Summary: CJ muses on the press conference debacle and its repercussions.
Archive: Of course.
Disclaimer: Of course they're not mine. I just love them enough to pretend.
Feedback: Please write me and let me know what you think.
Author's Note: Ok, I would like to think my hearing is good, and the name of the newest Bartlet adversary is indeed Anne Stark, but if it's not let me know. I searched on all my favorite West Wing sites, but couldn't find a definitive name.

I Hate Her

I hate her. Damn Anne Stark. Being in Washington has honed my ability to be absolutely pissed at people and not actually hate them. I can hate everything they do and stand for, but I don't actually hate the person. This has become a valuable trait, especially for a person who's only job is to remain calm when dealing with explosive issues on the spur of the moment. The press is hungry, and I refuse to feed them any tidbit of scandal stemming from my personal feelings regarding someone who has made it their personal goal to destroy this administration or any combination of the people in it.
This dispassionate fašade has served me well. Often it's impossible for even those close to me to figure out what exactly I'm thinking, and I like it that way. I have never been surprised by my own emotions popping up into situations where they didn't belong. That is until now. I have never hated anyone as much as I hate that woman. I could probably use another word, but the controlled part of my nature won't let go completely. I'll save that wonderful moniker for after I've had time to really process my hate.
Not only did Anne Stark start the election campaign two years early by offering her candidate as the saving grace of the Republican Party, but she also tried to upstage the President of the United States. No one does that. Just ask that sniveled, fake, moralistic "doctor" who dared to sit in front of a standing President and argue the finer points of the Bible with a man who knows more about the Old and New Testaments than he does about Notre Dame football.
Breathe, C.J. I was tricked, and I guess that's one of the things that upsets me the most. I have worked hard at being the savvy press secretary that nothing gets by. Of course, this wasn't my entire fault. I was forced to move our conference up to Capitol Hill because of Toby's insatiable need to actually discuss politics at a pancake breakfast. I admire Toby's patriotism and commitment to the American agenda, but that man has the ability to make my life a living hell. This whole thing would never have happened if Toby hadn't made a deal based on a relationship that I can only guess was more personal than professional at one time, and then pulled rank in order to ensure that his deal was complied with. Come to think of it, I should really be more mad at Toby for putting this entire administration in a defensive crouch than mad at Anne Stark for doing her job, no matter what despicable means she resorted to in order to do that job.
Now here's the insane part. I could be blindly mad at Anne for all of the reasons I just mentioned, but the truth is that my anger revolves around one undeniable fact. She hurt Toby, and for that I will hate her forever. She took his trust and friendship and twisted them into a club with which to bash his career integrity. Anne Stark took a man who enjoys every moment spent in public service and made him regret the day he had ever heard of Governor Josiah Bartlet. She saw a vulnerable man, unwilling to allow access to his emotions, and she pulled those emotions into public in order to serve herself professionally. She hurt him in the same way that his divorce from Andy hurt him, only on a grander, nationally exposed scale. I will hate her until the day I die. I hate her for hurting the man I love.



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