After watching the movie adaptation of Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's "Game Change" this weekend on HBO, the one thing I found surprising about the movie is just how big of an emotional mess Sarah Palin was almost straight from the get-go after they recruited her to run with John McCain after not being properly vetted, and the campaign started finding out all of the dirt on her that they should have known about ahead of time if they were doing their jobs.
Which led to scenes like the one above where Palin was none to happy with staffer Nicolle Wallace after her disastrous interview with Katie Couric. I'm sure we can all take a lot of what was in the movie with a grain of salt, due to the fact that a lot of what was in it came from campaign staffers stabbing each other and McCain in the back for their terrible decision to draft Palin in the first place, and other anonymous sources, but on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Wallace admitted that the scene above was "true enough" to make her squirm.
That didn't stop former Dick Cheney adviser, Mary Matalin from calling it a work of fiction, even though she wasn't there herself. Leave it to Matalin to still be carrying water for Palin since she's been one of her staunchest defenders from day one. I expect we'll be hearing more of the same type of sentiments from Republicans who still don't want to admit that McCain made a huge mistake picking her, that she was not ready for the job and that it helped to tank his candidacy, whether every detail in the book or movie are completely accurate or not. The overall theme of the movie and how she was portrayed was pretty obvious to most of us watching that campaign at the time as the events actually occurred in real time.
Full transcript below the fold.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But he is going to be probably one of the most famous men in the world on April 20th. We only have a couple minutes left, but before we go, Nicolle Wallace, in honor of you, you served in the McCain campaign, so you have -- Sarah Paulson played you in the movie "Game Change" last night on HBO. And we're going to show a little bit of the clip here, talking about the infamous interview with Katie Couric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: You call that interview fair?
PAULSON: Yes, Governor, I do.
MOORE: I certainly don't. She was out to get me from the get-go.
PAULSON: No, she wasn't. The interview sucked because you didn't try.
MOORE: Well, what do you mean I didn't try?
PAULSON: You just gave up.
MOORE: Nicolle, it wasn't my fault. I wasn't properly prepped.
PAULSON: You weren't properly prepped because you wouldn't listen to us.
MOORE: I am not your puppet!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Palin campaign didn't like it. How true to life?
WALLACE: Well, true enough to make me squirm. But, you know, look, this isn't a movie about campaign staff, and this isn't even really a movie about McCain and Palin. This is a movie about the vast gray area in which 99 percent of our politics actually takes place. And I think that what gets boiled down or sometimes the fights or the instant analysis or the black and white, who's up and who's down.
But the truth is -- and I think everyone around this table has had some experience in their political careers -- where you're just feeling your way through a very gray area and you're doing your best. And this campaign was certainly one of those instances for me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question. And, you know, there has been a bit of a backlash, Mary, but there are a lot of points in that movie that's very sympathetic to Sarah Palin.
MATALIN: Mark Halperin, who's the co-author of the book, but -- came down to teach James' class in Tulane and said it was not in total, but large sympathetic. The movie is not that. A lifelong Democrat called me and said "Game Change" is a channel change for me. So it's not RJ Cutler, Pennebaker, "The War Room" or "A Perfect Candidate." It's just a fictional movie. And to that end, it's meaningless, other than I like your hair in the movie, Nicolle.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to -- that's all we have time for. Thanks a lot, guys. We'll be right back.