Previously on The West Wing...I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but there was a debate, and Vinick said he thought nuclear power was completely safe. Then many of the previously locked-up states that have nuclear power plants, including California, became too close to call (tm Josh). An absurdly smug Republican named Jane arrived and took Sheila's place on Vinick's staff, wanting to talk only about opposition to gay marriage. Bruno and his little-girl hair didn't think Vinick should make any statement about the nuclear meltdown. And if you think that all sounds exciting, then this episode is for you. And if you think it sounds like the lead-in to a filler episode in between stories that viewers actually care about, well then you're completely right. Oh, and if you came looking for any follow-up to a little thing you might have heard about called The Kiss, this hour will leave you wanting.
Chicago Convention Center. Vinick is making his way through a crowd, shaking hands with a strangely manic smile on his face -- almost a grimace. There are shots of his hand being tugged every which way. Once in his vehicle, Vinick ministers to his hand while Jane is on TV doing a press conference about how he has "always" been opposed to gay marriage. Bob hands Vinick an ice bucket for his hand, and they bicker with Bruno -- Vinick mumbling about how until a couple of years ago he didn't even know about the gay-marriage controversy, Bruno about how Jane's not helping, but has only been keeping them tied with Santos, and Bob firing back that she's stopped their fall in the South. Bruno retaliates that Jane's scaring away the Independents. Vinick reminds us about his little oops of saying that nuclear power was completely safe, right before a nuclear power plant nearly had a meltdown. Bruno insists that it's water under the bridge. Or radioactive steam into the air? Bicker, bicker, bicker. They're going to the Small Business Association of Chicago, and want to be out quickly because Santos will be there afterward. This irks Vinick, but Bruno insists that it is how the last week of an election goes in swing states. Vinick seems defeated already, murmuring, "Chicago'd like me a lot better if I stayed in Florida and let the Santos motorcade create all the traffic jams."