West Wing
The Mommy Problem

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Poor Josh

Santos and his entourage walk across the tarmac to the campaign jet. Santos is pointing out that even if he did sometimes reschedule his reserve duty, he still did it every year -- "almost." He's concerned that if people realize how easy it is to reschedule, it will look like a stunt if he shows up on command this year. Josh agrees (but with a lot more words), and Santos walks onto the plane.

Santos enters his private room on the plane, where Louise is already waiting. Bram tells Santos that he has five minutes and then a quick meeting with a city councilmember before takeoff. Santos asks Louise if she prefers "Lou" or "Louise." Yeah, I'm dying to know. She tells him, "'Lou' started in college when I signed up for men's intramural softball. They were a player short, turned out I was the best hitter on the team." Hmmm. Based on that description, I'm predicting that she went to Brown. 'Cause those guys are all nancy-boys. (And I say that with some personal expertise on the subject of nancy-boys). Santos thinks the story means that she prefers "Lou," but she tells him, "'Louise' is fine." I can't decide which name to use. So I'll let you decide. Take the poll at right. Santos asks her what she thought of the reverse town hall. She tells him she disliked his joke about being the first one unemployed. Tell me about it, sister. But she just thinks it's inappropriate to be joking about economic adversity. He asks her if there's anything she liked. Louise: "Oh, sure, but I assume you have plenty of people around to tell you how great you are, and if you don't, you should hire some, 'cause they're wonderful." Santos asks her if she thinks he has a mommy problem. I assume he means to ask if he's unable to appear as a commanding father figure. She doesn't really answer his question, telling him, "Right now, Beltway Arnie's kicking you all over the electoral map, the White House is treating you like a fly on their governmental windshield, and I'm wondering if it's just Josh, or if you have what it takes to come out of the Candidate Protection Program and start kicking back." And then Bram enters to introduce Santos to the city councilmember and her family. Santos gets up for a picture, but Louise stays in her seat, ready to resume their conversation after Santos finishes. Commercials.

Josh exits an elevator in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Various campaign workers call out requests to Josh, but he shoots them all down. Just as he starts to speak to Edie, some youthful campaign workers grab him for a quick photo. After he walks away, Edie tells him that Santos has rescheduled his Reserve training about one-third of the time. Josh thinks that whoever gave the letter to Time knew that, and was trying to set the campaign up for a trap. Edie thinks that the problem they face is that Santos served too much, while Vinick never served. They enter what looks like a break room at the end of hotel corridor. Josh takes off his enormous backpack, and they start going over the options. One is for Santos to report for duty as ordered. A campaign worker tries to enter the room, and Josh pushes him out, saying, "The soda shop's closed." He closes the door after the guy. This is an odd room -- it has a pay phone and a bulletin board, along with a small table and chairs and what looks like a vending machine. Is this a breakroom for the hotel workers? And if so, why has Josh been allowed to take it over? Josh starts unbuckling his belt, and Edie asks him what he's doing. He sits in a chair and wraps his belt around his leg and the arm of the chair, effectively strapping himself down. He tells her, "It's a law-school study trick. I'm not getting up until we figure this out." What kind of freaky S&M law school did he go to? Oh, wait, that's right. Yale. As if students at Yale Law ever studied -- they don't even get real grades. (Yeah, I won't be satisfied until I've insulted the entire Ivy League.) The second option is to postpone the reserve training, which will just point out all the times Santos has postponed it in the past, making him look less than dedicated to his duty. And then Santos walks into the room. Josh hunches over and places his arms across his leg to hide the bondage gear. Santos is there to tell Josh that Louise has agreed to join the campaign as Director of Communications, with one tiny condition: she's reporting directly to Santos. Santos walks out as he says that, and Josh gets up to follow him -- with the (entirely too predictable) result that he falls right over on his face. Santos doesn't notice, and Bram walks right up to Josh on the floor and tells him that there's something going on with the Associated Press that Josh has to handle immediately. It turns out that the AP has some kind of photograph of something that happened at the hotel the campaign stayed at in Cleveland -- a photograph of Santos's bed. Josh does not look happy, despite the fact that he has the pleasure of staring up at Bram's lanky form.

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