After his appearance at COMSTAT, Carcetti has retired to his City Office, where he and his weasel-like chief of staff are getting the 411 from the budget advisor -- who, near as I can tell, possesses no weasel-esque characteristics. Delay fleet maintenance for public works and cut the snow removal budget ("and pray for global warming," the budget adviser adds snarkily -- "Happy to oblige," President Bush says from the safety of his bubble), and maybe, just maybe, they can fund police operations without any gruesome school budget cuts. Chief of Staff Weaselface says that it's time to restore the police's budget anyhow. Because it's a matter of public safety and quality of life? Nah -- because Carcetti's gubernatorial prospects depend upon a drop in the crime rate. So, enlightened self-interest, then. Anyhow, everyone agrees that Carcetti is really scoring points on this homeless issue; coincidentally, a homeless advocacy group wants to hold a candlelight vigil on the City Hall steps that evening. Sure thing, they were told, so long as they agree to add a new keynote speaker -- a fellow by the name of Tommy Carcetti. It was Norman, we're told, who negotiated this particular tit in exchange for tat.
Speaking of Norman, he enters the mayor's office right then and there. Norm! How's it going, Norm? Better than Carcetti's statehouse aspirations, he says. Specifically, there's a county official down in Prince George's County who's planning a primary challenge against Carcetti, and a Congressman Upshaw from that area is making noise that he might just back such a challenge. If you are uncertain as to why this should trouble Carcetti, know that Prince George's County is located just outside of Washington, DC; that a little less than 63% of the population is African-American; and that residents there don't particularly care for playing second fiddle to Baltimore. "All he's gonna do is bloody us up, and make us spend money we'll need in the general," Weasel Guy frets. Norman is just curious -- when Carcetti made the rounds in Prince George's County recently, who exactly did he visit? Carcetti rattles off three names that may or may not mean anything to you, depending on your feelings about House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. "White, white, and white," scoffs Norman. "Not even a cup of coffee with poor ol' Congressman Upshaw." Carcetti protests that he wasn't snubbing Upshaw, but realizes that there's some fences to be mended. "I gotta kiss a ring, don't I?" Carcetti asks. "More than a ring, actually," replies Norman, who's got a more anatomical puckering location in mind. Anyone else notice that Norman's role on this show seems to be mostly walking into a room and delivering bad news to Carcetti: "Mr. Mayor, the serial killer is now kidnapping homeless people and sending pictures to the newspaper. Mr. Mayor, you might face a formidable primary challenger in your gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Mayor, it says here many people find you smarmy and dream of punching you." I may be projecting on that last one.