West Wing
Election Night

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B | Grade It Now!
Day of Jubilee

POTUS comes into the Oval Office, where Debbie and a technician are reprogramming POTUS's phone. He asks what's going on. She explains that line one now reaches her directly. He asks what was wrong with the old way. Before answering, Debbie ascertains that the technician is done and thanks him. He leaves. Jed wants to know why this is better. Debbie says, "You don't care, sir, it just is." He lets that go and mentions that she has new meeting rules. She says she does. He wonders if that's not apt to create some resentment from people who've been here longer than she. He says, "Whatever you may assume, that wasn't a rube sitting out there, Debbie. She ran the Oval Office for two years and a State House before that." Debbie says, "Yes, sir," and reminds him that line one gets her. She puts a Post-It note on the receiver. He wants to know, "What if instead of you I want a dial tone?" You can see how that'd be preferable at times. She says that's line two, but that he's not going to want one. Jed: "Why?" Debbie says she's going to place his outgoing calls. He says she'll place a lot of them. She insists that she needs to place them all. He says he can place his own phone calls. She explains in a matter-of-fact way, "Soon you might not necessarily remember that you did. When I place the call, there's a record, and that's how you'll know and then you won't be worried about it." He takes this with a lot less umbrage than I expected, i.e., none at all. He says, "That's good. That's a good idea." He says there's nothing else, and she leaves. She stops halfway and turns around and says, "You and I haven't met. In my life, I never would have thought she was a rube." Bartlet: "I'm sorry about that." Wow. Who sprinkled a heaping helping of humility on his Cheerios this morning? As Debbie reaches the door, Jed jumps up and says, "Debbie, I have to ask you...are we talking about...did you bring it up because you...noti -- is there some particular thing today you noticed?" She says no, and asks if he feels all right: "Should I call..." Jed: "No, please. I was talking about something else. Line one is you." She says yes and leaves. Jed stands there, glancing out the door after her.

4:00 PM (PST) Bartlet: 39,063,986 votes; Writchie: 32,365,173. Wilde: 41,364; Webb: 41, 374. Will Bailey takes a call from the County Clerk's legal counsel. He complains that there are power outages in the Case Verde precinct in Santa Ana, and that traffic lights are going on and off in his only legitimately Democratic precinct, so he wants to know whom he would have to speak to in her office about election tampering, if he loses by a hundred votes because people can't cross the street. Sounds like the Clerk is getting on the case immediately. Will hangs up and says, "Pull the sound trucks from Laguna Hills. There isn't enough foot traffic. Put 'em in Anaheim." Elsie tries to get his attention, eventually calling him "Willy" just as he shouts, "When the hell's it going to rain?" Will tells Elsie not to call him that. She says, "The die's been cast, big brother. You're making everyone crazy." Will says, "There's a moment after you cast the die but before it hits the table. Breathe wrong and you'll change the way it lands." He bellows, "Can I get a new weather report?" Elsie wanders away, discouraged by her inability to discourage him. Behind Will is a poster that says "CENSORSHIP IS UNAMERICAN." I wonder if that's Sorkin's little gesture (guess which finger) toward the network mentality that forces him to restrain his use of profanity, a grievance he's expressed more than once.

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West Wing




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