Sunday, April 30, 2006


A West Wing Word

This weeks episode: 'The Last Hurrah'

Santos starts his day, he is greeted by cheering people on the street (as opposed to cheering street people) as he enters his motorcade, he is then rushed off to a meeting and an impromptu chat with the press. Vinick starts his day, retrieving the paper in front of his brownstone home in his bathrobe, then off to his Senate office (which is already is being packed up for his return to California) to make thank you phone calls to Senators, state party chairs, and big donor's to his campaign. He learns that his chief-of-Staff Shelia Brooks is taking a meeting about a job offer with the Senate Majority Leader (The GOP still control the upper house).

Later while the Santos's are having their children briefed about security by the secret service, and the Bartlets are on their way to Brussels for the G-8 Summit, Vinick is at his doctors having a physical. Still more time passes and Santos and his staff are having one of several meeting this episode in regards to filling cabinet posts, while Vinick is meeting with his lawyer to go over offers of things he can do after leaving the Senate. There are many corporations who would like Vinick to serve on their boards of directors, and he could make a lot of money for very little work, but isn't interested. Arnie does show some interest in guest lecturing at university's, but selects only those in swing states as places he'd be willing to take positions at. When Vinicks lawyer mentions this last fact to Shelia and Bob (who has stopped by at Vinicks request to go over the last exit poll numbers and further examine why he lost), the two confront him about his desire to run again in four years. While Vinick reports that his doctor informed him he is in excellent health both Bob and Shelia recognize that Arnold needs to let go of his dream, he'll be in his middle 70's during the next presidential election and just two old to get elected to a first term. Besides which his old running mate Ray Sullivan is a popular fella who is thought to have a good chance at the top job next time.

Helen Santos stops by C.J.'s office before going to meet the White House domestic staff. She has just come from a meeting in which the secret service has informed her that in order for her and the kids to stay in Houston to finish out the school year they'll have to turn their suburban street into a gated community. Helen has decided that is kind of excessive and instead they should just move the kids up to the White House in January when Matt takes office. So after her meeting with the staff the soon to be first couple go out to shop around for a good school for the children. This takes longer then expected however and thus forces the president- elect to push back a previously scheduled meeting with Vinick, who to kill time while waiting for the rescheduled meeting goes out to get some coffee and is disappointed when no one seems to recognize him while he is out.

An hour or so has passed and Helen has returned to the White House for a meeting with the official decorator and her first visit inside the Oval Office. Matt has returned to transition headquarters and meets with Vinick, who was expecting their get together to be merely a photo-opp. Instead Matt asks him if he'd consider being Vice-President, Arnold is surprised to say the least but after a few moments comes to the conclusion that the offer is merely part of a Santos stratagy. He informs the incoming President that he knows he would never take the offer and would just like to float the rumor that it had been extended so the Republican Senate will start talking about a quick confirmation of the new vice president. Then Santos can switch to his real pick (whom Vinick correctly assumes to be Baker), and pressure the Senate into giving the same quick confirmation hearings they expected have for Vinick, to the liberal Pennsylvania Gov. whom most Republicans hate. Vinick has also picked up on the good-cop bad-cop game that Bartlet and Santos are playing in regards to the situation in Kazakstahn.

After demonstrating his famed stratigic thinking and gift for diplomatic maneuvering Santos extends to Vinick the offer he really wanted to give him, to be the next Secretary of State. Experienced in foreign policy and well respected the world over Arnold Vinick would be perfect as President Santos's representative to the world, particularly since the two generally agree on foreign policy. Vincik isn't sure, initially refuses and then goes off to take some time to think about it. Bob and Sheila thinks its a great, nobel way for the Senator to continue his life of public service, and their arguments seem to have some effect on him. Santos meanwhile is having a hard sale when he brings his idea to the staff, he is non-the-less adamite about the offer despite the general opposition.

After Matt and Helen finaley settle on sending the kids to D.C.'s highest performing public school, the president-elect returns to OEOB to again meet with Vinick. Not fully comfortable with taking the position, but not wanting to let an opportunity like this go by, Vinick sets out a lot of conditions for his acceptance of the offer, to all of which Matt willingly consents. When he's still not sure Matt gives Vinick a copy of a recent briefing on the Kazick situation and ask for his analysis on Chinese demands regarding an oil-pipeline. We leave with Arnie giving Matt the benefits of his strategic thought and a strong sense that the two will sort things out and work well together in the future.


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