Jed's meeting with Leo, Josh, and a few other people. As the shot comes up over a laptop screen to show Jed, we see a Spider-Man screensaver. I'm guessing that's Josh's computer, not Leo's. Leo's maybe more of an Aqua-Man guy. Leo says that the Majority Leader will move up HMO reform. Jed's surprised to hear it. Leo says they've talked to him, and suggests, "He's moved up HMO reform, and there's nothing we can do about it, and the welfare of your people comes first" as, I guess, the excuse for not attending the summit. One woman says, "He has a Duma; he'll understand." Fitz thinks it makes sense. Sam signals to Josh from the door; Josh gets up and goes out. Leo says it sends a strong message, and allows them to save face. Jed asks the room, "Anybody?" There's general murmuring. Jed asks Leo, "Can I use this to get out of weddings and stuff?" People chuckle. As if they wouldn't. Jed tells Sam, "The Majority's Leader's going to move up HMO reform and my Duma's going to vote on it. What do you think?" Before Sam can say anything, Josh says, "Sir, would you hear what Sam has to say for a moment?" Jed asks what it is.
Sam walks further into the room full of big shots with a bit of trepidation, and warns them that if, by the time he's done, they think he sounded like an idiot, they should just know that he'll be feeling like one, too. Sam explains about Nikolai's desire to contribute to the language of the joint statement. Leo: "What's he getting involved with the language on the statement for?" Sam: "Yeah. And what he wanted added was...." Sam refers to the paper, and this time it reads slightly differently from the way Nikolai read it: "'Together in partnership, we must stem the tide of nuclear proliferation, for why should our two nations still possess power to destroy themselves ten times over? Surely, once is enough.' Now, I have to tell you sir, both these negotiators had conversational English, but they didn't have idioms. I promise you...." Bartlet points out that "stem the tide" is an English idiom. Sam adds that Russians don't have "surely, once is enough" either. Josh says Chigorin wrote that. Leo and Jed look at each other. Sam says he thinks the Russian president is trying to send Jed a message. Fitz looks at Jed. Jed finally says, "He is trying to send me a message." Immediately, the whole group starts murmuring its agreement. For some reason this makes me laugh, since they suddenly seem like such a silly bunch of yes-men and yes-women. Jed stands up and says, "We've been trying to get 'nonproliferation' on the agenda. We've been trying to put those exact words in Chigorin's mouth." Josh says, "He's got a whole Soviet defense establishment that's trying to do business." Fitz interjects, "Wait a second, hang on. You're telling me that foreign policy of this magnitude is conducted through Sam, and I'm still alive?" Luckily Sam has a Teflon ego and is not crushed by these kinds of remarks. He replies, "We're pretty impressed ourselves, Mr. Chairman." Fitz wonders why Chigorin didn't just have somebody pick up the phone. Josh explains that it's the old diplomatic corps, and Chigorin wouldn't trust them yet. Jed says, "Fitz?" Fitz cogitates for a moment and then says, "I think he's going out on a limb. I think you should meet him there." Jed declares, "Let's go to Helsinki. But the reactor's first thing on the agenda. Anybody?" There are general murmurs of assent. There's a lot of mutual thanking going on, and then people start taking off. Leo quietly tells Jed that Jake Kimball is in Leo's office. Jed says he'll be right in.