West Wing
20 Hours in America, Part I

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | 2 USERS: A
"Didn't Vote For Him The First Time. Don't Plan To The Second Time."

The phone rings. We hear Sam's voicemail message: "I'm sleeping for a few hours right now so you can leave a message or if you really need me, you can shout into the machine and I'll wake up." That was your first mistake, Sam. We see him sleeping peacefully. It beeps, and we hear Josh scream, "Sam!" Sam wakes up suddenly, and whirls around violently, knocking his lamp to the floor. He's wearing a grey team t-shirt and black boxer shorts. Kinda seems like a tighty-whiteys guy to me, but whatever. Maybe some girlfriend set him straight. ["As it were." -- Wing Chun] As Sam struggles to grab the phone, which has also been knocked to the floor, he says, "It's all right...it's all right...hang on. No problem." He manages to grasp the receiver and says hello, apologizing. How like Sam to apologize to someone who's woken him out of a much-needed sleep. Well, at least Josh apologizes too, saying he know Sam's supposed to be sleeping. Sam say's it's no problem, and wonders what's going on. Josh explains that he, Toby, and Donna are stranded in Indiana. Sam figures that they missed the motorcade. Josh outlines the whole sorry tale, winding it up with "we were waylaid by some mean schoolgirls." When he puts it that way, it almost sounds like something he might have enjoyed. He adds, "Alpha girls, you know what I'm saying?" Donna admonishes Josh as he walks past her and he insists, "They were." Sam -- still trying to catch his breath, and sitting on the floor -- wonders what they're doing now. Josh says they're trying to get a ride to the Connersville Metro, which will take them to Indianapolis, where they're going to get a flight to either Dulles, BWI, or LaGuardia. I don't know from airports or geography, but I understand that LaGuardia isn't the most logical third choice. Maybe he's bringing the funny. ["Maybe because it's an American Airlines hub (I think), it'll be easier for them to get from there to wherever they're going next?" -- Wing Chun] Sam says that he can farm out a few memos for him if Josh gives Sam his call sheets. Josh needs Sam to do more than that: "I need you to staff the President. He's got one of those days." Sam: "I don't know what it is you do in there." Josh says he does: "Anything ceremonial, security-related, or personal, you leave the room. As it gets later in the day, he's going to start to talk to you. You're gonna tell him how the meeting he just had with his council of economic advisors relates to the meeting he had with the Agriculture Secretary, relates to his Intelligence briefing, relates to the environment, relates to jobs, relates to education, relates to the campaign. You're his...wide-angle lens." Sam says softly that there are going to be any number of areas in which he can't give POTUS expert advice. Josh: "Welcome to the club, partner. We got jackets." Sam's doubtful, but says he's not going to let Josh down. Josh: "You never do." They hang up. Sam, head bowed in weariness, orders himself: "Get dressed...now."

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West Wing




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