West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Episodes * #21 "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"
Lincoln Memorial ©2001-www.arttoday.com
Written by Aaron Sorkin,  Directed by Don Scardino
Broadcast: May 10, 2000

The staff prepares for a new poll C.J. is running to find out how the American public is responding to the new initiatives the White House has been announcing. Toby has trouble with the grammar of one of the questions. C.J. tells him the language is right. But Toby feels he is the language expert and asks:
"Since when are you an expert in language?"
"In polling models?"
"Since 1993. Since when are you an uptight pain in the ass?"
"Since long before that."

Everyone guesses that the poll will show that they have held steady or maybe dropped a couple of points. C.J. disagrees and thinks the poll will show they've gone up five points.

Meanwhile George Washington Law School graduation is the next day and Toby tells Sam not to go to Laurie's graduation. Sam agrees.

Leo is trying to bring out a member of the Federal Election Commission who has given quotes in the past that suggest he favors campaign finance reform. He objects:
"I gave those quotes on the condition of anonymity."
"I know how you feel. I went to rehab on the condition of anonymity. Maybe you read about it in the papers. . . . You want to ban soft money. You're one of us. You've been outed."

Leo gives him the full treatment even with a dress Marine guard and then taking him into the Oval Office for drinks with the President and heads of cabinet level departments. The President takes Leo aside to ask about the guard:
"A dress Marine guarding your door?"
"Too showy?"
"No. My thing is what's he suppose to be guarding right now."

In order for all this to have an effect on the FEC, the administration needs to open up another of the seats on the commission. So Toby is assigned to finding an ambassordorship to which they can nominate one of the other members. He finds one in the Federated States of Micronesia. But they already have an ambassador there and there is no reason to fire him. But if they move him to a higher level country and move that ambassador to a higher level country:
"I like this cause if everybody moves up one, then I get to go home," the President interjects.
Then they can fire the US ambassador to Bulgaria who has been acting in unacceptable ways.

Meanwhile C.J. isn't doing so well at letting Danny off the hook. She's still mad and giving him no quarter even when he's trying to help:
"But I don't count on everybody always understanding what the hell comes out of your mouth when I can't even do it half the time. And you can't stay mad at me forever."
"Let's find out."

And Danny isn't the only person who has annoyed her. C.J. has learned that Leo has told the President that everyone thought the polling would show they had stayed the same or go down a point or two. She confronts Leo on having ignored her own counter prediction:
"Leo, this is a small thing and I hate to bring it up."
"What? "
"I was in with the President this morning, he mentioned that you told him that when you asked for predictions, everyone said we'd hold steady at 42."
"But, I didn't say that. I said we'd go up five points."
"I meant in general, on average."
"C.J., like lopping off the score from the East German judge."
"Leo, it wasn't woman's intuition. I think it's strange...."
"Don't read too much into it."
"I'm saying it's strange my take wasn't...."
I'm saying don't read too much into it. All right?"

Sam doesn't attend the graduation but he arranges with a friend of Laurie's to drag Laurie back to her apartment where Sam is waiting for her with a couple of graduation presents. When they hug afterwards, someone waiting in a parked car takes photos and then drives off. Sam reports this to the White House and in the morning tells Toby,
"I've drafted a letter of resignation."
"Well, you're not going to give it to him. . . Cause that would deny me the pleasure of throwing you out through a plate glass window."
But when they talk to the President, Toby takes a different perspective:
"Sam's word is unimpeachable."
"Toby are you in here sticking up for Sam?"
"I know it's strange sir. But I'm feeling a certain big brotherly connection right now. You know, obviously, I'd like that feeling to go away as soon as possible, but, for the moment, I think there's no danger in the White House standing by Sam and aggressively going after the people who set him up. . . ."
The President agrees and tells Sam to tell his friend:
"...that if she passes the bar exam the Attorney General will personally see to it that she is admitted to the bar."

The results of the poll come in and C.J. gives them to the President and her worried colleagues.
"I was wrong. We went up nine points."

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode, let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.
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