Sam runs into Charlie, who's coming in from doing some shopping for POTUS. He explains that he's been shopping for a new carving knife. Sam states, "This President takes carving knives very seriously." Charlie agrees. Sam asks Charlie to tell Jed that he'll need a few minutes to talk to him about the situation in San Diego. Sam runs off to be briefed about that. Mrs. Landingham asks Charlie how it went. As Charlie hangs up his coat, he says he thinks he's got it this time. Mrs. Landingham says, "Well, I wouldn't get your hopes up, dear." Charlie says it's a very good knife. Mrs. Landingham states that POTUS is very particular. As he hustles toward the Oval Office, Charlie comments, "That's one word for it." Mrs. Landingham: "I heard that." Charlie presents the knife to Jed, saying, "I think you'll find this to your liking, Mr. President." Jed's enthused as he takes the knife out of the case, saying, "Yes, yes, indeed I do. The Chef's Choice: twice the amount of carbon which means it will hold a sharp edge up to ten times longer, and you can see the handle, which is texturized molded polymer. It has no rivets or air pockets." My husband talks much like this. I'm married to POTUS, basically. I can't believe Jed's background is economics and not engineering, because really, he has such strong engineer-y qualities. Charlie says he's glad POTUS is happy. Jed continues, "This is an American knife. No German knives for us." Charlie agrees. Jed says, "Good job." As Charlie's about to stride away, pleased with himself, Jed has second thoughts. He doesn't like the balance of the knife. Charlie says he'll take it back. Jed says, "Yeah, you know what we need?" Charlie: "A German knife?" Jed: "Yeah." Charlie: "I'll get on it." Charlie adds that Sam will need some time with Jed to update him on the San Diego situation.
As Charlie leaves, Toby arrives. Jed calls after Charlie, "The Germans know how to make a knife, Charlie." Toby closes the door and Jed asks, "Josephine McGarry?" Toby says she's been put on a lot of short lists; why not pull the trigger? Jed says she's pretty controversial; Toby replies, "That's not a flaw." Jed argues that it is when it's a recess appointment; those are supposed to be appointments that the Senate would not have a problem with, and he knows that the Senate will have a considerable problem with this nominee. Toby: "That's the Senate's problem." Toby reminds Jed that he wants to have a debate on school prayer, and this will start it. Jed confesses he's not wild about the woman: "I've known her for twenty-five years and I think she's All About Eve." Leo enters from his office and asks what they're talking about. Jed says, "Recess appointments." Leo says he's got the final list and reads off three names for various appointments. Toby says they're adding a name. Leo asks, "Who?" and POTUS replies, "Josie." Leo says, "No...no!" Jed continues: "Assistant Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education." Leo asks if his sister called and asked for this. Jed says she didn't call him. Leo says, "I'm amazed." Toby: "She called me." Leo: "I'm less amazed." Leo says to take her name off the list. Jed says that it's not patronage if she's qualified. I get the feeling Leo's not worried about implications of nepotism or patronage. Toby cites her considerable educational background and experience. Leo objects, "They'll bring up school prayer." Toby says, "No kidding." Leo begs POTUS not to get on the back of Toby's horse. He feels it's leading to a fight for which they're not geared up. Toby insists, "We are geared up for it, and if we're not, we should get out!" Leo snaps, "Sure! You first!" Toby offers to take the meetings. Leo replies, "You're damn right! You'll take the meetings, and you'll start with aides to the Republican leadership, and you'll gauge exactly the volume of dumbness with no reward we can expect." Josh and Sam bust in and need to speak to POTUS. Jed tells Toby to take the meetings; he says he's very happy to do so. Josh says there's been a wrinkle in the San Diego situation. Sam says the refugees are claiming that they're Christian evangelicals fleeing persecution. Jed says, "You're kidding me." Josh elaborates, "They're seeking religious asylum." Jed repeats, "You're kidding me." Josh says that the Christian community is going to scream for them to stay, the Chinese government will say to send them back, and the INS is going to say that the law is the law. He adds, "This is a whole new thing." Everyone looks pretty grave. POTUS agrees. You can ponder the implications while we go to commercial.
It's Tuesday. C.J.'s holding a press briefing. She explains that the INS will be conducting something called a "credible fear interview," which does not determine whether or not asylum will be granted, but rather determines the credibility of a detainee's fear of being harmed if returned. Steve, a reporter, asks if the White House will be meeting with leaders of the Christian community to hear their input. C.J. says, "Yes, we will. In the following days we will be meeting with the Reverend Al Caldwell, members of Beijing's embassy, and INS agents. The President has asked Josh Lyman and Sam Seaborn to run these meetings, so it's entirely possible by week's end that we will have alienated Christians, China, and our own government." Hee! It's a very funny line, but I can't believe C.J. would say it at a press briefing. C.J. ends the briefing by saying that's all she has on the refugees, and she was going to release the list of recess appointments but is now waiting a day. "I can tell you that the list has been sent to the appropriate committee chairs, and I imagine one of them will leak it to you sometime this afternoon." She reminds them that the Presidential Turkey Pardoning will occur on Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning, POTUS will give his Thanksgiving proclamation in the Rose Garden, which will be attended by kids associated with various children's social and charitable groups. One reporter asks C.J., "Will you be leading them in song?" C.J.: "I'm sorry?" The reporter explains that the Press Secretary usually leads the kids in song. C.J. glances away, but without hesitating too much -- although I'm sure her tuition bills are flashing before her eyes -- affirms this. As she walks off the podium, she mutters to Carol, "I gotta learn some songs." Hey, what's wrong with "The Jackal?"