West Wing
Election Day, Part II

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Lauren S: B+ | 3 USERS: A+
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One Chapter Ends, Another Begins

Newscaster speculation is spewing forth from the squawk box; this time, it's Vinick watching TV with Sheila. Bruno comes in to tell him that Santos is on the phone, but when Vinick cracks a joke, Bruno only seriously replies that he should take the call. As the TV sounds, Vinick looks surprised at this reaction.

Santos is on the phone, thanking Vinick. He hangs up as, on TV, the commentator announces the breaking news that Leo McGarry was pronounced dead after a massive heart attack. The war room is silent as everyone watches his accomplishments listed -- he was clearly revered by everyone. Every room with a TV contains a silent crowd, including the White House, where Margaret quietly swallows the tears rolling down her face and looks like she's not quite holding it in. The entire party in the ballroom is silent, as Moyer narrates that Leo had more experience than "the top of the ticket." A younger, better-looking news guy says, "More than one Democratic operative might be saying, with the loss of this party eminence and elder, what now for the Santos campaign?" Helen buries her head in Matt's shoulder as he shakes his own ever so slightly.

It's 9:15 PM CST, and the powers that be are in Santos's room, where Lou tells him that they need an immediate statement. Goodwin (Dr. Anspaugh, it's so hard for me to call you by a different name!) tells him he could pick another name to try to avoid Vinick's contesting the issue. Helen asks if he could really contest the result, and Goodwin replies, "We don't have a lot of precedent to guide us here." Santos tells them he won't pick a new running mate in five minutes. The others talk about the close race, the DNC approving Santos's new pick, etc., but fortunately, he breaks in to declare, "Leo is on the ballot. If I win, he wins. There's nothing we can do about that now." Helen asks what happens next, and they explain that the electoral voters can actually vote for any VP. However, if Santos asked them to do that, Vinick could claim he was "circumventing the voters." Santos: "The alternative being..." "Wait until you take office in January and nominate somebody under the 25th Amendment." Lou tries to break in and plead, presumably for a statement, as the other men talk back and forth and their idea seems to gain momentum -- it would be a better option that Vinick would have a harder time challenging. Lou gets her moment and, in a single breath, reminds everyone that the election isn't yet decided and that Santos has to make a statement. Goodwin has a very funny "Huh, that's true..." look on his face. Santos agrees, but doesn't want a fluffy speech: "I lost a friend here tonight, okay?" He's the candidate, yet he's one of the only ones who seems to want to remember that a life was lost this evening. Bram mentions that invisible Mallory is on her way to the hospital, and reports that Josh is there, too. Lou asks if Santos needs him. Santos: "I need Josh to be wherever he needs to be. Get me that statement. Thanks."

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West Wing

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