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Recap / The West Wing S 07 E 03 Message Of The Week

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The Vinick campaign, headed by former Bartlet re-election mastermind Bruno Gianelli, struggles with their messaging in the wake of the Santos campaign's minor boost from his reserve call-up. Meanwhile, the Santos campaign looks to capitalize on their newfound surge of momentum whilst continuing to navigate the minefield that is the ongoing investigation of the Space Shuttle leak.


  • Actor Allusion: Senator Vinick wants to cancel an event for the Philadelphia VFW, and when he's rebuked for that, he states "I am not a veteran of a foreign war!"
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  • A Day in the Limelight: After the previous episode focused on the Santos campaign, this episode focuses more on the Vinick campaign.
  • Affably Evil: George Rohr is built up as some-kind of slimy, cutthroat, ultra-conservative Christian villain that Vinick is loathe to deal with, but besides steadfastly holding to positions that Vinick does not, he really isn't much of a bad guy at all, and is quite honest about the fact that he's just trying to tell the Senator how to win the conservative Christian vote, otherwise his block will stay home, rather than vote at all.note 
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  • Aside Glance: Immediately after Josh tells Matt no one will care about his opponent mentioning Santos' voting record on CAFTA, the first question from a reporter is about that. Matt throws Josh a look brimming with "See? I told you."
  • Curse Cut Short: From Josh, referring to Bruno using the debate negotiations meeting just so he can use the DNC lobby for an impromptu press appearance to make his campaign look good.
    Josh: Slimy, sleazy, back-stabbing mother-
  • Meaningful Echo: "____ is gonna have good days." Both candidates have to be told their opponent will do better than them at some point in the race, and they just have to accept it, without growing anxious that it means they're losing.
  • Metaphorically True:
    Lou: I just got our tracking, it has Vinick up by 12.
    [reporter walks up]
    Reporter: Hey. I hear Vinick's tracking has him up by 10.
    Josh: [trying to spin positive] That's... not what we have.
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