More of my notes from the book "Game Change." It's the story of the 2008 election, this post covers part 2 of the book - the Republican frontrunners. See previous posts for the Democratic story
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.
I thought it was interesting that the authors took 14 chapters to discuss the Democratic primaries and only 3 to discuss the Republican primaries. Could it be bias on the authors' part? Or just that the Democratic primary was more interesting? In this case, I think it's the latter.
Chapter 15 - McCain "really just didn't give a ####. The details made his head hurt." (pg 274) "The McCain's were a military family and if John wanted to serve, Cindy wasn't going to stand in his way. Four uses defined her ethic: 'I support my husband.'" (pg 276)
John's relationship with his wife surprised, sometimes it was very bad: "McCain let out the stream of sharp epithets, both middle fingers raised and extended, barking in his wife's face." Why all the profanity? I noted this before (see here) with the Democrats. I know if I spoke to my wife the way McCain did, she would NOT appreciate it. Sometimes, he was very protective and loving with his wife.
Rumors of Cindy's McCain's affair. Sh denied it and no proof was offered. Rumors of an illegitimate child that McCain later adopted. Is this what we subject our politicians to? Unfounded rumors?
McCain was for the Iraq surge in 2006, when the surge wasn't cool. I guess I forgot how big a part the Iraq war played in the election. Also, there was a lot of discussion of McCain's war hero status. Did it really carry that much weight? The authors thought so and at least one liberal blogger I follow agreed.
McCain's speeches were frequently disjointed due to last minute changes and they were poorly attended (during primaries). Not only was McCain not excited, the crowds and his campaign workers weren't either.
The authors mentioned the Immigration Bill of 2007. With this subject being hot (again or still?) I should do some research on it.
Chapter 16 - Rudy Giuliani was pro-choice, pro-gay rights, 3x married, had a public affair with wife#3 while still married to wife#2 (see here for my comments on that subject). He was about as liberal as he could be. Why was he running as a Republican?
Charlie Crist (Florida) was view as being in Rudy's pocket and John's pocket depending on the day of the week. Mitt Romney flip-flopped on abortion, gun control and gays.
"That two candidates as flawed as Giuliani and Romney were the best poised to step in and capitalize on McCain's implosion was start testament to the weakness of the rest of the Republican field" (pg 295) - Could any Republican win? Could any Democrat lose?
"McCain would listen to everyone, take their advice, then bounce that advice off the next person in the loop." (Pg 296) My recollection was that happened once during the debates on taxes. His lack of devotion to any cause cost him a lot of support. Iraq may have been the sole exception - he was devoted to winning in Iraq.
Chapter 17 - Vicki Iseman affair alleged with McCain. See earlier comments about unfounded allegations against politicians.
Even after winning the nomination, crowds were weak at McCain events.
"McCain had failed to drive a message." (pg 318) - This sentence speaks a lot.