West Wing
Message Of The Week

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Adiós, Leon. We Hardly Knew Ye.

Vinick and Sheila enter a conference room where Bruno, Dan, and Leon are already waiting. Sheila announces that they are changing the message of the week to immigration issues. Leon wonders if they would be doing this if Santos wasn't Latino. Sheila thinks it's just a continuation of longstanding Republican efforts to pursue the Latino vote -- efforts which Leon has been a part of. Leon thinks the press will smell a rat. Sheila thinks they should just respond that these are important national issues that should be part of the campaign. Vinick asks for the actual plan. Dan tells him that on the first day (that is, tomorrow), Vinick is going to announce a plan to double the border patrol to throw a bone to the conservative base. There will be a photo op at a Border Patrol station in El Paso, and another photo op with the Minutemen. Dan refers to them as "the civilians who help patrol the border down there." Leon corrects him, calling them "vigilantes." Bruno earns my grudging respect by asking if they could maybe also hold a campaign event with the local chapter of the Klan. Dan still thinks it's a good photo op that will energize the Republican base. Vinick agrees to do it. On the second day, Vinick will announce another policy proposal -- this time, for a guest worker program. Bruno thinks this is a great idea because it has "crossover appeal for Democrats and moderates." Sheila thinks that this will force Santos to respond. Leon interrupts her: "Because he's Latino. The Latino community's gonna know what you're doing." Vinick decides he wants to do more than give a speech -- he wants them to draft a bill that he can introduce in the Senate. Vinick leaves it up to Leon to figure out the details of the bill. Well, this certainly seems like a prudent way to legislate. On Day Three, the theme will be the Central American Free Trade Agreement (also known as CAFTA). Vinick points out that CAFTA passed six months ago, and wonders how to turn that into current news. Dan points out that Santos has a problem with CAFTA. Vinick wonders if he split with the Democrats on the bill, and Sheila responds, "Worse. He split with himself." Apparently, he voted in favor of CAFTA in committee, but against it on the floor. Vinick throws his head back in a slightly evil and entirely promo-friendly laugh and says, "Oh, he's not gonna know what hit him." Commercials.

In the conference room, Sheila, Dan, Leon, and Bruno go over the schedule for the next few days. Unnamed Blonde Woman enters and tells Sheila that George Rohr is waiting for Vinick in the conference room. So, I guess this room with the conference table, in which we see people always conferring, is not the conference room. Got it.

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West Wing

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