West Wing
The State Dinner

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The State Dinner

Previously on The West Wing, Josh's arm was slapped by Mandy, Leo's heart was crushed by Mallory, and Sam's...um...you know. Sam made a friend.

C.J. is telling the press corps what fabulous fashions everyone will be wearing at the dinner for the President of Indonesia that evening. Josh follows her out as she leaves, and tells her that Hurricane Sara is headed for the Georgia/Carolina coast. As they enter the communal office, Sam pops up behind them and says that the teamsters have voted to strike unless a deal can be worked out by midnight. Next, Toby joins the parade and says that there's an FBI standoff with some survivalists in Idaho. With all those balls in motion, let's go to the credits. Has anyone else noticed that the music is done by someone named "Snuffy"?

Josh is at the gate, he's ready to go...And they're off! Josh breaks from his office, with Donna right behind him. Josh reins himself in to tell Donna that he and Toby want to meet privately with a "senior Indonesian deputy" named Bambang who will be at the party that night. As they round the first turn, he tells Donna to find out if Bambang speaks English, and to arrange for an interpreter if not. As they come into the straightaway, Donna mentions that in parts of Indonesia, "they summarily execute people they suspect of being sorcerers." As Donna gains ground in the far turn, she mentions that the executions are in fact beheadings, performed with a scythe. ["The fact that Donna is imparting this information is giving me some ideas. I hate Donna." -- Wing Chun] Josh notes this fact as he races down the home stretch, a full length in front. Superstitious scythe-slayings of suspected Sumatran sorcerers? Shit! Josh settles into the winner's circle with the rest of the thoroughbreds...okay, fine, he meets with the staff in an office. Sorry, didn't mean to beat a dead horse. Josh tells Leo that FEMA and the Red Cross are already in Georgia prepping for the hurricane. Leo announces that he's meeting with the trucking industry reps in a while. It seems that a lot of the truckers are designated "part-time" even though they do the same amount of work as full-time employees, so they don't get equal pay and benefits. Therefore, the truckers are threatening to strike. Josh says that he supports management. Mandy says, "What a surprise." Conversation turns to the standoff in Idaho; since Toby and Sam are busy writing the toast for the dinner, Mandy volunteers to keep tabs on it. Josh nixes that, because Mandy is just a consultant, "and this is an actual...y'know, thing." Well, now we know why Josh isn't a speech writer. Leo tells Mandy to keep informed of the situation and to report to Josh.

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West Wing

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