Former President Monroe "Eagle" Cole (Gene Hackman) must move to his vacation home in Mooseport, Maine, because his wife is getting the mansion in the divorce. After being the most beloved President with an 85% approval rating, Cole plans to write his memoirs, speak for large sums of money at corporate conferences, play golf, and build a very large Presidential library. The mayor of Mooseport has recently died, with no one applying for the position, so the town fathers ask Cole to run for mayor. To help in his divorce case, Cole accepts the offer.
Later, Cole finds out that he is running against Harold `Handy' Harrison (Ray Romano), the owner of the local hardware store, and his plumber. Harrison only put his name in the race because no one wanted the job. Cole asks Harrison to withdraw, and at first he agrees. Cole unknowingly asks Harrison's girlfriend for a date and the race is on. Cole has never lost an election, but he finds himself running against a locally popular and honest man.
Cole brings in his campaign manager and spends millions in advertising to make sure he wins. Douglas Young (the-movie-guy).