Sarah Palin’s Game

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

As the Republican presidential contenders try to ignite some fire on the hustings, all eyes are going to be on the candidate who’s not running, Governor Palin. This is because HBO will broadcast this evening its new movie, “Game Change,” about how the leader of Alasaka burst onto the national scene in Senator McCain’s campaign for the president and changed not only his game but the politics of her time. The movie has a scene in which this is suddenly recognized by Senator McCain’s aide, when the senator and his running mate appear before a crowd and the name it starts chanting is “Saaah-rah, Saaah-rah.” It’s a scene to savor at a moment when the Republican candidates are desperately trying to generate even a small measure of the passion the party displayed for Mrs. Palin.

It happens that the HBO movie will be broadcast as Tina Brown’s “Women in the World” marks the last evening of its third summit.  The summit is a remarkable achievement for Ms. Brown, who is one of her generation’s greatest editors. The summit has gathered an astonishing lineup of women, from the Nobel Laureate in peace  Leymah Gbowee to Israel’s opposition leader Tzipi Livni to the actresses Angela Jolie to Secretary of State Albright, to name but a handful of the figures who have assembled at New York. They meet in a week in which the front page of the New York Times carries a story about the policy dispute in Europe between the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, and the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

We understand that Tina Brown invited Mrs. Palin to the summit and that Mrs. Palin had briefly said she was coming but, in the event, it turned out that the “Women in the World” conference coincided with Piper Palin’s half-term at school. So the woman who millions still hope will someday be a contender for president of America begged off from the “Women in the World” conference for that most womanly of reasons, to be with her daughter, becoming — once again — the elephant-in-the-room, an ironical metaphor given the mascot of her political party. Summiteers who want a glimpse of her will have to watch Julianne Moore’s version. Or they can schmooze with Meryl Streep about what she learned about Baroness Thatcher while playing Britain’s transformative prime minister in “The Iron Lady.”

The movie for which Ms. Streep won best actress has something in common with the movie about Mrs. Palin that will be broadcast this evening. Both are movies about conservative women who were met with condescension yet outshone their adversaries. A number of reviewers thought “The Iron Lady” was an anti-Thatcher film (the editor of the Sun, who counts Lady Thatcher as a history-making hero, gave “The Iron Lady” a rave). Mrs. Palin herself has dismissed “Game Change.” Yet our guess is that both movies will burnish the reputations of their subjects in the precincts of the Left. The New York Times has already deemed “Game Change” as “not unsympathetic” to Mrs. Palin. Our only point is that it’s amazing how many people are thinking and writing about the one-time governor of Alaska at a time when women are on the rise and the Republican party is looking for a candidate who can really ignite some enthusiasm.

The New York Sun

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