This episode has the most guest stars out of any episode of The West Wing.
There is a lot of discussion about the President not having signed a letter turning over power to the VP and so there was no one in charge. However the 25th Amendment provides for the VP and a majority of the principal officers of the executive branch (i.e. the Cabinet) to remove the power of the presidency from the President if he is unable to perform his duties. The VP would become the Acting President until the President submits a letter to Congress saying he is ready to reassume his duties.
Danny: The President's been under aesthetic for more than an hour. He's probably gonna be on a morphine drip. Without the 25th, who's in charge?
CJ: The Vice President, the Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of Defence, one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House Chief of Staff.
Danny: You just listed six people! Who's in charge?
CJ: The Canadians.
CJ: You understand I'm talking about the hockey team.
Josh: Running for president of the United States and not putting Social Security front and center is like running for president of the Walt Disney Corporation by saying you're gonna fix the rides at EPCOT.
Mark: We're gonna get to Social Security, Josh; it's a long campaign. For now, we focus on the tax cuts.
Female Aide: It's what magicians call "misdirection."
Josh: Really, 'cause it's what the rest of us call bullsh--
Nancy: It gets more complicated if you'd read section 202 the National Security Act of 1947.
C.J.: Let's assume I haven't.
Nancy: It says that the Secretary of Defense will be the principal assistant to the President on all matters relating to the national security.
C.J.: What does "principal assistant" mean?
Nancy: It doesn't specify.
Toby: No, it wouldn't, 'cause that's an area of federal law where you'd want as much ambiguity as possible.
Sam: Then mortgage the boats from top to bottom.
Sam: I'm sorry?
Cameron: Oil tankers aren't boats; they're ships.
Sam: Mr. Cameron, you want me to buy the boats, you're not asking me to be the first mate, right?
Sam: You all right?
Sam: Are you all right?
C.J.: Where´s the President?
Sam: He´s on his way back to the White House. So is Zoey. They just put Leo in a car. Are you all right?
C.J. (concerned): Somebody pulled me down.
Bartlet : Today for the first time in history, the largest group of Americans living in poverty are children. One in five children live in the most abject, dangerous, hopeless, backbreaking, gut-wrenching poverty any of us could ever imagine. One in five and they're children! If fidelity to freedom and democracy is the code to our civic religion then, surely, the code of our humanity is faithful service to that unwritten commandment that says we should give our children better than we, ourselves, received. Let me put it this way, I voted against the bill because I didn't want to make it harder for people to buy milk. I stopped some money from flowing into your pocket. If that angers you, if you resent me, I completely respect that. But if you expect anything different from the President of the United States, then you should vote for someone else.
Josh: The Democrats aren't gonna nominate another liberal, academic, former governor from New England. I mean, we're dumb, but we're not that dumb.
Leo: Nah, I think we're exactly that dumb.
Josh: If I see the real thing in Nashua, you want me to tell you?
Sam: You won't have to.
Sam: You've got a pretty bad poker face.
Nurse: Do you have any medical conditions?
Bartlet: Well, I've been shot.
Josh: Senator, you're the prohibitive favorite to be the Democratic nominee for Presdent, you have a $45 million war chest with no end in sight, and I don't know what we're for. I don't know what we're against. Except we seem to be for winning, and against someone else winning.
Abbey: There are 14 people in the world who have this information, including the Chief of Staff, the Vice President and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. You're going to be the 15th. Six years ago, my husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. When this is over, tell the press, don't tell the press. It's entirely up to you.
Bartlet: Why're you doing this? You're a player. You're bigger in the Party than I am, Hoynes would make you national chairman. Leo! Tell me this isn't one of the twelve steps.
Leo: That's what it is. Right after admitting we're powerless over alcohol, then a higher power can restore us to sanity. That's where you come in.
Leo: Because I'm tired of it year after year after year after year, having to choose between the lesser of "who cares?" Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low, I can hardly look at it. They say a good man can't get elected president. I don't believe that. Do you?
Bartlet: And you think I'm that man.
Bartlet: Doesn't it matter that I'm not as sure?
Leo: Nah. "Act as if ye hath faith, and faith shall be given to you." Put another way, "Fake it till you make it." You did good tonight.
Leo: This is the time of Jed Bartlet, old friend. You're gonna open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, clear off the ground.
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Janel Moloney appears in the opening montage for the first time.
The episode in combination with the Part II won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. The episode in combination with Part II was Nominated 2 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore). Nominated with the Part II for 2001 Banff Rockie Awards in the category of Continuing Series. Nominated with the Part II for 2001 CAS Awards in the category of Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Television Series.
Episode Title: "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen"
The title seems to be inspired by Seán O'Casey's 1923 play "The Shadow of a Gunman."