West Wing
The Mommy Problem

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Poor Josh

By this time, Josh, Joey, and Bill have arrived at an empty office. Josh tells Bill that this is his desk, that his business cards will be ready soon, and that the policy working group starts at 3:00. Bill asks, "And that's when I install the new phone lines?" Joey rolls her eyes, but heroically resists the temptation to slap Josh. The pedeconference continues -- Joey thinks that if Josh won't lean on his own staff, he should lean on the media consultants with whom they are about to meet. But Josh doesn't think those consultants are really there to help -- they're just there to make sure they each get a portion of the DNC media budget. And then Ronna hands Josh the list of attendees. He immediately asks, "What's she doing on there?" Ronna points out that Josh told her to be sure to invite Louise Thornton. Josh clarifies that he really meant "be sure not to invite her."

And...we pedeconference right into the meeting. A bunch of folks are seated at the conference table. Josh thanks them for coming, noting that "this is probably the greatest assemblage of Democratic talent since the last time Jed Bartlet dined alone." The joke does not go over at all. And then Joey looks at Josh and lets out an enormous fake laugh. That man is a fool for not dating her when he had the chance. Josh starts to go over the themes the campaign is trying to push. And there's Janeane Garofalo, who is playing Louise. He asks for their input on the campaign's message and strategy, and the trash talk just starts flying. One woman leads the complaining, with two guys echoing everything she says. Louise keeps having little whispered conversations with Ronna, apparently about the state of Louise's coffee. Josh seems unnerved by it, until Louise tells him, "You don't really want our input on message. Everybody's here for a piece of the DNC media budget. So get to the point, please." Josh tells them that of course they will each be getting part of the DNC media budget, and they suddenly start praising the campaign's message and strategy. Josh asks Louise what she would say if he did want their advice on the campaign's message. She tells him it would be hard to give: "You don't really have one." The other hacks in the room try to soft-pedal that harsh truth, talking about all the ways they can sell the campaign. Louise tells Josh that she's "talking about the iconic, the symbolic. Something you can put on a bumper sticker that tells people who Matt Santos is." Would a picture of his cute butt work? ["It would work for me." -- Wing Chun] Louise gets up to leave, and Josh asks where she's going. She responds, "I don't want a DNC contract. I just came by to see if this is the Josh Lyman vanity exercise everyone says it is. Besides, if I take your money, how can I snipe at you on Meet the Press?" She walks out, and the other hacks start blathering. But Josh just stares, and then gets up to follow her.

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West Wing

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