In early August, I finished reading Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Released in early 2010, I had heard of the book through the popular press. Then, after Sharon and I watched the HBO movie by the same name, I bought the book from Amazon in March.
The book examines the 2008 presidential election. Based on hundreds of interviews, it looks behind the scenes primarily at the Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and McCain campaigns.
Two-thirds of the book is spent tracing the history of the Obama and Clinton campaigns, including how they both came to be in the race and how the Clinton campaign got off track. Views into the Edwards camp are sprinkled into this section.
The last third of the book focuses on McCain and his ultimate choice of Sara Palin as a running mate. I found the events leading up to the choice of Palin remarkable. The book paints an incredibly unflattering picture of the process to select Palin and then of her ability to cope with the pressures of the campaign.
It is difficult for me to judge how accurate the book is in its portrayal of the different candidates and their campaigns. Nevertheless, I found it fascinating. In addition to showing Palin in a negative light, the book also paints a particularly ugly picture of Edwards. Conversely and somewhat surprisingly at least to me, Biden is shown is a positive light.
I recommend the book. I enjoyed it and give book a B+ grade.