I want to thank everyone who's dropped me a line to congratulate me on my new place. Still no cable, but I soldier on.
Also, thanks to the dozens of you who wrote to me to explain what a HALO drop is. If you're not one of those dozens, it turns out to that HALO stands for "High Altitude, Low Opening." You jump from a plane at some ridiculous altitude (30,000 or 40,000 feet), breathing from an oxygen canister, and don't open your parachute until you are just about to crash into the earth. Of course, it turns out that Deborah figured out the same thing last season. I must remember that the search feature is my friend.
The camera pans past several rows in an airplane. Everyone seems to be writing furiously on a laptop, until we get to one guy who is writing on an orange. He reaches down and rolls the orange up the center aisle of the plane.
OrangeCam! The orange rolls straight up the aisle. Where's Ralph Wiggum when you need him? Ah, well, if I must do the honors myself...Go, banana! After a bit more rolling, the orange hits the foot of one Josh Lyman. Man, that guy really knows how to aim -- remind me to get him on my team at the next West Wing bowling tournament.
Josh picks up the orange, stands up, and starts walking toward the rear of the plane. As he walks, we see a shot of the orange. In black magic marker, it reads "Hoynes up 9 in CA." Despite the fact that the orange didn't roll through any curtains, Josh throws open the curtains that separate two sections of the plane. Instantly, reporters start calling out questions. Josh cuts them off immediately, saying, "The only poll that matters is on Super Tuesday. Off the record, no way is Hoynes up nine in California." One reporter points out that it's an internal poll from the Hoynes campaign, as if that somehow makes it more reliable. Someone else asks if Josh has anything to say about the fact that polling shows Russell five points ahead of Hoynes in New York. I'm not sure why Josh would have anything to say about that, but he points out that Russell has spent so much time campaigning in New York, "I think the guy has a hack license by now." John Wells was probably his instructor. In the scrum, we also learn that it's four days until Super Tuesday. After a few more questions, Josh tells the reporters that he's "through talking about polls." When one reporter asks if that's because Santos is third in every poll, Josh gets a bit self-righteous and responds, "'Cause we're here to talk about issues. It's a presidential campaign, it's not a statistics convention." If it were a statistics convention, I'll bet the reporters would be a bit geekier but a lot more fun. Because those statisticians are wild. Having just denounced statistics, Josh tells the reporters, "We got Hoynes up by a lot less than nine." And with that, Josh pulls the curtain closed and returns to the front of the plane.