Game Change


Images I started reading Game Change on Wednesday.  I finished it on Friday.  Although 400+ pages, I ripped through the book.  You can't help yourself.  A page turner. 

We all lived it.  Some more than others.  We followed the last election like bees taking to honey.  The never ending saga of the last man standing for the Democratic nominee.  Each debate with less people and less people until it was just Hillary and Obama every week on our big screen tv.  One thing we all knew, is by the end, they certainly knew their shit. 

There was the demise of John Edwards which has gotten even juicier over the past month.  The surprise outcome of John McCain being the last man standing for the Republicans and his pick of Sarah Palin for a running mate. 

What I loved about the book, although I felt like I was reliving a story I knew, was the way it was written.  It was written like a big fat juicy novel.  The stories, which give us all a better inside view of how a campaign unfolds, are so nutty that you can't even make this stuff up if you tried.  It even has a happy ending. 

But what really sticks with me more than anything is how politics is like a serious game of chess.  Each calculated move, the pawns and the knights all guarding the king and of course the queen.  There is no doubt that not only do you have to be calculating, the winners generally steer their own ship.  Hillary wasn't great at controversy and really wasn't able to grab the reins.  She was better at running for Obama than herself.  McCain, for all the years he spent as a Senator, was definitely not able to run his own campaign.  He had the old school attitude that you pay people to do that for you.  He thought he could just show up without any plans.  Palin might be short on the brains but she is one helluva narcissist who is seriously competitive and controlling. 

At the end of the story, we all know how it ends, proves that we picked the right man for the job and he certainly picked the right person for the job of Secretary of State.  The writers have lifted the political curtain for all of us to see out in the light of day.  More and more, due to the world we live in, we get to see the ugliness of Democracy every day, up close and personal, on the Huffington Post or other outlets 24/7. 

Game change is more than a book that everyone should read, it has shed a light on politics and that is a game changer. 

(In all transparency, I am good friends with John Heilemann who is one of the authors of the book.  I have always been impressed with John's intellect and command of the English language.  This book is over the top.) 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. kit

    “Each debate with less people and less people until it was just Hillary and Obama…”or “with fewer and fewer candidates, until….” *** It’s less rain (which, while one could measure it, is uncountable) and fewer rain drops (which one could count). That’s why there’s a “10 items or fewer” line at markets frequented by people who paid attention at school. Wouldn’t “fewer than 10 items” sound better? *** “I have always been impressed with John’s intellect and command of the English language.” Rather than trying to set speed records, try reading with more care. Surely this book and the others you rip through are worth the effort. *** It’s been my impression that Hillary thought she had sucked up all the oxygen in the room, that she had all the money before the nomination race began, that she had all the insider support before the nomination race began, that she had essentially won the nomination before the race had began (did she read The Art of War too quickly? did she misunderstand what it means for a battle to be won before it begins?) — and so she thought it absolutely impossible for a serious challenger to appear and be able to go the distance; and so she felt shocked and betrayed when a challenger with serious support did appear. This shock seems to have prevented her from reacting to the race that was unfolding. Her team had brilliantly executed a plan to win the nomination by the old rules, going after the same old money, going after the same old delegates. Obama’s team questioned the old assumptions and found a new way to win. The interesting thing is how they seemed to have accepted Howard Dean’s advice (a 50 state strategy) and then rejected him (no Washington job for Dean).

  2. chefbikram

    hi GG. just can’t imagine wanting “more” of all of this. but your book picks are reliable. my book club is now reading jonathan tropper’s “this is where i leave you.”

    1. Gotham Gal

      I loved “this is where I leave you”. Laughed out loud. Game Change isabsolutely worth reading. You can’t put it down.Joanne [email protected]://www.gothamgal.comCell 917-496-8768Home 212-994-5321

  3. jomammason

    I too love your book picks. I just got This is Where I Leave You from the library. I’m also on the list for Blame and Game Change (that I had on hold before I read your review. But glad to hear it will be worth the wait). I think we have very similar literary tastes. Books I often see mentioned in the NY Times and am interested in reading, I see on your list.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Joelle. I tend to read novels more than anything but Game Changeread likes one!

  4. chefbikram

    Hi GG, I know you posted this ages ago, but my book club will be discussing the book on Thursday. I found it fascinating…Edwards…wow! And what a mess the Repubs were and the arm twisting to run…I am not overly into politics, so some of this was eye opening. My book club is called the “no flake, low maintenance book club” — You must attend or have a really good reason why you can’t and the meeting is always at my house from 7p to 8’ish and I provide a “nibble” — meaning the members can simply show up with our without food. I typically eat my dinner while we are discussing! So what is the “MUST” read book now? I see your list, but really, MUST read? Our first books have mostly been losers this round…Devotion, I am Nujood, The Hamilton Case…Thanks, Erin

    1. Gotham Gal

      this book might be worth discussingThe Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and theWoman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe<http:“” site=”” lists=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fc74d608833=”” item=”” 6a00d8345200d669e2014e60444949970c=”” edit=””>If you haven’t read Freedom: A Novel [Hardcover]<http:“” site=”” lists=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fc74d608833=”” item=”” 6a00d8345200d669e20134877e5661970c=”” edit=””>itis absolutely worth reading and would be a great conversation.One of my favorites in the past few years. Zeitoun by DaveEggers.<http:“” site=”” lists=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fc74d608833=”” item=”” 6a00d8345200d669e20120a5742769970b=”” edit=””>Sarah’s Key<http:“” site=”” lists=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fc74d608833=”” item=”” 6a00d8345200d669e2011570a5db2c970b=”” edit=””>.A must read.The Septembers ofShiraz<http:“” site=”” lists=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fc74d608833=”” item=”” 6a00d8345200d669e200e54fea0f3b8834=”” edit=””>Amazing read.I have always thought that it would be great to do a book club where youread two books and discuss. For instance, to read Extremely Loud andIncredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer along with Nicole Krauss’ bookHistory of Love. They are married and wrote the books around the same timeand the similarities are very interesting. Another one would be Tweak byNic Sheff and his drug addition and Beautiful Boy, A fathers journey throughhis son’s addiction by David Sheff. Their journey is the same but forobvious reasons very different. Read the son first.

      1. chefbikram

        I am adding the dress maker to our voting list and sarah’s key. (noone can have read a book that is selected). i’ve heard of both. I loved Freedom. Not at first, but it grew on me. I also liked the Corrections. I didn’t like Eggers first book, so not sure on that one. I haven’t heard of the September of Shiraz…I’ll look into it. thank you. And I haven’t read Safran before. Need to. We did read Beautiful Boy and several members went on to read Tweak. I see Nic has his new book out…I was done with them after Beautiful Boy…Thank you again. We read “The Help” after you recommended and the Topper Book. Best!Erin