Saturday, February 6, 2010

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime

Having been bombarded by lots of juicy tidbits, I did something that I rarely do: I purchased a book the day it came out. I didn’t wait for a sale. I didn’t wait for the paperback. I bought it now because I had to have it now. I knew already that the Clintons have a dysfunctional marriage. That McCain chose Sarah Palin as a running mate in an attempt to steal the spotlight from Obama. I wanted the dirt on Obama.

Don’t get me wrong. I supported him throughout the campaign, voted for him on election day and now rant about the shenanigans in the House and Senate that are preventing him from doing the job he was elected to do. It’s just that he’s so perfect. No one can possibly be that perfect.

This book was a HUGE disappointment. It all but deifies Barack and Michelle Obama. I include Michelle because the other candidates’ spouses were thoroughly trashed. Except Todd Palin who got off rather easy.

The first two-thirds of the book were riveting. Every bit of dirty laundry belonging to Hill&Bill was hung out to dry. Every detail of every misstep of her ill-fated campaign was endlessly analyzed. John Edwards was portrayed as hopelessly out of touch, his wife less saintly than her reputation. The implication is that she drove him into Rielle Hunter’s arms.

Barack Obama could do no wrong and his campaign was perfect.

The last third of the book covering the election, had much less substance. It felt thrown together. What should have been the most exciting period in the run-up to the election with all of the material being provided by Sarah Palin’s mangling of the English language and attempts at gravitas instead managed to be almost boring. There were a few behind the scenes anecdotes that did much less harm to her reputation than the skewering she received from SNL and other late night comics. The big revelation that Cindy McCain has a boyfriend falls flat. All of the tired criticisms of McCain are trotted out.

And Barack Obama could do no wrong and his campaign was perfect.

The authors promise much more than they deliver. They have an obvious bias towards Obama. I feel cheated. I was promised “The Race of a Lifetime” but got “Barack and Michelle Obama are saints and everyone else are sinners” instead.

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