The re-election campaign is in full swing, and moving quickly -- so rapidly, in fact, that Josh, Toby, and Donna are stranded in Indiana when they are left behind by the motorcade carrying the other staff members. Back in Washington, Sam fills in for Josh; Bartlet interviews Debbie Fiderer for the late Mrs. Landingham's job; Abbey creates a buzz when she calls herself "just a wife and mother"; and the Middle East begins to stir over their missing Defense Minister.
Bartlet interviews Debbie Fiderer for the secretarial position for the second time, and for the second time it doesn't go well. With the Dow continuing to drop and the stress over the Qumaris, Bartlet takes out his frustration on an elderly White House visitor. Meanwhile, General Fitzwallace and Nancy McNally worry about how much the Qumaris know about their missing Defense Minister; Toby, Josh, and Donna continue to make their way back to Washington; and the staff has to deal with a crisis in Iowa when a bomb explodes at a University of Iowa swim meet.
Bartlet, worried about his liability in the Qumari matter, has Leo hire him a lawyer. The re-election campaign deals with a setback when a judge rules that debates must be open to all third-party candidates. Meanwhile, Josh gets mad at Amy after she accepts a job interview; Toby and Josh plan out a new idea for college tuition payments; and the approval process for Deborah Fiderer goes slower than expected when new evidence is uncovered.
Bartlet debates the consequences of ordering a strike force to breakup a barricaded group of terrorists in Iowa, one of whom needs medical attention. Governor Robert Ritchie, Bartlet's Republican rival wants to have less debates, but the staff attempts to negotiate with the Governor for more debates. Meanwhile, Josh accuses his girlfriend of helping Senator Howard Stackhouse, the liberal third-party candidate, draw votes away from Bartlet; and Leo secretly meets with an Israeli official over strategy in regards to the Qumari assassination.
The staff goes on a weekend retreat to North Carolina to prepare for the upcoming presidential debates. While preparing, Bartlet must deal with a possible Israeli air attack on Qumar that could light a fire under other Middle Eastern countries. Meanwhile, flashbacks recall Bartlet and the staff's error-filled first days in office; Josh and Donna recall how she almost lost her job over a national security issue; and Toby considers the prospect of parenthood.
On the eve of Bartlet's final debate of his career, Toby is skeptical that Bartlet is prepared to go head to head with his popular Republican rival, Robert Richie. After rehearsal, Toby meets up with his ex-wife, Congresswoman Andy Wyatt, then informs C.J. that Albie Duncan, an old, crazy Republican will help C.J. in "spinning" the even for the White House. Meanwhile, Leo negotiates a settlement in the Qumar-Israel conflict; Sam attempts to get a deceased Democratic candidate removed from the Congressional ballot; and the staff watches as Bartlet easily defeats Richie in the debate.
On Election Day, Bartlet leaves Washington to shake hands with the voters, but returns to Manchester after casting his own ballot. There, Charlie begins to notice a change in Bartlet's behavior that makes him worry about Bartlet's health. Meanwhile, the deceased Democratic congressional candidate isn't politically dead; Debbie Fiderer begins setting rules that Josh dislikes; and when Andy discovers she's pregnant, Toby worries about how kids will effect their political careers.
The White House staff celebrates after Bartlet's landslide defeat of Robert Ritchie, but Bartlet wasn't the only winner -- Horton Wilde, the deceased Congressional candidate also won his race. This puts Sam in a bad position since someone leaked that Wilde's widow would be able to take over her late husband's seat. Toby's ex-wife, Andy Wyatt, also won her seat with 85% of the vote, but Toby worries how her pregnancy will affect her career. Meanwhile, a coup is brewing in Venezuela; and Bartlet tries to share a romantic night with Abbey to celebrate his victory.
The elections have finally wrapped up, but Hoynes is already planning for the next election, as well as the Senate minority leader, which is plotting to delay the president's legislative agenda. Meanwhile, when the 15 year-old son of an Iranian leader needs a heart and lung transplant and needs to come to the U.S. for the surgery, complicated politics threaten to interfere. Also, Toby tries to repay a Congresswoman whose proposal helped aide Bartlet's victory, but was damaging to the Congresswoman in the polls.
Sam packs up for California to begin his campaign, leaving Toby without speechwriting help. Sam suggests that Will Bailey, a skilled campaign manager to take over his position. Meanwhile, when a female fighter pilot is dishonorably discharged after having an affair, women's groups, as well as the female staffers, want the President to intervene. Elsewhere, Donna asks Josh to find out if Commander Jack Reese has the hots for her.
It’s two days before Christmas and a winter storm blankets the northeast with snow while Danny shows up at the White House dressed as St. Nick, but spreads anything but cheer to the staff. Toby’s father also shows up at the White House, who Toby isn’t keen on seeing; and Zoey also returns to the White House with her boyfriend, who Charlie isn’t keen on seeing. Meanwhile, Bartlet decides to throw out the HHS budget, leading to endless work for the staff during the holiday week; and both Bartlet and Leo visit psychiatrist Stanley Keyworth to talk to him about concentration lapses.
The administration works tirelessly on the foreign-aid bill, but Senate Republicans, as well as Democrats, have different ideas, leaving Josh to get the votes the White House needs. To do so, Josh dispatches Donna to hunt down a freshman senator while Josh deals with a Senator who will only vote with the White House if they agree to fund a medical study on the efficacy of prayer. Meanwhile, Danny continues to get closer to the truth behind the Sharif affair; and Charlie sets out to help a soldier’s family who is in need of food stamps.
C.J. reluctantly returns to her hometown of Dayton, Ohio for her 20-year high school reunion, and ends up enjoying herself when she bumps into a handsome former classmate. However, her enjoyment is cut short when C.J. finds herself in the middle of a sad family crisis – her father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. But as C.J. deals with all the emotion, she constantly feels the need to check up on Toby who’s running the press briefings in her absence.
Bartlet’s second inauguration is only less than a week away, but the staff has to re-write his inauguration address after an escalating genocide in Africa leads Bartlet to consider using force to end it. However, Bartlet’s idea is met with negative responses from both the West Wing and countries from around the world. Meanwhile, C.J. becomes increasingly irritated with Danny while he continues to dig into the Sharif affair; the betrayal of a staff member leaves the administration stunned; and Charlie has trouble finding the Bible for Bartlet’s inauguration.
The staff continues to prepare Bartlet’s inauguration speech and newcomer Will Bailey’s work leaves everyone impressed, especially the foreign policy doctrine it promotes. Meanwhile, Charlie continues to hunt for the Bible for the inauguration; the staff gets ready for possible military action; and Danny’s reporting causes quite a stir.
While U.S. troops take military action against the genocide in Africa, the President and his staff fly to California to campaign on behalf of Sam. However, Congressional Republicans just announced a tax-cut proposal, leaving the administration to counter with a plan that would increase the tax on the rich – something that won’t go over well in Sam’s affluent Orange County district.
News of the hostage situation in Africa cut the President’s California visit short, but Toby decides to say in Orange County to be campaign manager for Sam’s failing campaign. Back in Washington, Josh and the First Lady square off on a budget request involving immunization education; Will Bailey, feeling the pressure of working in the White House, terrorizes his interns; and tensions grow as the staff waits for news on the captured American soldiers.
During Amy’s first day as Abbey’s chief of staff she is given her first task: get the President to veto his own foreign-aid bill now that an anti-abortion rider has been attached to it. Toby finds himself in a legal bind when a former classmate gets into a tough ethical situation involving the E.P.A. Meanwhile, while Zoey is about to be inducted into the Daughters of the American Revolution, Abbey’s membership is threatened when it is uncovered that her ancestors were pirates, not patriots.
As Air Force One prepares to land at Andrews Air Force Base, a front-wheel light indicator fails to go off, meaning either the light is burnt out or something potentially dangerous. Upon hearing this, C.J. has to keep the news from a plane full of reporters and keep them off their cell phones at the same time while the crew checks out the problem. Tensions begin to rise both in the air and on the ground as people begin to wonder if the plane has been tampered with. Meanwhile, Josh and a Republican Congressman work on a Chesapeake Bay-cleanup bill.
When a gunman opens fire in the press briefing room, the secret service puts the staff on lockdown until the situation is under control. While on lockdown, Josh interviews Joe Quincy, a lawyer who applied for Ainsley Hayes’ old job, and though the interview goes well, Josh has a nagging feeling that something is off with Joe. Meanwhile, poker night also continues despite the lockdown, but Bartlet keeps getting interrupted after a spy plane is shot down over Russia.
During his first day on the job, Joe Quincy is given three pieces of information and as he pieces them together, he uncovers a scandal that affects the upper-administration. However, the staff, thinking the leak is small and containable, isn’t aware that the leak is only the beginning of a larger, more damaging problem.
The night before Zoey’s commencement ceremony, Bartlet informs the staff of his role in a covert killing after five alleged terrorists go missing, leading C.J. and Danny to strike up a deal to keep the truth a secret. Meanwhile, Charlie has to decide whether or not to keep a promise he made to Zoey while they were dating; Andy’s water breaks; and Zoey goes missing from the nightclub where she was celebrating her graduation.
After Bartlet learns that Zoey’s kidnapping was arranged by Qumari terrorists, Washington D.C. is shut down as the search for his daughter begins. Thinking he may do something impulsive, Bartlet decides to evoke the 25th Amendment to avoid conflict of interest while the staff fears that terrorists might have orchestrated Zoey’s kidnapping. Meanwhile, Toby gets his first taste of fatherhood when Andy gives birth to twins – one boy and one girl. However, the moment proves to be bittersweet as Toby fears for Zoey’s safety and fears that he might not be a good father to his newborn twins.