The State Dinner

The State Dinner

Television Episode
Television Episode Less

The State Dinner

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"The State Dinner" is the 7th episode of The West Wing. It is the first time that First Lady Abigail Bartlet (Stockard Channing) appears.


The President tries to focus on key problems—a hostage standoff, a hurricane, and an impending truckers' union strike—all while trying to prepare for an important state dinner with the Indonesian President. While the dinner is going on, Toby and Josh attempt to work out a deal with one of the Indonesian President's aides to release a friend of Toby's from custody, a French national who was working for democratic reforms. The Indonesian President's aide is angry and insulted because Toby's welcoming speech was critical of Indonesian non-democracy, and tells Toby to go to hell. Mandy Hampton argues for a negotiating stance in the hostage standoff in Idaho, because she thinks the FBI entrapped the white separatist suspects on gun charges before it began, but the negotiating plan has devastating results. Leo tries to bridge the labor-management differences with the truckers, which center around a "two-tiered" plan that withholds pay and benefits from truckers who end up working nearly full-time hours at a significant deficit to their colleagues. The two sides make no headway, but President Bartlet has some choice words that might change their tune.

The hurricane is bearing down on Georgia, and Josh helps Charlie get his relatives out of harm's way, but then changes course and is going to slam into the USS John F....... ...
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