Protagonist of HBO’s “Game Change,” real-life 2008 McCain Campaign senior strategist Steve Schmidt has found some new friends as a frequent contributor for MSNBC. This may be a good move considering that Republicans, who he once worked for, are likely unimpressed with his comments about the HBO film while appearing on MNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday. Schmidt has endorsed the film, which is based on the book of the same name that upon its publishing was immediately criticized for inaccuracy and called “a 450-page version of Page Six.”
“It’s a story of when cynicism and idealism collide, when you have to do the things that are necessary to win to try to get in office to do the great things you want to do for the country,” Schmidt said of the movie, in which he is portrayed by Woody Harrelson. “And I think it showed a process of vetting that was debilitated by secrecy, that was compartmentalized, that failed, that led to a result that was reckless for the country. And I think when you look back at that race, you see this person who is just so phenomenally talented at so many levels, an ability to connect. But also someone who had a lot of flaws as someone running to be in the national command authority who clearly wasn’t prepared.”
“Politically, she was a net positive to the campaign,” Schmidt went on to say of Sarah Pailin, who is portrayed in the film by Julianne Moore.
Schmidt said she was a “net negative” because “someone was nominated to the vice presidency who was manifestly unprepared to take the oath of office should it become necessary and as it has become necessary many times in American history.” [Emphasis added]
“The reality is is that both parties have nominated people in the last decade who are not prepared to be anywhere near the Oval Office,” Schmidt said. “John Edwards in the Democratic Party. Sarah Palin in the Republican Party. And we ought to take a pause and understand how that happened, why it happened and hopefully it’ll never happen again in our lifetimes.”
NewsBusters Noel Sheppard is unimpressed with Schmidt:
It appears that for a Republican to be held in high esteem by the liberal media, all he or she need do is run a failed presidential campaign – McCain-Palin suffered the biggest landslide since Michael Dukakis in 1988 – and then backstab the candidates you represented.
This strategy worked nicely for Wallace who in 2010 published the best-selling political thriller ‘Eighteen Acres’ which many believe took additional shots at Palin.
As for Schmidt, he’s now a regular MSNBC contributor.
Unlike crime, it seems failure and backstabbing do pay, and are enviable qualities for Republicans looking to curry favor with America’s media.
Nicolle Wallace was a senior advisor on the McCain campaign who said Sunday that the HBO film was “true enough to make me squirm.”