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Dave (1993) movie script

by Gary Ross.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com
FADE IN:

EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - AERIAL SHOT - DAY

It sits like a jewel off in the distance -- all glittering
and white.  The deep blue of the Potomac stands out against
the monuments as the sound of a HELICOPTER plays O.s..

                                                  SMASH CUT
                                                  TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS - DAY

The most famous helicopter in the world lumbers toward the
most famous house.  Scores of reporters are camped out on the
lawn while the huge machine descends like a hurricane...

CLOSER - HELICOPTER

It touches down as the Marine Corps color guard snaps to
attention.  The hatch POPS open and a staircase emerges...

FULL SHOT - DOORWAY

After a moment, PRESIDENT WILLIAM HARRISON MITCHELL appears,
accompanied by his wife ELLEN and loyal dog Cupcakes.  They
smile from the landing and wave to the world -- a postcard of
themselves.

TRACKING SHOT - FIRST FAMILY

"HAIL TO THE CHIEF" RINGS OUT across the grounds.   For-
midably handsome Bill Mitchell is fit and in his early forties.
His wife Ellen, still in her early thirties, is considered a
classical beauty with a wide "friendly" smile that in certain
photographs seems just on the edge of wistful.  The dog frolics
around them as they wave to the press and smile for the world.
Ozzie and Harriet for the Nineties with a bow to FDR and some
Camelot thrown in.

MOVING WITH them...

They stride arm in arm beneath the portico that leads to the
West Wing.  The band is still playing as they head under the
archway, disappearing from public view.    Then, instantly,
as a handler rushes up and grabs the dog,  the smiles vanish.
Bill lets go of Ellen and Ellen lets go of Bill.   He turns
to his right and she turns to her left.  Off they go in their
separate directions.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. WEST WING HALLWAY - DAY

The President strides down the long marble hallway flanked by
his two senior advisors, BOB ALEXANDER,  the White House Chief
of Staff and ALAN REED,  the White House Media Advisor.

                      MITCHELL
          Is everybody in there?

                      BOB
          They're waiting for you.  And they're
          very nervous.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. WHITE HOUSE - ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY

It is the seat of power.  There is a dark oak conference table
with a crystal chandelier above it.   Alan Reed is reading
from a notebook full of polling data while the President glares
at a group of congressional leaders.  Bob glares at them,
too, while they cower behind their water glasses.

                      REED
               (reading from his
               notebook)
          I wish I had better news... Our
          compassion index is off seven
          points from the last sample and
          that's down eighteen on the year.  The
          `Cares About People Like Me' numbers
          are really in the toilet.  We're off
          twenty points from March and that was
          right after we raised interest rates...

                      MITCHELL
          Dammit...
               (beat)
          I told them no mayo.
               (looking up)
          See - - I could veto this Simpson Garner
          thing, but I really don't want to do
          that...

A couple of the legislators flinch,  still staring straight
ahead.

                      MITCHELL
               (circling)
          Do you know why I don't want to do it?

DAVE - Rev. 8/7/92                                    3.

They all look over at him for a moment.   Mitchell leans out
over the table like some great, predatory beast.

                      MITCHELL
               (strangled whisper)
          ... Because it's got homeless
          shelters... and Head Start centers ...
          and... and...

                      BOB
               (whispering)
          Hot lunches.

The President looks back at him for an instant then turns
back toward the table.

                      MITCHELL
               (building)
          ... And hot lunches for little
               (thundering suddenly)
          And if I kill it... I'll look like a
          prick.

They all flinch slightly.

                      MITCHELL
          And I don't want to look like a prick!
               (beat)
          I want YOU to look like pricks!!!

DIFFERENT ANGLE

                      SPEAKER
          Sir, we tried to kill it twice...

                      MITCHELL
               (whisper again)
          I don't think so, Howard.  If you had
          killed it -- it would be dead.
               (looking him in the eye)
          When I kill something - - it always
          dies.  Doesn't it, flob?

                      BOB
               (steely)
          Always dead.

                      MAJ. LEADER
          Mr. President, with all the work your
          wife has done with the homeless...

The President turns and stares daggers at him.   The man starts
to flumph as Mitchell cuts him off.

                      MITCHELL
          Norman, I don't want you to do this
          cause you're forced to...
               (beat)
          I want you to do this because you want
          to.  I want you to do it because you
          think it's the right thing to do.  I
          want you to do it because you're acting
          in the best interests of our country...

They stare back at him stupefied.

                      BOB
               (upbeat)
          Well -- I think that's it.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. WEST WING HALLWAY - LATER

He moves down the corridor toward the Oval Office with Bob
and Reed at his side.

A long line of secretaries flanks the entrance.

                      BOB
          ... You've got that radio address to
          go over and the American Bar Association
          at the Monroe tomorrow night...

The President pauses at one of the desks and fixes a stare.at
one of the secretaries,  (RANDI).  She looks up from behind a
pdir of clear-pane glasses,  and blushes at him effectively.

                      MITCHELL
               (smiling at Randi)
          The Monroe?

                      REED
          Uh, yes, sir.  The Monroe Hotel...

Randi smiles back at him.

                      MITCHELL
               (whispering to Reed)
          Did you get someone to double for me
          there, out front?

                      REED
          We're working on it.

                      MITCHELL
               (still under his breath)
          Try to find someone who looks like me
          this time.  That last guy was a joke.

                      REED
          We're doing our best, sir.

He nods and winks at Randi again before heading inside the
Oval Office.   The President starts humming "Hail to the Chief"
quietly to himself...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. DURENBURGER'S CHRYSLER PLYMOUTH - DAY

              Red, white and blue flags fly above the used
cars to announce Durenberger's grand opening.  A SCRATCHY
RENDITION of "HAIL TO THE CHIEF" PLAYS from a makeshift P.A.
SYSTEM and a little stage has been erected in front of the
cars.  DURENBURGER himself stands alone at the mike.

                      DURENBURGER
          This is a real special moment here at
          Durenburger's Chrysler Plymouth...
          Ladies an' gentlemen, I wantcha to
          give a real warm welcome to...
               (pause)
          The President of the United

                      WIDER
          A dead-ringer for the President appears,
          perched on the back of a four hundred
          pound pig.   He is DAVE KOVIC, our
          hero.   Dave enters from "stage right"
          wearing an Uncle Sam hat and waving
          triumphantly to the crowd.   A teenage
          *boy pulls the pig forward by a rope.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

He makes the victory sign with both hands and dismounts the
PIG who lets out a SNORT.   Dave bounds up to the small
platform where he is greeted warmly by Durenburger.  Dave
hands him a small stack of 3x5 filing cards while "HAIL TO
THE CHIEF" CONCLUDES its final strains.   Dave salutes the
crowd.

                      DAVE
               (doing a decent Bill
               Mitchell)
          Thank you, Don.  Thank you for that
          warm introduction.
               (pause)
          You know it's wonderful to be here
          today amongst so many smiling faces.

REVERSE ANGLE - CROWD

Eight to ten people stand stonefaced amongst the Plymouth
Horizons.

ON DAVE

                      DAVE
          And, Don, let me assure you from one
          chief executive to another, that there
          fl no Chrysler Plymouth like
          Durenburger's Chrysler Plymouth.

A few employees applaud.   Dave nudges Durenburger who takes
out one of the cards.

                      DURENBURGER
               (reading/monotone)
          Thank you, Mr. President.  It certainly
          is nice of you to be with us here today
          considering your busy schedule and
          all.

                      DAVE
          Well, Don -- it's true that I have a
          busy schedule.  But I've got a feeling
          that when folks find out about your
          five hundred dollar cash rebate on all
          `93 LeBaron and LeBaron convertibles
          you're gonna be even busier than I am.

Dave looks toward the crowd for another reaction but nothing
comes back.   An eight-year-old GIRL tugs at the bottom of
ther MOTHER's dress.

                      GIRL
          Mommy, is that the President?

                      MOTHER
               (shaking her head)
          I sure hope not.

                      ANGLE - DAVE
          He leans closer to Durenburger
          continuing with the routine.

                      DAVE
          You know, Don, it's not easy being
          President.  Why just the other day, I
          was riding on Air Force One...

The PIG lets out a HUGE SNORT causing everyone to jump with a
start.   A six-year-old KID starts to CRY while Dave glances
down toward the front row.

                      ANGLE-DAVE
          He stops the routine and squints out
          toward the crowd while the WAILING
          CONTINUES.  His parents try to comfort
          the BOY but it doesn't do any good.

                      DAVE
          Hey, hey... What's the matter...

DIFFERENT ANGLE - DAVE

He dismounts the stage and stumbles on one of the steps.

Dave puts on the glasses that he normally wears and squats
face to face with the six-year-old.

                      DAVE
               (gently)
          Hi...
               (beat)
          What's your name?

The child doesn't respond at first.   Dave moves a little
closer to the boy.

                      DAVE
          Don't you have a name?

                      CHILD (KID)
               (sniffling)
          ... Sam.

                      DAVE
               (soothingly)
          Hi, Sam... You want a riddle?

The Kid thinks for a second then nods.   He wipes some stuff
off his nose.

                      DAVE
          Okay.  What can run all day without
          getting tired?

The Kid ponders it for a moment.

                      DAVE
               (leaning closer)
          Well come on, Sam.   It's not your
          jar...

Dave touches the Kid's ear as his eyes suddenly light up.

                      SAM (KID)
          My nose?

                      DAVE
          Right.  !!!

Dave reaches up and "magically" produces a quarter from the
side of the child's nose.  He beams with delight as Dave hands
him the coin.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BALTINORE STREET - DAY

Dave hurries down the busy sidewalk clutching a beat-un
briefcase and his Uncle Sam hat.  In civilian clothes, with
his tousled hair, no one even notices that he looks like the
President.  Dave ducks into a small storefront office with a
simple sign above it:

"KOVIC TEMPS"

"Like we've been there forever"

INT. DAVE'S OFFICE

The place is small and cluttered and very well lived in.

Dave's secretary and ex-wife, ALICE, is kissing her boyfriend
JERRY goodbye.

                      JERRY
          Six-thirty?

                      ALICE
          Perfect.

                      JERRY
          Great, I'll see you then.

He blows her another kiss and turns to the door just as Dave
bounds into the room.

                      JERRY
          Hi, Dave.

                      DAVE
               (buoyant)
          Hi, .....

He hangs up his coat and turns to Alice as Jerry leaves the
room.

                      DAVE
               (hanging up his coat)
          It went great, Alice.   I killed em
          down there.

                      ALICE
          Yeah?  Why don't you see what you *)
          can do in here.

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          Dave turns around to see three women
          stacked up in his waiting area.

                      DAVE
               (renewed energy)
          No problem.   What `ve we got?

                      ALICE
               (rattling it off)
          Mabel says it's too far on the bus.
          Jennifer's boss tried to hit on her
          again and Lola's been crying in your
          office for an hour.

Dave sticks his head inside his office where a Hispanic WOMAN
of about fifty is crying into a tiny lace handkerchief.

INT. DAVE'S OFFICE

                      DAVE
               (entering)
          Lola.   What happened?

                      LOLA (WOMAN)
               (turning)
          Oh, Meester Kobic... Is no my fault...
          I learn on de I.B.M okay?  Then they
          make me work on de Wang...
               (crying again)
          No puedo comprendar esta machina...

                      DAVE
          It's airight.  We'll find you something
          else.

ANGLE - OUTER OFFICE

He darts back out.

                      DAVE
          I'll get her something right now.
               (beat)
          Alice... Have you seen my checkbook?

                      ALICE
          Dave, I'm your ex-wife.  As in Ex
          E -- X...

He nods earnestly accepting it for what must be the hundredth
time.  Alice sighs and motions toward his desk.

                      ALICE
          Bottom drawer next to your baseball
          glove.

                      DAVE
               (flashing a smile)
          Thanks.  You're the best.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. ACCOUNTANCY OFFICE OF "MURRAY BLUM,  CPA" - DAY

Dave's best friend MURRAY stands in front of Dave and Lola.
In the b.g. sit four or five women without much to do in
particular.

                      MURRAY
          Dave, I can't hire anybody else.

He turns toward his desk.  Dave follows him down the aisle.
DAVE

                      ("CONFIDENTIALLY")
          This woman's amazing, Murray.  She
          flies on an I.B.M...

                      MURRAY
          I don't have enough work for the people
          you gave me already.

                      DAVE
               (lowering his voice)
          She's got three kids and the husband's
          a diabetic...
               (turning to her)
          Diabetic?

                      LOLA
          Si.  Diabetico.

She starts to whimper all over again while Dave looks
plaintively at Murray.

                      DAVE
          Short-term thing.   Straight temp job.

Murray looks at him and sighs.

                      MURRAY
               (beat)
          I'll see what I can do.

Dave flashes him a big smile and breathes a sigh of relief.

                      DAVE
          So you want to go swimming?

                      MURRAY
               (incredulous)
          Dave -- I'm working.

                      DAVE
               (nodding quickly)
          Oh yeah... Me, too.
               (beat)
          You want to get dinner later?

                      MURRAY
          I was gonna do something with Joan.

                      DAVE
          Oh. Okay.  I'll catch ya tomorrow then.

Murray nods as Dave turns humming into the hallway.

EXT. DAVE'S HOUSE - DAY

All It is dark and a little clutt.ered.   A low GUTTURAL NOTE
starts to build as it ECHOES up the stairwell.



                      DAVE (0.5.)
               (singing)
          'Oooooooooooooooooo...'

DIFFERENT ANGLE - LANDING

                      DAVE
          '... klahoma, where the wind comes
          sweeping down the plain...'

Dave bounds onto the landing and fishes around for his keys...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. DAVE'S APARTMENT - DAY

The door swings open as Dave enters the room, still singing.

                      DAVE
          `Where the wavin' wheat, can sure smell
          sweet...'

He sets down his keys, crosses to the kitchen.  Dave yanks
open the fridge, pulls out a beer, pops open the top, hits a
twenty foot hook shot with the bottle cap, then crosses to
the living room...

                      DAVE
          'and the wind comes right behind the -
          ...'

He looks across the room and suddenly freezes.

DAVE'S POV

Three large men are seated on his living room couch.

The black one in the middle (DUANE STEVENSEN) speaks first.

                      DUANE
          Mr. Kovic?

BACK TO SCENE

Dave freezes and shakes his head.

                      DUANE
          I'm Duane Stavensen with the United
          States Secret Service.

Dave's eyes go a little wider.

                      DUANE
          We're with the federal government.

He reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a gleaming silver
badge.  Dave looks at it.   Terrified.

                      DAVE
          Oh my God...  I thought it was a
          legitimate deduction, I swear to God.
          See... I need a piano for my work
          sometimes...

                      DUANE
          Mr. Kovic.   We're not here about your
          taxes.

                      DAVE
          You're not?

                      DUANE
          No.

Dave's stopped and just stares at him.  Duane leans forward
on the couch.

                      DUANE
          Your government needs your help.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          What?

                      DUANE
          On occasion for security purposes, to
          double for the President at the Secret
          Service hires someone public functions
          and exposed situations.

CLOSEUP-DAVE

He looks at Duane for a moment when his eyes light up...

                      DAVE
          Really?

                      DUANE
          We'd like to hire you.

                      DAVE
          Really?

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BALTIMORE HILTON - NIGHT

Police barricades ring the outside of the hotel.   There are
the standard number of flashing red lights and sharp shooters
stationed on all the balconies.   An assortment of various
demonstrators press up against the police line and a literal
army of press are staked out by the entrance.  It is the modern
equivalent of Napoleon's camp.

INT. HOTEL ROOM

Dave is sitting on the edge of the bed, getting his hair
trimmed by JOHNNY, the Presidential makeup man and traveling
barber.  He removes the apron and stands back to admire his
handiwork.

                      JOHNNY
               (proudly; to himself)
          Johnny, you did it again!

                      DAVE
          You really cut his this short?

                      JOHNNY
          It's a perfect match.

                      DAVE
          Hunh.   'Cause I always thought it
          came over the ears a little...

At that moment the door swings open and Bob Alexander. the
Chief of Staff powers into the room.   He crosses over toward
the bed where Dave is sitting.

                      BOB
          You understand what you'll be doing?

                      DAVE
               (beat; intimidated)
          Yeah... You just want me to wave, right?

                      BOB
               (gruffly)
          Wave from the door... go down the
          stairs... get into the limo...

                      DAVE
               (pause)
          `Cause you know I can do other stuff.
          I mean,  if you wanted me to talk or...

                      BOB
               (curtly)
          Don't say a .

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          Right.

Dave flashes him a smile to lighten the moment when Bob turns
and starts for the door...

                      DAVE
               (calling after him)
          Uh --Mr. Alexander?

                      BOB
               (turning)
          What?

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Is this dangerous or anything?

                      BOB
          No more than the usual.

                      DAVE
          The usual...

He turns and shuts the door behind him.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT

It's the only time it has lived up to its name.    The living
room is huge and occupied by several Secret Servicemen.  Alan
Reed, the President's media advisor, stands just outside the
bathroom door with a clipboard in his hand.

                      REED
               (into the bathroom)
          We're all set,  sir.

                      MITCHELL (O.S.)
               (from in the bathroom)
          What about the intro?

                      REED
          It'll be on the teleprompter with the
          rest of the speech.

                      MITCHELL (O.S.)
          It better be.   Last time you had me
          introduce a dead guy.

The sound of a TOILET FLUSHING comes from just beyond the
door.  The President emerges in a tuxedo,  zipping up his
fly.

                      MITCHELL
          Who's this priest I'm thanking?

                      REED
          Father Mclntire.   He blessed you at
          the inauguration.

                      MITCHELL
          Oh yeah.
               (beat; lowering his
               voice)
          Did you take care of later on?

                      REED
          All set.

                      MITCHELL
               (beaming)
          Fabulous.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. BALTIMORE HILTON - GRAND BALLROOM - NIGHT

Five hundred people have gathered at a thousand dollars a
plate.  Bill Mitchell stands at a dark blue podium with the
seal of the President in front.

                      MITCHELL
          You know as I was coming in here tonight
          I ran into Jordan Blankfort who I hadn't
          seen for years...



The President smiles down at Jordan while the CAMERA begins a
LONG,  SLOW DOLLY AROUND the back of the podium.

                      MITCHELL
          And I couldn'thelp remembering back to
          the time when Jordan and I were in law
          school together.
               (beat)
          ... Now Jordan and I were pretty wild
          back then and like most college
          students, we liked to enjoy a few beers
          on occasion...

The CAMERA CONTINUES its DOLLY REVEALING the clear glass panel
of the teleprompter.  AS the President continues with his
"spontaneous reminiscence," the words "LIKED TO ENJOY A FEW
BEERS ON OCCASION..." are clearly printed in front of him.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Dave stands alone,  trying to put on his tuxedo while he stares
at a television monitor.   He squints at himself for a second,
then lifts the arm of the tuxedo in a "Presidential" wave.
He immediately lowers it and tries it with the other one,
duplicating the President's movements exactly.   The door
opens behind him.

                      DUANE
          Get readY.

Dave turns and nods emphatically.    He glances back at the
TV monitor where President Mitchell is receiving a standing
ovation.

                      MITCHELL (V.0.)
          God bless you... God bless America...

Duane holds open the door to:

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

Dave stares at the opulent room for a moment - - this is the
big time...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. BALLROOM

The audience has risen to its feet.  Bill Mitchell stands at
the podium waving out to the crowd like a conquering hero.
He turns and salutes a crimson-robed cleric who is standing
by his side.  The priest salutes the President and lifts his
arms like a prizefighter.  The applause is still going strong
as Mitchell leaves the stage.

INT. HALLWAY

MOVING WITH him.  They head away from the ballroom.   Bob
stands on one side and Reed on the other as they move down
the hallway in a phalanx of Secret Service.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

Dave is waiting nervously in the middle of the room.  Duane
stands poised by the side of the door.

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR

The Presidential entourage steps out of the elevator and moves'
rapidly down phe hall.  It looks like a solid wall of business
suits with three tuxedos in front.  They reach the door of
the suite together...

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE

The door to the suite swings suddenly open.   Three Secret
Service enter the room,  followed by the President a moment
later.   Dave snaps to attention with his arms at his sides
when the President looks up and suddenly stops:

                      MITCHELL
               (beat)
          Jesus Christ.

PRESIDENT'S POV - REVERSE ANGLE

Dave stands in front of him with slicked back hair and a crisp
new tuxedo.   It is a mirror image of the President himself.
Dave stands frozen for a moment then breaks into a nervous
smile...

                      WIDER ANGLE
          The President stares at him carefully.

                      MITCHELL
          You are a very handsome man.

                      DAVE
               (nervous)
          Thank you, Mr. President.

                      MITCHELL
               (to Dave)
          Just get rid of that grin.  You look
          like a schmuck.

Dave immediately wipes off the smile as the President moves
past him and disappears into another room.

ANGLE - DAVE

He stares in wonder at the President's wake.    The rest of
the crowd moves out of the living room as Duane clears his
throat and motions to the door.    It's show time.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BALTIMORE HILTON - NIGHT

A large crowd is anxious with anticipation.    A palpable
BUZZ fills the air as the photographers jockey near the front
for the best possible angle.

INT. FOYER

The entourage has grown to a Presidential level as Dave emerges
`from the elevator and heads toward the door.   He pauses for
a moment to catch his breath while the Secret Service race
ahead toward the entrance.

EXT. HOTEL ENTRANCE

A large cheer erupts from the crowd as Dave appears at the
top of the steps.    There is a virtual explosion of shutters
and a bank of TV lights glares in his face.  Dave freezes for
a moment then remembers and lifts his arm in "The Presidential
Wave."    A louder cheer goes up from the crowd as Duane races
ahead to the limo beyond.

CLOSER ON DAVE

He starts to smile and heads down the steps as the crowd
presses up to the limit of the barricades.

ANGLE - LIMOUSINE

Duane stands at the open door when Dave stops again and waves
once more.   A LOUDER CHEER goes up this time.  The FANS keep
SCREAMING and Dave can no longer control him- self.  Suddenly
and without warning, he hops up on the running board of the
car.

                      DAVE
               (waving to the crowd)
          Hello America!  God Bless you!

A huge CHEER goes up from the throng as he dismounts.  Duane
grabs him by the collar and pulls him into the limo...

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          The car speeds away from the curb with
          the motorcade behind it.

INT.  LIMO

He turns around to see Duane,  sitting stone-faced across
from him.

                      DAVE
               (clearly thrilled)
          Sorry, I couldn't help it.  I just got
          carried away...
               (finally letting it out)
          ... I was really good though, hunh?

Duane keeps staring at him.   Dave shakes his head.

                      DAVE
               (cluing Duane in)
          So I guess there must be something
          pretty important going on for the
          President to go through all of this...

Duane just looks at him...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT.  PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - NIGHT

A discarded tuxedo lies tossed across a chair along with a
woman's bra and pantyhose.

The CAMERA PANS THROUGH DARKNESS SLOWLY TOWARD the bed while
the sound of a MAN and WOMAN MAKING LOVE plays O.S.

                      MAN (O.S.)
          Oh...

                      WOMAN (0.S.)
          Ah!

                      MAN (O.S.)
          Oh...

                      WOMAN (0.S.)
          Ah!

Beat.

                      WOMAN (0.S.)
          Ahhh!

Silence.

                      WOMAN (0.S.)
          Ahhhhh!

Pause.

                      WOMAN (O.S.)
          Bill?

The CAMERA ARRIVES AT the bed as the torso of Randi,  the
Oval Office secretary, pops INTO FRAME.

                      RANDI (WOMAN)
          Mr. President?

Longer pause...

                      RANDI
          (frightened)
          Oh; shit...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BALTIMORE HILTON - NIGHT

A red and white ambulance sits parked at the service entrance
to the hotel with its red light flashing.

INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER

The President is loaded onto a gurney bed with an array of
tubes and catheters.  The CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Bob and
Reed, Sitting in a corner, while the medical drama unfolds
before them.

                      REED
               (softly)
          It doesn't look very good.

Bob looks up at him.

                      REED
               (a little softer)
          They say it hit both sides of his
          brain... Even if he makes it he's gonna
          be a vegetable.

                      BOB
          I can't believe he'd do this.

                      REED
          I know.

Bob stares straight ahead clutching onto his drink.

                      BOB
          Where's the girl?

                      REED
          She's a little hysterical right now.
          We've got her upstairs in a laundry
          room.

                      BOB
               (shaking his head)
          Nightmare...

                      REED
               (leaning closer)
          Look... at some point we're going to
          have to call the Vice President...

                      BOB
               (suddenly)
          Don't call the Vice President!

                      REED
          ... What?

                      BOB
               (grabbing his lapels)
          Just don't call him, Alan!

                      REED
               (treading softly)
          The guy's in a coma, Bob.

                      BOB
          I don't give a shit.

                      REED
          Bob...

                      BOB
          This is mine, Al -- all mine ...
          I made him. I built him.  And no
          cocksucker is gonna come in here and
          take it away from me just because he
          to be Vice President of the United
          States!

CLOSEUP - BOB

He looks at Reed for a moment...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. LIMOUSINE - NIGHT

Dave sits in the back seat with Duane.   He has his small
canvas bag opened beside him on the seat.  He finishes getting
dressed in his own clothes.

                      DAVE
               (jacked)
          You know if you guys want to do
          something for his birthday,  I could
          come down to Washington.  I have some
          great birthday stuff...

Duane smiles at him tightly.

                      DAVE
          I do this thing with the first lady --
          my friends love it -- it's the two of
          them going away to Club Med...

Duane just looks at him when the TELEPHONE RINGS beside him.
He reaches next to him, picking it up.

                      DUANE
          Yeah...

                      (PAUSE)
          What?..  Are you sure?  What?

                      DAVE
               (innocently)
          What?

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

The famous building is lit up like a picture postcard while
Bob's voice plays 0.S...

                      BOB (V.0.)
          It's a temporary solution.

INT. WHITE HOUSE - SUBTERRANEAN HALLWAY - NIGHT

A doctor and two nurses wheel a gurney in front of them while
Bob and Reed trail behind.

                      REED
          Till what?

                      BOB
          TilT we figure something out.

                      REED
          Bob, the guy had a stroke!

Reed looks at him like he's nuts as they turn a corner in the
hallway.

                      BOB
          Look, everything can be handled.  We'll
          just find a way to handle it.

                      REED
               (stopping)
          Like how?

                      BOB
               (big smile)
          Well, start by going on television
          and saying that he's had a mild
          stroke...

                      REED
          Mild stroke?

                      BOB
          Yes - - and that he ought to be up
          and around sometime soon.

                      REED
          Up and around?  Soon?

                      BOB
          Soon.

                                                       CUT TO:

RESUME - EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - AERIAL SHOT - NIGHT

A lone black limousine heads down Connecticut Avenue toward
the mall.

                      DAVE (V.0.)
          You know,  I think I've been real
          cooperative up until now but...

It bears right on Pennsylvania Avenue, angling south.

                      DAVE
          Just tell me where we're going.

The car turns right into the driveway of the White House.

                      DAVE
          Holy shit.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Dave sits frozen in an armchair across from the President's
desk.  There are twenty-foot windows that lead out to the
Rose Garden and two huge flags on either side of the desk.
Alan Reed leans nonchalantly on one of the chairs.    Bob
stands nearby.

                      REED
               (all schmooz)
          Dave, my name is Alan Reed.  I'm the
          White House Communications Director.
          This is Bob Alexander, our Chief of
          Staff.
               (smiling)
          We met you earlier tonight at the hotel,
          remember?

Dave nods, frozen in his chair.

                      REED
          Can I get you something to drink?

He shakes his head.

                      REED
          You sure?  A Coke or a Perrier or
          something?

                      DAVE
               (still frozen)
          Oh yeah... 1'm fine...

Reed flashes him a smile and glances over at Bob.

                      REED
               (moving toward him)
          Now, Dave, something has come up and I
          think we need to talk about it...

                      DAVE
               (blurting it out)
          Look, I'm sorry.  I know you said not
          to talk, but when I saw the crowd I
          just got excited...

                      REED
          We're not upset with you, Dave.  We
          think you did a terrific job.
               (to Bob)
          Don't we?

                      BOB
               (all tension)
          Terrific.

Reed smiles at Dave, who musters a little smile in return.

                      REED
          In fact, we think you did such a good
          job, we'd like to extend things a little
          bit.

                      DAVE
          Extend things?

                      REED
               (nodding)
          Extend them.
               (beat)
          C'mere for a second.

He places a hand on Dave's shoulder and motions toward the
desk.  Dave hesitates,  then follows him over.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Reed pulls out the President's chair and motions to it.

                      REED
          Try it out.

Dave looks down at the chair in wonder.

                      REED
          Go ahead.

Dave pauses for a moment then sinks down into the soft brown
leather.   He stares out in awe across the Oval Office.

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          Reed looks over at Bob, who nods at
          him.    He takes a deep breath.

                      REED
          Dave, something has happened to the
          President.

                      DAVE
               (whirling)
          Oh my God...

                      REED
               (soothing him)
          I know...  I know...
               (pause)
          It's difficult for all of us.  But
          sometimes we have to put our personal
          feelings aside and focus on the gQod
          of the country.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          What happened?

                      REED
          Well, it's...  It's sort of an... an
          `incident'  really...

                      BOB
               (nodding)
          A condition...

                      REED
          Exactly. A condition.

Dave nods but still doesn't understand.   Reed hesitates when
Bob glares at him again.

                      REED
          It's actually kind of serious, Dave.
          I'm afraid the President's not in very
          good shape.

                      DAVE
               (actually shaken)
          Oh my gosh...

He sits there,  stunned for a moment.

                      DAVE
          Will he be alright?

                      REED
          Oh, yeah... probably...

                      BOB
          We think so.

                      REED
          Yes.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Oh.

Reed moves closer.

                      REED
          Dave, we need our friends and even our
          enemies to feel safe and secure...  We
          need them to feel like they can go to
          bed at night knowing President Mitchell
          is fully in control... We need them to
          feel like he's sitting right here in
          this chair...

Bob and Reed just stare at him.   Dave nods,  then suddenly
jumps out of the chair.

                      DAVE
          Hey - - wait a second...

He stares at them for a beat...

                      DAVE
          What about the Vice President?

                      RTED
               (panicked)
          Vice Presidant?

                      BOB
          Well... We didn't want to have to get
          into this but...
               (deadly serious)
          ... The Vice President is mentally
          unbalanced.

Reed's eyes go wide.  Bob stares straight ahead.

                      DAVE
               (stunned)
          No.

                      REED
               (catching on)
          I'm afraid so.

                      DAVE
          Really?   Crazy?

                      BOB
          Certifiable.

Dave looks at them amazed.  Bob moves closer to the desk.

                      BOB
          How much do you usually get paid?

                      DAVE
               (lost...)
          Uh -- I don't know.   Sometimes it's
          just like a barter thing...  Is this
          legal?

Reed stops and looks at Bob for a moment.    He turns back to
Dave.

                      REED
               (evenly)
          Dave - - have you ever driven through
          a red light?

Dave stares at him.

                      REED
          You know, on an empty road where you
          know it's safe and nobody's around...

                      DAVE
          I'm not sure... I might have.

                      REED
          Well,  let's say your mother was in
          the car and you had to get her to a
          hospital.  You'd do it then for sure
          wouldn't you?

                      DAVE
          Well... I gues I would... Yeah.

                      REED
               (beat)
          Now,  let's say the whole country.
          Was in that car.   The entire United
          States of America.

                      DAVE
          In the car?

                      REED
               (nodding)
          In the car.

                      DAVE
          I see what you mean.

Reed smiles at him and rests a gentle hand on his shoulder.

                      REED
          Dave,  the country is sick.  And we're
          gonna get it to a hospital.

                      CLOSEUP - DAVE
          He stares at them for a moment then
          smiles slightly...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. THIRD FLOOR RESIDENCE - NIGHT

A pair of gilt-edged doors swing open to reveal a massive
bedroom beyond.   It is fifty-feet long and twenty-feet wide.
Brocaded draperies hang from the windows and a four-poster
bed stretches to the ceiling.

                      BOB
          These are the living quarters.
          The President's bedroom is on
          this side and the First Lady's is over
          there.

                      WIDER
          Dave walks forward in awe.

                      DAVE
               (concerned)
          First Lady...

                      BOB
          Don't worry.  You won't even see her.

Dave looks at him, puzzled.   Bob glances back.

                      BOB
               (cluing him in)
          They barely talk anymore.

                      DAVE
          You're kidding?

                      BOB
          It happens.  This is where you'll be
          sleeping.

Bob flings open the door.   Dave enters the room and looks
around.

                      DAVE
               (gawking)
          Holy cow.

                      BOB
          We'll be back for you first thing
          tomorrow and if you need me for
          anything, Duane will be right outside
          the door.

                      DAVE
               (still stunned)
          Oh... Okay.

                      CLOSEUP - DAVE
          He breaks out into a "Presidential"
          grin...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. "THE CBS MORNING NEWS" STUDIO - FULL SHOT - KATHLEEN
SULLIVAN

She stares straight INTO the CAMERA with "The Morning Show"
set behind her.

                      KATHLEEN SULLIVAN
          ... The White House now classifies the
          President's condition as a `slight
          circulatory problem of the head.'

CLOSEUP - TV SET

                      KATHLEEN SULLIVAN (V.0.)
          Although technically a stroke, spokesmen
          say the President's condition is far
          from serious and he ought to be up and
          around sometime soon.

The CAMERA WIDENS OUT to reveal that the TV is in:

INT. BOB'S OFFICE - DAWN

The first rays of sunrise are breaking through the window.
Reed Sits on the couch holding a large rubber ice bag while
Bob paces across the rug.

                      REED
          Do you know how many different kinds
          of laws we've broken?

                      BOB
               (turning)
          It's simple, Alan.  We send the Vice-
          President to Africa or something, dig
          up some dirt on him, force him to resign
          and get our `President' to nominate a
          new one.  The whole thing takes a few
          weeks tops.

DAVE - Rev. 7/22/92                                  31.

                      REED
               (smiling)
          You mean we get `Dave' to nominate you
          as Vice President.

                      BOB
          I was a senator, you know.

                      REED
               (innocently)
          Oh, I know. And then when our poor
          President gets another stroke - - of
          course much more serious this time - -
          the newly appointed V.P. becomes the
          Pres...

                      BOB
               (cutting him off)
          What about containment, Alan?

Reed heaves a sigh and looks at his notes.

                      REED
          I got the nurses for fifty grand
          a piece and the doctors for a hundred.
          The older one wanted head of the CDC.

                      BOB
               (turning)
          Is that everybody?

                      REED
          Duane's guys, but he's got them under
          control.

                      BOB
          What about her.

                      REED
          Her?... Oh -- the First Lady...
               (beat)
          She was giving that commencement speech
          up in Bryn Mawr.  I managed to catch
          her before she left the hotel.

                      BOB
          And...

                      REED
               (evenly)
          I told her his blood pressure went up
          after a little incident at  `the hotel.'
          She seems to hate him more than ever.

                      BOB
          Fine.

                      REED
               (tossing down his legal
               pad)
          Everybody else is buying the minor
          stroke'  story...

                      BOB
               (nodding)
          I just hope this yutz can pull it off.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. WHITE HOUSE INFIRMARY - DAY

Dave sits up on the examining table with his shirt off.  Bob,
Reed and three other vascular specialists watch attentively
while the President's personal physician puts a stethoscope
to his chest.

                      DOCTOR
               (lowering it)
          Well, I must say, Mr. President, even
          for a man with a mild stroke you seem
          to have made a remarkable recovery.

                      DAVE
               (happy as a clam)
          Thanks.  I'm feeling much better.

Reed smiles like a proud father.

                      DOCTOR
               (glancing at his chart)
          No signs of paralysis, no circulatory
          changes.  Your E.M.G. is completely
          normal and your blood pressure has
          even gone down.
               (beat)
          Have you been exercising recently?

                      DAVE
               (shrugging)
          Just the usual..  Watching the diet --
          A little weight lifting...
          Some power talking...

Bob shoots him a look.

                      DOCTOR
               (nodding with the other
               physicians)
          Well, judging from these tests,  I
          don't see any reason why you couldn't
          start back to work within a couple of
          days.

Dave looks at them and smiles.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT.  PRESIDENT'S OUTER OFFICE - LITTLE LATER

Dave moves through the outer office flanked by Bob and Reed.
He wears a blue Presidential jogging suit with a little gold
seal embroidered on the chest.  Dave approaches a line of
SECRETARIES standing behind their desks.

                      BOB
               (under his breath)
          Now, remember -- keep it simple.

                      DAVE
          Don't worry.

He bangs into the side of a credenza. Bob and Reed freeze as
Dave gathers himself then keeps going.

                      DAVE
               (walking up to the first
               one)
          Good morning, Clara...

                      CLARA (SECRETARY)
          Good morning, Mr. President.

                      DAVE
               (to second one...)
          Good morning, Diane...

                      DIANE (SECRETARY)
          Good morning, sir.

                      DAVE
          Good morning, Randi...

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          She leans forward, grasping his hand,
          desperately.

                      RANDI
               (welling with tears)
          Oh, good morning, Mr. President.
          I'm so relieved that you're alright.
          You really had me scared.

Dave smiles and nods as she continues to clutch onto his hand.
Bob and Reed take him by the shoulders and move him inside...

INT. OVAL OFFICE

He is still staring at the doorway as they close the door to
the office.

                      DAVE
          What's with her?

                      BOB
               (still pulling him)
          Don't worry about it.

Dave glances back toward the door.

                      REED
          She's just a little emotional --
          she feels kind of attached to the
          President.

Dave nods as they deposit him in the President's chair.  Reed
slides the phone in front of him.

                      BOB
          Okay, let's go over it again. You met
          a girl, you fell in love...

                      DAVE
          And we're going away for a holiday.

                      BOB
               (handing him the receiver)
          For a month.

                      DAVE
          A month.

                      BOB
          Right and don't embellish.

                      DAVE
               (shaking his head)
          I promise.  I won't.

Bob slides the phone closer as he begins to dial the number.

INT. KOVIC TEMPS - DAY

Alice is sitting at her desk staring at a large rock on her
finger.  She talks into the telephone, extending her hand in
the manner of all newly-engaged women.

                      ALICE
          I couldn't believe it.  As soon as we
          sit down he pulls out this ring...
               (beaming)
          ... Oh I know - -I just got so
          emotional.  The waiter had to   bring
          me another napkin.

42     CONTINUED:   (AL)

RING.  A light indicating the second line starts blinking.

                      ALICE
          Hang on.
               (switching lines)
          Kovic Temps
               (beat)
          Dave!  Where are you?
               (pause)
          You met who?.., You're going where?
               (beat)
          Cancun.

There is a longer pause.

                      ALICE
          No, that's fine... No, I think it's
          great.., Sure, I understand I will...
          Okay... 'Bye.

She pauses for a moment then hits the first line all
over again,

                      ALICE
          He's in love Thank God!

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY

Sander Vanocur stands just outside the white House gates,
filing his nightly report.

                      SANDER VANOCUR
          The President continued his
          convalescence, resting in the white
          House for the second straight day.
          His personal physician pronounced him
          in perfectly good health...

FULL SHOT - PRESIDENT'S PHYSICIAN - (SOUND BITE)

                      PRESIDENT' S PHYSICIAN
          I've examined him thoroughly and I
          must say, I don't think I've ever seen
          the President in better shape.

INT. WHITE HOUSE BARBER

Dave's initial rinse is replaced with a professional dye job.

INT. DAVE'S ROOM

Newly coiffed, Dave tries on a series of hand-tailored suits
hanging on a rack in the middle of his room.

INT. BATHROOM

Reed watches while Dave struggles vainly in the mirror with
his first set of contact lenses

                      SANDER VANOCUR (V.0.)
          The President was able to attend to
          Some official business on Wednesday,
          and continues to be briefed on all
          areas of national concern...

INT. OVAL OFFICE

Reed stands in front of the desk Pointing to a large
organizational chart of government

                             YOU

       THE CONGRESS---------------------THE JUDICIARY.

        HOUSE-----SENATE                SUPREME COURT

           JOINT CHIEFS-----THE CABINET-----N.S.C.

INT. CABINET ROOM

He sits at the President's spot in the middle of the cabinet
table.  Propped up in all the other chairs, are Poster-sized
photographs of the various cabinet members.  Bob points to
one as Dave thinks for a moment, then guesses...

INT. STATE DINING ROOM

He stares in wonder at a full, formal place-setting.  There
are five forks, three knives and a countless number of spoons.
Dave looks at it all, baffled for a moment, while Reed guides
his hand toward the fish knife...

                      SANDER VANOCUR
          So confident was the white House in
          the President's recovery, that they
          have just sent the Vice President on a
          twelve nation African goodwill tour...
          This is
          Sander Vanocur at the white House.

INT. WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

Dave enters from the back of the room, flanked by Bob and
Reed on either side.  They make their way down the aisle toward
a large wooden podium with the "Seal of the President" on the
front.

                      BOB
          First thing we're gonna work on is the
          mannerisms.  Alan has put together
          sort of a training program

                      DAVE
          Great.

They lead him through the empty press chairs toward the front
of the room.   Reed climbs up the short Steps that lead to
the podium.

                      REED
          Now some of this may feel a bit Strange
          at first.  You gotta remember that
          even a professional Politician has
          Some trouble getting used to...

                      DAVE
               (stopping)
          A teleprompter.

                      REED
          What?

Dave wanders forward staring in wonder at the clear glass
panels.

                      DAVE
          The teleprompter.  Is it hooked up?

                      REED
          I don't think so.

                      DAVE
               (disappointed)
          Oh.

He folds his arms in front of him turning to Bob and Reed.

                      REED
               (beat)
          As I was saying, no one expects you to
          be Bill Mitchell overnight.

The important thing to remember is his general presence.

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          Presence.

                      REED
          Right.  Now whenever he stands at a
          Podium, the President always puts one
          hand in the pocket of his coat...

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          At a press conference.

                      REED
          What?

                      DAVE
          That's at a press conference.
          Otherwise he just puts `em right out
          there.

They look at each other for a moment.

                      BOB
          I'm not certain about...

                      DAVE
          Oh, sure.  Remember the convention
          speech?

Dave puts his hands on either side of the podium.

                      DAVE
               (in a perfect Bill
               Mitchell)
          'An America stronger than the one we
          were given.  An America prouder than
          the one we found.'
               (turning to them)
          He has 'em right there on the side.

They stare at him in amazement.

                      REED
               (first time he's heard
               the voice)
          You know that's very good.

... while Dave turns to them with a smile.

                      DAVE
          Oh, I loved that speech.

Dave brings his hand to his forehead, scanning an imaginary
horizon.

                      REED
          Thanks, I wrote it.

                      DAVE
               (drippingly dramatic)
          ... Somewhere there is a distant light,
          guiding us through this rocky shoal...'

                      REED
          Dave...

                      DAVE
               (clutching his "breast")
          'America isn't in what we say here
          tonight -- it's in the faces and the
          smiles of a Sunday afternoon...'
               (aside)
          Hand on the heart...

                      BOB
          Dave...

                      DAVE
               (swept up in it)
          It's in the little leaguer who may
          strike out but knows in his heart that
          at least swung...
               (aside)
          Hands to the side...

                      REED
               (louder)
          Dave!

                      DAVE
               (not hearing them)
          '... It's in the gentle kindness of
          the family kitchen as we gather together
          when the sun goes down...'

He exhales deeply and lowers his head almost tearfully.  Bob
and Reed look at him stunned as he comes out of the reverie
and turns to face them.

                      DAVE
               (upbeat)
          So when do we start?

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - CLOSEUP - ANDREA MITCHELL -

She continues with her report speaking directly INTO the
CAMERA:

                      ANDREA MITCHELL
          Tom, virtually every reporter in
          Washington is camped out here awaiting
          the President's first appearance since
          his Stroke...

WIDENING OUT:

Andrea Mitchell stands camped on the White House lawn amidst
a small army of minicams, trucks and reporters.

They all seemed focused on the Truman Balcony.

                      ANDREA MITCHELL
          Even though some may find his recovery
          amazing, White House officials claim
          they never expected less from a man
          who always expects so much from himself.

INT. YELLOW OVAL ROOM - DAY

Dave stands, in his new blue suit, peeking out the window at
the circus below.

                      DAVE
               (turning back)
          I thought you said I wasn't going to
          see her.

                      REED
          It's just five minutes.  She comes in.
          You wave to the press.
          She leaves.

                      DAVE
          Yeah, but the First Lady...
          Couldn't we start with a cousin or
          something?

                      REED
          She hardly ever sees him and it'll be
          so fast, she won't have a chance to
          tell.

                      BOB
          Be a professional. If you can
          convince her - - you can convince
          anybody.

                      DAVE
               (reluctantly)
          ... Alright.

                      BOB
          Now when she comes in, we'll move you
          right out to the balcony.  All you
          have to say is  `thanks for doing this,
          Ellen.'

                      DAVE
          `Thanks for doing this, Ellen.'

                      REED
          Exactly.
               (lowering his voice)
          She doesn't always like this stuff and
          it might soften her up.

Dave continues practicing "Thanks..."

                      BOB
               (hitting the intercom)
          We're ready.

Bob rises from the couch and crosses to the doorway at the
far corner of the room.  Reed leads Dave to the large double
doors that open onto the balcony itself.

CLOSEUP - DAVE

He jiggles nervously for a moment.    Dave takes a large wad
of gum from his mouth and sticks it quickly under the mantel
piece...

                      WOMAN (O.S.)
          Why can't you die from a stroke like
          everybody else?

DAVE'S POV - DOOR

He turns to see Ellen Mitchell, glaring at him from the
doorway.  Everyone in the room freezes.

ANGLE - DAVE

He is stunned by her beauty. Dave just stares at her as she
crosses the room.

                      ELLEN
               (to Dave)
          What are you staring at?

                      DAVE
               (too stunned to talk)
          Uh...

                      REED
               (jumping in)
          We're Gonna do it right out here.

She Stops just before the window, then turns back to look
Dave in the eye.

                      ELLEN
          Who was it, Bill? A Secretary?

He has nothing to say and just stares at her.  Reed nudges
him a little.

                      DAVE
          Thanks for doing this, Ellen.

                      ELLEN
          Go tuck yourself, Bill.

                      BOB
          Well, perhaps we can get started now.

She moves directly onto the balcony, leaving Dave behind.  He
stands there dumbfounded, as Reed takes him by the arm, and
gently pushes him out after her.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - TRUMAN BALCONY - DAY

Dave stumbles out and finds Ellen, already poised at the rail
waving to the crowd.

CLOSER.

                      ELLEN
               (in a whisper)
          And you can tell those two pit vipers
          this is the last one of these I'll be
          doing for a while.

She takes his hand, displaying it publicly.  Dave looks down
at his hand in hers.  The heat of her skin goes right to his
brain.

                      REED (O.S.)
               (loud whisper)
          Smile!

Dave smiles.

                      REED (O.S.)
               (louder whisper)
          Wave!

Dave waves.

WIDER.   INCLUDING reporters.

                      REPORTER #1
          How do you feel, Mr. President?

                      YELLOW ROOM
          Bob and Reed are huddled beside the
          window.

                      REED
               (stage whisper)
          Fine.

BALCONY

                      DAVE
          Fine.

                      REPORTER #2
          Ready to go back to work?

YELLOW ROOM

                      REED
               (louder whisper)
          You bet.

BALCONY

                      DAVE
          You bet.

                      ELLEN
          I'm outta here.

She drops his hand, turns and goes back through the door
leaving Dave alone on the balcony.  He stands there for a
moment, then turns and follows her inside.

INT. YELLOW OVAL ROOM - DAY

She is halfway across the room when Ellen suddenly stops and
does a one-eighty in the middle of the carpet.

                      ELLEN
          Don't you have anything to say to me?

                      DAVE
               (thinks)
          Thanks for doing this, Ellen?

                      ELLEN
          You don't change, do you, Bill?

She turns and moves through the door, slamming it behind her.

                      DAVE
               (stunned)
          She hates me.

                      BOB & REED
               (throwing their arms
               around each other)
          Yes!!!

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

All the reporters have gone home and the only remnants are
scattered pieces of trash that blow across the lawn.

INT. WRITE HOUSE HALLWAY - NIGHT

Duane sits poised in his chair, just outside Dave's door.  He
sleeps soundly, when the door opens a crack behind him.

                      DAVE
               (softly)
          Duane?

His eyes bolt open as he turns around slowly.

                      DAVE
          ... Can I get a bite? I'm kinda hungry.

INT. WHITE HOUSE KITCHEN - WALK-IN REFRIGERATOR - NIGHT

It is cavernous and huge -- the size of small garage.  Dave
moves delighted down the long row of food stuffs while Duane
shivers slightly behind him.

                      DAVE
               (grinning)
          You gotta try this.  It's my special
          sandwich.

Dave loads up with food and smiles at Duane.

                      DAVE
          Everybody loves this sandwich.

INT. KITCHEN

counter and begins to go to work when Duane appears Dave
emerges with a pile of food.  He lays it on the behind him.

                      (BEAT) DUANE
          What's in it?

                      DAVE
               (turning)
          Oh,  that's a secret.

Duane nods and averts his eyes as Dave begins to apply the
meat.

                      DAVE
          So, how long have they been like that - -
          you know, him and the First Lady?

                      DUANE
          I can't say.

                      DAVE
          You mean you don't know or like -- you
          can't say.

                      DUANE
               (same inflection)
          I can't say.

                      DAVE
          Oh.

Dave pauses, then starts adding the lettuce.

                      DAVE
          So you just protect the President the
          whole time?   That's your whole job?

                      DUANE
          Yeah.

                      DAVE
               (turning)
          You got a gun?

                      DUANE
          Of course.

Dave glances around the kitchen and lowers his voice.

                      AVE
          Can I See it?

                      DUANE
          Well, it's really not policy to...

                      DAVE
               (quickly)
          I understand.

Dave turns back to the sandwich while Duane looks at him for
a moment.  Duane rolls his eyes and unbuttons the front of
his coat revealing a fifteen round Beretta.

                      DAVE
               (looking at the gun)
          You ever use it?

                      DUANE
          No.

                      DAVE
          Huh.
               (right back to the
               sandwich)
          You know what I always wondered the
          way they say you guys'd take a bullet
          for the President.

                      DUANE
          What about it?

                      DAVE
          Well, is that really true? I mean,
          would you really get killed just to
          save his life.

                      DUANE
          Certainly.

Dave cuts the sandwich in half turning back to Duane.

                      DAVE
          So that means, now you'd get killed
          for me too?

Duane looks at him, stunned by the realization.  Dave smiles
and moves forward, extending the sandwich.

                      DAVE
          Here.  Try this.

DAVE - Rev. 8/7/92                                   46.

Duane stares at it for a moment, then lifts the sandwich in a
daze.

EXT. DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON D.C. - DAY

The CAMERA begins to PUSH IN ON a small elegant restaurant.

                      REED
          Clean.

                      BOB
          What do you mean, he's clean?

INT. DUKE1S RESTAURANT - DAY

It's a Washington mecca for the power lunch.  Bob and Reed
Sit in a corner booth with a manilla folder between them.

                      REED
               (agitated)
          I mean I've checked everything.
          Women.  Liquor... Finances.  I went
          all the way back to his high school
          race for student body president.

                      BOB
          No one gets to be Vice President by
          being that clean.

                      REED
          The guy's a Boy Scout, Bob.  He declared
          frequent flyer miles on his income tax
          return.

Reed twists in his chair while Bob checks out the dossier.

                      BOB
          What about the wife?

                      REED
          Clean.

                      BOB
          Check his kids.

                      REED
          Clean.

                      BOB
          Nobody's got clean kids.

                      REED
          We've got nothing, Bob.  This won't
          work.

                      BOB
          If we find nothing, we get creative.
          Just make something up.  Instead of a
          couple weeks it'll be a couple of
          months.  The whole thing is under
          control.

                      REED
               (leaning forward; tense
               whisper)
          You think we can keep this thing going
          for a couple of months!

At that moment, a DISTINGUISHED MAN moves up the table,
clapping a hand on Reed's shoulder.

                      DISTINGUISHED MAN
               (strong Southern accent)
          Bob... Alan... Your boy sure looks
          great.
               (leaning closer)
          I think he sounds even better'n he did
          before this stroke.

He lets out a rich, throaty laugh, full of booze and
cigarettes.   Bob smiles at him.

                      BOB
          Well,  thanks very much, Judge.  We'll
          tell him you sent your best.

                      DISTINGUISHED MAN
          You take care, now.

                      BOB
          Yeah, you,  too.

The Man moves on as they look at one another...

                                                       CUT TO:

AIR FORCE ONE (STOCK FOOTAGE)

The President's private 747 soars into the wild blue yonder.

EXT. GENERAL MOTORS ASSEMBLY PLANT (DEERBORNE MICHIGAN')

- DAY The huge "GM" sign stands prominently in the f.g.  Below
it their motto reads:  "Mark of Excellence."

INT. ASSEMBLY LINE - DAY

Dave is escorted through the plant by the GM PRESIDENT and a
large entourage.  Bob and Reed hover a couple of steps behind
as Dave listens to the tour.

                      GM PRESIDENT
          Now this man is using a robotic
          mechanism for picking up the engine.
          The large arms that you
          see duplicate all of his arm movements
          exactly, so it's as if he's lifting
          two thousand pounds.

They pause in front of a large assembly area.'  One of the
workers stands at a machine with his arms stuck in two long
rubber sleeves.  Above him, a pair of mechanical arms hoists
an engine high into the air.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Can I try it?

                      GM PRESIDENT
          Huh?  Uh, well...

                      BOB
          Mr. President...

                      DAVE
          I mean,  if it's a problem...

                      GM PRESIDENT
          No, no.   It's really quite simple.
          Just come on over here.

The GM Executive leads Dave toward the huge machine.  He smiles
as an army of cameras press in closer.

                      GM PRESIDENT
          Now, you slip your hands into these
          sleeves here...

Dave nods and does as he is told.    All at once the two 12-
foot arms shoot straight up into the air.  He smiles with
delight as the massive robot comes alive in his hands.  Dave
lifts his arms over his head and the huge claws point straight
toward the ceiling.  He sticks them out to the side and the
robot does the same.

                      DAVE
          I once caught a fish this big.

Dave sticks his arms out to his sides and the huge claws
indicate a 40-foot fish.  A roar goes up from the crowd as a
slight smile starts to spread across Reed's face...

                      REED
               (almost in awe)
          He's a soundbite machine...

Bob glances over at him...

                                                       CUT TO:

OMITTED

GERGEN AND SHIELDS (MACNEIL LEHRER NEWSHOUR)  - FULL SHOT

Two of the most famous pundits in America sit side by side on
the PBS set.

                      GERGEN
          I don't know about you, Mark, but
          I don't think I've ever seen the
          President as relaxed or comfortable
          with himself as he is right now.

                      SHIELDS
          Oh, I agree, David.  I don't know who
          gave him happy pills but this is a
          pretty unbelievable transformation.

                      GERGEN
          Well, I think it's a kind of 'rebirth'
          really.   This is a man who's stared
          death in the face and it's obviously
          had a profound effect on him.

                      SHIELDS
          Look, if that's what a stroke'll do
          for ya, I'll take a couple of dozen.

                                                       CUT TO:

CLOSEUP-REED

He stares OUT OF FRAME expectantly with the grin of an excited
child... The CAMERA WIDENS OUT to reveal:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - DAY

Dave romps on all fours with the cocker spaniel (Cupcakes)
that used to serve as the President's prop.   He holds one
end of a towel in his mouth while the dog tugs feverishly at
the other.

WIDER

A hundred SHUTTERS CLICK at once while the White House press
corps strains on their barricade...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - UPWARD ANGLE

Ellen watches the spectacle from a second floor window.

                      ELLEN
          What a jerk.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - DAY

Dave stands,  in the Presidential jogging suit, next to Arnold
Schwarzenegger.   They are surrounded by twenty or thirty
fourth graders, all there to demonstrate their physical
fitness.  Arnold hits the deck in a flurry of push-ups --
urging the President to follow suit.   Dave hits the deck as
well, matching the superstar rep for rep.  The cameras explode
in a LOUD VOLLEY OF SHUTTER FIRE.  Reed grins all over again...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT.  SOUTH LAWN - DAY

Dave stands face to face with the Japanese Prime Minister in
a full diplomatic ceremony.   He listens to his interpreter
for a moment,  then bows stiffly from the waist.

The Prime Minister bows in return.

Dave bows again.

The Prime Minister bows again.

Dave bows again.  The Prime Minister bows again.

CLOSER

LOSER

Dave head-fakes but the Prime Minister bows anyway.  Dave
lets out an ear to ear grin as the SHUTTERS FIRE once more...

                                                       CUT TO:

JAY LENO (THE TONIGHT SHOW) - FULL SHOT

He stands in front of those famous curtains doing his nightly
monologue.

                      LENO
          How 'bout the President these days
          huh?  One minute he has a stroke the
          next he's doing push-ups.  Must make
          it a lot easier on the Secret Service
          when all they have to worry about is
          Kryptonite.

The audience claps in approval...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. EAST WING - DAY

Dave moves through the East Wing with an entourage of
Presidential aides.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dave glances to his right and hesitates for a moment.  There,
in her own suite of offices, is Ellen Mitchell with her back
to Dave, talking on the phone.

ANGLE - DAVE

He's drawn momentarily to her presence, but is forced to
continue down the hallway with his entourage...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT.  CABINET ROOM - DAY

He sits at the center of the long cabinet table, surrounded
by the 14 members.  Dave clutches a stack of 3x5 cards, as he
glances around the room.

DAVE - Rev.  7/27/92                                  51A.

                      DAVE
               (reading from the first
               card)
          Okay -- first we're gonna hear from
          Ted on the land management
          legislation...

CLOSEUP - DAVE

He glances back toward Bob and Reed with a proud look on his
face...

                                                       CUT TO:

OMITTED

INT. DAVE'S ROOM - NIGHT

He stands by the President's bureau, looking through the
drawers.  Dave pulls out some socks and an old used hair net.
He discards it quickly and moves onto the next.  Dave opens
the bottom drawer and glances down at the contents.  He pauses
for a moment, drawn by what he sees.

CLOSER

Dave reaches down and pulls a framed picture from the
President's bottom drawer.

INSERT - PICTURE FRAME

A young, happy Bill Mitchell stands next to his bride.  He
wears a morning-coat and top hat with the biggest smile in
the world.   Of course, a young Bill Mitchell could just as
easily be a young Dave Kovic...

                      ANGLE - DAVE
          He stares at the photograph of "him"
          and Ellen, reliving a history that he
          never experienced.

                                                       CUT TO:

OMITTED

INT.  FIRST LADY'S OFFICE - DAY

It is more functional than ornamental.  The Chippendale
furniture is covered up with papers and boxes and large stacks
of newsclippings.   Several aides move in and out of the room
while a MUTED TV set plays in the b.g.

                      ELLEN
               (into phone)
          You're misinterpreting it, Nathan --
          that's not what the study said.  It
          said if the mother got less than 1100
          calories the child would risk
          a low birthrate...

As an aide comes up to her with a small stack of papers, Ellen
notices the TV.

                      ELLEN
          Nathan?... Hang on a second.
               (to the aide)
          Will you turn that thing up?

CLOSEUP - TELEVISION SET (THE McLAUGHLIN GROUP)

McLAUGHLIN GROUP - DAY

Part wrestling match, part news analysis, part Roman circus:
the most famous political talk show in America is well
underway:

                      MCLAUGHLIN
          Issue One:  'The New Bill Mitchell.'
          Two weeks after his brush with death
          the President is suddenly bounding
          around the country with the energy of
          a high school track star.  Is this
          merely overcompensation or the
          indefatigable greatness of a truly
          great man.
               (turning to Kondracke)
          Mor-ton...

                      MORT KONDRACKE
          Well, he looks pretty great to me.  I
          think the President is showing the
          same strength of character he did when
          he first got elected.

                      ELEANOR CLIFT
          You know, Mort, every time this guy has
          a blip in the polls you start
          genuflecting...

                      MORT KONDRACKE
               (defensive)
          Hey -- I think he looks great.

                      CHRIS MATHEWS
               (cutting in)
          Yeah, he looks great 'cause they're
          makin' him look great.  This puppet
          show at the auto plant was the most
          manipulative piece of political theater
          I've ever seen.

                      FRED BARNES
          Oh, come on, Chris.  You're just steamed
          'cause he's doing well.

                      CHRIS MATHEWS
          I am not...

                      FRED BARNES
          Is he doing well?

                      CHRIS MATHEWS
          Well... Yeah... He's doing well...

                      MCLAUGHLIN
               (the final word)
          Answer:  He's doing very well.  We'll
          get to predictions right after this.

The THEME MUSIC COMES UP as they go to commercial.

INT. FIRST LADY'S OFFICE - CLOSEUP - ELLEN - DAY

She stares at the set, skeptically...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BALTIMORE MEMORIAL STADIUM - NIGHT

Dave stands at the edge of the grass in an Oriole's jacket
with "PREZ" on the back. The manager of the team hands him a
baseball while forty thousand fans stand cheering at their
seats.

                      PUBLIC ADDRESS ANNOUNCER (V.0.)
          Ladies and gentlemen, throwing out the
          ceremonial first pitch...
               (pause)
          The President of the United States.

Dave hops over the little railing that separates his box from
the field.  The catcher stands a few feet away giving him a
target with the glove, but Dave shakes his head and waves him
over to the mound.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

The catcher looks a little baffled as Dave strides across the
foul line with a grin on his face. The forty thousand fans
start to go wild as he climbs up on the mound, tucking the
ball behind his back.

REVERSE ANGLE - CATCHER

He stands at the plate sticking out his glove to give Dave a
bigger target.    The President looks at him for a second,
then motions him into a crouch.

ANGLE - DAVE

He spits on the mound and spreads his fingers in a fork- ball
grip.   The catcher sinks into a crouch as Dave goes into a
wind-up and busts off a perfect curve-ball.  The catcher looks
at it astonished as it "breaks" into his mitt.   The crowd
goes nuts...

                                                       CUT TO:

OMITTED

"LARRY KING LIVE" - DAY                                  A75

Larry sits at his desk with his famous stand-up mike in front
of him.

                      LARRY KING
          We're back with Oliver Stone, talking
          about what seems like a pretty far-
          fetched theory...

                      WIDER
          Oliver Stone sits across the desk.

                      OLIVER STONE
          There's something going on here, Larry,
          and no one is telling us the truth.

                      LARRY KING
          Oliver, the guy had a little stroke.
          He's enjoying life a little...

                      OLIVER STONE
               (leaning forward; half
               whisper)
          If you look at a photograph of Bill
          Mitchell before the stroke, and another
          one right after...

                      LARRY KING
          Aren't you being a little paranoid?

                      OLIVER STONE
          Have you compared the photographs?

Larry King looks at him and shakes his head...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. DAVE'S ROOM - NIGHT

He lies on his bed, with the remote control in his hand, doing
a split-second tour of the channels.  Dave looks toward the
French doors that lead to the fourth floor balcony.

EXT. BALUSTRADE - NIGHT

Dave tosses open the door and steps outside.  He stretches
out his limbs, staring at the magnificent view of the city.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

He looks off toward the other side of the White House; Ellen's
side.  A single curtain billows out of an open window.  Dave
can't help himself.  He starts across the terrace.

                      FOLLOWING DAVE
          Dave reaches the open doorway and slides
          quickly against the wall.   Slowly,
          carefully he bends his head and peeks
          into the room.

INT. ELLEN'S BEDROOM - DAVE1S POV

She sits on her bed, surrounded by some work papers.  In the
warm light of the room, through the billowing curtains, Ellen's
skin seems to glow.   She stops reading for a moment and
brushes aside a loose strand of hair.

EXT. BALUSTRADE - WIDER

Dave stares at her, transfixed.   Suddenly, a light comes on
in a nearby room causing Dave to jump back with a start.   He
sneaks a final peek and hurries toward his room...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. REED'S OFFICE - DAY

He sits at his white marble Italian desk, talking on the phone
when Bob comes storming into the room.

                      REED
               (checking his schedule)
          Okay, let's see... you can have him on
          Tuesday the 25th...

                      BOB (O.S.)
          Are you out of your mind?

WIDER

He bangs down a copy of the week's schedule, looking Reed in
the eye.

                      REED
          Uh, let me get back to you...

                      BOB
          You scheduled a whole day with the
          First Lady?

                      REED
               (hanging up)
          It's a homeless shelter.

                      BOB
          Oh.  Excuse me.

                      REED
          It's gonna be great.  'Caring about
          his wife.'  'Spending time on her
          favorite issue...'

                      BOB
          I don't want him caring about his wife!
          What about the Vice President!

                      REED
          Remember that First Liberty stuff we
          almost got nailed on?

                      BOB


Yeah...

                      REED
          I just dumped it on him instead.

Bob looks at him stunned.

                      BOB
          When does it break?

                      REED
               (shrugging)
          Couple of days.
               (showing him a folder)
          Anyhow, look at these tracking polls,
          they'll burn up in your hands: seventy-
          three percent with seniors, eighty-
          four with working mothers...

                      BOB
               (a little uneasy)
          Alan, we still have to control this
          guy...

                      REED
               (ignoring him)
          And look at this.  Russell came around
          on the trade bill.

                      BOB
               (stunned)
          You're kidding.

                      REED
          How long have you been waiting to pass
          that thing?

                      BOB
          Three years.

                      REED
          I'm telling you, Bob,  it's a gift.
          When you got a Ferrari you don't leave
          it in the garage.

                                                       CUT TO:

PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE - AERIAL SHOT - DAY                80

The long line of black limousines and police motorcycles makes
its way through downtown Washington.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE

Dave sits next to the First Lady in the back seat of the limo.
Both of them stare straight ahead.   Finally, after several
seconds of silence, Ellen turns to Dave.

                      ELLEN
          Why are you doing this, Bill?

He looks over at her, startled.

                      DAVE
          What?

                      ELLEN
               (irritated)
          Since when do you care about the
          homeless?

Dave thinks for a moment.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          I care about the homeless.

                      ELLEN
          Yeah.  I'm sure it's keeping you up
          nights.

She turns away from him, twisting in the seat.  The bottom of
Ellen's skirt hikes up her thigh, exposing the top part of
her leg.  Dave looks down at it, drawn to the sight of naked
flesh.  Sensing something, Ellen glances back and catches him
looking.

                      CLOSER
          Their eyes lock for a moment.  Dave
          smiles quickly and glances out the
          window.  Ellen looks down at her own
          leg a little puzzled.

EXT. HELPING HAND SHELTER - DAY

The sidewalk is teeming with press.  The shelter itself is
painted a bright shade of blue - - a cheery little island in
a sea of graffiti.  A small group of community leaders waits
by the front door while the Presidential limousine pulls up
to the curb.

CLOSER

The door pops open as Ellen and Dave step out.  He turns and
waves to the crowd while she stares straight ahead.  Reed
hurries up to them.

                      REED
               (under his breath)
          Okay, it's straight klick and smile
          but there's a great visual in the
          kitchen so make sure you stop at the
          soup.

She shoots him a glare as they reach the top of the stairs.
Dave nods and they move forward to greet the community leaders.

INT.  SHELTER

He takes a couple of steps inside, then suddenly stops.  The
smile fades as his eyes go wide.

DAVE'S POV

It is more a nursery school than a homeless shelter.  Twenty
to thirty children, most of them black, stand formally
assembled in front of the President.

                      ELLEN
               (good at this)
          One of the things they're trying to do
          here at Helping Hand, is keep verbal
          skills alive.  The first thing that
          goes with these kids is their ability
          to communicate and they need to get to
          them before this happens.

She glances over her shoulder.  Dave has wandered forward to
the edge of the large rubber mat.  Everyone stares, stunned,
as he looks at the kids for a moment, then sinks suddenly to
his knees.

                      DAVE
               (quietly)
          Hi there.

ANGLE - PRESS CORPS

The cameras surge forward to the side of the play area.  The
SHUTTERS FIRE WILDLY as Dave glances up at the cardboard cut-
outs.

                      DAVE
               (quietly)
          You like cartoons?

The kids don't respond.  They stare at the crush of reporters
and glancing TV lights.

                      DAVE
               (turning toward the
               cameras)
          Could you just stop that for a second.

Everyone freezes.  The camera crews back up a step as Dave
turns back toward the kids.

                      DAVE
               (softer)
          You like Tweety Bird?

A few of them nod.

CLOSEUP - ELLEN

She stares in disbelief as her husband sits cross-legged in
the middle of the mat.  He leans forward, into the children,
talking like a kindergarten teacher.

ANGLE - PLAY AREA

                      DAVE
          So, which one do you like?

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD tugs gently at his sleeve.  He wears donated
overalls and a N.Y. Mets T-shirt.

                      KID (FOUR-YEAR-OLD)
               (in a lisp)
          Sylvester.

                      DAVE
               (smiling)
          Sylvester?

The boy nods.

                      DAVE
          But he's a cat.

ANGLE - REED

He beams from ear to ear as the photo-op materializes in front
of his eyes. Dave glances over at him, cupping his hand in a
whisper.

                      DAVE
               (side of his mouth)
          Gimme a quarter.

                      REED
               (confused)
          What?

                      DAVE
          Quick.  Gimme a quarter.

WIDER

Reed fishes through his pockets and comes up with a coin.  He
moves to the mat, slipping it to Dave.

ANGLE - DAVE

                      DAVE
               (leaning forward)
          Okay - - what can run all day without
          getting tired.

The kid looks at him, baffled.  Dave reaches out slowly and
taps the side of his nose.  DAVE

                      (GENTLY)
          Well, it's not your ear.

                      KID
               (lighting up)
          My nose?

ANGLE - ELLEN

She watches in amazement as her husband reaches out and
"magically" produces a quarter from the side of the child's
nose.  Dave looks up at her with a smile, and their eyes lock
as a hundred shutters fire at once...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. "NIGHTLINE" - FULL SHOT - TED KOPPEL - NIGHT

                      KOPPEL
          What makes a man rise to a particular
          moment in history?  What makes a man
          in the thicket of middle age, suddenly
          rediscover himself with the wonder of
          a child.

CLOSER (SWITCHING CAMERAS)

                      KOPPEL
          Later on tonight, we'll talk with Dr.
          Henry Mueller who is an expert in the
          psychological effects of a mid-life
          health crisis... and to Gail Sheehy,
          who has just co-authored a book on
          male menopause.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

The sound of a MAN HUMMING "Hail to the Chief" plays O.S.

DAVE - Rev. 7/22/92                                  63.

INT. PRESIDENT'S BATHROOM - NIGHT

Steam billows up in the shower while Dave scrubs shampoo into
his hair.  He massages it vigorously into his scalp while the
humming continues.

                      DAVE
          `Bum, bum da dum...'

He rinses it out and reaches for the soap.   It's a small
soap on a rope" designed to look like the Presidential seal...

                      WOMAN
          I can't believe you'd do something
          like that.  Not even you.

                      WIDER
          The door to the shower swings open as
          Ellen materializes.  No queen of England
          ever looked more regal than Ellen
          Mitchell in her cloud of steam.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

                      ELLEN
          How could you?

Dave jumps with a start, then turns away from her quickly,
bashfully facing the tile.   He looks back at Ellen over his
shoulder.

                      DAVE
          ... How could I what?

                      ELLEN
          Oh, come on, Bill.  Don't patronize
          me.   I'm not one of your little...
               (beat)
          Turn around.  I'm talking to you!...
          Turnaround!

Dave steels himself then turns slowly around to face her.  He
strikes a "stoic" pose.

                      ELLEN
               (trembling slightly)
          ... You know, if you want to be the
          same old bastard, that's fine.  I can
          handle it.   But don't pull
          this 'man of the people' bullshit and
          then do something like this.

                      DAVE
               (frozen; feeling - very
               exposed)
          I don't understand.

                      ELLEN
               (exasperated)
          That's not just a works bill you vetoed --
          that would have given these kids
          homes...
               (losing it a little)
          ... When I think about that little
          spectacle you pulled with those muppets
          and that magic trick...

                      DAVE
          What's wrong with a magic trick?

                      ELLEN
          You made their funding disappear!

Dave recoils a little.

                      DAVE
          Look.  If there was some mistake...

                      ELLEN
               (in a rage)
          There's no mistake, Bill.   If you
          veto their funding, it's not a mistake.
          If you hurt someone intentionally,
          it's not a mistake.

She turns and leaves through the steam disappearing as suddenly
as she came.  Dave hesitates for an instant, then starts right
after her.

INT. HALLWAY

Duane is seated at his regular post when Ellen comes stalking
out of Dave's suite. He looks up in amazement as Dave runs
out a moment later.   He's dripping wet and clutching a bath
towel around his waist.

                      DAVE
               (turning to Duane)
          Call Bob and Reed.  Tell them I need
          them immediately.

                      DUANE
          But it's ten-thirty at night.

Dave turns and gives him a "Presidential" glare.

                      DUANE
               (backing off)
          Yeah, sure. You got it.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Dave is seated at his desk, hair still wet, dressed in the
Presidential jogging suit. The door bursts open.  It's Bob
and Reed.

                      BOB
          What the hell is this?

                      DAVE
          What the hell is this ?

Bob and Reed cross over toward the desk as Dave slams down a
copy of rolled up newspaper.

                      BOB
               (looking at it)
          The Washington Post.

                      DAVE
               (pounding his finger on
               the front page)
          No...

Bob glances at the paper then hands it to Reed.

                      REED
               (looking at it; shrugging)
          President vetoes works bill?

                      DAVE
          We vetoed that?

                      BOB
               (a slow boil)
          No!...  WE didn't anything...

                      REED
               (interceding)
          Dave, these things get awfully
          complicated sometimes...

                      DAVE
          That shelter was in this bill.

                      BOB
               (losing it)
          Alan

                      DAVE
          Lots of shelters were in this bill.

                      BOB
               (moving toward him))
          Listen, you little...

                      REED
               (cutting in)
          Dave, the budget's a very complicated
          thing.  Even I don't understand it
          sometimes.  Now occasionally we have
          to make some cuts and...

                      DAVE
          But we went there.  We saw those kids.

                      BOB
          Yeah. And if you can find a way to cut
          THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS
          from the federal budget, then you can
          keep your lousy shelters, okay.

Dave just looks at him for a moment.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY

A small Ford Escort with a Thrifty rent-a-car sticker pulls
up to the East Gate of the White House.  It stops just short
of the guard station, then rolls forward a few feet and stops
again.

ANGLE - MURRAY

He leans out of the window, squinting into the sun.  Murray
holds a mangled map of Washington in his hand.

                      MURRAY
               (terrified)
          I'm here to see... the President?

The guard looks at him without responding.

                      MURRAY
          He asked me to come.

The guard reaches for the phone and dials a few numbers.
Murray jiggles nervously in his seat.

INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

He sits in the exact same chair that Dave occupied on his
arrival.  Murray stares across the Oval Office with a terrified
look on his face.

                      MURRAY
               (urgent whisper)
          I'm serious, Dave -- you could get in
          a lot of trouble for something like
          this.

                      DAVE
          It's fine.

                      MURRAY
          They could put you in jail.

                      DAVE
          Why would they do that.  They hired
          me.

Murray just stares at him.

                      DAVE
          It's kind of a national emergency thing.
          I can't really talk about it...
               (confidentially)
          Paying me big money too.   C'mere.

He leads Murray from the chair to the other side of the desk.
Dave reaches down opening the bottom drawer.

                      DAVE
          See.

INSERT - DESK DRAWER

It is full of money.   Neat little stacks of hundred dollar
bills.

                      ANGLE - MURRAY
          He looks at it wide-eyed,  frozen by
          what he sees.

                      MURRAY
               (whispering; indicating
               the walls)
          Are we being taped?

                      DAVE
          I don't think so

                      MURRAY
          This is undeclared income.

                      DAVE
          And who's gonna find out?

                      MURRAY
          The government

                      DAVE
          I am the government.

Murray turns and looks at his best friend, speechless.   He
stares at Dave for a couple of seconds when a strange look of
wonder crosses his face.

                      DAVE
          I know -- kind of wild, huh?
               (beat)
          Let's get to work.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT

A light is burning in the second floor residence.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL DINING ROOM - LATER

It is a large oak-lined room in the private residence.  Dave
and Murray sit on either side of a huge dining table with
papers strewn all around them.  In front of Murray sits a
large, leather bound volume of the federal budget.

                      MURRAY
          I gotta tell ya, Dave.  I've been going
          over this a bunch of times and a lot
          of this stuff just doesn't add up.
               (beat)
          Who does these books?

                      DAVE
          I'm not sure.

                      MURRAY
          I just think they make this stuff a
          lot more complicated than it has to
          be.

                      DAVE
          I'm not surprised.
               (beat)
          Can we save anywhere?

                      MURRAY
          Well, yeah.  But you gotta start making
          some choices.

                      DAVE
          Choices?

                      MURRAY
          You know -- priorities.
               (thinking)
          Remember when you couldn't get your
          car fixed `cause you wanted to get
          that piano?

                      DAVE
               (hopefully)
          You could buy it on payments.

                      MURRAY
               (thumping the budget)
          Yeah.  That's how you end up with a
          400 billion dollar deficit.

                      DAVE
          So what do we do?

                      MURRAY
          Well, there's lots of places where I
          think you can save, but I'm not the
          one who's ....... I mean, I'm not the
          one who's not the Pres...

                      DAVE
               (cutting him off)
          It's alright.  I know what you mean.
          Let's start at the top.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. CABINET ROOM - DAY

It is jammed to capacity.

The CABINET SECRETARIES are seated around the table while the
White House staff lines the walls.   Three television crews
are poised in the far corner of the room.

ANGLE - DOORWAY

Reed enters and crosses to Dave's regular spot at the cabinet
table.   He places a stack of 3 x 5 filing cards next to his
water glass and retreats to his seat along the wall.

INT. HALLWAY

Bob moves down the corridor with a little spring in his step.
He is actually whistling a cheery tune as he carries the
morning edition of the Washington Post.

INT. CABINET ROOM

Bob enters with a great big grin and even says hello to C a
couple of aides.

                      CLOSER ANGLE
          Bob sits down next to Reed unfolding a
          copy of the paper.

                      BOB
               (whispers)
          Its a work of art.  Look at this thing.

Reed glances down at the paper.

                      BOB
               (reads softly)
          `Vice President's office linked to
          First Liberty scandal. Justice
          Department may investigate.'
               (beat)
          Alan, you're a genius -- we're on our
          way!

Bob looks up and glances around.

                      BOB
               (pause)
          What's with the cameras?

                      REED
          Hundredth cabinet meeting.  I thought
          it was a nice touch.

                      BOB
               (benignly)
          Oh.  Fine.

                      ANGLE - DOORWAY
          Dave enters suddenly, moving quickly
          into the room.  He nods to the various
          staff members, crossing to his seat.

                      DAVE
          Good morning, everybody.

                      CABINET
          Good morning, Mr. President.

Dave takes a stack of index cards from his own pocket and S
places them next to Reed's.  He leans forward, clearing his
throat.

                      DAVE
               (purposefully)
          Before we get started today there are
          a few things I'd like to go over in
          the budget.

CLOSEUP - BOB

He glances up from his report and leans over to Reed.

                      BOB
               (whispering)
          Do we have anything on the budget today?

                      REED
               (stunned)
          I don't think so.

They look slowly toward the table...

                      ANGLE - DAVE
          He clutches one of the 3 x 5 cards in
          his hand.

                      DAVE
          Now I think I've found some ways to
          put back the homeless section of the
          Simpson Garner works bill.

ANGLE - CABINET TABLE

A slight murmur moves through the Cabinet.

                      BOB
               (standing up)
          Uh, Mr. President... I don't believe
          that's on your agenda today.

                      DAVE
               (pleasantly)
          Well it's a last minute change.

Bob goes completely white as Dave turns back to the Cabinet
table.

SHOT - DAVE

                      DAVE
          The way I see it we need three hundred
          and fifty million dollars in order to
          keep the program.   Now some of this
          can be achieved through some simple
          changes in cash management.  For
          example...

He leans forward onto the table, reading from his card.

                      DAVE
          According to the O.M.B. we have
          seventeen defense contractors who are
          delinquent in their contracts.
               (scanning the table)
          Is that true?

                      DIRECTOR OF O.M.B.
          Uh... I believe so...  Yes.

                      DAVE
          So even though they're late, we keep
          paying them on time?

                      DIRECTOR OF O.M.B.
          Well -- in a sense... yeah.

                      DAVE
          Now instead of giving them money for
          something they haven't finished, we
          could hold back that cash, put it aside
          in some interest bearing...

CLOSEUP - BOB

                      BOB
               (leaping suddenly to
               his feet)
          Mr. President!

ANGLE - DAVE

He turns slowly around in his chair.

                      DAVE
               (daring him)
          Yes?

BOB'S POV

He looks at Dave, then out into the room.  Twelve Cabinet
Secretaries, the White House staff and three network TV crews
are focused right at him.

WIDER ANGLE

He stands there, frozen in the glare of the TV lights.  Bob
looks at them for a moment then sinks slowly into his seat.

                      BOB
               (tightly)
          .. Nothing.

                      DAVE
               (smiling quietly)
          Great.

He turns back to the table clutching the card in his hand.

                      DAVE
          Like I was saying, if we took that
          cash and stuck it in even an ordinary
          savings account,  we'd be making twelve
          million a month in interest.

A murmur goes around the table.  The SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
shifts a little in his chair.

                      SECRETARY OF TREASURY
          Well, technically that's true...

He thinks about it for a moment...

                      SECRETARY OF TREASURY
          Yes.  Yes, I suppose that's true.

ANGLE - BOB

He has taken a handful of curtain and twisted it uncon-
sciously into a rope.  Reed stares straight ahead, stunned.

ANGLE-DAVE

                      DAVE
          But unfortunately, money management
          only gets us halfway to our goal.  To
          find the rest of the money, we're going
          to have to start making some choices - -
          some pretty tough choices...

SHOT - BOB

He seizes Reed's tie, pulling him over.

                      BOB
               (loud whisper)
          Choices???

ANGLE - DAVE

                      DAVE
               (hearing him)
          Yes, Bob.   Choices... Now the
          Commerce Department..,

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
               (sitting erect)
          Yes, Mr. President?

                      DAVE
               (from a card)
          You're spending forty-three million
          dollars on an ad campaign to...
               (reading)
          'Boost consumer confidence in the
          American auto industry.'

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          And it's proving quite effective...

                      DAVE
          Does it make the cars any better?

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          No,  sir.  It's more of a perceptual
          issue.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Perceptual?

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          Yes, it's designed to bolster individual
          confidence in a previous domestic
          automotive purchase.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Why?

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          Well... to shore up product
          identification and preserve market
          share.

                      DAVE
          So we're spending forty-seven million
          dollars to make people feel better
          about a car they've already bought?

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          Yes, but I wouldn't...

                      DAVE
               (indignant)
          Well I'm sure that's really important,
          but I don't want to tell some eight-
          year-old kid he has to sleep in the
          street because we want people to feel
          better about their cars.
               (beat)
          Do you want to tell him that?

He gestures toward the TV cameras in the room.

                      SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
          Me?   Uh, no sir... I sure don't.

ANGLE - BOB AND REED

Bob fumes at this but a slight smile actually starts to creep
up the side of Reed's face.

                      ANGLE - DAVE
          He pulls out a pen and jots down a
          figure...

                      DAVE
          Good.  That gives us another forty-
          seven million.   Now the Postal
          Service...

                      POSTMASTER GENERAL
               (sitting up)
          Yes, Mr. President!

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

SAME SCENE - LATER

Dave's tie is loosened at his throat and there are notes spread
out around him. The Cabinet leans forward in their seats.

                      DAVE
          Okay, so that makes...
               (whispering)
          ... Two, eighty-four, carry the three...
               (pause)
          ... Three hundred and fifty-six million.
               (looking up with a smile)
          ... And that means we can keep the
          program.

WIDE ANGLE - CABINET ROOM

The entire room bursts into applause. Bob fumes silently from
his spot along the wall as the ovation continues around him.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY

The door to the cabinet room bursts open as the mob pours
into the hall.

                      VARIOUS CABINET MEMBERS
          Wonderful job, sir... Fantastic, Mr.
          President.

Dave moves down the corridor followed by the throng.

INT. CABINET ROOM

Bob stands very still in the center of the empty room.  Reed
blocks the door a few feet away.

                      REED
          What are you gonna do?

                      BOB
               (quietly)
          I'm going to kill him.

                      REED
          You can't kill a President.

Bob looks at him for a moment, then suddenly explodes.

                      BOB
          He's not a President! He's an ordinary
          person.  I can kill an ordinary person.

                      REED
          Bob...

                      BOB
          I can kill a HUNDRED ordinary people.

                      REED
          He's only doing what you told him to.

                      BOB
               (stunned)
          What I told him to?

                      REED
          I heard you.  You said 'cut three
          hundred million dollars from the federal
          budget, and you can keep your homeless
          shelter.'

                      BOB
          Well, I didn't mean it, Alan. Why the
          fuck would I want to save a homeless
          shelter?

                      REED
          He was only doing his job.

Bob looks at him for a moment then erupts all over again.

                      BOB
          His job? His job!!!

He lunges for the door while Reed grabs him around the waist.

DAVE - Rev. 6/9/92                                  78.

                      BOB
          It's not his job -- It's my job!

                      REED
          Bob...

                      BOB
               (thrashing around)
          Was he a senator? Is he on the
          Trilateral Commission? Was he in Who's
          Who In Washington NINE YEARS Reed
          wrestles him away from the door, as
          Bob struggles to get free.  I'll destroy
          him, Alan. I'll shred the bastard!!!

                      REED
          Don't do this.

                      BOB
          I'll lock him away for good.

                      REED
          Then we'll all go to jail together.

Bob stops struggling suddenly and backs up a step. His eyes
narrow to tiny slits.

                      BOB
          What do you mean by that?

                      REED
               (smoothing out his suit)
          Just what you think I mean.

                      BOB
               (stunned)
          Are you threatening me?

                      REED
               (thinking about it)
          Sort of... Yeah.

Bob looks at him for a moment.


                                                       CUT TO:

INT. FIRST LADY'S OFFICE - DAY

Ellen is in a meeting with a few people when a MALE AIDE flies
through the door handing her the afternoon paper.

                      AIDE
          You won't believe this.

CLOSEUP - USA TODAY

The large banner headline stretches across the top of the
page, which reads: "PRESIDENT SAVES HOMELESS PLAN.  MITCHELL
WORKS BUDGET MIRACLE."

                      ELLEN
               (realizing)
          `Saves homeless plan'?

SHOT - ELLEN

She stares at it stunned for a moment,  then lowers the paper
and looks off into space...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE DRIVEWAY - NIGHT

Murray and Dave stand beside the Thrifty rent-a-car as the
sun begins to dip behind the trees.

                      DAVE
          Thanks. You did great.  Maybe later
          you could come back and we could go to
          Camp David or something.

                      MURRAY
               (climbing in)
          That'd be great.

                      DAVE
               (looking at his friend)
          Well -- take care.

Murray FIRES UP the ENGINE as Dave steps back from the car.

                      MURRAY
               (looking back)
          Yeah.  Don't get into trouble.

                      WIDER ANGLE
          He throws the car into gear and starts
          down the long, bending driveway toward
          the gate.  Dave watches from the edge
          of the lawn with a fond look on his
          face...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. RED ROOM - NIGHT

Duane and Dave are seated across the card table from one
another.   Duane's shoulder holster is slung over the back of
the chair.   They are drinking beers.

                      DUANE
          Gin.

He lays down his cards, fanning them out in front of Dave.

                      DAVE
               (grimacing)
          I was waiting for that jack.

                      DUANE
          I had a feeling.

Duane Scoops UP the cards and begins to Shuffle.

                      DAVE
          Duane?
                      DUANE
          Yeah?

                      (BEAT) DAVE
          How come you went along with all of
          this?

Duane Stops Shuffling and Stares at him for a moment.

                      DUANE
          You mean with you and everything?

                      DAVE
          Yeah.

                      DUANE
               (shrugs)
          `Bleed for your king.'

                      DAVE
          What's that?

                      DUANE
          First thing they teach you at the
          academy.
               (remembering their motto)
          `Don't give me gold and silver, or
          other worldly things, just the pride
          and glory of bleeding for my King.'

                      DAVE
          You're kidding.

                      DUANE
          No... They don't kid.

Dave nods solemnly as Duane stares straight ahead.

                      DAVE
          But Bill was your king, not Bob.

                      DUANE
          Yeah, but Bob found me when I was stuck
          in Firearms and Tobacco...

                      DUANE
               (thinks)
          We're trained to be loyal.  You gotta
          be loyal to someone.

They sit for a moment in silence.   Duane checks his watch.

                      DAVE
          Didn't mean to bum you out.

                      DUANE
          That's okay.  You alright down here by
          yourself?

                      DAVE
          Oh, sure.  Don't worry about it.

He nods and heads for the door as Dave picks up the cards.
He begins to deal out some solitaire,  then senses something
and looks toward the door.

DAVE'S POV

Ellen stands silhouetted in the doorway wearing a floor- length
dressing gown.

                      ELLEN
               (quietly)
          Hello.

ANGLE - DAVE

Ellen walks forward into the light, tightening the belt at
her waist.

                      DAVE
          Ellen?

                      ELLEN
          I saw the light.  I thought maybe you
          were up.

                      DAVE
               (startled)
          Oh... Yeah.

                      ELLEN
          Mind if I sit down?

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          No.

He scoops up the cards trying to tidy some of the bottles.
She studies his face for a couple of seconds then sits down
at the table.

                      ELLEN
          That was quite a thing you did today.

                      DAVE
          Anybody would have done it.

                      ELLEN
          Oh, I don't think so.
               (staring at him)
          Still, you helped a lot of people.

She continues to stare as Dave looks away.

                      ELLEN
          Kind of reminds me of that thing you
          did back in the state legislature.

                      DAVE
          Oh yeah?
               (nervous)
          Me, too.

                      ELLEN
          You weren't in the state legislature.

Dave freezes with the deck in his hand.    All at once, Ellen
smiles and extends her arm over the table.

                      ELLEN
          I'm Ellen Mitchell.

His eyes go wide.  Dave sits stunned trying his best to
swallow.

                      ELLEN
               (softly)
          What's your name?

Dave stares at her, but no words come out.   She leans forward
looking right at him.

                      ELLEN
               (evenly)
          Look, I'll make this easy on you.  I
          never see him anymore.  I barely know
          him anymore.  I'd just kinda like to
          know where he is.

Dave looks at her, nervously.

                      ELLEN
          I mean, what is it?  Another Secretary?
          A jaunt to the Bahamas with Some
          'campaign worker.'  Where is he?

                      DAVE
               (pause)
          I don't know.

She looks at him, waiting for a moment.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. ELEVATOR - NIGHT

Dave, Ellen and Duane stare straight ahead as they descend
into the sub-basement.

                      DUANE
               (beat)
          I really shouldn't be doing this.

No one replies as the elevator doors slide open.

INT. SUB-BASEMENT - CORRIDOR

A lone Secret Service man is stationed outside a solid metal
door as the three of them approach - - Duane hesitates and
looks at Dave.

                      DAVE
               (calmly)
          Open it.

Duane looks back at the two of them.

                      ELLEN
          Just open it, please.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

The door swings open as a middle-aged woman in a white uniform
appears.  Even in the dim light of the hallway it's clear she
is a NURSE.

                      NURSE
          I'm sorry, you're not allowed...

                      DUANE
               (flashing an I.D.)
          It's alright.

                      NURSE
          Mr. Alexander left strict...

Before she can even finish Ellen steps quickly by her into
the room.  The Nurse recognizes her and just gapes as Duane
and Dave enter as well.

INT. BASEMENT ROOM

It is dimly lit like the hallway, except for a group of
machines in the corner.  Next to them, a state-of-the-art
hospital bed holds the President's lifeless body.  Ellen moves
up to the side of the bed.

                      ELLEN
          What happened?

                      DUANE
          It's the stroke.  It's pretty bad.

                      ELLEN
          I don't understand. Is he,  I mean...

There's a pause.  The Nurse looks down.   Ellen clutches the
railings of the bed.

                      DUANE
          I'm sorry.

All at once she starts to cry.  Dave moves over to try to
comfort her when she shakes him off violently.

                      ELLEN
          Don't touch me, please.

Dave recoils.   She turns to him with an enraged look in her
eye.   He moves back a step.

                      ELLEN
               (furious)
          When were you all planning to
          tell me? A year from now?   After the
          election...
               (whirling on him)
          What's going on here?

Dave hesitates.

                      DAVE
          They asked me to help.

                      ELLEN
          I'm sure they did.  'State of
          Emergency.'  'National Security.' You
          ever hear of the Constitution?

He doesn't respond.  Ellen glares at him for a moment, then
glances around the room...

                      ELLEN
          Could all of you just leave me alone
          for a minute.

                      NURSE
          I'm really not supposed to...

                      ELLEN
          Get out!

Dave motions toward Duane as the two of them guide the nurse
into the hallway.  They shut the door behind them.

CLOSEUP - ELLEN

She stares down at the lifeless body while the sound of the
RESPIRATOR fills the room.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. ELLEN'S ROOM - LATER

Suitcases are flung open and she kneels on the floor.  Ellen
throws piles of clothing into the large open valise when she
senses something and glances up..

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dave is standing in the doorway.  She looks at him for a
moment, but goes right back to packing.  He stands in the
doorway, staring while she crams some shoes in the bag.

                      DAVE
          You're leaving?

                      ELLEN
               (clipped)
          I'm not the First Lady, anymore.  I
          shouldn't be here.

                      DAVE
          Where are you going?

                      ELLEN
          Home.

She grabs a blouse from the bed and flings t into the suitcase.

                      DAVE
          Where's home?

                      ELLEN
               (looking up)
          Oh, they didn't brief you on that?
          How sloppy of them.

She looks at Dave and stops.  All at once Ellen stops packing
and lowers a shoe to her side.

HER POV - REVERSE ANGLE

Dave stands in the doorway with a small valise in his hand.
He looks like he did a month ago, with the tortoise shell
glasses and his old blue windbreaker. The valise is a tiny
overnight bag with small black handles.  A seal of the
President embossed into the leather.

                      DAVE
               (shrugging)
          Just souvenirs.  Towels and stuff.

                      ELLEN
               (beat)
          You1re leaving, too?

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          I never wanted to hurt anybody.
               (beat)
          In fact... I even thought I was helping.

Ellen just looks at him for a moment.  Her mouth opens slightly
but no words come out.

                      DAVE
          Hey... It's...

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          Ellen is crying.  She shakes her head
          and turns away from him.

                      DAVE
          Here.

Dave unzips the valise and fishes out a hanky.  The
Presidential Seal is nicely embroidered in one corner.  Ellen
looks down at it and smiles slightly.

                      ELLEN
          You know you make this little deal
          with yourself.

                      ELLEN
          You can put up with the other women
          and you can do without a life because
          you believe in what you're doing - -
          and if you can just keep your mouth
          shut...

She can't finish.

                      DAVE
          You thought you had a chance to help
          people...

Their eyes lock for an instant when she turns and goes back
to packing.

                      DAVE
               (softly)
          How were you gonna get home?

                      ELLEN
          I don't know.  I hadn't thought it out
          that far.

CLOSEUP - DAVE

He looks at her for a moment...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. SUBTERRANEAN PASSAGEWAY - NIGHT

Dave carries Ellen's suitcase in one hand and his own valise
in the other.  They step over the puddles and leaky water
pipes as they duck below the six-foot ceiling.  Dave carries
a flashlight.

                      ELLEN
          You sure this goes somewhere?

                      DAVE
          Truman used it all the time.

Dave pauses and shines the light up a leaky old set of stairs
that head off to their right.  Ellen hesitates for a moment,
looking up the staircase.

                      ELLEN
          You don't have to keep walking with
          me.   I'm okay from here.

                      DAVE
          I don't mind.

                      ELLEN
               (looking at him)
          Thanks.

Ellen hesitates for a second, then hikes up her skirt and
moves through the portal.

EXT. OLD EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT

It is directly across the street from the White House.  A
lone street lamp illuminates the corner including a small,
recessed alcove where a staircase leads up from below.

                      CLOSER SHOT
          Dave and Ellen emerge stepping out
          onto the sidewalk.

                      ELLEN
          Huh.

                      DAVE
          Duane said he'd leave the car over
          here.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

He leads Ellen around a corner where a small brown Plymouth
sits parked at the curb. Dave fishes through his pockets and
pulls out the car keys.

                      DAVE
               (handing them to her)
          Here you go.

Ellen looks down at the car keys.

                      DAVE
          He said he'll pick it up in a couple
          of days.

                      ELLEN
          Oh... Okay.

She glances at the Plymouth then back a Dave.  She just stares
at him for a moment.

                      DAVE
          What?

                      ELLEN
               (shaking her head)
          It's just so strange...

Dave looks at her.  Ellen takes a deep breath.

                      ELLEN
          I lock at you and I see Bill...
               (turning to him)
          I mean, he's almost dead, but he's
          right here... I mean, you're right
          here... alive and...

                      DAVE
          I'm not Bill Mitchell.

She looks at him.

                      DAVE
          In fact,  I'm not anything like him
          and... I guess I want you to know that.

                      ELLEN
               (quietly)
          He wasn't always like that, anyway.

Their eyes lock for a second.

                      DAVE
               (suddenly)
          Are you hungry?

                      ELLEN
               (beat)
          What?

                      DAVE
               (smiling a little)
          I'm starving.   There's got to be
          something open around here.

Ellen stares at him for a moment,  then finally smiles...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT.  7-11 - NIGHT

It is a twenty-four-hour convenience store.   Even at two in
the morning, several cars are parked in the lot.

Ellen sits on the passenger side of Plymouth with her door
locked.   Dave emerges carrying a brown paper bag.

He pops the driver's side door and hops inside.

INT. CAR

                      ELLEN
          I really don't have much of an appetite.

                      DAVE
               (looking over at her)
          Just wait.

He FIRES UP the CAR.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. "THE MALL" - NIGHT

The monuments are illuminated a glittering white.  The Lincoln
Memorial and Capitol Dome stand out against the long field of
grass.

                      ELLEN (O.S.)
               (eating Dave's "special
               sandwich")
          This is good.  What's in it?

CLOSER SHOT

They sit side by side on a raised, grassy mound at the base
of the Washington Monument.   A large bath towel is spread
out between them with the Presidential Seal at the center.
Dave's bag is opened at their side.

                      DAVE
          That's a secret.

                      ELLEN
               (taking another bite)
          You have a lot of secrets.

                      DAVE
          I guess.

AFTER A BEAT:

                      DAVE
          When did you know?... About me.

She pauses.

                      ELLEN
          I think in the car.



                      ELLEN
          The car?

                      ELLEN
          On the way to the homeless shelter.
          You looked at my leg.
               (pause)
          Bill lost interest a long time ago.

He turns and looks at her.

                      DAVE
          That's good.  I was worried it was the
          shower.

She smiles.  They are perched on a small hill overlooking the
White House.

                      ELLEN
          So what do you do the rest of the time?

                      DAVE
               (smiling)
          You mean when I'm not running the
          country?

                      ELLEN
          Yes.

                      DAVE
          I run a temp agency.

She looks at him.

                      DAVE
          You know, secretaries and stiff.

                      ELLEN
               (smiles)
          You find people jobs?

                      DAVE
          Yeah.  Is that funny?

                      ELLEN
          It's just more than anybody else does
          around here.

                      DAVE
          Well don't get carried away --
          I'm not that good at it.

She turns and studies him for a moment.

                      ELLEN
               (suddenly personal)
          And your family?   I assume you're
          married?

He turns back to her.   A couple of seconds go by.

                      DAVE
          I was... once.
               (pause)
          It didn't take.

Ellen laughs and looks out over the mall.    Dave takes another
swig of his soda.

                      ELLEN
               (quietly)
          You know, Dave -- it is Dave, isn't
          it?  I can't keep all of this a secret.

                      DAVE
          I know.

                      ELLEN
          But you could go to jail for it.

He turns and looks at her.    There doesn't seem to be any
fear.

                      DAVE
          Yeah, I know.

Ellen turns and studies him.

                      DAVE
          I liked doing it,  though.  Not the
          fancy stuff with the helicopter or the
          TV cameras but...

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Ellen keeps staring at him.    Dave glances back.

                      DAVE
          I liked saving that shelter.  I liked
          helping people I hadn't even met before.

It's quiet for a moment.    He stares back at the White House.

                      DAVE
               (pause)
          And right then I felt like I wasn't
          pretending anymore.

CLOSER

Several seconds go by.   Dave stares off at the White House
across the mall while Ellen studies his face.

                      ELLEN
          I don't think you were pretending.

Dave turns to her as their eyes lock.

                      DAVE
          I liked being married to you.

Ellen turns all the way around on the blanket staring at him
from less than a foot away.

                      ELLEN
          What would you do if you were still in
          there?  If you had one more chance to
          be President, what would you do then?

CLOSEUP - DAVE

He stares at her for a moment.

                      DAVE
               (quietly)
          Lots of things.

EXT. WHITE HOUSE GATE - NIGHT

The small brown Plymouth rolls up to the guard ate as the
uniformed officer leans out of his booth.

                      GUARD
          I'm sorry, sir.  There's no visitors...

Dave rolls down his window, showing his Presidential face to
the Guard,

                      GUARD
               (snapping to)
          Mr. President!  I'm sorry I...

                      DAVE
          Just getting some air.

                      GUARD
          Certainly, sir... How did...

Ellen leans across him toward the window.

                      ELLEN
               (confidentially)
          The President wanted some ice cream.

The Guard snaps off a crisp salute as Dave casually returns
it.  The gate raises in front of them as he steps on the gas.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. WHITE HOUSE LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT

Dave and Ellen stand at the top of the long staircase that
leads to the living quarters. Ellen looks up at him for a
moment, then smiles.

                      ELLEN
               (softly)
          ... You make a nice President, Dave
          Kovic.. . go for it.

Ellen looks him in the eye for a moment, then turns and heads
off toward her suite.  Dave stands there watching her recede
down the hall...

EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY

A lone gardener rides his lawn mower across the lawn...

WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

It is jammed full of the White House Press Corps.   A hundred
or so REPORTERS mill about while they wait for the start of a
press conference.

                      REPORTER #1
          Bet it's that Fidelity thing.

                      REPORTER #2
          Think they're gonna ditch the Veep?

The first guy nods.

                      REPORTER #1
               (confident)
          He's finished.

                      REPORTER #3
          Toast.

They all nod together.

INT. HALLWAY

Bob moves down the corridor with his briefcase in his C hand.
He glances up and notices action from the briefing room.

                      BOB
               (to himself)
          What the hell...

INT. EAST ROOM

The sound of a man desperately containing a SCREAM ECHOES
THROUGH the public rooms on the first floor.    Bob comes
sprinting into the large open receiving room, taking out one
of the little rope stanchions that guide the visiting tourists
through.   He keeps on running...

INT. REED'S OFFICE

Reed glances up from his desk as Bob charges into the room.

                      REED
               (quickly)
          I didn't call it.   He called it
          himself...  I swear to God.

Bob just looks at him, then turns and bolts into the hallway.

INT. GREAT HALL

A small group of tourists stands in the large marble entry.
They stare up at the staircase while their TOUR GUIDE describes
some of the artwork.

                      GUIDE
          ... Jackson is the figure that you see
          represented in the lower left hand...
               (beat; awed)
          Why there's Bob Alexander our White
          House Chief of Staff...

                      ANGLE - BOB
          He comes careening into the foyer,
          skittering across the polished marble.

                      GUIDE
          ... My, he seems to be in quite a
          hurry...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. OVAL OFFICE

Dave sits on the couch, jotting some notes on a legal pad.
The door swings open behind him.

                      BOB
          What do you think you're doing?!

                      DAVE
               (innocently)
          You mean the press conference?
               (beat)
          I have a couple of ideas I wanted to
          share with the country.

                      BOB
          Share...

                      WIDER
          Dave rises from the couch as Bob moves
          over to him with his eyes blazing.

                      BOB
          You don't call a press conference.  I
          call a press conference!

Dave just stares.

                      BOB
          You're nothing.  Do you understand me!
          You're NOBODY...

                      DAVE
               (slowly)
          I'm... not... nobody...

                      BOB
          You're lint!  You're a flea!  You're a
          blip!

                      DAVE
          Well, maybe I am.  But you're fired.

Bob backs up a step and stares at him.

                      BOB
          ... what?

                      DAVE
          I said you're fired.  Go on --
          get outta here.

Bob just looks at him, stunned.

                      BOB
          Oh... I'm fired?

                      DAVE
          Yeah.

He stops and stares at Dave.

                      BOB
          You're fired.

                      DAVE
               (fine)
          Fine...

He stares at him again.

                      BOB
               (beat)
          Fine?

                      DAVE
          Fine.

He crosses to the door of the Oval Office and flings it open
wide.

                      DAVE
          You got the whole Press Corps out there.
          Why don't you just go tell 'em.

Bob's eyes narrow a little.

                      DAVE
          Go on.   Be my guest.

                      CLOSER
          They stare at each other for a long
          moment.    Neither man moves as they
          stand toe to toe in the center of the
          carpet.   For a second,  it isn't clear
          who's going to win, until...

                      WOMAN (O.S.)
          Darling...

Ellen comes over and takes his arm.

                      ELLEN
               (Audrey Hepburn)
          Darling, they're all waiting for you
          in the Press Room - - you've really
          got to get going...
               (as if seeing him for
               the first time)
          Oh, Bob...
               (back to Dave)
          I'm sorry, darling.   I thought
          you were alone - -

Ellen turns toward Bob with a sudden grin.   His expression
falls visibly as the weight of their alliance becomes clear.

                      DAVE
          I'd like your resignation on my desk
          by the time I get back.

                      CLOSEUP - BOB
          He looks at them stunned and defeated...


                                                       CUT TO:

INT. PRESS ROOM - LATER

It is packed to capacity.  Dave stands alone at the podium
while the press corps crowds every inch of the Briefing Room.
He stares squarely into the cameras.

                      DAVE
          Thanks for coming on such short notice.

                      WIDER
          Reed stands off to the side with an
          almost mesmerized look on his face.

                      DAVE
          First, I'd like to announce something
          that might come as a surprise to many
          of you.
               (beat)
          I've asked Bob Alexander to resign as
          White House Chief of Staff.

A murmur goes through the Press Room.   Dave looks straight
ahead.

                      DAVE
          Sometimes,  two people just change and
          it's better for everybody if they go
          their Own way.
               (beat)
          Over the last few months!  Bob and I
          have come to believe in different
          things.   He thinks this country is
          fine and we should go about doing
          business as usual.
               (beat)
          I just don't feel that way.    Not
          anymore.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

                      DAVE
          Because things aren't fine.    And you
          know that and I know that.  And we can
          keep lying to ourselves, but it's a
          little late for that.
               (getting angry)
          We've got water we can't drink and air
          we can't breathe.   We've got bars on.
          our windows and graffiti on our doors.
          If you get sick you can't afford to go
          to the doctor and if you get laid off
          you can't find a new job.  We're
          trillions of dollar in debt.  Our roads
          are cracking, our bridges are crumbling
          and everything we used to build is
          made in Japan.  We've got people
          sleeping in cardboard boxes,  and ten-
          year-old kids who are doing drugs.
          We've been living together for four
          hundred years, and we're still trying
          to kill each other...  But that isn't
          even the worst part.  The worst part
          is we feel like we can't do anything
          about it.

CLOSER

He looks out over the room and pauses.

                      DAVE
          So I've decided that while I'm
          President,  I should actually try to
          do things... even if they seem
          impossible.

Dave glances toward the wings for a moment and turns back.

                      DAVE
          First off I'm initiating a program to
          try to find a decent job for every
          American who wants one.

A murmur moves through the press room.

                      DAVE
               (hearing them)
          Why start here?
               (pause)
          Because if you've ever seen the look
          on someone's face the day they get a
          job -- I've had some personal experience
          with this - - they look like they could
          fly.  And unless we start tapping into
          that kind of spirit again, there's no
          way we're gonna fix anything in this
          country.

He looks out at them and pauses.

                      DAVE
          So... Let's get to work.

WIDE ANGLE - BRIEFING

The press corps just sits stunned for a moment as Dave strides
off the stage.  As he leaves, the stunned reporters explode
to their feet.

                      REPORTERS
               (overlapping)
          Mr. President... Mr. President...

INT.  BRIEFING ROOM - CORRIDOR

Dave enters the corridor and sees Ellen, who is waiting for
him with a huge look of admiration on her face.

                      DAVE
          It was okay?

                      ELLEN
               (beaming)
          It was inspirational.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WHITE HOUSE LAWN - NINA TOTENBERG ("NBC NIGHTLY NEWS")

                      NINA TOTENBERG
          In the boldest initiative yet of the
          `New Bill Mitchell' presidency, the
          President has proposed a comprehensive
          full employment program, unparalleled
          since the days of F.D.R.

                                                  QUICK CUT
                                                  TO:

ROBERT NOVACK (EVANS AND NOVACK)

                      NOVACK (V.0.)
          ...  It's naive, it's dangerous, it's
          irresponsible...

CHRIS MATHEWS ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA")

                      MATHEWS (V.0.)
          ...  It's courageous, it's challenging,
          it's visionary...

FRED BARNES (MacGLAUGHLIN GROUP)

                      BARNES (V.0.)
          It's insane.

MARK SHIELDS (CNN)

                      MARK SHIELDS (V.0.)
          It's brilliant.

JOHN McLAUGHLIN ("CROSSFIRE")

                      JOHN MCLAUGHLIN (V.0.)
          If the President wants to run around
          proposing lame-brained schemes like
          this one...

MICHAEL KINSELY (ALSO "CROSSFIRE")

                      MICHAEL KINSELY (V.0.)
          Well he's certainly got my vote.

The TELEVISION SUDDENLY SWITCHES OFF as the CAMERA WIDENS OUT
to reveal:

INT. OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT

Dave, slumping back from the TV into an armchair.

                      DAVE
          Thank God for that.

WIDER

Dave, Ellen, Reed, Ellen's Aide, and two other advisors are
camped in front of the television set.  There are documents
and newspapers scattered over the room.  A take-out pizza
sits incongruously on the coffee table.

                      DAVE
          Let's call it a night.   I can't take
          any more.

                      REED
          Right.  We can pick up on the rest
          tomorrow.

Everyone starts to get up, gathering their papers.

                      ELLEN'S AIDE
               (moving toward
               the door)
          I'll have those employment figures to
          you by eight-thirty...

                      REED
          And we've got that labor briefing at
          nine.

                      DAVE
               (bleary eyed)
          Terrific.

Everyone starts to move through the door, leaving Dave and
Ellen suddenly alone.  They are standing face to face.

                      DAVE
          Well I guess...

                      ELLEN
          Yeah... Bedtime.

Their faces are very close.  Their eyes express great need.
He moves slowly toward her in a kiss.  Their lips meet for an
instant.

                      DAVE
               (pulling back)
          What?

                      ELLEN
          I can't.

                      DAVE
               (quickly)
          I know. I'm sorry...

                      ELLEN
          I mean, I want to... I just, I feel
          strange...

                      DAVE
               (even quicker)
          That's okay.

They stand there facing one another like two kids on a front
porch.

INT. DAVE'S ROOM - NIGHT

He lies under the covers staring at the ceiling. Dave suddenly
turns and punches the pillow.

INT. ELLEN'S ROOM

She lies on her bed in exactly the same position. After a
moment, Ellen turns and buries her face in the pillow.

                      ELLEN
               (muffled)
          This is crazy...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - WEST WING - DAY

Dave and Duane move down the corridor that leads to the Oval
Office.  Duane is flipping through a handful of newspapers.

                      DUANE
          The U.S. News hammered us.  But they're
          always tough on that kind of thing.
          Rosenthal loved us in the Times

                      RANDI
          Mr. President, Mr. Nance is waiting
          inside for you.

                      DAVE
          Who?

                           DUANE
                    (freezing)
               The Vice-President...

                           DAVE
               Oh... right...
                    (to Randi, nervous
                    smile)
               You know, ever since the stroke...

     Dave points to his temple and gives the "wobbly" sign with
     his hand.   He glances at Duane for a second, then turns and
     heads inside...

     INT. OVAL OFFICE

     Seated, with his back to the door, is the silhouette of a
     man holding an eight-foot spear.  Beside him on the floor is
     a large ceremonial headdress.  Dave moves forward cautiously.

     DIFFERENT ANGLE

     The Vice President turns and slowly rises to face him.  He's
     a strong-looking man in a plain gray suit with an honest
     looking face.

                           NANCE
               Mr. President.

     The two men shake hands.  Nance continues to stare at him
     while Dave moves toward his chair.  After a moment, Nance
     extends the headdress.

                           NANCE
                    (curtly)
               This is from the people of Burundi...

                           DAVE
                    (taking it)
               Oh... Thanks.

                           NANCE
               And these are a gift from the King
               of To go.

     Nance hands him what appears to be a group of large necklaces.

                           DAVE
                    (beat)
               What are they?

                           NANCE
                    (deadpan)
               Fertility beads.

                           DAVE
               Ah.

     He sets them quickly on the desk while Nance just stares at
     him.

                           NANCE
               Mr. President, may I speak frankly
               with you?

                           DAVE
               Certainly.

                           CLOSEUP - NANCE
               He hesitates for a moment.   Nance
               gathers his thoughts,then proceeds.

                           NANCE
                    (with dignity)
               I know we haven't always gotten along.
               I know we've disagreed politically
               and I suppose I know what you think
               of me personally...

     WIDER

     Nance takes a deep breath.

                           NANCE
               ... But I've always tried to respect
               the role you wanted me to play.
               When I've disagreed with this
               administration I've kept it to myself.
               When you wanted my support you always
               had it.

     Dave nods, frozen in his chair.  Nance looks at him a moment
     then suddenly lets it out.

                           NANCE
               Dammit, Bill -- how could you do
               something like this to me?



Dave just looks at him speechless.  Neither man moves.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Something like what...

                      NANCE
          Oh, come on, we're not children.  I
          didn't have anything to do with this
          Fidelity nonsense and you know it.

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          The Fidelity nonsense...

                      NANCE
               (showing him a newspaper)
          All I've got is my integrity.  That's
          all I have.  Now I don't know why you
          turned your attack dogs on me.

                      DAVE
               (interrupting)
          They re not my attack dogs.

                      NANCE
               (taken aback)
          What do you mean?

                      DAVE
          I just fired Bob Alexander.

Nance looks at him, stunned.

                      DAVE
          Don't worry.  I'll take care of it.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. REED'S OFFICE - DAY

He sits behind his sleek Italian desk with a slightly sheepish
look on his face. Dave stands across from him, leaning on his
feet.

                      DAVE
          What do you mean you made it all up?

                      REED
          We had to, Dave. The guy's a choir
          boy.

                      DAVE
          This is wrong, Alan!

                      REED
               (like a novel, new
               concept)
          Wrong...

                      DAVE
          Alan...

                      REED
          Oh, I know, I know... It looks
          awfully bad.  It's really embarrassing.
               (beat)
          But it was Bob's idea.

Dave looks at him horrified.

                      DAVE
          We've got to fix this.

                      REED
          Absolutely.  Well, that might be kind
          of tough. Once the press starts smelling
          blood...

The door blows open behind them.

                      ELLEN (O.S.)
          Dave...

                      WIDER
          She flies into the room with a worried
          look on her face.  Dave and Reed watch
          while she heads toward the "media
          center" in the corner.

                      REED
               (shocked)
          `Dave'?

                      DAVE
          She knows.

                      ELLEN
          Look at this.

Ellen flicks ON the SET to catch a NEWS REPORT in mid-segment.

TV SCREEN

                           NINA TOTENBERG (V.0.)
                    (over TV)
               ... The hastily called news conference
               at the National Press Club was Bob
               Alexander's first public comment
               since resigning as White House Chief
               of Staff.  It turned out to be nothing
               short of a full-fledged salvo fired
               directly at Pennsylvania Avenue.

     Bob appears in a film clip, speaking before the National
     Press Club.   Even beneath the professional cool, he seems
     to relish the lethal sound bite.

                           BOB (V.0.)
                    (over TV)
               When I first began to look into the
               allegations concerning Fidelity
               Savings and Loan, I thought the
               wrongdoing was restricted to the
               Vice President's office...

     INT. REED'S OFFICE - DAY

     They glance at each other then back at the set...

                           REED
               Uh-oh...

                           BOB
                    (over TV)
               ... But as I began to investigate, I
               realized that this pattern of
               corruption extended much higher...

                           REED
               Jesus...

                           TV SCREEN
               Bob pauses for an effect, then looks
               straight into the camera:

                           BOB
                    (over TV; dramatic)
               ... I was saddened to discover at
               least fifteen separate acts of
               intervention by this administration,
               most with the full knowledge of the
               President and all of them illegal.
               Federal regulators were influenced,
               records were destroyed, and pressure
               was brought to bear, in same cases
               by President Mitchell himself.

                           DAVE
                    (stunned)
               Now he's making stuff up about me.

                           REED
               He's not.

     They turn and look at him.

                           DAVE
                    (sighing)
               He's not making it up.

     Dave stares at him stunned.   Ellen gets it immediately.

                           ELLEN
                    (softly)
               Bob never left Bill's side.  He knows
               where all the old bones are buried...

     Dave glances back and forth between them but neither one of
     them speaks...

     EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAY

     A long line of black sedans with congressional plates pulls
     up to the South Portico.   In the distance, beyond the fence,
     a crowd of protesters shout at the White House.

     INT. PRESIDENT'S PRIVATE DINING ROOM

     A small delegation of congressional leaders has requested a
     lunch with the President.  Reed and Ellen are also present.
     The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE leans forward over his plate.

                           SPEAKER
                    (a Southerner)
               Mr. President, I don't know another
               way to put it, but 'This dawg just
               won't hunt.'

     Dave just stares at him without responding.



                      MAJ. LEADER
          We may be able to hold off this First
          Liberty thing for a little while1 but
          if you go running around the country
          with this new jobs idea...

                      SPEAKER
          They're gonna put us on a spit an'
          bring in the sauce.

                      FEMALE SENATOR
          If you just waited for a little while...

                      DAVE
          I don't want to wait for a little while.

                      SPEAKER
          Mr. President, I understand that.  But
          sometimes ya fight an' sometimes ya
          run.

                      ELLEN
               (suddenly)
          That's not what you said during your
          ethics investigation.

                      WIDER
          Every eye in the room turns toward
          her.  The Speaker stares daggers across
          the table.

                      SPEAKER
          I beg your pardon?

                      ELLEN
          When you needed the President's help,
          you got it.

                      SPEAKER
               (controlled)
          Ma'am, no one appreciates your husband's
          help more'n me.   I'm just saying that
          this jobs thing is a little unwieldy...'

                      NANCE
               (chiming in)
          It is not.

Every eye shifts to the Vice President.

Ill.

                      NANCE
          There's lots of ways to make it work.
          You could have targeted tax credits
          for on-site training...  You could
          have a public private partnership like -
          J.T.P.A...

                      SPEAKER
          Excuse me for interruptin' but this
          ain't some city council silliness that's
          gonna blow over.  We're talking about
          obstructing federal regulators and
          violating election up on the Hill who
          are talkin' impeachment. We got a real
          problem on our hands.

     CLOSEUP - DAVE

     He just stares straight ahead...

                                                          CUT TO:

     CLOSEUP - BOB ALEXANDER

     It is a video clip from his lethal press conference.  Bob
     faces the camera directly.

                           BOB (V.0.)
               ... At least fifteen separate acts
               of intervention by this
               administration, most with full
               knowledge of the President..

                           NANCE (0.S.)
               Guess they're coming at you now,
               too.

     FREEZE FRAME.

     INT. OVAL OFFICE

     Dave sits in front of his bookcase with a remote control in
     his hand.   He turns to see the Vice President, standing by
     the edge of the carpet.

                           DAVE
               Oh... Hi.

                           NANCE
                    (glancing at the screen)
               Dirty business we're in sometimes.

                           DAVE
                    (quietly)
               Yeah.

                           NANCE
               He's not gonna win -- not in the
               end... They never do.

     Dave looks back at him.

                           DAVE
               ... Sometimes they do.

                           NANCE
                    (nodding)
               Yeah... Sometimes they do.

     Nance shifts a little by the bookcase.

                           NANCE
               Mr. President, whatever happens I
               just wanted you to know that I think
               that your jobs program is a wonderful
               idea...

                           DAVE,
               Not that anyone's gonna pay much
               attention now... But thanks.

     Neither one says anything.  Dave motions to a chair.

                           DAVE
               Want to sit down?

     He takes a seat across from the desk.   Nance glances over
     at the TV as both men look at the freeze frame of Bob.

                           DAVE
               You ever think back to how you
               started.

                           NANCE
                    (turning)
               What?

                           DAVE
               You know.  Your first campaign.

     You ever think back to how you did it all...





                      NANCE
          Yeah...
               (thinks about it for a
               moment...)
          .. I was a shoe salesman.
               (beat)
          and not very happy about it.

They smile together for a moment.

                      NANCE
          One day my wife says to me 'Why don't
          you try running for office.  You talk
          about it all the time, why don't you
          just do it?'
               (beat)
          So I tell my boss I have a dentist
          appointment and I go down to the
          registrar of voters on my lunch break.
               (shakes his head)
          Next thing I know, I'm a councilman.

                      DAVE
          Really?

                      NANCE
               (nodding)
          My wife was my campaign manager. We
          had a two thousand dollar budget.

Dave smiles.

                      NANCE
          With advertising.

Dave just looks at him for a long moment.

                      NANCE
          How'd you get started?

                      DAVE
               (quietly)
          Oh... Kinda the same way.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. WEST WING - DUSK

Dave walks alone down the long pergola that flanks the Rose
Garden.  He moves slowly, lost in thought, when he glances up
and suddenly, stops.

WIDER

All the roses are shimmering in the late afternoon light.
Dave looks at them for a second...

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. LIVING QUARTERS - MAIN HALLWAY - NIGHT

The CAMERA MOVES WITH Dave as he heads down the long corridor
toward Ellen's side of the living quarters.  He holds a large
yellow rose in his hand.  Dave pauses in front of her door,
knocks and waits for a moment.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dave steps inside the room.

                      DAVE
          Hello?

HIS POV

It's a lively room, especially for the White House.  Across
the room one of the French doors is open wide.  The curtains
billow out to the terrace beyond.

EXT. TERRACE

Dave steps outside, and looks around.  It's a beautiful, warm
night. The Washington Monument soars in the distance with the
Jefferson Memorial just a speck beyond.  Dave hears SOMETHING
in the distance.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

He rounds the corner to find Ellen standing all alone by the
edge of the balustrade. He moves quietly up toward the railing
as she turns and looks at him.  He extends the rose, holding
it out.

                      DAVE
          I brought you something.

                      ELLEN


               (reserved)
          ... Thanks.

CLOSER ANGLE

It's only half a smile.   He moves closer and pauses.

                      DAVE
               (softly)
          What's wrong?

                      ELLEN
               (after a pause)
          Looks like we're not going to get a
          chance to get much done.

Dave thinks about it and nods.

                      ELLEN
               (softer)
          They're crucifying you out there.

                      DAVE
          Yeah, but we got a little bit done.
          And if you do a little and I do a
          little... then maybe the next
          guy'll do a little...

                      ELLEN
          You really believe that?

                      DAVE
          Yeah.
               (pauses, quieter)
          And it's better than not believing it
          Their faces are inches apart.

                      ELLEN
               (softly)
          I sure fall for some weird guys.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, they come together in a kiss.
It's soft and tender at first -- then builds in passion and
need.

A lone CHURCH BELL from the National Cathedral starts CHIMING
at midnight.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dave and Ellen part, drawn by the sound.  After a moment,
Dave looks slowly back at her.

                      DAVE
               (beat)
          Nance is a good man, isn't he?

She just looks at him.   It's a strange expression -- part
sadness, part fear, part intrigue...

                      ELLEN
               (swallowing)
          Yeah.   He's a good man.

                      DAVE
               (off her look)
          What?

She shakes her head.   He touches the side of her face.

                      ELLEN
          I'm just getting to know you -- I don't
          want to lose you.

They come together and kiss again.  Even with everything left
unsaid, there's a sadness in the air.

WIDENING OUT...

Two small figures cling onto each other by the third floor
balustrade of the White House...

                                                  SLOWLY
                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CAPITOL DOME - DAY

It gleams in the sunshine.

FULL SHOT - SANDER VANOCUR                               142

She stands in front of the Great Rotunda, doing a live intro
for "NBC News"...

                      SANDER VANOCUR
          The President has requested this rare
          joint session of Congress so that he
          could personally answer the allegations
          raised by Bob Alexander, his former
          Chief of Staff...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

It is packed to capacity with the House members on one side
and the Senate on the other.  There is great tension on both
sides of the aisle.

EXT. BROWNSTONE (GEORGETOWN) - DAY

Several long black limos deposit occupants in front of Bob
Alexander's townhouse.

INT. LIVING ROOM (GEORGETOWN) - DAY

Bob stands in a cardigan sweater holding a tumbler full of
bourbon while his cocktail party is going full swing.  Several
inside the beltway fat cats mill about the living room while
Vanocur continues on the TV:

                      SANDER VANOCUR (V.0.)
          Speculation on the President's response
          has run the gamut from a full-fledged
          denial right up to the possibility
          that he might resign.

There are hoots and hollers in the room.  One of the GUESTS
raises a glass in salute.

                      GUEST #1
               (to Bob)
          Here's to you, Mr. President.

Another guest holds up a bumper sticker with "ALEXANDER FOR
PRESIDENT" printed in large block letters.

                      GUEST #2
               (displaying it)
          What do you think?

                      BOB
          Let's wait for the speech first.
               (false humility)
          Don't want to get ahead of ourselves.

INT.  ELLEN'S BEDROOM

she sits tensely in front of her television...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

The tension in the room builds as everyone awaits the arrival
of the President.

INT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - CLOAK ROOM

THROUGH a crack in the doorway, most of the House Chamber is
visible.  The CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal: Dave and Reed,
standing alone in the small ante-room.  There is a plain,
black briefcase sitting between them.

                      DAVE
          Is everything clear with Duane?

Reed nods and hands him the briefcase.

                      DAVE
          And this is all of it?

He nods again.

                      DAVE
          Well -- here we go.

Dave tries to take briefcase but Reed keeps holding onto it
out of reflex and self-preservation.  Dave smiles at him and
gently starts to unpry Reed's fingers.

                      DAVE
          Relax, Alan... Enjoy the moment.

Reed looks at him and tries to nod...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

Everyone stands at their seats when the SERGEANT AT ARMS walks
down the aisle, pounding a six-foot staff three times on the
House floor.

                      SERGEANT AT ARMS
          Mr. Speaker... The President of the
          United States.

                      WIDER ANGLE
          The response is more of a murmur than
          the usual applause.  Dave appears at
          the back of the Chamber carrying the
          black briefcase.   He makes his way up
          the aisle and mounts the five steps
          that lead to the podium.

                      SHOT - DAVE
          He reaches the lectern and glances
          behind him.  Dave locks eyes with Vice
          President Nance for a moment,  flashing
          him a smile.

INT. BOB'S TOWN HOUSE

It looks like a Superbowl party.   All of Bob's cronies have
gathered around the TV set to watch "Bill Mitchell's" political
demise.  A huge grin spreads across Bob's face when Dave's
image appears on the screen.

                      BOB
          Shhh shh... Here it comes.

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

Dave swallows once and grips the lectern.

                      DAVE
          Thank you.
               (pause)
          I wish I could be here today under
          different circumstances...

CLOSER SHOT

He hesitates for a moment.

                      DAVE
          There's certainly a lot of things about
          this country that we should be
          discussing, but I realize that's not
          possible now.
               (beat)
          As all of you know, my former Chief of
          Staff has implicated me in a scandal
          involving Fidelity Savings and Loan.

REVERSE ANGLE - HOUSE

Every member sits motionless at their seat.

                      DAVE
          ... And once people start talking about
          scandal it's hard for them to talk
          about anything else.

He scans the room.

                      DAVE
          So fine.   Let's talk about it.

INT. ELLEN'S BEDROOM

She watches riveted from the edge of her bed.

                      DAVE
               (over TV)
          Bob Alexander has accused me of...
               (pulls some notes out
               of his pocket)
          Let me read this to make sure I get it
          right...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

He stares at his notes.

                      DAVE
          .... Illegally influencing government
          regulators on behalf of major campaign
          contributors -- interfering with an
          ongoing Justice Department investigation - -
          and violating Federal election laws in
          the area of campaign finance.

There isn't a sound in the Chamber.

                      DAVE
          Okay -- let's get right to the guts of
          it...  Each one of these charges is
          absolutely true.

A quiet but shocked murmur rolls through the room.

INT. BOB'S HOUSE

A "war hoop" goes up from the guests. Bob almost seems to
levitate off the couch.

                      BOB
          Die, you pond scum!

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER - FULL SHOT - DAVE

                      DAVE
          I'm the President and as they say 'The
          buck stops here.'  So I take full
          responsibility for every one of my
          illegal acts.

He hoists the black briefcase up onto the podium.

                      DAVE
          But you see that's not the whole story,
          and I think each one of you is entitled
          to the truth.

Dave opens the black briefcase to reveal a large stack of
documents.

                      DAVE
          I have written proof here in the form
          of...
               (reading)
          Notes, memoranda and personal
          directives' proving that Bob Alexander
          was involved in each one of these
          incidents and in most cases planned
          them as well...

INT. BOB'S HOUSE - CLOSEUP - BOB

There is silence in the room.   All the color drains from his
face as Bob stares frozen at the television set.    The others
in the room watch with the morbid fascination of someone
witnessing a car wreck.

                      BOB
               (almost a gasp)
          Alan...

One of the guests furtively slides his Presidential bumper
sticker behind the onion dip.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER - FULL SHOT - REED

He stares out at the House Chamber feeling downright "moral."
He looks like someone who has just saved a puppy.

CLOSEUP - DAVE

                      DAVE
          Now - - allegations of wrong-doing
          have also been made against Vice
          President Nance...
               (pause)
          I'm afraid that's just a lie.

FULL SHOT - VICE PRESIDENT

He sits motionless in the chair feeling the weight of every
eye in the room.

                      DAVE
          ... As this evidence will show...  At
          no time and in no way was Vice President
          Nance involved in any of this affair.
          Bob made all of that up.

Dave turns and smiles at Nance for a moment.

FULL SHOT - PODIUM

Dave turns back toward the House.

                      DAVE
          Vice president Nance is a good and
          decent public servant and I'd like to
          apologize for any pain this may have
          caused him or his family.
               (pause)
          And while we're setting the record
          straight, I'd also like to apologize
          to the American people...

CLOSER ON DAVE

Right INTO CAMERA.

                      DAVE
          ... I forgot that I was hired to do a
          job for you and that it was just a
          temp job at that. I forgot that I had
          two hundred and fifty million people
          who were paying me to make their lives
          a little better and I didn't live up
          to my part of the bargain.

WIDER - HOUSE CHAMBER

                      DAVE
          See, there are certain things you should
          expect from a President.  I ought to
          care more about you than I do about
          me... I ought to care more about what's
          right than I do about what's popular...

REVERSE ANGLE - HOUSE CHAMBER

They sit motionless in their seats.

                      DAVE
          I ought to be willing to give this
          whole thing up for something I believe
          in...

INT. ELLEN'S ROOM

A sad but proud smile starts around the corners of her mouth.

                      DAVE (V.0.)
               (on her TV)
          Because if I'm not...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

Dave clutches the sides of the podium.

                      DAVE
          If I'm not...

Dave stops in mid-sentence.  He raises his hand to his forehead
and seems to rock a moment.  A concerned murmur runs through
the floor of the House.

FULL SHOT - DAVE

He clutches the lectern now with a "woozy" look on his face.
He "fights to stand up."

                      DAVE
          If I'm not... Then I don't belong here
          in the first place...

All at once, Dave falls to the floor.    Duane and Reed and
several Senate pages suddenly rush out to his side.

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER - PODIUM

It is complete pandemonium.    Several members crowd around
the podium.    The NOISE LEVEL literally turns into a ROAR.
Reed yanks at Dave's shirt and loosens his tie.

CLOSER ANGLE

                      REED
          A doctor!  We need a doctor...  He's
          had a stroke!

INT.  ELLEN'S BEDROOM

She gets up from the bed, grabs her overcoat and heads for
the door...

INT. HOUSE CHAMBER

A huge crowd of Congressmen crowd around the platform.  There
is complete confusion...

EXT. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - PARKING LOT - DAY

The standard issue ambulance that follows the President I
everywhere is parked just outside the House doors.  The doors
of the vehicle fly open as a doctor and nurse emerge.  They're
the same two people who cared for Bill Mitchell at the outset
of the film.

CLOSER ANGLE

It takes a split second for them to whisk out the gurney bed
and slam the doors behind them.  They bolt toward the House
chamber while the Secret Service stands guard.

INT. CHAMBER

Duane and other Secret Servicemen move the onlookers back as
the medical team loads Dave onto the gurney bed and hurry him
toward the doors.

EXT. HOUSE PARKING LOT

They emerge a moment or two later with Duane leading the way.
Dave has been securely fastened to the rolling stretcher while
the doctor and nurse hover close...

                      DIFFERENT ANGLE
          They pop the door of the ambulance.  A
          crowd of onlookers watches in horror
          as the body of the President is whisked
          into the ambulance.

WIDE ANGLE - MOTORCADE

It tears away from the Capitol with dozens of SIRENS BLARING.
The ambulance is surrounded front and back by twenty police
motorcycles and the entire entourage takes off...

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT. BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL - DAY

It is pandemonium here as well.  A huge stat team waits for
the AMBULANCE as it comes SCREAMING up to the emergency
entrance at the back of the hospital.  They fling the doors
of the ambulance open as they remove the near S lifeless body
of the President...

CLOSEUP - GURNEY

MOVING WITH it.  The Secret Service pushes back the mob of
photographers as the doctors whisk the stretcher toward the
hospital.

INT. AMBULANCE

Duane sits quietly behind the wheel, while the commotion
continues behind the vehicle...

THE CAMERA PANS SLOWLY OVER to the passenger's side, REVEALING:

DAVE

He sits in a white paramedics outfit complete with hat and
name plate.  Dave is wearing his glasses once again and looking
decidedly unpresidential.   He glances over at Duane.

                      DAVE
          Well...

                      DUANE
          Well...

After a beat.

                      DUANE
          You sure you don't want a lift back
          home?

                      DAVE
          No thanks.  It's not that far.

The two men shake hands and Dave reaches for the door.  He
holds the same souvenir bag he had on his evening out with
Ellen.

                      DUANE
          Dave...

He pauses and looks back.

                      DUANE
               (moved)
          I would have taken a bullet for I
          you, Dave.

                      DAVE
               (quietly)
          Thanks, Duane.

Dave smiles at his friend, then climbs out of the ambulance,
and heads down the street...

EXT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ENTRANCE - DIFFERENT ANGLE

A LIMOUSINE comes SCREECHING up to the curb.  The door flies
open and Ellen gets out.  She sees the huge crowd of people
at the back of the hospital then looks around the parking
lot.  Finally she sees:

HER POV

There, in the distance, the figure of a lone man in a
paramedics uniform walking slowly away.  He carries a small
black valise in his hand.

ANGLE - ELLEN

A strange composure envelopes her as she makes a silent
decision.  She takes one last look at Dave's receding figure,
then turns and runs quickly inside the hospital...

WIDER ANGLE

The CAMERA BEGINS TO PULL SLOWLY BACK REVEALING the ambulance,
the hospital and the huge crush of vehicles surrounding the
back door.

                      ANNOUNCER (V.0.)
          ... The stroke hit at 8:42 p.m. just
          as the President was concluding his
          remarks to a joint session of Congress.
          Spokesmen at Bethesda Naval Hospital
          confirm that it was a `massive edema'
          and unlike his previous stroke, it has
          rendered the President totally
          incapacitated...
               (beat)
          ... Vice President Nance has already
          been conferred with full executive
          authority and has assumed the Presidency
          in accordance with the 24th Amendment.
          This is the first time since...

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BALTIMORE SKYLINE - ESTABLISHING - DAY

It is still autumn.  The sound of the ANNOUNCER'S VOICE
dissolves into the Vice President's as he continues in V.0.

                      NANCE (V.0.)
          ... I plan to continue Bill Mitchell's
          call to arms.  This isn't my Presidency --
          this is his Presidency and I can't
          think of a better legacy for him to
          leave than...

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE - DAY (WINTER)

The autumn leaves are all gone now and the SNOW has started
to fall.   Christmas decorations hang from lampposts and a
Salvation Army Santa is ringing his bell.

                      ANNOUNCER #3 (V.0.)
          ... Bob Alexander and eight other
          members of the Mitchell Administration
          were indicted on thirty-four counts of
          election law violations and obstruction
          of justice.  Ironically, the indictments
          came just forty-eight hours after final
          passage of the Bill Mitchell Jobs Bill,
          a comprehensive employment program,
          designed to...

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. KOVIC TEMPS - DAY

Snow is falling gently in the street.   The CAMERA BEGINS TO
PUSH IN SLOWLY ON the first floor window.  Jerry (Alice's
boyfriend) is hanging a large sign in the window that reads:

                    "KOVIC FOR ALDERMAN"

INT. KOVIC TEMPS

The place is just as busy as before.  Alice frantically works
the phones while three or four women cram the waiting area.
Murray supervises a couple of campaign workers including Lola
from the start of the film.  They stuff envelopes and wear
large "KOVIC" hats on their heads.

                      MURRAY
               (to one of the workers)
          No.  Fold them the long way.  It looks
          neater.

ANGLE - DAVE'S INNER OFFICE

He works the phone, hunched over his desk.

                      DAVE
               (into the receiver)
          What do you mean, Harry, this woman's
          fabulous...
               (beat)
          Oh no, that was a different one...
               (longer beat)
          Well she's changed a lot...
               (pause)
          Come on, Harry, it's Christmas, the
          woman needs a job.
               (beat)
          Well, sure... she can wrap presents...
          Yeah you bet... Oh, great.

He pauses for a beat.

                      DAVE
          Harry, did you get that fund-raising
          thing I sent you?

ANGLE - DOORWAY/RECEPTION AREA

It jars open as a woman steps inside.   Alice barely looks up
as the woman, wearing dark glasses and a scarf, moves into
the waiting area.

CLOSER SHOT

Despite the blue jeans and T-shirt, she looks quite familiar.
It's Ellen.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dave moves into the reception area with a huge smile on his
face.

                      DAVE
          Yes!  We're on a roll now...

All the women smile up at him.

                      DAVE
          It's Christmas time...

                      DAVE I MURRAY
               (a catch phrase)
          .... and everybody works at
          Christmas time...'

All of a sudden they stop.  Dave looks across the reception
area and sees Ellen by the door.

REVERSE ANGLE

She takes off her dark glasses and stares at him.  Neither
one of them says a word as Dave moves slowly forward with a
stunned look on his face.  She smiles at him.

                      ELLEN
          Hi.

                      DAVE
          Hi.

                      ELLEN
               (indicating her wardrobe))
          Thought I needed a little change.  You
          like it?

                      DAVE
               (nodding)
          It's nice.

He moves a little closer.   They stand face to face.

                      DAVE
          I saw you on T.V... at his funeral.

                      ELLEN
               (past it now)
          Yeah, well... It's finally over.

They are inches apart.   Dave notices Murray and the six other
women staring at them in the waiting area.

                      DAVE
               (quickly)
           C'mere.


INT. DAVE'S PRIVATE OFFICE

Murray stares as he pulls her into his private office and
shuts the door.  Ellen throws her arms around his neck as
their lips meet in a passionate kiss...

                      DAVE
               (kissing)
          I never thought I'd...

                      ELLEN
               (kissing back)
          I know.

                      DAVE
               (kissing again)
          I missed...

                      ELLEN
               (kiss)
          ... Me, too.

She pulls back and looks at him.

                      ELLEN
               (beat)
          So this is it?

                      DAVE
          ... Not exactly the Oval Office.

                      ELLEN
          Oh... I lived with a President.  It
          isn't any fun.

Dave gazes into her eyes.

                      DAVE
               (softer)
          It could be fun.

                      ELLEN
               (smiling)
          Yeah... It could be fun.

They come together in another kiss.   Ellen drops her handbag
to the floor, as the CAMERA WIDENS OUT ON the bustle of the
busy office... Outside on the busy Baltimore street... As we
SLOWLY...

                                                     FADE OUT.

                           THE END


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