"West Wing" 10-24-01 -- Has CJ gone nuts?!

I don’t think my title is too much of a spoiler. :slight_smile:

Spoiler space…

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Swapping a fair, relatively non-partisan, special prosecutor for a House Republican committee out for blood is looney enough, but she went over the edge when she planted the unsubmitted papers rumor. Being eager to cooperate with the special prosecutor – not a crime. The special prosecutor and President’s attorney being old law-school chums – not a crime. Not turning over papers to the special prosecutor – likely to be a crime, and just the sort of crime the House committee will go after with all guns blazing. Plus it’s also the sort of misdeed that would affect the sympathy of fellow Democrats, not just the Other Side, so its a political as well as legal blunder.

The fact that there aren’t REALLY hidden papers only makes it worse, because you can’t just produce the papers and be done with it. Any later denial to the committee that the papers exist will be perceived as hiding the papers. The committee WILL trace the rumor back to Ainlsey, who will either have to lie and say there were hidden papers (but she doesn’t know where they are, who has them, etc.), tell the truth about her and CJ’s manipulation, or stay silent and end up in contempt of Congress.

Not to mention the repercussions with her fellow White House staff. I’m sure they’ll be SO thrilled with her if and when they find out that it’s CJ who got them a long and intense grilling by a panel of “hanging judges” instead of brief and reasonable questioning by an impartial official. Charlie will be especially thrilled because he has SO much money to hire an attorney to advise and defend him. :rolleyes:

I think you don’t quite get it. The Office of the President has no obligation to release papers/information that is private. Withholding certain private documents is far from illegal. What CJ suggested is that the President is complying in every legal way, and even waiving certain rights, but is still reserving the right to withhold certain documents.

Regardless, it’s a GREAT strategy. It gets the Republicans in a frenzy, and by getting them to appoint someone out for blood, it makes it look like the manhunt is agenda-driven, instead of justice-seeking-driven. It’s very difficult to argue with someone who is very reasonable and methodical. It is VERY easy to argue with someone/make someone look stupid because they are frothing at the mouth.

Take Starr’s investigation into the Lewinsky matter as an example. Many people have said that the investigation would have been much more successful if Starr didn’t have a beef with Clinton. Sure, it got Clinton impeached, but Starr came out of D.C. smelling like a dog turd.

And the fact is, Leo knows what CJ is doing. And if Leo knows, everyone else does - it’s the White House strategy at this point. And so far, it’s working perfectly.

I agree with Munch. When CJ said “we need a different villain” I said out loud “This is brilliant!” Shifting it over to the House makes the whole investigation much more political (where, according to last week’s show, they have about 40% of the voters behind them) rather than waiting for the special prosecutor (by all accounts a fair and reasonable person with no agenda) to come back with a finding that POTUS probably did something criminal.

Well, not much response. So let’s talk about the more important parts of the show - namely, the ladies.

I hate Ainsley’s new doo. She looks like a slut from Ally McBeal. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

Donna having a new boyfriend - I hope she just realizes that this is simply temporary until they write me into the show.

CJ - how’s about that comment the re-election guy made? The “you do realize you have an incredible body?” one. How do you get away with that?!?

At the end of the show, they showed a Republican already ranting about how ineffective and biased and partisan the special prosecutor is. TWW’s America has seen him working - they know he’s a nice, fair, impartial guy who wants a clean investigation aimed solely at finding the truth. People like him. When the house republicans make him an enemy, they’ll look bad.

Also, once the congressional Democrats figure out what’s going on (that was more than a bit disturbing last night when the congressional staffers obviously hadn’t), and figure out a way to show appropriate support - it will make them look better.

Done right, her plan might not only leave the president looking great and get him re-elected, it might also get them a Democratic House and Senate for those second four years…

Not nuts at all.

Not a great episode.

I was suprised to see Ainsley back.

Also, Margaret has been built up as quite a character. There ARE a lot of new characters. I wonder is that in response to the fears that members of the cast will leave over contract disputes?

Did it suprise anyone that Donna opposes repealing the death tax? Her response to the surplus a few seasons ago made me think twice. Of course the surplus issue affected her pocket book.

amarinth - I don’t think Sorkin will ever allow the Democrats to take control of either house of Congress during the Bartlet administration. There’s no dramatic tension in seeing the staff try to push legislation through a Congress that agrees with them.

Munch - I’m don’t like Ainsley’s new do either, but she’s still really damn cute. I loved the scene where CJ coaches her on how to leak info to the conservative press, including the proper amount of head-shaking. More Ainsley, please!

I loved the President’s ranting about pens, and Charlie’s reminder of how much Mrs. Landingham helped him without his even knowing. And I like that the Pres is still melancholy over her death; he wouldn’t be quick to get over someone so important to him.

The guy Donna went out with - where have I seen that actor before?

The actor is Mark Feuerstein I believe. He has been in a lot of crappy series like “Conrad Bloom” and “Caroline in the City.”
He has also appeared in “Once and Again” or whatever the Sela Ward series is called.

Well, you know that, and I know that (and I do quite agree with you).
But CJ doesn’t know that - hence, brilliant strategy.