West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Seventh Season Episodes * #702 "The Mommy Problem"
Written by: Eli Attie, Directed by: Alex Graves
Takes Place: about 100 days before the election
Broadcast: Sunday, October 2, 2005
Query: What was that music played over the different things people were doing?

Marlee Matlin as Joey Lucas,
Diana-Maria Riva as Edie Ortega,
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman,
Bill O'Brien as Kenny
NBC Universal Photo: Chris Haston
Santos seems to be doing great campaigning. Josh is behind the scenes trying to do the strategy. He tells some of his staff,
"People think campaigns are about two competing answers to the same question. They're not. They're a fight over the question itself."
But Josh doesn't control what the White House does and when he calls Toby to complain about announcements coming out of the West Wing about them not doing an internal investigation into the leak, Toby hangs up on him. So he goes around Toby to talk to C.J. (with Toby listening in) and after yelling at them, Josh is the one to hang up. Josh is a little stressed. When Joey says he needs to delegate more, he claims,
"I delegate plenty."
"Name one thing you've delegated."
"I would never have chosen this paint color."
"You have to hire some heavy weights... You don't have a political director, you don't have a chief speech writer. You don't even have a communications director.... There must be 300 people on staff now, surely a few of them are capable of—"
"Look. These are kids. Not a single one of these non-shavers would challenge my assumptions, stand up to me in a meeting—" One of them interrupts with a suggestion and Josh tells them to just do it the way he asked. All this leads to him hiring someone he doesn't get along with: Louise Thornton for Director of Communications, who stands up to him plenty and who Josh says has an IQ of 200.
Before Santos hears about it, the press learns he is being called up for two days of training as part of the fact that he is still in the Marine reserves. At first this seems like a gift from on high to the campaign. But details emerge that makes it seem less desirable. And before Josh can figure this out, he hears of something else and immediately pulls Santos into a stopped elevator alone to ask/tell,
"AP has a photograph of something that happened in Cleveland in your hotel bed? Is there anything you'd like to tell me?"
Santos seems to give in and begins his sincere confession, "His name is Bruce. He's a flight attendant.... At first it was longs walks.... And Josh breaks out laughing. Then Santos remembers something and says more urgently, "Wait a minute. Cleveland?"
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It turns out that on one of the rare occasions when the Congressman and his wife were in the same hotel room for a night they "demolished" a bed. After Santos tells Josh what happened, Josh is left to explain it to his senior staff in anticipation of the release of the photo.
"It was an old wooden bed, slats, hand cranks, whatever...."
Then one of the team brings in the photo just as it is released and says, "The hotel proprietor claims the bed was steel-reinforced."
And there is still the problem of what to do about the call up for reserve training which in the past Santos has postponed 41% of the time. To contract all this, Lou is trying to get Josh to go negative on Vinick.
"You won't life a finger against beltway Arnie Vinick who never served and who flipped and -flopped his way through forty years of subcommittee hearings."
"I'm not going negative Not when people barely know who Santos is
"A vacuum gets filled....
"You're my new Communications Director. You're supposed to help me solve this problem."
"You're the problem..."
Meanwhile back at the White House, Greg Brock, the reporter behind the story that revealed the military shuttle leak, is going to prison for contempt for refusing to reveal his source. He comes by to see C.J. before he reports to prison. She suggests that he reveal his source. He walks out on her. And on the campaign trail Lou is telling Santos that he has to resign his commission because in the past he has moved around his training time to suit his political and personal needs. So, if he reports to training when he is supposed to right as the campaign gets truly underway it will seem like a stunt. But Santos tells Josh,
"I didn't have as much as a high school diploma in my gene pool. That commission is the reason I'm on this plane. I'm not giving it up." So, he arranges to do the training right now with no fan fare.
And Santos goes up on security in the polls. (The thing with the broken bed even makes him go up with women.) Josh is told, half the press is calling it a stunt,
"Yeah but all the press is running the footage."
Jimmy Smits
as Matt Santos
NBC Universal
Photo: Chris Haston
Marlee Matlin
as Joey Lucas
NBC Universal
Photo: Chris Haston
Bradley Whitford
as Josh Lyman
NBC Universal
Photo: Chris Haston
Janeane Garofalo
as Louise Thornton
NBC Universal
Photo: Chris Haston
Josh & Santos
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman, Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos
NBC Universal Photo: Chris Haston

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode (as well as more information),
let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.

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