C.J. comes up to Carol's desk and says, "Carol? AP, Reuters, Agence France. Something about seating on Air Force One." Carol suggests, "Seating arrangements?" C.J. agrees. As she goes into her office, Josh comes up behind her and follows her in. C.J. humourlessly says, "Listen, I was thinking since it's probably gonna be a light day, I'd maybe blow off work, go shopping or something?" Josh has no witty retort for this. She asks what he needs. He wants to give her a quick brief about the Justice Department's quest for money to fund the tobacco suit. C.J. mentions that the Justice Department's overmatched, as she messes around with files on her desk. Josh says they think that Justice should get the thirty million it's asking for; C.J. wants to know who disagrees. Josh indicates that it's eight of the fifteen members of the subcommittee that controls the budget for Justice and Commerce, including the chair, who's a puppet of Big Tobacco, and Warren and Rossiter, who have ideological problems with the case. As she puts on her jacket, C.J. points out what Josh already knows: it's not a good time to be alienating Democrats. Josh wearily comments, "You haven't been in my office this morning." C.J. says, without much conviction, "We'll get 'em back." Josh follows her down the hall and hands her what he calls a "pretty strongly worded release." C.J. walks and reads, "'The White House...For Immediate Release...Office of the Press...Today the President calls on Congress...deserve their day in court... and this administration won't sit on the bench while well-fed members of the Appropriations Committee choke off funding for a lawsuit aimed at perpetrators of hundreds of thousands of negligent homicides while filling their campaign war chests.'" She stops and looks at Josh with an expression that's a mixture of pleasure and wonder (man, she's gorgeous), and says, "This is like the fire we used to throw in the early primaries." ["It also sounds like the kind of bad writing to which Sam objected last week, but whatever." -- Wing Chun] Josh gives the slightest shrug of his left shoulder and the slightest toss of his head, and quotes, twisting his mouth a wee bit, "'Let Bartlet be Bartlet.'" C.J. gently tells him, "You gotta put it away for a while." Josh tries not to look disappointed, although I don't think he really expected to hear otherwise from C.J. She tells him, "I'm going in there now to tell them a landing ship helicopter assault team is steaming off Port-au-Prince, and after that I'm bringing in AP, Reuters, and Agence France. Nobody's going to write about an appropriations bill. Haiti's going to get bumped to the Lifestyle section." Josh supposes she's right. As C.J. starts to walk away, Josh asks whether she's seen him today. She hasn't, and wonders whether Josh has. He hasn't.
In the Roosevelt Room, Sam's got his hands full with a meeting of various Democrats. One of them, identified in the closed captioning as "Hanson," is asking why everyone's assuming it has to be Hoynes. Another guy says, "Please..." Hanson: "You don't think Wedland's going to get into it? Hutchinson? Seth Gillette?" One guy says, "Gillette's lucky if he carries his immediate family." Another guy says, "It's Hoynes." They all seem to agree on this. The first guy says, "Sam, you realize this conversation isn't ruling out Bartlet as a candidate. It's, uh, just what-if. We're party strategists; it's what we're paid for." The strategists all go on about what a fantastic and successful party fundraiser Hoynes is. The fourth guy points out, "Though, obviously, it'd be easier if Hoynes was running as an incumbent." Sam's heard enough; he slaps his notebook shut and says, "Okay." One of the strategists says, "Sam..." Sam curtly says, "Thanks." One of them backpedals a little: "It was an inappropriate..." Sam interjects, "No. When I say 'okay,' that's it. Close your notebooks. You don't talk like that here. I don't give a damn whose nephew you are. Tony, President Bartlet's not a candidate. He's the President." Sam gets up and leaves. Sam's loyalty seems absolutely unshakeable, as much as Leo's. I would love to have seen his reaction to the news. Maybe we will in a future flashback.