C.J.'s office is packed with drunken staffers singing "House of the Rising Sun." C.J.'s draped across the top of her desk, which looks like it also has one of those fibre-optic light fixtures on it, and she's watching the news coverage. As the drunken crowd drones on, C.J. hollers, "Shh! Hey hey hey with the singing of the song!" She turns up the TV to hear something. An anchor is asking someone to "walk [them] through the tea leaves...what were the indicators for you?" "Walk us through the tea leaves"? The hell? There's a slightly smarmy blow-dried youngster on TV taking all kinds of credit for advising the President on his winning campaign. C.J. watches him through narrowed eyes, and wonders aloud if anyone knows who he is. Josh says, "I think he won the election." Larry and Ed explain that it's Chris Whitaker, a pollster Bruno contracted out of Illinois. C.J. takes off, admonishing the staff, "Don't break things." I think most of the people in the room are too tired and/or inebriated to get up to so much mischief as popping a balloon, frankly. ("Is that what the kids...")
In one of the rooms filled with people, Bruno is chatting up a woman about half his age. She's wearing a low-cut, strappy, clingy black dress, and her short hair's been dyed Courtney Love's white-blonde colour. It's kind of got that dry cotton candy look to it that overbleached hair gets. Yeah, it seems like fun and games when you start bleaching the hair, and at first it's all Marilyn Monroe, but pretty soon your hair's so fried it breaks if anyone breathes near it. No, thank you. Bruno's telling Courtney Jr. that they won the Dakotas: "The Badlands. Sitting Bull is buried up there." C.J. comes pushing through the crowd and smiles at the woman, saying, "Excuse me." She stands there kind of expectantly until Bruno introduces the woman as Ashley, Jane Zalaznick's assistant at the Women's Leadership Coalition. C.J. introduces herself and they shake hands. C.J. pulls Bruno away for a second, and he explains that carloads of women from the WLC and the Women's Action Network are unloading at the Northwest Executive Entrance. Interesting to me that Bruno figures a group of committed feminists constitute an excellent opportunity for his advances. He states, "It is time for watermelon." Sex = picnic references for Sorkin, evidently: barbecuing, watermelon... ["Maybe he has red-and-white checked bedsheets. And an ant farm." -- Wing Chun] C.J., amused, asks if Bruno knows a guy named Chris Whitaker. Bruno, keeping his eyes on the room, kind of nods absently and says, "Widdle." C.J.: "Whitaker." Bruno: "Wittgenstein." C.J. asks if he's drunk. He replies, "A little bit." C.J. repeats the name. Bruno tells her he's a contract pollster. C.J. tells him Chris was on TV claiming credit for Bruno's energy strategy. Bruno's too busy making googly eyes at Ashley to care. Frankly, if C.J. were telling Bruno that Chris was on TV announcing that Bruno fixed the election I don't think he could care less. Bruno makes himself clear to C.J.: "What do I care?" She argues that he's entitled to the status he's earned. Bruno: "The only thing I need status for...I'm doing right now." C.J. says she's going to be watching Whitaker: "We owe you, Bruno." Bruno says she doesn't have to do that: "I got paid. But thanks." He says quietly that he's going to go talk to Ashley. C.J. announces again that she'll be watching this guy. Bruno restates his intention to go talk to Ashley.