West Wing
Jefferson Lives

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Josh bursts through a door, pissed. Ryan is standing around, about as useful as a broken wrench. Josh hands Donna the list and tells her to call each of them in for twenty minutes, and to make it clear it's not about the Vice-Presidency: "They are not candidates for...you know, jobs listed in the Constitution." Donna: "Are they candidates?" Josh: "They are not. They are not. Repeat that." Donna does so, fairly robotically. Josh goes into his office and slams the door.

C.J. talks to Leo about the progress on the President's attempts to find a place for the citizenship ceremony. Leo wants to wait to announce anything until they're sure they've got something. They walk together as Leo says, "On the other thing..." C.J. I'm fine." Leo: "Toby thought you were a little..." C.J.: "Toby's wrong. I'm not." Leo calls Berardi's resignation letter "persuasive." She says it was, but that she's not persuaded. Leo suddenly remembers something he has to do and takes off.

Amy and Abby come through the lobby as Amy updates Abby on cards, calls, and flowers that have come in. Amy tries to broach the subject of the budget changes, but Abby's totally distracted and not paying attention. Amy apologizes. Abby tells Amy that she hired Amy because she trusts her, and that Amy's going to have to handle things for a while longer. Why do I feel Abby will live to regret those words? More importantly, why do I have the feeling that I will, too?

At Debbie's desk, Debbie tells Abby that Jed's just finishing a call with Congresswoman Frost. Abby's not interested; she's looking for Zoey. Debbie tells Abby that Zoey's meeting with Will. Abby tries to leave, but Debbie seems determined to try to let Jed know Abby's there. Debbie's convinced that's what Jed would want. Abby puts the kibosh on that; clearly, Abby's got nothing to say to him. Debbie makes a point of telling Abby that she prayed hard for her. Abby says she appreciates it. Debbie rambles on about how maybe she shouldn't be because she's not religious and maybe her prayers were seen as insincere or an affront and made things worse. Yep, that's straight out of Dumb Condolences for All Occasions. Abby: "Well, it didn't. So maybe there's a clue."

Zoey is reading letters that have been written to and about her. Charlie says that the White House has received about ten thousand. Zoey reads one from a little girl who's also reading the same book Debbie is: "'I hope that they won't kill you, but if they do, that it will be quick.' She put a little smiley face at the end." Charlie tells Zoey she doesn't need to read all that stuff. Zoey says, "Sure I do." Will arrives, apologizing for being late. Zoey asks if it's okay if Charlie stays: "He thinks he needs to babysit me." You know, it would have been nice to hear some dialogue between Zoey and Charlie privately about what happened -- Charlie, I'm sure, is wracked with guilt. Or maybe it would be hellish and pointless; I don't know. Not loving the writing so far this season. It's fine with Will if Charlie stays. He asks how lunch was. Zoey: "You know Dad: 'Jefferson lives.'" Charlie reminds her that Will doesn't know about this. Zoey explains that her father loves "fourth of July stuff" -- like Jefferson and Adams dying on the same day. Charlie adds, "Adams thought Jefferson had survived him -- and 'Jefferson lives' were his last words." Zoey chuckles: "It appeals to Dad -- you know, hope and irony..." Will: "With a little party politics thrown in." Will is there to help Zoey draft a letter to the country. Maybe she's going to explain just what the hell happened. Will says he'll ask her some questions, and then draft a letter for her to review. Zoey seems a little uneasy about that, but agrees. He asks how she feels, and before she can answer, tells her not to worry about phrasing or brevity -- he'll handle that. Zoey: "I feel...lucky. I feel happy to be back. And...grateful. I feel a little bad that so much had to go into this...saving me, and all." Charlie looks at her with concern. She adds, "I wish I hadn't...it didn't happen." Will says they all do. Zoey: "And then I have to go and..." Charlie says at the same time: "It wasn't your fault." She doesn't answer him or look at him, but just stands up saying, "Okay, so that's good, huh?" Will says it's fine and he'll get back to her. She leaves. Charlie looks sad.

Josh and Toby listen to some windbag in the Mural Room. It's Senator Starkey. They've finished with him and send him on to the Oval Office to say hello to POTUS. He leaves through one door. Toby and Josh look at each other and sigh, then let in another candidate through a different door. Hey, it's Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). Actually, it's Congressman Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell. He shakes each of their hands, and then Josh says, "We met at the..." Bob: "Good memory. I wasn't sure you could pick me out of a crowd." Josh: "Luckily, I didn't have to." Josh rambles on about the press climate as they all sit down. The camera then lingers on Russell's cowboy boot-clad foot so long you might think it's Tony Lama commercial. God, we GET it, he's a hick, a yokel, a good ol' boy, a bumpkin, a rube, a yokel, a hayseed, an apple knocker, a chawbacon, a mossback, a provincial. Either that or someone on the show has a big ol' foot fetish, and there's strong evidence for the latter. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Oh, there's confusion afoot! Sorry, I'll stop. Toby says that there's to be no discussion in the meeting of any position within the federal government that may or may not be open. Russell understands. Josh: "Which is not to say this meeting is about that." Toby asks for Bingo's thoughts on the President's and party's agenda for the next three years.

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