Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Act One

We open to a campaign parade in support of Mr. John P. Wintergreen for President & Mr. Alexander Throttlebottom for Vice President. The mass of campaigners hold various signs in support of Wintergreen ("Wintergreen for President").

Elsewhere, in a hotel room, the National Campaign Committee – political bosses Louis Lippman and Francis X. Gilhooley, newspaper magnate Matthew Arnold Fulton, Senator Carver Jones and Senator Robert E. Lyons – have assembled to discuss the campaign. While waiting for the President, they try to remember whom they nominated for Vice President. Finally, Throttlebottom enters and quickly reminds them that he is the nominee for Vice President. He politely asks to decline the nomination, but the committee insists it is too late to back out and that he will love being Vice President. Wintergreen follows shortly, ready to celebrate his nomination. The committee, however, is worried that some people may not be satisfied with the campaign, especially since they sold Rhode Island. They decide that they need to find a different course of action.

Just at that moment, a chambermaid enters, and Fulton decides to get her opinion as an American citizen. He asks her what she wants more than anything else. Her first answer is money, but the committee believes trying to talk about money will bring up the sore subject of Rhode Island. They ask her again, and she decides the next best thing would be love. They seize on that notion, deciding that Wintergreen must find a typical American girl and fall in love with her. With the idea in motion, they set off to have a national beauty contest to select Miss White House, the lucky girl whom Wintergreen will marry.

We now move to Atlantic City, where the 24 contestants of the beauty contest wait to find out who will be the President's bride ("Who Is the Lucky Girl to Be"). As the girls wait, members of the National Campaign Committee convince Throttlebottom to live life as a hermit and that, as Vice President, all he needs to do is hide and write speeches; he takes the role with pleasure and leaves immediately.

Wintergreen comes to meet the contestants before they are taken to judging, but finds that he is overwhelmed with the pressure of having to fall in love with one of the ladies. They leave for judging, and he confesses to Fulton's assistant, Mary Turner, about his nerves. He explains that he doesn't even know these girls or if they have any talents that will help him raise a family. Turner tries to console him, saying that many girls have good home abilities such as cooking and sewing. She uses herself as an example, arguing that she has a job and can also bake amazing corn muffins. He quickly realizes that Mary is the girl for him, and professes his love for her, asking if she will love him, too.

The Committee returns with the winner of the contest. They have chosen Diana Devereaux, a beautiful, somewhat forward Southern girl. Wintergreen protests, telling them all that he chooses Mary Turner to be his bride because she makes corn muffins and he loves her ("Finaletto: Act I"). Outside of Madison Square Garden, banners hang and a band is playing in favor of Wintergreen. The love campaign is clearly working. Secretaries Jenkins and Benson are musing over the success of the campaign ("Love Is Sweeping the Country").

We find the Committee in the middle of a presentation inside Madison Square Garden. Senator Jones must speak loudly to be heard over a wrestling match that is happening in front of him. He eventually gets interrupted by Throttlebottom, who has forced his way through policemen to get his chance to speak. He appears to have written an incredibly long speech, but keeps getting interrupted with loudspeaker announcements as he tries to begin. Finally, he is overshadowed by the entrance of WIntergreen and Mary Turner. Wintergreen proposes to her, just as he has done in 47 other states. However, she agrees to marry him only if he is elected president, leaving their fate to the American people ("Of Thee I Sing").

Time moves forward to Election Day; it is subsequently revealed that Wintergreen has emerged the winner. Time progresses again; the steps of the Capitol are lined with military members and Supreme Court Justices. The day has come for Wintergreen's inaugural address and his wedding to Mary Turner. Suddenly, a vengeful Diana Devereaux appears, claiming she has been jilted since she was the original pick to be the future First Lady. The Supreme Court takes to a vote and issues a decision in favor of Mary Turner and her corn muffins. Diana is chased off, and all celebrate the happy wedding day ("Finale: Act I").

Act Two

In the Oval Office, it is evident that Mary is sharing the space: the desk is divided in half, one side for a man and one side for a woman. A group of male and female secretaries, led by Jenkins and Miss Benson, remark on how wonderful it is to work in the White House ("Opening: Act II").

As Jenkins and Benson continue on with their work, we see a tour group move through, led by a guide. Jenkins and Benson review yet another notice of the ongoing furor over Diana Devereaux's rebuff. Another tour enters, this one including Throttlebottom, who impresses the guide with his knowledge about the Vice President. The guide then informs him of the Vice President's duty to preside over the Senate, and he rushes off to fulfill this duty. Mary and the President enter the office to begin their day; his duties include various Presidential issues, while she tends to getting enough food to entertain their many guests that evening. Mary insists that, in order to sustain the many dinners and evenings full of political figures, she needs a bigger allowance. Just as an argument over money is beginning, an announcement regarding the promotion of Campaign Committee's various members is made. They all discuss matters in the country until Fulton feels he must inform the President of the uproar that Devereaux has caused. Many large parts of the country are beginning to demand Devereaux for his wife. The situation seems desperate until Wintergreen pulls everyone's spirits up, believing they will be able to overcome Devereaux with a good show.

Later, Wintergreen invites reporters in for a press conference, who explicitly ask about Devereaux. The President and Mary skillfully avoid their questions, answering with vague proclamations of the strength of their own love ("Who Cares"). As the reporters leave, the Wintergreens plan the rest of their crusade. They decide that he will sing on the radio and she will bake corn muffins for the unemployed, which will surely win back the country.

Just as all is seeming to be remedied, the French Ambassador enters with six soldiers. He reveals that after some research, Diana Devereaux has been found to be distantly related to Napoleon ("The Illegitimate Daughter"). It is now a matter of French importance that Diana receive the prize she won: a marriage to the President. The Committee urges that Wintergreen either leave Mary or resign from the Presidency. He refuses both propositions, stating that he loves Mary and that he will continue to fight for his Presidency.

Some time later, we find the campaign committee in a corridor of the Capitol, secretly discussing the impeachment of Wintergreen. They now realize that they must remember the Vice President's name because he will become President once Wintergreen is out. Luckily, Throttlebottom has been watching them and reminds them who he is. They inform him of his chance to become President, and he is quite excited by the news. Just as the Committee is leaving, Wintergreen enters and runs into Throttlebottom. Wintergreen pieces together that Throttlebottom is his successor and tries to help him out by describing the job of President, all of which he is going to put in his new book.

We move to the Senate Chamber, where Throttlebottom is dutifully presiding ("Senator from Minnesota"). Throttlebottom wants the Senators to consider Wintergreen's impeachment, but they insist that they must discuss some important matters first, such as a tribute to Paul Revere's horse. They finally get to the matter of the President's impeachment. The Senate brings back Diana Devereaux to tell her sad story. It does not seem good for the President as Senators begin to vote him guilty but, just in time, Mary Wintergreen enters, revealing that she is pregnant. The Senate decides that they cannot impeach a young father, and all celebrate the news ("The Senate").

Back in the White House, Jenkins and Miss Benson are discussing the news and arguing over the arrival date of the new baby. Wintergreen enters, confirming the date to prove that he and Mary conceived after they were married. Fulton then arrives to tell Wintergreen that the American people are behind him once again, but is interrupted by the French Ambassador. The Ambassador reveals that France wants the baby, using the argument that, had Wintergreen married Devereaux, the baby would have been French. From France's perspective, America now owes them a baby. When Wintergreen refuses, the Ambassador threatens him, but Wintergreen remains defiant.

Finally, it is the day of the baby's birth and representatives from around the world have arrived to present gifts for the child ("Oh, Trumpeter, Blow Your Golden Horn"). Wintergreen is waiting anxiously as the Chief Justices debate the sex of the baby. The French Ambassador continues his demand that the baby be given to France, but Wintergreen still refuses. The Ambassador severs diplomatic relations and insists this will lead to war.

It is soon revealed that Mary has actually given birth to twins – a boy and a girl. This angers the French Ambassador even more, and he demands a solution. Wintergreen suggest that Diana Devereaux marry the Vice President and have her own babies for France, to which everyone agrees happily. To the excitement and celebration of all, Mary brings the babies out to Wintergreen. The President has made everything right again ("Finale Ultimo").