As Lt. Colonel Oliver North rose from covert obscurity helping to run guns to the Nicaraguan Contras to public notoriety as the defiant face of the Iran-Contra scandal, North earned the respect of many conservatives, who urged him to run for public office. After charges against him arising from the Iran-Contra affair were dismissed in 1991, North ran for Senate in Virginia in 1994 as a Republican.
A Perfect Candidate offers a detailed look at the down-and-dirty inside workings of a hard fought political campaign, as North finds himself running against Democrat Chuck Robb and his own party, as former Republican and newly minted Independent, Marshall Coleman receives the endorsement of Virginia's favorite son, Republican John Warner. Nominated for an Emmy Award in 1997, The Washington Post called the film "one of a small handful of essential films about politics in this country." The film was directed by R.J. Cutler and David Van Taylor.