Ainsley walks up to C.J. -- who's in her office now -- and asks, "You wanted to see me?" C.J. closes the door. She tells Ainsley, "Babish and Rollins wrote a paper together for the Yale Law Review." (Or possibly, the Yale law review, since there's no actual publication called the Yale Law Review, but I'm rendering it the way the closed captioning did.) Ainsley suggests she should "get it out there." C.J. points out that she can't just copy and distribute his papers. C.J. wants Ainsley to hook up with one of her friends from the press room who works for a conservative paper. Ainsley: "You really think we have a secret handshake, don't you?" C.J.: "Do you?" Ainsley: "Yes." C.J. instructs, "Get alone with this guy, go off the record, say you can't believe how the President could be claiming to waive executive privilege yet still reserve the right to withhold certain documents." Ainsley duly recites this. C.J. asks her to do it quietly, and kind of shake her head while she's saying it. Ainsley repeats the sentence in this manner, shaking her head throughout; C.J. tells her to only shake her head at the beginning. Ainsley tries again, and C.J. starts to interrupt with more instruction; Ainsley abruptly says that she's got it. C.J. thanks her and Ainsley leaves.
POTUS is working at his desk. It's about time we saw him. I'm never as happy with the episodes that feature a low quotient of POTUSian energy. POTUS checks his jacket pockets and his desk drawer for something. He calls Charlie. Charlie appears. "Are we out of pens?" Charlie reaches over Jed's desk and takes a pen out of his desk set -- you know, those things made of marble or whatever with fancy pens in holders. He offers it to Jed. Jed objects, "That's a good pen. I need an everyday pen." Charlie says he's got pens. Jed complains, "You've got crappy pens with plastic tops. I need a solid pen that feels good in my hand but it's not so formal I feel like a dandy!" That's the POTUS I know and love. Charlie, the spectre of the Thanksgiving carving set expeditions still in his mind, says "I'm making some trips to pen stores, aren't I, Mr. President?" Hey, Charlie, maybe you'll end up with the pen that John Hancock used to sign the Declaration of Independence. You never know what other Bartlet family heirlooms there could be. POTUS continues, sighing, "I used to have the perfect pens. Every day, right here in my pocket. I loved those pens: balanced, great action, the paper soaked up the ink. What the hell happened to those pens? Do they not make them anymore? I kept that company in business!" He struggles with a substandard pen. I can certainly relate. I am extremely fussy about pens; I think most people are, but perhaps writers tend to be even more so. I go through phases of loving different ones, but my phases usually last a long time. And you need different pens for different purposes. I loathe all thin-barrelled, thin-line, scritchy-scratchy pens. I am currently in love with thick-line gel pens, among others. ["The fine-tip Uni-Ball Vision, in black, has had me in its thrall for over a year now. I used to like the Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V7, but it must be the fine tip and not the extra-fine." -- Wing Chun] Also, writing with a pencil sucks except in certain circumstances and with certain pencils. Mechanical pencils are good. I am wary of people who will promiscuously write with any old piece of junk that comes to hand. Yes, I have writing implement issues. Don't even get me started on paper. Anyway. Charlie asks when Jed thinks he might start interviewing candidates to replace Mrs. Landingham. Jed mutters that he just hasn't gotten around to it. Charlie suggests that they could bring in a headhunter to help; Jed dismisses all of Charlie's efforts with his excuses about being busy. Jed hands Charlie a file and asks, "Is there a rush on this?" Charlie replies, "You need a secretary, sir."