Speaking of Jed, he's now on the phone with Ellie, assuring her that he'll be okay. As Jed hangs up, C.J. walks in tentatively, papers in her hand: it's a list of the condolence calls that have come in. Jed looks it over, and they glance at the newscast. "It's odd, really, watching yourself be replaced on national television. Planned obsolescence. Presidents and mid-sized sedans." Bartlet: The Oldsmobile President. He seems to be trying to get a smile out of C.J., who manages a wan one and replies, "Yes, sir." She then asks him if he would run again if he could, but he only answers, "I think Mrs. Bartlet might have had something to say about that." "Well, the electorate can be very persuasive when they want something badly enough," C.J. says. "In the service of two mistresses these past eight years. That's been my fate. Thank God for the 22nd Amendment. I'm spared that particular conversation with Abbey." He chuckles, but then stops and stares at the TV, at nothing, and recalls the first time he met Leo, and that they argued. "Who won?" C.J. asks. "I did. I'm sure if you could ask him, he'd say he did." Poor C.J. looks so physically pained trying to smile that it makes my heart break. Jed gets serious and tells her that they "almost lost him" fifteen years ago. He pauses and quietly admits, "I was prepared then. Not today." C.J. looks despondent, and the tears begin to well again in Jed's eyes.
11:45 PM CST. Josh is leaning over something and looking troubled as Donna announces to the room, "CBS may call Maine for Vinick." "Tell them they can't!" orders Lou. Really? That's how it works? Neato. Donna seems as suspicious of that order as I am: "Great, I'll pretend I'm their political director." Lou's frantic: "We're less than a tenth of a percentage point apart. Anything below one percent is an automatic retabulation. I've got fifty election lawyers waiting by the judicial courthouse in Augusta. Now get on the phone and tell them they can't." ["'Election lawyer' is an actual specialty? In odd-numbered years, do they just wait tables?" -- Wing Chun] Donna goes off to make her call, armed with some more factual ammunition, and Edie points out that they have zero lawyers in Oregon, which has twice the votes as Maine. Gee, I wonder if this is possibly going to come back as a plot point. Edie tells her they thought Oregon was "safe," and Ronna freaks: "Well it's not safe! It's dangerously unsafe! It's unsafe at any speed!" They freak out back and forth until Lou shoots in the actual solution to send two lawyers from Nevada up to Oregon. Lou asks about the ballroom where, apparently, "the [sic] Foo Fighters ran out their playlist, Dave Matthews is on his third encore, and the bar's out of Corona." Running down her to-do list, Lou then asks, "How are we coming on the too-close-to-call, time-to-go-home-and-get-some-sleep statement?" Bram tells her that Santos is going over it. Josh seems to snap out of his dream-state to jump in and say no way. Bram says that Santos wanted to see it, but Josh raises his voice to assert that Santos will not deliver that statement personally; if need be, Goodwin will: "Don't turn the next President of the United States into a junior high school principal." At this, Donna, sounding a little bit tired and panicky, asks if it will go all night. Conveniently, Bram's able to say, "Maybe not; turn up the volume." It's just like the elevators. Vermont and Iowa go to Vinick, which sends Lou's head into her hands. But though she looks tired, her hair has that perfect messy wave that I strive for, but always just end up at messy. At least you're looking good, Lou. Hair distracts from eyebrows, I've heard. Ronna then notices another anchor on another screen giving Maine to Vinick, too.