Sam and Ainsley are still arguing in his office. At some point, Ainsley mentions that they've been arguing for an hour and a half, which means it was at least seven in the evening when they returned earlier. No way would it not have been dark at that time, this late in the year. Maybe Washington has Daylight Spending Time, or something. (I would apologize for nitpicking, but I believe it's actually in my job description here. ["It is." -- Wing Chun]) Anyway, they're arguing about Sam's position paper, which was on employee fraud. She mentions that one third of all small businesses fail due to employee fraud. That sounds extraordinarily high to me, and since many small businesses are sole proprietorships, does that mean people are bilking themselves? Who knows? Anyway, Sam is not really participating in the argument, just restating that Ainsley reversed his position. He adds that he can't believe he's listening to a Republican tell him that the government should run background checks and impede business: "In fact, I can't believe I'm listening to a Republican." Sam then makes what looks to me like a fairly groundless accusation of racism (and I'm no slouch at seeing racism): "Could it possibly be that most of the people you want to fingerprint have darker skin than you do?" Well, Ainsley's pretty pale, so even if the great majority of the world's population were not already non-Caucasians, this would be true. She retorts, "Well, not to let the facts interfere with a good story, but eighty percent of violators are white. Fraudulent employees are three times more likely to be married, they're four times more likely to be men, sixteen times more likely to be managers and executives, and guess what, Professor? They're five times more likely to have postgraduate degrees." Sam stutters and mumbles a bit and tells her to start from the beginning. She wants to know if he's going to eat he doughnut on his desk. He tells her to take it. Tapeworm? Bulimia? Who knows?
C.J. shows up at the Oval Office and tells Charlie that she's supposed to see Jed. POTUS is in a meeting so C.J. decides to wait. Danny shows up and he and Charlie say "hey" to each other. Danny says, "Hey, C.J.," and she doesn't look at him but replies, "Hey, Nimrod." He says wearily that he leaked her damn story for her. She says, "You leaked it for me? I leaked it to you, pal. I used you like...so much whatever." Danny says, "Well put." Danny is apparently supposed to see Jed, too. C.J. informs Charlie that after Danny's paper savaged them four times, he now wants them to give Danny access to POTUS for a three-part feature. Charlie asks, "About what?" C.J.: "About winning a Pulitzer Prize for writing a three-part feature. See, reporters seldom win a Pulitzer -- feature writers do -- and the Post has been getting a little outpaced in the hardware department lately. " Danny asks Charlie, "Do you suspect my motives are anything but journalistic?" Danny, the whole Western world suspects that. Charlie says, "Yeah...I'd definitely like to be a part of this conversation." Dulé Hill is so cool. Danny starts to tell C.J., "Are you telling me this doesn't have anything to do with..." but then POTUS is ready for C.J. and she's called in. He asks her, "What's doing, Claudia Jean?" which is pretty good for a guy who took his whole campaign to learn that her name was C.J. She explains the plight of Danny's request. Jed's into it. She doesn't think it's a good idea and cites the editorials, which Jed casually dismisses as "way off-base," although he admits that the second one wasn't, so much. He felt the other three were silly, and the fourth was mean-spirited. C.J. wants to send them a message. But Jed's all about the love. She thinks they need a wake-up call. He says it's going to look petty and petulant. He asks, "You know why? Because it's petty and petulant." She points out that nobody elected this newspaper, and certainly not the forty-eight million people who put him into office. Jed says that not having to run for office tends to help with honesty and decisiveness. He asks Charlie to send Danny in. She insists that POTUS has to send the Post a message. He firmly says, "I really don't, C.J." He takes off his glasses and asks her, "Is this personal?" She pretends not to know what that's about. Jed says, "I hear things. I don't understand most of it, but I hear it." You and me both, pal. She assures him that it's not personal. Jed says, "He's a great reporter and you're a great press secretary and that's why it wasn't going to work as long as the two of you had those jobs." She quietly tries to respond to this, but Danny's come in. Jed launches in: "Danny, I think you guys have had your heads up your asses for the last few weeks. I hope you don't mind me saying so." Danny says of course he doesn't. Jed continues, "Not only that, but I think you've been trying to bait me, which is a waste of time, paper, and ink. I'm, like, fifty times smarter than any of you will ever hope to be. I've got an election to win in two years, and I'm not about to alienate The Washington Post." Danny sharply says, "Yes, sir." Jed concludes: "I'll tell you what I will do, though: I'm cancelling our subscription." C.J. chimes in, claiming that that's an excellent idea: "The White House buys eleven hundred copies of the Post every day. Cancelling our subscription should send a message loud and clear." Jed clarifies that he meant his and Abby's subscription: "I'll borrow a copy from somebody." He throws on his coat, saying as he leaves that C.J. will give him all the access he wants. C.J. and Danny are left to stare at each other. He starts to walk out, saying that he's gotta tell Circulation that they lost $32.95. Um, that can't be the yearly cost of a subscription and I wouldn't think he'd quote the monthly amount. ["Maybe they get a volume discount since it's one subscription among eleven hundred?" -- Wing Chun] Whatever. C.J. says that she knows about the job offer. Huh? She adds that she's known about it for a couple of days. It turns out he was offered a job as an editor, but he doesn't think he's going to take it. He says he's a White House reporter. C.J. just thought that by taking a job outside the Press Room...Danny interjects that he has no problem with a reporter dating a press secretary. She gently says that she does have a problem with it. He says, kind of coldly, that he'll see her later, and leaves her standing there in the Oval Office, looking lonely. I run right out and order a big flashing neon sign to place over Toby's lovely head. C.J.'s wearing a knee-length skirt with today's suit, whereas she usually wears pants. She doesn't look entirely comfortable in this. She always looks comfortable in pants, and even in formal gowns and longish skirts. But not this. ["I thought so, too. I think it was the flats." -- Wing Chun]
Meanwhile, Donna's meeting with Konanov in what I think is the Mural Room, lecturing him about ulnar deviation and other RSIs. Konanov wonders what the hell she's talking about, when POTUS bursts in, saying, "Vasily? Vasily Konanov? Why, you're the last person I expected to be where they told me to go." He thanks Donna and the agents and dismisses them all. Um, you're going to ask your security guys to leave you alone with this drunk nut? Whatever. Vasily dismisses his attaché. Once they're alone, POTUS asks him what the hell he's doing. Konanov says that he wants to talk about commercial landing rights, the World Trade Organization, and nuclear compatibility. Jed says, "I'm not the Transportation Secretary. You will join the WTO when you reduce the 300% tariff on American cars. And, with a nuclear weapon pointed at my head, I will not talk to you about nuclear compatibility." Jed adds that Konanov is a reformer, who will do good things in Eastern Europe, and he looks forward to the day Konanov is president (really?), but until then, his State Department deals with the government of the Ukraine. Jed shakes his hand and says, "Now you can go home and do what you wanted to do, which is say that you've met with the President of the United States." Konanov "the Barbarian" smiles. POTUS breezes out and as he strolls past Natasha, he says, "How you doin'?" Only he doesn't say it in that lewd, Joey Tribbiani way. That would have been funny, though.