West Wing
Constituency Of One

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The 101st Senator

Next, we see Will walking through a fairly deserted hallway with an excellent black and white checkerboard floor. An attractive young woman crosses his path walking out of an office, carrying a large framed picture. She lowers the picture, sees him, and asks, "Are you Will Bailey?" Will: "I could be." He quickly adds -- probably figuring now is the not the time for weak flirtation -- "I mean, yes." Some other woman comes through at that point saying, "He's the one who elected the dead guy." Will says the candidate did the hard part: "Dying." The woman asks, "Is that a joke?" Will says it's not really, and asks if he's in the right place.

We hear "Bingo" Bob's voice from the office behind Will, greeting him. He invites Will into his office -- which is pretty dark despite lamps and sconces on all over the place -- and asks what he'd like to drink. Will asks for "anything with caffeine," and begins apologizing again for the announcement-speech hijinks. Bob shrugs it off, saying he admires speechwriters for having to have the tendency to doubt and the capacity to believe in equal measure. Will wonders why he's there. Bob: "You're the President's voice; you don't think I have an interest in that?" Will doesn't -- not at 12:15 AM on a weeknight. Bob says he has to work longer hours, since he's playing with a handicap. Since when is leaving before the bars close considered "longer hours" around here? Get with the program, cowboy. Bob elaborates: "Spare tire on the automobile of government. Heartbeat away from having a heartbeat. The story of the two brothers." Josh doesn't know what he's referring to. Bob: "One went to sea; one became Vice-President. Neither was heard from again." Josh says that's a new one. Bob thinks he may need more help than Horton Wilder. Will still hasn't cottoned to what's going on, so Bob spells it out: "I'd like you to be my Communications Director. First senior-level hire in the White House." Will's flattered, of course. Bob accuses Will of not thinking Bob's enough of a politician. Will didn't say that. Well, you didn't have to; he read your speech, dude. Bob dredges up some sports metaphor, the point of which is that a coach decides to work with the player who needs more help with his form because...oh, who cares. Bob knows he's not the best politician, but he's VPOTUS: "Imagine what we could do when you teach me the right form." Will says he's a special assistant to the President. Bob's offer: "Chief strategist and senior counsellor to the Vice-President." Will asks: "Are we playing poker?" Bob: "I'm showing you my hand." Will says Bob's looking for his own Toby Ziegler. Well, who isn't, really? Bob says, "I'm looking for someone who can beat Toby to first." Will politely refuses and starts to leave. Bob, not easily deterred: "I like loyalty, Will. I respect loyalty. But you can run out the clock on a Bartlet Presidency that, politically speaking, is over. You can finish something that you never started in the first place. You can run around those little hallways until Toby turns out the lights. Or you can shape the next Presidency from the ground up. Total access. Coach of the team. 'Course, I understand if you're not interested." Will doesn't say anything, but Bob's definitely got his attention. Take the job, dude. You know it's probably a shrewd career move. What political future can you have with the Bartlet administration? And you can take all the Laurens with you! Credits.

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West Wing




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