The other night I watched the HBO movie Game Change, about John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his presidential running mate in 2008. After Tina Fey’s hilarious portrayal of Palin on Saturday Night Live I was half expecting a comedy, but this fact-based film stayed so close historical reality it should have been billed a horror flick. The thought of Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the red button that could launch our 7,000+ nukes on a president’s whim is beyond scary.
While Julianne Moore usually doesn’t do anything for me, her depiction of Palin at her highest, lowest and airheaded-est was spot on. It was almost painful watching a potential American VP be so clueless about foreign policy, domestic policy, or any other policy for that matter. Ed Harris as Senator John McCain was a bit of a stretch, but Woody Harrelson did a great job as McCain’s strategist, Steve Schmidt, who was partly responsible for suggesting Palin in the first place—and who spent the rest of the movie regretting it and desperately trying to coach her. After she goes catatonic during a Q&A session and later tries to seize power from her running mate, someone asks Schmidt, “Have you ever considered that she might be mentally unstable?
Well I consider it every time I see her. To me she’s little more than a female Ted Nugent—especially when she dons her hunting garb.
Near the story’s end, Harrelson’s Schmidt asks Rick Davis, his co-conspirator in picking Palin, “Still think she’s fit for office?” to which Davis answers, “Aw, who cares. In forty-eight hours no one will even remember who she is.” Unfortunately, Davis’ hopeful prediction did not come to pass.
The film leaves you wondering how the hell someone like Palin ever got tapped for VP and how she thinks she has any credibility left after monumental blunders like her interview with Katie Couric. Well, apparently Sarah Palin has found her niche as a mouthpiece for the National Rifle Association—a group clearly unconcerned with credibility (and collectively as mentally unstable as Palin herself).
Sporting a t-shirt making the simplistic yet inexplicable statement “Women Hunt” (including an obscenely suggestive line-drawing that probably went over her head), she called the NRA crowd she spoke to Friday her “brothers and sisters” during her 12-minute speech in which she told the crowd that Trigger is her son Trigg’s nickname and that Remington is her nephew’s middle name.
The creepy thing is, she received standing ovation.
Although Sarah Palin came off in the movie as a power-tripping right-wing extremist bordering on evil, if anything, Game Change was too nice in its representation of her. What sort of woman hunts? A woman like Sarah Palin.