West Wing
Mandatory Minimums

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Mandatory Minimums

In the press briefing room, Leo meets with the representatives he requested. C.J.'s at the back of the room, and Toby and Andy slip in just as Leo's getting started. Before Leo can say much, Stuart, one of the seven people, wants to know why they're in the press room. Leo says he'll be fast, and faster still if he's not interrupted. Leo begins: "There's a chance that a debate is about to begin over the best way to fight the drug problem in this country. The White House being among those who believe more money should be put into treatment; the people you work for being among those who believe we should put more money into prisons. Is everyone with me so far?" Someone named Dick asks, "Why the seven of us?" Leo goes on to explain that every one of them works for a politician who has family members who committed drug-related crimes, but due to their connections, received either exceedingly light punishments or no real punishments at all. He cites several examples, with Toby's help. Leo states, "The President wants a lively debate. He wants to hear opposition. But he's not going to stomach hypocrisy. We start hearing 'soft on crime, soft on drugs' from the people you work for, we've got seven stories ready for page one." C.J., Carol, and another staffer start to let the press corps into the room, as Stuart accuses him, "You're sabre-rattling." Leo responds, "Here comes the White House press corps. Let's find out." Stuart stands up and says, "We're done here." Leo tells him, "We play the full nine innings at this level, Stuart. Tell your friends about it." As Toby and Andy leave the room, Andy says to Toby, "Can I tell you something? Watching you guys do that...it was a little fun." Toby: "It was not fun." Andy: "You should have had some pie." Toby says he needs to get back to work, and adds, "And you being a Congresswoman, I'm sure you need to be back out there, you know, screwing the people." She pauses and then says she should tell him something, in the interest of full disclosure. She says that she was out on a date the other night, and they had had a couple of glasses of wine. The guy she was with just bumped a car in front of him, and the cop who came to the scene was going to administer a blood-alcohol test, but then recognized Andy and didn't do it. Toby thinks that's fine, and verifies that she didn't try to use her position to influence the cop. Then he asks who she was out with; turns out it was some guy named Victor Stipe, whose name Toby recognizes as belonging to the executive advisor for the Orioles. Toby seems irritated by this, and Andrea asks, "Toby, are you upset that I went out on a date, or are you upset that I went out on a date with someone who plays in the same division as the Yankees?" Toby's response: "Honest to God, I'm not sure." He strides into his office; she's on his tail saying, "Mandatory minimums, Toby." He wants to know what she's doing getting into cars with guys who've been drinking. They talk over each other for a bit, ending with Toby suggesting something to the effect that he could pick her up. Andy asks, "You'd come pick me up with a date?" Toby: "If he wasn't an Oriole, absolutely. Or a Red Sock. In fact, just date the National League, would ya?" Andy says, "Toby, I'm not kidding. Mandatory minimums." He says, "Go away." She picks a piece of lint off his jacket with tender familiarity and says, "It was good seeing you." As she starts to go, Toby asks her to give him the pie. She just kind of sighs and chuckles and hands over the pie. Toby watches after her as she leaves with a very wistful look. Not too much unfinished business here.

It's 11:30 p.m. Leo knocks on the door of the President's bedroom. Jed is sleeping with half a dozen books and reports open face-down on the bed where Abby should be; this guy probably sleeps alone more than any President in US history. Leo seems surprised that Jed's in bed. Leo says it can wait, but Jed urges him to come on in, saying he has to get up in four hours anyway.

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West Wing




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