Family politics

Among its disclosures, Game Change reports the dysfunctions of the other chief characters in the 2008 campaign. Hillary Clinton’s relationship with her spouse is described by Al Gore in the book as “an inscrutable co-dependency that coughed up chaos and melodrama in equal proportions.” Like the Gore campaign of 2000, former President Bill Clinton’s role has been criticized as hurting his former colleague as well as his wife.

Game Change also describes, in shocking detail, the Dorian Gray-like metamorphosis of Elizabeth Edwards: from the saintly, supportive spouse the public observed throughout Edwards’s earlier career to the abusive, nasty, intrusive character described by insiders in this book, and confirmed in The Politician by Andrew Young as a “paranoid, condescending, crazywoman.” Rudy Giuliani’s third wife hardly helped his aborted campaign. Game Change also demeans the McCain marriage, and reminds us of the charade propagated by the Republican Party and swallowed by most media of the Palin family's social highjinx, portrayed as an example of family values.

The national political stage provides a dramatic example of the importance of a positive, real, happy marriage in American politics, at a time when senators, governors (Spitzer and Sanford, for example) and local political careers were tripped up, if not destroyed, by the breach of their family commitments.


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