Josh comes into the transition office with a pen hanging from his mouth, and puts Lou off again in order to speak to Santos. Josh is holding his notepads like schoolbooks, and I actually miss the backpack, since that would give him quite a great overall look right now.
Once in Santos's office, Josh closes the door and asks about the Chinese call, but then immediately launches into his real question: "Why aren't you and I discussing it first?" Josh asks delicately, and with the necessary respect, but he's radiating his upset all over his body. Santos is unperturbed and kicking back -- literally -- in his chair, and doesn't even look up from his book. Eventaully, he does bookmark it to once again repeat his qualms about the U.S. military action, go on about his own views, blah blah blah sitting duck-cakes. Josh quietly, pleadingly, asks whether Santos actually said this to Lian. Santos just tells Josh that he made his concerns clear: "What I wanted to say was that in addition to this making no tactical military sense, it is a complete strategic blunder geopolitically." Santos continues, but Josh just repeats, "We're stuck with this." He must have been actually trying to pull his hair out off-camera, because it's standing on end now in a way it wasn't when he first walked through the door. Santos merely tells him, "It's a high-stakes game of chicken designed to bring both parties to the table, and it hasn't done it." Santos doesn't want Josh to tell him once again that he needs to wait until he is in office, and goes off about the mess he'll be inheriting: "It's going to be my problem." "Our problem, sir," Josh corrects. Wrong answer. "No," Santos says, "Mine. I'm going to be the guy in the history books whose presidency never got off the ground because he inherited his predecessor's eleventh-hour misadventure in Central Asia." I'm surprised -- this statement seems out of character with how Santos has been portrayed thus far, wanting to do the right thing for the people. ["On the other hand, he is a former Congressman; it scans that he might not take to foreign policy straight out of the gate." -- Wing Chun] Josh starts to panic, and feebly repeats that, for now, they have to support Bartlet. Belatedly, Santos asks the million-dollar question about how they know what he said. Josh reports, "The NSA is eavesdropping on all calls to Russia or China." Santos throws his bookmark back in the book -- and I'm not making that up; he somehow does it with a power I never knew possible when one is just marking one's place -- and demands a meeting with the President.
Josh comes out of Santos's office, even more riled up than when he went in, if that's possible. He commands Otto to set up the meeting between Santos and Bartlet, and calls Lou in to see him, all with the pen back in his mouth. Lou asks how he is, and gets a bland "You know." She's not having it, and tells him in a bored voice, "You love it, you live for it, you were born to do it. I'm the same way. Everybody tells me to get a life, although I don't know why. I find life to be terribly overrated. It's actually quite boring when it's not disappointing. Say what you will about what we do, but boring it is not." Part of me wants to say that someone is protesting a wee bit too much, but on the other hand? I can kind of believe that this is what she lives for. Josh points out how much more money Lou will make now that her guy won, and we can all see where this is leading when he tells her that nothing else will compare. Lou's fine with that, since she'll be raking in the bucks, but Josh tells her she doesn't care about money. "Not as such," she clarifies. "As what?" asks Josh. Lou's clearly thought this out, and tells him, "Scorekeeping. Quantitative evidence that I'm smarter than you." There's a slight pause. "Not you..." she amends. "Who?" he asks. "Everybody else," she offers. Hmm, not a bad little theory, there. Josh, convinced that she'd like this life even more if she thought about it, offers her Communications Director, but Lou declines. Josh goes into frantic selling mode, trying to convince her actually to do good, rather than just promising to do good on any given campaign. Josh plays on the fact that this job would also not be boring for her, and finally promises that she won't have a life, which actually is a little bit sweet, in a very twisted way. A bit wistfully, Lou says, "That's true. Look at you..." Josh finally has the wherewithal to look a bit insulted. Or maybe it's just that he realizes that between everyone's perception of his non-life and Donna's ultimatum, he might want to get on the ball. Lou goes on about work, but Josh finally seems to be thinking about other things that might matter, too, and doesn't seem to hear her.