Previously on The West Wing, Leo chose the Prez over his marriage, Sam "accidentally" slept with a prostitute (we know, already), and Charlie got to know the Prez's daughter on a first-name basis.
Maybe it's too cold for basketball, because tonight C.J. is dealing poker hands out to Leo, Josh, Toby, the Prez, Mandy, and Sam. The Prez interrupts to say, "There is one fruit..." and before he can finish everyone else is sighing and gulping their drinks. Apparently he likes to liven up poker games with trivia questions. He asks which fruit has seeds on the outside, C.J. guesses the kumquat, and the hand continues. When it's the Prez's turn again, he announces that the answer is the strawberry. Everyone pretends to be startled by this revelation. Well, Toby doesn't, he just concentrates on the game and asks what the Prez is going to do. The Prez says that depends, and asks if anyone can name the fourteen standard punctuation marks of English grammar. C.J., Josh, Mandy, Sam, and Leo manage to come up with period, comma, colon, semi-colon, dash, hyphen, and apostrophe. The Prez notes that there are seven left to identify. Toby calmly takes the rest: "Question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses." Toby rocks. ["Toby is my boyfriend." -- Wing Chun] I wonder how George W. Bush would do on that question. Next, the Prez asks what three English words start with "dw." So, is this some weird strategy the Prez has to throw people off, or to give himself time to think, or is just further evidence that the Commander-in-Chief is out of his mind? The Prez takes the hand while they come up with the "dw" words. Toby reminds the Prez to report his winnings to the IRS, "Because God knows, I will." ["Heh." -- Wing Chun] The game breaks up, and the Prez tells Leo, "Give Jenny a kiss for me." Before everyone can leave, a bunch of Secret Service men hurry in and tell everyone to stay where they are because there's been a security breach. Leo says it's just some frat boys hopping the fence. The Prez starts to ask another question about South American geography, leading Toby to call him "Wink Martindale," but the agents declare that the coast is clear before he can finish and everyone leaves.
Credits. Oh, all right: the words are dwindle, dwarf, and dwell.
Toby asks a flunky named Kathy for a copy of article one, section two, of the Constitution. She asks, "Is that something I'm supposed to have at my desk?" Toby looks around the office and asks if anyone there has a copy of the Constitution, and receives silence in response. "This is discouraging," he notes. Kathy asks another flunky to get Toby a copy, and the flunky asks, "Is it still in print?" Toby suggests that they try ordering a copy from Amazon.com, "and if they don't have it, just bust into the glass display case at the National Archives!" Strangely, the captioning names the Rotunda instead of the Archives. C.J. wanders in, and tells Toby that she's visiting Sam. "It's not a big deal, y'know, I'm just here to see him about something." Toby blinks, and responds, "What do I care?" "Absolutely no reason that you should," she answers, and moves on. Hee. Sam is on the phone, declaring that the Prez will veto a commerce bill if it prohibits the use of sampling for the 2000 census. He hangs up, and C.J. nervously compliments Sam on how he handled the phone call. Then she asks if Sam got a haircut, admires his suit, and tells him he looks nice. Strega thinks that if C.J. has a crush on Sam, the end of the world is near. ["I was scared of that too." -- Wing Chun] As they start to wander the halls in that way they do, Sam finally asks C.J. what she needs, and she responds, "A tutor." Phew! Strega's world makes sense again. Apparently C.J. doesn't understand "certain nuances" of the census. Like, any of it. Sam points out that she's been helping them with the commerce bill/census deal for weeks now. C.J. explains, "I've been faking it," but says that recently she's gotten the impression that the census might be kinda important. "And I've come to the realization that if I'm gonna be talking about it all week, it's probably best that I understand what I'm saying." Sam asks when C.J. had this realization, and she says it was about an hour ago. Sam stammers a bit and says, "Let's forget about the fact that you're coming a little late to the party, and embrace the idea that you showed up at all." Sam agrees to meet with her at lunch, and then repeats, "You've been faking it. With the President." C.J. admits, "I know, I should probably not do that," and Sam sarcastically says, "You think?"
Donna is asking Josh about the budget surplus. She points out that Republicans want to use the money for tax relief: "Essentially what they're saying is, 'We want to give back the money.'" Josh agrees. Donna asks, "Why don't we want to give back the money?" "'Cause we're Democrats," explains Josh. Donna says it isn't the government's money, but Josh says, "Sure it is; it's right there in our bank account." After a little more back and forth, Josh enters a circus, with elephants and trapeze artists and clowns. Just making sure you're awake; it's actually another meeting. Leo is listing various additions that have been made to the appropriations bill, such as "$3 million to produce a documentary on highway infrastructure." Mandy asks, "Can someone please remind me what's in this for us?" Toby answers, "Power zones, U.S. Rail, and federal funding for one hundred thousand new public school teachers." Mandy simpers and thanks Toby, adding fuel to Strega's suspicions that Mandy will try to seduce him. Grr. ["Toby, you are way too good for her!" -- Wing Chun] Mandy tells Leo that they have a meeting with Gladman and Skinner, who are two of the three swing votes they need on the Commerce Committee. If the committee drops the prohibition against using sampling in the census, the Prez won't veto the bill. Leo asks who is the third swing vote. Toby says that the third person is Janet Willis's husband, and that "presumably, he's going to do what he's told" by party leaders. Toby and Mandy agree that they can take care of the bill without a problem, since "tomorrow is the start of a three-day weekend, and four hundred thirty-five Congressmen want to make their flights home in the morning." Leo dismisses the team, saying, "Just don't do anything to screw up or in any way embarrass me, okay?" Josh notes the uncanny resemblance between Leo and Knute Rockne.