At the door, the woman asks Sam, "Ready for some good news?" He is. The man says, "Not out here." They move to Sam's office; as they're walking, the woman says in a pleased tone, "This is going to be a front-page story tomorrow." Sam's not too keen on the fact that there's a front-page story for tomorrow that he doesn't already know about. As Sam closes the door, she says, "CBO's going to issue a new estimate of the surplus." Sam asks with delight, "They're projecting it down? We don't have as much money as we thought?" They're all really happy about that. Sam says it's great news: "It's not great news that we have less money, I'm saying...'cause the floor fight's going to be easier." Both staffers agree. Sam asks how much less. Eight years out, it's $200 billion less; nine years out, it's $400 billion less. Sam repeats that it's great, although it's not great that they have less money.....The woman says that they get why it's great. Sam says that they can't imagine how much this helps him with the speech he's drafting. The woman says that's why they're telling him: "There's a line that ATJ and the Progressive Caucus want in the speech..." The man hands him a document. Sam reads: "'We want a real tax cut for working families to help them pay for higher education and housing, while our opponents want to help the rich pay for bigger swimming pools and faster private jets.' No, I don't think so." The woman objects: "They want it in." Sam says no. The woman wants to know why not; Sam says, "Well, for one thing, it's very bad writing." ["So true. It's embarrassing." -- Wing Chun] The man suggests changing it to "summer homes and sports cars." Sam says that the poetry is not his problem. The man says that they want it in Chicago. Sam replies, "Well, tell them to do their own speech. This one's for the President." The man asks whether Sam wants to tell them that. Sam says no. The man says okay. Sam says, "We have less money?" The man says, "Isn't that great?" Sam sure thinks so. The staffers leave.
Back in Babish's office, Oliver asks C.J. whether she was aware that, in January of last year, Bartlet had an attack. Her arms are still crossed. She says that she is now. Babish establishes that she was there when he had the attack, but that she was outside the room, and that when she went in, he was unconscious. She says she went in because she heard a glass pitcher breaking. Babish wants to know what she thought had happened. C.J. replies, carefully controlling the sarcasm in her voice, and as Oliver interjects humourless "yeahs" at appropriate intervals, "Well, at first glance I thought he might have a virus, contracted from a rare African tse-tse fly, possibly tropical sprue. I'm not an expert, but I did meet a man once in India...it could be anything with these Presidents. James Polk had diverticulitis. Couldn't digest nuts. I'll tell you what else: One in forty American men wear [sic] women's clothing, and we've had well over forty Presidents. I'm just saying, one of these guys was dancing around the Oval Office in a prom dress. Now let's get to the bottom of that." My money's on Taft or Coolidge. Wait, didn't we already establish that Hoover was a transvestite? Nope, sorry, my bad. That was J. Edgar, not Herbert. Anyway, Babish says: "C.J.? In my entire life I've never found anything charming." Well, what a sterile, arid existence that must be. Maybe that explains your four divorces, buddy. I'm just saying. C.J. seems mildly chagrined to learn this: "Really?" I still think that C.J. will win him over. I'm liking Oliver Platt less in this episode than last, and not just because he's picking on C.J. I know this must be excruciating for Wing, since she hates him. ["I help the time to pass more quickly during his scenes by making mean jokes about his appearance. I'm a very small person in many ways." -- Wing Chun] Babish says, "You announced to the press it was the flu. Who told you to say it was the flu?" C.J. says she wasn't told to say that, she was told it was the flu. Babish presses her, and she snaps, "I'm not getting into that! I'm not getting into who said what. We can do that at the next of what I'm sure will be many sessions." Babish lets it go. Casually, he asks, "Do you know what time it is?" I know where he's going with this; I've seen this exact scenario on some other show. ["No kidding. That one was in Birth of a Nation, for heaven's sake." -- Wing Chun] She glances at a clock and says, "It's five past noon." Oh my God -- she's been with him for almost seven hours? That seems like cruel and unusual punishment. ["Except for the 'seems' part." -- Wing Chun] Babish says, "I'd like you to get out of the habit of doing that." C.J. asks, "Doing what?" Babish: "Answering more than was asked. Do you know what time it is?" C.J. stares at him, and after a brief pause, responds with annoyed resignation, "Yes." He suggest that they take a break. No argument from C.J. Or me.