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.)