Title: "I Don't Want to be President"
Just after I was born, my father said to everyone
I'd say, I don't want to be President
"Dammit Abbey! I didn't even want to run for President! But Leo and YOU convinced
me that it was the right thing to do for the
"Because you're sick, Jed! Don't you get that?! Who knows how much longer you're
going to be able to function? You've already
"Don't you think I know that?! It's MY body that's shutting down. I know the
risks, Abbey and I'm willing to deal with the
"There are other options, Jed."
"What options? Back Hoynes for President?! I'd sooner take my eyeballs out with an ice cream scoop!"
"Jed!! You made a deal with Hoynes," she reminded him gently.
"Sometimes deals need to be restructured."
"And sometimes they get broken."
They fell into an awkward silence. Jed got up and walked across the room to pour them
each a drink. He offered Abbey a glass, which
I graduated college with my law degree
I'd say I don't want to be President
"Hoynes will understand," remarked Jed.
"I have no doubt that he will," Abbey replied. "Either that or he'll pull a Nixon. This could get ugly, sweetheart."
He sighed and shook his head.
"Jed, I'm scared," she said softly.
He sat down next to her on the sofa and took her hands in his.
"Of what, Abbey?"
"Of losing you. I have loved you since that day you tripped and landed on me in
the Quad. I love your generosity, your spirit, your thirst for knowledge and inane trivia.
I love you for the man you are and the man you want to be. You're my life, Jed Bartlet,
and I don't want to waste the little time that we have left together. I want to be able to
hear you say you love me while it still matters. I want to wake up
Tears were running down Abbey's face as she confided her fears to him. It wasn't easy for her to open up sometimes to him, but he needed to hear what she had to say. He put his arms around her and drew her closer to him. She buried her face in his shoulder and let the tears fall.
Time is a march where the powerful are drummers
He kissed the top of her head as the tears began to subside.
"I've really made a mess of things haven't I?" whispered Jed. "First, I convince myself and you that we should keep the MS a secret and then I tell Hoynes about our deal. Then I let the staff believe that we're going to run again. I don't want to tell them the truth, Abbey, but I know I have to."
"There's just so much I wanted to accomplish before I left office and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface. "
"What do you want to accomplish?" she asked, curiously.
"I want to implement Charlie's proposal for hiring new teachers. There's the Patient Bill of Rights to work on. There's hate crime legislation, balancing the budget, and getting a higher minimum wage passed. There's Social Security and Medicare reform that needs to happen. I want to bring women's issues to the forefront. The list is endless."
"However, none of it means anything without you beside me! You're my rock, Abbey
and I need your heart, your soul, your strength and determination to not only get through
a re-election campaign and another 4 years, but also our life. I've needed you since the
day we met. And if I don't have you and your support, then I'm more than willing to
downstairs right now and tell everyone that I'm not going to
"Who said anything about not seeking re-election?" she asked, looking up at him.
"YOU just said that you're afraid of what might happen to my health if I get re-elected!"
"But I didn't say you shouldn't run, pumpkin."
"Okay, now you're confusing the hell out of me, Abigail Joan Bartlet!"
"Jed, if you're serious about running, then I'll stand beside you to do it. I'll make the campaign appearances and sleep on buses and raise money. I'll do it all if that's what you want. But understand this, we're a team and if your health deteriorates, you'll drop out. Your health and well-being is more important than re-election."
"Do you mean it, Abbey?"
She smiled and nodded her head. "Now, let me see what Toby has written for the address."