16 March 2012

Game Change

I read the book Game Change, by John Hellemann and Mark Halperin a year ago, long before it became a TV movie.

In fact, I wrote about it in this blog:


I was a little bit surprised by the direction the TV movie took. The book looks at several "game changing" moments, and the title seems to refer to them all generically.  On the Democratic side there was the libidinous self-destruction of the once-formidable populist candidate John Edwards, for example (hasn't anyone made a TV movie out of that yet?). There was a debate in Philadelphia in October 2007 when Hillary stumbled badly in her handling of an immigration-related question. Hellemann and Halperin make the case that this undermined her status as the front-runner.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, one of the game changers was the indictment of Bernard Kerik, a Giuliani protege, which they see as devastating to Giuliani's nomination campaign.

After the two nomination fights were setled, there are two further game changers of note.  One was the selection of Sarah Palin. The other -- the final deciding change -- was the Lehman bankruptcy and resulting stock market crash.

Their book takes in all of this.  And a good deal more (as you can gather if you follow the above link to my earlier discussion).

For the movie, most of it has dropped away, and the screenwriters seem to have focused exclusively on the McCain-Palin dynamic.

That is the nature of Hollywood. Screenwriters simply, intensify the focus, limit the expostion, etc.  There is no reason to complain about it, but perhaps a mini-series might have delved into the whole of the 'game' and its many changes.

In 2008 the incumbent could not run again, so the winter/spring campaign was double barrelled. This year of course that is not the case, the obvious winter/spring dramatics are so far all on the Republican side.

About this week's round of voting, where Santorum won the two critical states (Alabama and Mississippi) I have a couple of thoughts. First, the "cheesy grits" thing surely hurt Romney. I gather that real grits-eaters would have said "cheese grits." Also, real grits-eaters would have respected a non-grits eater who didn't pretend to be a grits eater. But Romney fell into neither of those two respectable categories.

Second, these results finally mean that Gingrich is an irrelevance, whether he chooses to get out now or nort. Santorum is the anti-Romney hereafter.  Not Gingrich and not Paul. One can hope that Santorum, as such, will now develop enough strength to force a deadlock at the convention, in which case something interesting may happen there!

P.S. STILL NO DAMNED SOUND CARD!!!!!  What is up with that?

NOON UPDATE:  I now have a sound card, and sound.  Working will no longer feel like burying myself in the cone of silence.  Yeah!

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