Previously on The West Wing, Mandy was hired, Toby was frustrated, the Prez was accused of moderation, and Sam felt lost.
According to the title card, it's Monday morning at the communications office, and Toby is wondering if it's going to rain. Sam says that it won't rain till later. Toby is concerned because the opening line of a speech will need to be changed if it starts raining. Sam says he got a weather reports from the Coast Guard. Toby explains that the Prez's remarks open with, "As I look out over this magnificent vista..." which will be inappropriate if it starts raining and the event is moved indoors. Toby also mentions that the remarks are intended for the United Organization of Trout Fishermen. Sam suggests that the Prez could probably fix that on the fly if necessary, and repeats that his weather report comes direct from the Coast Guard and the National Weather Service. He adds, "They use satellites. They use technology." The Almighty's opinion of satellites is expressed through a flash of lightening, as a thunderstorm immediately begins. Toby asks, "This is the same satellite technology we use to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles, right?" C.J. pops in to suggest that the event be moved indoors, but Toby tells her, "Sam says it's probably not gonna rain till later." C.J. wisely decides not to get involved in that conversation, and as they all begin a pedeconference, she asks if they've heard anything about "a piece of paper that's going around," which a reporter mentioned to her. They haven't. Leo joins the parade and tells them where the event will be taking place. C.J. asks what kind of mood the Prez is in, and Leo describes the Prez as "very upbeat, very energetic."
Cut to the Prez and his gaggle of aides and bodyguards. The Prez snaps, "Can we get this godforsaken event over with so I can get back to presiding over a civilization gone to hell in a handcart?" Mrs. Landingham suggests that his mood is being affected by his diet: "You don't get enough roughage." The Prez threatens to "beat [her] senseless with a head of cabbage," and asks Charlie if anyone has a copy of his remarks. Charlie reports that Sam is bringing them, and that Toby and C.J. are also on their way. The Prez asks, "Why aren't they here right now?" Charlie says that they didn't know it was raining. Thunder booms loudly. The Prez gripes, "Nothing like surrounding yourself with the best and the brightest, Charlie."
The Prez's group and the White House staff finally meet up and join forces. Sam gives the Prez a copy of the speech, and mentions that "there are some nice anecdotes in there about trout fishing." Josh joins the herd and gives the Prez a quick briefing: "The CBO is gonna revise its outyear projections, two commissioners resigned from the FEC this morning, and the NGA endorsed trigger locks." The CBO is the Congressional Budget Office. The FEC is the Federal Election Commission. The NGA is, I suspect, the National Gun Association, playing the part of the National Rifle Association so that Charlton Heston won't yell at the network. After a moment, the Prez stops to question Josh about the FEC resignations. Leo says, "This is not the best time to go off on a flight of idealistic --" before the Prez cuts him off. Leo says that the Senate will fill the vacant slots, but the Prez wants to put in "our guys." Leo insists that they'll lose, but the Prez insists, "We can dangle our feet in the water." He becomes very attached to this metaphor, repeating it again and again during the rest of the conversation. The Prez directs Josh to find two candidates who favor aggressive campaign finance reform, and finally begins marching in to meet the fisherman. C.J. takes this opportunity to ask the rest of the staff about that mysterious floating piece of paper, but no one has heard about it. The Prez asks, "C.J., are you taller than you usually are?" but she replies, "No sir, I'm my usual height." She does seem to be towering over him, but then we don't usually see them in a frame together. The Prez goes into the auditorium, muttering that he "couldn't pick a trout out of a police lineup," while Josh gets excited about the opportunity to reshape the FEC. ["Re the trout: I think Sorkin's forgotten that Jed's been to all fifty-four national parks and possesses an 'encyclopedic knowledge of the ridiculous and the dork-like,' which should include trout. Shouldn't it?" - deborah] Leo tells Josh he's dead in the water, and Josh snaps, "That's what I thought, too, but after your little pep talk just now --" before going into the room. Toby, Sam, and Leo lurk in the doorway, and we can hear the Prez greeting the crowd over a loudspeaker. Toby suddenly says, "Sam?" and Sam responds, "Damn it!" Leo is bewildered, and Sam brushes it off by saying, "I forgot to do something." We hear the Prez say, "As I look out over this magnificent vista...." Toby's head droops. Credits. What I want to know is, where was this Trout Fisherman speech originally going to take place? It must have been somewhere nearby, and while both the White House lawn and the Mall are pretty, I wouldn't describe them as "magnificent vistas."