After Josh is hailed as the 101st Senator in a newspaper profile, he clashes with conservative Senator Carrick (Tom Skerritt - Picket Fences), a Democrat from Idaho. Carrick withholds his approval of a backlog of military promotions so he can secure an expensive but faulty missile launcher to be built in his home state. Will gets a flattering offer from the newly approved Vice President, Robert Russell (recurring guest star Gary Cole), while C.J. runs afoul of Leo's temper when she deviates from the administration's scripted line regarding an Environmental Protection Agency report on coal-based energy. Likewise, Amy (recurring guest star Mary-Louise Parker) earns the President's wrath when she aggressively pushes for funding of the First Lady's agenda on violence prevention. Meanwhile, Toby creates a message calendar to maintain focus during Bartlet's second term. Laura Innes ER directed the episode.
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