Lessons from the campaign trail on film
By Emily Christianson, Noelene Clark, Patrick Kevin Day, Lily Mihalik, Nate Jackson, Jevon Phillips and Nardine Saad
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1992 | 'The Distinguished Gentleman'( Barry Wetcher / Hollywood Pictures Company )
Florida con man Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) capitalizes on the sex scandal-related death of his local congressman Jeff Johnson (whose name is remarkably similar to his own) to start his own congressional campaign using the late congressman's office. He then sets out for Washington, D.C., where the "streets are lined with gold," to turn the table on the country's lawmakers. When he becomes privy to the amounts of money representatives, senators and lobbyists throw around to get what they want from Washington, he decides to run a con of his own, blackmailing Capitol Hill.
Campaign lesson learned: Getting elected is all about name recognition. Staying in power is all about blackmail.