West Wing
Process Stories

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POTUS Interruptus

C.J.'s at the party getting herself some coffee. She can hear Chris Windbag behind her bragging to someone that he told Leo McGarry that education is the silver bullet, and that's what this election was about. She walks up behind him and taps him and says, "Chris Whitaker, right?" He seems surprised by her and turns to her. C.J.: "Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you." Chris thanks her, too. C.J.: "No, please. We're all impressed with how influential you were, particularly when you consider that most of us have never met you!" She lets out a rich laugh. "But what I'm most grateful for is the process story, which takes attention from the debate, and focuses it where it belongs, which is the contest. This is the story everyone'll be clamouring for and I like that you're filling that need. And to show my gratitude, I'm calling all the major news outlets and letting them know that I'll be forwarding all your confidential memos to the President, logs of all your calls with him, Secret Service logs of your meetings inside the White House." Chris, having listened to all this pretty shamefacedly, asks: "I really pissed you off, huh?" C.J. warns him, "Don't disrespect Leo McGarry and Bruno Gianelli." She walks off.

C.J. runs into Sam, who says, "I was just on my way. What do you guys need?" They start walking, and C.J. says they need to talk to him. They go back to The House of the Rising Sun, where Josh, Toby and Amy are waiting. Lord, what's Amy doing there? Do we really need her input on this? As Sam enters the room, he says, "Talk to me about what?" C.J. says, "We think you should run." Sam asks why she would think something like that. C.J. says it was Josh's idea. Josh: "Actually, it was Amy's." Sam walks over to Amy: "Why?" Amy gives him some gambling blather, and Sam asks if he can just give her the money. She adds that she thinks he'd be the home-run choice, and that he's going to raise a lot of money. She says she would help him, and adds, "I have a hunch the President, who just won a landslide, will be making some visits as well. You'll be the best-funded Democrat ever to run in 47. You're not going to win, so you can't lose."

Sam nods at Amy and then looks at Josh. Josh realizes that this is his cue to say something convincing. He says, "I think you'd energize the state party. We're not going to let you look like a fool. We won't allow it." Sam asks Toby, who's standing at the back of the room behind C.J.'s desk, what he thinks. Toby says, "I don't think you should do it. Energizing the state party's good. A well-funded airing of the issues is good. So's mollifying House Democrats, but you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? You're going to lose. A Democrat's always going to lose in the 47th." Except, didn't a dead one just win? Isn't Sam at least as good as an old dead guy? Toby continues, "You can't just pick up and try someplace else. They have a name for that." Sam kind of shrugs: "I don't know. I don't know. I worked in a State Assembly race in Manhattan in a district where Democrats outnumbered Republicans sixteen to one." He then tells an anecdote about how there was this one right-wing nutbar/candidate who wanted to eliminate the income tax. The guy was so persistent with his appearances and attempts to engage the media that the Democrats finally had to comment on it. Sam asked his campaign manager what they were doing, since neither his candidate nor their issues stood a chance. The campaign manager told him, "This is what I believe. And no candidate gets to run in my district without speaking to my issues." Sam says, "I came this close to voting for him. So...I don't know about what you just said." Toby thinks for a moment and says, "Then I think you should win." Sam doesn't say anything but sort of gives Toby a little smile. Bonnie arrives, saying she's finally got Mrs. Wilde on the phone. Sam says, "All right," a couple of times. C.J. asks, "'All right,' what?" Sam says, "All right." He asks Bonnie to get him Will Bailey on the phone, too. He wonders if the rest of the Fab Four think he's still up. C.J. and Josh are all, "Oh, yeah." Bonnie takes off and Sam says, "I'm gonna take this call." Josh says, "We'll go with you," and they all follow him as the Music of Rob Lowe's Really Leaving plays.

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West Wing

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