Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Game Change or: Point and Laugh at Sarah Palin!
Game Change the movie is quite a bit different than Game Change the book: the written work focused on a vast cast of political characters involved in the 2008 election period, including Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden and Rudy Giuliani. The movie basically focuses on Sarah Palin and the head of McCain's advisors, Steve Schmidt, and to a lesser extent McCain himself. It might as well have been called, Game Change: Sarah's Story. And for a movie that's only two hours long, that's alright. (Also, Palin is clearly the most captivating of the select group of political warriors, either due to her conviction or stupidity [I'm voting the latter].)
McCain's campaign--near the beginning of its run--needed a spark. Obama was a young, exciting world figure already at that time, and McCain was old and boring. So, after not much thought or investigation, the team decided to pick Sarah Palin. This move, like much of the film, is told through the eyes of Steve Schmidt, portrayed by Woody Harrelson. Schmidt was pretty instrumental in the selection of the Alaska governor, and it's great entertainment to watch Harrelson's slow realization of how deep he's dug McCain's campaign into a hole. The selection seemed great at first: Sarah was confident and very charismatic. But the selection process was very quick and not very thorough due to the time constraints. Schmidt didn't even ask her any foreign policy questions, to test her knowledge. Pretty soon everyone witnessed how deep the depths of her stupidity really went: she bossed the staff around like a diva, she backed out on agreements she made from the very beginning, and her knowledge of important information for a potential world leader to know--like geography, the Iraq war, and United States history--was atrocious. This woman was a heartbeat or bout of cancer (McCain already had cancer twice) away from being the Commander in Chief of the United States of America.
If the only difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick, then the only difference between Sarah Palin and a great actress is a Presidential campaign. She fools everyone constantly, pretending to know answers to questions when she doesn't. She captivates the eyes of thousands upon thousands of Americans. She even memorizes her lines for a debate instead of actually knowing the answers. Watching these behind-the-scenes moments add just enough, so it seems like something more than just re-watching the 2008 presidential race. We see snippets of many of the same interviews and rallies that we have seen before, but in Game Change, they still seem fresh. One thing is sure: Sarah Palin would have been a dangerous President.
P.S. Here's hoping Romney makes the same mistake, if not for the sake of the country, then for the sake of comedy.