C.J., followed by Toby and Carol, walks into the briefing room. She approaches the podium, says good morning (to which they all respond, like a room full of first-graders), and then tells them, "This will be my last briefing as White House Press Secretary." Practically every head shoots up from its notepad to look at her. She tells them that Toby will be filling in until the President can name a replacement. She is just about to start a sappy speech when Carol hands her a note, forcing her to interrupt herself and introduce Jed. At the podium, he announces that it has been thirty-six hours since Leo's surgery, and that he is headed for a full recovery: "Although he will always be a very valuable part of this administration, he will not be returning to his post. I am therefore pleased and very proud to announce that, effective immediately, the position of White House Chief of Staff will be filled by Claudia Jean Cregg." The White House staff gathered near the podium begin applauding, and in just a few seconds the assembled press corps is giving C.J. a standing ovation. Credits. Jimmy Smits is now in the credits, just before Martin Sheen.
C.J. is walking down the hall with both Carol and Margaret. Carol is filling C.J. in on a disease outbreak that was just reported by A.P. Margaret asks Carol, "You're telling her this as Press Secretary or Chief of Staff?" C.J. gives Carol some instructions on how to deal with the A.P., and Margaret points out, "That was Press Secretary." C.J. starts to walk away when Margaret says "CDC," apparently to remind C.J. that she now has to make decisions as Chief of Staff. C.J. takes the hint immediately and asks Margaret to set up a call for her with various health-related agencies. As Margaret and C.J. both walk away, Carol calls out to C.J. and asks her if she wants Carol to sit in. Awkward. C.J. tells Carol that Toby will need her, "just for a couple of days." Carol makes the same face that I make when a guy breaks up with me, and then says, "That's fine."
C.J. walks into Margaret's workspace, which is apparently an antechamber to the Chief of Staff's office. I feel like I'm learning more about the layout of various offices in this episode than I have in the previous five years of watching the show. (Well, four years, really, because I gave up pretty early on in Season 5.) There are flowers everywhere, and C.J. says, "Wow. People shouldn't be sending me flowers." Margaret: "They're for Leo, you self-centered freak." Go ahead and guess which words in that sentence I added. C.J. finally walks into her own new office, which is dark and (of course) still full of Leo's memorabilia (along with more flowers). Margaret walks in and apologizes that the office isn't ready for her to fully move in. C.J. tells her not to worry about it, and Margaret starts going over the schedule for the day. It includes things like a CIA briefing, a palm-print and eye-scan for security, a call with Treasury, and feedback for EPA on the markup of a clean air bill. And "Armed Forces is coming to talk about a budget boost for the peacekeeping tour because they forgot to factor in food. For the troops." Isn't that what Halliburton is for? C.J.: "And this gets us to?" Margaret: "8:45."