West Wing
The Indians In The Lobby

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The Butterball Hotline

C.J. is cogitating in her office. She sitting by a window in what looks like late afternoon or sunset light. Carol comes in and tells her Security's nervous. C.J. asks what they're nervous about. All together now, with Carol: "The Indians in the lobby." C.J.: "No, I mean, nervous about what? It's a lawyer and a Michigan Wolverine. I think we can take 'em. We always do." She tosses her pencil away in frustration. Carol's trying to tell C.J. that Security's going to do its thing. C.J. says she'll be there in a minute. Carol hustles off.

Outside, Toby catches up to Bruno, who's also leaving the White House. (It's completely dark now, by the way.) Toby asks him, "Did you get hauled in?" Bruno says he did, and that he and Jed "had a conversation." These two sure have buddied up. But where's Shrug? Toby tells Bruno about the OMB coming out with a new formula to calculate the poverty level. Bruno asks, "Show of hands?" Hee. Toby explains that now they've got to campaign with four million new poor people. Bruno asks, "That's the problem? Not that someone making $21,000 a year is considered comfortable?" Okay, suddenly I find myself liking Bruno. And that's just wrong. Toby says they're working on that, too. Bruno tells him to keep working on it, and that he'll sell the other thing. Toby wonders how; Bruno says, "Same way P.T. Barnum sold a truckload of white salmon: by sticking labels on them that said: 'Guaranteed not to go pink in the can.' I have this fish thing going on today..." Toby: "What the hell are you...?" Bruno: "'Are you telling me this formula's been broken for years and the other guys haven't fixed it?' Like that." He asks whether Toby would like to get a quick drink. Toby says no, gesturing a bit with the shopping bag: he's got nieces and nephews...aw, Uncle Toby. He says they'll meet on this Monday. Bruno mutters to himself, "Truckload of white salm--" Then he calls out to Toby, "You ever even heard of white salmon?" Toby has not. Bruno walks away muttering, "Guy could sell anything." That's the Bruno we know and er...love: a guy who worships P.T. Barnum.

Atlanta, Georgia. An airport announcement advises us: "Do not leave any baggage unattended." Indeed. Josh walks up to a bar counter, next to a guy who must be Faragut, and orders a ginger ale. ["Gasp! That's my drink! It's like we're soulmates!" -- Wing Chun] Josh turns to the guy and says, "You're Mark Faragut, right?" He shakes his hand and introduces himself. Faragut seems surprised and pleased to meet Josh, and mentions that he just got a message from his office to call Josh. Josh knows. Faragut then looks concerned and wonders if Josh came all the way down there just to talk to him. Josh say, "No, my mom lives in Florida, but just technically." Faragut doesn't get it. Josh says it doesn't matter. Faragut starts to say something about the Governor, but Josh interjects, "The Italians aren't worried about the Governor, Mark. They're worried about you." Faragut replies, "Italy can't tell me how to prosecute my case. And no offense, Josh, but neither can you." Josh points out he doesn't have a defendant. Faragut: "You can't ask me to weaken my stance." Josh knows: "The Georgia Fourth is tough enough for a Democrat without appearing as if he's against the death penalty." Faragut says he's not against the death penalty. Josh says, "I said 'appearing.' And the only way to combat that is with TV time. You are planning on running again, right?" Faragut replies, "Apparently you don't know much about my last campaign." Josh tells him he raised $232,000 in four months, but then the well dried up after he prosecuted a corporate polluter and got painted as anti-business, leaving him with $41,500 for the last two months, and "that was the ball game." Faragut's flight is announced. Josh pulls an envelope out of his jacket, puts it on the counter, and says, "Guarantee you won't seek the death penalty, and you'll have an endless media buy to explain it to your district." Endless? Faragut looks uncomfortable and says, "Josh, please tell me there's no money in that envelope." Josh says there isn't: "In a manner of speaking." Faragut: "Names?" Josh: "Yeah. Three of them. None of them local. Do what I'm telling you and all three of them will take your call." Faragut: "I can win this time." Josh says Faragut's flight is boarding. They wish each other a good Thanksgiving. Faragut leaves as Josh's ginger ale finally arrives. Josh takes a sip. Interesting how when one hand washes the other, neither of them seem to end up clean.

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