West Wing
The U.S. Poet Laureate

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

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.

Sam heads into his office to find Jim Walsh waiting for him. Maybe he's trying to help Brandon get into the press briefings. ["So he can cover them for the Beverly Beat, I assume." -- Wing Chun] It's actually Congressman Watel, there to complain about the "stench of partisanism" coming from the West Wing. Sam cracks that they've recently sprayed for bugs. Watel wants to know how the gaffe could have happened. Sam tells him the same thing he told Josh -- it happened too quickly for anybody to do anything about it. Watel tells Sam that moderates are talking about bolting the party. Over the gaffe? Whatever. Sam doesn't believe that any more than I do. He says it was just a mistake and that it doesn't have anything to do with partisanship. Watel insists that something must be done. He's all, "Rah! Rah! Bipartisanship!" This guy can't be for real. I always assumed all the bipartisan cooperation comments were made for our benefit and that nobody actually expected it to happen. But then again, I'm a cynic. You might have picked up on that. Watel brings up the summit that C.J. previously mocked. Sam tells him that nobody's going to go for it. It's an election year. They're supposed to be partisan; they're trying to win. Watel insists that he needs to be able to tell his "moderate friends" something. Uh, tell them to get over themselves. Even Gandhi wouldn't expect bipartisanship during a presidential election. Watel suggests a Republican appointment or promotion to soothe everybody's wounded egos. Sam points out that they have Ainsley Hayes, who was brought in as an associate White House counsel and got promoted to deputy and is "slightly to the right of the Kaiser." He fails to mention that he hopes to get her into the sack before she runs off to Miami to fight crime. Watel suggests making Ainsley a more visible part of the staff ASAP, and to "learn the difference between red and green." Hey! He might have that red-green colorblindness, you know. Did you ever think of that? Watel leaves. Sam asks Ginger to call in Ainsley. Ginger tells him that Ainsley's on vacation until next week. Not anymore. Sam has Ginger call Ainsley back in.

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West Wing




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