West Wing
Election Day, Part I

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Election Day, Part I

Houston 6:36 AM CST. At the airport, Mr. And Mrs. Santos deplane. She's rocking a white coat and scarf -- although with white gloves, about which I'm not as sure. He's completely at a loss of what to do now that there's no staff ordering him around. She tells him that his only plans are vote and home, and that he's already delivered his last stump, with a tone of giant relief in her voice. She pats his arm. They're on a roll this morning -- shockingly, they also aren't late for anything right now.

6:50 AM CST. Josh gets out of the elevator and runs into Donna coming out of her own hotel room; he notes that she changed and looks nice. She thanks him, and it's still All Awkward, All The Time. After another try at small talk, she conspiratorially leans in and mentions that she doesn't want to be in the same clothes she had on the night before. I happened to pause the show right here for a fantastic embarrassed yet delighted smile on Donna's face. Unfortunately, while she's smiling, Josh is completely nervous and unable to react. He launches back into work talk and then goes right into "You don't have to worry; a lot of people are going to be doing the walk of shame today. Not that what we did was shameful. Or is shameful; that's not what I meant." Fortunately, their entrance into the war room mercifully cuts this conversation short. And Josh, a walk of shame is back to your car and your own home, not walking back into work in the same clothes. Not that there's anything wrong with that either, but if you're going to use the term correctly, you should know. I did a walk of shame once at a rodeo. Well -- at the fairground the morning after the rodeo. I know my walks of shame, I assure you, and just am looking out for your usage.

Josh is briefed by Teddy about surrogates, volunteers, people on standby, exit polls, etc. He winds up his briefing with "We've got it completely handled, Josh." An extra comes up and hands him a piece of paper with a little flourish like it's going to be the best damn delivered paper EVER on this show. Josh can't seem to believe that his staff would be handling this right now. "Really?" "Really," Teddy assures him. Bradley Whitford is doing smell the fart acting to display his nerves. I'll hand it to the makeup department -- well, for his sake I hope it's just the makeup department -- that he's got ginormous bags under his eyes. Lou comes up to tell him it's time to "thank the troops." He mumbles, "The wait begins..." and I think that right now he can handle very few things worse than he can handle waiting. Josh makes a noise, and Lou totally realizes that he had no idea he would have to actually thank everyone today. He gathers everyone and then gets up on a computer chair and before I can think "Wow, that seems unstable," he's started smoothly rolling around to face the opposite way before grabbing a light fixture to right himself. Unfortunately, his speech goes from how long it's been, to meeting everyone, on to how much they've learned, such as the lesson that one "doesn't give shout-outs during radio interviews, and that we don't encourage our college buddies to hurl expletives at our opponent." This turns into accusations, which then becomes Josh's being told that he already fired the person he's accusing. His whole audience is suitably uncomfortable by this time. He begins his wrap-up by calling it a special day, and then orders them to get feedback from family and friends who have voted, and the staff scatters. "Good group," Josh observes to Lou. "Yeah...um, you might want to work the phrase 'thank you' in there somewhere." Oh Lou, must you be so technical about a thank-you speech? "Thank you! Appreciate it," Josh throws out to the room. Lou manages to glance at her watch just in time to count down the last five seconds before the polls open. Josh appears to actually be hyperventilating, and we get a loving close-up of his giant, furrowed brow.

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West Wing

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