This is the second Donna rant that I felt would follow the Al Smith Dinner: poor thing (but an empowered poor thing!)
"I'm still waiting for the spatula so I can shove it UP YOUR ASS!"
I think that is what I was going to say before Lou interrupted with the news that a pro-choice group might possibly support a Republican for the first time I think ever. I had some opinions on that but you will hear about that later.
Anyway I was called up to the campaign headquarters which made me nervous enough because I knew I might actually see him. I didn't expect Josh to be lead into the room by Lou. I was caught completely off guard. He had this goofy grin on his face right up until the moment he saw me- he then turned to ice. He stiffened right up and greeted me with a shocked "Hi", I did the same.
I think he would've gone on pretending like he wasn't mad at me until Lou outted him and said "I don't know what's going on between you two but she's great on TV (did I mention I really like Lou?). I was too stunned by this quick confrontation and the fact that Josh had apparently been badmouthing me to Lou to even enjoy the complement. Last I checked Josh missed me everyday but his hands were tied and he was unable to hire me because of the things I'd said about Santos. After lots of tears, I decided to find someone with less of a conscience and when I interviewed with Lou I knew I had found my "in". I honestly never thought I would be in the campaign limelight and really wasn't sure if Josh would even know I was on staff.
But, low and behold, the Santos campaign needs someone wide eyed and innocent to talk about abortion. I think the main requirement was a uterus and believability and that fine state of Wisconsin gave me both! So there I was one moment a behind the scenes player and the next a nationally televised face. My heart was racing while I read the statement but for one reason alone: I knew he was watching. I wanted to do my very best so that he knew where my loyalties lie. I wanted to do my very best so he knew that I could do this. I wanted to do my very best…for him.
So afterwards I am called up to the hotel, I think to meet with Lou, and she leads him right in to see me dropping the news that he is not pleased with my performance. That is when I decided that I didn't need to please him and I could care less. I couldn't wait to hear what he had to say.
"What kind of on the record experience do you have?"
I couldn't believe he wanted a JOB INTERVIEW! I wanted so much more but I guess he will never understand that. I asked him if it was and he gave some snide comment about being the Campaign Manager yada yada and I wondered if he felt he had to puff himself up for me because deep down he knew I knew all his weaknesses. Maybe he is afraid to have any of his past missteps (and believe me I know them all) come to light now that he is a big shot campaigner. Anyway all of that is an afterthought because right at that moment I wanted to shout but I was able to say flatly "Santos McGary campaign 6 ½ hours ago." POINT FOR DONNA! The high and mighty campaign manager seems to be unaware of who his spokespeople are. I was going to add "maybe someone could get you a tape" but he had moved on to references.
REFERENCES? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I answered with that tone of voice as I threw his name at him: "Josh Lyman, check the main switchboard". Maybe he was going to pretend that the past 7 years never happened but I certainly was not.
This is when the shoe fell. Loyaltly. He had said the word that was for him the most important thing above all else. Josh really is a loyal guy. President Bartlett once told Josh that while he wanted to be the guy, the one who did stuff and got the credit, that Josh wanted to be the guy the guy depended on. If you followed all that it simply means that Josh wants to get the job done for someone he cares about no matter what.
While this a fine sentiment, Josh Lyman has spent most of his adult life neglecting his own desires. I think we all know specifically one I am referring to. My loyalty to myself, my need to branch out and get a new direction in life is something that he holds against me and probably always will. For that I am sorry. But what I am NOT sorry about is getting out of the grunt work and servitude that dominated my life for so many years and this was my opportunity to let him know it.
He was finally yelling at me which empowered me and for one of the few times in our relationship I yelled back. If Lou hadn't walked in we could've kept it up for hours I am sure: digging up the things we've never said to one another, getting out the hurt and anger and confusion and love that I know we both feel. But I guess that wasn't meant to be. Campaigns move forward and so do we, and I don't know if we will ever find the time or make the time to say what needs to be said.
I left the room knowing for certain that while Josh might miss me everyday, he certainly wasn't looking forward to being around me everyday either. He wants the old Donna back and I am not willing to be her. I got the chance to prove that later as we were driving and the group was discussing the abortion dilemma. When I say group I don't mean to imply that I was included in this discussion. I was, of course, relegated to the front seat and probably meant to be a passenger only but that was the old Donna Moss.
I heard, Bram, a wet behind the ears campaigner if I ever saw one, speak up and I felt empowered to do the same. My comments were good, and similar to the type I would've shared with Josh behind closed doors when we worked at the White House. Now I just let them have it. I spoke clearly and with authority and the look on Josh's face couldn't have been more telling. He took my advice, he gave a directive, he didn't speak to me for the rest of the evening. If that's the way he wants it, I will gladly comply. I think Lou could use a new mentee in professional politics and it appears I have lost my pain in the butt mentor for good.
Please review- let me know if it sounds like her voice. Thanks!