Rod Hilton'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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's review
Feb 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audiobooks, politics
Read in February, 2010

This book is riveting from start to finish. I have no idea how accurate this book is, but it's absolutely entertaining as hell.

Game Change is about the campaigns of the major frontrunners during the 2008 election cycle. It gives what it claims are accurate, behind-the-scenes glimpses at Obama, Clinton, Edwards, McCain, and Palin. It's extremely well written and painfully engrossing - I could barely put it down.

The main flaw with the book is that it spends too much time on the democratic side of things, particularly around Obama and Hillary. While this is extremely interesting, it takes up a bit more than the first half of the entire book, and I often found myself wishing Heilemann would cut over to the Republicans. On the republican side of things, only McCain and his running mate are covered, and very little attention given to Romney or Guliani. I have a hard time believing there was no drama there, maybe Heilemann just couldn't collect any information.

In any case, I found the book thoroughly engrossing, but I'm trying to absorb it with a grain of salt - Heilemann insists that he did the due diligence to corroborate his stories, but since I can't do that myself and no names are given, I simply have no way of knowing if it's true.

If it is true, however, the most striking thing to me was that Sarah Palin is actually even stupider than I thought. The Sarah Palin we got during the campaign was coached and trained - prepared for questions and instructed on how to hide her ignorance. The Real Sarah Palin was unable to name the enemy her son was fighting in Iraq, and thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. Holy crap.

I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in recent political events in the United States. It's a great read.
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