Toby heads into Sam's office to shoo off Charlie and Donna so that he can get some private time with Sam. Toby shuts the door and tells Sam a story about screwing up on his very first campaign. There were some questions lobbed at his candidate -- who was running for Bronx borough president -- about his tax returns. So they called a press conference. Toby didn't want the conference to run too long, so he turned off the air conditioning to keep people from getting too comfortable. Unfortunately, it backfired when the candidate fainted. Sam insists that he's fine. Toby says that's good, because this isn't the time for "the starters to be on the bench." Yes, yes, work that baseball metaphor in. Toby starts to leave, but stops to tell Sam that he read Jane and Muriel's pitch about the Everglades, and agrees with Sam that they should pass. Sam, though, has changed his mind, and says he was in the middle of writing up a memo about it. Toby worries that a tactical decision like this could make them look bad. Sam suggests that they need to get used to it. They need to present their case and make a stronger argument than Ritchie's side has done. If they do it right, it will force Ritchie into the position of having to defend special interests who also happen to be heavy polluters. That's not a bad plan on a national level, but I still disagree with Jane and Muriel that it will put Florida into play for the Democrats. Ritchie will no doubt spin it to Floridians as a threat to jobs, and in the South, in my experience, employment issues tend to trump environmental ones. Toby nods Sam's approval. As Sam heads off somewhere else, Toby asks him if he's still mad. Sam says that he is.
Josh is hanging out by Charlie's desk, as Charlie ponders all the imponderable things that go into picking Bartlet's new assistant. Charlie worries about the indefinable "X-factor" that goes into picking out somebody who will connect well with POTUS. Suddenly, he exclaims, "I've got the lady!" about fifteen times, then rushes off to call Lily Tomlin's agent.
Josh heads into the Oval Office. Several staffers are standing around chatting, while POTUS reads through something in a folder. Bartlet demands an explanation from Josh about what happened to the welfare bill. Josh explains the trick of moving the vote to get Bartlet out of the play. Bartlet insists that he's going to the play. Ed or Larry pipes up from the background to explain that they all thought it was a bad idea for him and Ritchie to attend the play together. Bartlet tells them that the charity event was his idea, and that he's not playing politics with the Catholic Church (because it's not like the Church tries to influence government or anything) and asks if anybody was actually going to ask for his input about this decision. Well, maybe if you didn't respond to every question with a non-sequitur, they'd come to you more often. I imagine somebody already asked POTUS about it, and Bartlet would only respond if he or she guessed how many different sharks were on the endangered species list. Bartlet asks about the votes. Josh admits that they're slipping in the votes. Bartlet spits at him, "True or false, Josh: my life would be better right now if you and your girlfriend switched places." If Bartlet thinks his life would be better with Amy right now, I say Josh should go ahead and agree to it. That would certainly teach Jed a lesson. Bartlet complains that he has to endure three mistakes for every accomplishment. He rips Josh for Sam's mistake with the ad, and for the aborted tobacco battle last season. He concludes by shouting, "And why the hell don't you know what Ritchie's commitments are before you get anywhere near my schedule?" What? Okay, Bartlet just said that he was the one responsible for the charity event, so Ritchie couldn't have arranged to attend the event until after Bartlet put it on his schedule. And obviously the staff didn't play any role in picking the date because it's clear here that he didn't tell them that the event was his idea. So really, it's Bartlet's fault for picking the date without consulting with them to find out what Ritchie's plans were. But of course, Josh can't say anything like that. Well, he could freak out and tell him everything he wants to say, then blame it on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but he doesn't. Bartlet orders Josh to win the vote. Josh slinks away like a kicked puppy.