Raff Hanks wakes up in a hospital, strapped to a bed. A doctor tells him to relax and checks his memory by asking who the President is.
Raff watches as President James Stevens, the candidate he's advising, is running for re-election despite his lack of popularity. He chats with fellow advisor Maura McGowan, and Maura warns that they haven't counted votes yet. Raff is sure that Stevens will win, shows, Maura a book about him titled The Wunderkind, and says that they took the most unpopular President in American history and turned it around. He insists that it's the greatest comeback in history. Stevens calls Raff and Mura in when the results come in.
Raff says that it turned out well, and the doctor says that he's here by order of the President. The advisor says that he's fucked.
Stevens angrily tells Raff that he just lost the major states, including his home state. He blames Raff and walks off, and Maura tells Raff that it's okay.
Two years later, the new President is facing increasing criticism. Raff is drinking at a bar, and Raff laments being unable to pay his rent. A skinny patron asks if he ran Stevens' campaign, and Raff says that he ran it into the ground. The news broadcast runs a piece about YouTube sensation Oliver Foley, who is getting millions of hits where he says that he's running for President. In the video Oliver says that he just wants everyone to be nice to each other, and kids should play video games. The skinny man and another patron say that they would vote for Oliver if he ran for real.
The doctor tells Raff that he did a great service for their country, and Raff says that he saw his shot and took it.
Raff drives to Oliver's home in the suburbs and has dinner with the Foleys. Joseph and Helen look on as Oliver and his little sister Lily eat. The campaign manager asks if Oliver really wants to be President, and Oliver says that he's sick of all the lying and war stuff. Oliver is thrilled that he got millions of views after he announced he wanted to be President. Afterward, Helen says that Oliver is a joke and Raff explains that Helen will be the one with her name on the ballot but Oliver will be in charge. Raff assures the parents that people are open to candidates without political baggage. Joseph knows that Raff has had a hard run, and Raff assures him that he's a new man. He admits that he's an opportunist but it's what he needs, and Oliver connects with people. Raff insists that he thinks Oliver can be President, and even if he loses will make enough money for his college and Lily's. Oliver comes down and invites them to watch him make his new video.
Lily records Oliver's video as Raff and Oliver's parents look on. Oliver promises jobs for everyone, long weekends, no more Star Wars movies, and better air.
Soon, Oliver is touring the company giving his campaign speeches. People show up in Iowa and cheer, and afterward Raff tells Oliver that there are hot dogs and juice boxes on the plane. Oliver says that he wants Raff to do better producing his videos, and Raff agrees. Maura arrives and admits that she wrote him off after Stevens, and she was wrong. Raff agrees to take her on.
The doctor tells Raff that his condition is not stable and they'll have to operate. Raff wonders if he ever was stable because he didn't see what was happening.
Oliver performs in his new video, complete with music and backup dancers, and Raff assures Maura that Oliver will sign off on her plans. Once Oliver finishes the video, Oliver tells Helen that he isn't going to the doctor and says that he hates old men stabbing him with needles. He yells that he hates her and walks off.
When Oliver's video goes mega-viral, people say that he's inspirational and not a huckster like other politicians. Meanwhile, Maura and Raff do debate prep with Oliver. An advisor, Larry, complains that Oliver hasn't memorized what he told him to and the first debate is a week away. Raff cuts him off and says that they don’t need canned answers. When Larry dismisses Oliver as a joke, Oliver says that he has millions of hits on his video. Raff fires Larry, and Oliver asks Raff if he's going to be embarrassed. The campaign manager says that he'll be fine and just needs to do his thing. Oliver comes over and hugs him.
At the debate, Oliver rambles on about taxes. Raff and Maura are watching with other advisors, and they figure that the campaign is doomed. Joseph and Helen complain that it's a disaster and walk off, while people in the auditorium laugh. Helen goes out and hugs Oliver when he calls for her.
An orderly tells Raff to relax and explains that the doctor was held up but is on his way. Raff moans in pain and tells the orderly to save his life or let him die, and the orderly gives him a sedative.
Raff drinks and watches a news report about the upcoming caucuses. The bartender, Tommy, turns off the TV. Maura comes in and orders a double, and sees a copy of The Wunderkind on the bar. She says that she's there to see how Raff is doing, and Raff tells her that he started liking what Oliver was saying. He figures that Oliver was relatable and vulnerable, and suggests that Oliver should have kept doing his videos. However, Raff concedes that it's too late. Maura says that she stopped by the Foleys' house and their dog Homer is going to die. Raff blames himself, and Maura says that Oliver doesn't blame Raff. He wanted her to ask Raff if it was okay to post a blog about Homer. Raff figures that it's perfect if done correctly, and confirms that they're still on the caucus ballot. He then leaves after telling Maura that he's going to get Oliver elected.
The video of Homer goes out, and Oliver has his family sit on-camera with him. He admits that he doesn't know much about taxes but he'll surround himself with the nicest and smartest people, and work hard to make people safe. Soon, Oliver wins the Iowa caucus and Raff tells a reporter that Oliver really connects with people.
Months later, Oliver is elected President and walks to the White House with his family. He goes into the Oval Office and jumps on the desk, then sits at the desk and jokingly orders his military to bomb Russia. Oliver tells his senior advisor that he has to fulfill his promises, starting with free video games for every American. Helen says that there are laws, but Oliver tells his Chief of Staff to make it happen. He refuses to take no for an answer, and says that he'll put a million-dollar surcharge on games if the companies don’t go along. Raff suggests that they should hold off until Oliver gets settled in, but Oliver says that he's settled in and they'll do what he wants or he'll get people who do.
Soon penguins are walking on the White House lawn, and Oliver is swinging in the Oval Office. He wants to blog and sing about world peace, and they'll fake-kill the dancers in the video. Maura brings in dogs for Oliver to choose new ones, and he picks a new Homer. When he finds out that it's female, he tells them to get all of the dogs out. His advisor says that it's time for Oliver's physical, and Oliver says that he doesn't want to see an old-man doctor and orders a law for no old doctors. Oliver asks if everyone is okay with that, and everyone quickly agrees.
Afterward, Raff talks to the military Chief of Staff, Mitch. He asks if Mitch is worried about Oliver, as Oliver rides a tricycle down the hallway. Raff points out that Oliver seems like a spoiled kid, and Mitch doesn't care if Oliver is a kid and warns that Raff is talking treason. Helen comes up and Raff suggests that she intervene since she's the "real" President. She tells Raff that everything he predicted came true, and is proud that her son touches people. Helen says that intervening is the last thing she's going to do and walks off.
Later, Raff meets with Maura who advises him to talk to Oliver, Raff worries that it's hard to talk to an 11-year-old, and Maura says that Raff should have moved on instead of sticking with Oliver. She says that Oliver is a bit bratty but it's a phase and it will pass. Maura reminds Raff that he knew what was going on, and he's one of the most famous campaign managers in history.
Sedated, Raff insists that he tried to do the right thing and goes into cardiac arrest.
Oliver is putting on the White House putting green and calls Raff in as he shoots. The boy keeps missing the hole, and complains that he never gets a hole in one. Oliver invites Raff to join him, and says that he wants a miniature golf course. Raff says that he's worried and Oliver tells him that he's worried about the treason thing. Oliver turns the lights low and says that it's serious. When Raff says that he's just worried, Oliver tells him to putt. Raff makes his putt and Oliver says that it hurts him that Raff isn't fully backing him.
When he shoots, Oliver misses the hole. Raff insists that he backs him, and Oliver tells him that he has to do so unconditionally. The boy says that he just pretended that Homer was dying to get Oliver back on his team, and misses again. He spills a bucket of golf balls and a couple go in. Oliver insists that it's a hole in one, and Raff says that it's not the way it works. The boy says that he's President and that's how it works, and asks if Raff is treasonous. Raff insists that he's not treasonous, but says that it wasn't a hole in one. Oliver yells that Raff has a gun and the Secret Service agents shoot him.
People are soon talking about how Raff attacked Oliver and he got what he deserved.
Raff wakes up and the orderlies says that he needs an operation to save his life. Oliver has asked for his own doctor to save Raff, and the law doesn't permit the orderly to be a doctor. A young boy comes in, puts on his operating scrubs, and cuts Raff open.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 27, 2019