Annie has just fitted Vinick into a giant blue brace that goes to his elbow. As Vinick struggles one-handed with his glasses, Jane launches into a speech about how they have no strategy to get back their lead. Vinick observes, "I thought the gay-marriage nonsense was your strategy." She assures him that he's opposed to gay marriage, but he asserts that it's an issue with nothing to do with federal law. They get snippy with one another, Vinick taking the idealist argument that no one should care what his view on gay marriage is, and Jane that everyone cares about everything. Poor Vinick tries to open a packet of sugar for his coffee and it bursts all over the table, which is clearly frustrating for him, but the sight gag made me giggle. Not one to have an emotion that isn't wrapped in superiority, Jane attacks Bruno's fifty-state strategy. Bruno attacks Jane. (Verbally, though I wouldn't be unhappy if this became a catfight full of girly hair.) They didn't need to focus on the South, he tells her; Vinick should have had a stronger hold there, yada yada boring. As the fighting continues, Bob joining in, Vinick just sits and listens, paging through his notes. They've moved on to yelling about California, Bob saying that things will be okay there, Jane arguing not. I am going to say a little prayer and do an interpretive thank-you dance of joy when this campaign storyline has ended. Vinick calmly breaks in to let them know that he won't win back points in California by catering to the right. Jane butts in, and Vinick interrupts her to say that they already tried her strategy of campaigning in the South. She's convinced that it stopped the bleeding, and that Vinick needs to do more to get the conservatives on his side. She yells, and yells, and yells until Vinick leaves the room and slams the door in her face. Man, that was satisfying.
Bruno knocks on the door and is allowed in. Vinick is having total remorse about letting Sheila quit, since it didn't have the desired effect of giving his campaign a "fresh start": "I should have just put Jane out there in front of the cameras, let her energize the base...and ignore her!" "We are ignoring her," Bruno brilliantly quips. Vinick observes that, as of right now, the press is completely on Santos's side and doing all of his work for him. Even with Bartlet sending troops to Kazakhstan, Vinick's nuclear quote is still the biggest news. He sits back in frustrated silence, and Bruno breaks in to say, "You know what I really hate about Jane?" Vinick lets out a little laugh, and I assume that, like me, he's thinking, "That she wasn't the one they sent in to fix the leak at the nuclear plant?" Sadly, Bruno's answer is, "She's not always wrong. We need a new strategy for the last two weeks." Unfortunately for Vinick, Bruno admits that he doesn't have a better idea than she does.