I don’t have HBO, so I won’t be seeing the movie Game Change anytime soon. it sounds mildly interesting to me from what I have read, if only because of this one line:

“‘Now it takes a movie star charisma to get elected president. Obama and Palin, that’s what they are, stars,’ one strategist concludes at the film’s end.”

Well, I don’t dispute that. In the age of television and especially of the internet, charisma itself is a “game changer” Visual media loves a charismatic individual.

Perhaps that’s why they couldn’t resist making a movie about something that happened only three-and-a-half years ago, and was not exactly undocumented. Personally, if I wanted to relive The Sarah Palin Experience 2008, I’d just go watch some of the many news shows about her. It’s not like her debate performance or her acceptance speech are lost forever. The Couric and Gibson interviews are readily accessible.

I know, supposedly this movie gives us the “behind the scenes” look at Palin and the McCain campaign, but I frankly have my doubts as to whether it is accurate. The only evidence it has for its accuracy is that Palin says it is inaccurate. That counts for something, but on the other hand its truth is vouched for by McCain’s Chief Strategist Steve Schmidt. Forgive me if I don’t trust the words of a political strategist.

No one except the actual participants knows what really went on, and, being all currently living people in the field of politics, are likely to tell the story that is most flattering to their own interests. The only way to really do it right would have been to make some sort of Rashomon-like film. And even that wouldn’t get you any closer to the truth.

This doesn’t mean that it’s utterly impossible to know what happened on the campaign trail, but it’s going to be years before a really clear picture emerges. That’s often the way with history. Right now, there are too many currently politically active people portrayed in the movie to really have much confidence in it.

So, why did they make this movie? Why didn’t they make a movie of an election we don’t have footage of, like, for instance, the 1824 election? That would be a good one; full of drama and intrigue. And it had Andrew Jackson, who is quite a fascinating personality. That would be very interesting to watch.