Josh gets ready to go to his meeting with Thiele. He tells Swimtern that they have a meeting, and Swimtern's response is, "Outstanding." Josh tells him he can't say things like that at the meeting. Swimtern says he was pretty sure he wasn't supposed to say anything at all. Josh agrees. Swimtern asks whom they're meeting with; Josh says, "Congressman Thiele, Democrat from..." Swimtern: "From Rhode Island. He interned for my uncle." Scrooge McDuck, I'm guessing. Josh says he's voting against Russell: "I have to whip him into shape."
Toby comes to Leo's office to tell him that Will's fixing the introduction to the Russell speech. Toby tries again: "I'm not sure I was clear before..." Leo says: "We need to get back our focus. Work up a message calendar, like in the campaigns." Toby: "Long term, I'm talking about something else. Not articulating the message; shaping it." Leo says he does. Toby means full-time. Leo reminds him that he has responsibilities. Toby says he can turn them over. Leo, doubtfully: "To Will." He gazes away for a moment, and says, "We should discuss it." Toby makes a gesture with his chin, as if to say, "Aren't we?" Leo: "Not today." Toby looks slightly disappointed and says, "'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...'" Leo nods and says, "Yeah." He goes back to his memos and what's left of his lunch. Toby walks out, saying, "We are drifting." I can't decide whether it's better or worse to read a lot of the dialogue as a meta-commentary on the show. It's hard to resist, that's for sure.
Josh meets with Thiele. The whole storyline seems to be an excuse to give Swimtern something to do, so let's just cut to the chase: Josh accuses Thiele of grandstanding, embarrassing POTUS, and being a holdout just for the media attention. He says it will make Thiele look "eccentric, like some kind of goofball crank." Josh holds the President's support for Thiele this term over Josh's head and tells him to swallow his petty animus. All I can say is that I'm glad Josh isn't discussing the swallowing of petty animus with Amy. Or Donna, for that matter. Thiele's problem is he doesn't think Russell's good enough, and he knows the staff thinks the same thing, and he knows how Josh got rolled on Berryhill. He talks about putting someone second-rate in office, second in line to a President with a serious health problem: "You want to be embarrassed about something? Be embarrassed about that." He gets up and leaves. Josh looks at Swimtern, who just makes a "Well, how about that?" face. ["Josh should be embarrassed about that waste of space, too." -- Wing Chun] Josh leaves.