Hi. I'm Shack. I'm your guest recapper for this episode. Before I get started, I just want to state for the record that it's a total coincidence that Deborah needed to take a break for this week and that we had absolutely no idea how a certain plot was going to play out.
Previously on The West Wing: Toby told President Bartlet that he needs to focus on his qualifications and great big brain and point out his opponent's itty-bitty little Neanderthal brain in order to win the election.
Previously on Television Without Pity: West Wing writer/creator Aaron Sorkin showed up on the boards one day and engaged the posters in conversation. Things went well until he got into an embarrassing fight with one of his own writers on said boards and the press picked up on it. Sorkin apologized and then disappeared for a while from TWoP. He returned one day to find that some fans (and our recapper) had grown a bit more critical of the show and were finding flaws in the way it presented conflicts, particularly regarding Muslims and feminists. Aaron posted defensively that people were taking his "little show" too seriously and that was just trying to entertain, not make any sort of political statements. Then he disappeared again.
We fade in on POTUS, engaged in a satellite interview in the mural room for a morning news program. I'm afraid I'm not a hair person, so I'll take everyone's word for it that Martin Sheen's hair is a lot lighter than it used to be. It's Alternative Energy Source Lip-Service Week at the White House. Jed is describing plans for a press conference scheduled later in the week, where he will discuss using cleaner-burning fuels, becoming less dependent on oil, and other wonderful, pro-environmental plans that will likely never come to pass until long after Jed is in his cold, cold grave. Toby is there, and gives Jed a visual prompt in the background to talk about "innovation." Jed tosses the word in when he says, "We want to talk about controlling our destiny through innovation, rather than relying so heavily on foreign oil." That first part sounds like one of those messages you get at the end of an EPCOT ride -- the ones that are supposed to make you feel optimistic without actually saying anything. He points out that 65% of the world's oil is in the Middle East, while only 3% is drilled in the U.S. He argues that the government can keep more money here in the U.S. by finding our own sources of energy.