Losing sleep over “Game Change”

I have never met Senator Harry Reid, but he makes me angry. Not just for some of his stances, but because he, and others like him in Washington, cost me a lot of sleep in 2009. Let me explain.

It was around this time last year that my New York City apartment was almost constantly filled with chattering computer keys. Like all starving artists, my roommate needed a side job to supplement his internship. By late fall, a couple of political journalists hired him to transcribe interviews for an upcoming, juicy book about the 2008 election. Because he was working full-time, the transcription took place in the late hours of the night and the wee hours of the morning.

5-8am: Click, click, click, tap, tap, tap
10pm-2am: Click, click, click, tap, tap, tap

I would wake up in the middle of the night to a torrential downpour of computer keys. No soothing rain on the roof for me, just the pitter patter of my roommate’s Macbook. For awhile I was annoyed. And for the last year I’ve told him that this “juicy” book better be as good as biting into a ripe plum. He promised me it would. This week, I found out he wasn’t kidding. Come January 14, when the book finally comes out, you will too.

The book, called Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, could be one of the most revealing of its kind. Think Deep Throat in prose. Even though it doesn’t come out until Tuesday, it’s already creating controversy. Marc Ambinder over at The Atlantic points out some of the best, or worst, parts. There are details about explosive arguments between John and Elizabeth Edwards, frank conversations between Giuliani staffers, another Clinton affair, and comments that will prompt more apologies than the board game “Sorry.”

Just ask Senator Reid. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the Nevada Democratic called President Obama to issue an apology for statements he gave Heilemann and Halperin. In the book, Reid says he believed Obama could become the country’s first black president because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

It’s quotes such as this that should permeate the book. And it’s books such as this that give us an inside look at the imperfect world of politics. Ambinder says it best:

“[T]his book . . . portrays politics as it is actually lived by the candidates, their staff and the press, which is to say a messy, sweaty, ugly, arduous competition between flawed human beings . . . .”

Senator Reid knows full well about the “messy” part. And after this Thursday, there will be many more people asking many more Beltway bureaucrats “where?” and “why?” But while I can’t tell you where or why these words were said, I can tell you where they were most likely transcribed: In a small New York City apartment at about 2am. Click, click, click, tap, tap, tap. Thank you Senator Reid.

Jonathon M. Seidl is a 2009 graduate of The King’s College in New York City where he studied politics, philosophy, and economics. His writing has appeared in WORLD and online with The American Spectator. He currently writes from Denver, where he works at Colorado Christian University’s graduate division.

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