Why are the producers of HBO’s “Game Change” focusing so heavily on Sarah Palin when the book of the same name concerned the entire 2008 campaign? There are two answers. The first is simple: Palin’s a draw. Hollywood knows it, and so does everyone else. Tina Fey made her career far more by imitating Palin than by writing a show nobody watches called “30 Rock.” Hollywood’s Palin obsession is just beginning.
But there’s another reason, too. Hollywood, as we know, is deathly afraid of the Tea Party. They believe that if they can persuade the Republican Party to abandon its conservative principles, they’ll be doing good for a benighted American public. That’s why during “Game Change,” you’ll see Sen. John McCain (Ed Harris) say to Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore), “You are one of the leaders of the party now. Don’t let yourself get co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists. They’ll destroy the party if you let them.”
This line has liberal columnists like David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun cheering. “Based on what’s happening today with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, the two former employees of Fox News, who are trying to savage the more moderate frontrunner, Mitt Romney, those words might ring prophetic to some,” writes Zurawik.
If it isn’t clear by now whom the media wants to win the nomination, it’s Romney. And they feel the only way they can get their preferred choice between a radical liberal and a big government moderate is to savage Palin, who stands at the head of the Tea Party resistance to the establishment.
“Game Change” was originally aimed at a potential Palin run. Now it’ll be aimed at conservatives more generally. And Palin is their face right now.