In the first of several episodes throughout the series' run that portrays ordinary Americans and how they interact with and ultimately affect the W.H., an Ohio middle school social studies teacher, a widower who has recently filled the brief remaining term of his late wife in the House, joins two other reps to meet with Toby and Mandy about changes to unfair rules in the U.S. Census written into the latest federal budget. The other two, career politicians, are completely resistant to the changes, but Mr. Willis is swayed by a potent argument Toby makes regarding "strict constructionism" (generally conservative and libertarian belief that the U.S. Constitution is not a living document, and must be followed as written, unless officially amended through standard 38-state ratification) and the 14th Amendment. Toby is impressed with the man and his open-mindedness. Elsewhere, Sam tutors C.J. on the finer points of the census. Late in the episode, the staff meets for a late-night poker ...
Did You Know?
On the podcast West Wing Weekly, actor Richard Schiff (Toby) said the on-set TV in the final scene of this episode was blank, so he had nothing to react to. When Toby is watching with admiration as Mr. Willis cast his only vote, Schiff said he was actually imagining what it would be like to have sex with Allison Janney. See more
Votes in the U.S. House of Representatives are done by electronic device and not by roll call. House committee votes are done by roll call. While the vote is being broadcast, Leo tells Toby that "we won it 40 votes ago." As House committees each only have about 50 members each, there is no way that anyone would consider the vote won after only about ten votes. The vote depicted at the end is not a vote in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, it is obviously a full vote in the House. See more
I thought we were here to talk about the census.
We are. The White House just wanted to take this opportunity to point out that you are criminals and despots.
References Super Fly
Learn to Fly
Written and Performed by Foo Fighters See more