Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Yesterday I finished Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Helperin.

Game Change aims to be the definitive narrative of the 2008 US presidential election, cover the Democrat and Republican primaries and the general election, but in reality it is mainly focused on the Obama/Clinton race to be the Democrat nominee.  That contest takes up close to 10x amount of the book as the Republican side of the primaries, and around 5x the amount of the book dedicated to the McCain/Obama contest for the general election.

It's also clear that the losing sides had a lot more disgruntled sources that were willing to dish up dirt on their respective campaigns.  On the other hand, the Obama camp moved from running a disciplined campaign to running a disciplined administration, giving them much more of an opportunity and better leverage to keep people from sharing too much.

The result is that the Clinton and McCain camps are portrayed warts and all while the Obama campaign is still "on message" - there is more detail than was available at the time, but none of it contradicts the standard Obama image.

It's still an interesting book for anyone who followed the 2008 presidential race, but the one sided nature undermines it thoroughly.

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