West Wing
The Mommy Problem

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Poor Josh

In the corridor, Josh pulls Santos away from the people he's speaking with and asks a Secret Service agent to seal the elevator. They enter the elevator, and as it starts to move, Josh pushes the stop button. Something must be wrong with the elevator, because an alarm does not instantly start to ring. Santos looks a bit startled -- I guess Josh hasn't been this aggressive in the past. Josh tells Santos that he's starting to think there is a coordinated effort to bring down the Santos campaign and throw it off its message. Josh tells Santos that the AP has a photograph of something that happened in his hotel bed in Cleveland: "Is there anything you'd like to tell me?" Unspoken but implied are the words "before I tear your eyes you, you cheating hussy." Santos: "His name is Bruce. He's a flight attendant on Aer Lingus." I think I know that guy. Santos leans back against the wall of the elevator, and sighs. "At first, it was long walks..." And that's when Josh loses it. Santos maintains the joke for a second, looking horribly offended that Josh would laugh at him just as he's sharing this difficult story. Josh apologizes for doubting Santos, pointing out that it's his job to ask these questions. And then Santos says, "Wait a minute. Cleveland?"

Back in the staff breakroom, Louise is wondering what happened. Bram is there -- he tells her that Santos wouldn't let him in his room that morning. Well, that's a clear sign that something was horribly wrong. I mean, I think even a straight man would get a little thrill from having Bram in his bedroom. Josh is muttering to himself, and Louise demands that somebody tell her what happened. Bram explains: "He demolished his bed." Louise is still puzzled, until Josh explains that Helen was in Cleveland, bringing the two campaigning spouses to the same city after a long absence: "They broke it together, get it?" Louise looks suitably impressed by this. And then Ned enters with a copy of the photo. They all cluster around it. Louise: "Oh my." Bram: "Hurricane Santos." Josh tells Bram that if he ever repeats that, Josh will have him "knocking on doors in Alaska." Josh thinks it's unseemly for them all to be ogling the broken bed of the next President of the United States. Ned tells them, "The hotel proprietor claims the bed was steel-reinforced." They all move in for a closer look at the picture. Heh.

Josh and Louise walk into the hallway, where Josh shows Louise the letter about Santos's Reserve duty. She's pleased as punch at first, until Josh tells her that Santos has rescheduled the duty a bunch of times in the past. She immediately goes to the same place Josh did, hoping it was only rescheduled for "essential government business." She looks just as upset as Josh to hear that it was primarily rescheduled for Santos's personal convenience. And then, apropos of nothing, she rips into Josh for refusing to go negative against Vinick. Louise thinks that refusal is leaving a vacuum that's being filled with trivia: "That's why [Santos is] the swinging king of the siesta." And then she calls Josh, legitimately, on not letting Santos criticize the President for calling off the White House investigation without at least calling for a special prosecutor. Josh reminds Louise that, as the new Communications Director, she's supposed to be helping Josh to solve this problem. And then she tells him that he's the problem: "No negative campaigning. No outside opinions within five miles of the candidate. No deviation from some Jonestown-like obsession with your pals at the White House." And then Josh walks away from her.

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West Wing

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