PICKET: 'Game Change' movie omits vicious Obama-Hillary primary covered in book

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Filmmaker Jay Roach’s new HBO movie “Game Change” based on the book by political reporters Mark Halperin and John Heileman focused exclusively on the trials and tribulations of the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign and chose to ignore the vicious primary covered in the book between then Senator Barack Obama and then Senator Hillary Clinton. In fact, the irony is that the majority of the book is primarily focused on the race between Obama and Clinton. 

Democrats today are romanticizing the the primary between Obama and Clinton. However, if liberals are so quick to believe the film about the McCain-Palin campaign story, then they should be interested about the other aspects the film omits. 

Here are some examples: 

Starting on page 218, the authors of “Game Change” describe Bill and Hillary Clinton’s efforts to win over Senator Ted Kennedy’s endorsement:

“Kennedy’s displeasure with the Clintons only grew through New Hampshire and Nevada; he believed they were playing a dangerous game with race.”

According to the book, during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, former president Clinton relentlessly asked Sen. Kennedy to support his wife’s campaign, but Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Clinton either argued over the issue or Clinton would be left begging the Massachusetts liberal for his support:

“Kennedy also appreciated Obama’s approach to seeking his endorsement. Obama asked for his support, then gave him space, having Daschle, to whom Kennedy was close, check in regularly but apply no pressure.”

“Bill Clinton took the opposite tact: he got up in Ted’s grille. In a series of follow-up calls, Clinton went from arguing heatedly to pleading desperately with Kennedy. (At one point, Kennedy told a friend, Clinton went so far as to say, ‘I love you’—a declaration that Kennedy rendered mockingly in a Boston-Irish imitation of Clinton’s Arkansan twang.)”

After Kennedy decided to endorse Obama and told Clinton, the book describes the former president’s reaction:

When Ted indicated he was going with Obama, Clinton adopted a lawyer’s mien, quizzing Kennedy on his motives. “The only reason you’re endorsing him is because he’s black,” Clinton said accusingly. “Let’s just be clear.”

“A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee,” Clinton complained to Kennedy about Obama the book reports.

Obama’s former controversial pastor, Jeremiah Wright, also cranked up the pressure on the Clinton campaign over the issue on racial politics. Starting on page 238 of “Game Change” a frustrated Hillary Clinton campaign team is shown trying to figure out what to do with the information on Wright:

“Harold Ickes proposed hiring a private investigator to look into the connection between Obama and Wright. Ickes was famously liberal; he’d worked for Jesse Jackson. But he was also famously tough and was at least half-serious about the PI. He was meeting with the Clintons and the Hillaryland high command one day in late March, trying to figure out how to handle the Wright story. Everyone was pussyfooting around the thing, and Ickes had enough. ‘This guy has been sitting in a church for twenty f*****g years,’ he said. ‘If you really want to take him down, let’s take him f*****g down.’” 

Heilemann and Halperin then write that the Hillary team decides to be more cautious about their next steps, but Hillary wonders aloud about the obvious double standard: 

“Others thought pushing the story risked touching the third rail that race had become in the campaign. Even Penn was an advocate of Hillary keeping a safe distance. But like Ickes, with whom he shared nothing but fierce mutual enmity, Penn believed the campaign should be searching for evidence that Obama had been present for one of Wright’s screeds. ‘The tape will speak for itself.’”

“Hillary reconciled herself to the wisdom of restraint on Wright. But she saw the maddening double standard in play yet again. ‘Just imagine, just for fun, if my pastor from Arkansas said the kind of things his pastor said,” she held forth one day to her aides. ‘I’m just saying. Just imagine. This race would be over.’”

Hillary later told the Pittsburgh Tribune  that “Wright would not have been my pastor.” She added, “”You don’t choose your family, but you choose what church you attend.” 




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About the Author
Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket

Kerry Picket, a former Opinion Blogger/Editor of The Watercooler, was associate producer for the Media Research Center, a content producer for Robin Quivers of "The Howard Stern Show" on Sirius satellite radio and a production assistant and copy writer at MTV.

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