Previously on The West Wing: The administration hires Ainsley, a leggy blonde Republican fascist; Josh and Joey find each other charming; Abby Bartlet resorts to terms of endearment when she's pissed; Toby and Leo form their own little CREEP (Committee to Re-Elect the President).
It's 8:54 PM. A newscaster's voice on a monitor just outside the Oval Office in the West Wing informs us that it's six minutes until Bartlet's third State of the Union address, and reminds us that the President must receive permission from the Speaker to address Congress. Amidst a great bustle of activity, Sam's on the phone, impatiently awaiting some information or decision. He's asking the person on the other end if it's a "yes" as Toby comes up and tries to get his attention. Sam asks for a moment and Toby sails on into the Oval Office, which is full of various staff members. As he enters, Toby tells Ed to "delete 'vigorously' from the first sentence." Leo asks which paragraph and Toby tells him. Another staff member asks, "We're not going to vigorously pursue campaign finance reform?" Toby replies, "No, we're just going to pursue it regular [sic]." Ed says, "Not vigorously?" Toby: "Not tonight." Mostly to Leo, he elaborates, "McGowan says we're fine. He feels the word 'vigorously' is inflammatory." He tells the staff also to change the word "choke-hold" to "tight grip." The staff anxiously asks if that's it, but Toby reminds them that Sam's still on the phone. They point out that they only have four minutes. Good thing they won't be using my slow-ass printer once they settle on the wording, or this address would never get off the ground. POTUS strides in and asks, "Where are we?" They tell him Sam's still on the phone. POTUS announces, "Bob Novak just said this was the speech of my political life. You know how many times I've heard that?" Toby tells him about cutting "vigorously" and POTUS says, "Do it." Leo asks Jed how he's feeling; he says good. He asks Charlie, as Charlie helps him with his jacket, whether Abby's already in her seat. Charlie says, "Yes, sir." POTUS doesn't seem to hear him and repeats the question. Charlie repeats his answer. A staff member prods Leo about the time and Leo says they'll get POTUS in the car.
In the area outside the Oval Office, Sam's done with his call and he seems happy. They all pedeconference as they make their way with POTUS toward the car. Leo asks what's going on, and Sam explains, "We put our weight behind SB380. It's a highway improvement bill." Leo: "What else?" Sam: "We set aside some U.S. park land." Leo: "What else?" Sam says that's it. Leo says, "I want to be clear. This is the understanding: we build him a highway and name a park after him, and we have his support for the Blue Ribbon?" Sam confirms this. Toby tells Ginger to tell C.J. that "it's a green light on the Blue Ribbon," and that she'll know what it means. Sam says they'll write it in the car. They reach the door where the limo is waiting, and Leo reassures Jed that the Blue Ribbon is a good thing, although Jed doesn't seem to be having any doubts about it.