house. I'm going to stand outside her door until she let's me in, and I'm not leaving 'til I get her back.
A.J.How are you going to do that, sir?
ShepherdWell, I haven't worked that out yet, but I'm sure groveling will be involved.
A.J.If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Roosevelt Room, giving Lewis oxygen.
SydneyHow'd you finally do it?
ShepherdDo what?
SydneyManage to give a woman flowers and be president at the same time?
ShepherdWell, it turns out I've got a rose garden.