Plot: One candidate for the presidency dies in an accident a couple of weeks before the election. Meanwhile the alderman Mays Gilliam becomes a hero when he rescues a woman and her cat from an old house that would blow up. However his fiancee Kim does not pay his bills and dumps him, and Gilliam loses everything including his fancy car. When Senator Bill Arnot sees the news on television, he plots a scheme with the party advisors Martin Geller and Debra Lassiter to invite Mays to be the party nominee and lose the election for the other candidate, Vice-President Brian Lewis. Four years later, he would be the candidate and would have the chance of winning the election. Mays has a terrible beginning of campaign but when his older brother Mitch Gilliam meets him in Chicago, he advises Mays to be himself. Will he have the chance to be the first African American President of the USA?
Alternative Plot: A low-level Washington, D.C., public servant, Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock), is thrust into the national spotlight when he's asked by Martin Geller (Dylan Baker), the head of the Democratic Party, to run for president after the party's presidential and vice-presidential nominees are killed in a plane crash. The odds are against Gilliam, mostly because he has a penchant for telling the truth about what is wrong with the country. Remarkably, his straight-talking style catches on with the public.