Shout-outs to jlt and ML.
Well, it's the morning after the night before (not literally, although I thought so until the third or fourth quarter of the episode) and Bartlet sure is full of himself. I mean, even more than usual. He's walking along the portico into his office as C.J. quizzes him on how to respond to questions from the press. Leo's there, too, as are Charlie and various other assistants and flunkies. C.J. asks, "'Mr. President, how do you interpret the margin of victory?'" Jed replies, "Well, it looks like the American people are slightly nervous about having an actual scarecrow in office, and they'd rather gamble on four more years of me." No, he says that it's clear that the will of the people is for him to have and do anything he wants. She asks him what his legislative priority will be. Jed: "Well the President of Turkmenistan just officially extended the date of adolescence to twenty-five. So, things like that." Leo: "I think he also renamed the month of January after himself." So it's some variation on Saparmurat Niyazov? They're in the Oval Office now. Jed: "That's just greedy. Real power is knowing when to leave a little something on the table." Martin Sheen is...I don't know, weird somehow in this episode. Like he's playing himself playing Bartlet, or like it's an early first-season episode where the actors were still feeling out their characters, or something. And he sounds extra glib and pompous and arrogant at times in this one. Well, the whole episode is off, so just get used to it. C.J. presses the question, and Jed says, "Patients' Bill of Rights, prescription drugs, keeping the economy growing, find a surplus again, keep the surplus growing, use the surplus to build schools worthy of defending the military that Fitz and Hutchinson are gonna build to fight urban wars then pay the teachers some money..." Jed's zooming around the room looking in every drawer for something. A better script? Seriously, what the hell is everything after "use the surplus..." supposed to mean? I asked about this in the forums, and one imaginative soul (thanks, ML) suggested that what was meant was this: "[My priorities are to] use the surplus to build schools worthy of defending, [use the surplus on] the military that Fitz and Hutchinson are gonna build, [use the surplus] to fight urban wars, [and to] pay the teachers some [real] money." But for some reason, the line is delivered without any punctuation and just comes out sounding like gobbledegook.
Jed finally walks out into the secretarial area, C.J. on his heels complaining that she asked for one priority. Jed says, "It's a big country, Arnold," referring to the name of the reporter she's pretending to be. He bellows, "Debbie! Where the hell, first of all, are you, and where are my..." She comes zooming in off the portico, swaddled in a big red wrap, holding his glasses and saying he left them in the mansion. She hands them to him and admonishes him, "The Ipswich clams in Chesapeake Bay can hear you bellowing right now." Jed puts on his hoitiest, toitiest tone and declares, "Ipswich clams don't come from Chesapeake Bay, they come from Ipswich!" Debbie: "Not anymore." Jed wanders out into the hall, saying, "Have her beheaded for my birthday!" My God, it must be exhausting to work around someone like this. ["At least we know she's medicated." -- Wing Chun]