West Wing
20 Hours in America, Part I

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | 1 USERS: A+
"Didn't Vote For Him The First Time. Don't Plan To The Second Time."

Shout-out to Alan Swann.

Previously on The West Wing: Simon Donovan bought the farm; Toby and Jed sparred over campaign strategy and political image; Charlie dredged up a fired White House employee to interview for Mrs. Landingham's position; Fitz, Leo, and Jed organized the assassination of the Qumari Defense Minister.

Black screen. A crowd chants, "Four more years! Four more years!" A record of POTUS's activities appears on the screen: 9:55 - Motorcade arrived at campaign site. 10:25 - President concluded campaign event. Motorcade departed for Unionville. 10:30: Phone-r-Sec. Hutchinson. We hear Jed telling the crowd that he likes the thinking of the guy holding a sign that says "Eight more years," but that he thinks he's tested the Constitution about as far as Abby's going to let him. Now we see Jed at the podium, in the middle of a clearing in a field, with red, white, and blue balloons a-waving in the sunshine. He tells an anecdote about a guy whose car gets stuck in a muddy hole. I'm having flashbacks to Leo's story in "Noel." A farmer comes along and says he'll pull the guy out, but it will cost fifty bucks, because this is the tenth time he's had to pull a car out of the mud today. The driver wonders when the farmer has time to work his land: "At night?" The farmer replies, "No, no, nighttime is when I fill the hole with water." The crowd laughs. Jed continues, saying that they need to find energy alternatives, and that they're getting their "cue" now. He says that the Republicans are busy trying to convince voters that they care about new energy and that they're not in the vest pockets of Big Oil, which is a tough sell. Jed says the Republicans' only hope is that the populace doesn't notice that they're the ones filling the hole with water every night: "And I think Americans are smarter than that. I think we noticed!" The crowd cheers and applauds.

C.J. zips across the stage behind POTUS to ask Donna where Josh and Toby are. She says they're in the soybean fields talking to Cathy. C.J. doesn't know who Cathy is. Donna explains she's "the daughter," but that she likes saying that Toby and Josh are in the soybean fields. C.J. says that they're running late. Donna will get them. From the soybean fields, don't you know. Bartlet carries on: "This isn't the time for people whose doomsday scenario is a little less at the pumps for Texaco and Shell. This isn't the time for people who say there aren't any energy alternatives just because they can't think of any. This is a time for American heroes, and we reach for the stars!" The crowd heartily approves, eager, I suppose, to feel like heroes for being willing to drive their big-ass vehicles powered with soy instead of petroleum-based products. Or at least to make a living from those who are willing to do so. Don't get me wrong: energy alternatives (and a lot of other things that go along with them) are long overdue, but I don't know that they qualify as "heroic." That's a word for people who run into burning buildings, and intervene in domestic violence, and hide persecuted people in their basements, and it seems a little over-the-top here. I'm just saying.

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West Wing




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