Game Change, an HBO movie about the 2008 McCain / Palin campaign is more about éminence grise Steve Schmidt than the Senator or his running mate. A central element is the wretched selection of Sarah Palin as candidate for an office that is a heartbeat away from the presidency. McCain and his advisers chose Palin with too little critical review, taken, as they were, by possible star power and the hope she would be their game changer, the key to exercising power in the future.
A leadership choice made in British Columbia a year ago had parallels to Palin’s elevation. Last week, Huffington Post published Game Change: Sarah Palin and the Confessions of Steve Schmidt, written by Geoffrey Dunn. One of Schmidt’s comments was particularly notable. It asked how political parties can,
“select its leaders when celebrity packs more electoral cachet than experience or political courage.”
Backstage managers of the BC LIberal Party also made a choice with too little critical review, taken, as they were, by star power and the hope Ms. Photo Op would be their game changer, the key to continued exercise of power. Capability and qualification mattered little to the people skulking off stage. They merely assumed the candidate would care for the voters, they would care for the business of government.
One difference though is Geoffrey Dunn’s conclusion that naïve conservative idealism fostered Steve Schmidt’s involvement in the McCain / Palin ticket. No British Columbia pundit will every accuse Patrick Kinsella or Gwyn Morgan of being naive or idealistic.