West Wing

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In the next scene, C.J. is clarifying with Mrs. Landingham that Josh and the President were really up until 2 AM talking about national parks. Mrs. L gently wisecracks, "I'd imagine the President was doing the lion's share of the talking." At this point Jed bursts out of his office brandishing the newspaper and announces, "We've beat the banking lobby!" C.J.'s a little doubtful, and wants to know if he's sure the bill will pass. He's sure. C.J. then asks him if he and Josh were really up until 2 AM talking about national parks, which the President takes as a cue for a new lecture on the same subject. Luckily for C.J., Mrs. L is sitting there and riding herd on the Prez about a caller that's on hold for him. POTUS starts back into his office while reminding C.J. to "be talking about" the banking bill today. He suddenly remembers more national park factoids he wants to share and starts spewing them to C.J., but Mrs. L. reminds him of his caller. Mrs. L shoots C.J. a fond, indulgent smile as the Prez charges back into his office. (Note: The President really is a nerd, but he's just the sort of genuinely-enthusiastic-if-a-bit-pedantic sort of nerd I go for in a big way, so I like him.)

Next it's over to the Veep (who really is very Dan Quayle-esque, very news anchor-y, which of course makes me dislike him). He welcomes everyone to "our third Cabinet meeting, our first in six months" and then goes into a brief fishcakes speech about unique opportunities and ideas and discussions. He announces that their first priority should be to find a way to work with Congress. Just then the President walks in, gives his Cabinet some good-natured grief about themselves, and tells them all to sit down because they're "freaking [him] out." (I don't believe for one minute that any U.S. President would use this phrase in that way, but whatever.) POTUS then ambles over to the secretary and asks her if she's taking minutes. Um, obviously she's not a Cabinet member or you would recognize her; what the hell else would she be doing? I realize he's trying to friendly and have the common touch and all, but this struck me as a tad disingenuous. That's nothing, however, compared to the fact that he proceeds to introduce himself: "I'm Josiah Bartlet, President of the United States." As if she wouldn't know. It's patronizing. I suppose it's meant to show humility, but it comes off arrogant anyway. He asks Mildred the secretary for a recap. Jed takes the opportunity to interject his own brightly sarcastic remarks. When she gets to the part about working with Congress the Prez wants to know who said that. He then buttonholes the Veep: "Don't you think our first goal should be finding a way to best serve the American people?" (Could anyone get to the office of POTUS and be this happily idealistic even in the relative privacy of a Cabinet meeting?) When the Veep tries to backpedal, Jed puts on his glasses to peer at the record for himself. (Um, snerk...I like Jed, and his alter ego Marty, but if there has been a U.S. President in my lifetime who can read shorthand, I will eat my Betty Boop baseball cap.) Anyway, Jed proceeds to prove that the Veep did in fact say what Mildred read, and the President finally decides that the meeting can move on. Thank God. This must be why they only have these meetings every six months.

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West Wing




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