written by John Jacobson

1943 N. Summit Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202 (414) 807-9474


BLACK No image. ICE CUBES CLINK into glasses. PERCY (V.O.) Macaca. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS A spacious, luxurious office with old money furnishings. MARTIN PERCY, late 60's, distinguished, hands two glasses of whiskey to two guests who we cannot see. PERCY Such a silly word. But sometimes, silly words make history. CUT TO: Images of Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and Clinton. PERCY (V.O.) Sputnik. Plumbers. Sexual relations. CUT TO: Footage of Virginia Senator George Allen's infamous macaca confrontation while campaigning in 2006. PERCY (V.O.) Without macaca the Republican Party most likely would have kept the Senate in 2006. They only needed one. CUT TO: Various images of U.S. Soldiers in Iraq, insurgents, Prime Minister Maliki, Tony Blair, Wall St. executives, the New York Stock Exchange. PERCY (V.O.) I'm not concerned with your personal politics. You're here, that's all I need to know. But just think about it for a moment. Macaca meant total Democratic control of the legislative branch. Translate that into government policies. The ones that happened. The ones that never had a chance to happen. (MORE) WHISKEY POURS.


2. CONTINUED: PERCY (V.O.) (CONT'D) Suddenly macaca is responsible for whether certain people live, or die. Whether certain people attain generational wealth, or wind up filing for protection from their creditors. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS PERCY To me, you're an investment. I don't care much for cliches. But, in your case, I'll make an exception. The words 'drop in the bucket' have rarely been more appropriate. Percy patiently pours himself a drink and then sits. PERCY But why am I boring you with all that? You've done the math. So, since I'm abandoning style for efficiency, please permit me one more cliché. (beat) Do we have a deal? INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - MORNING Cameras, lighting equipment, the behind the scenes CHATTER and BUZZ of a nationally televised morning news program. People of varying degrees of importance move about their business. A well dressed African American man stands by himself. He's nervous, out of place, and fumbling awkwardly with a pair of eyeglasses in one hand while tightly clutching a cell phone in the other. A sloppily dressed PRODUCER GUY, unshaven, baseball cap on backwards, big honking headset, quiets the crowd. PRODUCER GUY (shouting) All right. All right folks. We need quiet. (beat) We're back in ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five . . . Countdown finishes silently. The buzz is no more.


INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - ON CAMERA SET - CONTINUOUS A typical morning talk show set with comfortable chairs, coffee mugs, etc. The host, DAN ORTHMAN, a stereotypical morning talk show guy, sits across from MIKE RATLIFF, JOHN MARIST, Nick Irwin, and Mark Adder, all four of whom look to be between the ages of 55 and 70. ORTHMAN We're joined this morning by four long time veterans in the world of presidential politics. Between them, they've managed six presidential campaigns over the past thirty-five years. Please welcome Mark Adder, John Marist, Nick Irwin, and Mike Ratliff. Nods from the guests. ORTHMAN Well, this may be an understatement, but we're excited that you could all be here on such short notice. RATLIFF What a boring weekend! Talk show appropriate laughter. ORTHMAN A little background. Two of you have worked exclusively with Republicans, two of you have worked exclusively with Democrats. In spite of that, the four of you came together about two years ago to form the Middle Ground Party. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - CONTINUOUS The African American man, now wearing the glasses, turns away from the set and checks a text message on a VIBRATING CELL PHONE. INSERT - CELL PHONE SCREEN Text message: "CHECKED IN"


4. CONTINUED: BACK TO SCENE ORTHMAN (O.S.) Former Clinton Administration Attorney General and current Florida Governor, Marianne Styler, agreed to be your candidate. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - ON CAMERA SET - CONTINUOUS ORTHMAN And that, all by itself, was an enormous victory for you, correct? MARIST Governor Styler gave the Middle Ground Party instant credibility, Dan. Suddenly, there we were with a viable alternative to this entrenched two party system. I mean, Governor Styler's America, a true moderate, if I may. ORTHMAN Interesting that you'd call it that, an 'entrenched two party system.' (beat) I guess this is where we get down to a little business here. The New York Times reported yesterday that James Teller, the Republican Party nominee for President, plans to interview Governor Styler as a possible running mate. So, gentlemen, is the Middle Ground Party getting ready to fold its tents and join this entrenched two party system? INT. LAW FIRM OFFICE - DAY A nice sized office, the kind that's home to a lawyer who would stay in it only long enough to make partner. The only furnishings are a desk and a chair. JOHN HARMON, black, early 30's, sits at the desk. He reads from a file folder, looking up from time to time. He's the outof-place man from the television studio, but he wears no eyeglasses here. HARMON'S POV The law firm's cubicle-laden bullpen area. Lawyers, secretaries, paralegals move about. (CONTINUED)

5. CONTINUED: Although they all try to be discreet, they're clearly curious about Harmon. Several peeks are snuck. A passing INTERN fails miserably at being subtle. INTERN (busted) Hi. BACK TO SCENE HARMON Hello. INTERN (nervously) Can I, uhhhh, get you anything, Mr. Harmon? HARMON No, I'm fine, thank you. Just waiting for them to bring my stuff. INTERN Oh, right. (beat) Oh, wait a second! The intern fumbles inside the breast pocket of his jacket and pulls out a pair of eyeglasses. INTERN (re: eyeglasses) Are these yours? I found them in the men's room, on one of the sinks. They seem pretty nice. Pretty expensive, I mean. HARMON (points at eyes) Nope. Twenty-twenty. INTERN Ahhh, yeah. You never had glasses in those press conferences. (beat) Well, I should get-A dolly loaded with boxes almost knocks over the intern. A doughy, white, partially shaven CUSTODIAN in a blue jumpsuit pushes into the office doorway. CUSTODIAN Harmon?


6. CONTINUED: HARMON Yes. CUSTODIAN Got your stuff. They said, 'Get it up there right away.' So . . . HARMON Thank you. Just drop it wherever. I don't have a clue where any of it's going to go yet. (to intern) Hey, can you show me where the restroom's at? That's valuable information. INT. WASHINGTON D.C. RESTAURANT - AFTERNOON Power lunches at a high brow dining establishment in the nation's capital. Two gentlemen sit alone at a table that seems to be almost perfectly in the center of the place. The first is U.S. Senator PIERRE CHEVALIER, 45, black, tall and thin. The second is the Senate MAJORITY LEADER, early 60's, fighting a losing comb-over battle with baldness. CHEVALIER They're gonna hammer me on national security. MAJORITY LEADER You got foreign relations and judiciary right out of the gate. You're still a freshman, you know. CHEVALIER With all due respect, Senator, the bodies I brought to the chamber? Over seventy percent of my campaign time spent outside of Ohio? (teasing) How's the new office? MAJORITY LEADER Everybody wants intel these days. Who do you want me to bump? Chevalier, clearly not happy, leans back in his chair while shooting a suspicious look at the Majority Leader. CHEVALIER You're sure this is about seniority?


7. CONTINUED: MAJORITY LEADER Relax, Senator. It's not about her. I'm from Nevada. Wager smart or die, right? CHEVALIER Bookmakers actually publish odds on me being the next president. Anybody else on that wait list bringing any action, Mr. Majority Leader? EXT. CAMPAIGN EVENT - DAY The parking lot of a large retail store. An abundance of cameras, reporters, and fans being addressed by Senator JAMES TELLER, early 70's, gray, but energetic. Next to Teller is Dirk Geball, early 70's, uncomfortable in a suit and tie. TELLER (to reporters) We need those brave men and women on the ground to know they have our support. I'm telling you, it is the most important thing we can provide. (re: Geball) Dirk and I fought side by side in Vietnam. We spent five years together in a North Vietnamese P.O.W. camp. We supported each other, and got through it. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO GREEN ROOM - MORNING ADDER, IRWIN, Marist, and Ratliff sit and sip coffee while waiting for the interview with Orthman. With them is ED PARRY, 54, power tie, $4,000 suit. He's the news director for the entire network and has made a special trip. Orthman and a female co-host can be made out in the b.g. on a large, sound-muted flatscreen television displaying a live feed of the show. RATLIFF He'll never recover. No way. ADDER Remember all the stuff about Kerry possibly asking Teller back in '04? It's not out of the American public's grasp. I think they're ready for something like this.


8. CONTINUED: MARIST And it's not like we're going on board a sinking ship. PARRY How long ago did they approach you? IRWIN Ed, we're just talking here. (to Ratliff) Maybe a bit too much. PARRY Wait, that was too much? (re: door) What are you going to say out there? RATLIFF You know how this works, Ed. MARIST Non-denial denial. RATLIFF But we're real good at non-denial denials. It'll go down as your scoop. A beat. MARIST Shit. Can you imagine it? I mean, she's Condi Rice meets Russ Feingold meets . . . Dick fucking Cheney meets-ADDER Oprah! RATLIFF Meets Bill fucking O'Reilly! Except for Irwin, laughter consumes the room. A KNOCK on the DOOR breaks it up. A CUTE ASSISTANT pops her head in. CUTE ASSISTANT Hiiii. Sorry. Paul wanted me to tell you it's okay to come on out. We've got about five minutes. Can I freshen up coffees?


9. CONTINUED: PARRY I'll have them right out in a second. The cute assistant gives a big-wig-respectful nod. door shuts. Parry looks over his four guests. information to be mined here. PARRY (standing) Show time, boys. Ratliff, Marist, and Adder begin to file out of the room. Parry pats Adder on the back while placing his other hand lightly on Irwin's shoulder. Parry and Irwin look at each other like a couple of guys who go back a ways. PARRY Nick. Irwin just smiles. It's a knowing moment. PARRY (sotto) Holy shit. INT. HARMON'S OFFICE - DAY Harmon's boxes, still full, sit just inside the door. An additional chair and a lamp have arrived. Harmon enters just ahead of DENNIS, early 40's, nice suit and tie. Dennis sets a bubble wrapped computer keyboard on the desk while excitedly finishing up a story. DENNIS It just kicks ass! We tear it up, man. I'm tellin' ya. Big time! HARMON Sounds like a blast. DENNIS It most definitely is. (re: keyboard) I'll send Tim over to configure this with your docking station. (snaps fingers) Shit! You need a cordless mouse too. (MORE) It is. There's no more The


10. CONTINUED: DENNIS (CONT'D) (patting Harmon's shoulder) Gotta get ya settled in here so we can get ya billable. A MAN and a WOMAN appear in the office doorway. The man is black, mid-50's, fit, in command of a presence. The woman is a full blown knockout wearing a black business suit. Harmon and Dennis stop their exchange. HARMON May I help you? MAN John Harmon? Yes. HARMON What can I do for you?

An awkward moment. Both Harmon and the man look at Dennis who quickly realizes that his time has expired. DENNIS I gotta run. Let me know if you want that tour upstairs. (shakes Harmon's hand) Great to have you here, John. Really great to have you here. HARMON Thank you, Dennis. And I will want that tour. Dennis exits the office. MAN May I have a seat? HARMON Certainly. They sit. Harmon realizes there's no chair for the woman who stands in the doorway text messaging someone, oblivious. MAN She'll be fine. (abruptly) You won the Harrigan case. HARMON I had a great staff and a supportive D.A. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

11. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) (extends hand) I didn't ask you your name. MAN (accepting handshake) I like that. HARMON I beg your pardon? MAN Most people fall right into the pleasantries without thinking. (fake voice) 'I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name.' (regular voice) As if I'd already been polite enough to introduce myself, which I haven't. Bart Hayden. HARMON I have to confess, Mr. Hayden, they gave me the book with the pictures and bios of the partners. But I can't place you, for the life of me. HAYDEN (MAN) I'm not a partner, Mr. Harmon. I'm not employed by this firm. HARMON Well, I'm set to start taking clients next week. HAYDEN I'm here to get you to quit. (beat) And come with us. Harmon breaks into a big smile. Hayden's suggestion is ridiculous. This has to be a joke. HARMON (re: office walls) I haven't even had a chance to talk to the interior design lady. Hayden wears a pleasant, patient smile. Quickly and somewhat playfully, Harmon points a finger. HARMON Rookie hazing. (CONTINUED)

12. CONTINUED: More of Hayden's pleasant, patient smile. HARMON (jokingly) Not a partner? HAYDEN Mr. Harmon, you see clearly the color of my skin so you know I'm not a partner. Surely you know your colleagues are smarter than to send someone like me in here as a part of your rookie hazing. HARMON Yeah, people've been trying very hard not to piss me off. HAYDEN Don Imus has unwittingly given us all a little breather. HARMON (contains a laugh) Okay, but, come on? You all bit off too much. Asking me to quit? Today? Not a lot of nuance. HAYDEN May I make my offer? HARMON (seriously) Okay, enough. I get it. HAYDEN I don't think you do. Harmon officially loses patience with the whole situation. HARMON Maybe I'm not hip to the Cincinnati thing yet, but I just called your bluff. Game over. This is the part where we all chuckle. Hayden offers no reaction. HARMON Tell ya what. (to woman) You can stay as long as you want. (MORE)


13. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) (to Hayden) I did take down Dan Harrigan, and I didn't do it by fucking around this long on anything. So you can go. This is no longer amusing. HAYDEN So I don't get to make my offer? HARMON Okay, if this isn't a joke, I don't know what firm you're with, but you're coming real close to-HAYDEN The interests I represent are not affiliated with a law firm. You wouldn't be practicing law. WOMAN Bart. HARMON AND HAYDEN'S POV The woman holds her cell phone up and taps the screen. WOMAN It's him. He wants to know how it's going. BACK TO SCENE HAYDEN Tell him twenty minutes, tops. EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - STARBUCKS - OUTDOOR SEATING AREA DAY Trend-conscious yuppies clustered around seven dollar lattes. Alone, in a remote corner, we find TERRY SPIEGEL, blonde, early thirties, very attractive. She works a cell phone through a hands free earpiece, a PDA, and a laptop all at the same time. Multitask is her normal. SPIEGEL (on phone) I don't give a shit, Glen. They want maroon for the backdrop so we give them maroon for the backdrop. I don't know what to tell you, but you have to find it for me or I scroll down the speed dial, gorgeous. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

14. CONTINUED: SPIEGEL (CONT'D) (beat) That's why the mayor uses me to plan his events. (beat) Goodbye, Glen. (beat) Call me when you have it. I can't go past three, though. No word by three, and I move on. Clear? (beat) Okay, sweetie. If you weren't gay we'd be dating. Call me before three please. Good bye. Out of nowhere, a slicked back HIPSTER DUDE, late-20's, white t-shirt, jeans, sunglasses, plops down in a seat at Spiegel's table. SPIEGEL (unphased; flirtatious) Well hello. HIPSTER DUDE Hi, Terry. SPIEGEL I'm sorry, have we met? Flirty stares. The hipster dude pulls an envelope from his back pocket. HIPSTER DUDE We have now. (beat) Wanna change the world? He slides the envelope across the table. SPIEGEL (accepts envelope) Not the strangest line, but close. (opens envelope) Am I supposed to ask if we're changing it at your place or mine? She reads, trying desperately to contain herself as she progresses through the document. SPIEGEL (looks up) Let's go.


INT. MIAMI - HOTEL HALLWAY - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT INT. MIAMI - HOTEL LUXURY SUITE - NIGHT JOEL KREGG, white, early 40's, sits at a conference table looking over some documents. He turns toward the suite's DOOR upon hearing a pronounced KNOCK. Kregg goes to the door and opens it. KREGG (graciously) Governor. Into the suite come Florida Governor MARIANNE STYLER, late 50's, black, slightly heavier set. Behind her is JASON MIRAM, a young member of her staff. STYLER Joel. KREGG (shaking Styler's hand) Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule. STYLER Joel Kregg, please meet my assistant, Jason Miram. Jason, this is Joel Kregg, Senator Chevalier's campaign manager. Kregg and Jason shake hands. JASON Pleased to meet you, Mr. Kregg. STYLER Jason carries my pocketbook, phone, credit cards, calendar. (sighs) I would be somewhere fussin' around in the everglades if it weren't for Jason. (beat) And where is our man of the hour? KREGG Changing. He hates suits. (re: conference table) We'll be right over here. Can I get anyone a drink? Best stocked hotel bars in the country are in Florida, Governor. (CONTINUED)

16. CONTINUED: STYLER I'll have any kind of imported beer they've deemed worthy of this place. CHEVALIER (O.S.) My father most certainly would not have approved, Governor! Jason's eyes widen, as if in the presence of a rock star. A casually dressed Chevalier steps INTO FRAME as Styler slowly extends her arms to hug him. STYLER (finishing the hug) Imported beer a little too German, is it? CHEVALIER He used to tell these stories, these unbelievable stories. You'd dismiss them in a second if they weren't coming from someone who was once actually in the French Resistance. But anyway, whenever they'd pull off one of their missions, they'd have these outrageous parties, as only the French could do, right? Kregg hands Styler a Heineken. going to faint. KREGG Senator? CHEVALIER Just a water, Joel. Thank you. So, these parties would just go on into the night, non-stop, because, you know, who knew if there'd be another day? It's World War Two, there are Nazis everywhere, your neighbors might sell you out, whatever. Well, this one time, and I'm assuming they were in Alsace Lorraine. Somewhere near the border. (to Jason) They managed to actually put sugar in the gas tanks of an entire fleet of German supply trucks. Amazed laughter from everyone except Chevalier who continues to tell the story. (CONTINUED) Jason looks like he's

17. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER I know. I know. But that's a lot of what the Resistance was about. We all read the stories of the outlandish things they did. The stuff they make into movies. But really they were most effective because of this persistent routine of sabotage. All sorts of things. Make you cringe. Joel hands Chevalier his bottled water. KREGG (sarcastically) Sort of like running for President. CHEVALIER Oh, good Lord, it couldn't have been that bad! So, sugar in the gas tanks. Mission accomplished. Party time. Well, some local farmer supplied his barn for the occasion. So they all meet there later that night, and they're like, 'Where's the wine?' A bunch of French guys ready to cut loose, where the hell's my wine, right? Well, it turns out this farmer is fresh out of wine, but he has about ten barrels of beer. (beat) German beer. Laughter. Chevalier gives the room a wide eyed look. CHEVALIER Nope! See ya! We refuse to party with German beer! They just left. JASON (can't help it) And then he came to New York. CHEVALIER (to Jason) Indeed he did. Got a job as a bus boy in Harlem. Worked nights. N.Y.U. during the day. (to everyone) Met a pretty young theater major straight off a farm from Iowa. Got married. (MORE)


18. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) Decided to do his graduate work at The Ohio State University. (beat) And here we all are. JASON (excitedly) I remember reading in The Optimist's Doctrine where you talked about how he-STYLER Jason, dear, let's not narrate back to the Senator his own book. He wrote it. (to Chevalier and Kregg) I have a confession, gentlemen. If you were to poll my staff, especially my under-thirty staff? (re: Jason) This is what you'd get, across the board. They're all in the ninetyninth percentile on the Chevalier scale. (to Chevalier) Senator, how is your beautiful family? CHEVALIER They're doing well, Governor. Thank you. How's Will? STYLER He wants to substitute teach! Can you stand it? Thirty-two years in the classroom not enough. CHEVALIER And the kids? STYLER Travis is in his last year at Georgetown Law. (pats chest) Very proud. Very proud. (beat) And Ellis, well, Ellis is fiiinding herself at Florida State. Oh dear. (wags finger) Just you wait, Senator. What I wouldn't give to right my child's world simply by tying a shoe.


19. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER Ohh, I can wait. I can wait plenty. Chevalier gives a barely detectable nod to Kregg. cue, Kregg puts his hand on Jason's shoulder. KREGG Jason, why don't you let me introduce you to some of the campaign staff. JASON (reluctantly) Of course. That would be great. (to Styler) Ma'am? STYLER It's fine, dear. Just give me a chance to match any offers they make. (to Kregg) You wanna see the executive muscle of the Sunshine State? Try putting my boy's ass on your campaign plane. KREGG (smiling) Understood, Governor. INT. HOTEL LUXURY SUITE - MOMENTS LATER Tension. A staredown. The masks are off. On

Chevalier and Styler are sitting at the conference table. CHEVALIER D'you think bringing a kid along'd make this go away? STYLER Your campaign manager's gay. CHEVALIER He loved you on the Defense of Marriage Act. STYLER You think I'd stay Governor of Florida if I lowballed DOMA?


20. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER Let you in on a little secret, I've got two governors outside New England who're gonna openly defy it, with my tacit approval, after I'm sworn in. Styler twists off the cap of her Heineken and takes a long swig. STYLER Tacit approval? Awfully Washington of you, Senator. CHEVALIER I'll run right into Washington by running as fast as I can away from it. Only play I have. You know that. STYLER Don't pundit me, Senator. Your arsenal's plenty full. Did you see Jason? You realize if Joel did offer him a job he'd drop it all? Tonight! Probably wouldn't even go home and pack. CHEVALIER Why you doing this to me, Marianne? If ever there was a time to stick together. STYLER Excuse me, Senator, but I think I'd prefer to be addressed as 'Governor.' And if that doesn't work for you then how about 'Madame Attorney General'? You've done two terms in the Ohio State Senate and four years on the hill. CHEVALIER Hey, I didn't ask to be the one. You wanna know how my kids are really doing? They don't know me. Sheila's fine. The money helps. But I'm answering this call at the expense of my children. The memoir's gonna be for them so they can know what I was doing while they were growing up.


21. CONTINUED: STYLER (coldly) What can I say? Welcome to the show. CHEVALIER My ambition's not that blind. As if I honestly thought these fools would come this close to nominating me? You think I sat there at Yale Law School dreaming of this? We gotta get in there before they find the rule book they obviously lost. I need you to please back away from these Middle Ground people. (beat) You blazed this trail. I know that. And I'm grateful. George and Jeb won't have a damn thing on the special relationship between my Oval Office and your Florida. That's a promise. But I'm gonna be the one who breaks this barrier. Styler takes another long hit off the Heineken. She looks intently at the bottle, pealing away part of the label with her thumbnail. STYLER I wanted so bad to find a way into the mess in 2000. I mean, it was my state, and there I was locked up in an office at Justice. All the power in the world and no way to use it. We knew those people had been turned away. Twenty thousand, thirty thousand, practically all black. More than enough to make up for five hundred and thirty-seven votes, that's for damn sure. (beat) But the President knew his hands were tied which, of course, meant my hands were tied. And that was it for me. That's when I knew. Chevalier offers a confused look. STYLER From that point on, I wanted to be a chief executive, in charge of it all. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

22. CONTINUED: STYLER (CONT'D) And that meant this, and this has been pretty good. (beat) And then along came you, making us all believe in the impossible. (formal voice) Pierre Chevalier, black man, President of the United States. CHEVALIER Black vote's looking for a reason to abandon me, and you'd be giving it to 'em, guilt free. STYLER Wanna know what the big four said to me? They said, 'It's time to make history. Be our candidate. Win or lose, you'll be the one they'll point to when they talk about the end of the two party system.' (beat) I am a loyal follower of the optimist's doctrine. CHEVALIER Governor-STYLER (standing) I'm running for President, Senator. If it's any consolation, I think my children will both vote for you. I know when they're lying to me. QUICK CUT TO: INT. HARMON'S OFFICE - NIGHT Harmon, wearing the same clothes he wore when meeting with Hayden, types on a laptop. The boxes are still full. INT. SPIEGEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Spiegel packs for what looks to be a long trip. INT. LAW FIRM - SUPPLY ROOM - NIGHT Harmon pulls a sheet of paper off of a printer.


INT. HARMON'S OFFICE - NIGHT Harmon sets a sealed envelope on his desk and leaves. The boxes are nowhere to be seen. INT. SPIEGEL'S APARTMENT - MORNING Suitcases sit in the foyer. Spiegel kisses a best-inshow looking poodle while handing it to a dog kennel employee. INT. CHEVALIER'S LUXURY SUITE - MORNING Cable news on TV. Chevalier sips coffee between lusty drags off a cigarette. INT. AIRPORT - DAY Hayden and the knockout walk through the terminal while holding separate conversations on cell phones. EXT. RANDOM CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY - DAY The hipster dude cruises along on a motorcycle. EXT. MIAMI - CAMPAIGN BREAKFAST EVENT - MORNING Chevalier shakes hands, greets supporters, laughs. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT A man's bare chest with a woman's hand running over it. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - EVENING Percy is standing as Spiegel comes INTO FRAME with her arms full. She somewhat clumsily carries a purse, laptop, PDA, and cell phone. PERCY (making light) I can't seem to figure out how to shake your hand, Ms. Spiegel. SPIEGEL (re: table) I'm sorry. Can I? PERCY Please. May I ask why you brought all this with you?


24. CONTINUED: SPIEGEL (sets items on table) Well, it's just that my whole life is pretty much on this stuff. PERCY And do you always travel like this? SPIEGEL (coming clean) No, Mr. Percy, I usually leave it at home. PERCY But not tonight. Not here. SPIEGEL I'd rather it stay with me, for now. I hope you're not offended by that. PERCY You're very careful. Percy's cell phone vibrates. a text message. PERCY Mr. Harmon is here. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - AFTERNOON Chevalier paces nervously. cheery occasion. Kregg sits. Tension. Not a I approve.

He flips it open and reads

KREGG My guy's close to Irwin and he says this whole deal is symbolic. CHEVALIER No run on the conservative black vote? KREGG Symbolic. CHEVALIER They know they don't have a chance? KREGG Symbolic.


25. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (frustrated) Well, Jesus Christ! Ratliff knows for damn well sure he can't win with her. And who knows what the fuck Adder and Marist are up to. Probably some inside deal with the R.N.C. KREGG My Irwin guy thinks she'll close shop and endorse you down the road. She doesn't really want to get in your way. CHEVALIER Goddamn right she won't get in my way. Be nothing more tragic than a black woman keeping this country from having its first black president. KREGG Then we stay the course. CHEVALIER Could you please not use those words? KREGG You know what I mean. (beat) Hey, Clinton's going to be in Kansas City next week. CHEVALIER And you think that's when he'll endorse her? KREGG She's the chosen one. CHEVALIER Harry Truman wouldn't back half the shit she's putting next to his name. KREGG His name is her name, and your name . . . is French. You both have interesting relatives. Hers just happened to be President of the United States. (MORE)


26. CONTINUED: KREGG (CONT'D) (beat) We need to stop obsessing on Marianne Styler. We've got enough to worry about in Helen Truman, who's still a Democrat, right?. (changing subject) Speaking of which, Marvin and I want to take some more time on the YouTube debate. CHEVALIER (sigh) I'm really gonna have to answer a question from a cartoon snowman? INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY - LATER A campaign event with local press and Chevalier fans. CHEVALIER I've spoken a great deal about the smallness of our politics in Washington. Now I'm proud to be a Democrat, but I welcome the idea of a strong third party. I think it's a good thing. We have to start thinking beyond this red state versus blue state way of doing things. INT. TEENAGE BOY'S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON A white teenage boy, dressed completely hip hop, wearing earphones, plays a violent video game on a large flatscreen television. EXT. SUBURBAN HOME'S DRIVEWAY - DAY A tall, thin African American teenage boy finishes putting a Chevalier bumper sticker on the family Saab. An older black man, the boy's father, watches with a smile. INT. EARTHY COFFEE SHOP - EVENING A middle aged, vaguely Latina teacher sits at a table and grades papers. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN PLANE - MORNING Various campaign staff move about in the b.g. Chevalier sits alone reading a newspaper. INSERT - FRONT PAGE OF NEWSPAPER


27. CONTINUED: A smiling, waving Styler underneath the headline, "Styler Accepts Middle Ground Party Nomination" BACK TO SCENE Kregg sits next to Chevalier. KREGG How about some good news? CHEVALIER (pretends to read headline) 'Truman to quit race. Cites lack of funds.' KREGG How about some good, not-fantasy news? CHEVALIER Please. KREGG We may have our missing piece. CHEVALIER Who? KREGG John Harmon. CHEVALIER Really? (remembering) Harrigan. Wow. That was high profile national news, high profile 'evil Washington insider' national news. (confused) I thought he just flew south to cash in. Cincinnati? Hawks and Farley, right? KREGG Yeah, he left them. CHEVALIER To join us? KREGG Didn't even get to the end of his first day.


28. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER Just dropped what he was doing and said, 'Sign me up for the six hundred dollar a week job.' Not exactly. him into it. KREGG Bart Hayden talked

CHEVALIER Bart Hayden! Isn't he running that foundation for Martin Percy? I didn't know he cared. KREGG Bart's very convincing. CHEVALIER And black. KREGG I wasn't going to say that, but thank you. CHEVALIER Well, regardless, this kid's giving up a lot of cash and street cred to come on board. When can I meet him? KREGG I just phoned ahead. the airport. He'll be at

EXT. AIRPORT CHARTER TARMAC - A COUPLE HOURS LATER The BLAST of JET ENGINES. Chevalier emerges from his campaign plane. Kregg, already on the tarmac, shepherds Harmon over to Chevalier. Smiles, enthusiastic handshakes. Harmon is wearing eyeglasses. EXT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - ESTABLISHING - DAY A suburban, clearly affluent high school. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS LOUNGE - DAY The vaguely Latina teacher from the earthy coffee shop, CYNTHIA CHAVEZ, chats with another teacher.


29. CONTINUED: CHAVEZ And they don't care about that. No Child Left Untested. That's all that matters. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - STUDY HALL - DAY The Chevalier bumper sticker boy, SAM, is helping another student with math homework. SAM That number's the area. Under that curve. It's the area of that. EXT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - PARKING LOT - DAY The violent video game hip hop boy, DAKOTA KOVAC, and another similarly dressed white student sit on the tailgate of a sparkling new Hummer while eating McDonalds. DAKOTA Yaww, fuck dat shit, man. Betchee won't say dat shit to my face. I fuck his ass up! INT. GOVERNOR STYLER'S OFFICE - DAY A production assistant helps Styler with a small microphone attached to her lapel. She's being prepared for an interview. INT. PUBLIC TELEVISION NEWS STUDIO - SAME TIME TIM BARTLER, public television nightly news anchor, waits patiently. BARTLER (looking off camera; southern accent) We have 'er? (beat) Govehnuh? Can ya hear me? INTERCUT conversation. STYLER Hi, Tim? BARTLER Y'all are cuttin' deep into my fishin' time, Govehnuh!


30. CONTINUED: STYLER Anything we can do to help the press lose sleep is part of a good day, Tim. BARTLER (laughing) Okay, well, ya know how this all works. Jus' lemme know when your ready for us to run tape. STYLER Let's do it. BARTLER (to producer) Ready? (beat; no accent) We're joined now by Florida Governor and former U.S. Attorney General, Marianne Styler. It's been three months since she accepted the nomination of the newly formed Middle Ground Party. Governor Styler, a pleasure to have you with us this evening. STYLER The pleasure is all mine, Tim. BARTLER Let me start by asking if you're pleased with the progress of your campaign so far? STYLER Ohhhh, we're more than pleased, we're excited. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - EVENING PERCY'S POV Spiegel and Harmon, each with a freshly poured drink, sit side by side on a luxurious leather couch. PERCY (O.S.) So, since I'm abandoning style for efficiency, please permit me one more cliché. (long beat) Do we have a deal? SPIEGEL Yes, of course. (CONTINUED)

31. CONTINUED: HARMON How could we not? PERCY (O.S.) For my benefit, could you please answer in the affirmative, counselor? Harmon takes a sip of his drink while looking down. eyes rise to meet the camera. HARMON Yes, Mr. Percy, we have a deal. Harmon slowly gives in to a nervous but oddly unguarded laughing fit. BACK TO SCENE HARMON (gaining composure) Ooooh. Ahh. I'm sorry. (to Spiegel) I'm sorry, uhh, Terry. It's Terry? Percy is humored. Harmon works to contain himself. His

PERCY You find this pretty amusing. HARMON I just, uhhh, gosh. You must really not want this negro to be President. PERCY I don't want my motives to concern you. HARMON Yeah, it's just that I'm not wired that way, right? You know who I am. Your boy knew right where to find me. PERCY John Harmon's a household name these days in the Buckeye State. HARMON So questioning motive is, you know, what I do. What I did, sorry. I'm just having trouble with one thing. (MORE)


32. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) (to Spiegel) We just met, and you seem very nice, very talented. SPIEGEL What's your point? HARMON I can't fit you into it. are you? Where

SPIEGEL (looks at Percy) Well, I suppose you could say-PERCY Let's leave a little mystery, for now. I suspect you'll figure it out, Mr. Harmon. In the meantime, business. (into cell phone) Yes, Charlie, please bring up Mr. Harmon's car and make sure he has directions for his appointment with Mr. Hayden. Percy stands. Harmon and Spiegel stand.

PERCY Bart will take care of you tomorrow, Mr. Harmon. Now, if you'll excuse us, Ms. Spiegel and I have to go over her assignment. Harmon and Percy shake hands. HARMON (suspicious) Okay. Fair enough. Harmon starts walking for the door. HARMON What a week! Harmon exits the office. SPIEGEL He doesn't get it. PERCY Ms. Spiegel, when people see me, they see wealth and power. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

33. CONTINUED: PERCY (CONT'D) And then they make assumptions, frequently erroneous ones. CUT TO: EXT. TELLER CAMPAIGN RALLY - DAY Big banners. Big stage. Big noise. Teller primes an enthusiastic crowd. Various staffers and Dirk Geball in the b.g. PERCY (V.O.) Don't let it concern you. Perhaps Bart will have to handle him a little. (beat) But I don't need to handle you, do I? SPIEGEL (V.O.) No sir, you don't. Teller, holding his wife Sarah's hand, gives a big campaign farewell wave. Be careful. her. PERCY (V.O.) He still deeply loves

EXT. TELLER CAMPAIGN RALLY - BEHIND STAGE - MOMENTS LATER Teller kisses Sarah before they get into separate limousines. PERCY (V.O.) My wife and I have been together forty-seven years. Marriage has a way of taking on a different function later in life. INT. TELLER'S CAMPAIGN LIMO - MOMENTS LATER Teller, two staffers, and Geball sit in the back of the limo as it begins to move. PERCY (V.O.) Certain . . . utilities need to be substituted. The Tellers have a professional marriage, and it's significantly more sophisticated than the Clintons. CLOSE ON GEBALL'S HAND


34. CONTINUED: As he discreetly palms a flash drive. INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - LATER Geball and Teller walk side by side, talking. They stop at what we assume to be Teller's door and shake hands. CLOSE ON HANDSHAKE Geball subtly slides the flash drive to Teller. PERCY (V.O.) Twenty-one year old interns and blue dresses will put a serious strain on any relationship. CUT TO: Footage of Chelsea Clinton walking between her parents on the White House lawn. PERCY (V.O.) But when both parties depend on the relationship for personal advancement, then it will survive. The former first lady may even have benefited from that matter. CUT TO: INT. TELLER'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Teller powers up a laptop and puts the flash drive into a USB port. PERCY (V.O.) Sarah Teller, however, is an entirely different situation. Ambition would be no match for humiliation. Teller carries the laptop to the bathroom. INT. TELLER'S HOTEL ROOM - BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS Teller begins to undo his pants with one hand while awkwardly tapping the laptop's note pad with the other. PERCY (V.O.) The marriage may be professional, but James Teller knows he'd be the first standing president in history to go through a divorce if he broke their one rule.


35. CONTINUED: Teller begins to pleasure himself while looking at the laptop's screen. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS SPIEGEL What's that? Percy patiently finishes a sip of his drink. PERCY Do whatever you want, but don't you dare get caught. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - MORNING The cute assistant who interrupted the green room meeting notices Harmon fumbling with his glasses. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - CLASSROOM - AFTERNOON Cynthia Chavez sits alone in her classroom and watches video on her computer. The computer screen shows an antiHELEN TRUMAN campaign ad designed to be a play on the Orwellian Apple Computer ad from the early 1980's. HELEN TRUMAN (ON LAPTOP SCREEN) I think we've had a good discussion that's helped everyone understand what I'm about, what I want to do. And I want to keep that discussion going all the way to November of-QUICK CUT TO: INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - EVENING Chevalier, Kregg, Harmon, and various members of the senior campaign staff sit or stand around a big table. The place is filled with papers, laptops, PDA's, cell phones, two sound-muted televisions, a massive dry erase board with a map of the United States burnt onto it. Loosened ties, soda, cold pizza. Controlled chaos. KREGG The majority leader's being a prick with the whole intelligence committee thing. We suspect there may be an inside deal with Truman. As a result, we're getting stonewalled. Now, we can't have the papers saying we think the majority leader's in bed with Truman.


36. CONTINUED: HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier is at the head of the table holding a slice of pizza. This same image, from a slightly different angle, is replicated and miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. CHEVALIER (wincing) Good lord, Joel! Some of us are eating. The room erupts in laughter as Chevalier the class clown smiles and looks around. INT. TELLER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - DAY Nearly a dozen high level staffers. Teller's there. Spiegel's there. Teller's campaign manager, BRIAN ABERLE, mid-40's, power tie, lots of hair gel, is standing at the head of the table. The setting looks remarkably similar to the Chevalier war room. Aberle and a HIRED GUN STRATEGIST are arguing. HIRED GUN . . . is a good point, I'll grant, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, we don't want a piece of Chevalier. He's just too big of an X-factor. ABERLE Styler's going to get a spot for any national debate. No way does Ross Perot get up there and she doesn't. Jackson and Sharpton'll shut the whole thing down. HIRED GUN What's that have to do with Chevalier versus Truman? ABERLE Everything. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - EVENING KREGG But we may have caught a break. Or maybe not. Senator? CHEVALIER The majority leader's got a problem, and it's local for us. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

37. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) (beat) Sherman Brody. A collective sigh. STAFFER #1 Holy man. Like, he's looking into something? Illegal? Chevalier offers a subtle nod. STAFFER #2 What's the difference between true love and Sherman Brody on your back? KREGG What? STAFFER #2 Sherman Brody's for life. INT. TELLER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - DAY ABERLE If Styler gets in, then here are the choices. (to Teller) You, sir, up on stage with a black woman and a white woman, or you're up on stage with a black woman and a sort of black man. HIRED GUN Give me gender over race any day. ABERLE (frustrated) See, no. Wrong. Frame it that way and suddenly it's fifty-two percent to forty-eight percent if the general public starts to buy what they're selling. (air quotes) 'It's time for America to have a female president,' bullshit like that. (beat) But if it's a racial thing, black people versus white people? Us on stage with Chevalier and Styler? Race is the only thing on your mind. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

38. CONTINUED: ABERLE (CONT'D) Even when you're not thinking about it, you're thinking about it. Then it's eighty percent to twenty percent. (sarcastically) And when, in America's harmonious and inspiring racial history, have the black people ever beat the white people when it actually counted for something? INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - EVENING STAFFER #2 The majority leader's from Las Vegas. What's Sherman Brody doing in his business? KREGG Doesn't matter. Could be anything. A U.S. Attorney has a lot of latitude if something fishy wanders into his jurisdiction. STAFFER #1 This could be bad for all of us. STAFFER #2 (sarcastically) Why didn't Gonzales fire him? HARMON Because he's loyal. The room stops and looks at Harmon. HARMON These guys have always put loyalty above and beyond everything else. Sherman Brody is loyalty beyond reason, believe me. KREGG You know him? HARMON I do. (to Chevalier) I could talk to him. owes me one. He kind of

KREGG Whoa, hold on. We don't even know what the problem is here. (CONTINUED)

39. CONTINUED: HARMON All the better, I'd say. Could we take credit quietly, without exposing the campaign's influence? Make it so the majority leader owes us one? ANGLE ON CHEVALIER As he leans back in his chair, intrigued. INT. TELLER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - DAY The meeting has ended. Aberle whispers something in Teller's ear as staffers gather up belongings and file out. Aberle stands, pats Teller on the back, and moves with the group. In the midst of it all, Spiegel subtly brushes by Teller's shoulder. It's a brush that doesn't quite look like an accident, but nothing that would be noticed by anyone other than Teller. Teller does indeed notice. TELLER'S POV Spiegel's ass as she walks out of the war room. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - EVENING Chevalier and Kregg go over some papers at the table. Harmon enters. HARMON Hand written message to call me, sitting on his desk, on top of the mail. INT. ALTAR'S KETTLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE - PUBLIC LIBRARY NIGHT A town hall meeting being conducted by Teller. He sits comfortably at a library table answering questions. In the b.g. we see various among his campaign staff. Terry Spiegel studiously watches, occasionally taking notes. She's wearing eyeglasses. PERCY (V.O.) And he's in New Hampshire now? HIPSTER DUDE (V.O.) Town hall meeting in some place called Altar's Kettle.


40. CONTINUED: PERCY (V.O.) She's there? HIPSTER DUDE (V.O.) For the past two weeks. PERCY (V.O.) I liked her. I have a sense of what you were talking about. INT. CHARITY EVENT - COAT ROOM - EVENING - CONTINUOUS Percy, Hayden, and the hipster dude, all dressed in tuxedos, stand side by side in an overstuffed coat room they've sought out for the purpose of privacy. PERCY She'll get us what we need, Garrett? GARRETT (HIPSTER DUDE) (confidently) The worst kept secret in D.C. for years, sir. He'll go for it. As far as we can tell, it's been a long time, probably close to two years, since his last one. INT. ALTAR'S KETTLE - PUBLIC LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS Still at the town hall meeting. CLOSE ON TELLER As he turns to the side and flashes a flirty smile. GARRETT (V.O.) And she is everything he digs. She's the profile. CLOSE ON SPIEGEL As she glances up and subtly returns a smile. GARRETT (V.O.) Energetic. Bad girl thing. And talented. Great resume in the field. Schwarznegger farmed out to her in the recall election. INT. CHARITY EVENT - COAT ROOM - EVENING - CONTINUOUS GARRETT She belongs there. They know she belongs there. And she speaks our language, without apology. (CONTINUED)

41. CONTINUED: PERCY It took you? GARRETT Less than sixty seconds, sir. She was with us in less than sixty seconds. Hook me up to a polygraph. PERCY (to Hayden) And Mr. Harmon? HAYDEN He's a lawyer, a good lawyer. We're seeking different vulnerabilities here. (glances at Garrett) I needed more than a minute. But he's solid. My only concern is Chevalier. PERCY What do you mean? HAYDEN Mr. Harmon's pedigree wouldn't mean a thing without his race. Percy and Garrett offer confused looks. HAYDEN He's black. Where we want to be is a place you can only get to if you're black. GARRETT Except for Joel Kregg. HAYDEN Maybe. He'd be the only exception, though. GARRETT Black guys and bad girls. like porn. (beat) Although . . . Sounds

HAYDEN Ms. Spiegel has the psychological insulation to do her job guilt free. PERCY And Mr. Harmon? (CONTINUED)

42. CONTINUED: HAYDEN There isn't a black man in the world with his skills and qualifications that could do this guilt free. I've been in the presence of Senator Chevalier one time, for all of ten minutes. (to Percy) Don't take it personally when I tell you, had it been fifteen minutes, I probably wouldn't be working for you. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - MORNING Orthman's interview with Adder, Ratliff, Irwin, and Marist continues. The cute assistant approaches Harmon. CUTE ASSISTANT (sotto) Hi there. I noticed you didn't have a guest tag. (re: interview) Are you with them? HARMON (sotto) I'm Pierre Chevalier's assistant campaign manager. I'm here to see them once this is all done. The cute assistant goes wide eyed. Shocked disbelief.

EXT. MARTIN PERCY'S ESTATE - FLOWER GARDEN - DAY Percy walks alone in the middle of an enormous, impeccably maintained flower garden. A veritable mansion is visible in the b.g. INT. CLEVELAND - CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT A darkened general area of cubicles and tables covered with computers and assorted campaign clutter. A small bit of light comes through some conference room windows in the back. INT. CLEVELAND - CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT John Harmon types on a laptop. INSERT - LAPTOP SCREEN


43. CONTINUED: TEXT: "I HAVE THE REST OF MY LIFE TO PRACTICE LAW AND ONLY NOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE LIKE THIS." BACK TO SCENE Harmon stops typing and leans back in his chair. He flips open his cell phone and begins to adjust his eyeglasses. A doorknob LATCH CLICKS. Harmon looks up.

CHEVALIER (O.S.) When do you sleep? HARMON (stands) Senator. Chevalier sits across the table from Harmon. CHEVALIER Sit down, man. I just wanted to go over some of the Texas trip stuff. I swear, I can't get anything done at home anymore. Harmon sits while adjusting his glasses and setting his cell phone on the table. CLOSE ON CELL PHONE As HARMON'S HAND leaves it. The phone is not fully opened or closed, but oddly half open so that its backside is facing Chevalier. BACK TO SCENE HARMON Anything I can help you with, Senator? I can finish this up later. CHEVALIER What you working on? HARMON (re: laptop) Ahh, some personal stuff. Keeping some bridges from burning down in Cincinnati. CHEVALIER You said you were a "West Wing" junkie, right?


44. CONTINUED: HARMON Every season on D.V.D. CHEVALIER You gonna be my Josh Lyman? HARMON I'm working his hours. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier across the table. This same image, from the cell phone's angle, is replicated and miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. CHEVALIER Go home and get six hours of sleep for once why dontcha? It's just President of the United States. Martin Sheen made it look easy. How bad can it be? BACK TO SCENE HARMON I never realized how easy it was to be an assistant D.A. until I became an assistant campaign manager. CHEVALIER We doing right by you with that title? I'm wondering if we should beef it up some. HARMON (humbly) I'm honored by it, sir. CHEVALIER Well, I'm glad. (beat) So, what other titles are in your future, Assistant Campaign Manager Harmon? HARMON I'll worry about that after the election, I guess. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER Hey now, you mean transition.


45. CONTINUED: BACK TO SCENE HARMON (nods; stands corrected) Transition. CHEVALIER Careful. We get ya to hang on to the inauguration and the next thing you know it's the end of the first term! (jokingly) I will need an ambassador to France. HARMON Never been, but sounds nice. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER (laughing) Awwww, man, lemme tell ya. The French have our ass kicked in so many ways. Shit. In a jam? Just chill back, drink some wine, and wait for someone else to bail your ass out. We're on the wrong side of that equation, boy. BACK TO SCENE HARMON Can I ask you something about France? I mean, without offending you? CHEVALIER It's not about EuroDisney, is it? HARMON (laughing) No. I just . . . it's something that bothers me. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER Well, you wouldn't be the first dude with a bug up his ass about France. Lemme have it.


46. CONTINUED: BACK TO SCENE HARMON What's up with the women? they all so hot? HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier is noticeably excited. This is a topic he likes. Why are

CHEVALIER Awww, man! I thought you were gonna give me shit about the thirtyfive hour work week or something. (beat) Hot women? Yeah? You ain't kiddin'! Let me tell you a story. CUT TO: INT. CLEVELAND - CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - LATER LAUGHTER comes from the lit conference room. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT ANONYMOUS EYEGLASSES POV An older man's chest and the sounds an older man might make when being pleasured. We see a blurred image of a woman performing oral sex on a man from a more distant profile angle that is miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM DAY A well funded, well equipped, suburban high school classroom with mostly white students. Cynthia Chavez is teaching. Quick-witted and respected, she pulls no punches, talks to her students like adults, and expects that they'll conduct themselves as such. CHAVEZ Don Imus didn't get taken down by what he said on the radio. He got fired because he became a major threat to the profitability of corporations. When Procter and Gamble pulls the plug on your ass, you've got major problems. The students laugh. They love her.


47. CONTINUED: CHAVEZ But seriously, ladies and gentlemen, why did he cease to be profitable? Silence CHAVEZ Millions and millions of people watched him, watched him call those young ladies 'nappy headed hos.' (beat) How's that? It was a radio program! Several students raise their hands. Chavez calls on Sam who happens to be the only African American student in the room. CHAVEZ Samuel. Go. SAM Wasn't it on M.S.N.B.C.? CHAVEZ Yep. They simulcast it. But M.S.N.B.C. got maybe three hundred, four hundred thousand viewers, at most. I'm here telling you that millions of people saw it. A beat as she lets it sink in. CHAVEZ How could that be? Chavez gestures to the back row. BACK ROW STUDENT #1 (O.S.) Tivo? Chavez raises her eyebrows. CHAVEZ Tivoing Don Imus? I don't know about that. BACK ROW STUDENT #2 The web. CHAVEZ Hand please, Mr. Davis. DAVIS (BACK ROW STUDENT #2) YouTube. A bunch of people just streamed it a bunch of times. (CONTINUED)

48. CONTINUED: CHAVEZ Correct. Streaming video. The dawn of a new media era. (beat) Okay, we're going to do a little experiment with this new media. We're gonna do a little YouTube in here ourselves. A collective slump hits the room. coming. An assignment is

CHAVEZ (indifferent) We've obviously still got the TV ads. But now we can produce messages too. (beat) That's what you're going to do. You're going to make some videos about these candidates and then we're going to look at them together. Offer some feedback, nicely. Then, if you want, you can upload your work . . . for the world to see. A FEMALE STUDENT raises her hand. Chavez gives her the nod. FEMALE STUDENT What if we don't have a video recorder? Chavez grabs a stack of photocopied packets and starts to distribute them. CHAVEZ All taken care of. I've got the media center checked out for three days next week. You'll have everything you need there. Read these over. You'll see my rubric, due dates, all that. We'll work in teams of two, and you can choose those. What you need to be doing in the meantime is think about what you want to say and which candidate you want to say it about. MALE STUDENT (O.S.) (obnoxiously) Chev-all-yay!


49. CONTINUED: Chavez sets the last of the packets on the front desk of the last row in the classroom. She looks up slowly. CHAVEZ'S POV The male student, Dakota Kovac, finishes a fist pump to punctuate his outburst. He's dressed as hip hop as they come: A tilted red New York Yankees cap, an oversized Carolina Panthers jersey, and ultra baggy jean shorts. BACK TO SCENE CHAVEZ (annoyed) Dakota, what did we say about your interruptions? DAKOTA (eyes down) I don't know. CHAVEZ I think ya do. We agreed, I believe it was just last week, that they weren't necessary. We agreed that they would stop. I agreed to keep it all between you and me, in this classroom. I also agreed, in good faith, not to take this matter downstairs. You remember any of these agreements, Mr. Kovac? Dakota is silent, busted, wishing he could turn back time one minute. He's crossed a line and everyone in the room knows it. CHAVEZ I've got news for you, dear. (pumps fist) The 'Woot, woot, woot' along with your Panthers jersey and your crooked hat and the way you just pronounced the name of Senator Chevalier? It all says one thing. (beat) You're a white boy named Dakota who lives in the suburbs. The class erupts in laughter. CLOSE ON DAKOTA'S HUMILIATED FACE.


INT. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER'S OFFICE - DAY A large, ornately furnished office fitting for the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate. The majority leader sits with his CHIEF OF STAFF. The mood is morbid. Call him. MAJORITY LEADER His price will be a slot on intel. CHIEF OF STAFF She'll understand. MAJORITY LEADER That's what I'm afraid of. The exchange rate on this in two years? You might as well tattoo 'Give 'em Hell, Helen' on my forehead. CHIEF OF STAFF So you have to push some tough legislation. Look at the alternative. (beat) If his guy can make it disappear, then we still have jobs. MAJORITY LEADER (picks up phone) Fucking Akron. CHIEF OF STAFF This office will once again be a Sherman-Brody-free zone. MAJORITY LEADER (into phone) Joel. It's me. Please tell the Senator I'd be happy to have his help on the matter we discussed at Luxor last week. EXT. MANHATTAN - WALL ST. - DAY Hayden walks with purpose. in the b.g. The New York Stock Exchange Stress. Concern. Regret.


EXT. CALIFORNIA COAST - HIGHWAY 1 - DAY A curvy stretch of one of America's most famous roads.


51. CONTINUED: Garrett drives a top down sports car faster than the speed limit. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT A blurred image of a nude older man tracing kisses down the bare back of a nude younger woman. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT Chevalier, Kregg, and Harmon sit. call on his cell phone. HARMON (into phone) Good. (beat) I feel the same way. (beat) Mitchell's. It's on 17th. I know it. (beat) How about early, something like six or seven? (beat) Great. See you there, Sherman. Harmon hangs up and sets his cell phone on the table. HARMON Consider it done. I'll call you when I have it locked. KREGG (sighs) Sausages and laws and elections. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier on the other side of the table. This same image, from a slightly different angle, is replicated and miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. CHEVALIER And last chapters of bestsellers. BACK TO SCENE HARMON What? CHEVALIER The Optimist's Doctrine. Harmon is finishing a


52. CONTINUED: HARMON Really? CHEVALIER We were just so swamped. I barely had time to write a note to my wife. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER (to Kregg) Who was that guy who ghosted it? I can't remember. He did well. KREGG (O.S.) Simpkins something-or-other, I think. CHEVALIER Yeah, anyway. Probably best we can't remember his name. (points at Harmon) This thing is just another example of how reality and reality are divergent . . . uhhhhhhhhh. Chevalier loses his train of thought. Kregg and Harmon laugh O.S. CHEVALIER (self deprecating) Ahhhhhh. Shit. Reality and reality are, like, divergent, dude. Divergencies divergenating. Know what I'm talkin' about? Goddamn am I tired. (to Kregg; joking) We make up words sometimes, okay? It's a black thing. Stop laughing. You're being racist. BACK TO SCENE CHEVALIER You guys wanna just get a pizza? Kregg and Harmon nod. cigarettes. Chevalier takes out a pack of

CHEVALIER Call up Marvin and Tito. They still gotta be upstairs, right? (MORE) (CONTINUED)

53. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) I need a normalcy fix, man. Just need to be. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM DAY Chavez works at her desk. Dakota enters, still dressed to the extreme in a completely brand new selection of gangsta wannabe clothes. CHAVEZ (looks up) Mr. Kovac. DAKOTA My mom wanted me to talk to you. CHAVEZ About? DAKOTA I told her 'bout the way you disrespected me in fronna everyone in class yesterday. CHAVEZ Little more to the story than that, don't you think? DAKOTA I know I shouldn't be yellin' out an' all but that don't give you the right to disrespect me! CHAVEZ Sure it does. DAKOTA (caught off guard) No it don't! CHAVEZ Respect's not a fundamental right, Dakota. You don't just get it. DAKOTA Respect is whatchu is. S'bout not lettin' nobody show you up. CHAVEZ Did your mother want you to come apologize?


54. CONTINUED: DAKOTA No! CHAVEZ Hmmmmmm. And you're sure you told her everything? DAKOTA I tell her I said somethin' without raisin' my hand an' how you bust me out in fronna everyone! An' she told me I should talk to you about how uncomfortable you made me feel in yo class. CHAVEZ Well, I'm sorry you felt uncomfortable. I really am. But I'm not sorry for doing what I did. And I can promise you more of the same if you keep it up. DAKOTA I'll try to stop. CHAVEZ (dismissively) Please, Dakota, try? Try? I'm not asking you to do a back flip. You don't try to contain yourself. You simply do it. DAKOTA My mom said to tell you I make mistakes sometime. CHAVEZ I think I have a bigger problem with the word 'mistake' than I do 'try.' DAKOTA I jus' can't help it sometime. CHAVEZ You better learn. When you're out there in five years, 'try' isn't gonna to get it done. And 'mistake' will just get you laughed at. DAKOTA So I can't make a mistake no more?


55. CONTINUED: CHAVEZ You can make all the mistakes you want. But if we're talking about yesterday we're not talking about a mistake. A mistake is knocking over a glass of milk or dialing the wrong number. Yesterday was no mistake. You wanted attention and you got it. (looks over Dakota's clothes) I want to hear it from you. Tell me again why Don Imus lost his job? DAKOTA (confused) 'Cause he called tham shawties a bunch a 'nappy headed hos.' CHAVEZ Well, yes, in basic terms, but we talked about more than that, remember? (beat) If you had a show on the radio, would you call them that? DAKOTA Radio? CHAVEZ Fine, if you had a show on TV. Doesn't matter. Would you have called those women a 'bunch of nappy headed hos'? DAKOTA No! CHAVEZ Have you ever called someone a 'ho'? DAKOTA To they face? CHAVEZ Yeah. DAKOTA No. Or maybe just to a couple a white girls.


56. CONTINUED: CHAVEZ Explain that to me. DAKOTA 'Ho' gotta be in your race, right? Can't be callin' no black girls that. CHAVEZ What if Sam said it? DAKOTA Sam don't talk like that. CHAVEZ Just what if? DAKOTA That different. CHAVEZ Why? DAKOTA He black! CHAVEZ Would you ever call me a 'jerk'? DAKOTA I ain't no idiot, Ms. C. CHAVEZ You most certainly are not. And I'll bet you'd agree I shouldn't be calling you a 'jerk' either. DAKOTA (sweet talking) Ahhhh, I'm a jerk sometime. admit it.


CHAVEZ I think you think you're charming, but you're not right now. (beat) But it would be okay if I called another teacher a 'jerk.' As a joke. Jus' playin'? Right? DAKOTA Sure. CHAVEZ Kind of like Sam and 'ho'? (CONTINUED)

57. CONTINUED: DAKOTA I guess. CHAVEZ So, if you're understanding all this, and you're a smart man, so I can tell you are. (re: Dakota's attire) Then what's this? How is it that this is somehow available to you? And why do you talk the way you do? You've lived here your whole life. You want me to believe any of this is real? A long beat. CHAVEZ You dress and sound like you do and you think you're okay because you don't say 'nappy' or 'ho'? Dakota is stunned, silent, affected. CHAVEZ Dakota, dear, my job is to get you to put you, the real you, out there for society to know. My students can have all the knowledge in the world, but if they're not taken seriously, then what good does it do them? (beat) You're being offensive to yourself. Your mom wants you to talk to me about how I made you feel uncomfortable? Fine, I'll do that. I'll talk to Dakota Kovac about anything he wants. Let me know when you see him. (re: Dakota's attire) But as long as this guy keeps showing up and interrupting my class he's going to keep feeling pretty uncomfortable. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT Chevalier's dose of normalcy is in full swing. There's cigarette smoke, most of it coming from Chevalier. Cans of beer run the length of the table along with the main staple, pizza. MARVIN, black, early 40's, and TITO, black, late 30's have joined Kregg, Harmon and Chevalier. Laughter is prevalent. (CONTINUED)

58. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER Man, Tito. Gonna have to put your ass 'cross the ocean, like Africa! Carve out a box in the middle a the Sahara. Tito's ambassador to this shit right here! MARVIN Y'all stay away! TITO Naw, you said that was for Joel. Work on his tan. KREGG Oh myyyyyy Gawwwd. I'm proud to say I've never once gone tanning. MARVIN Me neither. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier on the other side of the table. This same image, from a slightly different angle, is replicated and miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. CHEVALIER (to Tito) Wait a minute! Don't get on Joel for being white. You grew up in Winnetka. TITO (O.S.) Uhhh, that would be Skokie, Senator. CHEVALIER That's worse! Chevalier takes a long drag off his cigarette. CHEVALIER You shoulda let me stick with Winnetka! BACK TO SCENE HARMON Wait, isn't Skokie something like the second biggest Jewish population in the country? TITO (grabs a beer) Oh yes. (CONTINUED)

59. CONTINUED: HARMON And you grew up there? TITO Anytime anyone give Tito some shit, I jus' tell 'em I'm thinkin' about joinin' up with the Nation. KREGG Still, wasn't that a little weird? TITO (incredulous) Motherfucker, I'm drinking beer with a French negro sittin' on about a quarter billion dollars of white people money and you all givin' me shit for being a black boy from Skokie? HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS Chevalier on the other side of the table. CHEVALIER Hey now! It ain't all white people money. We got like two, three hundred dollars from black folk! INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MEDIA CENTER - DAY Students scramble to find partners for their project. Dakota, just ever-so-slightly less hip-hop in appearance, approaches Sam. CLOSE ON SAM As he looks up from his notebook. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT EXTREME CLOSEUP - DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER Pull back to reveal: A younger woman and an older man having sex in the b.g. We see the digital camera mounted on a tripod, in plain sight, in the middle of the room. INT. SENATE FLOOR - DAY A session is breaking up. Chevalier sets a folded up piece of paper in front of the majority leader. The majority leader unfolds the paper, reads, and smiles.


60. CONTINUED: MAJORITY LEADER'S POV Chevalier walks away without looking back. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - EVENING Percy and Spiegel continuing their conversation after Harmon has left. Spiegel's belongings still sit on the table. PERCY If I've learned one thing in my life, it's that the most profitable ventures, in hindsight, appear to be unbelievably simple. And they appear that way because they are that way. SPIEGEL (fascinated) I completely agree. How long did it take you to learn that? PERCY After about my third nine figure deal. What? SPIEGEL A pattern?

PERCY No, it just hit me. (beat) Our culture conditions us to seek out and identify the complexity in daily life. And if we can't identify any, then we invent it. People are fundamentally more comfortable with contrived, complex explanations as opposed accurate and simple ones. What Senator Allen taught us couldn't be any more simple. He was just stupid, if I may be so crass as to use that word. Unfortunately, for him, he was stupid in public. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT The normalcy session with a smoking and laughing Chevalier. We see the pizza, the beer, Marvin, Tito, Kregg, and Harmon.


61. CONTINUED: PERCY (V.O.) You can't run a presidential campaign without the back room and the back room, sooner or later, absolutely must be a place where stupidity will flourish. (beat) I once saw Ronald Reagan drink a tumbler of scotch through a straw while standing on his head. SPIEGEL (V.O.) No! PERCY (V.O.) It was in New Hampshire back when you were in elementary school. He was among friends, and he knew it. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - EVENING - CONTINUOUS PERCY The public is too busy policing the streets with God-knows-what new digital contraption. Then there's the regular press. (beat) They're all looking for the same thing, that stupid move they can play over and over and over. Macaca. Howard Dean's scream. SPIEGEL I downloaded it as a ringtone. PERCY I guess I shouldn't say 'stupid.' What I really mean is 'normal everyday behavior,' the kind of things we all do a dozen times a day. But, for some reason, we don't want our Presidents to ever be like we are. If you want to be President, you don't get to be normal, at least not in public. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT The normalcy session.


62. CONTINUED: PERCY (V.O.) So, once you've assembled a trusted group of people, you find a little back room nest where you can simply be yourself, stand on your head, drink a tumbler of scotch. If you don't get that nest in place, you'll never make it. You'll lose your mind, and it only takes one time, one scream, one macaca, and you're through. You need to create that little safe haven where you can just be . . . normal. (beat) We've got only this campaign. It'll all be too late in four years. Changes are coming. You only need to look at your local middle school to see it. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS SPIEGEL Middle school? PERCY My granddaughter can't take her cell phone into the locker room at her school. They caught some deplorable man paying his daughter to take secret pictures of naked twelve year old girls. As horrible as that is, it embraces the simplicity theory. SPIEGEL Who would of thought? PERCY A girls locker room is ahead of the presidential campaigns. SPIEGEL You really think we can do it? PERCY Nineteen men on four planes changed the world. The simplicity of what they executed was beautiful. (beat) But it would have just been a good idea without the money. (MORE)


63. CONTINUED: PERCY (CONT'D) (gestures toward Spiegel) I only work with genuine talent. And genuine talent requires serious financial incentive. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT CONTINUOUS The normalcy session. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV Chevalier on the other side of the table lighting a cigarette while he raises his middle finger in the general direction of Marvin. This same image, from a slightly different angle, is replicated and miniaturized in the upper left corner of the left lens. PERCY (V.O.) This country will deny the presidency to supremely talented individuals for the most trivial of reasons. (beat) It's the people who are the stupid ones, not the candidates. CHEVALIER You think that's bad? Man, my grandfather? Dad's side? Motherfucker fucked everything. What's that Eddie Murphy line? He come into a room and the fish stop swimmin'. MARVIN (O.S.) And wadn't your great grandfather the one who-CHEVALIER Awad! MARVIN (O.S.) Yeah. CHEVALIER Awad. Fuck me if we aren't gonna have to deal with that one. (to Harmon) My great grandfather's middle name was . . . (MORE)


64. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) (French Arabic accent) Bin 'Awad. (regular voice) From the old land, generations back. Know another guy with that middle name? BACK TO SCENE HARMON (hesitant) Bin Laden? CHEVALIER Exactly. Right there. (re: Harmon) That reaction is what's gonna fuck us. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER Bill O'Reilly's gonna get a hold of that and make people believe it matters, like I'm a fuckin' Al Qaeda operative. Pisses me off. BACK TO SCENE KREGG See, I think you're exaggerating. HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER We better hope so. Drives me outta my mind we gotta even worry about it. BACK TO SCENE Come on, man. say? TITO What they gonna

HARMON'S EYEGLASSES POV - CONTINUOUS CHEVALIER Your problem is you're too logical. What they gonna say? Who cares? We don't get to control that. If the press decides to run with it? (MORE)


65. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) Remember one thing, you're trying to put a nigger in the White House here. Kennedy damn near got locked out 'cause he went to confession every week. Since then we've evolved into a country that spends billions of dollars a year on NASCAR and pays Jerry Springer enough to finance his own Goddamn campaign. They're gonna say whatever they want. (fake voice) Hmmmmmmm, his great grandfather and Osama bin Laden have the same middle name. And Bill O'Reilly said that might be a problem. BACK TO SCENE Silence. A long beat. MARVIN (lightening the mood) I like NASCAR. Massive laughter. CHEVALIER You would. You should join Tito over here in Skokie. Then the white people'd be really confused. Jews and a couple a black dudes walkin' around in Dale Earnhardt, Jr. jackets. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - ON CAMERA SET - MORNING The interview with Adder, Ratliff, Irwin, and Marist comes to an end. ORTHMAN Well, we're simply delighted that you could sit with us. You know, I try to take stock of these past six weeks. It's simply been . . . a rollercoaster. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - CONTINUOUS Orthman wraps up the interview. The cute assistant and a large, club-bouncer looking SECURITY MAN approach Harmon.


66. CONTINUED: CUTE ASSISTANT Hi. Me again. You said you were with the Chevalier campaign? HARMON Yes. CUTE ASSISTANT I'm sorry, but could you produce any validation of that? Harmon stares at the two of them. SECURITY MAN Sir, could I ask you to come with me? INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM DAY Lights dimmed. A computer monitor projection device displays student made videos on a large screen in the front of the room. Sam and Dakota sit at a table set apart from their classmates. Dakota has dialed down his hip hop image, although it's still there for the casual observer to notice. Chavez holds a laptop and sits on a high chair in the middle of the room. Sam's submission is playing on the screen. highly attentive. The class is

SAM (ON SCREEN) . . . and this is another one of those times where we need inspiring leaders, no matter what office they want to hold. Therefore, for the same reason why my grandfather voted for John F. Kennedy, I ask that you consider giving your vote to Senator Pierre Chevalier, the inspiration America needs. Clapping. CHAVEZ Wonderful work, Samuel, excellent. And you had Dakota assist you. Mr. Kovac, compliments on the production end. So, the big question, will you upload it? SAM I haven't decided yet. (CONTINUED)

67. CONTINUED: Dakota shakes his head in mock disgust. CHAVEZ Mr. Kovac, you have something to say? DAKOTA (subtly street) Yeah. It's good. He should upload it. The class laughs a little. CHAVEZ Samuel? SAM I'm not embarrassed by it or anything. I stand by what I said. CHAVEZ Then why not influence this election through your advocacy? You won't have the right to vote. Am I right? You won't be eighteen in November? SAM I miss it by two months. CHAVEZ So, it's good work. You think so. Your producer thinks so. You do have the right to free speech. Why not? SAM (smiles) Dakota's. CHAVEZ His submission? SAM Can we watch it? CHAVEZ (to Dakota) Mr. Kovac? You ready to be seen? DAKOTA Sure. Chavez presses a couple buttons on her laptop. On the screen the projector shows a still image of Dakota dressed in the most over-the-top gangsta wannabe garb imaginable. (CONTINUED)

68. CONTINUED: A pall of general embarrassment wafts over the room. CHAVEZ (apprehensively) Okay, scoresheets ready everyone. Next up we have the piece written by Dakota Kovac and produced by Samuel Patterson. DAKOTA (ON SCREEN) 'Sup, yo? This be dawg-outtiedawg Grandmastuh K comin' yo way to say hey! (beat) Wake yo fat tiyud ol' butt up offa that couch an' get yo seff down uh duh polls, yo! (beat) Like I gotta remin' you fools dat da one, da only Pee-airrrrrrrrrr Chev! (beat) All! (beat) Yay be in da house? (beat) Da house? What dat? You say 'What house?' Hey, yo! Put down dat People Magazine an' pick yo seff up some New Yoke Tahhhhhmzz! Dey only one house fo Chev-all-yay! (beat) The White House! White! Howwwwsss! (taps chest) Y'all know I know a lil' 'bout white, right? The class laughs. ON SCREEN, Dakota's shoulders suddenly slump. His face goes blank. He starts pulling off his hip hop gangsta garb. DAKOTA (normal voice) What you just heard, that's not me. (beat) This is me. This is This is how I talk. I look like. (beat) This is me. (MORE) (ON SCREEN) just now, who I am. This is what


69. CONTINUED: DAKOTA (ON SCREEN) (CONT'D) (beat) But Pierre Chevalier is still who you should vote for. I believe that with him, what you see is what you get. He's not fake. He's himself. And most politicians I see are more like me, the way I used to be. I can talk like this, and look like this, and be more like Pierre Chevalier than ever. He's himself. And now, I'm myself. You should vote for Pierre Chevalier. He's real. (beat) Even a white boy from the suburbs can figure that out. The screen dissolves to an image of Pierre Chevalier. The classroom is instantly consumed by applause. Sam and Dakota slap hands. Chavez gives Dakota a look of approval. INT. HARMON'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Harmon sits at a laptop computer watching secret video he's made of Chevalier. CLOSE ON HARMON'S FACE Guilt. Hesitation. ON COMPUTER SCREEN Harmon closes the video, opens an email window, attaches the file, and types an email address. BACK TO SCENE Harmon sits at computer. A long, guilt-ridden beat.

ON COMPUTER SCREEN Harmon clicks send. BACK TO SCENE Harmon gets up, walks over to his couch, picks up the remote control, and turns on the television. A cable news channel shows Teller moving through a crowd. We recognize Dirk Geball in the b.g. CLOSE ON TELEVISION SCREEN As Spiegel moves into picture.


70. CONTINUED: BACK TO SCENE Harmon is visibly upset. INT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT A dimly lit stretch of cement and painted lines. few cars. It's late. Harmon stands alone. A STAIRWELL DOOR CREAKS open. Hayden emerges. Only a

HARMON You didn't tell me this was a parking garage. HAYDEN How is that important? HARMON Bad karma mean anything? HAYDEN (laughs) Oh, that's good. You're right. I didn't think of it. But Woodward and Bernstein were the good guys. (beat) What's the emergency? That girl. met Percy. HARMON The blonde. When I Terry? Who was she?

HAYDEN She's a friendly, obviously. HARMON Does she have material? HAYDEN Oh, she has material. Of me? HARMON That meeting?

HAYDEN I think it's important at this late stage that you not flatter yourself. Harmon pushes Hayden up against a cement pillar. HARMON She had glasses. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

71. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) On TV, she was wearing them. Does she wear glasses? I can't remember if she wore glasses at the meeting. Hayden easily brushes Harmon off with his arm. HAYDEN You need to relax now. It's getting real. You can't be calling three A.M. meetings because you're late to the dance. (steps away from pillar) Your problem is you still think like a prosecutor. HARMON I want to know right now if you can show I was part of a quid pro quo. HAYDEN Listen to you. Dan Harrigan went to your head. I've got news, counselor, you weren't our first choice. HARMON I want more money. HAYDEN (laughs) Excuse me? Listen, Martin Percy wouldn't need a video to crush you. He could get it done for free, with a phone call. Fifty bad asses in Versace'd line up just for the opportunity to put a deposit in his favor bank. Who is she? all this? HARMON Where's her place in

HAYDEN She's been on the news every day! Where've you been? HARMON I saw her, with Teller's people. Right behind him.


72. CONTINUED: HAYDEN That would likely be because she's a senior staff member in his campaign. HARMON (confused) What could that . . . (beat) That doesn't make any sense. I've given you . . . (beat) Chevalier'll be on the ropes for months? HAYDEN Still not seeing it? I think Percy had planned to lay it all out-HARMON She has uploads on Teller? HAYDEN John. Really? HARMON You're bringing both of them down? HAYDEN Well, it's a little more complicated than that. HARMON (angry) Sorry I'm so slow. I've been a little busy. HAYDEN You think this is just about Chevalier? You should have seen what we had to spend to get in Truman's back room. HARMON I should've walked you right out of my office that day. HAYDEN (laughs) Now that's funny. You want to think that over? You're a wealthy man, a very wealthy man, in exchange for one year of your life. (MORE)


73. CONTINUED: HAYDEN (CONT'D) Made more than every generation in the history of our families combined. With cash to spare. And you're not even thirty-five. HARMON They're gonna out me. I won't be able to practice law again. HAYDEN I wouldn't bet on it. Did you really do anything wrong? Break any laws? Be smart with your money for a few years. We'll see to it you have friends who'll help you legitimize it. HARMON Don't you mean launder? HAYDEN Start thinking like a defense attorney. You're just a brave soul who put the truth in front of his own needs. HARMON I'm gonna be disbarred. I will. You know

HAYDEN Don't shred the license just yet. You never know. U.S. Attorney? Couple years to let this all breath. Brothas and sistuhs take care of their own, Mr. Harmon. Harmon looks up from the ground. His eyes lock on Hayden.

Harmon shakes a flash drive at Hayden. HARMON What? Brothas and sistuhs? Chevalier? I haven't even given you the good stuff yet. What the fuck are you talking about? HAYDEN Didn't it strike you as odd? The four most experienced political operatives in the nation held to their silly project with such passion and loyalty? (MORE) (CONTINUED)

74. CONTINUED: HAYDEN (CONT'D) They win campaigns. That's what they do for a living. And all of them, all four of them, with unwavering dedication, sticking by a known loser? HARMON You're full of shit. HAYDEN Our time has come, my brotha. All we ever needed was a skinny, white Forbes number two to sponsor us for the ride. EXT. CAMPAIGN EVENT - DAY Chevalier on an outdoor stage speaking to a wildly enthusiastic crowd. INT. CAMPAIGN EVENT - EVENING Teller on an indoor stage speaking to a wildly enthusiastic crowd. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM DAY Dakota, still showing some traces of hip hop, in an untucked Dallas Cowboys jersey and slightly less baggy jeans. Sam in a nice button down dress shirt. An attentive class. INT. SET OF A SUNDAY NEWS SHOW - MORNING Chevalier giving an interview. CHEVALIER See I view that situation in an entirely different way which is why, when I was in the Ohio State Senate, I voiced opposition to the war even when it wasn't popular to do so. INT. SET OF A SUNDAY NEWS SHOW - MORNING Teller giving an interview on a different show. TELLER I challenge him to cite the day and the place where I claimed that it was managed well. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

75. CONTINUED: TELLER (CONT'D) I didn't, because it hasn't been managed well, from the beginning. I know that. The American people know that. Everyone knows that. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - NIGHT The staff is deep into it with the dry erase board, laptops, etc. Harmon sits quietly in a corner with a solemn look on his face. His eyeglasses are in his hand. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - HALLWAY - DAY Sam and Dakota hand out Chevalier fliers to students. INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Teller and Spiegel kiss passionately. Spiegel, wearing eyeglasses, begins to undo Teller's belt. She pauses to set down her PDA and a partially opened cell phone. CLOSE ON SPIEGEL'S PARTIALLY OPENED CELL PHONE BACK TO SCENE Teller tries to nudge backwards toward the bed. grabs him by the hips. SPIEGEL (sotto; sexy) I want you right here. Spiegel kneels. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - HALLWAY - NIGHT Chevalier and Harmon lean against adjacent walls at the end of a hallway. The mood is casual. Chevalier smokes. CHEVALIER Everything okay? HARMON Tired. CHEVALIER No. I've seen you tired. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were more . . . reserved. HARMON I think I was just so fixated on the nomination. Or maybe obsessed. I don't know. And now it's-(CONTINUED) Spiegel

76. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER Real? Harmon gives a slow, affirming nod. CHEVALIER It's okay to be a part of history, John. We're going to win, and you'll be a big reason why. HARMON He's just so . . . beatable. (beat) This is really happening. CHEVALIER The less you think about it the better, at least that's what Carter and Clinton told me. And I gave up sleep back around law school, and then I gave it up again when I had kids. (beat) And then I gave it up again when I decided to run for President. HARMON I can't imagine this with kids. CHEVALIER Ain't easy. Thank God for book deals. They let you afford nannies. (beat) You gonna have 'em one day? I want to. HARMON Sure.

CHEVALIER Well, when you decide where you want to be U.S. Attorney, maybe it'll be somewhere near a lot of gorgeous single women. We'll try to make that happen. HARMON If I'm a U.S. Attorney I'll see plenty of women from my office window, if I'm lucky. CHEVALIER Power's the ultimate aphrodisiac, right?


77. CONTINUED: HARMON I suppose. CHEVALIER (playfully sinister) Guess which one told me that? Carter or . . . Clinton? HARMON I think as you get closer to the White House I'm having more and more trouble joking around with you. CHEVALIER I'm gonna need to be able to joke around, John. It's a part of how I function. I understand what's coming, what I'll be in the eyes of everyone out there, but I'll need that back room. I can't keep the face on for eight years straight. HARMON Your kids. Sheila. They'll be there for you. CHEVALIER Well, that's not what I'm talkin' about, and I think you know that. But I'm impressed it would occur to you. (beat) You'll be a good dad. You'll pass the test every time. HARMON There's a test? CHEVALIER Your kids'll give you an unconditional love, man. It's unreal. Once they get up and able to start walking and talking and thinking, you'll see it. They'll love you for who you are. No judgment. Most genuine thing you'll know. (re: cigarette) Gotta give these up. I think my youngest already's put it together they're bad for me. (MORE)


78. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER (CONT'D) Did you know, if we win, Samantha'll be sixteen before it's all over? You can go on dates at sixteen. That scares me more than Iran getting a nuclear weapon. A long beat. Chevalier takes one last drag and then presses the butt out on the hinge of a fire escape door. CHEVALIER The test's easy to understand but hard to pass. Your kids'll give you that unconditional love. Just be worthy of it. Do that, you pass. Harmon removes his glasses. HARMON Senator, I-CHEVALIER We were lucky to get you, John. What you gave up to join us? I'll never forget it. I won't. Give me your best until November. If you need to go back to private practice after that, I'll understand. I won't lie. I want you on board. But I'll understand. Coming with us isn't part of the test. Just promise me, wherever you go, whatever you do, you'll be able to look your kids in the eye without faking it. That's all I ask. Be the man I know you are. INT. HOTEL LOBBY - MORNING A budget hotel. Cheap furniture. Families with loud children gorging on free continental breakfast. A wall mounted television in the b.g. shows images of Teller and Chevalier. Garrett sits at a table sipping coffee from a styrofoam cup. He picks at a blueberry muffin. DALE, early twenties, long stringy hair, nerdy, arrives and sits at the table. Garrett casually eats his muffin.


79. CONTINUED: GARRETT (mouth full) You found it. DALE I haven't been this far off campus since I was a freshman. GARRETT (looks around) Can't imagine why? Garrett slides a newspaper across the table. GARRETT This is just like Falcon and the Snowman, except we aren't quite communists, are we? Dale looks confused. Never mind. Page three. GARRETT Business section.

Dale pulls out the business section and opens it. DALE'S POV Page three of the business section with a flash drive scotch taped to the base of a Dilbert cartoon. BACK TO SCENE GARRETT Waves one through five, in the intervals we discussed. The account numbers for the down payment are on a Word file. (sarcastically) I named it, 'Account numbers.' DALE The back end? GARRETT They publish business sections every day, my friend. Except next time I'm staying on campus, as close to sorority row as possible. DALE Why'd we do this in person? You coulda saved yourself air fare and a room with a point and click. (CONTINUED)

80. CONTINUED: GARRETT You don't know who I work for, do you? Nope. DALE Not my concern.

GARRETT Good for you. Well, Mr. None-ofyour-concern has a message he'd like to convey, and he thought it was worth air fare and a hotel room to have me convey it face to face. DALE (intimidated) What's, uhhh, the message? GARRETT You are reportedly the best at this. Your pay is excessive. Mistakes, therefore, are forbidden. INT. HOTEL ROOM BATHROOM - NIGHT Spiegel rinses with mouthwash. his belt. Teller walks in, fastening

SPIEGEL (smiling and flirty) Now how do I get out of here without being seen? TELLER Nothing but Secret Service and a blind hallway. The floor's ours. SPIEGEL Maybe I'll stay. TELLER Maybe I'll take a Viagra after all. SPIEGEL I laugh whenever they say you're too old to be President. (naughtily) I know better. TELLER The way you had to keep your eyeglasses on. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

81. CONTINUED: TELLER (CONT'D) (puts hand on chest) Oh my God. SPIEGEL You're so cute. All the better to see what I'm doing. You sounded like you enjoyed it. TELLER Pretty hard to hide. Spiegel playfully flicks Teller's tie. SPIEGEL Sorry to disappoint, Senator. Not my first time. (tugs tie) But I'm betting you already knew that. Just don't call me Monica. EXT. CINCINNATI - HYDE PARK SQUARE - NIGHT A scene of trendy restaurants and bars. alone with a Starbucks coffee. VOICE (O.S.) John? Harmon stops and turns. HARMON'S POV Dennis, dressed in casual slacks and a polo shirt. has his arm around his wife, STACEY. BACK TO SCENE HARMON (surprised) Dennis. DENNIS (re: woman) John, this is my wife, Stacey. Stacey, this is John Harmon. STACEY (offers hand) Hello, John. Nice to meet you, finally. He Harmon walks


82. CONTINUED: HARMON (shaking Stacey's hand) Stacey, my pleasure. DENNIS What're you doing down here? Some campaign thing? HARMON Yeah, believe it or not, we've got numbers that show Kentucky might be in play. I'm scouting some stuff in Covington, dropping in on some old law school pals. An event maybe. After the running mate decision. DENNIS What's the word on that? Anything? HARMON They come out of the woodwork when you're taking resumes for the vice presidency. DENNIS I'll bet. (probing) He wouldn't pick Truman? Harmon laughs. Dennis and Stacey join in.

HARMON Yeahhhh, I think I can let that much go. Helen Truman will not be the Senator's running mate. Laughter subsides. Awkward silence.

STACEY Well, we have a dinner reservation around the corner in five minutes. It was really wonderful to meet you, John. We think it's great what you're doing. Dennis and Harmon shake hands. DENNIS Gutsiest move I've ever seen, man. You guys may even convince me to vote for him.


83. CONTINUED: HARMON Thanks, Dennis. Dennis and Stacey turn and begin to walk away. HARMON Hey, Dennis. Dennis and Stacey, holding hands, turn. HARMON I never got that tour. Upstairs. Never got to see the senior partners' offices. DENNIS That would have made it tough for you. How those boys roll? Their secretaries have secretaries. I got off that track a while back. (playfully pinches Stacey) Decided I kind of liked this one and my kids better than my job. HARMON (to Stacey) He struck me as a smart man right away, Stacey. DENNIS I left you alone with those two and then, you were gone. Ran off and joined the good guys. A beat. HARMON Enjoy dinner you two. DENNIS Take care of yourself, John. EXT. NEWPORT, KENTUCKY - VOGEL'S PUB - LATER The Cincinnati skyline sits in the b.g. on the other side of the Ohio River. Harmon sips a beer on an outdoor patio of a trendy bar. He reaches into his pocket, takes out a VIBRATING CELL PHONE, and flips it open to see who's calling. He clasps it shut, turns toward the river, and heaves it like an outfielder. Turning back, he sees a SMARMY BUSINESS TYPE smiling at him. SMARMY BUSINESS TYPE Careful, you might start a trend. (CONTINUED)

84. CONTINUED: Saying nothing, Harmon walks away while snapping his eyeglasses in two and dropping them into a garbage can. SMARMY BUSINESS TYPE A little extreme, don't you think? INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - SAME TIME Kregg and Chevalier sit together. Kregg shuts his cell phone. KREGG No answer. CHEVALIER He knew it was nine o'clock? KREGG I think he showers with that cell phone. CHEVALIER Do we tell the Service? KREGG We do that, it turns out to be nothing, and then there's a story. This isn't some random staffer we're talking about. CHEVALIER Maybe he's just getting laid. Keep trying him. Let's get everyone in here. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM SAME TIME Parents file out the door of an open house event. shakes hands and receives compliments. Chavez

Dakota's parents, MARK KOVAC and ELENA KOVAC, typical baby boom suburban professionals of means, linger in the b.g. Chavez turns to them once the other parents have left. ELENA We just wanted to thank you for everything you've done with Dakota. The change has been, I don't know-MARK Incredible.


85. CONTINUED: Incredible. ELENA It has been.

CHAVEZ He's getting there. Still a little bit to go yet, I think. But he's taken a courageous step. He really has. You should be very proud of him. ELENA We are. But I just wanted to make sure you knew what an influence you've been. He came home that day, very upset, and we just have always believed in making him handle things himself, you know? But since then, I just don't know what to say. (beat) And this interest in politics all of a sudden, and starting to kind of develop this friendship with Sam, who seems like such a good influence. It's all just been so-VOICE (O.S.) Cynthia! Chavez, Elena, and Mark all turn toward the door. THEIR POV A well dressed man, flustered. BACK TO SCENE CHAVEZ (surprised) Brad? Umm, Mr. and Mrs. Kovac, this is our principal, Brad Kennedy. What's the matter? BRAD (ignoring introduction) Put on the TV. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - SAME TIME A room full of campaign staff minus Harmon. Kregg's CELL PHONE RINGS. Before he can answer it, Chevalier's CELL PHONE RINGS.


86. CONTINUED: Before he can answer it, two staffers step quickly and frantically into the room, already on their cell phones. CELL PHONES start to RING around the table. INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - TEN MINUTES LATER Aberle stands in the hall. A bathrobe-wearing, sleepy eyed Teller steps out of his room. INT. SPIEGEL'S HOTEL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Spiegel, on the edge of her bed, fixated on the television. BROADCASTER (ON TV) This was first brought to our attention by a viewer who found it on the popular website, YouTube. INT. TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - GOVERNOR'S RESIDENCE SECONDS LATER Styler watches the same broadcast. BROADCASTER (ON TV) Shocking footage of Senator Pierre Chevalier, the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President. It's hard to put into words. In twenty-two years on this job, I must say that I've never seen anything quite like it. We're going to show you some more in a second, but I want to give a warning first. EXT. BANK OF OHIO RIVER - CONTINUOUS Beaten and tattered from the throw, resting against a rock, splotched with mud, Harmon's CELL PHONE VIBRATES. BROADCASTER (V.O.) The conversations you'll be witnessing contain some extraordinarily frank language, language that you may not want to hear from someone who seeks the Presidency. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM CONTINUOUS Chavez, Elena Kovac, Mark Kovac, Brad Kennedy, and an assortment of other parents and teachers sit in student desks watching the classroom television.


87. CONTINUED: BROADCASTER (ON TV) It certainly shows a side of Senator Chevalier we didn't know about. At the risk of editorializing, I must tell you that I found it difficult to watch. What we've shown you so far is what we feel we can broadcast without warning. As for what's coming up after the break, we recommend that you get the kids off to bed as this is not likely going to be something you want them to see and most certainly not something you'll want them to hear. So we're going to be right back with this breaking news special report after a short commercial break. INT. PLANO, TEXAS - PATTERSON HOUSEHOLD KITCHEN CONTINUOUS A disturbed Sam and Dakota sit at a table in the kitchen where the family computer is located. They're already watching the YouTube video of Chevalier. BROADCASTER (V.O.) Again, shocking behind the scenes footage of Senator Pierre Chevalier revealed just a short while ago on the popular website, YouTube. I'm Andrew Reston. We'll be back in a moment. INT. CHEVALIER CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS - WAR ROOM - LATER Chevalier and Kregg sit at the table alone. An open laptop is between them. Chevalier shuts it with extraordinary delicacy as if it's a bomb that could explode. CHEVALIER (sotto) Nothing-KREGG Senator, we-CHEVALIER (stands; loudly) Nothing! (regular voice) No statement. Nothing. speak with my family.

Until I


88. CONTINUED: Chevalier starts through the doorway as a frantic staffer tries to enter. CHEVALIER (sotto) Excuse me. INT. PERCY'S OFFICE - MORNING Percy behind his desk. Hayden and Garrett sitting on the other side. PERCY Help me see this, Mr. Garrett. Why wait? GARRETT He's not that good of an actor. If he feels kneecapped, like this is all for nothing, then he'll campaign that way. PERCY (to Hayden) Bart? HAYDEN I agree. Let him live a little. Adder and Marist have enough people there. If he gets antsy, we'll know. GARRETT We have an audience with him whenever we want. Plus, he's started to tell Terry things. may trump our own informants.


PERCY She's managed to keep the carrot out of reach? GARRETT The Lewinsky line is intact. She's building him up. But I've got at least twenty minutes that'd make Ron Jeremy blush. Percy and Hayden wince. GARRETT We're talking three separate occasions, mind you. He's not superman. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

89. CONTINUED: GARRETT (CONT'D) (changes subject) If it'd make you feel better, we could just shadow the campaign. Go where they go. Stay where they stay. Then we could do it on your mark. PERCY Where are they now? HAYDEN Fundraiser in Savannah tonight. PERCY I want you both to 'shadow' him then. We'll hold back on the meeting. Your point makes sense. But it also makes me nervous. Remember, he's a maverick. I want everything we can get about that list. If he's close to making an offer, we go. HAYDEN There's a connector to Atlanta in less than two hours. We should stay commercial, avoid the charter. PERCY From this point forward, you two are on twenty-four hour call. Stay on. Stay alert. Be ready to make the biggest sales pitch of your lives. (beat) First hundred million dollar deal I ever made, I didn't sleep for three days. I stalked this Japanese tycoon, waiting for one of his prized holdings to pull more than two percent off the previous day's close. And when it did, I was right there. (beat) What you're about to do makes that look trivial. Just know that I'm jealous of both of you. INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM DAY The mood is tense. No one is smiling. PETER, a vaguely hippy looking student, is challenging Chavez.


90. CONTINUED: PETER This is the 'digital media revolution' isn't it? It's at YouTube. CHAVEZ That doesn't make it appropriate for the classroom. Jeers of disapproval. Chavez is clearly flustered, out of her typical mode of commanding genuine respect. Another student, LANIE, an overachieving type, jumps in without raising her hand. LANIE We've watched an R-rated movie in here. CHAVEZ With parental permission. Lanie rolls her eyes. CHAVEZ I'm just not certain that everything Senator Chevalier said is . . . appropriate . . . for in here. PETER Can you give us a hint? seen it already. Various rumblings of approval. silence through it all. We've all

Dakota and Sam sit in

CHAVEZ Then you should know what I mean. And if you've all seen it, then what point is there in watching it together? LANIE It's like you've said every time we watch some news together. Democracy's fuel. The meeting place for real discussion. Shared experience. Very loud rumblings of approval. slipping. Control of the class is

LANIE Or was that all just something you said because it sounded good?


91. CONTINUED: More loud rumblings. People! Control on the brink. CHAVEZ Hey! DAKOTA (abruptly) Fuck! Pin drop silence. Chavez, shocked, stares at Dakota.

CHAVEZ Mr. Kovac, you will leave this classroom right now. DAKOTA (grabs backpack; stands) That's why you don't want us to watch it. He says 'fuck.' A lot. CHAVEZ Indeed he does, but that is no reason for you to feel free to use that word in this classroom. DAKOTA (moves toward door) Like I give a shit, yo! SAM Nigger! Dakota stops in his tracks. Chavez pivots toward Sam with an even greater look of shock. The room is dead silent. SAM That's what she's worried about. (beat) He says 'nigger' a lot too. Not as much as he says 'fuck' but enough to make her worried about how I'll react. (to Chavez) Am I right? INT. PLANO WEST HIGH SCHOOL - MS. CHAVEZ'S CLASSROOM LATER With the projector she used for the class projects, Chavez shows one of the YouTube videos of Chevalier. Dakota and Sam are still in the room along with stunned students and an embarrassed Chavez. The mood is solemn and serious. There's not a hint of the immature reaction one might expect from a group of teenagers. (CONTINUED)

92. CONTINUED: CLOSE ON CLASSROOM PROJECTOR SCREEN Chevalier speaking and behaving in a very unpresidential manner. INT. NEW YORK CITY - NETWORK NEWS STUDIO - MORNING Teller is wrapping a sit down interview with a major network news anchor, CHRISTINE NATZKE, early 40's, leggy, attractive. Among the various news crew and campaign staff standing off camera are Brian Aberle and the hired gun strategist. Aberle is clearly anxious about something. NATZKE Even York-Brighton Chairman, Martin Percy, sounded off on the matter today, saying that this may all reflect a need to return the political process to, quote, 'everyday men and women who are out in this world, working with the people without developing contempt for them.' (beat) Do you think your opponent has contempt for the people as Martin Percy suggests? EXT. NEW YORK CITY - TIMES SQUARE - SAME TIME Hayden and Garrett exit a cab. A New York Post vending machine in the b.g. shows a still photo of Chevalier taken from one of the uploaded videos. CLOSE ON VENDING MACHINE A picture of Chevalier with an awkward squint and a cigarette dangling from his mouth. The headline reads "Smmmokin'!" INT. CABLE NEWS TALK SHOW - SAME TIME Talking heads on a typical news discussion program. TALKING HEAD #1 . . . has hurt this campaign so irreparably I think he has to step aside and let Truman take it from here. TALKING HEAD #2 That would be the one way to ensure a Teller victory. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

93. CONTINUED: TALKING HEAD #2 (CONT'D) Chevalier absolutely has to stay with this. He's the nominee! TALKING HEAD #1 But were the people making a truly informed decision? TALKING HEAD #2 Well, if she agrees with you, and thinks it's a good idea, how come she's just about the only Senator we haven't heard from on this whole fiasco? INT. NEW YORK CITY - ELEVATOR - LATER Hayden and Garrett watch the floors light up as the elevator ascends. INT. NEW YORK CITY - BROADCAST NEWS STUDIO - SAME TIME Teller's interview is ending. NATZKE Senator Teller, thank you for sitting with us today. TELLER Thank you, Christine. INT. NEW YORK CITY - HOTEL SUITE - LATER Hayden and Garrett sit silently at a conference table. INT. GOVERNOR STYLER'S OFFICE - SAME TIME Styler sits at her desk. Nick Irwin and Mark Adder stand.

ADDER May I make a suggestion, Governor? STYLER By all means, Mark. ADDER Say nothing about the, uhhh, Nword thing. Don't acknowledge it in any way. STYLER (laughs) You think I'm worried about that?


94. CONTINUED: ADDER They'll ask you about it. STYLER Mark? ADDER Yes, Governor. STYLER When will we be getting this call? IRWIN (butting in) Soon. STYLER (to Irwin) You're sure? Yes. IRWIN They're meeting shortly. STYLER You know this? Irwin nods. STYLER (to Adder) I don't like it when white people say 'N-word.' But I understand you have to say something. I agree, though. There's nothing to be gained by taking any bait. (sighs) Cell phones, laptops, not any more. Pen and paper. That'll be it. It's allllll gonna change now. (to Irwin; preoccupied) What's 'soon' mean? Ten minutes? An hour? INT. NEW YORK CITY - HOTEL HALLWAY - LATER Teller and his campaign entourage march down a hallway with purpose. Aberle and Teller lead the way. Teller is not a happy man. ABERLE He didn't say. TELLER I don't much care for being summoned like this. (CONTINUED)

95. CONTINUED: ABERLE He brings a lot of money to the campaign, Senator. TELLER I want a plan for how we'll control his access once we're in the White House. ABERLE Absolutely, but until then, we take his meetings. TELLER And what's with this statement he made? Since when did he start commenting publicly on anything other than how badly Bill Gates beats him at poker? INT. NEW YORK CITY - HOTEL SUITE - MOMENTS LATER CLOSE ON DOORWAY As it opens to reveal James Teller with his campaign entourage in the b.g. TELLER'S POV Hayden and Garrett stand. BACK TO SCENE The entourage enters the suite. ABERLE Mr. Hayden. Mr. Garrett. Would you mind surrendering your cell phones, pens, and other personal belongings before we begin? EXT. CLEVELAND SKYLINE - MORNING NEWS REPORTER (V.O.) It appears that the highly embarrassing videos of presidential hopeful Pierre Chevalier were, in fact, made by a high ranking member of his own campaign staff. INT. HARMON'S CAR - CONTINUOUS Harmon drives the streets of Cleveland while listening to the radio.


96. CONTINUED: NEWS REPORTER (V.O.) Nancy Perrigan of member station W.C.C.O. has more. NANCY PERRIGAN (V.O.) Sources deep within the embattled presidential campaign of Ohio Senator Pierre Chevalier confirmed today that a high level member of their own team made the embarrassing videos. Chevalier Campaign Manager, Joel Kregg, refused to give a name, saying that-QUICK CUT TO: INT. NEW YORK CITY - HOTEL SUITE - LATER Teller, Aberle, Hayden, and Garrett sit at the conference table of the suite. The rest of Teller's entourage is gone. The mood is tense. Teller looks like he wants to kill Hayden and Garrett. Hayden slides a sheet of paper across the table. HAYDEN Senator, Mr. Percy would like to know if this information is accurate. Teller accepts and reads the sheet of paper. TELLER (looks up) The mayor's a good man. A ticket balancer. (beat) Please don't tell me he's about to be on YouTube. GARRETT Senator, I'm going to remove a laptop computer from my bag. As confirmed by your staff, it contains no recording device and it emits no transmission of any sort. To make certain you're comfortable with this meeting, I'm just going to leave it with you when we're done, compliments of Mr. Percy. Also, Mr. Hayden and I would be glad to submit to a follow up search of our persons in addition to what your staff has already conducted. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

97. CONTINUED: GARRETT (CONT'D) We want to make sure you're comfortable here. ABERLE What the hell is this? GARRETT May I? Teller nods. Garrett reaches into his bag and removes a laptop computer which he proceeds to open so that all parties can see the screen. ABERLE I want to check this thing again. How do we know he's telling-TELLER Abby. ABERLE Sir, I just-TELLER He's telling the truth. ABERLE Sir? TELLER (to Garrett) Aren't you, Mr. Garrett? GARRETT Yes, Senator, I am. TELLER (to Aberle) He doesn't need to lie, Abby. There's nothing that's about to happen here that could compromise us, only him. Teller shoots a confirming look at Garrett. a subtle nod. ABERLE (confused) Sir? TELLER It's all right. (CONTINUED) Garrett offers

98. CONTINUED: HAYDEN Senator, on this computer's desktop, you'll find three folders. One contains uploaded videos featuring Senator Chevalier, what we've all seen in the news recently. The second folder contains nearly two more hours of material showing Senator Chevalier in situations that will be even more embarrassing to his campaign. This folder's contents will be uploaded in small segments over the course of the next several months. (beat) Publishing too much all at once might cause the full effect of the material to be wasted. ABERLE (disbelief) Motherfuckers. GARRETT There are plenty of Truman videos should Chevalier step aside, but we think he'll stick it out. Plus, we're fairly certain Senator Truman will stay away. The D.N.C.'s all about damage control at this point. They'll want to save her. Try again in four years if her star's still shining. TELLER So his campaign stays on the ropes with every new YouTube video you guys publish. GARRETT Correct. And you'll know ahead of time what those new uploads will be, so you can be prepared on the message front. TELLER I trust you've taken all the necessary steps to keep from being associated with any of this? GARRETT We've taken extraordinary precautions, sir. Plausible deniability is abundant. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

99. CONTINUED: GARRETT (CONT'D) (to Aberle) Have I said enough to assure you we're not recording this? ABERLE What's in the third folder? TELLER (to Aberle) Abby, let me speak to these two alone. ABERLE No way. No way do I leave you in here by yourself. We didn't come-TELLER Abby, please. Aberle knows an order when he hears it. He rises slowly while looking at Garrett and Hayden in disgust. ABERLE I'll be downstairs. (to Hayden) Spending a lot of time visiting the old 'hood these days, Bart? Hayden is silent. ABERLE Didn't think so. Aberle fixes a cold stare on Hayden and Garrett. leaves. TELLER He's been with me for twenty-seven years. I understand. to-HAYDEN Senator, we'd like Then he

TELLER She was like a little mobile electronics unit. That laptop, the cell phone, palm pilot. It was probably the cell phone, right? My people tell me the Chevalier stuff was most likely shot from a cell phone.


100. CONTINUED: GARRETT She used the cell phone. TELLER And this is just a gut feeling, so if I sound like some deluded conspiracy theorist, I apologize. I always thought it was . . . kinky. She wanted to keep her glasses on. I have to admit, it violated some internal alarm system. (guiltily) But, well, you know how it is. GARRETT The eyeglasses serve as a viewer. They're wirelessly configured with the video recording device on the cell phone so she can see what image the cell phone's recording. Teller stares at the table for an extra long beat as it all sinks in. TELLER (sotto) What do you want? GARRETT (right to it) Three things. I think you'll find at least two of them to your liking which, under the circumstances, isn't bad. TELLER (annoyed) One? GARRETT One, we need you to fuck the living shit out of Terry Spiegel. (beat) Finally! Right? We want you to fuck her, Senator, and fuck her good. (beat) On video. (beat) For our files. An insurance policy for us, for our peace of mind. (MORE)


101. CONTINUED: GARRETT (CONT'D) Sometimes, when candidates make deals on their way to the White House, they forget about those deals once they get to the White House. The video will be your gesture of good faith. TELLER White House? GARRETT Yeah, I guess that's number two. We want you to win. You should be able to manage that now. You don't lie. to my liking. Told ya! TELLER Three? HAYDEN Governor Marianne Styler. INT. HARMON'S APARTMENT - MORNING Harmon packs hurriedly. He pops open the CPU on his desktop computer, removes the hard drive, and throws it in an already stuffed duffel bag. He picks up the bag and begins to move toward the door. He stops suddenly. attention. CLOSE ON FLOOR A white envelope that someone has slid under the door. INT. NEW YORK CITY - HOTEL SUITE - MORNING Hayden and Garrett continue to present terms to Teller. TELLER Okay. HAYDEN Senator? Something on the floor has caught his TELLER The first two are GARRETT


102. CONTINUED: TELLER Okay. Deal. Hayden and Garrett give each other a 'That's it?' look. GARRETT Senator, I must admit, I didn't expect you to be this sensible. TELLER Please don't give me a compliment. (beat) What else am I going to do, Mr. Garrett? It's the only response I can give. You learn a trick or two about survival when you've been through some of the things I've been through. You call it 'sensible.' I call it moving forward. I do have a request, though. GARRETT Of course. TELLER Why don't you tell me what this is really about. What's number four? (beat) The depth of this? All for a puppet vice president, some unfettered access to my Oval Office? It doesn't make sense. It's overkill. Hayden and Garrett sit in silence. TELLER You know, when I was being held in Hanoi they eventually figured out who I was, who my dad was. They read the papers over there. So they segregated me, put me in a room all by myself. Half that stuff you hear about me and Dirk is bullshit. I saw him for maybe two months of the five years. Anyhow, there were these two guys who'd come into my room twice a day, every day. Brought me my meals. Eventually, I worked up the nerve to say something, even though that'd usually get you a beating, or worse. I guess it got to a point where I stopped caring. (MORE) (CONTINUED)

103. CONTINUED: TELLER (CONT'D) I started to think, 'What else can they do to me?' You know? So I started to mess with their heads. 'I heard I'm getting out tomorrow. Sounds good.' Or, 'All right, I'll tell you about the plans to nuke you.' Stuff like that. But they never responded. Probably didn't know any English. I sure as hell didn't know any Gook. They'd just stare at me, exactly like the two of you are staring at me right now. Teller stands to stretch his back. TELLER (to Garrett) I'll fuck her. Not a problem. Keeps Sarah out of it. (to Hayden) And I'll take the presidency. The Iraq stand was a non-starter, even I knew that. We were sinking even as we got the nomination. He was going to beat me. (beat) And Governor Styler? I can only assume she's a part of this. GARRETT We're all in it together. us, the Governor. You,

TELLER So what have you got to lose? You'll have to tell me eventually. HAYDEN We figure around fourteen months or so. In the spring of your second year. GARRETT Your age will make it believable. Some health condition. Mr. Percy would like your advice on what it should be. HAYDEN I think we all knew this was her only way in.


104. CONTINUED: TELLER And with an African American woman as President, a career Democrat on a Republican ticket-HAYDEN The party will demand a real Republican. GARRETT A white man. HAYDEN Of privilege. GARRETT And deep pockets. TELLER (sits back down) Someone who reminds them of the old days. GARRETT Someone who-HAYDEN (bitterly) Someone who's no nonsense. Someone who's private sector, made it in the real world without all the handouts and affirmative action and all the things we just assume a successful black woman has had. Someone who can really run things while the welfare mom in her Oprah suit looks important, gives speeches, makes us feel better about all the progress we've made. TELLER We were comfortable enough for eight years with a vice president being the one who was really in charge. HAYDEN Why not give it another try? EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF OXFORD, OHIO - LYON GARAGE ESTABLISHING - NIGHT Harmon's car sits in a dimly lit gravel parking lot.


INT. OUTSKIRTS OF OXFORD, OHIO - LYON GARAGE - NIGHT A messy auto shop. long shadows. A single low watt security light casts

Harmon, without eyeglasses, walks slowly across the floor. EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF OXFORD, OHIO - LYON GARAGE - NIGHT A jet black Lincoln Town Car followed by three Secret Service vehicles pull into the parking lot and surround Harmon's empty car. INT. OUTSKIRTS OF OXFORD, OHIO - LYON GARAGE - CONTINUOUS Harmon turns toward the building's door as he hears the CARS arrive and their ENGINES stop. A CAR DOOR OPENS and then SLAMS shut. FOOTSTEPS CRACKLE on the gravel parking lot. The building's DOOR OPENS. HARMON'S POV A man's silhouette can be seen just inside the door. The man throws a main light switch and suddenly all is illuminated. We can now see a tall white man in a black suit and tie. MAN John Harmon? MAN'S POV Harmon standing in the middle of the garage. HARMON Yes. MAN (O.S.) United States Secret Service. Would you mind setting all your personal belongings on the table to your left and then please have a seat. My men will need about fifteen minutes to secure this building. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT EXTREME CLOSEUP - DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER Pull back to reveal: (CONTINUED)

106. CONTINUED: The digital camera mounted on a tripod, in plain sight, in the middle of the room. Terry Spiegel and James Teller having sex in the b.g. INT. PLANO, TEXAS - PATTERSON HOUSEHOLD - SAM'S ROOM NIGHT Sam arranges two chairs while Dakota fiddles with a digital video recorder on a tripod. Both boys wear suits and ties. INT. OUTSKIRTS OF OXFORD, OHIO - LYON GARAGE - NIGHT Harmon sits at one end of a longish, metallic work table. A new SECRET SERVICE AGENT stands immediately behind him. A clear plastic bag filled with Harmon's personal effects sits on the table. SECRET SERVICE AGENT (into hand microphone) We're set. A long beat. The building's DOOR quickly OPENS and then SHUTS. FOOTSTEPS ECHO off the cement floor. Chevalier steps INTO FRAME at the other end of the table. CHEVALIER (re: plastic bag) This is everything? SECRET SERVICE AGENT Yes sir. CHEVALIER Don't disturb any of it. Place it on the passenger seat of his car please. (to Harmon) You can get it when you go back to your car. Chevalier gives the secret service agent a polite nod. The secret service agent picks the bag up off the table and leaves the building. Chevalier sits at the other end of the table, lights a cigarette, and begins to look around.


107. CONTINUED: CHEVALIER I own this place. Only been here twice. Named it after my uncle's home, Lee-own. Of course everybody just says Lion. I let it slide. Can't get too bent out of shape about things like that, you know? (fixing a cold stare) It'll drive you crazy if you do. (beat) I have to admit, agreeing to come here took some balls. I was at least right about that with you. You've got balls. HARMON (nervously) So do you. Being in the same time zone as me. It's . . . Harmon's eyes well with tears. He looks down.

CHEVALIER Tito's putting together a speech. Any thoughts? HARMON (looks up; fighting tears) Excuse me? CHEVALIER On what we should say. Any thoughts? Harmon gives Chevalier a dumbfounded look and then returns his eyes to the surface of the table. This is too much. CHEVALIER See, that's just it. I miss your input. I miss your take, your crisis management. If you told me something right now, I'd probably find a way to pass it on to Tito. Wouldn't tell him it came from you, but I'd trust the advice. What's wrong with me? What do you do when you're no longer allowed to trust a person you once put in charge of your dreams? Harmon looks up again. his face. A TEAR STREAKS down the side of


INT. TELEVISION STUDIO - OFF CAMERA - MORNING Orthman wraps up the interview. The cute assistant and the large, club-bouncer looking security man approach Harmon. CUTE ASSISTANT Hi. Me again. You said you were with the Chevalier campaign? HARMON Yes. CUTE ASSISTANT I'm sorry, but could you produce any validation of that? Harmon stares at the two of them. SECURITY MAN Sir, could I ask you to come with me? PRODUCER GUY (O.S.) And we're out. Back in three. I've got Matewan miners descendants, set two. Harmon moves swiftly toward the set where the interview has now concluded. The security man follows. SECURITY MAN Sir! The security man grabs at Harmon's arm but Harmon brushes his hand away. HARMON You wanna make a scene? I told you who I am. You do best for yourself to not touch me. Got it? Adder, Marist, Irwin, and Ratliff are now in the b.g. walking toward the green room. HARMON (loudly) Gentlemen! Everyone in the studio stops. of attention. HARMON'S POV Adder, Marist, Irwin, and Ratliff, frozen, staring back. (CONTINUED) Harmon is now the center

109. CONTINUED: ADDER, MARIST, IRWIN, AND RATLIFF'S POV A flustered and embarrassed looking Harmon. HARMON (re: security man) This young man's having some trouble believing I am who I say I am. (beat) I think there's a conversation we've been needing to have. BACK TO SCENE IRWIN Let him through. He's okay. Harmon shoots a look at the security man and then starts to walk toward the green room. INT. TELEVISION STUDIO GREEN ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Adder, Marist, Irwin, Ratliff stand on one side. Harmon, wearing eyeglasses and holding a cell phone, stands on the other side. RATLIFF (angry) Are you out of-IRWIN Mike! (to Harmon) Your cell phone please. Harmon, busted, reluctantly steps forward and hands his cell phone to Adder. IRWIN And the glasses? I'm betting they're not prescription. Harmon pulls off his glasses and does a quick underhand toss to Ratliff. Caught off guard, Ratliff misses the toss. RATLIFF (picking up glasses) Asshole. IRWIN Mark?


110. CONTINUED: ADDER (re: cell phone) It's off. IRWIN Check him for a wire. Marist proceeds to do an amateur police officer frisk, running hands up and down, all over Harmon's person, untucking his shirt, exposing his chest, exploring his crotch, etc. HARMON (to Marist; while being frisked) I used to see you on C.N.N. when I was growing up. Used to think, 'If I work hard, I can meet him one day.' (beat) This wasn't quite what I had in mind. Marist finishes the frisk, gives Irwin a nod, and steps away. IRWIN Now we can talk. HARMON (rebuttoning shirt) I want-IRWIN Not here. I've got my regular suite at the Carlton two blocks away. Number 1120. Ten minutes. You and Mark leave together. We'll follow. No eye contact or conversation with anyone out there. Just go. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT A partially dressed Teller sits in a chair watching Spiegel as she gets dressed. Dressed, Spiegel slides on her shoes while standing. SPIEGEL I'm glad we got to do this. really wanting to. Really. Silence. Teller just stares. I was


111. CONTINUED: Spiegel detaches the video recorder from the tripod, puts it in a large purse, turns and faces Teller. A staredown. Spiegel's eyes slowly go to the ground. Spiegel walks out of the room, leaving the tripod behind. INT. CARLTON HOTEL - IRWIN'S SUITE - MORNING Adder, Ratliff, Marist, Irwin and Harmon enter. shuts behind them. Everyone remains standing. HARMON I want more money. Adder, Ratliff, Marist, and Irwin offer a collective look of dismay. IRWIN I'm confused about something. are you talking to us? Why The door

HARMON Percy won't return my calls. Neither will Hayden. They'll listen to you, though. RATLIFF You want us to renegotiate your deal? HARMON I don't see where there's going to be any negotiation. I get forty million on top of my ten or the whole thing comes out. All of it. MARIST You'd go to jail. HARMON And you'd be my top bitch. (beat) See, in prison, someone says something like that to your face, you gotta fight 'em, or you do end up being their bitch. You might wanna take some notes. ADDER What figure are we talking again? HARMON Fifty. Total.


112. CONTINUED: IRWIN That's an obscene sum. He'd never go for it. He might even resort to more sinister measures to ensure your silence. HARMON You know what, you're the second person to tell me that in the past month. Hayden said the same thing. Was I out of the room when Martin Percy became Tony Soprano? Talk like that makes me think you're the ones bluffing. He's got the money. Said I was a 'drop in the bucket.' IRWIN It is a drop in the bucket for him. His concern would be how you'd explain that kind of wealth. He doesn't care about the money, John. He could pay us all fifty million dollars. HARMON Then let's get it going. I don't care if you get in on it, unless that'd be a pay cut for you all. MARIST We don't need the money. HARMON Bullshit. You always need the money. If he gave me ten then you had to clear at least that. MARIST I did fine, but my cut doesn't account for ninety-nine percent of my net worth, which is why I'm still thinking you're full of shit. HARMON I met with Chevalier two nights ago. I stalled him, but there's no need for that now. (turns to leave) Tell Percy to expect a call. IRWIN John. Harmon stops, turns, and faces Irwin. (CONTINUED)

113. CONTINUED: IRWIN You know where this goes? Hayden alluded to where this could go for you. I know he did. He told me. HARMON What? The U.S. Attorney thing again? Impossible. Don't patronize me. ADDER When Governor Styler assumes the Presidency, we'll be far away from all this. RATLIFF There'll be a rough patch for you here in the next couple weeks, but we can help you ride that out, do a slow recoil spin. Gradually reposition you as a hero. MARIST And the black community will have every expectation that the first black President will make some key black hires, especially for a justice system that hasn't been all that fair for black people. RATLIFF Teller's going to hold office for over a year. That's a lifetime. MARIST Which means you could bring this whole thing crashing down, and end up a felon. Or you could accept a few short term punches, look forward to your wealth, and eventually start up the lower rungs. (beat) An attorney generalship one day? IRWIN Now's the time for us all to keep our heads, John. You most of all. We'll even prep you for an interview right now if you'd like. We've still got some time to plan, help you get out ahead of it all when it breaks. A beat.


114. CONTINUED: Harmon shakes his head, turns, and walks out of the room, slamming the door behind him. He's thinking. IRWIN That's good.

MARIST And if he thinks the martyr plan is the way to go? IRWIN Where does he start? Think about it. How easy would it be to paint him? A guy kills the candidacy of America's first black President and then turns around and spins some outlandish story to keep America from having its first black Vice President? He's not that stupid. Plus, we're effectively leaked now. Styler's name is out there. He's lost the element of surprise. He'll look silly. ADDER He'd be out there all alone. whole thing's too big to be believed. Which makes public will They always the warrior blower. The

IRWIN him a crazy man. The demand that label. do. His only angle is of truth, whistle

ADDER You think he really met with Chevalier? IRWIN Actually, that makes sense. It's probably what this is all about. Can you imagine that guilt trip? Hell, I'd ask for more money too. MARIST If you're gonna be self loathing, why not be that way with another forty million? IRWIN Precisely. A KNOCK on the suite's DOOR. (CONTINUED)

115. CONTINUED: Irwin looks at his three colleagues, walks to the door, and looks through the eyehole. Irwin pauses, then steps back and opens the door. IRWIN'S POV Harmon, standing in the hallway. HARMON May I have my cell phone and glasses, please? BACK TO SCENE Irwin ushers Harmon back into the suite. Putting their backs to the door, they start to walk over to where Adder, Ratliff, and Marist are standing. IRWIN I'm glad you came back, John. I think we need to talk this out some more. Can I get-RATLIFF Nick. IRWIN AND HARMON'S POV A terrified looking Ratliff, Adder, and Marist, all three of whom are fixated on the still open doorway behind Irwin and Harmon. BACK TO SCENE Irwin turns toward the suite's door. IRWIN'S POV Pierre Chevalier holding a laptop. CHEVALIER May I come in? BACK TO SCENE IRWIN (staying composed) Of course, Senator. CHEVALIER (enters) Let me show you guys something.


116. CONTINUED: Chevalier shoots across the room, sets his laptop on a coffee table, and then grabs Harmon by the shoulders. Chevalier starts pointing at various buttons on Harmon's shirt. CHEVALIER This is fascinating. I mean, really incredible stuff. These buttons contain little lenses that track with the person wearing the shirt. And they've made the wiring, the antenna, all that stuff, look like normal threads in the fabric so ya can't even see 'em. I looked at it for an hour and couldn't tell. Swear to God. So the person in the shirt is really more like a moving set of cameras. And those cameras combine to form one high resolution image. Now each button has a lens and a microphone. They use the thread holes! My dad would've loved this stuff. I can't remember which one of you frisked him, but my ears are still ringing from it. Incredible what toys they'll let you see when you get your clearance on the Senate Intelligence Committee. I mean, we have to have at least some idea what we're spending the taxpayer's money on, right? (beat) Of course, I've broken about a half dozen federal laws pulling the favors I did to just have this stuff out and about, in public for God's sake! But, you know, desperate times. Anyway, they transmit this powerful digital signal right to one, two, five, it doesn't matter, as many receptors as you want. (re: laptop) Like that, and the other seven I have back in my room. Tito and I checked 'em all. We're well backed up. He's transferring files to flash drives right now. (to Marist) Go ahead. The file's on the desktop. Just double click. Marist walks over to the laptop, opens it, and uses the notepad to double click an icon on the screen. (CONTINUED)

117. CONTINUED: ON LAPTOP SCREEN HARMON'S POV Adder, Marist, Ratliff, and Irwin in Irwin's suite several minutes earlier. HARMON (O.S.) I want more money. IRWIN (ON LAPTOP SCREEN) I'm confused about something. Why are you talking to us? HARMON (O.S.) Percy won't return my calls. Neither will Hayden. They'll listen to you, though. RATLIFF (ON LAPTOP SCREEN) You want us to renegotiate your deal? BACK TO SCENE Marist turns off the video and closes the laptop. CHEVALIER It's all there. MARIST And doesn't prove a thing. HARMON Oh God. I doubt any of it would be admissible in a court of law. CHEVALIER None of this is about proving anything. I think all six of us have law degrees, don't we? HARMON Some pretty juicy stuff, though. Maybe we should go back and see Dan Orthman. CHEVALIER (to Harmon) Or we could just upload it. True. HARMON True dat. (MORE)


118. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) Yeah, I really like the part where you all make a veiled promise that President Styler will reward me with a federal government job in exchange for my silence. That was good. (to Chevalier) Tito's backing that part up, too, isn't he? Chevalier smiles and gives Harmon a pat on the shoulder. CHEVALIER Well, pardon the pun, but my window's closing. And this whole deal has my secret service people damn near ready to stage a mutiny. So I'm gonna get on outta everyone's hair here. Chevalier begins to head toward the door. IRWIN Senator, are we even going to talk about this? Chevalier stops and turns. CHEVALIER (to Harmon; ignoring Irwin) Mr. Harmon. HARMON Senator. CHEVALIER You're fired. Your services as assistant campaign manager with 'Chevalier for America' are no longer needed. HARMON Understood, Senator. CHEVALIER Now, are you handling anyone in private practice at the moment? HARMON Haven't had a chance to get that up and running yet, sir. (MORE)


119. CONTINUED: HARMON (CONT'D) (beat) You just fired me, you know, three seconds ago. Chevalier tosses Harmon a quarter. CHEVALIER There's a retainer. Would you mind handling this negotiation on my behalf? HARMON Not a problem at all, sir. CHEVALIER Great. Don't go easy on 'em now. They're a tough bunch. (beat) Okay, gotta get back to work. Things've been a little crazy lately. Chevalier turns and opens the suite's door. SMASH CUT TO: INT. LOCAL BROADCAST NEWS STUDIO - EARLY EVENING Anywhere, USA. A MALE NEWS ANCHOR and a FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR wrapping up the early evening broadcast. MALE NEWS ANCHOR Finally, tonight, a story about two teenage boys who have a message for Americans that is spreading rapidly in the most ironic of ways. INT. PLANO, TEXAS - PATTERSON HOUSEHOLD - SAM'S ROOM NIGHT Sam and Dakota dressed up to look like Chevalier and Teller. They're sitting in adjacent chairs and having a conversation. MALE NEWS ANCHOR (V.O.) Sam Patterson and Dakota Kovac, juniors at Plano West High School in Plano, Texas, have produced a video for the now infamous site, YouTube. (MORE)


120. CONTINUED: MALE NEWS ANCHOR (V.O.) (CONT'D) In the ninety-four second clip, which has now been viewed well over eight hundred thousand times, the teens pretend to be presidential candidates James Teller and Pierre Chevalier. The setting is one where the candidates have apparently both found the same room at the same time, the only room in the world that supposedly contains no video cameras. After a brief discussion of Senator Chevalier's recent YouTube troubles, the two conclude that it would be best for all Americans to simply stop watching YouTube until after the election. INT. LOCAL BROADCAST NEWS STUDIO - EARLY EVENING MALE NEWS ANCHOR What's remarkable in all of this is not the number of times the skit has been viewed. But, rather, the potential impact it's having on the popular web video site. A spokesperson for YouTube confirmed today that, since the release of the Patterson-Kovac spoof, YouTube has actually seen a three percent decrease in total traffic. (to female news anchor) Makes you wonder. FEMALE NEWS ANCHOR Sure does. Well, that's all for us. Be sure to join us at ten when we continue with our special report on smoking and profanity. Is there a connection? (beat) Good night. MALE NEWS ANCHOR Good night everyone.

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