Skip Gilchrist leads a ragged band of his college brothers to the front lawn of a fraternity; they're there to exact a little revenge for the frat boys' endless mistreatment of them. Skip explains the first step of the plan: shoot fireworks over the frat house to intimidate the occupants. Skip lights the fuses only to discover he's misaimed the rockets- they crash through the window, setting the building immediately on fire. As Skip screams at his friends to regroup and gather water to put out the flames, the frat boys stream out, fists flying. From nowhere, a team of Secret Service agents swoops in and tosses Skip into a black SUV. Apparently it's time for the president's son to come home from college.
White House spokesman Marshal Malloy's got a busy day. First he briefs the press about the unfortunate incident involving the President's son. Next he accompanies Emily Gilchrist, the President's wife, to an elementary school photo opportunity where the First Lady fields a child's inquiry about her being a "trophy wife." (She's the President's second wife.) Marshall steps in before the First Lady can say what she's really feels about the question.
Meanwhile, Becca, the President's oldest child, sits in a White House bathroom, frantically checking the results of an at-home pregnancy test. After repeated samples, the results remain the same: she's pregnant.
Skip is in the Oval Office waiting for the upcoming difficult discussion with his father. Sitting at the President's desk, Skip role-plays the conversation, imagining that his father will forgive him - and even nominate him to be the nation's chief astronaut. Skip's sister Becca arrives, asking her brother's advice on how break bad news to their father. Before she can spill the beans to Skip about being pregnant, the President and First Lady arrive. Skip gives his dad a big hug. The President asks his son to sit down and tells him he thinks it's time for him to come home from college permanently. The President's two younger children, Marigold and Xander, show up; they’ve been sent home from school for fighting with one another. Marshall breaks in to let President Gilchrist know that the day's main event is about to start - a delegation of Latin leaders convening over a trade agreement. As usual, family matters will have to wait.
To help repair Skip's image, Marshall and the First Lady have arranged for Skip to record a public service announcement about fire safety. Struggling with his delivery, a sweaty Skip finally takes his jacket off and drapes it over a lamp. Just as he successfully reads his lines, the jacket bursts into flames. As the President is addressing the Latin delegation outside, a flaming chair comes crashing through the upstairs window toward them, setting off a security panic.
After order's been restored, Skip takes a walk with his father. The President gives him another fatherly speech, explaining to Skip that he needs him to stand up and be a man, to be a lion and not a gazelle, to use his spark for something other than just starting fires. Skip is inspired. The President heads off for a friendly tennis match with the visiting head of state, Desoto, a Brazilian leader with whom he's had some unfortunate personal run-ins with in the past. The plan is to let Desoto win the match, so that he'll rally the other Latin leaders and agree to the President's trade pact.
Before a cadre of photographers and reporters, the President and Desoto start their tennis match. The President intentionally misses easy shots, giving Desoto real satisfaction. But Skip, watching from the stands, isn’t aware of the subterfuge. Thinking back to his father's inspirational words, Skip stands up and begins a series of chants of support for his father and the USA. Though he knows he's supposed to throw the match, the President's pride is pricked up and soon enough he's giving Desoto a real fight. The friendly game comes to an ugly end when the President hits an overhead smash into Desoto's chest, dropping him to the ground.
Dejected that he's screwed up again, Skip retreats to the White House kitchen for a snack. He runs into Emily, who's there doing a little stress eating of her own. She's having trouble establishing a rapport with Becca, Marigold and Xander. Skip offers his stepmom some support - and she responds in kind, telling Skip he should never be ashamed for putting himself out in the world.
Wandering the White House halls, Skip happens across a group of Latin leaders. He pokes his head in to apologize for jeopardizing the trade agreement. But the leaders love him - he was the one who threw a flaming chair at Desoto, a leader they all despise. They invite Skip to drink with them. Emboldened, Skip gives an inspirational speech, telling the leaders to stand up to Desoto and his bullying. The President and Desoto arrive in the delegation room for the vote on the trade agreement. It's no contest- Skip has united them, much to the President's surprise and Desoto's horror. The trade agreement passes easily.
Emily and Becca give an interview about supporting math education in schools. But soon the stepmom and daughter are bickering publicly. The interview comes to a premature end and the two women retreat to discuss their issues in private. As they battle about their relationship, Becca blurts out that she's pregnant. Emily is fazed but quickly comes to her stepdaughter's aid. They start thinking about how they'll tell the rest of the family.
That night, the President and his family try to recreate a little of their old life, heading out to a local pizza parlor. We see them at the end of the evening - Skip watching himself being lampooned by Jay Leno on TV and the President and First lady sneaking ice cream in the White House kitchen. Even though they're all in the White House now, the President knows the important thing is not where they live but how they live as a family.