"Josh's Day of Jubilee"
A West Wing Challenge
By Caroline Walsh
West Wing: Deputy Chief of Staff - Bull Pen
Staffers on 'Josh's side' of the West Wing were busy cleaning up the
paperwork scattered across desks. They had just finished the worst three
months of their lives. Josh had been put in charge of Jeff Breckenridge's
confirmation to the Justice Department. This was considered to be a 'low
ranking' appointment compared to the Supreme Court, so everyone thought this
was going to be easy. But nothing in the Bartlet White House was easy.
It all came down to two lines on a book cover. Leo tossed it to Josh to
take care of. Mr. Breckenridge favored reparations to the descendants of
Slaves. No matter how many meetings he had with the nominee, Josh couldn't
down play it. The press was all over it for weeks. Senators speaking about
how ridiculous the amount of money Mr. Breckenridge was asking for, the fact
that it would bankrupt the government, and how could the nation be held
responsible for acts that happened over 200 years ago.
Josh met with Senators, members of the Judiciary committee and support
groups trying to convince everyone that this man was the best lawyer to fill
this post. Jeff Breckenridge sat in front of the Judiciary committee about
his record and what he could do in the Justice Department in Civil Rights.
His nomination had passed the committee by a single vote. Now it was up
to the Senate. The Senators on the Democratic side were extolling the
nominee's record and how he could help all citizens. Members of the
Republican side were battling with the reparations issue. Three months of
work came down to a single roll call vote.
Josh and Donna were sitting in his office watching each vote. The screen
was telling him that they were tied 48-48. "Donna, I didn't just waste
months of my life did I?" Josh whimpered. Donna shrugged her shoulders, not
sure what else to say. <This wasn't going well. > She thought as the vote
totals changed to 48 - 49. Josh began to bang his head on the lone bare spot
of his desk. A new total came up: 49 - 49. Then it was 50 - 49. "Last vote
Josh." Donna said. "I can't watch." Josh stated not lifting his
head off the
desk. He heard Donna scream. Looking at her quickly, Josh couldn't tell if
she was happy or disgusted. He followed her finger toward the screen. Josh
rubbed his eyes, not believe what he was seeing. "Donna is that number
right?" He asked. She nodded. The final vote was 51 - 49. They had won.
From outside his closed door, staffers heard cheering. Josh threw open
they door. "WE DID IT!" He announced. Everyone applauded his or her
"I've got to tell the others." Josh ran down the hall toward Leo
"Finally it's MY day of Jubilee!" Josh announced to Sam, Toby and CJ.
They were all sitting in Leo's office waiting for the Chief of Staff.
nice Josh." CJ said with little emotion. Toby and Sam said nothing but
continued to read the files in front of them. "Did you guys hear?
Breckenridge's nomination passed the Senate. I won!" Sam mumbled.
you Josh." And turned back to Toby. "I don't understand this. I just
the confirmation process from hell and all you can say is 'Good for you'?"
Josh sat in a huff. "This confirmation made the Mendoza confirmation look
like a walk in the park."
At that time, Leo came in from the Oval Office. "Good Josh you're here. I
need you to run to the Hill and talk to the President Pro tem of the Senate's
office and get the word on the new legislation coming up." Josh was
He though Leo would at least recognize the win on the Breckinridge
nomination. "Josh I need it now. There's a staff car waiting for you
the West entrance." Josh got up. No one watched him as he left.
Leo picked up the phone. "Margaret, Can you get Donna in here please."
and Sam smiled. "You know Leo, Josh is going to kill us for this." Leo
as he got up and walked to the door. Donna walked in. "Where's Josh?"
asked. "I sent him to the hill to get the new legislation
looked surprised. "Leo what about the Breckinridge confirmation? Didn't
anyone say congrats?" The sheepish looks from the Senior Staff told her
"You blew him off? How could you?" Leo sat her in a chair. "It's
a surprise -
The President thought this all on his own." With that Leo filled in a
confused assistant. Donna took a deep breath. "You Know Leo, Josh is going
kill you all for this." Toby nodded. "That's what I said."
Josh walked back into the White House four hours later. "I remember why
we normally send an intern to get this." Josh grumbled. He walked into his
office peeling off the water soaked jacket. Donna popped in the door.
Leo wants to see you ASAP. Margaret said he'd be in the Mural room." It was
now 8:00pm. "Some day of Jubilee - right Donna." Donna handed Josh the
and he walked to the Mural room.
He knocked on the door. "Come in." he heard. "Surprise!!"
as Josh walked in the door. He jumped back and nearly knocks Donna down. CJ,
Sam and Toby walked up to shake his hand. "Congratulations Josh." Leo
up. "I knew you could do it Josh." Josh was stunned as he was brought
the center of the room. The President was there with Abby Bartlet and Jeff
Breckenridge stood next to him.
The President's hand shot up silencing the growing crowd. "I wanted to
congratulate Josh on one of the toughest confirmations in recent history. It
was an impressive win Josh." Josh said. "I thought none of your
spoke up. "That was my husband's fault. He wanted it to be a
handed him a glass of champagne. "We're all very proud of you Josh."
Landingham said has she passed. Jeff shook his hand. "I know I didn't make
easy for you Josh, but thanks."
Donna stood in the background. After everyone congratulated Josh, he
walked straight to her. "Congratulations on your Day of Jubilee Josh."
corrected her. "OUR day of Jubilee, Donna. I could have made it without
He handed her a box. She took it and smiled. She opened it. She pulled out a
beautiful chain with a small 'd' on it. Josh took it from her to help her put
it on. "Thank you Donna, you mean the world to me."
Sam shouted to get everyone's attention. "Now in honor of one of the
finest victories in this administration, may I present CJ Cregg doing 'the
Jackal'." Josh smiled as he pulled Donna up with him. This was a good
Jubilee." Leo walked up behind the pair as they watched CJ. "Josh I
do this but," Josh shook his head. "What ever it is Leo the answer is
can't do another thing." Leo shook his head. "You've got no choice
order came straight from the President and as you know..." Josh finished
him, "... I serve at the pleasure of the President."