Game Change

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by Unimane, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    Anyone else see it? I was curious as to the non-liberal viewpoint, but, in my estimation, it was more of a confirmation of things I already knew. The person who came off the best was John McCain, who appears as a thoroughly decent person who got dragged along at times in his exasperation to win the election. Palin, on the other hand, is a decidedly mixed bag. The film does a good job of showing how shitty the media was to her family and Palin's genuine sense of family (although I still think that she trotted out her family for political gain too often, which is not depicted in the film). I also couldn't decide whether to pity Palin for being thrust into a situation where she was clearly in over her head or despise her for her arrogance, viciousness in the waning days of the election (and since, since negativity and hating Obama seem to be her present occupation), child-like tantrums and general oblivion to her incompetence and lies. You can also tell that this was a heavily McCain team version of the story because it goes well in depth with their frustrations and anger towards Palin.

    Interestingly, the dynamic between McCain and Palin seems to never waver. McCain takes an almost fatherly approach towards Palin and Palin reveres him like a teenage girl backstage with a boy band. I have to wonder as to the accuracy of some of the conversations shown in the film, particularly the ones by the McCain staffers. Some of them were searing indictments, especially the Palin assistant who quit tearfully stating she couldn't vote because of Palin. Also, the speech by Steve Schmidt eviscerating Palin for wanting to speak at the concession speech was epic. I actually think it's pretty likely the dialogue in the film is pretty spot on considering much of the narrative that has gotten out since the campaign from both parties.

    Here are some highlights of things I didn't know necessarily from the campaign that were shown:

    - Palin thought Queen Elizabeth was the Head of State of England

    - McCain lamenting the tarnishing of his legacy as a principled leader with the overtly nasty turn his campaign took in the last desperate days

    - Generally everyone in the McCain campaign, except Palin, thinking the Katie Couric and John Gibson interviews were completely fair. I had always thought the campaign was up in arms about it, for some reason.

    - Palin's teleprompter went out during her convention speech, which was pretty impressive, for all her faults

    All in all, I thought it was pretty good and typical of the high quality of HBO political films, up there with Too Big to Fail and Recount.
  2. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I have it DVR'ed. I read the book. What is curious to me is why they focused the film on Palin exclusively. She only accounts for about a quarter of the book and there is some interesting stuff that went down behind the scenes in the Edwards and Clinton campaign, particularly the details of Edwards' downfall. The film will probably turn a lot of people off to a book that is an otherwise pretty fair treatment of the 08 campaign.
  3. gorockytop101

    gorockytop101 New Member

    Julianne Moore is stunning.
  4. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    I read where HBO did a Clinton docu-drama a few years ago, The Special Relationship, and it tanked, so they were a little wary of one on the Clintons.
  5. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    Just a few takeaways from the film in no particular order:

    1. Palin revived a moribund political campaign and accomplished a lot in her two most critical moments: the Convention speech and the debate. Palin is not the reason he lost that election, which has been well-documented.
    2. They present Palin as a basically decent person who is naive about the operation of big time politics. I think on both accounts this is misleading. Palin has a lot more self-awareness than the film let on, and certainly her career post-election leads me to believe she saw the big picture all along.
    3. The Katie Couric debacle was a direct result of the over-coaching and micromanagement of the McCain staff, in particular Nicolle Wallace. Palin was at her best when she could be combative. This type of discussion was a disaster before it started and they basically planted a seed in Palin's mind that the liberal media was out to get her.
    4. The movie doesn't fundamentally change my view that Palin was a woeful choice to be that close to the Presidency. To say she is the worst in history to run at that level would give Franklin Pierce too much of a pass, but it's close. However, she is probably a more complex character than I once thought.
  6. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Jo, while I respect your opinions (they are so well thought out and presented immaculately-seriously, not a drop of condescention at all), I did and forevermore will view Palin as a shit stirring rabble rouser that is in completely over her head on the national stage. I know many feel the same about our current president, but if Palin were ever to gain that lofty office, it would be an unmitigated disaster, imo. She is the embodiment of exactly how jacked up our politics are today. There is no sane and/or rational reason that she should have been considered for the VP. I wouldn't let her be in charge of shoveling cow shit out of my barn. As always, my opinion only. No hard feelings from me that think my view is idiotic.....
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  7. volfanjo

    volfanjo Chieftain

    I think you are basically right about Palin but that McCain campaign was such a disaster before she even arrived. For McCain's advisors to throw her under the bus as if they had nothing to do with one of the most poorly run campaigns in history was petty on their part. It is staggering how good Bush's team in 2004 was in comparison to McCain's. But yes, she has no business in the White House.
  8. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    You're correct. That campaign was a disaster. It reminded me of a gruesome automobile crash. You know you really don't want to see such graphic scenes, yet the level of carnage is so great that you can't force yourself to look away.
  9. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    I didn't hate her in terms of her political career, but Palin is the embodiment of what I call the "Cocktail Party Political Expert". These are the type of people at social gatherings who ramble on about nonsensical and blatantly wrong facts and ideas, leaving you wondering if it's rude to point out they don't know what the [uck fay] they're talking about. Yet, in their mind, their logic and convictions are foolproof and they will rush headstrong with their ideas no matter what kind of rationale is put before them to demonstrate their idiocy. This is Palin.

    I can respect a guy like Gingrich, in a sense, because I at least know he has an understanding of ideas and concepts on issues, even if I disagree with him. Palin is a meandering mess of gibberish and circular answers that mean nothing, wrapped in a package of smarmy sanctimony. Of course, like Newt, any sense of responsibility or anything lacking can always be blamed on someone else, namely the "liberal media", "pro-Obama Hollywood" or whatever amorphous entity that will let her escape anything resembling self-analysis. The one thing I did truly hate about her, though, is her naked self-centered ambition allowed herself to vehemently pursue a position that should have been clear to anyone that she was not qualified for and would hurt the country. Many people better than her have realized this fact and bowed out.

    On the other hand, while I always disliked her as a political figure, I never got into the hysteria that encompassed the left when she was in her star days. It was pretty obvious that she wasn't going to do anything of substance in politics (And obviously, she hasn't. Unless, of course, riding around in a gaudy bus, being a media whore by pretending to be annoyed by the questions about running for president, then predictably not, or giving "I hate Obama" speeches everywhere counts for anything.). It just got ridiculous. Bill Maher spent about a year throwing out every Palin joke he could conjure and she wasn't even relevant anymore.

    Ultimately, I think Palin will be remembered as a fascinating flash in the pan moment because the story really was captivating no matter how you saw her.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  10. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    I think you can look at her as everything that's wrong with politics today.
  11. bigpapavol

    bigpapavol Chieftain

    Obama is exactly in the same camp. Being telegenic is the basis of each one's candidacy. From there, neither has anything to offer. Bush was old boy politics.

    Electability has become a made for TV war which effectively lets actors become governors, and that's a disaster, as we've proven. Couple that with the careerist nature of modern politics and you have a train wreck.
  12. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    Palin was a bad candidate that didn't get electe and then didn't get much attention for any future positions. I'd argue that's a good thing about politics. I'm more worried about ass clown senators with no term limits that screw shit up as long as their health allows.
  13. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    I agree with that.
  14. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    I might agree with some of this sentiment if it were in the context that Obama was a little impetuous in his run and not properly seasoned before running, even if I think he has been a good president. I certainly thought so when he announced his candidacy. However, he's not even in the same universe as Palin, much less camp, unless he needed a crash session in the countries of the world and who was the leader of the UK before running.
  15. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    He did provide us with a couple of dumb statements, though. Happens to everybody when you spend that much time in the public eye and have to speak off the cuff at times.
  16. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    Yes, but they were mostly of the variety of meaning to say 47 states and saying 57 instead, not a deer in the headlight look of "I don't know what the [uck fay] I'm talking about" that Palin regularly showed. Even Bush was mostly just tongue tied with all his malapropisms. I think all of his dumbness was overplayed, even, ironically, by him as he wanted to convey this folksy, regular dude persona.
  17. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    I was thinking he said something even worse about having been to 52 states and having seven more to go. I would say that was a bit worse than the whole "she doesn't know the name of any newspapers!" stuff. I don't even recall the Queen of England stuff. Must not have made a huge deal about it during the election.
  18. Unimane

    Unimane Kill "The Caucasian"

    The Queen of England stuff came out through the McCain staffers after the election. The Obama quote was when he hadn't been to three states and then stated he'd been to 57. This was his quote;

    "It is wonderful to be back in Oregon," Obama said. "Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it."

    Sorta Bush-ian and one of those things that makes the late night circuit, for sure.
  19. IP

    IP Super Moderator

    Worrying about that stuff is silly, anyway. The shit that has come out of my when teaching college freshmen. When discussing tectonic plate movement and volcanic eruptions, I referred to them as volcanic erections. Not once, but twice. Ya. Let that sink in.

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