Having joined the glamorous lifestyle of the MBTV family, all I can say is: props to the caterers. And of course to Doppelganger and Sugar Larry, whose recaps of the first two episodes gave me enough information to figure out who all the characters are. I'd also like to mention that my computer crashed when I'd almost finished this, so I had to redo most of it, and words cannot express how tired I am of typing the name "Katzenmoyer."
Previously on The West Wing: Tension grows between Leo and the VP, the staffers exchange witty banter, and a dead cop's son is hired as Sheen's aide.
A title cards inform us that it's Monday. The Prez is speaking at an event of some kind, with a banner behind him reading "Practical idealism," which is a nice contradiction in terms and therefore a completely plausible political slogan. The Prez finishes a joke with the punchline, "Why is it only sons of bitches know how to lick a stamp?" which inexplicably causes the audience to howl with laughter. As he rallies the crowd in favor of gun control laws, Leo answers his phone and is disturbed by what he hears. He finishes his call and tells Josh, "We lost five votes." Josh says, "Give me names," and Leo says "I don't got [sic] them yet."
I don't know a whole lot about how this works...I know they do keep careful track of who is going to support or oppose a bill, and it seems to me that if they know that five people have changed sides, they ought to immediately know which five. But maybe they don't know because of a communication problem. I'm just sayin', it seems odd.
The Prez continues his rabble-rousing with the old saw about how if you have the law on your side, argue the law, and if you have the facts on your side, argue the facts, and if you have neither, bang your fist on the table. Then he says, "Well, we have the law on our side now, and we have the facts on our side now..." So that little anecdote had nothing to do with your debating position; why mention it? Also, the Prez is shouting in the manner of a revival preacher. As far as I know, politicians who rise to this level, for better or for worse, aren't this enthusiastic about anything, because yelling a lot tends to scare people.
Josh and Leo are on their phones, trying to find out how they lost those damn votes. Maybe they're under someone's couch cushions. The Prez finishes his speech and exchanges hugs with folks as the band breaks into "Happy Days Are Here Again." Cue the obligatory walking-and-carrying-on-mutiple-conversations-during-one-continuous-shot. Sam and Toby discuss the fine points of the speech. C.J. compliments them both, but then Josh tells her that "we lost five." C.J. is wearing a halter-top evening gown, and I think there's something weird about her back but I'm not sure what. Sam complains about the musical selection. Mandy insists that the president likes "Happy Days Are Here Again," and Sam says "We try to avoid having the president make aesthetic decisions." The Prez asks Toby what he thought of the speech, and Toby says "I thought my work was outstanding, Mr. President." That seems true to form. The Prez admits to improvising a bit, and we know that he is very happy with his changes, and that Toby isn't. Toby says that the First Lady left a message reminding the Prez to take his back medication, but the Prez says "Those darn things make me goofy." Amazingly, no one asks how Martin Sheen could be goofier than he is. They finally arrive outside at the Prez's limo, and a few girls scream "We love you, Josh!" Josh thanks them and jumps into a car. C.J. offers "It helps not to know him." Heh. ["'Josh'? When Sam is around? As if!" -- Wing Chun] Good thing there aren't any reporters around to speculate about conflicts among the staffers. Cue the credits.