HBO’s Game Change is based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Daunted by the excitement generated by Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, John McCain’s advisers were looking for a game changer. They needed a way to appeal to women voters without actually recognizing or supporting women’s issues.
The movie focuses on Sarah Palin’s brief career as Republican Vice Presidential candidate. Palin had another brief career as Alaskan governor and yet another as Wasilla mayor before that. The talent pool in this particular corner of the Pacific Northwest must have been pretty shallow. It turns out the reason the careers were so brief is that Sarah was a triumph of style over substance. Sarah could deliver a carefully prepared speech, but would stumble when reporters started asking questions.
As the reporters did their jobs, it became clear that campaign advisers and supporters had not done theirs. Obviously Sarah did not realize the problems becoming a public figure. Her contradictions and hypocrisy became clearly visible. Despite her moralizing about other people’s families, her family was a mess. Her father’s statements would startle Mel Gibson and yet Sarah was strangely silent about him. Her unwed teen daughter became pregnant. Despite her promoting working for a living, she made it impossible for people who worked with her to ever work again, as seen in Troopergate. Despite the risks comparing herself to a female dog or a dangerous animal she decided to tempt fate.
Amazingly, despite casting the first stone, she managed to portray herself a victim. Astoundingly she managed to exploit the people around her to create this persona. At the end of the film the supporters close to her realized they were the one being taken for a ride. In the end she was defeated by a candidate who not only looked different, but also was different. The game change ultimately had to be about his change, not her games.
Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.