C.J. enters the residence. The Prez asks, "Why has there been no press mention of the fact that Elliot Roush was an opponent of mine in New Hampshire?" C.J. assures him that it's probably gotten local coverage, but the Prez thinks it should be a national story. C.J. blinks and says, "It's a school board seat." The Prez responds that it's a human interest story, and C.J. says, "Not a very interesting one." The Prez says he'd go on the record if anyone wanted to cover the story. C.J. uncomfortably takes a seat and says, "The President can't publicly take sides in a local school board election." The Prez wants to know why he can't. While the Prez sips something that is definitely not orange juice, C.J. says, "It's not done, and it's not fair. It's personal, and it's irresponsible. It will galvanize Republicans, and the Democrats in Congress will think that you've abandoned them, that you don't care about winning back the House." The Prez declares that he doesn't actually care about the House. C.J. diplomatically says, "I don't believe that's true...so let's just keep that between you and me." The Prez decides that it's time to make a speech: "I've known men of faith in my life. Towering men. Men of wisdom and compassion. Men of all faiths, of healing and peace. Pro-choice, pro-life, Republican, Democrat, men and women of God. Elliot Roush..." He pauses, and in a less menacing voice, concludes, "Is polling at 53 percent." C.J., ever the realist, says, "That's the way it is. In a democracy, oftentimes, other people win." Did she just say "oftentimes"? The Prez reluctantly agrees, and thanks her. C.J. leaves while the Prez stares at the polling results.
It's November 7th, Election Day. Or, at this point, night. The electoral fairies are bringing stockings full of pork bellies to lay at the foot of our beds. I'm too excited to sleep. And a storm is raging outside the White House, perhaps to emphasize some dramatic point. Sam races through the bullpen and is told that twelve races are still too close to call. He tells Ginger, "Give me somebody in the Midwest, would you?" If I were Ginger, I'd dial a random number in the 309 area code and hand the phone to Sam. Sam shouts out, "I want to see everybody on telephones!" He stops to look around, and realizes that everyone is already on the phone. In a smaller voice, he says, "Okay, good. Just like that." He goes into his office, and suddenly realizes Tom and Sarah are waiting for him there. He apologizes for being late. Sarah hisses, "It was no problem coming, Sam. Turns out there was really no reason for us to stay in our district on Election Day." Yowch. Sam dissembles, "You've seen the exits? You're gonna lose, Tom." Sam says that 42 percent is a respectable amount. Tom remains passive while Sarah notes that their district is 49 percent Democratic. Sarah also notes that they had absolutely no support from the White House. Tom tries to calm Sarah down, although he doesn't try very hard. Sarah tells Sam, "Any time in the future we have an opportunity to screw you, count on getting screwed." Sam responds, "Good luck with the baby." Sarah and Tom exit. Lightning flashes. I appreciate that they tried to make this even-handed, sorta, but it would have been better if we'd known for sure that Tom was being unfairly maligned. As it stands, we just think, "Oh, poor Sam; his old friend's a racist who married a harpy."