Jed and Fitz discuss how the eagle in the great seal faces the arrows during times of war, which conflicts with Truman's 1945 Executive Order 9646 that the eagle must always face the olive branch.
The assassins load their guns while standing in the window frame, backlit by a bright red light; they are clearly visible from the street, and from other buildings, yet neither the agents on the ground, the sharpshooters on the roofs, nor the agents in the helicopter notice.
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.
In flashback, it is revealed that it was Toby who recruited C.J. to join the Bartlet campaign.
We learn in flashback, that Donna Moss joined the Bartlett campaign in New Hampshire as a volunteer after having broken up with her boyfriend, and that she had dropped out of the University of Wisconsin.
In the flashback with Josh and Bartlet at the airport, Josh says, "If you don't lose this election, it isn't gonna be because you don't try hard enough."
Some people think the "don't" is a goof. But in context, Josh is pointing out that by doing things like going to the airport instead of making his victory speech, Bartlet must be trying to LOSE the election. So if he doesn't lose, it won't be for lack of trying.
In one of the flashbacks, Josh uses a pay phone with a Verizon logo long before the Verizon brand name was created.
The phone number Ainsley Hayes reads from her new phone, (202) 456-1414, really is a phone number at the White House. It's listed as an undisclosed number at a company called "The White House" located at 17th And PA Ave NW, Washington DC.
C.J.: ...in a half hour with President Bartlet and President Nimbala of the Republic of Equatorial Kuhndu who's representing the African nations.
Kuhndu is not a real country.
During the scene on Capitol Beat, host Mark Gottfried asks "why is this bill better than the Republican package the president vetoed?" But in the season 3 episode "Ways and Means", it is stated that the President has never vetoed a bill before!
This is the second episode of "The West Wing" to have a character named Tribbey - in the first season episode "He Shall From Time to Time", Tribbey was the name of the minister of agriculture who was picked to sit out the State of the Union.
Goof: Senator Tony Marino states that he had ten weeks of his term left to serve after being voted out in the general election.
US elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and a Senator's term expires on January 3. If Senator Marino had ten weeks of his term left to serve after being defeated in the election, he would have been defeated in late October not early November.
When Charlie hands C.J. the lyrics of the "Notre Dame fight song", Jed tells C.J. she will lead the press corps in singing all five verses. The Notre Dame Victory March has only two verses and a chorus. The two verses are sung together, though they are often omitted and the chorus is sung alone. Jed is likely having a joke at C.J.'s expense, and the lyric sheet contains the two verses.
Although the episode occurs after the midterm elections in November (heavy coats worn by characters and comments by Leo confirm the season), an upcoming Notre Dame-Michigan football game is a recurring topic of the episode. Since the renewal of the rivalry in the late '70s, the Notre Dame-Michigan game has always been played in mid-September and is usually either the first or second home game for each school.
The gay Republican Congressman may be an acknowledgement of the real organization called the Log Cabin Republicans. It is for gay Republicans to lobby for gay rights within the party.
At the beginning of this episosde, White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) is wearing an Ohio State "Block O" pin on her coat's lapel. This is a connection to her character's fictional and Janney's actual birthplace of Dayton, Ohio. In addition, the President's alma mater Notre Dame is playing Michigan in football that week, and Michigan is Ohio State's arch-rival.
While briefing Leo on the tanker that the Navy plans to board, Col. Chase says that they'll use a "CH-47 Seahawk". The CH-47 is the tandem rotor Chinook, and the Seahawk is the SH-60. The Navy doesn't use Chinooks, at least not from warships, because of their size -- they'd use the CH-46 Sea Knight instead.
The man representing the Chinese refugees names only 11 of the 12 apostles. "Peter, Andrew, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, Thaddus (aka Jude or Judas), Simon, Judas (Iscariot), and James." The oversight is understandable because there are two apostles named James: James, son of Alpheus (aka James the Less) and James, son of Zebedee and brother of John.
Title: Shibboleth is any language usage indicative of one's social or regional origin, or more broadly, any practice that identifies members of a group.