West Wing
The State Dinner

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The State Dinner

Sam munches on his dinner as Sledge and Brittany approach. Sledge tells Sam, "I think you're someone that I could have a relationship with." Sam responds, "I cost five hundred an hour." Laurie stares at him as he clarifies, "In the private sector, I billed out at five hundred dollars an hour." Sledge suddenly sees someone else he has to talk to, and abandons Laurie and Sam. Laurie insists that she didn't know she was going to this party, and that it has nothing to do with Sam. She concludes, "You're just some guy who happens to know me." "Thank you!" says Sam, huffily. Just then Mrs. Prez pops up to greet Sam. Laurie introduces herself (as Brittany), and Mrs. Prez explains that she's looking for the Prez. Sam says the Prez headed to the West Wing, although he's not sure why. "To pistol-whip the trucking industry," explains Mrs. Prez, "Because he can't save a gunshot victim and he can't stop a hurricane." She turns to Laurie and tells her, "You are thoroughly charming," and leaves. She's diplomatic, ain't she? Laurie is wowed by meeting the First Lady. I am less wowed by the fact that Laurie is wearing a ring on her thumb. Sam starts picking at his dinner again, and suddenly says, "I'll give you ten thousand dollars not to go home with that guy tonight." Laurie grabs her bag and leaves silently, without even finding out if Sam will give her the money if she takes Sledge to a hotel instead.

Seymour is saying that a wage hike would lead to inflation when the Prez says, "Time's up." Seymour says he hadn't used his full five minutes yet, and the Prez responds, "I know, but I got tired listening to you." Then the Prez declares that he won a Nobel prize in Economics and that none of them know what they're talking about. Next, he says that at 12:01 he will nationalize the trucking industry, and draft the truckers into military service. As he leaves the room, he says, "If this isn't settled in forty-seven minutes, don't worry, we know where to find you." The Prez runs into the First Lady outside, and she apologizes for being gone for so long as he holds her hands. The Prez mentions that the FBI negotiator is in surgery. Mrs. Prez says, "One of the things that happens when I stay away too long is that you forget that you don't have the power to fix everything." She adds that she likes watching him try, though. They hug, as lightning flashes and the lights dim briefly. They head back to the party, hand in hand. Leo joins them, and says that most of the ships have had their radios knocked out by the storm, but they've made contact with the Hickory, a maintenance and supply boat.

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West Wing

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