Patsy Cline swings us into the episode. She's out walking, after midnight, in the moonlight, as one does. To which I say, Patsy, are you crazy? It's cold outside. We see a series of hotel and motel signs, all welcoming the Iowa Corn Growers to town. The ever-reliable (and ever-annoying) subtitles let us know that we are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I'm glad that they specified that it was Iowa -- I thought that perhaps the Iowa Corn Growers might have been holding their meeting in Cedar Rapids, France. I'm starting to think that the one of the promo monkeys got his or her cousin a job in the subtitles department. A car pulls up in front of one hotel, and the driver drops Donna off, asking if she'll need him again in the morning. Hmmm. I assumed he was a driver, but maybe he's a gigolo? In any case, Donna says that she'll let Mindy know if she needs him.
Donna enters the hotel (pulling her rolling suitcase behind her, natch) and asks the front desk if there are any messages for room 412. The subtitles tell us that it is "Wednesday 12:55 AM." The desk clerk hands Donna a long FedEx package and tells her that "Mr. Bailey" is still in the café. As Donna walks away, the clerk asks if she wants a 5:45 wakeup call. Donna sounds exhausted as she calls back, "Yeah, or you could just have someone come to my room and hit me over the head with a mallet or something." I think there are other people staying in this hotel who could use a mallet to the head a lot more than Donna could.
Donna and her rolling bag enter the café (which looks an awful lot like a full-fledged restaurant to me), and finds Will and a bunch of other campaign workers filling up the tables in one corner of the joint. They're discussing the name for a hog roast that is being planned ("Pig-Out With Bob" seems to be the front-runner), and as Donna walks up, someone asks her how South Carolina was. She tells them that it was "southern," and goes on to tell them that she picked up "half a million" at the donor conferences. They discuss plans for the next day, and in response to Donna's question as to what she should be doing, Will tells her that they need to "pack the stage for Thursday's debate with five or six fringe candidates." A woman named Christine starts running down the list of possible debaters, which includes "two recently released federal inmates, an airline mechanic, two men over the age of eighty, a comedian, a nun." I get why the recently released inmates might be fringe candidates, but is there any reason in particular that an airline mechanic is considered a nutcase? And why the hell shouldn't a nun run for President? (Sorry for the cursing, Sister.) Christine keeps going down the list as a political horn-dog nearby reminds her not to forget Jennifer James. Will expositions that she's a porn star, and Horn-Dog tells us that she's "got talent." Will adds that she's also got stamina. Oh, God, now I know who Will is. He's That Guy (D.C. variety), also known as That Political Guy Who Will Talk Policy For Hours As Though It Is Fascinating, And Then Make An Unforgivably Crass Comment. I hate That Guy, and D.C. is full of them. Donna wonders why they want these fringe candidates on the stage. Will tells her that the idea is to frustrate Hoynes's attempt to be on stage alone with the Veep, and instead make him look irrelevant by surrounding him with a bunch of nutcases. Will dismisses everyone, reminding them that the morning staff meeting is at 6:00.