After the commercial, Donna's talking to other staff members who've been chasing Hardin all over God's green earth. Or at least the part between D.C. and Atlanta. They keep getting sent all over the place trying to find her. Allegedly she's on her way back to D.C. from Atlanta for the vote. Donna asks them to find out if it's a commercial flight. Josh appears to complain that it's been an hour and a half and they can't find her. Donna says she doesn't want the call. Josh: "No kidding." Josh hands her a cell phone and says, "Donna, your job is to take this, find her, and stick it in her hand. Make big plays today." He walks off as a staffer tells Donna her flight lands in thirty-five minutes. Donna grabs her coat and runs.
POTUS is giving a speech somewhere. "We live in an interdependent world and we should act like it. We live in a global community and we should sustain it. We should cross borders. We should cross borders to build sustainable democracies that can banish privation and fear. And we should cross borders to bring food and medicine and roads and schools and teachers to parts of the world forgotten by all but the warlords. We're gonna pass this Foreign Ops bill." All of this has been said to constant and increasing applause and whistling. Now, the audience is actually getting to its feet, and they're so loud you can hardly hear Jed. "This should be a century of hope and prosperity everywhere. And America is going to lead the world and not just bully it." "Not just bully it," eh? Well, that's welcome news. Jed thanks them and leaves. I love how pretty well every speech this season has been resoundingly well-received. This one gets a deafening ovation.
Jed comes backstage to where Leo, Toby, Zoey, and Punky Le Pew are waiting, and gripes to Leo, "What the hell is going on?" Zoey interjects: "That was great, Dad!" Jed: "Hey, thanks, Peach Patch." Peach Patch? He asks Leo again what the hell is going on. Leo whispers as they walk away together, followed by everyone else, "Hardin's a yes if we can get her on the phone." Jed: "Which is why we can't get her on the phone?" Leo says she's been a little slippery: "But this is where Josh eats." Jed, angrily: "We have many, many backup plans in the works? Josh has broken people into teams and they're developing and executing rapid-response backup plans?" Leo: "Yeah, okay." He turns and tells Toby they should probably have a backup plan. Jed: "Oh, my God!" Leo: "A split second of humour injected in the middle of a stressful day, sir. Sounds to me like we're talking about the act of a friend." Jed: "Please, my daughter's dating a kid who's better-looking than my wife." The kid's right behind Jed as he says this, by the way. He certainly is taken with Frenchie's looks. That makes…him and Zoey. He carries on: "I have only so much RAM to give over to…C.J.!" She comes up on his left, and he says, "I'm sorry, but once again…there's a cow?" She explains that it's connected to an organization called Heifer International, which provides milking cows (and many other types of livestock, from llamas to bees) to poor families in developing nations in order to help them develop self-sufficiency. Jed wonders if she's okay with a picture of him with a cow. What, it's somehow more foolish than pardoning a turkey? C.J. says she has her concerns. Jed's ire seems way out of proportion to the situation as he rags on her about why she agreed to it in the first place. Wasn't he just out there stumping for foreign aid? What the hell does he think Heifer International is trying to do? I would think he'd be excited to support them. Anyway, he figures out it was Abby's idea. C.J. says she'll think of a way to make the picture work. He wishes her luck with that, and says, "Now turn around casually and tell me if Le Vicomte de Valvert has got his hands anywhere near anyone who's related to me." C.J. turns and glances, and then says, "That is a good-looking young man." Jed bellows, "Zoey!" She says, "I don't respond when you shout." Jed: "Yeah, I think you'd respond if I stopped feeding you!" Seriously: What crawled up his ass and exploded? Zoey says to Frenchie, "Ignore him." Frenchie, blithely: "Oh, yes, I do." He turns his attention to Charlie and asks, "This envelope that interests you, it was what?" Shut. Up. Pierre. Zoey: "What envelope?" Charlie explains that the woman on the rope line is a private in the Army and her family is on food stamps. Pierre: "An American soldier on food stamps?" Charlie: "It's a big family." Le Vicomte Eurotrash: "And you read this letter as if it was special?" Charlie says she handed it right to him. Le Vicomte asks whether after he reads it, he just throws it on the pile with the others. Honestly. Shut. Up! As if you care. As if you even know what food stamps are. Charlie says yes. Eurotrash Boy says this woman sees Charlie standing next to POTUS, but doesn't realize he's powerless to help. Charlie, very conscious of Zoey watching all this: "I'm not powerless. I called the DoD and asked them to give special notice to the letter." He walks off as Bartlet calls him. As he walks toward Jed, he instructs Stacy to get that envelope back: "I gotta call the DoD."
As they leave the building, someone calls out to Toby: "Who writes this hand-holding crap for the President anyhow?" Hey, it's Bill Scully! I never liked that guy. Scully, not that actor. Toby turns and says, "Free food and the gentlelady from Tennessee." Scully retorts that the food wasn't free, and asks if the President was really comfortable defining fifty years of security policy as "bullying." Actually, I think that's kind of a generous word for it. Toby says, "I don't think he was talking about the last half-century and neither do you." Scully asks what happened to politics stopping at the water's edge. Toby says food is apolitical. Since when? Scully: "Not at 10:30 tonight it isn't." He adds that they're going to have a hard time getting Hardin on the phone. Toby asks, "Jimmy, you want to tell me something I don't know?" Scully says he's got a yea vote for him: his own. He asks if he can be in Toby's office in an hour. Toby asks him if he can make it half an hour. He can't.