Cut to Sam's office. Ainsley stumbles her way in, still carrying her luggage and upset. Sam casually asks how her vacation was. Ainsley: "It was forty hours long!" Sam asks where she went. She went to Hilton Head, South Carolina. He asks what she did. She says, "I unpacked. And then I packed." She's either a really slow unpacker, or a really slow packer. Or both. Sam congratulates Ainsley on her promotion to deputy counsel. Ainsley asks when that happened. Sam explains that it happened after he told Bud Watel that they had already promoted her. Ainsley is just totally lost now. Sam explains about the gaffe, which Ainsley has already heard about. She asks Sam how he could have let it happen. He defensively explains for the millionth time that he wasn't there. Sam helps carry Ainsley's bags down to her office as he explains to her that they need her to go on all the pundit shows and explain that the president isn't an elitist snob. Ainsley, however, thinks the president is a snob and that it's "elitist, geocentric, Ivy League snobbery to think that if you haven't written six journal articles on monetary support mechanisms, you're not fit to lead." Sam counter-argues that setting good policy is easier when you actually understand it and that he'd be surprised to find that Ritchie had even so much as read six journal articles "on anything other than athletic support mechanisms." Because, you know, University of Florida is so much more known for its football team than Notre Dame is. I went to an even worse college than Ritchie's. I may not be fit to even write this recap.
Ainsley and Sam reach Ainsley's office, which, while still in the basement, is no longer located where all the heat transfer pipes are. She tells Sam that there's a difference between "intelligence" and "instinct." Oh my, I hope there's a much better argument for a "common man" president than that. I don't want any president leading by instinct. Sam points out that they should be able to find somebody who has both intelligence and instinct. Ainsley volleys that a president can pick good advisors. Sam feints that advisors can better advise a president who is informed and curious. If curiosity is an important trait for a president, maybe we should elect a beagle. Ainsley asks what happens when an intellectual president surrounds himself with other advisors who are also Ivy League snobs. Sam takes offense at this, pointing out that Notre Dame isn't an Ivy League college (yeah, but I think being a tenured professor at Dartmouth trumps that ["Maybe 'Dartmouth University' doesn't, though." -- Wing Chun]), and that the administration is very concerned about education and asks whether parents should be discouraging their children from attending Ivy League schools. Well, maybe not, but I certainly wouldn't consider somebody to be less educated or intelligent simply because they hadn't attended one. Ainsley points out that it was the Harvard Alumni Association in D.C. that got America involved with Vietnam. Sam ends the debate by pointing out that Ainsley herself is a very smart person who went to Smith and then got her law degree from one of the very Ivy League schools of which she's so critical. Ainsley moans that she was on vacation. Sam gives her a non-apology apology. Ainsley says she'll go ahead and do the television shows, because "[she] serve[s] at the pleasure of the president," but that she doesn't want a promotion that she didn't earn. Also, she's getting this strange urge to cut up dead bodies and she's not sure where that's going to take her. Maybe someplace warm.