Out alongside what I'm going to guess is the Tidal Pool, or maybe it's a river (Strega?), Josh and VPOTUS are jogging. ["I can't check the tape right now, but my impression was that it was the Potomac River this time." -- Strega] Josh is wearing a tank top and shorts and showing plenty of skin. I don't know about anyone else around here, but I'm going to take that as a great big shout-out to the legions of Josh fans here on MBTV. Don't even try to stop me. Sadly, though, he doesn't do anything for me. Josh is explaining to Hoynes what he sees as the problems with soft money contributions to political parties. Josh says, "I don't know how we've done it, but we've legalized bribery." Hoynes agrees. Josh says, "So what we've got are two corporate parties: one pro-life, one pro-choice." Hoynes says, "Josh, when I said, 'What's your point,' I meant, what's your point?" Josh says they've noticed a sudden increase in the amount of racquetball sessions and late-night poker games with Democratic opponents of campaign finance reform. Hoynes objects that you can't "swing a dead cat" (hate that expression) without hitting such Democrats in Washington. Josh asks if they can stop running. Hoynes agrees and they slow to a stop. Josh tells VPOTUS that he's backing the wrong horse, and cites the rapid improvement of the President's approval rating, and claims that if they bring the pilot back alive, they'll gain another ten points and be off to the races with a job approval rating in the high sixties. Josh claims that Hoynes will be looking around the racquetball court wondering where everybody went. He concludes, "You've had some experience battling Jed Bartlet when he's right, and you've have some experience battling him when he's popular. Why in the world would you want to try it when he's both at the same time?" Hoynes says, "You know something, Josh? Sometimes I wonder if I'd listened to you two years ago, would I be President right now? You ever wonder that?" Josh hesitates a moment and then says, "No, sir, I know it for sure." They kind of smile knowingly at each other. Wonder what that's all about? Josh says, "I'm done. Thank you for your time, sir." Josh wanders away as VPOTUS continues jogging in the opposite direction.
In the press briefing room, C.J., flanked by a few military dudes, addresses the group regarding the pilot situation. She gives them the basic details and indicates that General Richmond and General Clancy will discuss the details with them in a moment. Everyone calls out C.J.'s name; she takes a question from Danny, who asks if there's a rescue mission underway. Smoothly, she lies, "Obviously there are a number of scenarios being contemplated but I wouldn't want to speculate. We have been in touch with the Iraqi government and the President is looking for a diplomatic solution." In answer to another question, she claims there have been no military moves. Leo watches her in stone-faced silence.