In the opening scene of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, reporters frantically go around telling and calling people that a Senator has passed away. With the death of the Senator, Taylor -who runs the state, needs to have Hopper elect a new senator. Not just any fill in senator, but a senator who an amateur and that will not go against Taylor. That is how Mr. Smith, leader of the state’s Boy Rangers group, is appointed senator.
When Smith arrives in Washington, he does not get off on the right foot and makes a fool of himself in front of the press. After his embarrassment, Smith tries to resign from Senator. That did not work out because Paine, the senior Senator, told him not to resign. Instead Paine told Smith he should work on a bill that had to do with the Boy Rangers group. With the help of his secretary, Smith came up with a bill that will be about a boy’s camp to propose to the Senate.
When Smith proposes the bill and says he would like to have the camp on the Willets Creek site, Paine and Taylor get furious. Smith did not know before he proposed his bill that Paine and Taylor had proposed a bill to finance an unneeded dam at Willet Creek. As soon as Smith finds out this information, he immediately tries to inform the Senate that they are trying to get money for themselves from the dam. Taylor and Paine quickly shoot him down. They turned they tables on Smith and said he was stealing money from boys of America.
There was no way that Smith, an inexperienced senator, could go against two well-known people in the government. Smith was ready to give up and leave Washington. But then his secretary gave him a push to stay and fight for the truth. She helps Smith prepare for the next time Senate meets. When Smith returns to the Senate, heads were turned. Paine did not know what to do except to keep on yielding Smith and asking him questions. Smith did not give up and began an intense filibuster.