West Wing
In God We Trust

Episode Report Card
LTG: B- | 5 USERS: A+
A Wheel In A Wheel

C.J. sits at her desk marking up a document while a talking head on her television discusses the results of the primary in New Jersey, where the polls have just closed. Talking Head reports that Vinick has scored another victory. C.J. looks just a bit peeved. She's probably concerned that if Vinick becomes President, there's going to be a lot of jokes about Hot Lips and a still in the Oval Office.

Toby is in his office, watching the same coverage. Talking Head reports that the results of the Democratic primary are still too close to call: "Vice-President Bob Russell was the favorite coming into this final primary tonight, but our exit polls show another very tight race between Russell and Texas Congressman Matt Santos." Eh. I'd rather see the two of them in a tight embrace.

In a hotel suite somewhere (presumably in New Jersey), Bingo Bob and his posse watch the same coverage. The mood is quite subdued.

And the mood is no better in the Santos suite. Talking Head tells us that if Santos wins, he would end up only about one hundred delegates behind Russell, although neither candidate would have enough to have a lock on the nomination. And I have to point out that primary elections aren't winner-take-all. Regardless of whether Santos ends up just a little bit ahead or a little bit behind Russell in NJ, each man would get about half the delegates (assuming nobody else got any significant number of votes). Why do I expect realism from this show? Santos gives Josh a very strange look. I think he's trying to decide if he's in the mood for a little post-primary nookie.

Vinick HQ is jumping, as people clap and cheer the announcement that Vinick has the Republican nomination sewn up. Which, if he's really been winning big all along and this is really the final primary, should have been the case a long time ago. Oh, sorry, there I go again. I suspect that I'm going to have to really focus on forgetting political reality when I watch this show -- at least until the election in November. Talking Head reports that Vinick's last opponent, Reverend Don Butler, is expected to concede the race from his own HQ in Virginia. An aide whispers something to Jill (a.k.a Sheila, but I'll stick with Jill), and Jill leaves the room.

Jill walks into the bedroom, where Vinick is staring out a window. She knocks to get his attention, points at the phone, picks it up and tells the caller that the Senator is ready. It's Butler, calling to concede the race. As Vinick takes the call, Jill's own cell phone rings. It's one of her children. We hear little snippets of each conversation, but not enough to make sense of either one. When Vinick hangs up, he tells Jill that Butler wants a meeting. She tells him that they need to "move fast on V.P." Vinick takes the hint that she thinks he should ask Butler, and Vinick tells her that while he really respects Butler, "he beat [Vinick] up pretty bad on abortion during the primaries. How's he gonna walk back from that?" To paraphrase Rankin and Bass, put one foot behind the other? Jill thinks that Butler and Vinick can just agree to disagree; she thinks it will make Vinick look strong if he can accept a Veep who disagrees with him. Vinick thinks it will make it look like he's just trying to suck up to the conservatives. Which I would think is something he would have had to do in the process of seeking the Republican nomination. D'oh! I think I need to get one of those collars they use to stop dogs from barking. Every time I whine about a lack of realism, it will give me a shock. That'll either shut me up or help me develop a tolerance for pain. With perfect timing, Jill turns on the television just as Butler is about to begin his concession speech. How did she do that? Oh wait, perhaps the television was already on and she just un-muted it. That would be logical.

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West Wing




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