DONNA: Council's office wants to know if you can meet with a candidate for the Associate's position tonight.
DONNA: I explained it was your night off, but they said he's in town just the one night, and--
DONNA: So, can I take your seat when you're not playing?
JOSH: I miss Ainsley ... that's who the Council's office should get to fill that position--another Ainsley. A sexy conservative with first-rate law credentials and a strange name.
DONNA: So, can I take your seat?
DONNA: Excuse me, Josh?
DONNA: The guy's in the Roosevelt Room.
JOSH: Which guy is this?
DONNA: For the Associate Council job?
JOSH: (to Toby) Deal me out for three hands.
(Josh leaves the game, and he and Donna walk to the Roosevelt Room)
DONNA: Can I say something?
DONNA: This guy?
DONNA: There are some who would consider him handsome--I don't personally, because you're the only one I think is handsome--
DONNA: --but for the sake of appearances? Here around the office, so that people wouldn't suspect, I'd pretend I thought this guy was handsome if you hired him. Of course, all along it would be a lie, because of how handsome you are. (she leans in and speaks huskily, staring at him as he tie his tie) And powerful.
(A beat as Josh looks at her, slightly unnerved, not sure whether to take her seriously or not)
JOSH: (grins) Your sense of humour is a bit of a high-wire act, isn't it? You're really trying to thread the needle.
DONNA: And half of it you don't even get. (she grins and hands him a file)
JOSH: Give me that. (he enters the Roosevelt Room and consults the file) Hector?
JOE: Excuse me?
JOSH: Are you ... Hector?
JOE: No, I'm Joe Quincy.
(Josh exits, to find Donna walking up to the door with the correct file)
JOSH: Can I just ask?
JOSH: Are you saying it's Hector who's good looking, or--
DONNA: (she whispers, indicating Joe) This guy! This guy!
DONNA: But not really, because it's only you that I find--
JOSH: (he shuts the door and cuts her off) Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JOSH: It's my assistant, Donna.
JOE: Yeah, we met before.
JOSH: Excuse me a second.
(he exits the room and speaks to Donna in the corridor. She is clearly worried, but speaks in a very gentle voice)
DONNA: So, what's been going on?
JOSH: You were in the Mess?
DONNA: I was down there until just now. CJ's all right?
DONNA: Where were you?
JOSH: I was in here.
DONNA: You want anything?
DONNA: You know, I'm going to get you some water or something.
JOSH: I'm all right.
DONNA: All right. So ... what do you think of this guy?
JOSH: I don't know, I haven't been talking to him that long.
DONNA: Okay. I'm going to ... I'll be around here.
JOSH: He's-he's well-qualified, that's for sure. He's personable, and confident.
DONNA: But ...?
JOSH: It's the strangest feeling--it's like a really good baseball player is standing in the other team's locker room for the first time.
DONNA: You're the baseball player?
JOSH: He's the baseball player.
DONNA: And the other guys' locker room?
DONNA: I don't understand--are you writing poetry about this now?
JOSH: You asked me what I thought of him so far.
DONNA: I know. Can I say something? Can I call Stanley Keyworth and tell him maybe you're going to be calling him later?
JOSH: I'm fine. I was in here. I didn't even see it.
DONNA: All right. (beat) I'm not going anywhere.
JOSH: I'm sorry--what were we talking about?
JOE: You don't have any information about the suspect.
JOSH: Right. I got a letter today, and it said, "You're a lying liar. You lie almost as well as Barflet." You know--black, white, rich, poor, North, South, odd, even ... I don't think there can be anything anymore that outpaces the hatred the Right feels for the Left, or the tonnage of disrespect the Left feels for the Right. (beat) Donna got a letter yesterday that said, "I'm collecting all the guns you've banned, and there's a bullet with your name on it in each one ... Donna." This guy's decided to focus his wrath on Donna. He's never met Donna or spoken to her, and he's never met anyone who's met Donna or spoken to her ... how's it possible? How's it possible that he hates her so much? How can you not like Donna? She's from Wisconsin.
JOSH: (grins) Did you just come by to look at him?
DONNA: I just wanted to let you know that Stanley's on his cell phone if you want to talk to him.
JOSH: You called him?
DONNA: Just to tell him what happened, and that you might want to call him later.
JOSH: I told you I wasn't going to call him.
DONNA: I thought you might change your mind.
JOSH: I didn't. (he smiles at her affectionately) I'm telling you, there's something--a guy this qualified, I'd know who he was ... Something's wrong. (beat) I just figured out what. Come in and say hi.
(they enter the room, Joe rises to greet them)
JOSH: You've already met Donna.
JOE: How are you?
DONNA: How are you enjoying your lockdown?
JOE: It's been a very thorough interview.
JOSH: It has. We talked about his name, and the New York City Department of Transportation, and we talked about inner cities, and jobs, and minimum wage, and public schools, and foreign aid--hitting all the Democratic G-spots, and it wasn't until now that I realised that there was something I forgot to ask you. Are you a registered Democrat?
JOSH: You're a registered Independent?
JOSH: You're registered?
JOSH: You're a Republican!
DONNA: Joe, it's fine. (to Josh) Ainsley Hayes was a Republican!
JOSH: It is not fine!
DONNA: Why not?
JOSH: Because if you're a Republican, then you damn well better look like Ainsley Hayes!
DONNA: He does! (Joe raises an eyebrow in confusion) He will to others.
(Josh and Joe discuss Joe's standing with the Republican Party for a while)
JOSH: Why do you want to work here?
JOE: I like public service. I want to serve, and you guys are the only ones left. (Donna smiles)
JOSH: Why haven't you signed the questionnaire?
JOE: Because I can't.
JOSH: You lied on it.
JOSH: Which question?
JOE: Seventy-five. "Have you ever done anything that would reflect poorly on the President?"
JOSH: What did you do?
JOE: I didn't vote for him.
DONNA: That's really very sweet. (Josh glances at her) Not to me.