Opposition Research (Episode 611)
First Aired: Wednesday, 12th January, 2005
Writer: Eli Attie
Director: Christopher Misiano

It's Not A Thing
Russell campaign HQ, New Hampshire. Josh gets a surprise during his meeting with Will.

WILL: Mind if one of my deputies sits in?
JOSH: It's your meeting.
WILL: (into phone) Would you step in here, please?
JOSH: So, why'd you want to see me?
DONNA: (enters room carrying a folder; she doesn't even see Josh, who watches her, shocked) Hey, I've got that list of free media events for, uh, New Hampshire, broken down by media market, though some of the targets spill over the border into ... (she looks startled and practically gulps as she finally notices Josh) ... Vermont.
JOSH: (softly) Hi.
DONNA: (even more softly) Hi. (she smiles, then looks away)
WILL: I don't know why people cling to this antiquated notion of states. For the purposes of Presidential campaigning, we really live in the United Media Markets of America, don't we?
(throughout everything Will says, Josh continually glances over at Donna, clearly taken aback by her presence)
DONNA: Yeah.
WILL: I'm not going to waste your time--I'm sure you have boats to sink. The truth is, we're all friends, we're all good Democrats--none of us wants a bloodied nominee, and I'm sure you don't want to attack the President's record, also known as your record, also known as the Vice President's record.
JOSH: He did clap at some of those bill signings, didn't he?
WILL: Live on national television, yes, he did. I'm proposing a clean campaign. No attacks. A pre-emptive truce.
JOSH: I love what you've done with the place. It's like the Mao Tse Tung school of interior decorating.
WILL: If you're saying you're not willing to rule out negative attacks on the Bartlet-Russell administration, I've got to tell you--
JOSH: I'll take it to the Congressman. He decides what we rule in or out.
WILL: Good.
JOSH: Great.
(Abruptly, Josh turns and leaves, without as much as a goodbye. After a moment, Donna, biting her lip, walks out into the hall after him)
DONNA: Can we not make this a thing?
JOSH: (beat) It's not a thing.
(Too late for that. Josh walks away, again without as much as a goodbye, as Donna takes a couple of steps backwards, facing him, before turning and walking down the hall)

You Should Be With Me
Main Street, New Hampshire. Donna walks over to Josh and Ronna as they sip coffee and listen to Santos speak.

JOSH: (with forced enthusiasm) Hi.
DONNA: (extending her hand to Ronna) Hi.
RONNA: Ronna.
DONNA: Actually, it's Donna.
RONNA: It's Ronna.
DONNA: No, really, it's Donna.
RONNA: I'm quite certain it's Ro--
JOSH: Ronna, it's Donna. Donna, it's Ronna. (to Ronna) Can you give us a minute?
RONNA: Sure.
DONNA: (after she leaves) She should stick around. Your whole campaign is like some Dr Seuss nightmare--One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, We Fought The Good Fight Fish.
JOSH: As opposed to The Cat And The Imitation Cowboy Hat Fell Flat?
DONNA: Go ahead, hop on Bob.
JOSH: You should be with me. You're with the wrong campaign.
DONNA: (she looks away) You're right--I let Russell seduce me with mindless perks like a salary and actual political support.
JOSH: What make-work job do they even have you doing over there?
DONNA: Media targeting for the Northeast and Pacific Northwest.
JOSH: (beat; there's nothing he can really say to that, and he knows it) Fine. We're still the ones with the gutsy education plan, the ones speaking the truth about the New Hampshire primary.
DONNA: You know what Russell's been speaking about on his trip here?
JOSH: I didn't know chipboard could talk.
DONNA: White Mountains preservation, MTBE, textile conversion--local issues.
JOSH: You mean pandering.
DONNA: I mean what voters want. Campaigns are about them, not us--you taught me that.
JOSH: You came here to deliver my old truisms?
DONNA: Close. Letters from Russell supporters to the DNC, urging them to protect the New Hampshire Primary. (as she walks away) You ought to deliver some of those truisms yourself.
(Josh watches her as she goes, an unreadable expression on his face)

Many thanks to The West Wing Collection for the wonderful screencaps!