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Campaign Shake-Up

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Senior citizens are basically the only people who vote in local elections. So if you want to win, you gotta get the gray vote.
Ben Wyatt

"Campaign Shake-Up" is the seventeenth episode of season 4 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally premiered on March 1, 2012 to 3.78 million viewers.

Storyline Edit

Leslie Knope is catching up to her opponent, Bobby Newport, in the polls for City Council, resulting in a shake-up of his campaign staff. Ben Wyatt decides Leslie should next obtain the endorsement of Ned Jones, the President of Pawnee Seniors United. Ned is impressed with Leslie's plan to install numerous ramps for senior citizens all over Pawnee, but saves his endorsement decision until after his meeting with Jennifer Barkley, Bobby's famous new campaign manager who works in national elections, having been paid by Bobby's rich father to work in a local election. Although Jennifer is courteous and dislikes Bobby, she later trashes Leslie on television.

Chris Traeger tells Ron Swanson that if Leslie wins the election, she'll have to split her time between the Parks Department and City Council, which will affect the department as Leslie does most of the work. Ron refuses to hire someone new as he believes it a waste of taxpayer money, so Chris asks him to prove the department can function without Leslie by quickly finishing one major project. Ron decides to take up Ann Perkins' proposal of creating sanitary water fountains, as Pawnee's citizens have a habit of wrapping their entire mouths around the spout. Meanwhile, Leslie announces her ramp plan to members of Pawnee Seniors United, but she is upstaged by Jennifer, who announces Bobby's plan for electronic lifts. Ned loves it and Bobby wins the endorsement, giving him a commanding lead in the polls, despite the fact that he has been on a long vacation in Spain. Leslie is furious that Jennifer stole her idea, but Jennifer, with her charming and laid-back demeanour, insists it is nothing personal and reveals she has plans to counter Ben's next move and any other move that Leslie's campaign might make, intimidating Ben.

Ann's meeting with the parks department quickly spirals into a water fight that Chris witnesses, causing Ron to admit he needs to hire someone new. April Ludgate calls Ron and Chris back to the office, where the parks department reveals a new spoutless water fountain to Chris' approval. Ron offers Ann a role in the parks department, but she admits it was April's idea. Ron asks April to take on a bigger role in the department and she reluctantly agrees. Leslie confronts Jennifer on The Final Word With Perd, hosted by Perd Hapley, where Ben tells Leslie to bring up Bobby's absence, but Jennifer retorts that Bobby is in Spain trying to convince European businesses to open factories in Pawnee. Jennifer later privately admits that was a lie, but Leslie and Ben have been soundly defeated.


Ben: Senior citizens are basically the only people who vote in local elections. So if you want to win, you gotta get the gray vote.

Chris: The world's my gymnasium Ron!

Ron: I work hard to make sure my department is as small and as ineffective as possible.

Leslie: "Not enough ramps" is the number three complaint among Pawnee seniors, right behind "Everything hurts" and "I'm dying."

Ron: Either we complete government project, which is abhorrent to me, or we bring a new person into the department, which repulses me to my core. It reminds me of when my dad made me choose which of my pet calves to slaughter with my own hands for my 6th birthday. I couldn't choose, so I slaughtered both of them. And they were delicious.

Leslie: Like I always say, stairs is a young man's game.

Leslie: As a candidate I appreciate your strategic mind, but as a woman all I care about is your slight but powerful body.

Leslie: Please let me get my insult out! I've been practicing it the whole way over here!

Donna: I think Ben's already filling the Leslie void.

Ron: Nice job on the water fountain.
April: It wasn't me.
Ron: Don't deny it. I know it wasn't the nurse. I'm asking you to step up. Not replacing Leslie, just picking up some slack.
April: I don't want to do things. I want to not do to things like you taught me.
Ron: And I taught you well. But I don't like watching you wasting your brain and you're too smart to stay my assistant here forever. I'd rather you start a business or use your hands to farm. But right now the department needs you. Please.
April: Okay. But only becasue you begged.
Ron: Good girl. [picks up phone and dials]
Chris: Chris Traeger!
Ron: This is Ron Swanson. April is going to take over some of Leslie's reponsibilites.
Chris: Excellent! I have been a fan of April's since day one. I told---
Ron: [hangs up phone and smiles at April]

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