Previously on the West Wing: Leo didn't care overly much for the colourful, drunken, womanizing Lord John Marbury; Marbury had trouble remembering that Leo isn't the butler; Toby told Sam he would prefer not paint pretty political pictures in the "interest of greater oratory"; Leo chided Toby for messing up on the leadership breakfast.
Situation Room. Many military types are working quietly, with radio communications barely audible in the background. Leo comes in, asking if they're patched in to the Pentagon. One fellow confirms that they are; Leo impatiently asks why he can't hear anything. Over the communications system, a voice announces that it's fifteen seconds to launch. Leo: "Okay, why don't you just tell me to shut up?" The voice starts the countdown; the target is launched. Leo wonders how long he has; one of the guys tells him he has two minutes and ten seconds. Leo says he's going to see if he can get the President to come watch this.
In the Oval Office, POTUS is making chitchat with a Mr. Sumatra. They are accompanied by several other people, including Charlie and a woman who must be Mrs. Sumatra, and some representative of the government, whose job includes presenting potential ambassadors to the President. We later learn that this position is the Chief of Protocol, and is part of the State Department. Jed mentions that he hears Sumatra is a sports fan; Sumatra mentions that he likes golf. Jed takes advantage of Sumatra's basically defenseless situation to trash the guy's sport. "Okay, well, golf's not a sport. It's fine -- don't get me wrong -- but let's not you and I confuse it with things that men do." Ow! My freaking ears! Folksy is one thing but this wacky grammar's gotta go. This from a guy who knows you can't modify "unique"? Sumatra bears the mild insult with the good humour expected of a guy who's about to get a plum position. POTUS mentions that they're going to Bangkok in June, and Mr. Sumatra mentions a hotel called The Oriental. Jed suggests that it's the best hotel in the world; Mr. Sumatra points out that James Michener wrote many of his novels while staying there, and that one of his typewriters remains in the suite named after him. Jed tells Charlie to make sure he sees that when they're there; Charlie duly adds it to his long mental list of "Things I Have To Remember Because My Boss Never Will." Small talk dispensed with, Jed turns to the government official, whose name is Tom, and indicates that he's ready to get on with things. Tom says, "Mr. President, it is with pleasure that I present His Excellency, Tada Sumatra of Thailand, and by request of the Secretary of State, ask that you accept his credentials from King Bhumobil Adulyadej as Thailand's Ambassador to the United States." Sumatra hands over his SAT scores and transcripts -- sorry, I mean his "Letter of Credence" from the king. Jed says that he accepts the letter, and by affixing his signature and seal, hereby declares him to be an "Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary." And there's a phrase that I'm making a macro for right now, since I'm going to need it about eighteen more times in this recap. Professor Frink thought this was a great title, so I immediately conferred upon him the title of "Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Mathematics and Cool Gadgets" in the banana republic known as our household. Jed says, as he and Sumatra shake hands, "May our people know peace and prosperity. Congratulations." Jed indicates that they have some gifts for him (I'd love to know what...probably not the buckets of trendy, overpriced goodies that presenters get at award shows...man, would I like one of those buckets/baskets/what-have-you ["Deborah, I promise that when the Embies are televised and you get to present the award for Most Annoying Non-Teen Character, we'll get you the biggest big-ass basket and full it with every Burt's Bees product on the market. Oh, and Crane's stationery embossed with your monogram. For a start." -- Wing Chun]) and that they're going to pose for some pictures.