EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - AERIAL SHOT - DAY
It sits like a jewel off in the distance -- all glittering
and white. The deep blue of the Potomac stands out against
the monuments as the sound of a HELICOPTER plays O.s..
EXT. WHITE HOUSE GROUNDS - DAY
The most famous helicopter in the world lumbers toward the
most famous house. Scores of reporters are camped out on the
lawn while the huge machine descends like a hurricane...
CLOSER - HELICOPTER
It touches down as the Marine Corps color guard snaps to
attention. The hatch POPS open and a staircase emerges...
FULL SHOT - DOORWAY
After a moment, PRESIDENT WILLIAM HARRISON MITCHELL appears,
accompanied by his wife ELLEN and loyal dog Cupcakes. They
smile from the landing and wave to the world -- a postcard of
TRACKING SHOT - FIRST FAMILY
"HAIL TO THE CHIEF" RINGS OUT across the grounds. For-
midably handsome Bill Mitchell is fit and in his early forties.
His wife Ellen, still in her early thirties, is considered a
classical beauty with a wide "friendly" smile that in certain
photographs seems just on the edge of wistful. The dog frolics
around them as they wave to the press and smile for the world.
Ozzie and Harriet for the Nineties with a bow to FDR and some
Camelot thrown in.
MOVING WITH them...
They stride arm in arm beneath the portico that leads to the
West Wing. The band is still playing as they head under the
archway, disappearing from public view. Then, instantly,
as a handler rushes up and grabs the dog, the smiles vanish.
Bill lets go of Ellen and Ellen lets go of Bill. He turns
to his right and she turns to her left. Off they go in their
INT. WEST WING HALLWAY - DAY
The President strides down the long marble hallway flanked by
his two senior advisors, BOB ALEXANDER, the White House Chief
of Staff and ALAN REED, the White House Media Advisor.
Is everybody in there?
They're waiting for you. And they're
INT. WHITE HOUSE - ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY
It is the seat of power. There is a dark oak conference table
with a crystal chandelier above it. Alan Reed is reading
from a notebook full of polling data while the President glares
at a group of congressional leaders. Bob glares at them,
too, while they cower behind their water glasses.
(reading from his
I wish I had better news... Our
compassion index is off seven
points from the last sample and
that's down eighteen on the year. The
`Cares About People Like Me' numbers
are really in the toilet. We're off
twenty points from March and that was
right after we raised interest rates...
I told them no mayo.
See - - I could veto this Simpson Garner
thing, but I really don't want to do
A couple of the legislators flinch, still staring straight
Do you know why I don't want to do it?
DAVE - Rev. 8/7/92 3.
They all look over at him for a moment. Mitchell leans out
over the table like some great, predatory beast.