Santos's office. He's just finished briefing Lou, Amy, and Barry on his conversation with Vinick. Amy wonders what happened to the original plan to float a V.P. offer to Vinick to smooth Baker's confirmation, but Santos tells her that Vinick saw through that right away. They all think it's a bad idea, because Vinick's a Republican and because he might leak the story and cause them some embarrassment. Santos thinks the risk is worth it.
Vinick has just finished briefing Sheila and Bob on the conversation. He tells them that he turned Santos down, but that Santos asked him to sleep on it and respond the next day. Bob and Sheila both think Vinick should accept. Vinick thinks that Santos is doing this just to prevent Vinick from running for President in four years. Neither of them points out how ridiculous that idea is, but it seems clear from their expressions. Vinick also thinks that Santos is just appointing him as Secretary of State so that Baker will get confirmed more easily. Bob: "You think they'd horse-trade with a job like State?" Vinick considers and thinks that doesn't seem likely. One thing about the Vinick character I like is that when he's alone or with the people he really trusts, he gives voice to his darker thoughts. He's not all sweetness and light. Vinick finally reads Sheila's face and asks, "You really don't think I can win, do you?" She thinks that he might have a chance if he were ten years younger, and he claims that the aging Baby Boomers will want to vote for him. Sheila delivers some hard truths, and Vinick sighs and stands up. He tells them that the thing that most tempts him to accept the offer is to keep Santos from appointing his second choice, who Vinick thinks will screw up the world pretty fast. Again, here's the complexity -- Vinick is starting to make excuses in his own mind that will allow him to change his position. Sheila walks over to him and tells him, "You can enter the history books as maybe the last honorable senator and a great Secretary of State. Or you can be the guy who just didn't know when to quit."