West Wing
Opposition Research

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Lovers' Spat

Josh is chatting with a few reporters in the campaign office. Apparently, a local politician has had unkind words to say about the Santos education plan, and Josh says that they look forward to meeting with the guy to discuss his views. Another reporter points out that after "Mayflower-gate," the guy won't meet with Santos. Josh can't believe that the Mayflower flap is "a 'gate' already? No way does that qualify as a 'gate.'" They press him on details of the education plan, and he ends up by pointing out that none of the other campaigns has come close to delivering an education plan: "Tell me who's got an alternative -- tell me that." Josh walks away from them and out the front door of the office.

Santos is waiting for Josh on the sidewalk. Josh asks him if he needs to discuss the schedule. I still think "nature walk" might be a better excuse for some alone time. Santos tells Josh that he went over the daily spending report, and he saw that Josh hired Joey Lucas to do opposition research. Santos has his panties in a bunch, and he starts yelling at Josh for trying to "smear other Democrats," and then Josh tells him that the research was on Santos himself: "I don't know you. I don't know what you've said, what you've done. I have to know." Santos thinks his own background is trivial, but then Josh points out that Santos's brother hasn't worked in five years and that Santos is supporting him: "I need to know if you've ever tried to put him on a government payroll." I think that Santos is supposed to be pretty pissed, but Smits is kind of affectless in these scenes. He needs to learn to amp up the anger a bit. He wants to know how Joey got that kind of information, and Josh points out that she used the same methods that every other campaign will use. Santos is angry (I think), but Josh doesn't much care: "You don't get to run this as a test case on family privacy, any more than you get to pick which states are ready for big podium speeches." Santos takes a few steps away, and tells Josh that he's not trying to run the campaign as a test case: "We're lucky if we have two months with this. I don't want to waste it shaking hands." Josh is devastated, and he suddenly looks incredibly frail in the cold night air with nothing but his suit jacket to keep him warm: "Two months? I gave up everything for this, you're not even in it to win?" Santos: "Maybe we have a different definition of winning, Josh. Maybe that's what we should have talked about in Houston." Instead of having all that sex under the Christmas tree.

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West Wing

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