SPOILER ALERT: Barry Levinson is an accomplished enough director to get what he needs out of his cast including just enough but not too much out of Robin Williams as Tom Dobbs, a comedian who hosts a news satire TV show (and Jon Stewart gets the nod here) and Christopher Walken who plays Jack Mencken his manager, who acts as an on-screen narrator to the story as it unfolds from the decision of Dobbs to rise to the challenge set him by a member of the audience to enter the Presidential race. Although he has made his reputation as a hard-hitting satirist, Dobbs attempts to take the high road in his campaign eschewing any advertising in his attempt to be a clean candidate beholden to no-one but 'the people'. However, his desire to stick to 'the issues' doesn't seem to be what his potential supporters want and, after a hilarious parody of a Presidential debate, he finally gives in to the urging of his manager and his writer, Eddie Langston, (played by Lewis Black channeling Al Franken?) and runs a campaign that looks more like a mixture of a rock concert and a motivational speaker's tour. It seems to work when on Election Day, after having polled around 17% of the vote, he surprisingly emerges as the President-elect.
The truth is that he has won because of a glitch in the voting machines that have been mandated for the election. They are manufactured by the