Thursday, June 24, 2010

Game Change: Obama and the Clinton's, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann

After reading this, I've learned something about myself...I love reading about other people's problems, especially famous, super rich people. I lap it up like a dog attached to a soup bone. I don't want to know what that says about me..

Some suspicions that were confirmed by this book:

- Bill Clinton is just as gross as I assumed he was. Smart, but ew. Ew. Eeewwww!

- Hillary swears like a f%$#^&king sailor. You rock,#^^$&#@*&, Hillary! And surprise, surprise, she may actually love her husband! Go figure!

- McCain had an affair in the 90's with someone my age.. gosh. Can you imagine? Probably you shouldn't. That gag reflex is a hard one to control.

- Biden didn't get along too well during the campaign. Really?? By the way, where is Joe Biden? Sounds like a book name doesn't it. Has anyone seen Joe Biden on the news lately? What, he fall of the face of the Earth?

- My biggest surprise of the book?? I actually came off feeling slightly bad for Sarah Palin.. Yes, I know, I'm currently clutching my chest and breathing heavily at the thought of it.

Ah, you poor, poor multi-millionaires. Life would be rough without you for entertainment. As for me, I'd rather have my feet scraped than run for office...(And I'll mail you a pretend dollar if you know from what movie that last line is from...except you Suzette..)
A must read for any political junkie..
4 stars.


Carlos said...

Hey, Lula. I'm still reading it ... along with a book on Lincoln's reelection.

One thing you left out: Your impressions of Barack Obama!??

Was McCain in his 60s then? His wife is an attractive woman; was he searching for his lost youth? Guess I'll have to find out...

Even if you're reading about other people's problems, there IS a difference: they're not existential problems, they're ego and ambition problems.

Joe Biden was at the President's side when he fired General McChrystal. He was one the General and his staff derided, calling him "Bite me, Joe."

Sarah Palin, what's there to feel sorry about? The woman came out on top: Trailer trash idiot cleans up. Is there a more American success story?

Mandy said...

You felt sorry for Palin? Did hell freeze over? :)

I know that movie quote, but only because I've heard you say it before so I probably don't count either.

okbushmans said...

Sounds like a book I'd enjoy also. I love an "insider's look" into politics, or behind the scenes info on people you love or love to hate. For example, your comment on Sarah Palin. I watched NBC's Brian Williams White House special, and saw the politicians that drove me crazy (Rahm, Gibbs, even sometimes Pres Obama) as human beings! How easily I forgot that they are all parents, or someone kids, who have lives beyond their public personna. So maybe that was why you had that reaction with Sarah Palin, is possibly you saw some humanness beyond the caricature she plays into. Sounds like an interesting read! Thanks.

Have you read Hunger Games? That is our book clubs book this month, and I'm hosting. It is a GREAT summer read!

Lula O said...

Carlos -
I'm just finishing up a book on Mary Todd Lincoln. She was one fascinating creature. Did you know she was courted by Stephen Douglas too? I think his giant head (and ego) did her in though. I had no idea Lincoln and his nemesis were in love with the same woman.

Obama, surprisingly (*thunk, thunk**) comes off smelling like a rose in this book. Of course. At least, no one heard him fight with his wife (he acted like he genuinely loved her), yell at his kids (he was excited to be around them), have a big baby fit sort of meltdown, etc. The guy is cool as those sleek cucumbers starting to grow in my garden. Well, I guess there was one thing - he's not been with his family much the last few years, and he is pretty cocky, but those aren't really revelations.

I believe they said McCain admitted to an "inappropriate relationship in the 90's" with that woman who would now be around 41. I barely remembered the scandel. Who'd want to?? ewwwwwwwww..

Palin was not properly vetted by McCain's team of yahoos. They did not prepare her. She was incredibly naive about what she was getting herself into, and when they were talking about how exhausted she was. How'd she'd zone out into la-la land. I could totally relate.

Lula O said...

Yes Mandy. It doth freeze over. ;D

Sarah - As per above about Palin. I still think she's off her rocker. But what they did to her during the campaign, basically throwing her to the wolves when she didn't turn out like they expected. I mean, they are the ones who vetted her in like two days. Did they even ask her any questions??

I flew through the book in like three days with my mouth in a constant o shape.

Hunger Games is an awesome book! #2 was okay. I'm on hold for #3 when it comes out in August, like #240 on the list so it may be December before I get to it. I love a good book in the heat of summer. I'm just about to start Bleak House and Team of Rivals. Happy reading!

Carlos said...

Lula - Mary Todd Lincoln was an interesting woman, and she was courted by Stephen Douglas but it wasn’t serious and Lincoln won her over. Mrs. Lincoln couldn’t tolerate any pretty, smart, and ambitious women around her husband. Here’s a dialogue overheard by their seamstress:

“Well, mother,” Lincoln asked, putting on his gloves, “who must I talk with tonight—shall it be Mrs. D.?”

“That deceitful woman!” exclaimed Mrs. Lincoln. “No, you shall not listen to her flattery.”

“Well, then, what do you say to Miss C.? She is too young and handsome to practice deceit.”

Mrs. Lincoln exploded at the mention of Kate’s name. (Kate Chase, beautiful daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary who had designs on the presidency because he thought Lincoln incompetent and himself God’s gift to the highest office in the land. Kate was described as an “enchantress” with a sharp mind who was as ambitious for power as her father.) “Young and handsome, you call her! You should not judge beauty for me. No, she is in league with Mrs. D., and you shall not talk with her.”

“Well, mother,” Lincoln implored, buttoning his glove with a mock expression of gravity, “I must talk with someone. Is there anybody that you do not object to?”

“I don’t know as it is necessary that you should talk to anybody in particular. You know well enough, Mr. Lincoln, that I do not approve of your flirtations with silly women, just as if you were a beardless boy, fresh from school.”

“But, mother, I insist that I must talk with somebody. I can’t stand around like a simpleton, and say nothing. If you will not tell me who I may talk with, please tell me who I may not talk with.”

“There is Mrs. D. and Miss C. in particular. I detest them both. Mrs. B. also will come around to you, but you need not listen to her flattery. These are the ones in particular.”

“Very well, mother,” replied Lincoln with a merry twinkle in his eye, “now that we have settled the question to your satisfaction, we will go downstairs.” And with stately dignity he offered her his arm and led the way.

(She suffered from some type of mental illness, perhaps schizophrenia or manic depression, which manifested itself after her husband’s assassination.)

Lula O said...

They included that quote in the book. She and that Chase woman hated each other, trading barbs the whole time she was in Washington.

She definitely had a legion of problems, most likely made worse by her immense grief, but at the same time the good old boys in Washington definitely reacted badly to this woman in the White House who had the balls to be at least, if not way smarter than them, politically and intellectually. Who said what she liked whenever she liked. She was a woman waaaaaay ahead of her time. I've loved reading about her.

Christina said...

I just started reading this book based on your recommendation, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!! I thought it would be incredibly political, which is why I didn't want to read it, but it is not political at all- it is completely personal, and I am loving every minute of it- and I haven't even gotten to the Republican side yet! If you are at all interested in politics, this is a MUST READ!!!! I'll post more when I finish it, but so far it gets an excellent rating from me!

Lula O said...

Knew you'd like it Christina! Can't wait to hear what you think.

Christina said...

Finished the book late last night. Still LOVE it. Seriously, if you like politics in the least, you should read this.

Here is what I loved about the book:

-It was not the least bit political. Seriously. It was a novel about the most interesting characters, not about politics. I really think people on both sides of the aisle will enjoy this book.

-Unlike books about Nixon or Lincoln or whoever, this was about things that I was a part of. When they mentioned quotes or rallies, I remember those quotes being made, and now I get the background info for all that I saw unfold on TV. I love that! (Incidentally, I was at the DNC when Obama gave his nomination speech, and here is my blogpost from my personal blog about that night:

-It really did read like a novel. It was fast paced and a fun read- never dull in the least.

My impressions on some of the characters:

-They all love to say the F-word. Not Palin, but everyone else, especially McCain. Man, does he have a potty mouth!

-I am not surprised that Edwards cheated on his wife. I don't agree with him for doing so, but if the book is accurate and Elizabeth really did treat him the way the book says she did, I am not a bit surprised he ran into the arms of a woman who wasn't rediculing him in public, embarrassing him in front of staff, and overall demeaning him in every possible way.

-Edwards does have the biggest ego, however, which is what appears to be what really led to his downfall. On the flip side, however, Obama is also incredibly cocky (OK, so is everybody in the book!) and that seems to have led to his rise. Will it eventually be his downfall? Only time will fall.

-Obama genuinely LOVES and adores his family and Michelle- that was evident and sweet.

-McCain knew he was taking a huge gamble with Palin, and instead of accepting any responsibility when things went bad he simply blamed the press. Classic move, McCain, but most people saw through the "liberal media" charade when Palin couldn't answer such simple questions as, "please name one newspaper that you read to get your news."

-I found myself really liking McCain- except on the campaign trail. I REALLY wish he was nominated in 2000 instead of what's-his-face.

I have many other thoughts on this, but really- you just need to read the book. It's that good.

Thanks, Lula for suggesting it- I wasn't sure I wanted to read it because I didn't want to get into the politics of it again. But, because of the way it was written, that was a non-issue!

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lula O said...

I totally want to read Elizabeth Edward's new book now. The paperback version includes new stuff I guess.
Glad you liked it!