Title: Kingmaker Author: Briannakin Series: The West Wing Timeframe:Starts in 2000, AU Characters: Josh Lyman/Joey Lucas, Kenny Thurman, Donna Moss, Sam Seaborn, other familiar faces. Notes: This is written for the 2018 Dear Diary Challenge for the July-December half-marathon. As those of reading this probably know how much I love Joey Lucas. As much as I adore Josh/Donna and was so happy they ended up together, I wanted Josh/Joey to be a thing so badly. This is completely disconnected from the Mav-and-Bri verse (though familiar faces may show up again). ALSO, there’s going to be some major time skips in this diary, but I’m not going to address them. I’m mostly throwing out all “realistic diary conventions” for this fic. Entry 1 January 2000 This weekend I met the WORLD’S BIGGEST JACKASS. God he was such an ARROGANT BASTARD. I just wanted to punch his stupid face. Oh, and the President of the United States (who is a surprisingly kind, genuine man). Perhaps I should start from the beginning. I was hired by Bill O’Dwyer to run his congressional campaign for the California 46th. To be honest, the guy is a bit of a flake - retired business man who wants the notoriety. But I don’t pick them. I’m a political consultant (with an expertise in polling) trying to get into campaign management, and it isn’t easy. I have a BA in Political Science with a minor in Statistics from UCLA and I graduated from Stanford Law. But I’m a woman, and I’m deaf, so the universe just kinda likes to give me the middle finger. The universe… and the DNC. O’Dwyer was actually doing pretty good. According to my polls, he was actually within the margin of error. We could have actually won in November, which is something because we were running against… well, the devil incarnate, who had held his seat for 3 decades. AND then the DNC decided to choke off funding. I was pissed. Not because I believed in a Congressman O’Dwyer, and not because I wanted to beat the ruler of all the right-wing-nutjobs. But because I wanted a future in this business not working as a pollster with the likes of professionals like Al Kiefer (he’s great in bed and knows some sign since we’ve known and worked together so often, but he’s kinda an idiot). So I got Kenny, my interpreter, to call the DNC and the White House to see if I could get a meeting with someone so I could show them my numbers and show them that O’Dwyer actually has a shot at winning. And I actually got a meeting with one Samuel Seaborn, White House Deputy Communications director. How Kenny pulled that one, I did not know. According to the gossip, Seaborn is actually a bit of an advisor to the President as well as being 2ndin command of all the President’s communications. So, I (and Kenny) got on a plane to DC to have a Saturday morning meeting. I got to the White House only to find out who I was with meeting was shuffled. I was surprisingly okay with this. I get that White House staffers have busy jobs and things come up, plusthe meeting was now with the White House Deputy Chief of Staff, the infamous Joshua Lyman: Bartlet’s Bulldog. I’ve heard stories of this guy screaming at congressmen and swearing at senators. He was actually Vice President John Hoynes’ campaign strategist back in 97 and everyone agrees that the day Lyman went to Bartlet for Americawas the day he decided who was going to be president. He’s the Kingmaker. And a complete ass. But I wasn’t going to let his reputation scare me. I charged into his office and I just started to let him have it, asking, “Are you the unmitigated jackass who has the DNC choking off funding for the California 46th?” He was totally out of it. He had no freakingidea what was going on. He was hungover (possibly still drunk, going on about his “delicate system”), in a pair of bright yellow hip-waders and he smelled like a dumpster in the LA summer. It was disgusting. Thankfully he got a change of clothes, which got him smelling a bitbetter (I expect he probably cleans up quite well). We resumed our meeting, only to tell me the White Housewas cutting off the funding because they didn’t want O’Dwyer to win. Apparently they like the right-wing crazy they have in the seat now and want to keep himas the poster boy for the radical right. So I asked to speak to the president. He needed to know that Icould get rid of a man with seriously dangerous ideologies. Jackass (Lyman) laughed at me. I just about slapped him. I didtell him he had his head in his ass. He called me a “lunatic lady”. It was actually kinda nice to yell at someone and that person not treat me with “kid gloves”. We really got going. I won in the end because guess who showed up? President Bartlet. Finally the universe goes myway. He clearly had something weighing on his mind. I mean, of course he did, he’s the President of the United States. But he asked me if I read lips (which I do) and then gave me a small tour of the West Wing (Josh tried to brush me off but the President wasn’t having it). I was so honoured. President Bartlet is just my ideal leader: kind, genuine and caring. He showed us into the Oval Office and I was so amazed. It was like a dream come true. As a little kid, I was convinced I was going to be President. We sat down with the President and he asked about me: where I went to school and my religion (I was raised a Quaker and I still identify as a Liberal Quaker). Then he asked me my thoughts on capital punishment. And I knew this was my opportunity. This was my moment in life. Why I was born. Why God created me. My heart was beating so fast. So I spoke the truth. The President came at met with St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. And I added Immanuel Kant, but I still spoke my heart. It was the level of intellectual and ethical debate I only dream of. Only it wasn’t theoretical. A real man’s life was at stake, a criminal but a man none-the-less. And then it was over. I asked him about the funding and he simply confirmed what Lyman had said. And then we were shown out. The next day (I unashamedly spent the rest of our time in DC dragging Kenny around to all the touristy places, but nothing lived up to that moment in the Oval Office), actually an hour before our flight out, Josh Lyman came by our hotel. He was actually kinda sweet. He apologized for president, saying that President Bartlet was sorry for being abrupt with the funding issue, but that he honestly believes O’Dwyer is a schmuck. I had to agree with him. Josh then said that the President thought I should runand that if I did, I would have their support. I have to get back to DC. I have to be a part of that place in any way that I can. I have to see Josh again. WAIT, where the hell did that thought come from? Joey.