Game Change Post Mortem

I actually really enjoyed it. If anything, I thought it was sympathetic to Sarah, not mean and a vicious attack like she claimed several days ago. It’s not an unfair critique to point out she is an idiot, and it is not unfair to point out she bombed her interviews. That is just reality. But at the same time, because I have a soul, I still felt a twinge of regret when I watched the scenes of her watching herself be mocked on SNL. That kind of reality check has to be brutal to the pysche, and most stupid people make it through life without a national network comedy highlighting, in no uncertain terms, how dumb they are.

And Julianne Moore was amazing. The only other time I remember an actor playing someone so well was Jamie Foxx, when he just killed his role as Ray Charles.






124 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    thought it was sympathetic to Sarah, not mean and a vicious attack like she claimed several days ago.

    Really, John. This is a woman who actually believes that “what newspapers and magazines do you read?” is a “gotcha!” question.

  2. 2
    Shari says:

    I felt sympathetic towards Nicolle Wallace. Something I never thought I’d feel.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    only other time I remember an actor playing someone so well was Jamie Foxx, when he just killed his role as Jamie Foxx.

    No one plays Jamie Foxx, like Jamie Foxx.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    But at the same time, because I have a soul, I still felt a twinge of regret when I watched the scenes of her watching herself be mocked on SNL.

    I guess I’m soulless, ’cause all I have to do is think of “pallin’ around with terrerrisstsss” or “kinda like bein’ a community organizer” or the less memorable toxic sludge she as spewing just the other night, and I revel in her misery. She’s a social, cultural and political cancer.

    McCain looks whiny and clueless, sniveling about being picked on.

  5. 5
    Jean says:

    I agree. It was sympathetic to Palin in the right places. I was surprised by Nicole’s announcement to Steve that she could/would not vote.

    What is still amazing to me is that she could know the level of her own ignorance and believe she could be VP. There is no indication that she is unaware of her ignorance.

  6. 6
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    I think I only enjoyed it because I know how the story ends. They lost. If they had won, I’d be too damn pissed to watch that shit. Kinda like those NFL America’s Game documentaries featuring the Steelers.

    Moore was great. As always. Ed was good. I thought it was hilarious watching McCain curse his ass off. I do think his portrayal was a lil too sympathetic. He was a little shit in those debates. Particularly towards the end.

    Mainly tho I enjoyed watching the staff recoil in horror at not only how dumb she was but how unapologetic she was about it. Like this dumb lady won’t even prepare! Wow. At least practice our bullshit!

    Fun times.

  7. 7
    baldheadeddork says:

    Pretty good. Thought Too Big To Fail was a lot better, though both are big tongue baths for people who deserve a lot less praise.

    And I’ll put Ed Harris’s performance as Ed Harris in this against anytime Jamie Foxx has played Jamie Foxx.

  8. 8

    Julianne Moore was great; I thought she really did a good job of getting into the character. There was dimension to the role, which I credit the screenwriters with as well. (Full disclosure; I’m a playwright. I’m supposed to notice shit like that.)

    But I thought Woody Harrelson was amazing as Steve Schmidt, and it proves my point that he’s been underrated as an actor by a lot of people.

  9. 9
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I don’t really think it’s a bad thing that they’d be sympathetic. It’s a movie, it’s supposed to be nuanced, not just self-affirmation for a particular group. I saw a review that compared this to the Undefeated, which is nothing but self-affirmation for a single group (conservatives, in that case) and is a wretched pile of suck. Game Change is better by virtue of being less shouty, even if you think Palin and McCain don’t deserve the sympathetic portrayals they got.

    I mean, I already know I hate Sarah Palin, I don’t need Julianne Moore to remind me. If I want to be reminded of that I’d just read the news.

  10. 10
    lamh35 says:

    Sympathy wouldn’t been had if their was no attempt to prep her for the interviews and such. Nicole Wallace attempted to do so and if the movie is to be believed Palin DID NOT even try to prep.

    Sympathy was lost when she accepted the invite to be on the ticket. People who don’t know their limitations are bound to fail and guess what Palin obviously thought more of her ability than anyone else seem to.

    Sympathy would have been had except I begin to think what would have happened if Obama had lost. Sarah Palin with nuclear codes…think about that.

    Personally as a woman myself, I was insulted by how easy it was for Sarah Palin to get away with so much ignorance cause she was “easy on the eyes”. Let’s be kind a clear why they picked her. Wasn’t Kay Bailey Hutchinson a possible contenders since it was becoming obvious that they were gonna pick a woman. They may have actually won with Kay Bailey

    Nope no sympathy!

    Oh and fuck Steve Schmidt and McCain

  11. 11
    RosiesDad says:

    I haven’t seen it yet and still wonder why John Heilemann, who is a reasonably decent journalist, would have written a book with Mark Halperin, who is not.

    That said, Sarah Palin is the incarnation of hubris and a grifter to boot. Had she not taken advantage of her unfortunate nomination to cash in at every turn, maybe I could feel some sympathy for her and her miserable family. But she did and I can’t.

    Julianne Moore appeared to have Palin nailed in all the clips they’ve been showing the past few weeks but I doubt she could have done a better job at representing the absurdity of Palin than Tina Fey did on SNL.

  12. 12
    handy says:

    It’s not an unfair critique to point out she is an idiot, and it is not unfair to point out she bombed her interviews.

    Huh. This struck me as incredibly humorous.

  13. 13

    Didn’t see the movie, but I have to say I cannot muster up any sympathy for Palin. If she is miserable and in emotional pain, well good. She promotes bigotry and hatred. I hope she feels shattering emotional pain every hour of every day until she changes her ways.

  14. 14
    Mr. Tactful says:

    I caught the last third of it and found it brutal in its honesty.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    @David Koch: LMAO. Sometimes I slay myself.

  16. 16
    Jean says:

    Ok, I’m already over it. She’s so sensitive to attacks against her, often attacks she rightly deserves, but yet, she claims Obama is “pallin around with terrorists” and the like, playing on audience fears, racism, and hatred. She really seems like a borderline personality, the narcissistic behavior runs through the movie as she attacks the team, plays the victim, repeat, repeat.

  17. 17
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I’m actually kind of surprised at the talent level they got for just a TV movie. Moore, Harris, and Harrelson have what, 12 oscar nods between them?

    Also, Harris is only 61?! They should have got Ed Asner to play McCain.

  18. 18
    BO_Bill says:

    Sarah is actually quite a credit to her gender, and I think it is mean to call her stupid. Sarah is most definitely smarter than Nancy Pelosi, or Sheila Jackson Lee. Sarah, looking at just one example, I am quite sure knows that NASA’s Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon, and not on Mars. And good on Sarah for being her own woman with Todd the snow-machiner, faithfully by her side, and not having a husband who runs a government-contracting industrial behemoth, like Barbara Boxer does. Barbara Boxer is not a slut, as she makes a handsome profit off of her acts.

    Anyway, at my new place I have CSPAN.

  19. 19
    handy says:

    @BO_Bill:

    Sarah is actually quite a credit to her gender

    I’m sure you’ll find this kind of opening will get you incredible mileage around here.

  20. 20
    Richard Fox says:

    I will never have respect for John McCain as a leader, based on his decision to put that woman on the ticket. He knew better, and he still lies about it publicly, no regrets, it was good for the country, etc. etc. History will not be kind.

  21. 21

    I thought it was a tour de force for Harrelson and Moore. You could feel the burning hatred he had (still has?) for her and hers for him.

    Palin said she’s “ambivalent” about this movie but her flying monkeys have been out like big dogs over the past week or so trying to do damage control. (Shades of “I do not think that word means what you think it means”)

    Well done and very interesting.

  22. 22
    pragmatism says:

    You kn

  23. 23
    Helen says:

    @Polar Bear Squares:

    I think I only enjoyed it because I know how the story ends. They lost. If they had won, I’d be too damn pissed to watch that shit.

    I agree. For that reason I still haven’t been able to watch “Recount” I just can’t put myself through it.

  24. 24
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    OT, I’d like to point out that Mittens won one lousy county in west Kansas in that state’s caucus today, har har. Couldn’t even get the KC suburbs. What good is he if he can’t even do that?

  25. 25
    Yevgraf says:

    Am drunk and watching “The Producers” musical. Nothing more need be said….

  26. 26
    dead existentialist says:

    @BO_Bill: BOB has been institutionalized, apparently. Good for you, BOB!

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    @RosiesDad:

    I haven’t seen it yet and still wonder why John Heilemann, who is a reasonably decent journalist, would have written a book with Mark Halperin, who is not.

    Mark Halperin is a Republican insider who has close connections with a lot of Republicans, so people were willing to talk to Halperin who might not have been willing to be so frank with Heilemann.

  28. 28
    Jewish Steel says:

    and most stupid people make it through life without a national network comedy highlighting, in no uncertain terms, how dumb they are.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    An’ ev’n devotion!

    Scottish Steel

  29. 29
    handy says:

    @dead existentialist:

    Alas he didn’t get to share his “cream pie” with an unmarried woman (his words). I’d probably put the champagne and streamers away.

  30. 30
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    They should have got Ed Asner to play McCain.

    Unfortunately, Ed Asner has extremely bad arthritis, which is why he’s mostly doing voiceovers and cameos these days. I doubt he’s physically up to a lead role right now.

  31. 31
    boss bitch says:

    Call me soulless then. The witch deserves to be mocked mercilessly and endlessly.

  32. 32
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    Let’s say McCain – Palin had won. Where are we now? John McCain is still alive obviously. Is he running for re-election? Let’s have some comments on what is happening, what has happened and what will happen. I’ll start us off:

    1. No pending drawdown in Afghanistan.

    2. No stimulus, but on the other hand, the GOP does not make the gains in 2010 and I will say that both houses of Congress are still D right now going into 2012

  33. 33
    kabiddle says:

    Way back when, I was pissed at McCain for using Palin as he did (I used to like him wayer back when). It was obvious she was in over her head in 2008 and the, what? — naked public groping — was distasteful and stupid and says more about McCain and his advisors than Palin herself ever could. Unfortunately, most seem to have forgotten about that and focus on her ambition rather than the simple expediency of the idiot(s) who brought her forth. She’s a disaster, yes, but come on — McCain is getting off scott-free in this. Look at him.

    How do I say this gently? — slut. Look at the shiny object.

  34. 34
    eemom says:

    But at the same time, because I have a soul, I still felt a twinge of regret when I watched the scenes of her watching herself be mocked on SNL.

    Quite right, John Cole. I don’t have a cell in my body that doesn’t loathe Palin, and even I felt sorry for her in those scenes.

    I also thought it was a good film, with excellent performances by Moore and Harrelson. Except for the portrayal of McCain — that was by far too kind.

  35. 35
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @BO_Bill:

    Sarah is actually quite a credit to her gender

    She really worked you over good.

  36. 36
    Hill Dweller says:

    And to think, they picked Caribou Barbie over Romney. There must be a lot of bodies buried in Willard’s tax returns.

  37. 37
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Helen: Oddly enough, Recount left me at peace with the 2000 election. Yes, I know that more people went to the polls in Florida to vote for Gore than Bush, but the real damage there (the vote suppression) was already done before the first vote was cast. If just the Palm Beach County ballot had been more understandable to the residents, the state would have been Gore’s, and there’s no evidence that it was anything but a fuckup. But the problem wasn’t the vote or the recount, it was the gaming of the system before either took place. That’s what I took away from Recount, and that’s where we can do the most good in our focus today.

  38. 38
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    1. No pending drawdown in Afghanistan.

    No drawdown in Iraq, 100,000 plus troops subject to Iran’s revenge for the more than likely bombing there.

  39. 39
    eemom says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    John McCain is still alive obviously.

    omg, but he totally might not have been if he’d won. The stress could easily have killed him.

  40. 40
    Hill Dweller says:

    @kabiddle: McCain has continued to embarrass himself since the election(his behavior during the DADT and START debates come to mind), but he gets a free pass from the beltway hacks.

  41. 41
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @handy: Reminds me of a guy in an old Lenny Bruce bit, who says “That Joe Louis. He’s a real credit to your race”.

  42. 42
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Whoa! I just name checked you a couple of threads down. Freaky!

  43. 43
    dead existentialist says:

    @handy: You have to understand his own peculiar code wherein “creme pie” is “medication” and “unmarried woman” equals “nurse.”

    He’s loving his new digs.

  44. 44
    Gordon, The Big Express Engine says:

    @eemom: Maybe, but let’s say he is still alive, but re-election is a pipe dream given his age. Is Palin running for President? With the power of incumbency behind her, what does the GOP race look like now?

  45. 45
    El Tiburon says:

    Thought it was very entertaining. It is truly frightening to see how the process works behind the scenes. McCain was the hero to some extent al things considered.

  46. 46
    Anya says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    Let’s say McCain – Palin had won. Where are we now? John McCain is still alive obviously. Is he running for re-election? Let’s have some comments on what is happening, what has happened and what will happen.

    Who said he would be alive now? He would’ve died of the stress of dealing with his VP on top of the presidency.

  47. 47
    Jennifer says:

    I share the sympathy to this extent: I always knew Sarah Palin was stupid, but now I think she’s mentally ill as well. I mean, beyond just the obvious narcissistic sociopathy – the scenes where she goes catatonic are surreal.

    Then I remember what a hateful bitch she is, and the sympathy evaporates.

    Edit to add: this movie makes clear that when McCain/Palin lost, we didn’t just dodge a bullet – we dodged a fucking asteroid.

  48. 48
    Joe says:

    She’s an idiot and venal. No quarter. This was a MOVIE. Not even a documentary. Her elevation to one heartbeat away from the presidency should go down in history as one of the most horrifying things ever perpetrated on the American public. This is the problem with Democrats. They get all soft headed by the slightest manipulation. Oh, maybe she does have a decent bone in her body. Boo fucking hoo. I couldn’t care less. That doesn’t detract from the fact that this was such an overreach and underestimation of the intelligence of the American people. Thank fucking whomever that it didn’t work.

  49. 49
    David Koch says:

    If Hoover McCain had won, there would have been no stimulus and no rescue of the auto industry. We’d be in the midst of 25% unemployment, bread lines, crime waves, and people jumping out of buildings.

    Also, too, as a nice distraction, we’d have 40,000 casualties in Iran.

  50. 50
    Keith says:

    I’m actually a bit surprised Julianne Moore didn’t manage to sneak some nudity in at some point. Or maybe she did and I missed it.

  51. 51
    Cowbelle says:

    @BO_Bill:

    Anyway, at my new place I have CSPAN.

    I’m glad they have quality programming for the patients at your facility.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    If McCain had won the election, he would have had an “accident” by now, and Palin would have her twitchy finger on the fucking button.

  53. 53
    dead existentialist says:

    @Anya: Like Rockefeller, sort of.

  54. 54
    cmorenc says:

    If McCain had won the election, instead of new SCOTUS Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen, we would have had new SCOTUS Justices Knut Knuckledragger and Evan Gellical.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dead existentialist: How do oysters fit into this?

  56. 56
    Gex says:

    @kabiddle: Finally. Someone has the balls to call a woman a slut!

    ETA: Retracted, I guess, if you actually meant to be calling McCain a slut.

  57. 57
    dead existentialist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t know about oysters, but bearded clams do.*

    *National Lampoon circa 1971 (?)

  58. 58
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I mean, it was brutal to the psyche of George W. Bush, too, I’m sure, but I’m not exactly sure why I should feel more sympathetic to Sarah Palin

  59. 59
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    Woody Harrelson is one of the best actors of his generation.

    There. I said it, and I stand by it. The man deserves many more leading roles than he’s been getting.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dead existentialist: Clams Rockefeller? Hmmm…

  61. 61
    AA+ Bonds says:

    This whole stupid book and movie sound like a couple of McCain operatives selling ‘we was framed’ to future employers, not wanting to be blamed for 2008, which is fair enough since McCain 2008 was pretty much doomed state by state from the beginning no matter what they did and if they tell the poodle reporter that, then they’ll never get hired again

    I think the myth is that Palin ruined everything and this is a trapdoor for the sources

  62. 62
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I have really no desire to imbibe this Republican campaign worker propaganda in any form including Julianne Moore’s

  63. 63
    dead existentialist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s what his secretary said . . . .

    (He prolly cried “Ester! It’s the big one!” Or, “OMG, I’m coming!”)

  64. 64
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The tragedy of Sarah Palin is that she’s not in jail for horrific abuse of her powers as governor to settle personal vendettas

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AA+ Bonds: The fact that they were doomed anyway does not detract from the fact that the choice of Palin was horrific and that the staffers may have realized that as time went on.

  66. 66
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    3. No auto bailout, no more GM, Ford, Chrysler or any semblance of an American auto industry, all supply chain to the auto industry businesses wiped out, 500,000 to 1 million direct and indirect job losses throughout the country, and an absolutely devastated Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

    4. No further stimulus, and so no economic recovery. We’re year 4 into a grinding depression with no end in sight.

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    Oh, no doubt that (former) VP Palin would have shoved McCain down a staircase by now.

    And sympathy? Let’s try a thought experiment. Imagine that Palin had the same lack of curiosity, etc, but was not hateful. “Gosh, y’know, those liberals are wrong most of the time, but they’re Americans too, darn it! Give ’em a little time to see how effective our free-market solutions are, and they’ll come around!” Can’t imagine it, can you? Instead, she went into the convention spouting old Fascist tropes–I do not exaggerate here–about how our good,true Americans come from “our small towns,” and.nowhere else. She deserved to lose, and she needs to be shunned, for the sake of the Republic.

  68. 68
    AA+ Bonds says:

    When’s that movie coming out, the one that focuses on Sarah Palin stalking her enemies, starring Julianne Moore

    She’s not stupid, but she’s definitely somewhere in the DSM

    Look at her life history: it indicates someone who can’t sit still for more than a couple years at a time

  69. 69
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Why would I want to read them whining about it to a reporter I fucking hate

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @AA+ Bonds: Um, tonight, I think. Thread topic and all that, yes? No?

  71. 71
    AA+ Bonds says:

    No this movie focuses on the goddamned personal myths of the people involved and uses that shit as window dressing

  72. 72
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Everyone involved with this production can fuck off except Julianne Moore who’s rather earned a pass

  73. 73
    AA+ Bonds says:

    George W. Bush sobs on the floor in a fetal position. Played by Julianne Moore

  74. 74
    katie5 says:

    It’s the beginning of rehabilitation for Palin. Saw the screenwriter and director on Morning Joe. That was definitely the intent. Joe’s all ‘Think how hard it was for her.” The rehab plus the the bigotry of low expectations.

  75. 75
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Oh I forgot that was George W. Bush Takes A Swing At His Father

  76. 76
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Sympathize with this: in a just country she’d be in jail and Nixon would have died there too and we’ve learned nothing since then about this except how to make these people “sympathetic” to be “fair” to them

    Just pay attention to who is writing these myths because in the near future people will accept them as fact

  77. 77
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    from what i saw of the movie, and admittedly that is only pieces at this point, the central message seems to be, that palin is the archetype of everything conservatives have been about since 2008.

    the message being that conservatives examined what she did right, and tried to copy it, regardless of what everyone else thinks is hideously wrong with her.

  78. 78
    samara morgan says:

    my friends and i thought it was hilarious.
    there were times we hooted with laughter and threw popcorn at the screen.
    one of the most interesting things to me was how Schmidt never referred to his previous position on the Bush campaign that crushed McCain’s first run. In 2008 TNC actually said that Schmidt authored the robocall claiming McCains adopted daughter was his half black love child. That made the conference table scene where McCain says it would be “dishonorable” to attack Obama via Rev. Wright mad funnie.
    delicious layers of disinformation and spin.
    And i think this is the end of Palin.
    This is how history is going to see her, as a proud ignoramous drunk on her own popularity.
    i think its fair.

  79. 79
    mai naem says:

    I had forgotten the stories of how stupid Sarah Palin was. I remember thinking she was dduhhmb after the Palin interview but jeez she didn’t know that the Brits have a PM and she didn’t know what the Fed is and she didn’t know that Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11. WTF was she doing? Living in some freaking cave with no teevee and no newspapers?Seriously, just wow!

  80. 80
    samara morgan says:

    @mai naem: she also thought Africa was a country.
    Palin had pageant knowledge. If you have ever seen a heartland beauty pageant competition, you saw Sarah Palin.

    none of the conservative sites i read have a word about it.
    That must mean it has power, cuz they are pretending very hard it doesnt exist.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mai naem: Not to dispute Palin’s stupidity, but many people in this country do not know those things. People who congregate here are fairly well educated (formally, informally, or both). Most people in the world – I do not call out the US here – are not as well informed as the average B-J habitue. OTOH, to try to be a national leader with no knowledge, or interest in acquiring it, is something special.

  82. 82
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @David Koch: I’d be okay with the “people jumping out of buildings” part as long as they were all Wall Street banksters.

  83. 83
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    Yes, we must root out the sinister fascists like HBO and Woody Harrelson!

  84. 84
    EriktheRed says:

    @dead existentialist:

    What about BOB??

  85. 85
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    They went easy on the crazy lady who was afraid of Obama. The real crazy lady had messy hair and looked like an animal hoarder. I could smell the cat pee through my TV when she talked about how scared she was of Obama because he was a secret muslin. She wasn’t as crazy looking in the movie.

  86. 86
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I have zero desire to see this movie, despite my lust affinity for Julianne Moore. Put me in the soulless camp because I don’t feel a whit of sympathy for Palin. She’s a stupid, mean, venial, loathsome woman who was thisclose to being the second most powerful person in our country. She could have used all the humiliation she may have felt watching Fey portray her to do some introspection and become a better person. Instead, she doubled down on the cruelty and is now saying that President Obama wants to return us to the time of slavery.

    Fuck her with my rusty pitchfork™, and fuck Gramps McCain for foisting this nightmare upon us.

  87. 87
    JGabriel says:

    @katie5:

    It’s the beginning of rehabilitation for Palin. Saw the screenwriter and director on Morning Joe.

    Did we see the same movie? I thought the film made it clear that Palin is a mentally unbalanced sociopath.

    .

  88. 88
    Bruce S says:

    “most stupid people make it through life without a national network comedy highlighting, in no uncertain terms, how dumb they are”

    A pity that, because a noisome person of average stupidity might use that occasion to shut the fuck up. Of course most stupid people also make it through life without becoming insanely opportunistic megalomaniacs who have some millions of other stupid people supporting their conceit that they are competent to govern the United States of America.

  89. 89
    Sammy says:

    @BO_Bill: A woman who cannot name a single newspaper that she has read and probably has never read a book in her life and who cannot come close to speaking the King’s English is not smarter that anyone.

    Not even an ameoba.

  90. 90
    Sammy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “Most people in the world…are not as well informed…”

    I beg to differ. Many people in some of thr most undeveloped countries are very much aware of what is going on in this country.

  91. 91
    Sammy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: “Most people in the world…are not as well informed…”

    I beg to differ. Many people in some of thr most undeveloped countries are very much aware of what is going on in this country.

  92. 92
    John says:

    I quite enjoyed the movie. Is it precisely historically accurate? Doubtful – it’s pretty damned obvious that Halperin’s sources were Wallace and Schmidt, and it’s very kind to them and to McCain.

    But it was really quite good, and I think it’s really wrong to see the movie as either trying to rehabilitate Palin or as allowing Schmidt, et al, to pass the buck. The movie is intermittently sympathetic to Palin as a human being, but it also shows her as deeply disturbed, prone to violent mood swings, horribly unfair to subordinates, and simply not ready for what a national campaign would entail. In her disputes with Schmidt and Wallace, our sympathies are firmly on their side. It’s hard to watch the movie and not feel a deep sense of relief that McCain lost. The audience surrogate here is Wallace, who tearfully admits on election night that she couldn’t vote for McCain because of her visceral horror at Palin.

    As far as this letting Schmidt off the hook, I think that the movie does a rather good job of not actually doing that. It’s made clear, repeatedly, that the whole disaster is ultimately Schmidt’s fault – that he recommended Palin as an explicitly political gamble. They even had Mark Salter there to repeatedly argue against the decision and explain why it was cynical and dangerous. And Harrelson’s performance, in particular, doesn’t let Schmidt off the hook. The way he plays the character, I thought his increasing anger and hatred of Palin plays as self-loathing.

    It obviously is not a movie for people who want to see all Republicans as cackling villains all the time, and I think the movie is certainly more sympathetic to the McCain campaign than is warranted by the actual facts, but the movie wouldn’t have worked if it hadn’t made us sympathetic to McCain and his team.

  93. 93
    John says:

    Frum’s assessment is worth reading – and I think it also does a good job showing the film’s political point of view, which is more or less Frum’s.

  94. 94
    jhtrotter says:

    @Gordon, The Big Express Engine:

    Let’s say McCain – Palin had won. Where are we now?

    Sarah resigns under lamestream media pressure, after Mike Wooten’s suicide, and the discovery of the caribou hair covered body in Fort Marcy Park with a gun in hand and 2 gun shot wounds to the head. After his inauguration, McCain is revitalized by his new found executive powers and the ability to hate and kill at a commander in chief level, but his health starts to decline once the war in Mexico stalls as the drug lords obtain Shahab-2 missiles from Iran and can strike Creech AFB, thus taking all the fun out of being a death dealing R/C pilot, and raising concerns that now Vice President Lieberman is one heart beat away from leader of the most embarrassed country in the world.

    What were we thinking?

    BTW, WTF were Alaskans thinking in 2006?

  95. 95
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Can’t see that I’ll ever be sympathetic towards Palin since she mnade the comment that President Obama used to “pal around with terrorists”. That lie is enough for me to hate her forever.

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    @jhtrotter: BTW, WTF were Alaskans thinking in 2006?

    I gather they were thinking the exact same thing as the political operatives in the HBO movie.

    What an attractive and emotional speaker! (She agrees with me about what is important.) She must be a loving mom! (She has four kids.) Her husband has Native Alaskan heritage! (She must have deep roots in the state.) She was the mayor of her own home town! (Surely they know her best and like her.)

    Just as I can keep up adequately with the latest celebrity gossip just by standing in line at the grocery checkout, Palin could pick up the needs and concerns from her constituents by parroting back exactly what they said they wanted to hear. This worked fine right up to the point it all fell apart in the movie: when she couldn’t handle even the most softball of interviews from the friendliest of media outlets.

    If she’d had a year to hang around the United Nations and absorb the right responses osmotically, I don’t doubt she’d have been able to nail “foreign policy” as Republicans define it. If she’d been in an environment where they actually nurture the farm team and give real thought to what they are doing, she’d be kicking behinds today.

    But as we saw so clearly in the movie: they don’t do that. They aren’t “statesmen” at all any more: they are simply marketers.

  97. 97
    samara morgan says:

    well…i dont think the “other guy was supposed to vet her” was at all accurate.
    i think she fooled them, because they desparately wanted to believe she was “their Obama”.
    @WereBear: she would be kicking behinds today if she had just let Team McCain pygmalion her. she isnt stupid. she just had no desire to learn, and she came to believe her own mythology.
    Steve Schmidt massaged Bush Jr. into a two term president, membah. That is why McCain took him on. Schmidt beat McCain like a red headed stepchild in 2000, and then beat Dole and Kerry.

  98. 98
    samara morgan says:

    @John: i wonder if Steve Schmidt feels any remorse for GW Bush?
    Is it really just all a game to these guys?
    winning!
    I think Nicole Wallace’s visceral horror at Palin might have been better directed at Gog-Magog Bush.
    The only difference between Bush and Palin is that Bush handled better.

  99. 99
    Lockewasright says:

    Ray Charles spent his entire life pre-emptively impersonating Jamie Foxx.

  100. 100
    samara morgan says:

    TNC 2008 soshulist is the new communist.

    i completely do not believe that McCain nobly decried attacking Obama thru Wright because he felt bad that Steve Schmidt had attacked him via his adopted daughter in 2000 in the GOP campaign.
    bulshytt.
    Team McCain knew overt racial attacks would lose them votes.
    Racism is taboo in the 21st century.
    Giving Palin the go ahead on Ayers is prolly accurate.
    If McCain actually cared about racism, would he have hired the EXACT SAME GUY (Schmidt) that slurred him and his adopted daughter in 2000?
    i dont believe it.

    and there was zero evidence of McCains famous temper.

  101. 101
    samara morgan says:

    @John: no, Frum was WRONG.

    how Sarah Palin stirred a revolt against Obama’s America.

    Sarah Palin revolted against the GOP grooming process, not against “Obama’s America”.

  102. 102
    THE says:

    OT Samara.
    Have you seen this article?

    It’s dealing with the same kind of demographic issues we were discussing the other day.
    Excellent and detailed.

  103. 103

    […] See also Tbogg and John Cole. […]

  104. 104
    samara morgan says:

    @THE: its mildly interesting in that development doesnt actually correlate with depressed fertility. but the flip side is still that muslims dont convert, because al-Islam is a Maynard Smith uninvadable strategy.

    but that sure frags the Eurabia-shouters like Mark Steyn’s arguments.
    one out of ever four humans will be muslim in 2020.
    how many anglo christians will there be again?

  105. 105
    THE says:

    @samara morgan: I don’t want to hijack this thread. I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I will respond to you on your Sufi blog.

  106. 106
    samara morgan says:

    Here we go.

    In his efforts to attack Barack Obama, John McCain appears to have turned to the same political consulting firm that was responsible for spreading vicious smears about the Senator during the 2000 South Carolina GOP primary.

    Game Change was a hagiography for Schmidt, Wallace, and McCain.
    McCain never warned her off Limbaugh.
    Palin was just a pharmekos.

  107. 107
    Ron says:

    I don’t think it’s overall a particularly sympathetic portrayal of Palin. Yes, early on in the movie it looks like she is being manipulated by McCain’s people. But the scenes about her ignorance are not remotely flattering. (I’m thinking of the comment about the Queen of England and the advisors pointing things out on the map). It’s also clear in the last 1/3 or so of the movie that she’s turned into a megalomaniac that thinks it’s all about her. When I watched the scenes of her watching SNL (which,as an aside where a little surreal as a scene of an actress playing Palin watching another actress playing Palin) my feelings were “I’m sure that was uncomfortable for her” which I’m sure they were.

    As for Schmidt, it felt to me like he came across as someone who made a decision that even he knew was a big gamble and was horrified at the mistake he made. Really the only character there that seemed to be completely sympathetic was Nicolle Wallace.

  108. 108
    JGabriel says:

    @WereBear:

    If she’d had a year to hang around the United Nations and absorb the right responses osmotically, I don’t doubt she’d have been able to nail “foreign policy” as Republicans define it.

    If they wanted Palin to “nail foreign policy” as Republicans define it, then they needed to have her spend a year hanging around AEI, Heritage, and AIPAC — not the UN.

    When it comes to learning about foreign policy, contact with actual foreigners is anathema to the GOP. Meeting with foreigners is only for photo ops in the conservative world-view.

    .

  109. 109
    MosesZD says:

    But at the same time, because I have a soul, I still felt a twinge of regret when I watched the scenes of her watching herself be mocked on SNL.

    I don’t. I have a rule. If you don’t want people to think you’re an asshole, don’t be an asshole. Sarah Palin is the new Ann Coulter and if people mock her by being her… Oh well.

  110. 110
    John says:

    one of the most interesting things to me was how Schmidt never referred to his previous position on the Bush campaign that crushed McCain’s first run.

    This may be because Schmidt did not work on the 2000 Bush campaign. From what I can gather, Schmidt worked on the Lamar Alexander campaign in 99, was fired, and then worked for the House Energy and Commerce Committee during the election year. He worked on Bush’s 2004 campaign, not his 2000 one.

  111. 111
    Chris says:

    Julianne Moore playing Sarah Palin is a real mind fuck for me, psychosexually speaking. God I love that redheaded woman, and boy do I loathe the “To Die For ” one.

  112. 112
    cmorenc says:

    What’s difficult to remember now is just how brilliant a stroke Palin’s nomination did seem for the first week to ten days after her acceptance speech at the GOP convention, when Grandpa and Sparkles had a six-point lead in most polls, in substantial part due to Palin’s initial positive reception by many women. We should be grateful Palin’s true nature was such that it proved impossible for her handlers and media consultants to control or hide from the public, and that she was so shallow underneath the brassy surface that she could be so devastatingly undone by a softball interview with Katie Couric.

  113. 113
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I have utterly no sympathy for this narcissist. None. She’s mean spirited, thin-skinned…..not a great combination. The thing that has bothered me the most about this woman, though,is her complete lack of concern for the welfare of the country. I truly believe that most people who aren’t really smart KNOW they aren’t really smart. They would know that the job of VP of the U.S. would be too much for them. That this woman refused to admit that the job was beyond her capabilities and turn it down is almost as bad as the cynicism of the McCain team in chosing her for all the wrong reasons.

  114. 114
    Elie says:

    I thought is was a really good movie… Julianne Moore was excellent. Ed Harris — so so being McCain. I think he gave a very nice, sympathetic portrayal of Mccain — much nicer than the McCain who I saw in public who was and is a complete asshole most of the time. Nuff said on that

    I think that the depiction of Palin was amazingly nuanced. It was kind to her, entering the race as a naive rube and marking her transformation to a narcissistic but charismatic politician. Yes — she was “stupid” — kinda. I thought she was more disinterested in leading in a formal government structure than leading through a more charismatic and personal style.. she didn’t care to learn about governance — it did not matter to her. Having POWER over people to make them listen to her, well That was what matters… other stuff, like what other parts of leadership and governance are important to others, are just not of interest to her…

    We are very fortunate that she was just off track enough to prevent her own success. We got very close to having a very dangerous personality type in office — one focused entirely on her own needs and perqs. McCain should be reviled by history for almost letting this happen…

    Of note, it is also scary that Noot and Santorum are equally crazy.. Of course they are men so no matter how fanstastical, unless one shows up in a toga, they won’t experience the same disparagement that Palin did.. and both are as dumb in their own way….

  115. 115
    peggy says:

    @Jewish Steel:
    Actually that poem is by the most famous Scots poet, Robert Burns.

    Is Scottish Steel a rock group? Battlefield Band was my favorite, but the original members got too old for touring. I see they’ll be in ME&MA in late Oct, maybe that would fit in with a campaign volunteer gig.

  116. 116
    xian says:

    @samara morgan: I agree that that Limbaugh line at the end stank of rank bullshit.

  117. 117
    JGabriel says:

    Elie:

    Ed Harris—so so being McCain.

    Well, they made Harris wear brown contacts to mimic McCain’s appearance. But so much of Harris’s intensity comes from his eyes that it was like he was acting through gauze.

    .

  118. 118

    The important thing is not about the movie but about our country. Palin is just one charismatic right-winger. The novelty was that she was female and attractive, in that local news anchor way. She’s no real cause for concern.

    What matters is that the millions who worship her are still out there. Palin did not animate some new thing, as Frum and many others argue. She was just the new new thing who rallied the same people who, a couple years earlier, had been rhapsodic about George W Bush, the 21st century Lincoln, plus Churchill all wrapped up in a decent, plain-spoken Man of God.

    The fact that he turned out to be a fraud and a disaster left them without a Messiah. Palin’s shot to the top was less about her talents than it was about those Americans who really, really need a Messiah who expresses and validates their ignorance, bigotry, and fears.

    They are the voters who produced the Republican revanche in 2010. They are not going away. Not yet, anyway. And they will continue to be a huge problem for anyone trying to move this country forward.

  119. 119
    rikyrah says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I have zero desire to see this movie, despite my lust affinity for Julianne Moore. Put me in the soulless camp because I don’t feel a whit of sympathy for Palin. She’s a stupid, mean, venial, loathsome woman who was thisclose to being the second most powerful person in our country.

    yes yes yes yes yes!!!

  120. 120
    realnrh says:

    Two thoughts about Palin, which is two more than she deserves and two more than she’s ever had herself:

    1. If all that needs to be done to mock you is to repeat verbatim exactly what you said in a softball interview, without significant exaggeration of tone or expression or setting, then you really need to consider whether you might need to improve your game. Palin did not. She is an idiot without an ounce of self-reflection in her; she is incapable of understanding that her saying bad things about other people should be taken in the same context as other people saying bad things about her.

    2. If McCain had somehow won, he might be dead today from the stresses of the job. However, Palin would have resigned in 2010, halfway through the first term, because she doesn’t have the guts or tenacity to actually finish something she started. Couldn’t stick with one school, couldn’t finish a gubernatorial term, couldn’t make a race for the nomination…

  121. 121
    Elie says:

    @realnrh:

    But you know, history has rewarded such outliers before. We were extremely lucky.

    This time…

    Still… its important to document and examine her story dispassionately cause there will be more like her and we need to stay sharp spotting them and putting bats in the spokes quickly.

    Just think if she was just a little more socialized, a little more urban? The gal was charismatic and had the right instincts — she was just off on timing and slickness. If she had come up on the east coast with a good college education and more sophistication, we would have never spotted it.. Her hunger for power outstripped her cunning and that reveal saved us. Her folks, despite their misgivings — would have let her be elected — including McCain.

  122. 122
    samara morgan says:

    @John: Schmidt worked for FLS that was a consultant firm for Bush 2000 in the nomination battle.

  123. 123
    samara morgan says:

    @Elie: Palin either couldn’t or wouldnt accept the grooming process that gave us George “Gog-Magog” Bush.
    But there wont be another Palin.
    and her legacy is Game Change.
    If she tries to re-enter the political arena in 2 or 3 years for 2016, by that time Game Change will be on Lifetime or Oxygen.
    Shes done.
    Game Change just shaped her in the history books.

  124. 124
    Paul in KY says:

    @Anya: I’m telling you that she would have had him murdered somehow. Or would have tried by now.

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