DISCLAIMER: If you know me at all, you’ll know my beliefs are pretty liberal. During George W. Bush’s first election I was in the third grade and constantly gave my fellow third graders lectures about why Bush should not be elected. This movie must have been pretty powerful for me to talk in favor of the GOP.
I saw one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time this spring break. Game Change. It’s the story of the inner workings of the 2008 election. The book Game Change describes the presidential candidates, their running mates and the families in the center of the public eye. It hashes out the candidates’ true personalities. In contrast, the movie version focused solely on Sarah Palin. The film showed the behind the scenes struggle that the Republican campaign handlers experienced. The handlers had no idea what they had gotten themselves into. Palin couldn’t even name the head of the UK. I remember Palin’s terrible interview with Katie Couric and her “O’Biden” slip up at the vice presidential debate, but what was so enthralling about the movie was the way her handlers tried to avoid these moments and teach her foreign policy and their struggle to get her to practice her public speaking skills. The movie did not make Palin out to a monster which is why I am surprised that she had such harsh things to say about Game Change. When she was criticized for spending an exorbitant amount of money on clothing for the campaign, she is almost in tears demanding that the material items be taken away. She yells that she gets her clothes from thrift stores and she is not about to use the campaign money for something silly like clothing. It showed her at her weakest points. At one point, Palin shut down. She would not speak to anyone and was curled in her bed looking thinner than ever.
The movie made me gain respect for John McCain. Game Change allowed the audience to see that he was kept from the Palin situation. The handlers were panicking and after McCain had worked so long and hard for this presidential campaign, Palin ruined any chance he had at the presidency. McCain was oblivious because he was separated from her. He had no idea how bad the situation had gotten with Palin. In one of the last scenes, he is firm with her about the fact that she cannot give a vice presidential concession speech. The film made me realize that McCain was not just an old, White, member of the GOP. He was fair, disgusted when Palin started the mudslinging of starting to call President Obama a terrorist and was an advocate for stem cell research.
Palin loved the spotlight, which is exactly why she had such a hard time when she wasn’t allowed to give a concession speech. Much like George W. Bush, she just immediately had such a bad image in the media. Like we all know, once it is commonplace to dispel someone as unintelligent or oblivious, it is hard to reverse. Also, as a side note, I loved that even though Palin came out with a statement bashing Game Change, the real life versions of her handlers said that the movie was spot on and perfectly depicted what happened surrounding the 2008 election.
And since there is so much negativity surrounding Limbaugh in the news recently, I thought I’d leave you with this quote from the film.
“Don’t get involved with Limbaugh and those extremists, Sarah. They’ll destroy the party.”- John McCain