As C.J. walks though the plane, Bruno catches up with her and says they might get asked about Title IX; Writchie said yesterday it was worth re-examining, so Bartlet will get asked for a reaction. He suggests that C.J. may want to talk to Josh for "first thoughts." C.J. asks Bruno's. He claims to have none and to be indifferent. She says he can't be. He says he has to be: "I have only so much RAM in my head. I have to prioritize. I have to throw some things overboard. So I've chosen, for instance, not to care whether or not Purdue has a fencing team." Maybe if you offloaded some of your more idiotic and antiquated attitudes toward women you could make some room. Quite a lot, I'll bet.
Bruno takes off and runs into Sam, who introduces Bruno to Debbie Fiderer. Bruno gives her a warm and enthusiastic greeting. Chyeah. Bruno starts pedeconferencing as Sam follows and Debbie trails along. Bruno asks Sam whether he knows anything about the ruling that's about to come down today from the DC District Court regarding a debate case. Sam: "Yeah, I think it's Sullivan v. Commission on Presidential Debates, ABC, CBS, NBC News et al." Bruno: "This is the third-party rule? Fifteen percent?" Sam replies, "Happens every four years." Bruno sighs. Sam says there are, like, 500 citizen lawsuits trying to get their guy in the debate, and it never goes anywhere. Bruno says makes a compliant noise and turns around to face Debbie, who's been standing silently behind him. Bruno: "Fiderer's a funny name." She smiles and says nothing. He continues, "It's not ha-ha funny, it's just, you know..." Still she says nothing. Bruno gives up and leaves. Seems like she's found the way to make him very uncomfortable. I like her more and more.
Sam tells a staffer in the room to stay on the Sullivan decision. Sam explains to Debbie that it's a guy suing so that Stackhouse can be in the debate. Debbie thought Stackhouse was supposed to be endorsing POTUS. Sam says he will. She asks why he would be in the debate. Sam: "Presumably he's endorsing the President because he knew he wouldn't be." She asks how bad it would be. Sam: "It'd be bad." He adds, as they start pedeconferencing, "Which is why, even if he was allowed into the debate, he wouldn't do it. Stackhouse isn't trying to hurt the President." Think again. He wants to get back to her orientation, and tells her that Josh is going to brief her on security and ethics, and Charlie's going to tell her some things. He says she has provisional clearance now, pending the successful completion of the SF-86 and GC-1 background check. She asks what it is, and he says it's an extensive questionnaire on her background: personal, professional, financial, pharmaceutical, etc. She knows what the form is, but she asks what the GC-1 is. Sam explains that they contact family, friends, neighbours, and so forth to corroborate their findings. She says that's fine, but that she's worked at the White House before, and at her last job, the background check wasn't nearly as extensive. Yes, well, you weren't working on POTUS's doorstep before, either, and I would think the difference would be obvious to you. Sam interrupts: "You have a button on your phone -- a crash button." He explains that it's a button that will bring the Secret Service in and immediately turn her office into a live microphone in the event that someone tries to take the Oval Office: "This isn't your last job." C.J. calls Sam away, and he leaves her to ponder that.