West Wing
Opposition Research

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LTG: B- | 3 USERS: A+
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Lovers' Spat

Josh is in his SUV, talking on his cell phone while a volunteer drives. I'm glad he learned a lesson about talking while driving. Josh tells his unseen caller that Santos "is great. He's got a million ideas, he's really engaged." It turns out that he's speaking with Toby, who tells him that Hoynes is up by eight in the latest South Carolina poll. Josh dismisses that as nothing but name recognition. Toby asks about the quality of the staff, and Josh tells him that until they raise more money, they're primarily using volunteers. When he says that, the driver looks over at him quickly, almost as though to say, "Hey, I thought I was getting paid for this." Toby suggests that there is a lot of money in the Latino community that they might tap into. Josh tentatively asks Toby what he would think of a speech on education policy: "It's just an idea we're kicking around." Toby tells Josh, "Stop kicking." Toby asks Josh whether he's had "the conversation" with Santos yet. Josh hasn't. What conversation would that be? The one about how many kids Josh wants, or the one about the prenuptial agreement? Josh recognizes that Toby thinks "this whole campaign's kind of goofy." Indeed, Toby does. When Josh tells Toby that he'll call him later, Toby just hangs up the phone without even saying goodbye. I mean, I know that's the kind of rude behavior we expect from Toby, but this felt different -- less brusque and more sad.

The SUV stops, and Josh gets out, clearly prepared to meet with some state legislators. He looks around with confusion, and says to the driver, "This is a dry-cleaners." The volunteer apologizes, explaining, "My mom asked me to pick up the dry cleaning on our way." Heh. I hope we see more of that volunteer.

After a few stops at the grocery store, the pharmacy, and the video hut, Josh has made it to his meeting. He's in the office of Senator Butler, who's asking him why he's split from Jed Bartlet. Josh reassures him that there is no split, and Butler lets him know that he's been assuming Jed would be supporting Bingo Bob. Josh tells him that Jed will remain neutral until there's a nominee, and then looks over at Butler's desk, asking, "Is that a Bob Russell letter opener?" It is, and it matches the Bob Russell cup holder. I'm guessing that he's wearing some Bob Russell underpants, too. Butler asks what "Santis" has to offer, and Josh corrects him: "It's Santos. And Russell may have the letter opener, but what's in the envelope?" Butler: "Might be some tie clips, who knows." Hee. Josh reassures Butler that Santos is the next Jed Bartlet: "Why do you think I left the White House to run this?" Butler thinks Josh gives Santos credibility, but when Josh asks him to arrange a meeting with some other folks, Butler just points out the varying amounts of money that other candidates have given to his campaign. Josh tells him, "Our fundraising's just getting going. Don't make this about money." Butler responds, "Money equals viability. And from what I can tell, your boy has neither."

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West Wing

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