Former President Monroe Eagle Cole (Hackman) is, after two very successful terms in office, looking forward to retiring to the sleepy vacation town of Mooseport where he plans to work on his golf handicap, write his memoirs, and entertain corporate offers. Apart from going through a divorce with the former first lady, Cole intends to enjoy a relaxed and prosperous retirement. When the town fathers ask him to fill a mayoral seat that has recently become vacant, a position to which he'll be acclaimed, Cole sees no reason not to accept. That is until Harold Handy Harrison (Romano), the popular owner of the local hardware store, decides to run against him. Cole, who has never lost an election in his entire political career, finds himself facing a potentially embarrassing defeat. Fate ups the ante when he unknowingly makes a move on Harrison's girlfriend, and the campaign becomes a race not just for the job, but for the girl. Not even Cole's high popularity ratings and years of political experience have prepared him to take on Plumber Power, and what began as a sure thing quickly accelerates into a raucous campaign of clashing egos, misunderstandings and political conniving in the formerly benign and civilized environs of Mooseport.