In this special episode, the White House is put on lockdown and the staff tries to help a class of gifted high school students come to grips with the events of September 11th.
In this documentary special, clips from all three seasons of the series are aired. Former Presidents of the United States, including Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, as well as former White House staff are interviewed
When Bartlet decides to officially announce his plans for re-election, the staff is thrown into a frenzy to prepare a speech. The speech hits a snag when Sam realizes that Bartlet has yet to apologize for not disclosing his MS and then is further delayed when C.J. slips up in a press conference. Meanwhile, Bartlet has to deal with his own problems, including Abbey, who is enraged that he didn't talk to her about his re-election decision, and whether or not to give the orders for a military rescue of the U.S. embassy in Haiti. Elsewhere, Charlie is advised to get is own lawyer before prosecutors look into his possible involvement in the MS cover-up.
In part two of the season premiere, the staff continues to refine Bartlet's re-election announcement to the American public and call in a political strategist to help them decide whether or not Bartlet should publicly apologize for not disclosing his MS. C.J. continues to deal with the aftermath of her statements of the press conference. Meanwhile, Bartlet continues to make peace with Abbey while contemplating if he should accept the requests of the Haitian leader.
Special Prosecutor Clement Rollins begins his investigation into the President's non-disclosure of his illness. The White House staff isn't happy with getting Rollins as the Special Prosecutor, so C.J. shrewdly drops subtle clues to the press that might get the prosecutor replaced with someone more favorable to the staff. Meanwhile, a forest fire rages in Wyoming and the governor rages along with it when Bartlet backs up the forestry departments decision to let the fire burn itself out; Josh and Toby work on the estate tax that has been tied up in Congress; and Donna goes on a date with a Republican.
With the State Department dinner nearing, Bartlet vetoes the "death tax" bill, throwing the staff into a frenzy when they learn that the House of Representatives will have enough votes to override the veto. Meanwhile, Josh talks to a governor who is debating running against Bartlet in the next Presidential election; Charlie is urged to ask for immunity in the upcoming testimony concerning Bartlet's non-disclosure; and C.J. singles out an entertainment reporter, Sherri Wexler, for retribution.
When a United States submarine "goes quiet" of the coast of North Korea, Bartlet is forced to decide between contacting the enemy or launching a risky rescue. Meanwhile, Abbey learns that past malpractice suits against her might damage the President's criminal investigation; C.J. is thrilled when a presidential candidate is indecisive while speaking in public; and Toby meets with a committee about Congress' controversial funding of avant-garde artists.
On the eve of Thanksgiving day, Bartlet stresses over all things turkey, especially how to best cook a gourmet turkey. C.J. deals with two Native Americans who set up camp in the lobby waiting to meet with an official about public health projects on their reservation, and threaten to start a media bonanza if they don't get their meeting. Meanwhile, Josh tries to get a teenage boy who murdered his teacher extradited back to the U.S. from Italy; Sam works on the new poverty income index that could bring the President serious trouble; and Toby talks to Bartlet about ways to improve his poll numbers.
C.J. goes up against the rest of the staff, including the President, over whether or not to publicize a mad cow disease outbreak. Later, C.J. takes a negative stance on the administration's decision to renew the air base lease in Qumar, a country known for its poor treatment of women. Meanwhile, Josh works with a women's group lobbyist concerned with the wording of a treaty concerning prostitution; Sam deals with a lawsuit against the administration by a woman angry with Bartlet's remarks about a national seat belt law; and Toby meets with WWII veterans protesting a Pearl Harbor exhibit at the Smithsonian
Leo rejects Congressional Oversight Committee's offer that would end the investigation into Bartlet's non-disclosure of his illness. The rest of the staff deals with a revealing book published by a former White House photographer. Meanwhile, Josh plots to meet with Amy Gardner, an attractive women's rights leader; and Bartlet decides to give Charlie a 1709 map of Palestine as a gift, but the staff warns him of the political ramifications of doing so since the map does not include the nation of Israel.
As the staff works endlessly on Bartlet's State of the Union address, Bartlet suddenly requests that a section promising to find a cancer cure within 10 years is added. Sam is interviewed for an article in Vanity Fair magazine by a reporter who has a close personal history with him -- they were once engaged. Meanwhile, Josh has a hard time getting Amy Gardner's attention after telling her that her current relationship with a Congressman is only due to political gain; and Joey Lucas studies the poll numbers prior to Bartlet's speech.
While the staff debates on whether or not to counter an attack on Bartlet from a Republican presidential candidate, Josh is forced to postpone his vacation with Amy Gardner in order to deal with a situation at a Navy firing range Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Sam has a meeting with Robert Engler who believes that gold is missing from Fort Knox; C.J. and Toby square off on affirmative action; and Donna asks Josh to relieve her of jury duty.
Five days after the Iowa caucuses Bartlet is still having trouble sleeping so he consults Dr. Stanley Keyworth for treatment, but it becomes more a sobering wake-up for Bartlet. C.J. lobbies for the release of a White House reporter after the reporter is taken hostage in the Congo. Meanwhile, Toby faces off with his ex-wife over an upcoming foreign policy speech; Sam asks Ainsley to review an act that calls for the U.S. to payback loans to the United Nations; and Donna receives a surprising job offer.
On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Bartlet becomes involved in a game of military chess against China after the Chinese threaten to attack Taiwan. Meanwhile, Josh stresses over 42 votes in the small New Hampshire town of Hartsfield's Landing's election that typically predict the winner of the state's primary; and C.J. plays games with Charlie when she hides his copy of the President's daily schedule, leading to a inter-office war of tricks and mind games.
After Bartlet's remarks about a potential Republican presidential nominee, C.J. is dispatched to do damage control. Toby meets with the new U.S. poet laureate to try to convince her to not speak out about the United States' non-support for a land-mines treaty. Meanwhile, Sam cuts Ainsley's vacation short when he needs help spinning Bartlet's remarks; Bartlet thinks about saving a failing company; and Josh is intrigued when he finds out he has an Internet fan-site: LemonLyman.com.
A truck carrying uranium fuel crashes in an Idaho tunnel, leaving the staff to prepare for an environmental crisis. Bartlet continues to work out campaign strategy, which may include dropping Vice President Hoynes from the ticket. Meanwhile, unaware of his potential exit from the campaign, Hoynes works on a bill that would provide Internet access to the poor, then attends the same Alcoholics Anonymous meeting as Leo. Elsewhere, Charlie files his taxes on-line after being urged to do so by Bartlet, but immediately regrets taking his advice; and Josh tries to get a presidential proclamation honoring the retirement of Donna's favorite teacher.
After making a critical public statement about Saudi Arabia, C.J. receives a serious death thread leading Bartlet to assign Secret Service protection to her. While Sam is busy working out the details of the President's upcoming summit with the new Russian President, satellite photographs show an Iranian nuclear facility built with the help of Russian technology. Meanwhile, Charlie works to find out the source of an encoded letter sent to the President; and Toby debates whether or not to let a controversial Russian reporter attend the upcoming summit.
While C.J., now code-named "Flamingo", adjusts to being followed by Secret Service Agent Donovan, Bartlet and the staff rush to deal with a predicted terrorist attack. Meanwhile, Toby argues with TV network executives when they threaten to pull coverage of national conventions from their broadcast; Sam gets his hands on a copy of a commercial bashing the President; and Josh, back in Washington after the Helsinki summit, gives Donna a gift from his trip: cured moose meat.
Bartlet has a life-or-death decision to make regarding the known foreign diplomat terrorist, and thinks on it while attending a charity event where Governor Robert Ritchie is also in attendance. Meanwhile, C.J. and Donovan come to an understanding regarding their flirtation; Josh and Amy's relationship is threatened when they take opposite stances on a piece of key legislation; and as the search for a replacement for the late Mrs. Landingham continues, Charlie recommends Deborah Fiderer, a former White House secretary.