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."

Josh says to his cohorts -- who've all been standing around the Jeep waiting -- "Let's get to the train station." Tyler chooses this moment to ask Toby, "You ever love so much it hurts? Like, physically hurts?" Toby considers this briefly and replies, "Get in the car."

Back on Air Force One, Jed's conducting, with a second candidate, much the same interview he'd already conducted with the first assistant candidate. He mentions the need to be good with names, numbers, and dates, because he's not. This one -- with a similarly frosty demeanor -- thinks it's unusual for a man of Jed's intellect not to be good with names and numbers: "Especially an economist of your stature." Wow. Some people really don't know what to say in interviews, do they? Jed says it's not a matter of intellect, but of memory, and that they're two different gifts. Which is true. He says he's just never had the gift of memory. I think Sorkin plucked this trait right from Martin Sheen himself, whose poor memory for names is well-known. He called Allison Janney "the tall lady" until her tactic of calling him "Pumpkinhead" in response forced him to learn her name. Or so I've read. It's a cute story, so we'll go with it. I wonder if he can remember which of his children are named "Sheen" and which are named "Estevez." Tactless Candidate #2 says that there are exercises one can do to improve memory. Jed says he'll try to find time for that, and gets back to interviewing her. He wants to know what the most challenging part of working for the Ambassador of France. Her reply: "The pliable relationship the French have with time." Oh, suddenly we're all Ms. Tact and Diplomacy. Too late. Jed: "Mmm." Ms. T&D: "Yes, sir." Jed: "I make fun of the French as much as anybody and I don't even know what that meant." Come on. Sure you did. She starts to explain, but he stands, says he thinks she's terrific, and thanks her for coming in.

As Ms. T&D leaves, Charlie sticks his head in to ask if Jed can see Bruno. He can. Bruno comes in and asks if he wants some good news. Jed says he would love some, given that the market's down 425 points. Bruno thinks it's going to rally, but even if it doesn't... They start pedeconferencing, and I can't quite make out the end of Bruno's comment. Jed says that 425 points represents billions of dollars that are no longer there heading into the last quarter, which is Christmas. Bruno thinks it's going to rally. His good news is that they've held or made slight gains in almost all the polls. He reads: "ABC/Washington Post: Bartlet 50, Writchie 44...I'm all right referring to you colloquially?" Jed nods. Bruno continues: "CBS/New York Times: Bartlet 50, Writchie 43. NBC/Wall Street Journal: Bartlet 49, Writchie 43." Jed says, "You said 'almost all.'" Bruno says that the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showed results of Bartlet 46, Writchie 45. Jed wants to know why Gallup has it as a one-point race. He figures it out: it's because they're polling likely voters and not registered voters. "That's why they're getting the same numbers we do." Bruno tells Jed to wait until the debates. The election's in six weeks. He points out: "The world was created in a lot less time." Jed: "One day I'll buy you a beer and you'll tell us all how you did it." Snerk. POTUS goes back into his office.

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West Wing




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