West Wing
The U.S. Poet Laureate

Episode Report Card
Shack: C- | 3 USERS: A
The Truth, and Other Nuisances

The morning news host brings up a recently released book by Florida Governor Robert Ritchie -- Bartlet's probable GOP opponent for his re-election -- titled A Promise to Lead. Incidentally, George W. Bush's book was titled A Charge to Keep, but I'm sure the similarity in the titles is just a coincidence, because this is just a show and it's not trying to make a statement or anything. In his book, Ritchie says that the government should consider "exploring" the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve as a possible source of oil. The host wants to know whether this is going to be an important campaign issue. Jed says that he hopes so, but that he isn't going to discuss campaigning until the fall. Because discussing Jed's ideas for America's energy future isn't campaigning at all. He's going to free us from the yoke of Big Oil by December, no doubt. The interview ends, and the host thanks Jed for his time. Jed forgets her name, but it's not a big deal, because everybody knows that morning news-show hosts are cloned in a facility in Burbank. She tries to get Jed to talk about Ritchie off-camera, but Jed doesn't bite. She wishes him luck and signs off.

As they wait for the next interview, with a morning show in Philadelphia, Toby mutters about Ritchie's book. After a brief reminder that President Bartlet wrote a book about macroeconomics, Toby tells Jed that when interviewers bring up the wildlife preserve, he needs to replace the word "exploring" with "drilling" and to reiterate "Saudi Arabia bad."

As Jed sits back down to wait for his cue, C.J. comes in to pull Toby away for a minute. They head out into the hall, where C.J. tells Toby that they're having a small problem with somebody named Tabatha Fortis. She wants to chastise the White House for backing down on a land-mine-ban treaty at a dinner they're holding in her honor. C.J. needs somebody to calm her down, and suggests that they send Sam. Toby's eyes dart back and forth nervously, and he starts massaging his pen as he interrupts C.J. to tell her he'll do it himself. C.J. barrels on, pointing out that Sam knows more about land mines. Toby repeats, rather softly and shyly, that he'll do it. C.J. asks him why. Toby just stands there uncomfortably for a moment, then shyly responds, "'Cuz," much in the manner of an eight-year-old asked by an angry parent why he was microwaving his G.I. Joe figures. C.J. breaks into a bemused grin and asks Toby, "Is it possible you've got a little touch of the poet? Or would like a little touch of the poet?" Toby smiles shyly for just a moment, and then softly responds, "Yeah." C.J. agrees, but tells him to learn about land mines first. They don't want to cancel the dinner, where "three hundred of the finest minds in the country are coming -- plus a few congressmen." They break up and Toby heads back into the mural room. Awww. Toby's got a crush. How adorable.

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West Wing




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