With bated breath I anticipated the premiere of HBO's Game Change. The film is based on the same named book by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. The narrative chronicles 2008's presidential campaign from the perspective of the ill fated McCain/Palin campaign. Game Change provided numerous surprises considering I know how this story ends.
Most shocking was the moment I found myself completely awash in sympathy for Sarah Palin. I certainly have a new found respect for both campaign manager Steve Schmidt and Senator John McCain, whom I believe will be noted in the annals as one of the last great moderates of the Senate. Game Change revealed through Palin's overnight popularity the days of doing and saying what is right in politics are done. The dark side of populism is indeed upon us. Below is my live blog of the film.
Game Change: What have we learned?
"It's the right thing to do, but the wrong way to win it."
"If you're trailing more than 5 points with women you're going to lose."
3/10/12 9:13 p.m. Did they really give this many women consideration in the John McCain VP consideration?
3/10/12 9:14 Sarah Palin, Game Changer -- a woman with a gun.
3/10/12 9:17 Inside the mind and/or motive of Sarah Palin?
3/10/12 9:19 When does she go ROGUE??
3/10/12 9:22 Palin seems so docile and impersonal thus far.
3/10/12 9:24 Yes, was she really that unfazed? I wish I could hear/know Sarah Palin's inner monologue.
3/10/12 9:25 Roadside motel to meet Nicole Wallace?
3/10/12 9:30 I want to believe in an America where Sarah Palin doesn't refer to shoes as Johnny Choos.
3/10/12 9:46 Sarah Palin speaks to a white America increasingly feeling marginalized.
3/10/12 9:48 So Nicole Wallace was the one who first saw the house of cards was going to come undone? I met Katie Couric after Palin interview and everyone asked her about it. Has become defining moment in her career and Palin's.
3/10/12 9:51 Damn, I'm not even a mom and I feel her on wanting to protect her kids.
3/10/12 9:55 Not to to defend Sarah Palin, but do any of us know the difference between the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? I mean the average person, not political junkies.
3/10/12 10:03 Now I feel like I need to read the book after this Palin, I'm fat scene.
3/10/12 10:07 Now I am reminiscent of how awesome the 2008 campaign was.
3/10/12 10:08 She's going rogue!
3/10/12 10:08 Did she really throw the phone? Sarah Palin wasn't ready for the spotlight. Still may not be.
3/10/12 10:14 Game Change is giving Sarah Palin the business. I almost feel bad for her. This is a Cinderella story gone horribly wrong. Still too caught up in the story to look at the patriarchal undertones.
3/10/12 10:16 John McCain's staff really had a disdain for Sarah Palin.
3/10/12 10:17 Why is Ronald Regan this great Republican hero again?
3/10/12 10:39 Steve Schmidt created a monster.
3/10/12 10:40 There is that word. Control.
3/10/12 10:45 John McCain will be remembered as one of the last great Republican moderates
Once Game Change concluded, I had to reexamine the various sexist implications. A consideration never fully explored when Sarah Palin is the subject matter. In Game Change Palin realized, she wasn't much more than a tool of the campaign and refused to be used anymore. Any rational person would take similar action. Separation from one's family during times of stress can be linked to anxiety, so I found questioning her mental stability completely insulting and patriarchal. Game Change showed scene after scene of men, and occasionally Nicole Wallace, mulling over how they would control Sarah Palin. In the end, the McCain Campaign couldn't control what they didn't understand. A bit of parallelism between today's GOP and American women, no?
In the end, Palin was a big fish flourishing in the smallness of Alaska. She was not from the Grand Old Republican establishment. She rebuffed the strategy and experience of McCain's campaign to do it her way. Is she due credit for becoming bigger than the campaign she was brought on to enhance? Maybe. However, I contend no idea enthralls voters more than a departure from the business-as-usual ways of Washington. Sarah Palin's popularity encapsulated this feeling for many setting the course for unprecedented levels of partisanship in American politics. Her long term political impact is still unknown, but she has indelibly changed the game.