West Wing
Shutdown

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Deus Ex Mehchina

C.J.'s holding a press briefing outside. A reporter named Charlayne asks about compromises. C.J. reiterates talks are ongoing, even if formal negotiations are not. Charlayne: "So you're talking about talking?" Isn't that one of government's strengths? C.J. says they're talking about negotiating. George asks whether the state dinner's going to be cancelled; C.J. replies, "I certainly hope not -- I bought a shiny new Donna Karan and I'll be very disappointed if it has to stay in my closet." I would just like to know when she finds time to be a clotheshorse. Mark complains about the cold, and wants C.J. to open the press room. C.J.'s cell is ringing, but Charlayne has one more question, about where POTUS and the British PM will be dining. C.J.: "I don't know -- IHOP?" She walks away to take her call, which is from Josh. He's calling from the limo: "Get back to the press corps. POTUS is going up to the Hill. We're going to pay a surprise visit to Haffley." C.J. doesn't say anything at first, and Josh asks if she heard him. With a small smile, she says, "Okay, I got it."

Sirens blare as the motorcade moves along. Josh and Angela argue about this strategy; Josh says Haffley's in over his head. Angela says, "Everything this guy has done has taken us by surprise." Josh: "And nothing we have done has surprised him." Well, I don't really think he thought Jed would go through with a shutdown. Suddenly, Jed hollers, "Stop the car, please!" Angela and Josh aren't sure why they're stopping, but Jed says, "Kansas plates. That's a long way to travel to find a 'closed' sign." Jed gets out of the car and walks over to a gaggle of tourists on the sidewalk, who are very pleased and excited to see him. I'll bet the Secret Service adores these impromptu gladhanding sessions with the plebes. Josh and Angela stand on the sidewalk, watching. She says, "They'll have a few things to talk about when they get home." Josh's cell rings; it's C.J., wondering if they're on the Hill yet. Josh tells her what's going on. C.J.: "The President's talking to tourists?" Josh: "Yeah, the bus says 'Kansas' -- Blue Jays, Jayhawks, whatever the hell you call it." C.J. excitedly tells him, as she reaches her office, "You wait another thirty seconds and he'll also be addressing NBC, ABC, and CNN." Josh thanks her. Josh suddenly looks down the street toward the Capitol, and asks Angela, "How long a walk do you think it is to Haffley's office?" She says it's five or ten minutes. Josh: "The Secret Service is gonna love this." Josh walks over to Jed, who's telling the tourists about some rehabilitation centre in their area which he visited during the campaign: "It's closed today, too, because of the shutdown. But if Congress has their way, they'll lose 40% of their funding. I'd rather see it shut down for a week than for good." Josh pulls Jed away and suggests that they walk to the Capitol. Jed gets a happy look on his face that seems more Martin Sheen than Jed Bartlet -- you know Marty loves a good march on Washington. He turns and waves goodbye to the tourists; one of them urges him, "You go get 'em, Mr. President!" Jed turns to an agent named Randy and says, "What do you say we walk the rest of the way?" Randy, to his credit, does not roll his eyes; he just says, "Yes, sir." As they all set off, Randy calls for additional coverage: "POTUS is on foot." Angela tells Josh she should have worn different shoes. Man, with all the pedeconferencing and racing around that goes on in the West Wing, I would have thought she'd have already come to that conclusion. The motorcade moves slowly alongside the Presidential procession.

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West Wing

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