After the commercials, Josh's parade of dissatisfied customers continues as he runs into Charlie. "Chris Mulready?" Charlie asks. "Dissented on minority set-asides, struck down hate crimes legislation, went after Miranda rights? Feelin' pretty good about that?" "It's not a perfect plan, I'm the first to admit," Josh says. "The president wants to reiterate he's not spending more than five minutes with this clown," Charlie stresses, speaking as much for himself as for Jed, one suspects. C.J. walks up and tells Josh that they've cleared the press room and Carol is on the prowl for stray reporters. "You're in on this too," Charlie notes unhappily, and he walks off. Josh turns to a suddenly-present Donna and says that Lang is coming in to meet Jed, and that Mulready will be next. "He's on the short List?" Donna asks. Josh's voice gets low. "He is if she is; we may get both." "Oh my God, you're putting my mother's cats on the Supreme Court," Donna says with an almost imperceptible smile. "Your what?" C.J. asks. "It's just an experiment," he whisper-mumbles to Donna, and then to C.J.: "She's on sentry [I think]; we're good." Toby walks up, and Josh turns back to Donna. "Don't ever tell anyone that story," he murmurs. Hee. Toby comes up and asks whether things are set. "Lefty's got the goods, Rocco got the calls, Nicky's on lookout," C.J. says, and at being indicated at the end of this bit, Donna gives a weakly protesting "Hey." Just then, Swimtern walks up and confirms that his uncle is ready to talk, and Josh leaves with him. "Pierce will never buy it, will he?" C.J. asks. "Nope," Toby says simply. Well, at least they're keeping a positive attitude.
As Josh and Swimtern approach the Pierce meeting, Swimtern reminds Josh that his uncle is "all bark," and that Josh should "let him holler." Heh. Speaking from experience, I suspect. Just as Josh is about to walk into the meeting, Swimtern produces a bottle of scotch. "Use it wisely," he says, "and for God's sake, don't try to keep up. You're way out of your league." Yeah, seriously. Josh Lyman is sort of the living embodiment of the word "lightweight." "Not necessary," Josh says, mildly put out. "Thank you." They enter the office, where Pierce is waiting. Swimtern starts to talk about how much Josh liked a recent Pierce floor speech, but Pierce cuts him off, assuring the kid that "Josh can kiss up all on his own." He directs Swimtern to "get back to work." Swimtern leaves, and Josh has a seat. They banter a bit about how Swimtern is doing, and Pierce says that the kid is "lean and hungry"; "Have someone taste your food," he advises. Josh seems surprised. Pierce gets down to business, saying that he heard they were thinking of putting Mulready on the Court, and that he's sure it's just a rumor, because "anybody who tries is going to find himself in a closed session with myself, the minority leader, and the business end of a two-by-four." Josh pauses. "You know, we got a twenty-one-year-old Glenlivet knockin' around here somewhere...can I get you a drink?" Sometimes, when reason will not do, one is required to try liquor. Some of the greatest deals in history have been made that way. I think that's how the Yankees got A-Rod.