Santos campaign jet. Santos has a compress across his face. Josh is telling him to expect a question on CAFTA. Santos asks, "Is that because Vinick just said something about CAFTA? Damn, he's good." Lou tells him not to worry about CAFTA because the voters don't care about it. Lou goes to get the next reporter, and Santos asks Josh if he'll be able to get some sleep after this interview. Josh tells him, "Two hours, I promise." Oh, he meant "sleep," not sleep. Got it. (Not that you can see me, but I just made a finger pistol and a clicking sound.) The reporter asks a question on CAFTA, and Santos masterfully spins it around to China. (He's really good at that.) But this reporter is more persistent, asking, "Why did you vote against CAFTA?" Santos tells him that he's for free trade and fair trade, and that CAFTA was not fair. And then he says, "Look, I voted for CAFTA before I voted against it." Did you just hear a giant ripping sound? It sounded kind of like newsprint. Or maybe headlines. It might just be my imagination. Santos explains that he voted for CAFTA in committee, but that it was "a mess by the time it got to the floor," so that's why he voted against it. His explanation is reasonable, but I suspect that he voted against it due to pressure from Party leaders, and that embarrassment over that fact is what's causing him to be so clumsy here. He's probably had to convince himself that it was a purely principled vote, and he doesn't really believe it. Josh and Lou both look incredibly frustrated that they are not able to eject the reporter from the plane without a parachute.
In the galley of the jet, Josh is telling Lou that they need to get Santos into a town hall where he can explain his CAFTA vote. Lou interrupts him to tell him that the latest tracking numbers just came in, and that Vinick is up by twelve. A reporter comes around the corner and tells them that she just heard that "Vinick's tracking has him up by twelve." Josh pauses, and then says, "That's not what we have." Heh.
A hotel in Houston. Sullivan greets George, telling him, "I don't know why they bother to keep giving me hotel rooms. This campaign doesn't let the V.P. candidate actually sleep." George tells Sullivan that they have a serious problem. Sullivan points out that his organization has never asked a nominee for a public pledge on judges in the past. George: "We've never had a pro-choice nominee before." George wants a reason to support Vinick, and Sullivan offers himself. I mean, as a reason to support Vinick. George doesn't think that's enough. He tells the story of Vinick promising anti-choice judges but then denying it publicly (also claiming that it was one of the ministers who leaked the promise to Drudge). George clearly feels humiliated, and he basically threatens to release a statement affirming that Vinick lied to him. Sullivan asks him not to do that, as a personal favor. He points out that if he becomes the next Veep, he'll automatically become the next frontrunner for the Republican nomination: "You want to be my friend, George. Being my friend is a lot better than being my enemy." Sullivan tells George that Sullivan will be the one advising Vinick on judges: "You already know what kind of judges I want. You've seen the judges I've appointed as governor. You approved every one of 'em." Don't listen to him, George! He's lying, too! I know, because West Virginia judges are elected, not appointed. Sullivan is kind of yelling at this point, in that jovial businessman kind of way. He calms down and then promises George that if Vinick is elected, he will listen to George and Sullivan about judges. And then, without waiting for a response, he dismissively thanks George for coming to speak with him. He tells George that he's willing to sit down with anybody in George's group who has a problem with Vinick. He puts on his jacket and tells George, "You know what the worst thing about the campaign trail is? Surprises. I don't want any. You got that?" Geez, he turned into Fat Tony there for a second. I despise Sullivan, but at least he's not a total wuss like Vinick was. Hmmm, I see that Sheila was sitting in the background for this entire meeting.