West Wing
Opposition Research

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Lovers' Spat

Josh is carrying a metal trashcan down the stairs from his office. The Bingo Bob cutout is in the can. He gets to the bottom of the stairs, and Ronna asks him what he's doing. Josh tells her, "It's called a clean campaign." She looks very happy, and she hands him some papers. He asks what they are, and she tells him they're statements from the other campaigns on education. "Hoynes challenged the whole field to debate education. We're moving the debate, Josh." Suddenly, Liz Bartlet walks up to Josh. She looks at the Bingo Bob cutout, and tells Josh, "Don't take that to the Litchfield Town Dump -- it'll still win more votes than your guy." Josh puts down the trashcan so that it doesn't look like he's clutching Russell to his bosom, and tells her that he deserved what she did to him at the Fickle Pickle the other day. She tells him that she had nothing to do with it: "I practically poured a bucket of paint on [Doug's] head when we got home. We said all along we wouldn't endorse anyone." She tells him that a lot of Doug's supporters are leaning toward Russell, and a lot are leaning toward Hoynes. Josh: "At least a few have to be leaning toward us." Liz: "Not really." But she likes Santos's education plan, and so does Jed. Josh starts to ask if they're friends again, and she says she still thinks Josh is a jerk. And then she reaches into his pocket and hands him a check. He can't quite believe that she's giving Santos two thousand dollars. She apologizes for not giving a bigger check, but that is the federal limit. Josh feels obliged to point out to Liz (or perhaps to the audience) that the donation will have to reported to the FEC: "This is a Bartlet family contribution to Santos For President." As she leaves, Josh calls out to her, "Don't give the environmental speech." Josh has apparently caught Santos Fever, because he thinks that Doug should just take his lumps for taking a politically unpopular position and not undercut himself. Liz: "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard." Ronna walks up, and Josh hands her the check. She asks him what to do with it, and he tells her, "Cash it, as fast as we can. See how many Matt Santos letter openers it'll buy."

The Santos SUV pulls into a parking spot, and you can hear Santos and Ned inside going over details of his education plan. Santos gets out of the driver's seat, looks around, and says, "Whoa, whoa. Where is Hawkes House?" Josh points to the rather nice-looking house at the end of the driveway and says, "This is it. This is Bill Hawke's house." Santos was under the impression that this was a venue where he could give a speech, not another three-person grip-and-grin. Josh starts to tell him how important Bill Hawke is, but Santos just lets out a sad sigh and walks past him. By this time, Ronna and Ned have gone into the house. Josh walks up to Santos and apologizes for the comment about putting his brother on a government payroll. Santos understands that Josh was just doing his job, but Josh isn't so certain what his job is supposed to be. He tells Santos, "I used to tell candidates, 'make it about the voters, not about you.' But the difference is, you are them. Working poor background, kids in public school, brother with a high-school diploma, he can barely read." Santos asks, "And what does that all amount to, besides a lousy stereotype?" Josh thinks it will help people understand why Santos is in the race, and why he is so focused on education. Santos asks Josh if he's even thought about whether his education plan is good for the country. Josh: "I didn't have to hear it to know it'd be right." Santos tells him that he wants to win, but he can't do it by being like other candidates: "If we're gonna do this, I'm not gonna make it easy. I'm gonna give the big speeches, and I'm gonna push every limit, and that's the campaign you get to run." Josh asks, "But what if I can't make that work?" Santos tells him, "Well then, no one can." Mutual pledges of love and fidelity having been exchanged, they walk together toward the front door. Santos stops for a second and tells Josh, "When you get the rest of that research, we'll go over it together." And he gives him a little pat on the back.

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