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March 9th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: “Game Change” doesn’t disappoint

By Wolf Blitzer, CNN

(CNN) – Washington insiders were at the Newseum last night to see the new HBO film, “Game Change,” about Sarah Palin and the 2008 race for the White House.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very impressed with the finished product. It kept my interest for the entire two hours.

Julianne Moore is amazing as Palin. Tina Fey is a very good (and funny) Palin on “Saturday Night Live,” but Moore is even better. She is also a lot more serious.

The film is seen from the perspective of John McCain (played by Ed Harris) and his top campaign strategists, especially Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) and Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Paulson).

Schmidt and Wallace cooperated with the filmmakers. I know Palin didn’t provide a lot of help to them.

The film is based on the terrific bestseller written by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. They had unique access to key players and provided strong reporting and insight.

But a great book doesn’t always guarantee a great film. Actually, I have been disappointed more often than not by movie adaptations of wonderful books.

But this one doesn’t disappoint.

The director, Jay Roach, and screenwriter, Danny Strong, succeed because they only take a chunk of the book and drill down on it. That involves McCain’s selection of the then-Alaska governor to be his vice presidential running mate and the events that followed.

The book’s other focus – the election of Barack Obama – is actually a sideshow in the film.

I will note that it was a bit strange for me to see various clips of my 2008 campaign reporting on the big screen. But that was fun and I was flattered.

The movie airs on our sister network HBO Saturday 9 p.m. ET. I think you will enjoy it.

Follow Wolf Blitzer on Twitter: @WolfBlitzerCNN

RELATED STORY: 'Game Change' actors dish on Palin, portrayals and politics

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Filed under: Sarah Palin • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. more

    Usually I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.

    July 4, 2012 at 3:32 am |
  2. Ahmad

    I think the interview with Charles Gibson was a great exmpale of her character and knowledge base . or what is lacking. So, I ask you, what is the difference between Sarah Palin and GW?LIPSTICK.

    April 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  3. Marlina

    I don't support her eethir as my first choice (LIKE GEEZZEESS WE ALREADY HAVE TO BE THINKING ABOUT THIS) LOL but we do .However, as I did in the last election I voted for McCain couldn't stand him eethir BUT ANYBODY BUT OBAMA!!! or Hillary I've actually met Sarah, and various members of her family. She's certainly NOT my first choice but we could do worse .I'd vote for her over an uber progressive socialist any day Hopefully it won't come to that

    April 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  4. Kirk

    I was amazed to find that Palin was even more clueless about the world outside of Alaska then I had thought. It was almost a horror movie since the McCain campaign let loose the moose head from Alaska on the world.

    March 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  5. Ruby

    I was amazed at the lack of knowledge this candidate had. Just think, she would have been a step away from being president! Wow! Not even knowing what the FED is

    March 12, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Estevenson

      If you'll notice, the media in all its wisodm is continuing the attack on Sarah Palin. They are totally afraid of this woman and Conservatism in 2012. With all this redistribution of wealth about to happen, they hav to convince the people that Palin is bad and Obama is good. Gotta start talking up more, like you.George

      April 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  6. teresa

    wolf your questions to our offiers in the overseas war might put us in a bad spot and you better watch what you say cause we don't need any war in the usa.

    March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  7. fred kennedy

    CNN and HBO owned by same co. would have something to do with you liking the movie of lies

    March 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  8. Doug Ericson

    OK, I confess, I watched the beginning, and it was entertaining. Moore was good mimicking Palins voice but I still say Fey's impersonation is better. I flipped back to the Louisville /Cinncinatti basketball game after the convention scene and it looked like the movie was going to get depressing. I like the Dorothy image of Palin and I didn't want it tarnished by watching the movie make fun of her. Click your heels three times Sarah, what have you got to lose.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  9. dubya

    Repibics rewtite history with reagan why not with palin?

    March 11, 2012 at 12:35 am |
  10. Nicholas in Florida

    It is strange, I keep seeing alot of conservatives complaining about Obama and the job he is doing. I guess that they forgot about the 8 yrs Bush was in office enforcing their conservative plan that got us into 2 meaningless wars and nearly destroyed our economy. Now they want us to hand them control again? These people must not have brains in their heads! I am an independent and I will never vote for them.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  11. MaryM

    OMG, this movie shows just how close this ignorant Palin came to being the V.P of the U.S. It is truly frightening.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  12. tamara reina

    Change is always good but in the middle of Game time "OH" it is good now

    March 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  13. DKincaid

    You must condone what Santurum lied about when he says, 'was calling them blah people.' What is a lie; Ms Santurum was going through a 'phase' when she was young living with an abortionist. What a way of life? If you are running for president and white – all is 'youthful discretions and phases.' How do you expect us to believe your reporting.

    March 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  14. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin was such a joke VP candidate,Tina Fey used her own words in the skits. She didn't need to change a thing.

    March 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  15. judy

    the repos seem to take offense with the comments made. Most normal people knew from the get go that this woman was not ready to be a vice president. Whats the big deal? She has managed to get rich since the experience so why are you feeling sorry for her. She has taken your money and the whole family have had reality shows. You should be happy you made her rich.

    March 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  16. PNW jim

    Some of you make me laugh. Obama was not vetted? You gotta be kidding me.If the Clintons machine could not find something real [not like birthers] then there is nothing there.The people running the Mcain joke did not help him choosing Palin because when she started talking even the older VOTERS GOT SCARED AND VOTED AGAINST THE TICKET.They can try to twist it around as much as you want but the country is moving forward without the help of the Republican't Party and the likes of the Sarah-Rush crowd.

    March 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  17. Essie

    It is sooo hilarious to see how jealous people REALLY are over Pres. Obama!! Get over it... Sarah will NEVER be president, and she will never be in the same dignified class as Pres. Obama...PERIOD! So, leave Wolf alone & let him voice his opinion without the "haters" crawling out the sewer to spew their hatred & embarrass themselves totally!

    March 10, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  18. Irma in North Carolina

    Man Sarah should be delighted that she is getting so much attention.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  19. PeterD

    And you don't disappoint me either for Cashing in in the name of Sarah Aplin.

    March 10, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  20. Dee

    It never ceases to amaze me how defenders of Sarah Palin always want to try to say that Barack Obama was the one who wasn't vetted in 2008. Palin didn't even know the duties of the office she was trying to win. But Obama wasn't vetted...really, seriously????

    March 10, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • Desatin

      Cause anything goes for McCaint He is seracd he Caint win. He saw the Democratic campaign and went into a state of panic!He will use ANYTHING or ANYBODY to win.He felt 18,000,000 votes were his for the taking. All he needed was a bait.So he called Palin, because he thinks Hillary's supporters are so shallow and stupid that they would go to the McCain camp, led like dummies without careful consideration. It is highly insulting to All women.If he would panic just because of the democratic campaign, imagine how he would panic if he got the 3 am call and push the wrong button.

      April 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  21. zzzed

    Hearing Palin's voice evokes the Geico commercial: weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    March 10, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Elias

      , who's our next hopeful? Who can save America and not turn out to be a damn RINO or a reach aorscs the aisle jerk? I want a president who makes it known that he is not going to play nice with the libs/progressives. Kinda like how Boehner stated very matter of factly, he will make it his mission to dismantle obamacare, no matter what it takes. Does Boehner have eyes on the oval office? We need someone we can believe in and so far, the GOP offerings I see now just don't do it.

      April 4, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  22. Evans

    Your nuts Jim, them two air heads know nothing about leading a country. No one wants to see the soccer moms lead.

    March 10, 2012 at 1:53 am |
  23. dan the man

    what about a history lesson. to get the usa out of the great depression the pres had to DEFICET spend on civil projects like the hoover dam all over the contry. ohh and hydo power is clean energy (kinda) repubs are brainwashed and didnt get a good education. states fault or personal problem? Oh and tracy walt jim n florida and cobra should stop twisting everything. ill tear you apart fact by fact

    March 9, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  24. dan the man

    the rep base is pissed because they already know the outcome. hahahaha obama obama obama obama

    March 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm |
  25. dan the man

    Haha the rep base is such a joke. look in the mirror and your "values." just as mcain was VOTED down in 2008 ANY rep WILL be voted down come nov

    March 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  26. jonathan

    Here's an idea. Maybe people who criticize the film should wait and watch the film before coming here and putting your opinion about something you can't possibly know anything about yet. If it stinks then feel free to say so at that point.

    March 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  27. jack

    glad to see you have a sense of humor, wolf.
    you are all right in my book, man.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  28. mikrik13

    There is a definite difference between a comic portrayal and dramatic acting. An "apples and oranges" sort of thing.

    March 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Gerardo

      I can't quite believe what I just wthcaed. Can someone really be so blinkered, ignorant and plain misguided?Speaking as a neutral with only half an eye on the US elections from over here in the UK, I'd be with Obama if voting McCain might let this sort of nut near the corridors of power.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  29. Bob

    When will HBO do a movie on Barack Obama and his secrets and how the media protected him during the 2008 election?

    March 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • K3Citizen

      The sheriff in Arizona doesn't do much. Maybe he can direct the film.

      March 9, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
    • sean

      Which secrets are you referring to, Bob? The secret behind his brilliant white smile? His PIN number? How many girls he plonked in college? What his favorite Adele song is? You have to be more specific, Man!

      March 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • sean

      Well, if they're SECRETS, how can HBO do a story on them? I mean, if it's a secret, then nobody knows what it is. Except Bob! And it looks like he's not telling what it is, either- I guess because it's a secret?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Dixon

      whine, whine and more whining... When will the republicans stop whining about how unfairly they are treated.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:24 am |
    • Candy Taylor

      What is wrong with you? Seriously!

      March 10, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • Dave

      Yes, when will there be a report of the clear and obvious media bias? The media ignores significant questions about Obama's background, but is overly concerned about the the Republican candidates had for breakfast. I would never show my face in public if I was a reporter!

      March 10, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Essie

      Stop hating, Bob!!! ...Pres. Obama didn't make a fool out of himself during that election! So no, there was no movie made about him! There will be, yes! But, it will be depicting all of his accomplishments during his presidency of 8yrs! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

      March 10, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • Gerry

      Bob, I am begging you to get some much needed professional counseling to help you deal with your dementia. It's not flattering pal.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • MaryM

      No media outlet protected President Obama. Get over it. You just cant accept that you lost.

      March 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  30. Marlee

    Wolf you were made for the big screen the camera loves you!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  31. Marlee

    I am amazed at the amount of attention Sarah Palin is paid.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Iam Matt

      I was for a while as well, but when you realize that she was a couple swing states and an old man dying away from being leader of the most powerful nation in the world, it makes the situation interesting. Imagine having an IQ of less than 100 and possessing the firepower to end life as we know it.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
      • Simon

        She is a diva. She takes no advice from aoynne, said this McCain adviser. She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or aoynne else. Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom. No, no, no. She's not a diva. She's a MAVERICK!

        April 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Candy Taylor

      Yeah, her 15 minutes of fame just goes on and on and..........

      March 10, 2012 at 7:56 am |
  32. Doug Ericson

    I don't think I am going to be able to get past the promos on this one. The actors playing McCain and his campaign manager look like a couple of ghost, and McCain is missing his chipmunkie left cheek. The Tina Fey characature of Palin better. Also, I have always been turned off by McCain, so watching a movie with him being one of the lead characters would be unbearable. I get all the entertainment I need from 4 to 6 on the Situation Room. Why watch yesterday's news when you can watch the real thing live every week day. Palin is another reason not to watch this movie. She never really explained her decision not to run for President this election, leaving a lot of folks feeling dumped and empty. Too litlle too late, gee, now i get it, it just occured to me. Palins interview after she voted for Gingrich. Promo time! Boy am I slow.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
  33. K3Citizen

    "I can't wait to see that movie to see who won that election", said the blonde.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  34. TY

    Yeah Blitz, the only reason that you like the film is because you're in it. What an ego you got!!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  35. Tracy W

    I'm sure it doesn't disappoint you, Wolfie. Anything to make conservatives look bad, you love! It's a safe bet airing it on HBO because no one but Bill Maher followers will probably watch it. Kisses!!!!!!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Kate

      I I don't like Bill Maher, nor do my family and friends; however, we're certainly going to be watching "Game Change". You DO know the book is based on direct interviews with and comments frim those who were there, right?

      March 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • david mann

      In your dreams....EVERYBODY will watch it. The ratings will be off the charts. The liberals will watch because they love to see Flailin', Failin' Palin make a fool of herself (yet again), and the puckered anus conservatives will watch so they can whine about how the Lame-stream media is (yet again) picking on their beloved vacuum-headed ignoramus. Would somebody, anybody, please tell me what has she EVER actually accomplished besides making money?

      March 10, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Dixon

      conservatives don't need any help looking stupid...I mean bad. never mind both descriptions fit.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • Rikardo

      Doesn't she ROCK?! I did not know that she was on until my hubs came home and told me to turn it to Fox News to listen to her cpeesh. She is a firecracker and those boys better watch themselves – she tells it like it is and doesn't beat around the bush – I LOVE THAT!My two cents, for what it is worth :}Hugs!

      April 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Aracely

      John McCain sure did pull an Elephant out of a bag. What was going through his mind. The way I see it he had two chieocs; pick a black man or a white woman. He chose the woman and picked the one woman who would be his regurgitator. If they are elected we are in for a long period of political stagnation.

      May 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  36. Cobra

    I thought you were a reporter Wolf instead you have just contributed to more propaganda that is false in a lot of ways, sad to see you fall like that.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Dixon

      did you hear that on Faux? I am guessing there is much more dirt not inclucded in this film.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Alexis

      sdkar:Chris ChristieAllen WestBobby JindalMike PenceMichelle BachmannMy 6 year old grandson, aonnye in the GOP is, for the most part, is going to do a better job than Obama, but I am NOT at ALL convinced that Palin would be any better than Obama, and could be, quite possibly be, an even bigger disaster I am sure there are several more in the GOP that can beat Obama. Palin guarantees him a win, or a win for Hillary if she ran against Obama for the Dem nomination and won And the thought of another Clinton in the White House makes me sick!P.S. Boehner?? Might be looking at it, and he wouldn't be a bad POTUS I believe.. I'd damned sure vote for him over Palin

      April 4, 2012 at 4:35 am |
  37. Jim n Florida

    Leave it to CNN and Blitzer to hawk the film, must show Palin in a bad way – the gang invited to view the film in advance had to be predominantly from the MSM – to get the advance out about what a great film it is. The left just can't keep from denigrating Palin while they are "aghast" at Rush's comments over what is now believed to be The Fluke Operation, probably run from the White House or at least from Obama's proxies in a lame attempt to spin the attack on religious freedom that was neatly concealed in the 1,000 pages of toliet tissue known as Obamacare.

    Get a life Wolf, and how about CNN so some serious vetting of Obama for a chage, certainly didn't want to do that in 2008.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Dixon

      more whining...and you must have had an advance look at this film to know so much. Stop whining and read facts other than the fiction from faux.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:30 am |
      • Alpha

        When she first burst onto the scene I liked her, but that admiration has waned sfainiicgntly and by one simple action on her part. That action? Sticking close to McCain. That alone speaks volumes.I don't froth rabidly at the mouth with hate as some people do (not necessarily here, but in general), but I DO think she's way too polarizing to win back the WH if she's running.One name I'm not seeing but think he bears watching is Herman Cain-black, conservative, former CEO of CocaCola(run a business), older, not wet behind the ears, highly articulate, definitely outspoken. I think a ticket of him and Alan West has the potential to wipe the Obama floor with Obama. And the potential to shut these people up who insist on calling conservatives racists.

        April 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
      • Mehmet

        Intrigued: I was a bit intrigued mylsef until I read up on her. She has no real political experience other than being a governor for less than 2 years (something they constantly hammer Obama on).I also think it's a cynical ploy to lure disgruntled Hillary supporters, their reasoning seems to be they'll immediately vote for a woman even though her beliefs and political affiliations are diametrically opposed to theirs in every way

        April 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • Mike B

      Make Palin look bad? She does not need any help

      March 10, 2012 at 9:12 am |
  38. Jim n Florida

    "Washington insiders were at the Newseum last night to see the new HBO film, “Game Change,” about Sarah Palin and the 2008 race for the White House. "

    I am sure "

    March 9, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  39. craig duprey

    wolf watch you every night great stuff.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  40. Louis in Atlanta

    Blitzer is doing movies now! 2 Thumbs up!

    March 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  41. Me

    I've always thought Mariska Hargitay would make a great Sarah. For HBO, this will be great. I was waiting until True Blood came back on in June but I couldn't wait and ordered it this week.

    March 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  42. DENNA

    I can hardly wait to see it. There is just no way that you can pretty up Sarah Palin's lack of credentials for Vice President. Thanks, John McCain, for thinking so little of Americans that you thought you could put THAT one in the White House.

    March 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  43. Walt

    Your bias concerning Game Change is too evident. If this movie was about Barack you would be acting the opposite... CNN protected Barack and did no vetting at all... I guess when you are the second lowest rated news channel protecting the president and slandering the oppoenet is what you do!!!

    March 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Dixon

      Amazing how terrible the right is treated. Give me a break with all this nonsense. Look for facts other than the fiction from faux. Please stop whining...many from the right are doing a great job whining, so they don't need your help.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • Dave

      Well said Walt. I'm not fan of Palin because she is right wing wacko. However, the bias is obvious! One more reason to turn off CNN and HBO.

      March 10, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  44. Jim Thomas

    We need Palin and Bachman back in this race on the same ticket.The women deserve a chace to do the job as the men have completely screwed it up.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    March 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Evans

      Really, no one wants to see those air heads lead no country.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • grahame rhodes

      What a wonderful idea dumb and dumber

      March 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm |

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