Synopsis: Sarah's past comes back to haunt her; Mallory pays her dad back; Leo gets a new "guy"; and the West Wing is haunted by leprechauns.
Archive: Be my guest but please let me know. HTML version available upon request.
Disclaimer: I'm just a stowaway on the USS Sorkin; please don't throw me overboard. Sarah can't swim.
Toby Ziegler was standing in the middle of Leo's office, hands in his pockets. "Things settling down in Jerusalem?" he asked.
"Yeah. Sharon has calmed down, the Temple Mount is open, everybody's taking a time out. Listen, I need to know if you can do something."
"After today I'm gonna have a hard time keeping Armed Services and Foreign Relations from shooting down the Israeli arms deal. I need some opposition prep. Can you do it?"
"Of course I can do it, Leo. Why would you think..." Toby stopped, a sly smile creeping across his face. "What, because I'm Jewish I can't present a coherent argument for torpedoing the security of the State of Israel?"
"I just wanted to check," McGarry responded. "Now go, convince me."
As Toby was leaving, Margaret came to stand at the door. "Leo?"
"Yeah?" He reached behind him for a green binder with the Presidential seal.
She walked into the office, up to the edge of the desk. Dropping her voice, she asked, "Has anybody told you about Sarah yet?"
He flipped through the binder in search of something. "What about Sarah?"
"Evidently she's in some kind of legal trouble. Something about the draft. I didn't know we even _had_ a draft anymore."
"We don't." He took off his glasses and laid them on the desk. "Now what's this about? Sarah and the draft?"
"Well," Margaret began, "evidently a long time ago she signed something about how she helped guys dodge the draft, and now she's in trouble because of it."
"A complicity statement. She signed a complicity statement. Lots of women did back then. They didn't believe in war - either war in general, or that war in particular - so they did the female equivalent of burning their draft cards." He shrugged. "Some of us went because we thought it was the right thing to do. Some of us didn't, because we thought it was the right thing to do."
"Can they still get her for it?" she asked.
"No, the statute of limitations passed a long time ago. It should be no big deal."
"Well evidently the Vice President's staff is all in an uproar over it. I thought you'd want to know." She went back to her desk.
* * * * *
Sarah and Sam were having lunch at an outdoor café with Josh. "Now this is how we play in the majors," he began. "Somebody wants Hoynes out of the way to have a clear shot at the nomination in six years. They find out that he just hired a war resister to help him work with the Department of Veterans' Affairs. They know he's not stupid, so they figure out he didn't know. They leak the story, or threaten to leak the story. This leaves him with three bad options. One, he fires you and looks stupid for having hired you to begin with. Two, he gets you to quit, and still looks stupid for having hired you. Three, he throws his political future to the wind and says hey, it was a crazy time, we all did crazy things, let's move on."
"So the last option is the best one, right?" she asked.
"Maybe," Sam interrupted, "and maybe not. Let's say the information hasn't yet been leaked. The Vice President tells whoever's got it to go hang themselves. They then - assuming they're either in Congress or have supporters who are - manage to get a Congressional committee's knickers in a twist about this wild-eyed radical from the sixties who is no doubt out to sabotage the government's tender care of their men and women who were formerly in uniform."
Josh continued. "Right. So you get subpoenaed to come to Congress and defend yourself. No matter what the outcome of the inquiry is, you're screwed and never work in this town again."
"So?" she shrugged. "So I have to get a job in the private sector. I was looking for a job when I found this one."
Lyman's eyes rolled. "Sarah?? HELLO?? Whose craggy face do you see first thing in the morning??"
She put her head in her hands.
* * * * *
Late that afternoon, Mallory stopped in to see her father.
"Hi baby," Leo said. "You here to get Sam?"
"Hi Dad. No, I'm taking a couple of Presidential coffee mugs to school for Secret Santa."
"That way your anonymity will be carefully preserved," he commented with a grin.
Toby's assistant, Ginger, stuck her head in the office door. "Mr. McGarry, Toby asked me to bring this by. It's the material you asked for this morning."
"Thank you, Ginger."
Mallory took it from Ginger and handed it to her father. "Pretty big memo."
"It's opposition prep on the Israeli arms deal. After the mess this morning, we're going to have a hard time selling it in committee."
"Dad, is this kind of stuff classified or restricted?"
Leo looked up over his glasses at his daughter. "I love you, Mallory, but if they were I wouldn't be telling you about it."
She smiled. "I love you too, Dad. In that case can I have a copy of this? I'm doing a paper for grad school on the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East."
"I don't see why not, it's just a compilation of the other guy's arguments. I'll have Margaret make a copy for you."
"Thanks Dad," she said with a sly smile. "See you for dinner tomorrow?"
"Looks good so far," he responded, disappearing into his paperwork again.
* * * * *
Josh was packing up to leave for the day when he saw Leo walking out the entrance. Pulling his coat up around his ears, he shivered in anticipation, then opened the outside door and looked up and down the drive.
"Expecting somebody?" Leo asked.
"My car's in the shop, Donna was supposed to call a car to take me home. I hate it when this happens."
"Let me drop you, Josh. I've got my guy."
Leo's car pulled up and the two of them got in. "Evening, Mr. McGarry," Katherine said. "Are you going home or should I drop you at Ms. Cooper's?"
"I'm going home. Then would you please take Mr. Lyman where he needs to go?" He already had his briefcase open and three memoes on his lap desk.
As the car pulled away, Josh remarked, "You know, Leo, I know you and Sarah have a really solid thing going, but even so, I'd think you'd notice that your new _guy_ is a _girl_!"
* * * * *