West Wing
The Portland Trip

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The Quarterback of Notre Dame

Toby asks Sam to read the speech to him. Sam reads, "I'm calling on all Americans, young and old, Democrat, Republican, or none of the above, to make education a national priority." That is pretty stinky. Sam says, "'None of the above.' It's a pedestrian phrase and it has no place." No argument here, bub. ["Amen." -- Wing Chun] Sam adds, "Also, was education not a national priority before?" Toby is being more or less agreeable to all of Sam's comments, but says it's an easy fix. Sam doesn't think so: "Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place! We should be talking about not being satisfied with past solutions. We should be talking about a permanent revolution!" Toby asks, "Where have I heard that?" I know where. Sam says, "'Permanent revolution'? I got it from a book." Toby wants to know what book. Sam replies, "The Little Red Book." Toby asks, "You think we should quote Mao Tse-tung?" Sam says they do need a permanent revolution. Toby: "Still, I think we'll stay away from quoting Communists." Sam asks, "You think a Communist never wrote an elegant phrase? How do you think they got everybody to be Communists?" Toby wants Sam to take a walk with him. Sam says Toby's the one who's been saying for the last six months that they need a radical approach. Toby's losing patience: "Yes, yes I am! And I got shouted down in every meeting! I'd love to write a speech about a radical new approach to education but we don't have one! So unless we can come up with an idea and implement it before landing in Portland, I'd prefer not paint a picture in the interest of great oratory." Sam asks, "Can't great oratory inspire an idea that can be implemented?" Toby responds, "We had six months. We're not doing it half-assed. We're not doing it tonight." Toby wants Sam to go for a walk up and down the plane, get the blood flowing. Sam remarks, "Mao knew how to get the blood flowing." Toby: "Let's go."

Back at the White House, Donna's arriving back from her date, such as it was, and runs into Leo, who comments that her dress is very nice, and mentions that she wasn't wearing that dress earlier today. Donna mildly says, "You guys are sharp as tacks, you know that?" Leo asks if she had a date. She says yes. He asks, "With who?" She says it doesn't matter. He asks where they ate, and when she says Phoebe's, Leo launches into telling her what should be ordered there: "You tell Dario, the chef, that you work for me, and that you want the flash-seared escolar with foie gras butter, and the fresh juniper berry gravlax on a bed of shaved fennel. You have a nice '87 Petrus with that...what'd you have?" Donna: "Two whiskey sours and a bowl of soup." She says she should go tell Josh she's back, and Leo says he's in the Mess. Before they part, Donna says that she hopes Leo doesn't mind, but that Margaret mentioned that his divorce papers came, and she was worried....Leo says, "Margaret worries if the sun is going to rise." I'm surprised Margaret isn't holding a press conference about Leo's divorce papers, and I think that he's bearing all this interference with remarkable patience. He tells Donna to go check in with Josh.

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West Wing

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