When we return from commercials, Ginger interrupts Toby from the meeting because the HUD Secretary, Bill Fisher, has finally arrived. Toby heads to his office to find a man who looks a lot like Bill Bradley waiting for him. Toby makes some harmless chitchat with Fisher in order to make him feel comfortable before the upcoming smackdown. Toby asks Fisher whether he has announced that he's running for governor of New Jersey yet. Fisher says that's not for another three years. Toby wants to know why, then, Toby's never heard of this home-loans proposal. He sarcastically says, "I'm assuming it's a campaign proposal. Camden and Newark will go nuts, but it's not a national program," Fisher tries to interrupt, but Toby steamrolls him: "Know how I know? 'Cause national programs are announced by the president of the United States, unless this White House passes on them first." Fisher tries to calm Toby down by telling him it's just a small program. Toby continues to rant that it's not Fisher's call to make. Fisher tells Toby that POTUS asked him to join the Cabinet and hold back on his political career for four years with the understanding that he would get their help when he ran for office. Toby points out that Fisher must not want POTUS's help, because he's too busy helping himself. Fisher says he doubts that his announcement will even make it into the papers' Metro sections. Toby continues the slapdown: "There is one name on the ballot this November, Bill. Not yours, not mine, not the governor of New Jersey." Oh, and all those senators and representatives who come up for re-election, too, but I guess that's not relevant to this rant. Toby continues: "And believe me, no one will work harder than Jed Bartlet to put you there. But if this president loses re-election, your career is finished, and so is mine." Hyperbolic, much? John Ashcroft lost re-election as senator to a dead man and look at him now. But I suppose political twists like that cause some excessive Dadaism we can't get into here. Fisher asks Toby what he wants. Toby tells him that the next time Fisher announces new policy without the approval of the White House, they're going to announce that he's going back to New Jersey. C.J. will announce the home-loan program from the podium in the briefing room tomorrow. Fisher begs Toby to let Fisher announce it with the president. Toby lays on a final smackdown: "It's too small for the president." Toby leaves him in the office to get back to the Hoynes meeting.
Episode Report CardShack: A- | 791 USERS: C+
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