When we return from commercials, a day has passed, and the press is still grilling C.J. about Bartlet's gaffe. A reporter asks about Ritchie's demand for an apology. C.J. repeats the non-apology apology. Another reporter brings up a "pledge" Ritchie wants Bartlet to sign a promise to run a "positive, issue-oriented campaign." C.J. kicks all kinds of ass in her response, pointing out that it's presumptuous at this point to assume that either Ritchie or Bartlet is going to win his party's nominations and reminds the reporter that POTUS has previously run seven issue-oriented campaigns and that the fact that he's won each of these elections shows that the voters agree. Feel the C.J. love. Incidentally, when I was in college, I summer-interned at a trade magazine for campaign consultants. I was surprised to read that although nobody really liked negative campaigns, they defended their use because they were so effective. Despite the fact that everybody complained about them, negative ads had a surprisingly strong effect on polling responses. So we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Or at least everybody around us. A reporter mentions that, since Bartlet's gaffe, reporters have been trying to get copies of Ritchie's college transcripts from the University of Florida. He asks C.J. whether the president thinks college transcripts are a good barometer of a person's fitness to hold higher office. C.J. says she hasn't talked to the president about the issue, but guesses that he'd say college transcripts are a good barometer of how well a person did in a college. That doesn't stop C.J. from repeating all of Jed's various degrees and honors. She mentions that he got an honorary doctorate and was a tenured professor at "Dartmouth University." A couple of people have pointed out that it's Dartmouth College, and that the institution has been very vigilant about keeping its name that way. It amuses me to think that perhaps Jed actually taught at a place called "Dartmouth University," which I imagine to be a crappy little diploma mill that tosses out business administration degrees like confetti as long as you pay your $20K and is named in the hopes that people will confuse it with the real institution. C.J. concludes with a joke about where she attended college ["UC Berkeley, for those of you writing a book" -- Wing Chun], and ends the press conference.
C.J. walks out into the hall to pedeconference with Sam. Sam tells her that Bud Watel is waiting in his office. C.J. tells him not to give Bud what he wants. What if all he wants is a hug? I say give him the hug. Sam jokes that he's been told that he never gives anybody what he or she wants. C.J. mutters, "We can't hold a bipartisan summit on bipartisanship. We'll look ridiculous." I think. I need to get closed captioning on my television for shows like this. C.J. wonders to Sam why Ritchie's people are handling this issue so poorly. She comments that they're keeping Jed's insult alive, and that it's only hurting Ritchie and making him look petty. Maybe. See, here I think their intelligence is verging into smugness and arrogance. It doesn't occur to them that people might not find Jed's quips amusing and a bit childish. But then again, it never hurt Reagan. Anyway, I'm wondering if the suggestion of arrogance behind the characters involved in this subplot is going to lead up to an embarrassing mistake on their part by the end of the season. Sam non-sequiturs that his Princeton Tigers can beat C.J.'s UC Bears "any day of the week." C.J.: "At what?" Sam: "Logarithms, possibly." C.J. and I roll our eyes in unison as they break apart and go their separate ways.