Julianne Moore, who plays Sarah Palin in Game Change, donated almost $10,000.00 to Democratic Party candidates. Ed Harris, who plays John McCain, has been a regular donor to Democrats and liberal organizations since 1988. Woody Harrelson, who plays McCain's campaign manager Steve Schmidt, has also been generous with contributions to left-wing candidates and groups. So has executive producer Tom Hanks. And director Jay Roach, and writer Danny Strong, and...
I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, but I wasn't looking forward to a crude hatchet job, either. The amazing thing about Game Change, which aired on HBO last year, is that while it's certainly not a pro-Palin film by any means, it makes her into a much more sympathetic character than I had any right to expect.
Game Change opens in 2007, when Senator John McCain's campaign for the Republican Presidential nomination is going very poorly. McCain convinced Schmidt to come on board, and by the time primary season arrived he was the clear front-runner.
Unfortunately for McCain, the Democrats had nominated the charismatic and exciting Barack Obama, who took the country by storm. McCain's attacks against Obama's inexperience weren't gaining traction, and he was reluctant to go after his opponent's association with dubious characters like Rev. Jeremiah Wright ("God damn America!") and former Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers.
The gender gap - Obama's huge advantage with female voters - was a particularly big problem for McCain, and a "game-changing," preferably female, running mate seemed like the only way to turn things around. And at first, Alaska governor Sarah Palin seemed absolutely perfect.
Before long, though, it became clear that Schmidt and the campaign did a poor job of vetting their new star candidate. She gave a blockbuster speech at the GOP national convention, and was mobbed by adoring fans wherever she went - but the media (and the Obama campaign) quickly found much to question about her seemingly impeccable record in her home state. More worrisome, Palin showed an alarming lack of understanding on major issues, especially in foreign policy and economics.