Josh is loitering in a magnificent high-ceilinged hallway, waiting for Triplehorn (played by Geoffrey Pierson, best known to me as Grace Kelly's good-for-not-much ex-husband on Grace Under Fire). He looks pretty good here. He's got a bit of a Paul Newman-ish vibe. Triplehorn comes out and they start walking. I half-expect Josh to wipe out on the shiny floor, like he did in "The Stackhouse Filibuster." Ah, Season Two. Good times, eh? Sigh. [Sound of crickets chirping.] Josh says that, now that Senate's out of session, they should think about putting a ping-pong table out in the hall. Triplehorn thinks not. Josh is trying to lighten the mood, and says he's kidding. Triplehorn: "You'd be surprised what people think." Josh: "Just from reading the AP wire." Triplehorn stops and says he thinks Josh knows what that's about. Josh: "Yeah, you're running for President." Triplehorn: "We hold elections in this country, not coronations." Somebody better tell Generalissimo Grand Poobah. Josh isn't saying any different. Triplehorn complains that he's talked to two dozen of their precinct captains in Iowa and New Hampshire, and nearly every one of them is locked up. They're standing in a doorway with the most gorgeous metalwork, by the way. What, you expect me not to notice the sets even when I'm half asleep? Oh, you underestimate me. Josh is stunned to hear that he's recruiting precinct captains four years in advance. Triplehorn says Hoynes is using the White House to lock up the primaries: "Hoynes doesn't inherit this. I'm not going to see the party dragged to the middle."
Triplehorn walks out. Josh says that nothing is being dragged anywhere. Josh follows him out. Triplehorn says it's about the future of the party. Josh: "Yeah, how about we enjoy the present for a few hours?" Triplehorn: "You agree with Hoynes on guns? On trade? On school choice?" Josh: "Did I just fall asleep for three and half years?" I know I might. Triplehorn wants to know whether Josh thinks a minority leader is irrelevant. Defensive, much? I don't hear Josh suggesting anything of the sort. Triplehorn insists that he can affect the President's agenda: "I'd like you to be for me, Josh. Not because you're good at what you do. Because of your beliefs." Josh says he's not for anyone: "I barely unpacked from the last campaign." Triplehorn: "Well. Hoynes is going to have to release those precinct captains or we're, uh..." He just shakes his head in a way that's meant to be intimidating. Or what? You'll bust him like a piñata? Make him eat a spaniel? Josh: "Keeps getting earlier, doesn't it?" Triplehorn: "Yes." He walks off.