Back in the President's private study, Jed's built a fire and is poking it a bit as Stanley says, "Well, that takes care of lifestyle factors. What about environmental factors?" Jed replies, "Like what?" Stanley suggests: "Too much light in the room?" The members of the "More Light!" Brigade (the same people who are always wondering if it's just a media myth that GE owns NBC) double over laughing. I think we can rule that out. Extremes in room temperature? Jed says no, but I think you might want to check the microclimate around Abby now and then. Stanley then confirms that it's not noise in the room preventing Jed from sleeping. Stanley asks how much sleep Jed normally gets; Jed states that it's four or five hours. And that's probably on a good night. Stanley says they've covered physical, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Stanley says, "That leaves us with..." Jed deduces: "Psychological factors." Stanley agrees. Jed: "What were the odds?" Indeed. Did we really need all that preamble to get to this point? Couldn't all that have been ruled out with about ninety seconds of dialogue, if any, and couldn't the time have been used to get to the stuff about his father and his desperate need for approval and his murky and questionable motives for running again? Well, something to ponder during the commercials.
Donna's in a bar enjoying some Kickapoo Joy Juice with a guy we've never seen (although he looks familiar to me, but not enough for HITG! status). For a moment I think we're going to get to see who she's dating (and even though the guy has his back to the camera you can tell it's not Cliff ["because he's tall enough to see over the bar" -- Wing Chun]), but right away it becomes clear that this is someone she's catching up with, not someone she's seeing. And I still think it's probably Cliff she's dating. The guy asks if she has a few minutes; she indicates that's about all she has. He asks her what's going on. She explains that they're working on a foreign policy speech for the UN on Monday, and it's going to "stir some things up." She indicates that a relatively small circle of people had been consulted on the speech, but that the circle widened tonight. "So it'll be a weekend of bartering, and Josh is usually one of the point men on that, so..." The guy grasps that she needs to get back to the office.
After smiling pleasantly and assuring the guy that she has a few minutes, she asks, "How have you been?" He says, "Great." Donna inquires, "You guys survived?" The guy says, "The dot-coms didn't run out of steam." Donna: "They didn't?" Dot-Com Guy: "Just hype." I make a sound that's somewhere in the limbo between a snort and a chortle -- a snortle, if you will -- and imagine Wing's response to this. ["Sigh." -- Wing Chun] Donna says, "I see." DCG: "Do you?" Donna: "No." But she smiles charmingly and the guy laughs. She looks quite beautiful in this whole episode; they got her hair perfect. DCG claims it's easier to start up now, because there's less pressure to be an overnight success. ["HA HA HA! Yes, it's so easy to start now. Because you know what venture capitalists are dying to do in the middle of a recession? Throw money at fly-by-night dot-coms without a proven track record." -- Wing Chun] Not to mention that there's a whole lot less of everything it would take to be an "overnight success." DCG pulls out his business card and hands it to her; she reads, "'CapitolScoop.com.'" ["The very first thing that popped into my head when I heard that was 'GovWorks.com,' the failed site documented in Startup.com." -- Wing Chun] DCG: "It'll track legislation, profile people in power, shine a spotlight on special interests behind the scenes..." Donna adds: "Gossip." DCG assures her there'll be no gossip: "Hard substance. Public policy. That's why we need all the help we can get." Donna immediately says, "I doubt I can get Josh involved. It'd be a conflict." DCG doesn't want Josh; he clarifies, "I want you." You and ten million other guys, bub. Take a number. Donna: "I'm sorry?" DCG: "I want you." Donna objects, "I don't know where I'd find the time for something like that...it's Friday at eleven, I'm basically on a lunch break right now..." DCG laughs heartily and explains he's talking about a full-time position: "Issues Director for CapitolScoop.com." Donna is flabbergasted. She manages to stutter, "Well, I....I'm...surprised...and I'm flattered...but I'm...you know...not at all qualified." Aw, Donna. Give yourself some credit. DCG argues: "That's not true. You've been Josh Lyman's traffic cop. That's like an M.A. in power brokering. You know the Hill. You know every corner of the White House. You know every pressure point ten miles from the Potomac." He scribbles something on the back of the business card and hands it to Donna. She looks at it and asks, "Is this your operating budget?" DCG: "It's your starting salary." Donna is quietly stunned. Piece of advice? Take the job and run. Not only would you then not be in the icky position of being in love with your boss, but you'd suddenly be someone he'd be willing to power-date. Only he'd chalk it up to being ensorcelled by whatever you're doing differently with your hair. ["No, don't. If they're offering to pay you what you think their operating budget would be, then their business plan sucks ass and they'll be out of business within six months -- eight at the most." -- Wing Chun]