The XX Factor

Squirmy Stuff in “Game Change”

Emily B , Hanna : I, too, gobbled up the gossip-rich excepts and reviews of Game Change , but they left me feeling kind of sorry for the people who go into politics. Sure, we are entitled to know as much as we can about those we entrust with our security, freedom, and money, but there is something a little squirm-making about the post-election book frenzy in which staffers unload every embarrassing private anecdote about their former bosses. And while this book clearly fills in a lot of detail, the behind-the-scenes portrait makes a case that the press coverage and exposure to the candidates as they run really does do a good job of telling us what we need to know. Game Change only reinforced my knowledge that we didn’t want Bill and Hillary’s relationship back at center stage at the White House, and that, duh, she can’t control him. That John Edwards is an oily, lying, narcissistic lightweight. That Elizabeth had unhealthily made his election her life’s justification (although her mortification is horrible to read about). That Sarah Palin was dangerously incapable of grappling with the issues of the day. That John and Cindy McCain can’t stand each other. That Harry Reid says stupid things.