Game Change: Losers Are...Well, Losers

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There's a new book about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, that's causing a big stir because it has found out that every candidate is an incredibly dysfunctional person with a really rotten marriage. That is, except for Barack Obama, who is mostly very competent and who has a basically excellent marriage.

This might be one of the main reasons he won, because he's the only person in the race who wasn't a mess. Or, it could be that because he won, there is nobody to say he is a mess.

Game Change is a book that overflows with the voices of people who feel they were ill-served and mistreated. It's a book about staff revenge.

One of the evident themes in the book, although one not explored by its authors (they may not even be aware of it), is that presidential campaigns have become so long, so arduous, so expensive, so fraught, so abusive to all who participate in them, that nobody--save perhaps the winner--emerges with his sanity intact. In other words, the people who accompany the candidate end up just as nutty, or even more nutty, than the candidate. If you lie down with flies you wake up with them--and then you give your venomous spiel of grief and recrimination to the authors of this book.

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