Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Game Change - Chapters 12-14

More of my notes from the book "Game Change." It's the story of the 2008 election, so far, I'm only into the chapters on the 3 Democratic front runners (Obama, Clinton and Edwards). This completes Part 1 of the book.

As mentioned before, I'll publish some of my notes and comments. Some may not be in full sentence/paragraph form. Where appropriate, I'll put quotes from the book. I would really appreciate your comments as I'm still trying to make up my mind if I like the book.

Chapter 12 - "The Gores (Al & Tipper) still looked askance at the Clinton marriage..." Comment what do they think of it now that their marriage has ended? There but for the grace of God, go I.

When women's groups didn't come to Hillary and Chelsea's defense, when MSNB's David Shuster said Chelsea was being "pimped out", Hillary said "where (are) the women's groups? ... If they get away with this... they deserve what they get." Comment - What about the women's groups vs. Bill's philandering and treating women as disposable? Seems they were quiet then. Hillary comes across in several chapters as bitter and vindictive.

"Bill (Clinton) received a call from George W. Bush. The current and former presidents spoke more often than almost anyone knew; from time to time, when 43 was bored he would call 42 to chew the fat." Comment - reminds me of stories about Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan. If 43 & 42 got along as well as this implies - why can't their followers?

Chapter 13 - Obama vs. Wright. This chapter interested me the most as I'd followed this encounter closely. I think it helps define Obama's character, his view on racial issues and his religion.

Obama's  "initial attraction to (Wright) ... sprang from it's commitment to the social gospel." (pg236) Comment - is that what Christianity is about? A better way to serve people? What happened to the idea of a better way to serve Him?

"Obama liked the mixture of working class and buppie congreants in the church" (pg 236) yet "in 1998 and 2001 the Obamans had rarely attended services" (pg 235). Comment - Obama put a lot of faith in something he knew little about. As a Christian, I should study Christ, and make sure whoever I follow, follows Him.

Regarding Obama's speech on Racism, he said "This is tough. ... But I'm running for president, and this is what you do when you run for president. I want this to be a teaching moment." Comment - I think this defines why Obama wanted to be president and why he thought he should. He has something to teach us. In 20 years, if he looks back at today, what will he think of this attitude?

I remember when I was 22, I threatened to sue a lawyer. I look back and realize how immature I was. That's the way I see the current president, as an immature young man, who thinks he has something to teach us.

I took no notes on Chapter 14. It was more of the politics of the end of the primary process and continued to show Clinton as bitter and Obama as wanting it to be over. Now on to Part 2, about the Republicans.


"The Edge" said...

Randy - have enjoyed your comments on this book so far.....not enough to make me read it, but still interesting. I think I know not enough and too much at the same time. I tend to be skeptical anytime the news reports someone as a womanizer (several presidents) - skeptical of that person's character. But, I'm just as upset with those who would blatantly mislead us when they know they are in a position of authority. It's one thing to not share information. It's entirely another to mis-represent it. Examples: Dick Cheney chose not to share that one of his daughters was a lesbian...I found that out after the Bush/Cheney years. In my mind, that didn't make him a liar, as (1) it's not relevant to the issue of him as a VP, (2) nor do I remember him being asked about it on camera in the debates. But in contrast, when Obama makes a specific point on national TV to say that all legislation would be placed on a website for the public to review or that you will be able to track the TARP money allocated to your district online, that (in my mind) is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. (1) He knows this kind of promise cannot be kept, as the government doesn't even know whats in some of the bills they vote on and nobody knows where all the TARP money is, (2) I think he did it to make the people want to support him at his speeches and/or other campaign events. Many VPs and Presidents on both sides of the aisle share similar foibles. These are two recent example which come to my mind.

"The Edge" said...

My rather cynical/not-so-cynical take on some recent folks (on both sides), stream-of-consciousness style:

Bill Clinton - charismatic leader, wanted to be more socialistic but could not, passion for women (excuse the pun) clouded his judgment, could make even the worst deal look good, concerned about social issues

Al Gore - quick on his feet, but his brain wasn't wired for the truth, told more lies on the podium than anyone else I know (invented the internet???? c'mon Al), fast-talker, liked to twist words, lost about so many things including the environment

Hillary Clinton - strong leader, very intelligent, more intelligent than even Bill was, well-versed in how to talk around an issue, passionate about what she believed in, somewhat misguided on social issues in some cases (but not always), motherly quality makes her endearing to women

Joe Biden - no worthwhile accomplishments, says alot about nothing, likes to ride others coat-tails, difficult to understand what he is saying at times because he often makes no sense

George Bush 43 - well-spoken leader who often chose words haphazardly (strategery), thoughtful, more intelligent than people give him credit for, somewhat religious but not to a fault, deeply held convictions, team player, quick to share credit, often took blame when others failed, overly trusting of his advisors at times

John McCain - renegade, middle of the road at times, true patriot (we salute you for that!), fights for what he believes in to a fault, too quick to trust others of opposite views, not critical enough of obvious flaws he sees in others which could be corrected, career politician

Sarah Palin - well spoken, honest to a point, doesn't sugar coat her thoughts, fights for her convictions, protective of family and friends, well-rounded, street-smart kind of intelligence compared to most politicians, techno-savvy, often misunderstood, others tried to paint her into a box she never subscribed to, thoughtful, friendly, kind of neighbor you want on your street

John Edwards - well-meaning, talks in circles, sometimes can lose an audience, good liar (hey, who ever knew he had an affair until it came out - he could have denied it and made it look plausible, and we would have believed him - not such a good thing, but...), almost looked too-GQ at times, slick-lawyer-like, but comes off as charming and honest and straightforward because he looks you in the eye when he talks about you

Ross Perot - highly intelligent, great businessman, not always the best talker, spoke plain sense in his politics, could debate ANY issue, well-versed on almost everything, knew how to use resources well to get things done, knew how to win, not enough folks gave him credit, good mix of conservative and progressive at the same time

Randy said...

Edge, thanks for your comments. I encourage you to read the book, you may get a different image of some of the candidates.

I need to correct you on one item. Al Gore never said he invented the internet. That's a point that many people inaccurately repeat. I did it once and one of my readers corrected me. If you need it, I'll find the correct quote.

Regarding John McCain, I haven't finished the parts of the book on him yet, but I think my feelings about him are changing. If you read the book, your views may change too.

Keep reading my comments, I'll have another batch in a day or so.