Sunday, May 07, 2006

The White House Jobs Program

A West Wing Word

Episode: 'Institutional Memory'

While last weeks episode was set in mid-to-late November, this week we've leapt forward to early January. C. J. and Danny have been seeing each other for some time now and we find them up and getting ready for their day at about 6:30 in the morning. They are going over there schedule for the week and C.J. is breaking most of their plans together because she says she's got a lot left to do at work. Ms. Craig shows up at the White House a short time later only to find that her staff has already started packing up her office, they have less then two weeks left in power.

C.J. starts her work day by bugging everyone about their transition memos, having a fight with some treasury department people about last minute budget changes they need made, and trying to put off more meetings with 'head hunters' who want to offer her cushy corporate jobs. Then Xander Berkley shows up as a cross between Bill Gates and that Virgin Corp guy. His name is Franklin Hollis, he is very rich and wants to start a foundation to chose one major issue in the world that needs fixing and then spend Ten Billion Dollars to fix it. He would like C.J. to chose that problem and head that foundation. C.J. is obvious Very tempted and expresses an interest in improving infrasturcter in Africa, creating a continental highway system that would spur trade and lead to other improvements.

Will goes off to a meeting about a job offer with the DCCC, apparently they want him to be their national campaign director supervising congressional races across the country. During a conversation with his interviewer about intriguing races for the 2008 off-year election, the Oregon Fourth district is brought up. A hard-core Republican named John Heffinger has held that seat for 15 years and the Democrat's would love to unseat him but can't find anybody willing to run against him. Will, who is still undecided about the job, decides to make it his mission for the day to find someone good to run against Heffinger.

C.J. is back in her office when Andrea Wyatt stops by to lobby for a pardon for ex-husband Toby. Since he only leaked the secret shuttle information to save the lives of the astronauts up on the space station, a lot of groups think he's a hero and many people have signed a petition to have him pardoned. Toby has been convicted and is scheduled to start his five year sentence at a minimum security prison in St. Petersburg Florida starting January 26th. The twins would then be nine year old before they could again see their father in anything other then an orange jumpsuit. C.J. doesn't know if she should bring the matter to the President or not, so she askes Charlie to bring her a copy of the list containing all the names of people who have filled for pardons. Charlie is able to tell her that Toby is not on the final draft list, nor was his name included in any of the earlier versions.

Our Ms. Craig is then called over to the OEOB for a meeting requested by President-elect Santos. Will is going out again at the same time so the two walk together for a while. He informs C.J. that a reporter mentioned something to him about a new 50 cent gas tax being included in the Presidents final budget proposal. She says that they are not ready to talk about that yet, but does give Will the names of a few good prospects in his search for somebody to run in Oregon. When C.J. meets with Santos he offers her a job, and not as a nicety either, he basically demands (semi-politely) that she stay on as his special council for two years, to help deal with the Kazick situation that started on her watch. Santos gives her sometime to think about it, but lets her know that as the incoming President he expects her answer to be a yes.

Now back at the White House C.J. asks Kate her opinion about bringing up the matter of a pardon for Toby with the President, Kate thinks Toby deserves his punishment for violating national security protocols, but says its up to C.J. if she wants to mention it to Bartlet or not. At this point Danny arrives and convinces Clauda Jean to go out and grab a hot dog with him. On their way to the hot dog stand C.J. mentions Santos offer and that she's decided she has to take it. This makes Danny mad because he wasn't consulted and the two have a bit of an argument about her always putting off having a serious talk about where they are going with their relationship. Danny ends up getting the impression C.J. hasn't factored him into her future and thusly storms off.

Meanwhile Will and Kate are having a discussion in his office. Kate says that some guy she doesn't get along with named Glen has gotten the job of National Security Advisor to the new President, and that he will probably not offer her a job (Kate is the deputy to current NSA Dr. Nancy McNally). Will mentions his meeting with the DCCC, his desire to find a good candidate for the Oregon 4th & subsequent failure to convince his best prospect for that race to agree to run. Kate comes up with the idea that Will should move to Oregon and run for the office himself, at first he demurs, but Kate is absolutely convinced and adament that it is something Will needs to do, and that he'll win to boot.

Santos stops by C.J.'s office on his way to meeting in the situation room. He has learned about the last minute gas tax spike in the budget proposal and is none to happy about it. C.J. then proceeds to explain that it was her idea, that she convinced the President to plant the tax hike as a macguffen, to make whatever budget proposals the Santos team comes up with look incredibly reasonable and insure there quick passage through congress. Santos still wants it out though thinking it will do more harm then good, but he recognizes her creativity and again emphasizes that he wants her to stay on.

Having been pulled in so many different directions over the course of the day, and Tobys fate weighing heavy on her mind, C.J. goes to visit Mr. Ziegler at his townhouse, it will be the first time they have spoken since he left the White House. The two's conversation is awkward and a little hostel at first, but they start to reconnect after a while. Toby mentions that with all the free time he's had lately he believes he's found a typo in the Constitution and intends to do a paper on it. C.J. talks about all the job offers she's gotten and Toby picks up on the vibe that she's feeling kind of trapped by circumstance. He encourages her to stop bouncing back and forth between things and chose something she wants to do for herself, and not to let her perceived responsibilities get in the way of her relationship with Danny Concannon. C. J. then goes over to Dannys apartment and the two finally have that conversation she's been putting off. In the end it seems they will stay together and C.J. will turn down the Santos offer to head up Frank Hollises foundation.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

They didn't bother to tell us if Andrea won her close re-election race or not.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Nate Dredge said...

I also liked Will describing his last days in the White House as being full of 'seniorities.'


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