Michelle's Reviews > Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

Game Change by John Heilemann
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Feb 03, 10

bookshelves: 2010

A fascinating peek inside the 2008 presidential campaign and it really drove home how, like much of life, politics is all about being in the right place in the right time. Obama himself thought that the U.S. was ready for him at that moment and if he waited for years then he wasn’t “change” anymore. Very true.

After reading this I have increased respect for McCain (as a person) and decreased for Hillary (didn’t want to be VP: “I’ve already had that job”). Though they did mostly live up to their stereotypes of grumpy old man and shrill harpy. But of course grumpy old men are always more entertaining and fun to be around. I really respected the way he ran his campaign on a shoestring, and that he enjoyed it. Honestly, after reading this I’m glad Hillary was not the Democratic nominee.

My views on Edwards (utter creep) and Palin (crazy megalomaniac) remain unchanged. Obama is presented as mostly nice, intelligent, but overconfident. He definitely got off the easiest and one wonders if the authors treated him more gently than the others given he’s in power now. The dynamics between the candidates and their spouses was interesting. Obama and Michelle seem to have a genuinely great relationship. And, even with all its dysfunction, there is something sweet about Bill and Hillary’s relationship. Maybe because I know people close to them and there is a mutual understanding and respect there. You have to admit, they raised one stellar child.

This book did focus more on the Democratic side of the race versus the Republican, which bothered me at first (even though I’m a Democrat) but, then again, I suppose that was the more interesting side of it for that particular year, with a much more interesting cast of characters. Mitt Romney, anyone? I didn’t think so. Overall a great read, even though much of it is non-new information for anyone following the race. But I suppose there has to be some kind of context to the whole thing.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda Can't WAIT to hear what you think of this one...I heard an interview with Mark Halprin the other day on NPR.


Michelle It's really great so far. Very interesting.


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda The stories Halprin alluded to about the McCains were scary. The interviewer asked him if he was giving the Obamas a pass becasue he was president, to which he replied a resounding "no"...just everyone else's relationships were so screwed up that the Obamas looked pristine by comparison.


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