West Wing
Mandatory Minimums

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Mandatory Minimums

As we fade from Jed live to Jed on a monitor, we're in a room where an unnamed Republican senator is rambling on about the brandy he's sharing with his staff. Steve, his flunky, is watching the television intently and tries to get the senator's attention. The senator invites Steve to sit down with them, and, referring to Jed, claims, "The man's not going to say anything we're interested in." Steve begs to differ and gestures to the television. Steve says the President is going to name two finance reformers to the FEC. The senator says, "What the hell are you talking about? You said it wasn't going to happen." Steve admits he was wrong, and that Bartlet's going to name John Bacon and Patty Calhoun. The senator asks, "You told him they take on campaign finance reform and I roll out a legislative agenda that will make his boss sit down and cry?" Steve says he made it very clear. Just then, Jed makes the announcement of Bacon and Calhoun's appointments. The senator barks to one of the women in the room, "Get him on the phone!" She asks, "Who?" "Josh Lyman! Get him on the phone." Then, in an especially Moe-threatening-Bart moment, the Senator growls, "I'm going to reach down his throat and take out his lungs with an ice-cream scoop!"

Back at the Sheraton Centre, Sam says to Josh, "You're about to get a call." Josh knows. Sam continues, "Big call. Powerful guy. I'm just saying you're probably rocked back from your meeting last week." Josh agrees, "A little." Sam: "They threatened you with a legislative agenda. They made you feel powerless, and you're a little off your game. A little gun shy." Toby, who wandered up a little while ago, says, "Leave him alone." Sam: "I'm bucking him up." Toby: "Leave him alone." Sam: "You asked me to buck him up!" Toby replies, "Now I'm telling you to leave him alone." Josh says he's trying to watch Jed's speech, just as Donna rushes up with Josh's cell phone and confirms it's "the call." Josh takes the phone and says, "Hi, Senator. Why don't you take your legislative agenda and shove it up your ass?" He hangs up. As the crowd conveniently applauds Jed in the background, Josh turns around and says to Donna, Toby and Sam, "Turns out I was fine." As the credits roll, I was thinking it would have been kind of funny if Josh had misunderstood Donna about who was calling and said that to Admiral Fitzwallace or some such person. Or maybe not. Anyway, the credits are rolling so here's the part where I get to fast-forward.

Back at the White House, C.J. is fielding questions from reporters. One asks, "Is the White House concerned that the FEC will become a partisan political football?" C.J. replies, "I'd like to emphasize again that the President has nominated one Democrat and one Republican, which he was certainly under no legal obligation to do." She further informs another reporter that in the past the FEC commissioners have been chosen by the President signing off on whomever the Congressional leadership pointed to, and admits that it's possible the White House forgot to tell the Congressional leadership that they would be slipping this announcement into tonight's speech.

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West Wing

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