Disclaimer: The West Wing and its characters arenít mine they belong to Mr. Sorkin et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
Title: "Fare un Brindisi"
Authorís note: The title for this story is Italian and is roughly translated as "to propose a toast"
Spoiler: The President has to give a toast; Sam has lost his talent again and this combination leads to disaster in Samís eyes
President Bartlet arrived in the Oval Office at the usual time. He was at his desk looking over the schedule for the day when there was a light tap on the side door.
"Good Morning Mr. President." Leo said as he came up to his long time friend.
"Good Morning Leo. What can I do for you?"
"I want to make sure that you were ready for tonight."
"Oh that." Bartlet said as he took his glasses off and looked up at his friend. "Yeah, Iím ready. Sam dropped the thing off last night."
"Very Good sir."
"Was there something else you wanted?"
"No sir. Iíll see you later sir." Leo said as he retreated into his office. ------------------
"Itís fine Toby. I already gave it to the President there is nothing wrong with it."
"I think we could have been a little harder."
" Toby, The President is welcoming the new members of Congress to Washington and the Hill. Weíre not addressing the United Nations. This isnít the State of the Union."
"Yes I know but that doesnít mean that it has to be stiff. It has to be formal and inviting not cold. Itís fine Toby."
"Weíll see." ------------
"Are you nervous?"
"No Abbey. Why would I be nervous?"
"The last time you did this dear the President of Indonesia wasnít happy."
"No his advisors werenít happy. Iím still not sure what he was."
"I know what you mean. You ready. Abbey asked as she took him by the arm."
"Letís go impress some freshman." Jed said as he took Abbey by the arm and walked out of the room. ------------
"Remind me again why we do this Leo?" Bartlet asked as they sat down after to precession concluded.
"Itís White House tradition sir."
"Well who am I to go against tradition."
Charlie came up to the Presidentís table. "Excuse me sir."
"There ready for the toast sir ."
"Thank you Charlie."
The President stood up and walked over to the microphone.
"Good evening and Welcome to the White House. I know for many of you this is the fulfillment of a dream. I know that it was for me. For some of you the dream will last at least two years and for others it will be six. We often donít realize the magnitude of these jobs, these job are not for personal betterment but sometimes that just happens on its own. It is, however, not the most important thing. The most important thing is the American people because without them the people in this room wonít have jobs. I am very happy to welcome the newest members of the 107th Congress to Washington. Hereís hoping that the American people will give us all a passing grade. I hope that while you are here that it lives up to your expectations. Once again thank you and enjoy the rest of the night."
The President received applause as he sat down and the staff looked pleased at the performance except for Toby.
"You were right." Sam said as he leaned over toward Toby
"It was flat."
"Would you two drop it. It was fine."
"That just it CJ. It was fine. It wasnít inspired it wasnít magnificent it was fine."
"Weíve lost are talent again. Toby said.
"Oh, not this again." Josh said.
"Heís right. Weíve misplaced our talent again"
"It happens Sam. Youíre not superhuman.
"Yeah, but at least last time the loss of talent was confined to a birthday card and not the eleven oíclock news."
"It was a message." Josh offered.
"It was a birthday message."
"What did I say?"
"You said it was a card." Toby said.
"See what I mean. Iíve lost my talent. I need to find my talent."
"Later." Josh said
"Donít worry your talent shall return." CJ said and the whole table safe Sam shared a laugh.