West Wing
The U.S. Poet Laureate

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The Truth, and Other Nuisances

C.J. calls the conference to a close. Charlie comes in to tell C.J. that the president wants a pre-briefing and full run-through later this evening. C.J. calls Charlie "Chuckles." I guess she's no longer Charlie's "bitch." Also, Charlie would like One To Grow On. See, he doesn't understand what the problem is with drilling up in Alaska. As they pedeconference, C.J. explains that it will cause a lot of environmental damage, but reap little oil. Charlie insists it will have no effect on the environment and that they won't know how much oil they could get until they "explore." C.J. clarifies that Charlie means "drill," and realizes that he has read Ritchie's book. I really hope she has, too. Charlie jokes that "whoever ghosted it isn't bad." C.J. turns to a nearby Carol and tells her to "put together a page detailing the environmental impact of drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve." Purely, of course, as a captivating way of telling a story, and not, say, as though it were an actual lecture on an actual issue that people out there are actually concerned about. It's just a common part of any well-told story for people to suddenly become stupid and need to have the issue explained to them in great detail. Carol doesn't mind. It's not like she has anything better to do but to educate the president's personal aide.

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.

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West Wing

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