West Wing
The American President, Part I

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"Dig it, Ms. Wade: You're the President's Girlfriend!"
Sydney stands in the office, uncomfortably aware of her surroundings and the mess she feels she's in. Shepherd arrives, asks if he may call her Sydney, and asks whether she's ever been in the Oval Office. She hasn't. She begins backpedalling and apologizing: "Mr. President, what you saw in there was nothing more than vanity run amok. I was showing off for a colleague who doesn't think very much of me. It'd be a real injustice for you to hold the GDC accountable for my behaviour today. On top of which, I'm monumentally sorry for having insulted you like that." Shepherd wonders whether Sydney thinks he's mad at her. Well, that wouldn't be the most illogical thought she could have. Shepherd tells her that few days go by when he's not burned in effigy somewhere, and that the city of Washington, D.C was designed to "intimidate and humble foreign heads of state." He announces, "The White House has the single greatest home court advantage in the modern world." She replies, "I learned that one the hard way." He says that the bill is important to him. They argue about whether it should be 10 or 20%; he believes it's a long shot even at ten. Shepherd makes Sydney an offer: if she can swing twenty-four of the thirty-four votes they need, before the State of the Union address, he'll get the other ten. He gives her his word. He then proceeds in his genteel, charming way to try to hit on her: "Listen, are you hungry? I skipped breakfast. You wanna have some coffee? A doughnut or something?" She narrows her eyes and looks mystified: "Sir, I'm a little intimidated by my surroundings, and yes, I've gotten off to a rocky and somewhat stilted beginning, but don't let that diminish the weight of my message." Sydney rabbits on that the GDC is not to be trifled with, finishing off with a threat that if doesn't keep his promise, he won't get re-elected, and Shepherd looks at her with lovey-dovey cow eyes and the Piano Music of Falling in Love With Her Feistiness (tm Ragdoll) plays in the background. Sydney heads for the door -- the wrong one, of course -- as he tells her she can't do that. She asks, "With all due respect, Mr. President, who's going to stop me?" Yeah, you and what army? Oh, wait. Shepherd says, "Well, if you go through that door, the United States Secret Service. That's my private office." He points to the right way. She leaves, with most of her dignity and composure in the crapper, shaking her head at herself. He's suppressing a goofy smile.

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West Wing




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