I went back and forth deciding whether I was going to review this. But, I've already broken my no politics rules more than a few times, but I think it's safe to say that I have not broken my no partisanship rules. This is actually pretty easy for me as I am not the sort of person who can be pigeonholed politically. I have liberal views, Libertarian views, and some conservative views too. I've never voted a straight party line, and I very likely won't be voting for the Democratic or Republican candidates this November.
Remember when we didn't know who Sarah Palin was? I know that seems like a million years ago, but I remember the day quite well when John McCain trotted her on stage and the first thing I said was "who the hell is she?" Actually, I used another four letter word. My roommate didn't know who she was, and I went to Arizona with some friends for the weekend, all very well read and educated people, and none of them had a clue who she was either. I like to think most sane people in either of the big two parties would love to go back to those days when we had no idea who she was. As a pretty big fan of the late Barry Goldwater, I think he would have been appalled with her.
Now, I am sure there are those who would dismiss this as a leftist hatchet job, but this is very much Steve Schmidt's story. He has confirmed everything in both the book and this movie. He handled the day to day operations of McCain's campaign. He was a Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush and Counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. This man is hardly a liberal operative. I know Palin's become very popular with the extremist wing of the GOP which is, sadly, no longer the fringe of the party, but the fact is that she was dangerously unqualified for the position. I know John McCain himself has denounced this movie, and I respect that. Despite some of my own disagreements with him, I've always liked McCain. He is an honorable man and he is not going to throw his former running mate under the bus, and I respect that. He made a bad choice, and while I cannot pretend to know what he really thinks, I would like to think he knows it and is living with it.
Julianne Moore plays Sarah Palin, and her performance is so dead on, it's frightening. Not once while watching this movie did I feel like I was watching an actor playing a caricature. This already puts it light years ahead of Oliver Stone's "W." where everyone except for Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, and James Cromwell felt more like rejects from an SNL skit. Even Richard Dreyfuss' Dick Cheney there felt like Lord Voldemort more than an actual human being. But here, Julianne Moore disappeared into the role completely. If I was told that this was actual candid footage of Sarah Palin, I would believe it.
Former Sarah Palin Adviser Says ‘Game Change’ Was ‘True Enough to Make Me Squirm’
At the end of the movie, McCain tells Palin she was now a party leader, don't get co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists, they'll destroy the party if you let them. Was that real, was it from actual recollection? Or was it dramatization? It felt like dramatic license, and yet the show did remind me of those very real moments in those crowds. I especially remember the time McCain responded to the old lady in the crowd, how he politely took the mic from her and defended Obama's Americanism. So I can imagine that McCain might have said something like that to Palin, at the end.
Ultimately, this movie pointed out something very truthful. In this age of the twenty-four hour news cycle, and YouTube, our political machine has turned into a bad reality TV show. We will never elect the next Thoma Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln again. Now, to my friends who are still Obamamaniacs, I will toss you all a bone and say the jury is still out on him. But the sad reality of politics now is the president has to be more of a celebrity than a statesman in order to be elected, and Palin was, again, dangerously unqualified.
Well, I'm sure I alienated someone, but I thought it was a pretty good movie. If you have a chance to see it, I recommend it.